Feature photo by rawhead

I had the distinct privilege of visiting Boston earlier this month and dove headfirst into everything they had to offer. From the wicked accents to the best place to get inked, here’s what I discovered about the lovely lifestyle in Boston.

The Accent
I’ve always been fascinated with accents, dialects, and language in general but whenever you visit somewhere with a heavy regional accent, it’s hard not to wonder what you sound like to them. We never think we sound different because everyone we interact with on a daily basis sounds essentially the same. It’s with this in mind that I give you a couple examples of the amusing accent in action:
A firefighter to one of his buddies: “Happy fo-uth. Have a good summah.”
The bellhop as we pulled up to the hotel: “We ain’t got no cots.” I thought to myself, “That’s funny, I wasn’t planning on a nap today…oh, carts! You’re out of carts, gotcha.”
Often accents tend to get in the way of developing relationships and understanding one another, but they’re also wicked fascinating…

I made my way up and down Newbury Street, Boylston Street, Massachusetts Avenue (or, as the locals call it, “Mass Ave”), walked through Chinatown, skated to the historic North End, sauntered through the South End, wandered aimlessly up and down Arlington Street, and what I found was just an absolute plethora of shopping options and a booming local economy! Some of my favorite spots:

The outside of Bodega is, as you’d guess, just like a traditional bodega from the hood. A counter stocked with lottery tickets and cigarettes greets you. The smell of laundry detergent fills the small space. Wait- what’s that brightly lit up soda machine doing there in the middle of the store? Step towards it and it automatically opens to transport you into another dimension of sneakers and clothes galore, good music playing overhead, and friendly hipsters to assist you. I copped an awesome cartoon Larry Bird T-Shirt, a skeletoned-out Mars Blackmon keychain, and some sweet free stickers. This was by far my favorite shopping spot in Boston.

Newbury Street
OK, Chicagoans. Think Michigan Avenue clashed with Bucktown. State Street meets 18th Street. Newbury Street marries all the local, Boston boutiques with the more well-known chains. You can walk down the tree-lined streets and check out Urban Outfitters the same day you’ll check out Johnny Cupcakes. (Ed: they don’t have any cupcakes or baked goods. If you walk in hungry, you’ll walk out the same way.) Anything a shopper could want will most likely be found on Newbury Street.
Another local tidbit: we witnessed this guy riding his bike blissfully screaming,”Woo-hoo!” over and over again, sort of like a Ronny Woo-Woo shout. We later found out from some locals that dude has been at it along the streets of Boston for nearly 15 years. I couldn’t help but wonder what he is up to in the winter time…

Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo
Prior to our visit to Boston, we decided we’d start to compile tattoos from every city we visit from now on. Jamaica Plains’ Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo was the place to be! Decked out in Halloween decor, Fat Ram’s offers world class tattoo artists and a chill atmosphere for all ink enthusiasts to enjoy. Truly a bad ass establishment…

So there you have a little taste of what the lifestyle is like for a visiting Chicagoan in the heart of Beantown. This is definitely a city I will visit again and again, time and longevity permitting. The shopping is great, the people are surprisingly chill and friendly, and the overall vibe has that coast feel with the big city mentality. Thanks Boston for a wicked awesome time…

Tune in tomorrow to Gozamos’ Tu Cultura section for a glimpse into The Revolution: where it came from, where it is today, and where it is going…

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