Interacting with the Bostonian, Boston
Humor always depends on the language and the culture of the people. There are little nuggets of insight into the Bostonian's humor even if you don't speak to them. Keep your eyes open. This tiny portion of the Washington Street Bridge is just such an example.
If you look like a tourist,wearing shorts downtown with a camera strung around your neck, you'll be treated as a nuisance, in the way of people going about their own business, unless you happen upon an unusually unhurried and benevolent soul. Bostonians and their buildings are not animals in a historical zoo. The same goes for trips to Lexington and Concord, only more so since since tourists have the unfortunate tendency to stand in the middle of a very busy street to gawk at the Minuteman statue. On the other hand, we love tourists who behave like normal people, ask for help when they need it, and try not to get in the way of those going about their routine lives. Since these suggestions apply almost anywhere tourists go, they're not aimed only at our visitors to Boston.
I go to China Town all the time and there is nothing to be afraid of. I couldn't believe I saw so many 4 foot Asian people, they were fun to look at. I wanted to get an Eggroll so bad, but couldn't find a parking spot. I'm going to China town tonight, so if its dangerous, watch out cause I have protection from my chopsticks.
Being from Brooklyn, New York where we are nationally stereotyped for being real a-holes, I was absolutely stunned at how horribly obnoxious and unfriendly people in Boston were. Of course, there were a lot of exceptions but for the most part, people are just nasty. Even in France, where the populus is known for its hatred for Americans, we had a more pleasant time communicating with people than in Boston.
Just letting you know, if youre expecting hospitality and welcoming, do NOT go to Boston.
First off, DO NOT ask a bostonian to say 'park the car in harvard yard' and second, don't try to say it yourself with a boston accent. Nobody can do a Boston accent if they weren't raised here. Here is the gist of it, we do not pronounce 'R' unless it begins the word, so 'car' would be 'cah'. If a word ends in 'er' we pronounce it as an 'a' example, 'never' would be pronounced 'nevah'. 'ar' is pronounced as a soft 'i', so ' Blizzard' becomes 'blizzid'
for a native, the accent is difficult to lose, I've been trying for years with little luck.
We also have our own language; the subway and bus system is called the 'T'. to 'go in town' means you are going from one of the suburbs into Boston proper. 'wicked' means 'very' (we had a wicked good time) I personally never say wicked, but it seems everyone else does.
Please don't make fun of us and worst of all, please don't try to fit in and try to talk like us, you will quickly find yourself alone.
professionalism in conversation. We are pretty honest,real people, just the way we like everything to be. Like New Yorkers, but much more down-played. Most Bostonians are worried about the economy, jobs and school. And we're mostly broke, since living in Boston is expensive and we like to blow money. So just be decent, cool, honest,friendly and smart, and have goals for the future, and you'll fit right in. We basically dislike slobs, or unambitious people.
one of the first thing any bostonian asks is "do you go to school" (to gauge your your income level (how much your willing to spend)your personality (based on your major, or are you gonig to be successful in life), "where are you from or live?(to gauge your income level or economic level)..and "your nationality" (there is some pride or affiliation with similar nationalites)...that's all it takes for a bostonian to like you or not.
yea, we are snobby in a way...I think it has to do with the fact that alot of rich people in boston feel privilaged cuz their family's rich (old money since their grandpa's grandpa settled here a long @ss time ago) Remember, Boston is a VERY OLD city that was colonized..we even have the oldest beach in America (Revere Beach, which is dirty, don't go there to swim! But to chill and sight see!)
So Bostonians are cool, but have this pretentious attitude, cuz we're all trying to be hot sh@t.
On my first visit to Boaton in the summer of 1992, a friend and local resident picked me up from the airport. I grabbed the armrests while we swerved and dodged cars hurtling towards, past and around us. And that was before we even reached the airport exit. While weaving and honking his way to the expressway, my friend calmly explained the Bostonian rules of the road. "In Boston, its simple to figure out who has the right of way," he said, pausing to comment by gesture on a neighboring driver's driving skills. "the answer is, I do."
Be very careful driving (or walking for that matter) in this city. Boston drivers are the most aggressive and will accelerate to cut off a passing car or ambulance or when a hapless pedestrian tourist attempts to cross the road. I've seen all three happen.
Boston's famous Duck Tours are funny-looking buses which drive around Boston and Cambridge, and then also go in the water.
As far as I can tell, there's really nothing too spectacular about these tours, especially not at $20+ a head. One interesting thing, though (and this is the local custom tip), is that you will oftentimes see people quacking at the Duck Tours. Usually, these are tourists who have taken the tours and were told to quack at the tours in the future. Most locals grudgingly ignore them...some mockingly oblige and quack. Veeeery interesting.
Bostonians aren't all that bad, we just take some getting used to. Don't ask us to say "pahk the cah in hahvahd yahd" We have all heard it way too many times. most people are reserved, but initiate a conversation and we'll respond positively. Good subjects, Sports, Politics, weather.
New England, and maybe the Atlantic Seaboard, is a chilly place, and Boston harbors more stony people than most.
In general, don't be offended if Bostonians don't make eye contact with you. Its just not really, polite for lack of a better word, to do so, out of privacy.
You know you're from Massachusetts when...
1) The person driving in front of you is going 70mph and you are cursing him for going too slow.
2) The fact that Route 128 and I-95 are pretty much the same thing doesn't confuse you.
3) When ordering a tonic, you mean a Coke...not quinine water.
4) You actually enjoy driving around rotaries.
5) You almost feel disappointed when someone doesn't flip you the bird when you cut them off or steal their parking space.
6) You know how to pronounce the names of towns like Worcester, Billerica, Haverhill, Barre and Cotuit.
7) You have driven to New Hampshire on a Sunday in order to get beer.
8) You know that there are two Bulger brothers, and that they're both crooks.
9) You know what they sell at a packie.
10) You know at least one bar where you can get something to drink after last call.
11) You can actually find your way around Boston.
12) Colleges are used as landmarks for directions, i.e., Go past MIT until you hit Harvard. Take a right and go past Lesley. Keep going until you get to Tufts
13) Evacuation Day is a recognized holiday.
14) You know at least one guy named Sean, Pat, Whitey, Red, Bud or Seamus.
15) You think the rest of the country owes you for Thanksgiving and Independence Day.
16) You laughed at the kids down south who never got snow days.
17) You feel that the rest of the world needs to drive more like you.
18) You have never been to Cheers.
19) You can recognize a girl from Revere simply by her hair.
20) You know that there is a bigger difference between Roxbury and West Roxbury than just a compass direction.
21)When the words 'WICKED' and 'GOOD' go together.
Because of the very mixed cultural population, you never know. You can be out and meet nice friendly casual people, go to a boutique and be treated rude, or ride with a taxi man that just moved there for the desert and knows less around than you :)
Okay, so people in Boston are not quite as nice as the people in the midwest...they seem to be patience-challenged and have a fondness for profanity. But they are very passionate people and are friendly in return. They just seem to be in a hurry for everything--see cautions and dangers.
People are nicer than you would think they would be - IF you give them respect. Dont be the obnoxious tourist. Also, if it looks expensive, it probably is. Poeple who work in expenisve resturants work there because they know they'll get generous tips from the people who have enough money to go there. Don't go adn stiff your waiter/ress, Find the gems that are snobby but good food - to do this, avoid very popular places unless recommended adn expect to pay for what you get. Otherwise, avoid dives and be open to the experience.
I loved the way the close-knit Italian villagers sit out on the streets in their lawn chairs, just chatting the day away. It's such a lovely, laidback lifestyle.