Local traditions and culture in Boston

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Boston

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    Backyard Barbecue

    by travelfrosch Updated Sep 25, 2013

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    A common tradition in Boston, as well as much of the rest of the USA, is the holiday backyard barbecue. On long weekends such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, families will gather together, sit outside, and enjoy all sorts of grilled meat, fish, and vegetables. The most common fare are hamburgers and hot dogs, though spare ribs, chicken, steak, and even shrimp or salmon can be on the menu. It's an excellent opportunity for families and friends to get together, relax, and socialize.

    (Note: "barbecue" in this context is distinct from Southern BBQ, which is a dish rather than a social event. In the South, the "backyard barbecue" is less common because of the heat, and is sometimes referred to as "outdoor grilling" or a "cookout.")

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    Sam Adams

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Jul 26, 2013

    A brewer and a patriot! Sam Adams is the largest American owned brewery, and they brew some outstanding beers, including their flagship brand, Boston Lager. The brewery was founded in 1984, well ahead of the modern micro brewery industry in America. Sam Adams now has 900 employees working at breweries in Boston, Cincinnati, and Pennsylvania, and they produce 50 different beer styles, which are sold in all 50 states and 20 foreign countries.

    Address: 30 Germania St, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 02130-2315
    Phone: (617) 522-9080
    Website: http://www.samueladams.com/

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    Restaurant Week

    by sarahandgareth Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Want a way to try out some of Boston's hottest restaurants without breaking the bank. During Restaurant Week (which is actually two weeks, one in winter and one in summer) different area eateries offer three course meals for a song. Check the website for dates and participating restaurants.

    One tip - reserve your table well in advance! The most popular restaurants fill up quickly unless you are willing to eat really early or really late.

    Offical website: http://www.bostonusa.com/RW07/rwindex.html
    Unofficial website: http://www.restaurantweekboston.com/

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  • The Big Dig

    by grkboiler Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    When in Boston, you will probably hear someone talking about the Big Dig. This is the largest construction project in the history of the US. It started in 1991 and will be finished some time in 2005. Its purpose is to completely overhaul the expressway system in key areas to relieve traffic. It will make Boston a different city when it is finished, and every time I go, I see major progress.

    The cost: $14.7 BILLION!!!

    Read more on the website.

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    Artists Are Everywhere

    by moiraistyx Written Jan 18, 2010

    It doesn't matter where you are visiting in Boston or what time of year you are visiting, you are bound to come across some type of artist who has set up their easel or their trip pod right smack in the middle of where everyone is going to walk or right in the field of view of what you are trying to look at. This is all a part of Bean Town and we've all gotten used to it. Some are very conscientious and set up shop out of the way, we like these folks.

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    Pedestrian ettiquette on the road...

    by joits Written May 1, 2008

    Coming from LA where there are jay walking laws and just an insane amount of traffic, seeing Bostonians walking around the city opened my eyes almost the minute I started walking around. Basically, Bostonians don't really observe the traffic lights and the walking signals. It all comes down to if there are no cars, cross the road. Even if there is traffic, a Bostonian will cross if they think they can make it to the otherside before the traffic arrives. Of course if the walking sign comes on... then by all means, cross. Of course there were several times that I was hesitant to cross even though I saw the locals do it, just because I wasn't sure if the light would turn green and the traffic would start moving. For tourists, I think to be safe is to wait for the walking signal or at least cross the road with other people. There are some places where it's sort of a blind corner and if you're not careful, a car could come speeding around the corner. So my advice would be... better to be safe, it's probably touristy but its a lot better than the alternative.

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    Orchids of every description

    by Pawtuxet Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    They called this exhibit "The Lure of Orchids" and they were so right. There were crowds studying every detail and photographing them, oogling them, and preparing their questions for the gardeners. I have just one orchid and I'm thrilled when she blooms....which will be soon. Don't know if I would ever be a collector like many of these people are. Some are so possessed that they buy special red lights and blue lights to be sure the orchids get exactly the right hue and correct light they need.

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    Down on the farm...

    by Pawtuxet Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    Here is a series of pics of a farm scene at one of the exhibits. I thought the display was marvelous. I'm partial to farms and veggie gardens....roadside stands and such....but the colors in the display were truly scrumptious.

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    Music made you bounce

    by Pawtuxet Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    I wasn't sure if these musicians were Peruvian or from some other place...but loved the sound of their music. Everyone tended to sort of bounce as they walked past them. Colorful costumes and fascinating sort of whistle.

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    Lovely landscapes

    by Pawtuxet Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    Some of the exhibits at the flower show are more appealing than others, of course. I tended to like the more old fashioned "country" look rather than the more contrived... or exotic. I thought of my Australian and New Zealand pals on VT when I saw the sweet lambs. You can't see the black one in the pic, but they had 2 in a garden...one white and one black.
    The stand of Delphiniums were really a knock out.

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    Spring Flower Show 2007

    by Pawtuxet Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    There are numerous gardens displayed and judged at the show. There is a section for displays of formal floral arrangements by the Federation of Garden Clubs, and there are food areas as well as trade floor booths. Bigger than our Providence show, but very much the same. Gorgeous blossoms, some interesting and imaginative ideas. Some of the varieties are unique and beautiful enough so that you want to collect the names and find them in your local garden shop.
    There was an amazing color Azalea in the Bartlett Tree exhibit (pictured in this photo group), but I was really struck on the Canterbury Bells which were from the Alan Haskell Horticultural Center. They were stellar. My next favorite would be the Digitalis "Foxglove", which I simply must have in my garden again. Had some years ago and I'm determined to find them again.

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    BOSTON MARATHON

    by moiraistyx Written May 4, 2006

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    Every great city seems to have it's own marathon, why should Boston be any different. The third Monday of every April is marked for the Boston Marathon. On this day hundreds of thousands of spectators line the streets of Boston to watch thousands of runners. If the weather cooperates this is great to watch. If it is windy or chilly, grab your mittens and warm gear, a lawn chair and a thermos of your favorite beverage, sit back, and enjoy the view. This is also a great time to people watch.

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    A BBQ which turned into a nice birthday party!

    by Laura_Mexico Written Sep 11, 2005

    This is a very personal experience, and I can't say it was interacting with Bostonians cause NONE of my friends were originally from this city... However, I do think this BARBECUE thing is very American, and we enjoyed a beautiful spring day -- after a long winter and many rainy & gray days spent in Boston -- having one among friends.

    Then it turned out that, after our nice lunch in the open air, my friends organised a nice little party for me right before my departure from Boston and back to Mexico! So this still brings me nice memories of this nice city which I already liked a lot, and I thank my friends for the wonderful experience!!

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  • NO SMOKING!

    by grkboiler Written Apr 28, 2004

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    There is no smoking in restaurants, bars, or nightclubs in Boston.

    Personally, even as a non-smoker, I think this is a terrible law for bars and nightclubs but good for restaurants. Having been to Boston many times before and after the law was put in place, I have noticed a dramatic drop in the number of people in many bars and clubs. I don't know how much business they lose, but to me the atmosphere just isn't the same.

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    Pick up your trash. Or don't.

    by jessicadf Written Jan 12, 2004

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    I saw mixed evidence of people cleaning up after themselves. While the streets weren't piled with garbage, there was definitely garbage to be seen from time to time. As we walked down a sidewalk, we watched someone pass a trash can and dump their garbage in the gutter, just past the can. What's up with that?

    I was interested in the sight of this discarded coffee cup that had frozen to the sidewalk.

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