If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Yankee mentality is the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." What that means is that Yankees are slow to accept new ideas. They enjoy jokes that make fun of themselves or others and the weather (and how bad it is) is always a great conversation starter.
I lived in Massachusetts for most of the first 30 years of my life so I know how we, Yankees, think. Folks don't smile unless it's absolutely necessary. They are suspicious of those who do smile - "What do they want from me?" They don't like giving other motorists the right of way. They always will turn left, if they see the chance, in front of oncoming traffic when the light changes to green. They are not the most patient or accomodating people. They enjoy a good joke at others' expense.
Mmmm. There's nothing better than real New England clam chowder. Just about everyone here eats it, at least those of us who don't have shell fish allergies. Good clam chowder has real clams in it, along with potatoes and sometimes bits of celery or onions in a rich, fragrant cream base. It's good with those little oyster crackers and lots of cracked black pepper.
Genuine clam chowder does not contain tomatoes. Forget that "Manhattan Style" clam chowder. That's just wrong, a complete abomination of clam cuisine. You get the best chowder at places where they make it in-house. Lots of times places only make it on Fridays. Friday was always chowder day when I was in college. It was something to look forward to, especially in the winter. Friday is still chowder day for me now in fact. The deli around the corner from my office makes it from scratch every Friday morning and the place is mobbed from the minute they start serving it until it's gone.
You can get clam chowder from a can, but if you come to New England make sure you get some of the good stuff!Related to:
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Driving in Massachusetts 101
When I'm driving around town or on the highway or wherever I can always spot a driver from out of state. This is not because of their license plates. No, it's usually because they engage in strange behaviors like using turn signals and allowing other drivers to pass in front of them. Needless to say, Mass drivers are among the worst on earth. Not just careless, but rude and in a hurry to boot. Of course, we all think that we drive just fine and that everyone else drives too slowly. People from Florida drive us berserk. So, if you come here and you have to drive, just be careful and be defensive. If you have to pull out into traffic you may just have to edge your car out until it blocks the flow before someone lets you out. Don't assume another driver will or will not do anything. Stay on your toes!Related to:
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Massachusetts Chocolate Chip Cookie
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Mark Twain
Dedicated to Stephen & Karen (Stephen-KarenConn)
Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, Massachusetts, made the first Chocolate Chip Cookies in 1930. [She dropped chocolate chips into plain butter cookies.]
Here's the Massachusetts Recipe:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 and 1/4 cup flour
1/2tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup simi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts [optional]
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix butter & sugars together in a bowl until blended.
3. Add egg and vanilla.
4. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
5. Add to butter and sugar mixture.
6. Add the chips and nuts.
7. Stir together.
8. Drop the mixture by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
9. Bake the cookies one pan at a time, about 8 minutes each.
10. When you take the hot cookie sheets out of the oven, use mitts to protect your hands.
11. Let the cookies cool for one minute on the sheet.
12. Remove cookies with a spatula and let them finish cooling on a cooling rack.
HAPPY EATINGRelated to:
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Boston Accent & Massachusetts Vocabulary
Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people." William Butler Yeats
When I first heard John F. Kennedy say such words as "renewed vigah" (vigor) and the island of "Cuber" (Cuba), I was baffled. Then, I realized he was from Massachusetts; thus, the letter "r" is added to words that end with a vowel sound such as "a or o". The "r" is omitted when it appears at the end of a word, or when it precedes a consonant in the middle of a word.
I guess Harvard students from out of town love to have a Bostonian say, "Pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd!" (Park the car in Harvard Yard).
Some call this Boston accent "Bostonese"
Here are some examples I heard:
harbor becomes Hah buh
bar becomes bah
park becomes park
corner becomes cawna
Sometimes the "r" becomes an extra syllable.
here sounds like he ah
there sounds like they ah
To end prayers, Bostonians say, "Arrmen instead of Amen"
They also flatten the letter "o" or just ignore it.
Boston becomes Bahst'n
Here are some words I finally figured out:
Bubbla means water fountain
tawnic means soda
cella means basement
foddy means the # after 39
The T means the subway
Chop Suey means lunch item made of macaroni, hamburger, and tomato sauce!
No suh! means explanation for "really?" or "I don't believe it!"
I really like listening to Bostonians, and it's a real challenge to try to figure it all out.. It was my daughter Jill (who was in grade school) who kept asking me what the people were saying that led me to figure it all out. (good excuse to put a picture of Jill in Boston on this page!)Related to:
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What Do Bostonians Do For Fun and Entertainment?
"I played before the greatest fans in baseball, the Boston Fans." Ted Williams, baseball player
Although we didn't visit all these places, we were told by locals, these are the places to go for fun & entertainment.
Christian Science Center is one we did visit. There is this "cool" large bright, stained glass globe of the world called "Mapparium" with a bridge that leads inside the globe & into the center of the "earth". The giant globe shows different land surfaces & ocean depths.
If you're a sport's fan as my husband is, then you will want to see old Fenway Park. When we were there, the Boston Red Sox were anything but winners; however, since they won the World Series in 2004, they will be even more popular.
%c0The Boston Garden is the home for 2 Boston teams, the Boston Bruins & the Celtics. We discovered that because Boston has so many Irish, the owner of its basketball team named it the Celtics & put the players in green suits!
The Hayden Planetarium has programs about the solar system that are unique &fun.
The Children's Museum has exhibits that explain such things as how the different parts of the body work
. At the Computer Museum, visitors can experiment with different computer programs to find out what it's like to fly a plane or to create a special melody.
The New England Aquarium has a wonderful spiral staircase that surrounds a giant fish tank, & it's 3stories high! Also at the aquarium, you may board a ship & go on a whale-watching trip to George's Bank on the Atlantic Ocean.
The USS Constitution is the oldest ship on active duty in the U.S. Navy. I'm told that it ranks as nearly everyone's favorite "museum."
"Old Ironsides received its nickname during a battle in the War of 1812 because cannonballs bounced off its thick oak planks. Today, you can climb aboard & see how warships were built 200 years ago. I think that Bostonians have the right idea about how to have fun & be entertained!Related to:
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Boston is More Than Beans and Cod!
Only Bostonians can understand Bostonians." Henry Adams
I'm sure that you've heard Boston called "Beantown". Did you ever wonder why? Well you have to go back to the first settlers of Boston, the Puritans. Puritans worked hard all week long & rested on the Sabbath where no cooking was allowed. So, on Saturday, they would prepare a pot of beans and let them bake overnight for Sundays's dinner. This thick and gooey baked bean meal was a common one for the Puritans.
You might also have heard that Boston is the "home of the bean & the cod". Codfish, or "scrod," comes from the Atlantic coastal waters, so it is readily available at home or in restaurants. The mixture of cod & beans is still popular today.
Boston is a city of Neighborhoods.
The North End is the city's oldest neighborhood with its narrow, winding streets & four-story brick apartment houses. Most of the families here are descendants of Italian immigrants who settled here between 70 & 10 years ago. Strangely, there are no yards in the North End. So, on warm evenings neighbors often set up chairs on the sidewalk & chat with passersby. Most of the Italian families are Roman Catholic. Interestingly, there's a big shopping market that lies near the North End. For more than 300 years, local farmers have brought their fresh fruits & vegetables to Haymarket. People come from all over the city to buy the fresh fruits, Vermont cheeses, vegetables, & other great foods.
There 's a spectacular festival in the North End, the Feast of the Assumption. The feast is dedicated to the Madonna del Soccorso, the patron saint of Sicilian immigrants. At this festival, people fling coins to the statue of the Madonna as it passes through the streets on a float. Everyone waits to see a girl (about nine or ten years old) who is harnessed to a pulley to "float" above the street. She's dressed in a white robe symbolizing an angel. She then releases a cloud of white doves from her basket!Related to:
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The state tree is the American Elm. (it was almost wiped out by the Dutch Elm Disease).
The state flower is (of course) the Mayflower.
The state bird is the Chickadee.
state nicknames are "cradle of liberty" (reference to the American Revolution) and "bay state" (reference to Cape Cod)
The state motto is: "Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem" (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
the state seal has an Algonquin Indian sognifying peace with that nation; a white star indicating unity with the union of states; an arm with sword to indicate peace was won by force; a ribbon with the state motto on it.
the state flag is the state seal on a white field
Lobster is the most famous food in Massachusetts and the whole of New England. It is caught along the east coast. Notice the lobster trap floats in different colors. Every lobster trap owner has its own color. This makes it easy to know which trap belongs to whom.
Tipping is more or less compulsory. In restaurants, waiters expect around 10% to 20%, as do taxi drivers, while porters and bellboys anticipate around 1 or 2 USD per piece of luggage. You are not expected to tip in fast-food restaurants or cinemas.
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3 most "you know you're in MA." ice cream flavors
The 3 most "you know you're in Mass." ice cream flavors are:
Curse Reversed "Reverse the Curse" ice cream was renamed "Curse Reversed" when the Red Sox won the World Series. Retarded...yet true. vanilla ice cream with chocolate-covered peanuts and fudge sauce
Wicked Chocolate Yep. There's that word "wicked" again.Chocolate with fudge and brownie pieces.
Just Jimmies Jimmies = Sprinkles. vanilla ice cream with Jimmies mixed in.
Another Massachusetts flavor from Brighams is the Big Dig named after the Big Dig, of course!
Now you know.
Scrod is what my mother usually orders in seafood restaurants, along with a tonic. Scrod is not on many menus outside of the New England area. So, what is a Scrod? It is a young cod or haddock. Okay, so why are cod and haddock also listed separately on the menu? Well, Scrod is basically the white fish "catch of the day". So cod, scrod, and haddock are all different things. Well, kind of the same thing but with different prices.
So this guy gets in a cab at Logan airport and asks the driver, "Where can I get scrod?" The cab driver turns around and looks at him with a come-hither type look in his eyes. "Bud," he says, "I've been asked that many times, many ways. But that's the first time I ever heard it asked for in the pluperfect subjunctive."Related to:
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Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd
Sorry to burst your bubble but you can't actually park your car in Harvard Yard, regardless of the pronunciation. There are variations of pronunciations even among New Englanders. It may be "Hahvid" or "Hahvud". Then there are those who attempt to overcompensate by over-pronouncing the "R" sound resulting in "HaRRvaRRd". I call these people automatons.
But I digress... as I was saying, you can't actually park in Harvard Yard. It is a yard.
You can, however, try to park in Harvard Square. The pedestrians here are nuts and have no regard for approaching vehicles, so take care.
While in Harvard Square I usually find parking in the lot on Church St. across from Fire & Ice. You will have to trust the attendants with your keys and they have been known to lock said keys in car with car running. But at least you can go home and say you pahked your cah near Hahvahd Yahd and it was wicked pissa.
Subs and Grinders
Both of these words mean the same thing: a sandwich on French bread, the same thing that a hero means in Philly. But depending on which part of Massachusetts you're in you may hear one or the other. If your near Boston it's a sub, if you're west of Worcester it's a grinder. Now you know.
Package Stores, Variety Stores, and Spas
If you drive around Massachusetts you will often see shops with one or more of these names on them. The simplest is the variety store, which means the same thing as convenience store. I'm not sure why they're called this, but they just are. When I was a little kid there was a boy in my class whose mom and aunt owned a store called "Viki's Variety". Whenever I hear the word I think of that place.
A package store is a store that sells liquor. Sometimes a package store can also be a variety store. There is a store near my sister's house called Bob's Package and Variety.
A spa is a small store that has a soda fountain or which prepares food and drinks to order. I imagine that the name goes back to when all sodas had to be gotten "on tap" at a fountain, or a spa. A spa can be a variety and a package store as well as a spa. Usually they are at least a variety in addition to a spa, otherwise they would just be a deli or an ice cream place or something and not a store.
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