One thing I was really looking forward too while in Boston was hearing people talk in the stereotypical Boston accent. Silly I know, but I find it entertaining. I was quite disappointed to find that Boston has become such a melting pot that finding a true Bostonian accent is like finding a needle in a haystack. Technically this whole melting pot is a good thing, but not when you are hunting for an accent. I was hoping to find someone with the accent who wasn’t in a huge hurry so I could ask them to take a short video with me to show my daughter – no such luck though.
Thankfully I did hear it once. The time heard it, a group of my coworkers and I were walking in a horde of people and Bruins fans near the North Station. We were waiting to cross the street. Due to the game that night there were two police officers directing traffic and pedestrians. This was necessary because both are nuts in this city as mentioned in my earlier post Boston: The Beginning & Uber. So the officer made the universal STOP sign with his hand. A silver SUV slowed to a crawl and kept creeping forward. Now mind you, even if he got past the officer there were quite literally hundreds of people crossing the street so he would not have been able to continue. The officer walked towards the SUV and smacked the hood with his hand and said in a THICK Boston accent “Hey! What the hell are you doin’? Look around! You ain’t gettin’ anywhere!” This made my day. I only wish I could have taped it. It was perfect and I had a stupid ass grin on my face for a good half hour afterwards because that is how entertained I was.
I enjoyed the people singing, playing guitar and violin throughout the city as well. It is amazing how everywhere you go everyone is connected online, but disconnected with those around them. The few strangers I did talk to were warm and friendly. One gentleman I talked to in Cambridge while heading to the AirBnB was entertaining. I asked him which direction on broadway was towards the University. He politely answered, but looked perplexed. I then returned with “Thanks, my phone died four hours ago so I have been navigating old school with an internal compass and the undetailed subway maps.” He laughed and said “Nice! I was wondering…it seems like tourists always ask instead of looking at their phones which is annoying! I’m glad you said that.” After a good chuckle and some small talk we parted a block or so down Broadway.
While in one of the subways I took a picture of the train conductor or operator? Not sure what they go by now. Apparently this is frowned upon…within 30 seconds I had two officers approach me to ask what I was doing, where I was from and why I was taking a picture of the operator and the train. Whoops! Apparently it is frown upon. After explaining that I was a stupid tourist from Wisconsin and apologizing they allowed me to walk out of the subway – watching my every move. Not sure if I look like trouble or what, but I was glad the incident was short-lived. Below is the picture I took before interrogated by Boston PD.
There was a different train conductor for the commuter rail that I took out to Salem who was quite entertaining. This time I asked if I could take his picture before I took it. He said “sure…but why?” I let him know that I was a weirdo who liked to take pictures of interesting things and I found him interesting.
While on some of the trains and around town I took pictures of interesting people walking, meditating or dogs in strollers – who knew this was a thing? I also took a picture of a group of police officers talking in North Station at the end of their shift. As I took the picture one of the officers flexed his muscles. When I looked on the back of the camera I saw this and chuckled. He asked if I got it. We shared a laugh and I showed him the picture. We ended up talking and getting introduced to the sweetest police dog whom Melissa and I both wanted to take with us.
While walking around Boston Commons I was approached by a woman who was tall and lanky. She had clean normal clothes -jeans and a plaid flannel. She mumbled something as walked directly towards me. I said “pardon” because I didn’t catch what she said. She walked faster and closer to me and yelled “Get away from me! Leave me alone or I’ll punch you in the face!” So I quickly said “Oh, sorry!” and scurried away like a mouse. She followed for a good five yards or so before heading in a different direction. Based on her eyes and her face she appeared to be strung out on something.
There was a man on one of the subways, who told the boy he was with a joke that I found entertaining. How does a squid sign its name? – In ink.
The owner of the AirBnB where I stayed was sitting on the porch when I left Saturday morning to sight see. After I walked down the front stairs he stood up and said “Those special shoes you got? They make you walk funny.” To that I politely replied something about how I am so special I walk funny all on my own and that the shoes are plain old sneakers. It always amazes me how some people have no filter.
While in Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall area there was a gentleman playing music on large buckets and metal containers. It was a catchy beat and a crowd was gathered to watch. He invited a young boy who looked about 14 to try it. After he gave it a shot the crowd cheer and the boy returned to his family. Another man approached and asked if he could have a turn. The drummer said “Nah, get your own buckets.” The man laughed and said “Well, actually I have a set right here!” Then set up next to him with a third man. The group seemed to know each other and made jokes. The music echoed off the buildings and lasted for a few hours.
If you would like to read more about my Boston trip here are the other posts: