Naked Loon Travel: Boston

As a resident of the greater Seattle area, you know that there is no better place on Earth than the perfect paradise we live in here in the Puget Sound.

While traveling outside of our green and blue utopia is a decidedly bizarre and unnatural course of action, it is understandable that you might sometimes find yourself wondering what life is like for the unprivileged masses that are doomed to live in the less desirable 99.999% of the planet.

Thankfully for you, The Naked Loon is rushing to your aid yet again, going places you don’t want to go and coming back to bring you all the disturbing details. This month’s punishing journey takes our roving reporter 2,500 miles away, clear over to the shriveled husk of an allegedly-once-great city: Boston, Massachusetts.

The Good
Boston has Starbucks, although from most places in the city I found that I had to walk well over four blocks to find the nearest one. They’ve also got some water, and it even rained some during my five-day stay, but not nearly enough. There was quite a bit of green, but not very many evergreens, despite the fact that there’s a giant golden pine cone on top of the state house.

I was rarely accosted with friendly glances or smiles from strangers passing by as I walked the streets and rode the public transportation of Boston, which was really nice. With all the universities in and around Boston, the city also has a delightful air of intellectual superiority about it.

The Bad
Where to begin… Due to a disturbingly efficient public transit system (who runs this town, Mussolini?), I was unable to spend any of my time in Boston enjoying a favorite Northwest pastime: sitting in traffic. Furthermore, as I was walking around in the downtown core, my city experience was continually broken up by bothersome parks, inconveniently placed right in the middle of town.

After spending hours poring through the various tourism brochures at a visitor’s center, I came to the conclusion that Boston definitely does not have any buildings as futuristically sweet as the Space Needle. They also lack a giant hammering man, a red neon public market sign, and a pair of next-door-neighbor corporate-branded sports stadiums. How depressing.

The Ugly
From what I could tell during my visit, Boston appears to be some sort of mysterious island where the miracles of modern technology are merely fanciful myths spoken of in wistful tones. For example, while riding the packed and creaking subway into town during rush hour, there was nary a pair of white iPod earphones to be found. Rather than jovially jamming to their own private pocket DJ, the majority of Bostonians were relegated to the plebian pastime of reading. And I don’t mean e-books—I mean actual paper—magazines, newspapers, and even books.

Furthermore, although their street corners appear to have button-activated crosswalk signals, it became apparent that the installations were merely non-functioning models. No one ever bothered to press the buttons so deceptively labeled “push to cross.” Instead they stood at the corner waiting for a brief pause in the passing carriages, at which they dashed bravely across the street without the aid of any fancy “crosswalk signals.”

Final Verdict
Imagine taking a bite of a slightly rotten nectarine. Sure, it’s good for you—all the nutrients are still there—and maybe you’ll even go ahead and finish it since you’ve already picked it up and taken a bite. But later, when you sink your teeth into a perfectly ripened organic nectarine and the delicious flavor fills your mouth, you appreciate it all the more.

Visiting Boston is like that.

About the Author

Martha Kostyra
Naked Loon Living Editor

8 Comments on "Naked Loon Travel: Boston"

  1. Thanks, now I don’t have to go there….

  2. A very fair analysis of Boston, but misses one key point: Boston is a beerless desert. No microbrews, none on draft except Guinness. They only had lagers, not real beer.

  3. Ulysses | 2008-05-29 at 5:29 PM |

    So depressing. You mean there wasn’t a herd of dogs being walked by one skinny lady? Or “organic” foods and stores littered all over the place?

  4. I bet they don’t even have an EMP yet!

  5. Boston sounds like a fantastic place.

  6. Bob Snakely | 2008-05-30 at 6:17 AM |

    I was surprised to hear that there were no ‘crips’ hanging around selling drugs on the major street corners in downtown Boston. My gosh what a loss of character for the city in Mass-a-too-chets! I find the image of a young African-American standing there with his gangsta pants hanging down concealing his ankle holster and what looks like a great big hand gun very important to the overall ambience of the Emerald City. Also nothing about the favorite commuter walking game of counting the ‘new’ overnight bullet holes in the store front areas of the downtown buildings on 4th Avenue. They don’t even have a ‘trauma’ ward to treat gunshot wounds to revile what we have at Harborview. Maybe Boston doesn’t have nut cases that like to shoot up public concerts at their center? I understand they have no major rat problems and infestations in their public markets. What would Pike Place Market be without our little furry friends? Boston sure does have a lot of issues, I can see that now!

  7. Have you ever seen a crip trying to keep a musket in their ankle holster? They’d probably have to hop a carriage for a drive by.

  8. Why not to live in Boston in two words or less:

    It snows.

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