Falling In Love With A New Town
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
So, it is my last Metro column of my freshman year at Boston College. As I sat thinking about what would make for a fitting final piece, I called to mind one of the first questions my editor asked me when I initially expressed interest in joining Metro: “What is your favorite thing about Boston?” I responded, “Oh, you know, that pretty park … thing—the garden next to all the shopping!” She responded, “You mean the Boston Public Garden?”
I have to admit, my lack of knowledge about Boston was utterly embarrassing. But now, looking back on the last six months as the assistant editor, I have not just learned more about this quaint city, but have come to appreciate it for all its quirks and beauties.
Although I am eager to return to my hometown of New York City, there is a whole lot I am going to miss about Beantown—the first being the Public Garden. I never thought that I would leave Boston at the end of freshman year expressing my love for a garden. Ten months ago, I had imagined myself missing all the stores and eateries, but never something as commonplace as a landfill of flowers and trees. Yet, America’s first botanical garden is the first unique thing I noticed about Boston. Every city has its fair share of stores and fantastically strange street-roamers, but not every urban metropolis can maintain a balance with nature. I have spent a fair share of my columns ranting about how much more interesting, beautiful, and exciting New York is than Boston, but I can honestly admit that the Boston Public Garden captures an aura that not even Central Park has achieved—an aura that combines both tradition and modernity.
As soon as I arrived at BC, I immediately began to look for some element of the city that reminded me of home—and then I took my first trip to Harvard University. The college students I had encountered did bear some resemblance to New Yorkers in terms of eccentricity, but what reminded me of New York far more was the Cambridge nightlife. Embodying an attitude similar to that of downtown Brooklyn, Cambridge remains wide awake at every hour of the night. Lying at the center of college life, Cambridge is a center for tourist attractions but also a cultural hub. Many travel to Massachusetts to experience the college culture, but Cambridge provides its guests with a taste of both college life as well as Boston culture.
Another aspect of my time at BC that I have come to appreciate is its wildlife—I have seen far more wild animals living in Newton than in my 18 years in New York. Just the other day, I woke up in my dorm to see a creature lingering under my windowsill. Initially, I had thought it was another student playing a prank, but as I approached the window, a giant turkey stood up and gazed right into my eyes. I was thoroughly amused, sharing the story with almost everyone in my dorm. Sure, no other student could understand why I was so amused, but living in an urban environment for so long has deprived me of any sort of true nature.
Lastly, I will return back to my home a much nicer person. Bostonians have continuously shocked me with their ongoing concern for others—my New York family will surely be surprised at my newfound kindheartedness.
As I wrap up my first year at BC and with The Heights, I am so grateful for spending these last months in such a center of culture and entertainment. I hope that other outsiders have had similar experiences living in Boston and will continue to explore all of its hidden secrets. I look forward to my next three years in the city as I plan to take advantage of the many opportunities Boston has to offer.