Metro, Column, Boston

My Boston Summer Resolutions

We all know about New Year’s resolutions. Specifically, how quickly they can fade away once we resume our normal routines.

Here at Boston College, the most popular form of New Year’s resolutions can be found in the Plex, as bold Plex-goers venture into the abyss of the uncomfortably hot and sweaty gym the first two weeks of the spring semester, only to gradually fizzle out once final exams season arrives.

In the middle of midterms, volunteering, and our clubs and activities, we are so busy that we often get sucked into a routine that causes us to abandon our list of resolutions altogether. The memories of our one day of pure joy atop Heartbreak Hill have quickly turned into pulling all-nighters in the library.

Instead, summer is the perfect time to plan new resolutions. As classes wind down, friends leave for the summer, and a mountain of work is dumped on us in preparation for finals, thinking about our lives beyond the final hours we spend in Chestnut Hill keeps us going. And for me, that means taking advantage of the city in our backyard.

I will be staying in Boston for the summer. It was not a decision that came easy for me. When I was little, I had a hard time leaving home—even if just for a week. I remember bursting into tears when I was picked up from Camp Tanadoona, pleading to my mom to not take me away from the confines of the Minnesota suburbs ever again. Minnesota has always been my home, and leaving the Midwest for an indefinite amount of time with no return date in sight only makes me miss it more.

Boston poses a different challenge. I venture into the city from time to time, but it never seems like enough. There are so many more places to explore, to wander.

Two years ago, a former Heights editor wrote about his artistic resolutions for the summer. Though I am no arts fanatic, I am going to use a similar theme in this column and explore my own list of summer resolutions. And given my love for the city, my new resolutions revolve around making the most of Boston this summer:

Food trucks—I love food, and I’m devastated that I have yet to eat at a Boston food truck and experience the city’s traditional love of mobile eateries. The famous South End Open Market @ SOWA attracts thousands of locals flock each weekend, and the 24-foot-long, kitchens on wheels make SOWA a global marketplace, and arguably Boston’s best summer lunch spot. Bon Me, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and Rami’s Food Truck are just some of the local favorites that flock to the neighborhood. The Somerville Food Truck Festival is another popular event that I will not miss this summer.

Country music—As the popular artist Brantley Gilbert says, “Country must be country wide.” Boston’s country music scene is growing faster than ever, and some of the ball-cap country artists, like Florida-Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney—the latter two of which both sold out Gillette Stadium over the past two years—are ushering in a new presence in New England. Its newfound home in Boston can be partially credited to the numerous outdoor, warm-weather summer concerts and festivals—like Zac Brown Band taking over Fenway Park for a long weekend. I’m a die-hard country music fan, and its new-found home in Boston makes events like the “Country 102.5’s Street Party” at the end of May, and the dozens of outdoor concerts coming to New England, can’t-miss events.

Boston’s Neighborhoods—I’ve taken many walks down Newbury St., and I’ve been to Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, and Mike’s Pastry dozens of times. Those are great places to visit, but they’re always full of tourists. Too often we confine ourselves to the same places when we have a massive city within our grasps. I plan to explore more of Boston’s neighborhoods and hidden gems. I’m talking about places like the South End, Chinatown, and Cambridge—which each have a new story to offer to this big, beautiful city.

Boston has so many stories to offer in the summer. I only hope that I can follow through on my list of resolutions and be able to give you new ways to make the most of the city, and more importantly, find your own version of Boston.

Featured Image by Francisco Ruela / Heights Graphic

Update 5/6/15: An earlier version of this column did not properly credit the work that inspired this piece. This column has been updated to reflect that change. 

April 29, 2015