After posting yesterday’s Anthony Bourdain quote I had a lot of interesting conversations about Boston and our food scene, namely how far it has come in such a short period of time. I’m sure there are versions of this happening in cities across the country as the food (/local/sustainable) movement grows, hipsters begin to spend their own disposable income rather than their parent’s, and neighborhoods change (as they do).
I think there is something special happening in Boston, though. Before you dismiss me as being totally biased because well, I live here, know that in many ways I feel more “it’s complicated" than “in a relationship" with our fair city. Originally from Woodstock, New York (with long stints in Virginia and North Carolina) I’m a rural girl who had only been to one city, New York, until age twenty-one. In “Upstate" (anything north of Westchester county, roughly) we refer to NYC as “the City." I’ve spent countless nights and weekend there thanks to the cheap commuter trains, so like most city folk I compare everything to New York- or did until I realized how unfair that comparison is.
Boston is not New York’s step brother. Or second cousin. Or whatever. It’s not the “Portland of the East." It’s Boston. It’s the urban center of New England, the charms of which are not known to people to don’t get a chance or choose not to experience Western Mass, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire. The lobster shacks, the ice cream stands, the farms, the hot dogs, the pockets of strong heritage from places like Portugal or Haiti- these criss cross and dot our region like Chutes and Ladders. Boston is New England, and then like all cities it’s also something more.
I don’t how to characterize “Boston." It’s too diverse, too vast. Whatever it is, whatever we are, it’s changing. We’re changing. The answer, like everything, seems to be in the details- the moments that seem like they will be forgotten but turn in to lasting memories.
In a time of such rapid growth it seems like a good idea to take a moment and reflect back on how we got here and from what we came. That’s why I’m proposing a special project to share our stories of eating and drinking in Boston. I’ve got mine, but I’m one person (and a very specific kind of person). Please share yours. When did you get here? Or did you never leave? Where have you lived? What did you eat and drink? Where? My life used to revolve around East Somerville, downtown Boston, and Davis Square. I hardly go to any of those places anymore- some of the reasons are logistical while others are purposeful. Tell us everything or just one little detail. It all matters. It’s all interesting and relevant to where, literally where, we find ourselves today.
Email, tweet, meet- whatever works for you. Send your tales/stories/pictures of eating and drinking in Boston (/Allston /Brighton /Cambridge /Somerville/ Arlington/ Watertown/ Southie/…you get it) to:
@TheEsthete (that’s me)
…or in the comments
…or click via our Submit section
We’ll feature as many as possible and are working on a few from friends to get the ball rolling. We’ll come up with a kitschy name. It’ll be awesome.