Boston January 21, 2018
by Juliet White 14 Things Longtime Bostonians Wish They Could Tell Newcomers
People relocate to Boston every day. If you’re planning a move to this incredible city, there are a few tips and pieces of information that might ease your transition. Once you’ve been here a while,
Boston will ruin you for other places (in the best way). It’s hard to compete with this city! However, while you’re still in the adjustment phase, bear these 14 things in mind:
1. Try to live near your workplace.
Yes, you may change jobs, but commuting is a huge time suck and your quality of life will be infinitely better if you live just a few T stops or a short drive from your work. Now being able to afford a home near your work may be a whole other story...
2. Rent is high and competition is fierce.
While not New York expensive, rent here is probably higher than what you're accustomed to paying. Using a rental agent can make the rental process smoother and lead to a better outcome. Depending on where you're relocating from, the idea of using a realtor for renting may seem bizarre, but it's well worth considering, in spite of the added cost.
3. We think Boston drivers suck, but we’re the exception.
Over time, you get used to people driving sideways and making a left turn to cut you off the second the light turns green. If you’re coming from somewhere else, these maneuvers may surprise. FYI: it is sometimes legal to drive in the breakdown lane.
4. Don’t expect the roads to make sense.
There isn’t a grid system here, but we do have one-way streets to send you in completely the wrong direction. After The Great Boston Fire of 1872 much of the city was destroyed and there was talk of restructuring the layout of streets. However, it was considered too expensive and disruptive. If you're arriving with a moving van DO NOT take Storrow Drive unless you want to be "Storrowed."
5. The joke about Boston having two seasons - winter and construction - has some basis in reality.
But I will say, you hardly ever see an idle roadwork crew. Those folks are hauling butt to get work finished before the cold weather sets in.
6. That being said, fall is spectacular.
Pinterest hasn’t been lying to you. You’re in for a colorful treat come autumn.
7. Shoveling snow – to free your car or clear the sidewalk – always takes longer than you think.
Allow plenty of time before you need to get anywhere. And never
ever move a space saver. The rule is that if you shovel out a space, it's yours for the 48 hours following a snow emergency. This is perfectly legal (except in the South End) and the Space Saver Wars can get hardcore.
8. If you’re lucky, you’ll have random days off that you’ve probably never celebrated - or even heard of - before.
Bunker Hill Day, Evacuation Day, Patriots' Day... It's good to be a Masshole.
9. The liquor laws are confusing.
Forget Happy Hour. Those were made illegal in Boston following a drunk driving tragedy. You'll be buying your booze at a package store (packie) or at the grocery store - possibly. Each grocery store chain gets three locations where they can sell liquor and the rest of their stores must be liquor free.
10. Fewer people than you expect have a Boston accent...
...but there is plenty of city and region-specific
that you should know.
11. Boston's sports fans are as devoted as you'd expect.
Venture into Stop and Shop before a Pats game and you'll see everyone wearing their gear while grabbing chips with frenetic energy. Sox, Bruins, and Celtics fans are just as keen to show their allegiances.
12. Boston is a city of neighborhoods.
The South End (above)...
...and Southie (below) are two different, distinct places.
13. You’re close to so many incredible destinations.
Get out there and discover the North and South Shores, Central Mass, and our neighboring states. So many
14. Moving to Boston is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
What other tips would you give to new Bostonians? We love to welcome newcomers to the best city in the world, but helpful hints always make the transition easier on everyone! Share you thoughts in the comments below.
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