Thursday, August 7, 2014

mysteries of Boston

1. Taxis at the train station
On arriving, we headed to the taxi rank, where the only two cabs present were leaving with other passengers. Then a windowless, black minivan pulled up and a nattily dressed driver hopped out and addressed me with "Taxi?"
I looked at his van, which was entirely unmarked. Then I looked back at him and said, "You're not a taxi."
Interestingly, he didn't try to argue the point, he just accosted the next person in line. I didn't see what happened next, as just then what actually looked like, and indeed was, a taxi pulled up.

2. The restrooms at the Boston Public Library
No toilet paper. No paper towels. No dispensers.

3. Boston's reputation as hard to navigate
I've done London. I've done Rome. Boston, not so tough.
After 3 days in town, I finally rented a car to get out to the suburbs. OK, on the way out, unexpected one way streets did send me on a slightly exciting twisty tour of Beacon Hill. But despite my suburban host's horror that I was planning to drive back downtown, in the dark, without a GPS, I guessed at the right routes and exits and pulled up directly to the hotel's front door with no delays. Navigation-fu at its mightiest.

4. Using "wicked" as an adverb
When did this become a thing? I never heard it until about a decade ago, and then from just one Bostonian I had not previously known. Now it's all over subway hoardings, t-shirts and other tourist kitsch, even the name of the municipal wifi network.
Surely such a heavily commercialized usage ought never to be heard on the lips of any self-respecting local again.

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