So over the weekend I'm at the Pour House with Work Friend, who will soon become Friend, as she's finding gainful employment elsewhere... but yeah, how depressing has that place become? (If you're not from around here, I'm not offended if you just smile and nod.) When I got out of college, it was one of the more fun and laid-back places in town. Now their claim to fame is "beertinis," which, take a wild guess, is a draft beer in a martini glass. It's wrong on so many levels, and I don't even drink martinis; imagine how much more appropriately outraged the klassy drinkers must be.
I've discovered the problem with my home turf and it's only recently become an issue... Boston is a college town and a bar town, which means that on any given night, every place is crawling with 22-year-olds, or better yet, 18-year-old BU freshmen (on summer break now, no less) with fake IDs. I'm 28 and Work Friend is 20-ten and to be fair, there are plenty of people out that are older than us, but the shrieking youngins seem to have taken over every single place, even the dive bars that were once endearing and under the radar, and because they're there the music is all top 40 remixes. (Can I just take a moment and say how funny that "Promiscuous Girl" song is? Don't get me wrong, I like conversations that take place during last call that are then set to music as much as the next person, but there MUST have been a better adjective to use there, don't you think? Mischievous? Adventurous? I don't know, but I feel like anything would be better than, "Nice to meet you, I'm a filthy, indiscriminate whore.")
If you really like the person you're out with, you're 90% of the way there, and I'm a girl that loves the one she's with, anyway; I'm over meeting randoms. I just wish Boston proper wasn't flooded with thousands of coed carbon copies. It's just such an interesting place and there's so much that's great about it (bands, bookstores, food, hole-in-the-wall movie theaters, product shopping... speaking of, I'm making a gleeful pilgrimage to Lush tomorrow!) and that comes across at every other time; our beloved state capital shouldn't have to sacrifice its quality mojo for bubble gumminess just because it's a weekend night.
I envy New York its little cafes where you can order wine or coffee or a smoothie and sit with a friend for hours; there seems to be more of a focus on conversation with who you came with, whereas Boston right now seems to be all about loud music and who else is there. I know Manhattan is like this too, undoubtedly moreso than anything I've experienced around these parts, but I'm glad I've been steered away from that part of it. And I'm generalizing, of course; only an occasional visitor to New York could have an Audrey Hepburn idealism about its tucked-away little places.
I was having a pedicure on the Cape over Memorial Day weekend and I met a really interesting woman who owns a pub close to my home that she says is great for a night out with friends, and I told her I'd stop by. I want to and plan to, but when? Going out somewhere other than the city doesn't really feel like going out; it's having dinner or just hanging out or being lowkey, which is my mom's kind of word. It's like the Cape... it's a fantastic break from reality, but if you ever spent the entire summer there, you'd go out of your mind (and it wouldn't be a bad way to go, but I'm just saying). If I'm going out, I almost (sorry, this is corny) want the energy of the city, or else it's like, well, let's just go someplace for dinner and call it an early night, or let's stay in and watch the game or a movie. All of those are good options and I end up having fun whatever I do, but I miss going out without having to leave my brain at home. Lately Boston is feeling like one giant, expanding stretch of Lansdown Street (i.e. sorority row) or nothing at all.
Don't get me wrong, I like a crazy night out now and then, but mostly I wish there were cute little places on the corner that weren't Starbucks that had tea candles on the tables and patrons of all ages and good music and that I could just sit for a long time and have wine with you and talk about everything and nothing. Beantown is bumming me out in this respect. Does it sound like I'm thinking about moving elsewhere? I'm really not. No one in the Boston area really leaves, and if they do they come back. You'd be hard pressed to find a homegrown that wants to cross state lines permanently. Born and bred... it's not just a Southern thing. Hometown devotion is the best kept secret among the supposedly elite Northeasterners.
I do need a brief change of scenery, though. Conveniently, I'm embarking on a kitschy road trip in a couple days, at the precise nanosecond that the school year ends. It's summer, summer, summertime, or so insisted Will Smith when I was in middle school, and I'm ready for a bit of a break, ready for sunny days and great music and sharing good food and staying out late. I'll be a responsible citizen again soon, I promise.