Everyone knows what's good about Boston. Even before we decided to attend Harvard, the avid tourists in our hometowns sought us out to tell us what they liked best about their vacation in Beantown. While I was still in junior high, my dentist found out that I wanted to go to Harvard. From that point on, every six months I had to listen to a story about touring Bunker Hill or walking the Freedom Trail. All while having my cavities filled.
But the "Boston as Elysium" attitude just isn't to be found in backwater farm communities. One of the foremost responsibilities of the Boston press is to remind residents about all of the good things that abound in the metro area. Every year, Boston magazine eagerly compiles "The Best of Boston" listings, praising everything from beer to magicians--255 winners in all (!) Thus, for the modest cover price of $2.95, Bostonians can forever evade mediocrity.
But does anyone know what's bad about Boston? Most Bostonians do complain, but about the wrong things. Ask a Boston resident to name one of the worst things about his or her city, and you will likely get one of two answers: the weather or the parking. While it's true that neither of these is the city's strong suit, there really isn't much that anyone can do about them. Why waste time griping about Acts of God or Government (approximately the same thing for Massachusetts residents)? It's much more fun to complain about the food, the shopping or the entertainment.
Why should Boston magazine get away with ignoring the ugly side of Boston just because they're petrified of libel or the loss of advertising revenue? I've looked long and hard to find the worst things about Boston, and Fifteen Minutes has the guts to print them. Here they are, in no particular order. THE CITY
The South End
It would have been too easy to choose someplacelike Roxbury. But no one would actually choose tovisit Roxbury, much less live there. Thus, thishaven for the recently yuppified garners "top"honors.
Besides the fact that it is surrounded on foursides by areas of questionable safety, the SouthEnd boasts the highest doggie-doo per sidewalkarea ratio of any other neighborhood in the city.While the numerous trendy restaurants are fun tolook at, the hero of the studentbudget-McDonald's-is nowhere to be seen. Evenworse, the whole area is only marginallyaccessible by T and on the orange line (Yuck!)
Boston City Hall
City Hall is surrounded by an unwelcomingwasteland of brick and concrete perfect forrollerblading, large demonstrations and publicfloggings.
The building itself looks like a top-heavyconcrete bunker. It is perhaps one of the onlystructures in Boston that could have been designedby David Koresh. Look closely and you might seeMayor Menino with a rifle in one of the upperwindows. When the revolution comes, City Hall willbe the last to fall.
The City has recently recognized this aestheticdisaster, and, as damage control, has beenbrainstorming ways to make the plaza prettier.Maybe they could route the third harbor tunnelthrough it.
The Christian Science Mother Church