In September of my junior year of high school, I took an unofficial visit to Boston University. Aside from the school’s stellar academics and repeat women’s soccer championships, its city life captured the essence of culture.
My plane descended just as the sun set over the city and danced on the waves of the Atlantic Ocean flashing in and out of my view between the coves and islands of the eastern coastline. From the airport my mother and I went to pick up our rental car and there I faced my first encounter with the direct personality of a native Boston resident. She told my mom she needed the extra insurance because people from California are inferior drivers and cannot handle the tight city streets in comparison to our western wide-open spaces. Although her honesty held an insulting tone, she was right my mom had a difficult time with the streets.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
As I breathed in the aroma of fresh seafood, I looked to my right to see the Charles River and to my left I saw the looming stadium lights of the famous Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Socks. The buildings on either side of me were built in the older fashion red brick style and all of the shops and restaurants were tightly packed next to each other. I started seeing posters on the light posts saying Boston University and I hadn’t even realized that we were actually driving through the university. It was literally built into the city stretching a few miles in length on Commonwealth Ave.
We had arrived. I meet with the coaches and players and watched a game against Yale. I stayed a night in the dorms to get the full college experience, and in my time there while touring the campus I encountered people of all walks of life. There were a few locals with their spunky upfront attitudes, but then there were the countless others from literally everywhere, I even meet someone from Europe. It was a college town true to its name, where although you were technically only in Boston you could be and learn anything about anywhere, just find someone from there to talk to.
If there was somewhere you could not reach by walking or biking, not to worry because a train could take you anywhere you needed to go in the area. It was surprising to see many people take such alternate forms of transportation as they choose to ride along on someone else’s schedule not minding the company of others. However less efficient or more costly it may be, typically Californian’s drive their own cars needing to have control of their travels and their personal bubble space. People just seemed more social, as I constantly saw people outside at the park, running, or simply just talking to one another.
That year I had studied American History and it was somewhat chilling to think that so many monumental events took place in this city. I could not help wondering if there was still some tea left in the harbor from the Boston Tea Party or I could just picture the battlefield between the colonists and the British in the American Revolution.
Although I was only in Boston for a few days, I felt like I saw and experienced so much that the city had to offer. For the first time in my life I saw how the other coast lives and within that I observed a range of personalities in a new environment. I think I even picked up a little accent GO Red Sahx!
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