What it’s really like in Boston

Apparently Boston ranks the 3rd snobbiest in the USA, has the best baseball team, regularly produces presidential candidates and is usually under 4 feet of snow for most of the winter.

For the newbee to town though it’s the tube or “The T” (for transport not tube) that best reflects Bostons true nature. Every other advert is literally a university or a health related trial. “Do you have a persistent issue about your appearance? Are you always thinking about how you look? Then please consider signing up to our study on body image at Massachusetts General”. Funnily enough I don’t have that problem but would be happy to help spend your excess research money on a less vain cause. Commuters are clearly more polite than in London and stand in line reading books I never go near including plato, latin for beginners, reaching your inner self and the odd novel. The tube driver may amicably coach passengers at peak time and can be heard in the train AND on the platform. “Patient folks, let the guys off first, we gotta packed train so move on down. Have a 5 star Friday and don’t let anyone get ya down”.


The average Bostonian looks about 29, is well groomed, wears smart casuals


Harvard College

Harvard College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


and looks pretty healthy. It’s Brighton meets Oxbridge – an eclectic mix of postmodern individuals and academia. No fake eyelashes here and if you are wearing North Face you are certainly no scally. Indeed there are 35 universities or colleges in the Boston area. Harvard itself was founded in 1636 – pretty old for America. An undergraduate education here is often cheaper than expected due to the large amounts of scholarships provided. Income meets expense of over $3 billion a year.  About  6,000 undergrads and 14,000 post grads so do the sums. Assuming you can speak latin, have been doing algebra from aged 5 and one’s parents have an income less than $150,000 (America – you don’t know how rich you are!) you can apply for a scholarship. More than 60 percent of Harvard College students receive scholarship aid, and the average grant this year is $40,000 meaning such parents are paying less than the  UK counterpart – averaging $11,000 a year. Those on low incomes can get through this place for nowt.

Indeed you don’t have to go far to find a ‘genius’. I attended a charity classical concert ‘thrown together by a guy who had cancer’.The people playing were pros of the highest degree (how does one get a doctorate in violin performance anyway?) and if you hadn’t completed a 30 hour triathlon that morning, played with REM or written a number of electrical engineering bestsellers too – then who the heck are you! Not a bad night out for $25.


Boston is ‘the walking city’ and yep, I’ve done my fair bit in between the T. As a result obesity appears less prevalent while everyone is frantically eating organic food off farmers markets and recycling. I’ve already been skinned at ‘whole foods’ – where’s Aldi when you need one?

Right now where is that Health Outcomes Research book?


One thought on “What it’s really like in Boston

  1. Did you ever find that Health Outcomes Research Book? If not, try one of Boston’s many libraries, and I’m sure they can help you out.

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