AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
We May Live Here, But We are Boston
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on April 18, 2013
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
do you live?”
If you were
born in or have lived in this general vicinity for any great length of time,
you answer that question differently depending on who asks and where you are.For example, if I’m in Mansfield and a local
resident asks, I say I live in Norton.
visiting family in Baltimore or traveling elsewhere, I change my reply.Then I say “I’m from Boston”.I usually get a knowing nod, and there’s no
need to say anything else.
populate the suburbs here like to think we distance ourselves a little from the
City of Boston itself.After all, that’s
where the crime tends to be.That’s
where those damn politicians gather and fleece us every year.It’s where the only grass is in parks, the pickpockets
are on every corner, and the homeless sleep on the sidewalk.It’s not where we live.It’s just a big place near us.
hearts we know that’s not so.We are
Boston, and Boston is in all of us.And
that would be true even if the tragic events of this past Monday had never
the engine that makes most things out here run.It is so much more than just a city.It is a world-class port, an opportunity, a center of learning, a gateway
to the things we need and want.We “suburban
folks” could not enjoy our lives without Boston.
local residents earn their livings in The Hub.Just look at the train station parking lots on any given weekday.Or try and drive the expressway during
morning rush hour.Those homes we live
in, those cars we drive – the money we use to pay for them often comes from
due respect to our local hospitals and doctors, Boston is where we head when
our lives depend on the medical help we receive.In my generation, the phrase “I’m going into
Boston” was always an indication of just how seriously you were taking the
medical condition involved.Some of the
best facilities in the world are there, and we often take that for granted
until we need them.
want to fully appreciate the best in the arts, we travel into Boston.The ballet, the symphony, the theater and
amazing museums await us.Some of the
finest restaurants you can imagine are located there.The city we sometimes scoff at is home to all
these things we treasure.
And of course
there are the sports franchises.Nowhere
in the country are professional teams supported like the ones in Boston.The Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins, and the
Patriots are all a part of our culture.You become a fan of these teams through birth rather than by
choice.People from other places find it
difficult to understand the role of sports in Boston, but here it isn’t even
questioned.We just accept it and wear
it as a badge of honor.
Now, I have
made fun of Boston over the years.I’m a
hick from Norton, and the big city makes me nervous.I tease my friends who moved out here from
Southie or Dorchester about their urban roots.
But put me
out in the Midwest, or the west coast, or down south, or pretty much anywhere
else in the world and ask me where I’m from, and I’ll proudly tell you
Boston.And no one from here ever calls
Boston is more than a location.It’s an
attitude, an outlook on life, a membership in a unique club.We don’t have an accent – you do.You’ll never fully appreciate it all unless
you’re from here.It’s part of our
is claiming Boston this week, and that’s nice.But the folks who live within its borders and around it are all
profoundly sad today.We have lost
friends, neighbors, loved ones and strangers with whom we shared an unspoken
yet unshakeable bond.We are in pain.
But make no
mistake, Boston will bounce back.We’ll
grieve, we’ll remember, we’ll make those who hurt us pay.Then we’ll go back to being who we are.
we do.We’re from Boston.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at