In fall 2003, you embraced me as I worked for an architecture firm in your downtown area. You gave me coworkers who cared about me, which was a surprise in a 100+ person office. They welcomed me with joy, and though they mocked my accent*, they welcomed my ability to convert from imperial to metric and back. They worked me hard, but treated me well.
You gave me an amazing roommate. She welcomed me into her home, and taught me her passion about baseball. She introduced me to her friends, who received me with open arms when I spent my first US thanksgiving in the city. Their sweet potato pie was delicious.
You gave me amazing experiences, like witnessing the head of the Charles. As I walked down the streets looking for your art galleries and museums, you gave me locals who would stop me and my guidebook. They asked “Are you looking for the Art Gallery?” As I nodded politely, they confidantly gave me directions, smiling the entire time. “Just two more blocks down the street and to your right.” We explored your art and celebrated your history together, exploring the Paul Revere house and the USS Constitution.
We had our rough moments. You selfishly cancelled the one trip I planned away from you to New York. You gave me my first Nor-Easter, a weekend that piled snow five feet high on the city from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon. But you made it up to me. As I shoveled our building’s driveway, you introduced me to all my neighbours, many of whom invited me out for drinks and dinner that night.
You gave me wonderful places to spend time. I loved watching the travelers coming and going out of South Station, and I spent hours inside your public library. I watched Japanese architect Tadao Ando speak at Harvard, and played the Kendall Band at the Kendall / MIT stop on the red transit line. I spent hours walking through the Boston commons, admiring your Brownstones and the million dollar window panes. I had a few visitors in the city, and I showed you off at your best.
In the end, Boston, I left our relationship far too soon. We only just started to work together when I moved back home, away from you, because I could not stay. It wasn’t you, it was me.
However, my dear Boston, I still love and cherish you. And I always will.
*for the record, our neighbours’ dog was Harley, but I swear it sounded like Holly.