Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Let's Forget This One

Big cities in the Northeast hit all of my stress buttons.

I was reminded of this when we went to Boston, because I was in a constant state of extreme stress for basically forty-eight hours straight (with the exception of the trip to the mask maker, which was outstanding).

If I was going to use one word to describe this, it would be "suffocating".

In Boston, there's no place to park. You're an idiot if you're driving a car, anyway, but if you do, forget about parking.

In Boston, there's no place to sit. If you want to sit somewhere, every place is crowded, and most of them are small.

In Boston, there's no place to stand. On many streets, you can't even stand still for a few seconds and figure out where you're going, because masses of people are constantly flowing in both directions.

Combine all this with us not knowing what the hell we were doing, and you have a recipe for disaster. Plus the weather was insanely horrible, so we were walking around Cambridge for hours in 35F and heavy snow/rain.

I do find one thing incredibly interesting about big cities in the Northeast: there's a bigger gap between people who give a shit and people who don't than any other place I've ever been to (this is true of New York City as well).

There are people who are absolute geniuses at what they do, and it might be some kind of mundane job, but they're brilliant, and clearly care very much about the quality of their work. At the other end, there are people who have a staggering display of indifference to what they're doing.

It's baffling, really, although I will say that I remember the absolute geniuses far longer than I remember the indifferent (many of the utterly indifferent seem to be United Airlines employees, actually).

I think if I lived in one of these cities, I could optimize the situation, and I would gradually see some degree of order in the chaos. Coming in cold and feeling overwhelmed, though, was a miserable experience.

There's also a degree of aggression required on a minute-to-minute basis that I simply don't have. It's a level I'd normally only use in a sporting event, but just crossing the street requires tournament levels of aggression.

Boston is a remarkable city. Just not for me.

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