Last week I spent some time on the right coast in New England; mainly Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Now for most people going back east is just that…..going back. But for a person who spent his entire life on the west side of the country, going to this area is rather exotic for me.
I have been now twice in New England, so I feel I am now a true expert on this area. Here are some observations a West Coast lad has on this strange and ‘Mystic’ parcel of land:
Environment: It is cold. Damn cold there! Granted, we traveled there at a time where they were getting their biggest storm in a few years, but remember I have been there twice. And both times it was cold. Very cold. The temperature was like in single digits…..that doesn’t make any sense at all! I didn’t think thermometers went that low. And the snow….it is beautiful but wow, I can imagine it can be a pain (especially if you don’t have in-laws to shovel it for you). And this makes no sense to me, seeing that Seattle is higher up north than Connecticut. I guess it has something to do with air flow or whatever. Oh yeah, there are a lot of tress there as well; many great spots to hide a body.
Architecture: I watch a lot of TV, so I expected to see that old colonel a-frame housing along with the building architecture that goes along with that era. New England is old country, at least by American standards, much older than the West Coast, where things have a much newer and cleaner feel. But I love that style. The area, especially Boston, leans into that 1780’s historical feel, and it really sets them apart from New York and other non-NE areas nearby. When there, you feel the history of the country there and has a level of authenticity that really sets it apart from the west side.
Roads: OK, this is where New England loses me. Boston is an absolute mess of a city when it comes to their road system. One-way roads that are not marked, merges that sneak up on you out of nowhere, construction in the middle of the road with no warning, cars parked in random spots, the city feels like it was designed by Jackson Pollock. And let me tell you, there is no forgiveness by the other drivers;p they let you know very clearly when you mess up. Hell, even you are not messing up, they let you know. I bet honking mercilessly is on the driver’s exam there. Even ion the more rural regions, there are unnecessary merges, roundabouts, and silly little impediments that just make you question why you ever got a license.
Food: Yeah, it is good. Better than Seattle. They don’t do frilly little fusion type nonsense there, they bring on their meals straight up. And it is right up my alley. The best clam chowder I have ever had was in Mystic (pictured above). Yes, even better than Campbell’s.
People: This one is the most surprising for me. I want to hate these people so bad. Soooo bad. They have that ugly accent, stupid local slang that they use all the frickin’ time, they say their R’s correct half the time, and they can be very rude. But you know what? After a bit, I totally get it. Yes, they are up front and prickly at times, but you can push back on them and they don’t get offended. In fact, it makes for a better conversation with them. You can disagree, yell at bit, prove each other wrong, then laugh ab out the entire thing. I love it. Many people I know are so sensitive to disagreement and are soooo thin skinned, they get so upset and threatened by discord, they ;ash out personally and people get uncomfortable. Hell, half my friends are like that. So mindless fake agreeing or silence is the way to go. But not in New England. You can speak your mind, push back a bit, joke around, then share a beer. The only snowflakes I saw in Boston were falling from the sky.
So in sum, I really dig this region of the country. It certainly is far from perfect and not sure a poor little desert boy like myself could survive there long term. But I wanted to hate it there, and I don’t.
Far from it.