Tour de Turtle Bone Ride: Brighton, Allston, Fenway, Back Bay, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, Southie, Downtown, East Boston, Charlestown
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We’ve all been to Boston before, but for the most part we go where the tourists go – Fenway, North End, Boston Common, TD Garden, etc. But there’s a lot more to Boston than that, and for this week’s Tour de Turtle bone ride we decided to explore Bean Town in its entirety to find out where the nicest and the crappiest places are. We visited the 15 following neighborhoods in order and ranked em from nicest to crappiest: Brighton, Allston, Kenmore/Fenway, Back Bay, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, Southie, Downtown/North End, East Boston, Charlestown. Here’s the results of our scientific study…..
1. West Roxbury
Never been to this place or knew that anything like it existed. Looks absolutely nothing like what I think of when I think of Boston. No traffic, no loud mouthed yahoos, no hipsters, no vagrants. Just regular, pleasant looking neighborhoods and almost no cars parked on the streets because everyone’s at work.
2. Back Bay
I mean, the Turtleboy family could never afford to live in the Back Bay, but if you have enough money to piss away and you’re trying to establish your street cred as a yuppie then you might as well piss away all your money on Commonwealth Ave rent. Because living in the Back Bay you’re literally right in the heart of the city, you’re within walking distance of the Common and Fenway Park, and there’s tons of places to eat and buy stuff. Plus, you’ll feel like you’re living on the set of the Cosby Show, and that’s pretty bad ass.
It’s kind of similar to the back bay, just with more traffic. Once again, nice area, and you’re not living in the slums, but if you’re like Turtleboy and you hate people, then it’s pretty hard to live in a place like this.
4. Downtown/North End
You can’t live over here unless you shit hundred dollar bills. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely in some of the luxury condos they’ve put up all over the downtown area, but I don’t wanna live in a place where my car isn’t parked right outside of my house.
If you’re a 23 year old college student who doesn’t know what they wanna do with their lives but still wants to piss away 90% of your paycheck on rent, then Brighton is the place for you. Because that’s all Brighton is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly clean for being Boston, but it’s basically Brookline for renters.
First time ever going to Southie and it was everything we imagined it would be. Southie is the only place on earth that hasn’t gotten the memo that Ireland got its independence from England 100 years ago.
It’s just like it was in every stereotyped movie about Irish mafia guys from Boston. Every other block there’s some Irish bar with some guy named Sully, who has never left Southie before, outside ripping butts
There’s guys walking down the street who almost definitely own a flower shop and don’t take no shit from no nobody.
The whole neighborhood has become one gigantic gentrified yuppieville. Basically they took all the triple deckers, put in new siding and windows, and then jacked up the rent so the assholes would move to Dorchester.
But don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of grimy looking parts of Southie. I’m willing to bet Whitey Bulger killed at least three people in this third world looking alley:
Oh yea, and the traffic blows.
But all in all, it’s not that bad. There are many worse places in Boston.
7. Hyde Park
I was under the impression that Hyde Park was ghetto central. And don’t get it twisted – Hyde Park is a dumpy looking place for the most part. It’s got a Family Dollar:
The world’s most successful can man
And pretty much every store makes it plainly obvious that they take EBT
But for the most part Hyde Park is just a modest looking, blue collar part of Boston straddling the rich town of Milton.
It’s kind of like Southie. It’s not AS gentrified as Southie, but it’s getting there. The movies portray it as some gritty, blue collar place where no one talks to the cops, the Dads are all drunken wife beaters, and everyone bangs the neighborhood coke whore at the tavern. But it’s really just one crowded, gigantic hill where EVERY HOUSE is connected to another house and no one has a yard.
9. Jamaica Plain
First of all, this was a bad sign:
I see Mosaic has spread its wings to Boston. Maybe this is where they actually do blood pressure testing. Anyway, I was kind of disappointed. I thought Jamaica Plain would be dumpier. I mean, it looks like it has the potential of turning into Vernon Hill, but it’s proof that if people actually give a shit about their neighborhood and don’t throw trash on the sidewalk, even a place like Jamaica Plain can look decent.
Everyone says that Mattapan is this Godless cesspool of grime, and it’s certainly got no shortage of dumpy looking crap.
But there’s also plenty of normal looking neighborhoods, and it’s far removed from the congestion and traffic of northern Boston.
Would I wanna live in Mattapan? Nope. But it sure seems a lot nicer than Webster.
Fuck Allston. It’s just a dumpier, more crowded, but equally expensive version of Brighton. Seriously, what about these photographs makes you want to spend $2.000 a month on rent?
Allston also has a never ending supplies of wandering hipsters, and no one likes hipster.
Oh yea, and the traffic blows.
It’s probably a lot safer than a place like Mattapan, but nevertheless, fuck Allston.
Now we’re getting into some real nice dumps. Roslindale has a never ending supply of run down triple deckers.
Overflowing trash on the sidewalks
Grimey looking markets
Dead end streets where dreams go to die.
And a never ending supply of depressing looking housing projects.
Roxbury is a magical land of enchantment, located adjacent to the high rent neighborhoods in Fenway and the Back Bay. There’s no sign when you enter Roxbury, but you’ll know it when you get there:
It’s distinct calling cards include overflowing donation bins doubling as trash receptacles,
Back yards that have become appliance and kitchen table graveyards,
And projects that will make you say, “Is that where filmed Season 1 of The Wire?”
14. East Boston
It’s bad enough that you can’t live in East Boston and not have a 727 fly directly above your house every five minutes.
There’s not really much to say. The pictures speak for themselves. East Boston is a horrible, crowded, cesspool of traffic, grime, EBT, and able bodied men who stand in the street doing nothing at noon on a Thursday.
It’s by far the biggest neighborhood in Boston and also the most crime riddled. Usually when we go on these trips the first thing we Google is where all the murders happen. That usually brings us to the funnest neighbordhoods. Well, on the map of Boston half the murders were in Dorchester, and it’s not surprising at all. It is a never ending see of triple deckers.
Everything looks like shit run over twice.
There’s guys pushing their can carts down the middle of almost every street.
Everyone stares you down because there is a never ending battle to see who the biggest bad ass in Dorchester is.
And the policy with trash is, “fuck it.” Toss that shit everywhere as you see fit.
And then there’s just some random looking nice stuff like this that makes you wonder who would ever wanna live here:
Doesn’t make any sense.
Anyway, that’s Boston in a nutshell. Obviously Boston is a big place so we didn’t hit every single street. Did we miss anything? Were there any neighborhoods where we missed some hidden craptacular gems? And where should we do our next Tour de Turtle bone ride?
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