Photo by Chris Dempsey
There’s so much to love about Boston, it’s hard sometimes to know where to start. Traffic? Obnoxious Sox fans? Irritating students? Norway rats? Inflated rents? An inferiority complex unlike any on the Eastern seaboard? Boston, by which we mean Greater Boston, is so many things that it’s difficult to choose just one.
But if you had to, it’s all-encompassing best trait might be “freedom.” Oh sure, we’re the birthplace of American freedom, what with the Sons of Liberty and all. But, unlike more conformist metropolises, Boston’s also managed to sustain a steady strain of political contrariness and cultural eccentricity in the face of centuries of powerful pressure to toe someone else’s line.
Our readers are fine with this. You can tell from their picks for the best aspects of life in our city. The chosen Best Place To Live isn’t some swank high-rise condo complex — it’s reality-checkered Jamaica Plain. The preferred Local Cause isn’t the maintenance of the Public Gardens but Bikes Not Bombs. Our favorite public art is high-end graffiti. And the moderator of our preferred podcast is a ska head.
Go figure. Our readers must know something the rest of the country missed.
Boston's Best Food and Drink 2009, Boston's Best Arts and Entertainment 2009, Slideshow: Kings of Leon at Agganis Arena, More
- Boston's Best Food and Drink 2009
The danger of doing an annual Best issue is that readers could well screw up the whole thing, especially when it comes to eating out. It would suck if they voted for the too-familiar national-chain eateries. Best Hamburger: McDonalds?!
- Boston's Best Arts and Entertainment 2009
We are a culture-rich city — a veritable cauldron of talent and fun, and have been so since Anne Bradstreet inscribed the gates of Harvard. In Boston, the arts never stand still.
- Slideshow: Kings of Leon at Agganis Arena
Kings of Leon, live at Agganis Arena
- Boston exposures
Photographer Nicholas Nixon of Brookline first burst onto the scene in the show "New Topographics."
- Slideshow: Bruce Springsteen at the Garden
The Boss back in town
- Slideshow: World-Inferno Friendship Society at Paradise
World/Inferno Friendship Society at the Paradise Rock Club
- The Barking Crab
The Barking Crab's second location in Newport is the ideal spot for strolling summer tourists, right in the downtown harborfront
- Books tour
While most area colleges continue to offer predictably boring campus tours that amount to wandering through academic ghost towns imagining departed crowds, there are also some alternatives to the standard walk-and-talk routine.
- A real blast
The guttural rallying cry of an audience member on the other side of the mezzanine makes everyone laugh a bit, mostly because it peals out during one of Mogwai's gently arpeggiated intros.
- Boston Theater Marathon XI
BOSTON THEATER MARATHON XI, SCHEDULE OF PLAYS, SUNDAY MAY 17
- Art appreciation
The recent Phoenix editorial on state-government funding for arts and culture highlighted many of the challenges we face as we try to meet our aspirations as a community amidst a very difficult economic environment.
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