You know you’re in New England when…

  • Don’t like the weather?  Just wait a minute.  (#2 points out that people from all over the country say this, and in some seasons it’s true everywhere.  Particularly in the PNW.)
  • The only people holding doors open for other people are tourists from the midwest.  (#2 thinks Bostonians are the rudest and most self-absorbed Massholes ever in the world.)

You know what… I don’t think we can do this one.  We were able to easily find nice things to say about all the other parts of the country we’ve lived in, but apparently we’re falling flat on this one.  After talking about the weather, we’re out of neutral.

Oh, I’ve got one… Blueberries, apples, and strawberries = awesome.

  • Apples!  Apple picking!  (#2: see also: Wisconsin; Washington State #1: Yes, but New England has DIFFERENT apples… Carousel, Macon, Honey Crisp etc.)  Apple wine!  Apple desserts!  Hard apple cider!
  • Fall is gorgeous!  Spring is non-existent.
  • If you like Lobster, New England is a good place to get it.
  • High ice cream per capita ratio.
  • Public transportation is awesome.  Driving… not so much.
  • Housing is expensive, even places nobody wants to live.

Ok, drifting back into negativity there.  If only the guy who thought we were trashing the South could see us now.

(And #2 can’t help it… she literally gets covered in rashes when she visits Boston.  But Pennsylvania, Delaware, parts of New Jersey, the parts of New York I’ve been to, etc., are all nice, except that #1 informs me these are not in NE.  I have never been to Maine; I like DC ok and would probably go back for the museums but not live there.  New Hampshire has some strange things going on.  But I think use of the word “wicked” is wicked awesome, so there’s one nice thing we can say about New England!  I actually like parts of NE quite a lot but don’t have specific things to say about its quirks.)

Dear readers, surely those of you who have been to New England can finish this list for us…  Remind us of the good or just quirky things that let you know you’re in New England.

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41 Responses to “You know you’re in New England when…”

  1. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    You know you’re in New England when the place is teeming with motherf*cken goddamn asshole Red Socke fans.

  2. Linda Says:

    I have never been to New England so I can’t say anything about it. I did want to comment on how awesome the apples are in the Midwest, though. It’s not just Wisconsin with good apples. (BTW, the Honey Crisp apple was developed in Minnesota.)

    • lapenn Says:

      I came here to say the same thing about honeycrisp :-)

      Also, I grew up in Washington state, in a suburb of Seattle. I now live in Minnesota. I have done FAR more apple picking in Minnesota than I ever did in Washington. I don’t know if there weren’t u-pick places, but I never knew about them. In Minnesota, they’re hard to avoid. I have great fun heading out each fall.

  3. Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

    I don’t “get” New England. I can get along with it, but it’s skating over the surface. I have much warmer feelings for the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes NY, DC, and Philadelphia.

  4. Mia Says:

    On behalf of Massachusetts: we have excellent public services (especially libraries – my local small-town library regularly gets books for me that my academic library cannot); good hiking and beaches; and a wicked smart governor. Plus, grape-nut pudding is surprisingly delicious.

  5. Cloud Says:

    Maine is beautiful, particularly Acadia National Park.

  6. Dr. Virago Says:

    I’ve only been a midwestern tourist holding doors open for people in New England so I don’t really *know* New England, but I have to say, Vermont in the summer is one of the best summers places I’ve ever been. And it’s awfully pretty then and in the fall. And NE has a lot of history and old stuff. I like old stuff. I’m a medievalist, so for me, it’s got to be older than the US to count as old. NE has that. (The West has that as well, actually.)

    Oh, and Bostonians are totally cool and nice if you’re a runner in the Boston marathon. They come out and party and cheer *everyone* on, even in a freakin’ nor’easter storm. OK, so many of them are drunk, but they’re a cheerful kind of drunk. Biggest crowds I’ve ever seen in any kind of weather, let alone super-shitty weather. And if you’re struggling up heartbreak hill and starting to walk, they come and jog beside you and get you going again. Seriously. That has *never* happened in any other marathon I’ve been in.

    So Bostonians are nice at least once a year, on Patriot’s Day, to runners.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      One thing that pisses me off about Boston is how they think their stuff is SO OLD. It’s not old. The Sorbonne, now that’s old. Bostonians think their history is longer and more interesting than it is.

      • Dr. Virago Says:

        Well, true, it’s not as old as they think, but it’s older than anything that’s survived in the midwest, anyway, or at least the parts I’ve lived in. (My city is obsessed with its 19th century “history.” To me, the 19th century is the “recent past.”) But not as old as some of the stuff in the west — like the ruins of the ancient Pueblo peoples (aka Anasazi), for example. That stuff makes the Sorbonne look like a recently-founded institution!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Hahaha! I guess they must run out after that day!

  7. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Other than the goddamn motherf*cken asshole Red Socke fans, New Englanders are great people.

  8. Grace Says:

    I visited Maine for the first time this summer–stayed on the coast, ate lobster virtually every day, ate blueberry pancakes every other day, tracked down antiques, visited their wonderful botanical garden, had great ice-cream and met so many wonderful people in the tiney town where my sister has her vacation home. They knew all about us coming even if we were clueless as to who they were. Apparently, by coming in June, I missed hot weather and black flies–other New England traditions

  9. notofgeneralinterest1 Says:

    Two words: traffic circles.

    That is all.

  10. lisa.collins Says:

    coffee syrup= awesomeness
    cape cod- GORGEOUS and peaceful and quiet

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      what is coffee syrup? it sounds intriguing

      • lisa.collins13@gmail.com Says:

        i think the brand is autocrat, its like chocolate syrup- add to milk and it is amazing. i grew up in New England & have since moved all over and have not found it anywhere but there. I guess its a Rhode Island thing but you can get it in MA, too.

  11. First Gen American Says:

    As someone who’s spent most of their life in New England, I can say I prefer when people are open about not giving a crap about me. If you manage to get on someone’s good side and befriend them, they are friends for life and will do anything for you. It’s such the opposite of the south (which I was in for 9 months..so not too long). In the South, everyone is sickly sweet to you but it’s such a superficial thing. It’s hard to know who really is your friend vs who is just being polite. In New England, there is no question of that. Once you’re in with someone, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re being rude for popping in on someone uninvited..you know you are always welcome. Oh, and if it is inconvenient for the other person, they have no problem telling you to come back another day They won’t try to be polite and be grumbling under their breath that you ruined their plans. It’s that simple. All this manner following and permission asking is tedious and unnecessary.

    New England…drive 2 hours in any direction and you have a totally different experience. Oceans, mountains, big cities, historic seaport towns. Fall Foliage, festivals upon festivals, hundreds of universities and lots and lots of dunkin donuts stores.

    Also, when people give directions in New England, they point out the landmarks instead of the street names.. Streets are poorly marked…so you always have to take a left at the dunkin donuts and then a right over by the diner.

  12. Perpetua Says:

    Just want to chime in with another “man, New England is beautiful”. Upstate New York is of almost unparalleled gorgeousness, and Western Mass, Vermont, and New Hampshire not far behind. Burlington VT is full of quirky lefty charm. And also, not far from there – the Ben and Jerry’s factory. I mean, seriously, what’s better than high mountains, clear lakes, and Ben & Jerry’s? And word, First Gen, sometimes it’s nice to have neighbors who would never, ever be in your business.

  13. frautech Says:

    Agree with the others that it’s gorgeous. Also not sure the FANTASTIC sea food is getting enough press. Next Gen American sums up what I like about the mean attitudes, no one is fake nice to you. Being from the west though i immediately thought everyone was in a bad mood all the time before realizing that’s just their default facial expressions! Makes me want to move there really, tired of the “you ok?” I get for every second I’m not smiling.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #2 doesn’t like shellfish, but #1 appreciates it!

      The default facial expressions get me… smile darnya smile, you’ll see the whole world is a bright world after all! Except the only people who smile at you are about to ask you for money. :(

  14. Kellen Says:

    Maple syrup? On snow.
    Also, tons of colleges.
    Also, Boston has a good aquarium. It’s much cooler than the Atlanta aquarium, despite Atlanta being way newer.

  15. Shannon Says:

    Here’s why I love Boston: read an interview with Keith Lockhart recently (he’s the conductor of the Boston Pops). He said he was out and about in the city when some construction workers recognized him and started giving him critiques. I don’t think that would happen in too many cities in the U.S, And FirstGen American is totally right – people always complain about how rude folks are in NE, but I’m from the Midwest and my best and closest friends are the folks I’ve met while living here. Once you’re in, they’ll do ANYTHING for you.

  16. squirrelers Says:

    I knew I was in New England some years back when I overheard a two guys arguing about whether or not Carl Yastrzemski was overrated since he didn’t win a world series during his career. I’m used to hearing about the White Sox, not the Red Sox:)

    Maine is one of the few states I haven’t visited. For that reason, I’d really like to check it out. I have had an interest in visiting Acadia National Park for quite some time.

  17. HFM Says:

    As someone who grew up in CA, moved to the Upper South, and just finished a seven-year tour in Boston, I’d give a +1 to everything First Gen American said. I like it when people call me out on my stupid ideas, instead of just nodding along.

    And I’d add: You know you’re in New England when it’s snowing and your friends want to go get ice cream. Or when you cross a state line and nobody bats an eyelash. (As a kid in CA, I remember crossing the Nevada border for the first time, and it freakin’ blew my mind. We were so far from home! It was a whole other state! In MA, you make a run for the NH border if you want to save a few bucks on liquor.)

    I’d also say you know you’re on the East Coast when the building shakes and it’s not an earthquake. This freaked me out for the first couple of months. I was in sixth grade when I moved, and my classroom was on the second (and top) floor of the school…every time another class on the floor had to walk from one place to the other, there would be creaking and swaying, and my Californian self would instinctively dive under the nearest table. Then I’d remember where I was, and come out, while everyone else looked at me funny. Now I’m habituated, and I have to get myself back in earthquake mode again…though it seems I just missed one back in Boston.


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