When I was living in Boston after college, I had a friend who was about to move from the East Coast to Michigan, and was worried about adjusting to the Midwest. I remember telling her that people are very nice in the Midwest, and that she would be alright. She said “but people are nice here” and I remember kindly looking at her and saying “I know you think that. But it is different”
And that was a reoccurring theme during my time in Boston – general small talk and exchanges with people on the street or the cashier just don’t happen there like they happen here. On off days, it can feel isolating, but generally it is just a small difference of place.
But the flip side is that friendship runs much deeper. We often hear about “Minnesota nice” in which people pay lip service to friendship and then never follow through on an invitation to dinner or a book club. And that never happens in Boston – when you are friends, you are Friends with a capitol F.
I find myself incredibly lucky to have built some friendships from my time in Boston that have lasted for the decade I have been away from the East Coast. Through kids and miles and a lot of time, I’ll always head out that way for the weddings and gatherings, and they will brave the Midwest, even in winter, for the same.
I was thrilled to hit Boston for a few days this fall – to take some family photos and catch up. Because that is basically how Boston does nice, and it is pretty great to experience also.