Thanks to my severe poverty and marginal laziness, I don't spend too much time outside Brooklyn (other than for work in Manhattan). Generally, this is fine as I've really come to love living here and I consider it my home. Occasionally I travel back to my birth home in Massachusetts to visit my family for a weekend. Hometowns being hometowns, I spend the whole time within the confines of the 1/4 acre yard I grew up in, thus avoiding any sort of social interaction with people I may accidentally run into if I left said yard.
This weekend was different and confirmed for me nearly every reason why I moved to New York to begin with. Sometimes expats need such reminders of why they've chosen to settle in places that don't have beautiful fall foliage or funny names for everyday items (see: "bubbler, the" and "elastics") or that do happen to be full of Yankees fans. Yes, this weekend more college friends got married so that their degenerate single friends had a legitimate reason to duel with their livers. I won't get into the particulars of the wedding itself, but there was an open bar, so...that covers the important topics there.
Why, then, did I return to NYC with a renewed sense of appreciation? Here's a few reasons:
1) Things stay open. Worcester had one open diner Sunday morning (morning=12:30pm) and it had 4 booths that were all full. There were 4 closed diners that we found. 4. Four. If you choose to close your diner on a Sunday fucking morning, I hope it's because you love losing money that drunks want to spend on eggs. Die. Oh yeah, and to "blue laws" in general? Get rid of them, Puritanism should remain a part of history, we don't have to keep it around to annoy visitors and there's nothing "quaint" about holding on to pointless traditions that should have been scrapped ages ago. People don't go to church anymore, open your damn store.
2) Pizza. Massachusetts is probably third behind New York and New Jersey for a high population of Italians (I should know, I'm part one), so why did they never learn how to make pizza properly? An equally acceptable answer here is "Bagels".
3) Attractive women. I always cringe at jokes about the desert of beauty that is the Greater Boston Area, but in my heart I know it's terribly true. Any of the actually attractive females migrate to places like, oh, say, New York City. Which brings me to my next point...
4) Style. Here's where I really start to get depressed. I hate fashion. It's possibly the least important of any high art form. I'd rather see the dentist than go clothes shopping. That's not a stretch at all. But then I go to a city like Worcester, home to several colleges and roughly 160,000 people and nobody seems to know how to dress themselves. Guys, your white hats and weaved belts have made you the butt of jokes nationwide, maybe even worldwide. Give it up already. Oh, and put your collar back down. As for you, ladies, I can tell you're not a natural blond and a Brazilian transsexual would be embarrassed to don such horrid pancake makeup. Is the "HC" on your sweatshirt supposed to make me think you go to Holy Cross or for "Holy Crap, I've been drinking for 8 hours now and you still look like a Moldavian gangster's girlfriend". Get the hell out of the mall for pete's sake!
Why is that realization depressing? Because it forces me to acknowledge that I actually know something about style and self-presentation despite any of my multiple and constant utterances to the contrary. I may as well host Project Runway.
5) Is it worth a number 5, do I need to write more? Probably, but it's 2:30am and there are other reasons I can't sleep. I can't go on, I'll go on. That I even had to write this in the first place is worth a place on this list, so that's #5. Worcester (and by extension all of Metro-Boston and generally suburban New England—except Vermont because you're so quaint and adorable), I implore you to get your act together. Consider this your occasionally sentimental expats asking politely.