Boston has been incredible in many ways, and continues to surprise me. When I took the internship, I was more than excited to live and explore somewhere new for the summer. My first week in Boston, I took the few days I had before my internship started to try to get familiar with the area and walked around the city. The weather was nice, and similar enough to Michigan summers, but the scenery offered something a little different. I took in views of the Charles River, dotted with sailboats and kayaks and people chilling at its edges. Then I walked through the shade of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, lined with the the Victorian architecture of its 19th century homes, followed by a stroll through the bustling shopping districts with both small local businesses and restaurants and larger shopping malls. After that I found my way through the greenery and ponds of Boston Commons park, and then finally emerged in Downtown Boston, surrounded by the sky scrapers above me and food trucks around me. I couldn’t believe I had seen so much in only a single walk, and yet I knew this was only the beginning of my explorations.
Later on in my adventures, I decided it would be good to figure out the transit system, something that makes Boston very different from Michigan. The subway system, better known as the “T,” can take you pretty much everywhere you might desire to go around Boston and Cambridge for only a couple bucks. It is nice to be able to just go out and explore without having to worry about how to get places and how to get back. And it is certainly a lot cheaper than using Ubers all the time. Although in Boston the “T” has a slight reputation for being unreliable and breaking down, the couple downfalls of the system are well outweighed by it’s helpfulness and I’ve certainly come to appreciate it. It makes me wonder what Detroit would be like with a transit system like that.
One thing that surprised me most about Boston was the people. Having visited New York City briefly last year, I was expecting to be able to draw some parallels between the two busy East Coast cities. I was ready to see the same sorts of people fast-walking through he city, shoving their way through the subway, too busy to even look at you. I was also expecting to hear some very proud Boston accents. On the contrary, I have found people from Boston to be some of the nicest people I’ve ever met! And everyone is actually relatively laid back, at least in comparison to the atmosphere of New York. Boston is also such a diverse city filled with people from many different backgrounds: from finance specialists to techies, and MIT computer engineers to Berklee College of Music celo players. And with all the colleges nearby, the town is filled with some of the smartest minds in the world, from all over the world! Meeting new people has, without a doubt, been my favorite part of the experience so far. I look forward to continuing to explore more of Boston and meeting new people as the summer continues!