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Thank you for the surprise

Posted by Joe Allen-Black  June 24, 2011 01:49 PM

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New Englanders love New England, and they love to tell you why. It's an endearing quality that that amazes me every time I encounter it.

The first time I noticed it was during a train ride when a woman spent our time from Dorchester to Park Street telling me the best restaurants in the North End. She described pizza as if it were sent by God, and she did it with the most mouth-watering, vivid language.

Then, came an exasperated cab driver, who was appalled that I had never been down Cape Cod. Nevermind, I had been in Boston for about a week at that point. The trip from the Back Bay to the airport turned in a lesson in the best ways to get to the Cape, and reasons why there's no better place in the world than the Cape in the summer.

My favorite, though, was my lesson the cable guys, who took an extra hour out of their day to tell me the best New England beers to get, and where I should find them. By the time they left, I had an intense desire for a Sam Adams, and I was kicking myself for never having tried it.

Any time I have mentioned my newness to the area, perfect strangers spend the next few minutes describing the best parks, food, and people that you can only find here in the Boston area. The pride is evident.

After a few months of experiencing this, I don't know why the sheer number of great suggestions and to-dos on my last blog post surprised me so much. It was very gratifying.

Thank you all for making me feel welcome and offering ways for me to enjoy our area of the country a little more.

Please, keep the the suggestions coming. I'm collecting them in various lists, and I hope to write about the experiences when I get a chance to try them.

Below are just a few of the suggestions that people offered in the comments. Again, thank you all so much. I look forward to chatting more with you about great places around here.

@bnixon: Go to the Fens, close to the Museum of Fine Arts, and walk through the Victory Gardens on a nice day. It's one of Boston's pleasures and there are few tourists.

@fooltastic: ... if you like nearby hikes or biking in the woods, Middlesex Fells Reservation just off 93 (on the way in to Winchester) has that stuff for you.

@Scorpio75: DeCordova Museum and the outdoor sculpture park. Apple picking in the fall ... there are a million places to go so pick a place.

@demo8: Hike up Skyline trail to the overlook near Long Pond around sunset, it's a view of the city skyline that's not to be missed.

@joesinboston: SoWa Sundays. Harpoon Brewery. The Beanpot.

@milleroni7654: The Mapparium at the Christian Science Center is cool.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

About the author

Joe Allen-Black left the flat landscape and temperate climes of Florida, where he was a reporter and web producer, for the peaks, valleys, and mercurial weather of New England. Joe, More »

Follow Joe on Twitter at @joe_allen_black

He can be reached by e-mail at

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