Five Reasons I Love Boston

September 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm 28 comments

Pier ICA Portal Charles

1. The water.

The Atlantic Ocean, as deep and true as denim, so blue it melts into the sky, horizonless. And the Charles River. Years from now, I’ll remember riding the Red Line from Boston into Cambridge at night – the way the lights streak across the black water like crayons lined up in a box.

After my childhood in Seattle to my college years in Boston, I don’t think I could live anywhere but a coast.

Spring Summer Fall Winter

2. The seasons. 

I always come back to school right at the tail end of summer. Heat sinks into the subway stations like poisonous gas, and whatever you wear, it’s too much fabric. With October right around the corner, though, fall settles in. I love the way golden light fans out from behind buildings and through alleyways. Yellow leaves get stuck in the rain currents along the sidewalk. It’s my favorite time of year.

Boston has also taught me the true meaning of winter. Winter is wet hair freezing solid on the way to class, two pairs of socks, ears tucked into scarves. Torrential flurries of snowflakes that burn skin. Frankly, winter is miserable.

But then there’s that one morning – and it’s always a morning, and you’re never quite prepared for it – when you step outside and every tree in Boston has bloomed. Cherry blossoms opened like pale pink popcorn, blue skies, tender green leaves. It’s such a miracle that this can happen despite the sheets of ice and crazy wind tunnels, it makes everything worthwhile.

Food Trucks Roxy's Lobsta Food Truck Mass Fro Yo Flowers

3. The quirkiness.

I love the farmer’s markets all over the city, the narrow brick alleys begging to be explored, the late night restaurants in Chinatown. Boston constantly surprises me. Today I discovered the food trucks – why didn’t I know that Boston has food trucks??


4. The history.

A handful of the founding fathers are buried mere blocks from campus. I walk through the oldest park in America to get to my boyfriend D-‘s apartment in Beacon Hill, a neighborhood of gas lamps and weathered brick. Everywhere you look, historic churches stand between skyscrapers. The contrast is astonishing.


5. These amazing people.

Sure, most of them aren’t from Boston. A-‘s from Colorado, C-‘s from LA, and S- is all the way from Guam. But nine months of the year, they’re all mine. They make Boston feel like home.

Why do you love _______?

Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , .

Cornmeal Lime Cookies Blueberry Cornflake Thumbprints

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jessica  |  September 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Why do I love California’s Central Coast? 1. Because it is equal distance between Los Angeles and San Fransisco, so I am only 4 hours away from either place, but really ever so far away. 2. I can have breakfast with otters, elephant seals and whales, lunch with turkeys and dinner with does and bucks. 3. What I have for breakfast, lunch and dinner is from local waters, fields and orchards. 4. Everyone here knows something really wonderful, like deer don’t like lavendar, so if you plant it around your vegetable garden, they will stay away. 5. The magnificant oak trees have been here for hundreds of years, and will be here long after I am gone.

  • 2. Chef Tom Minchella  |  September 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Sounds so beautiful. I must go!

  • 3. radhika25  |  September 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    You write so very well for someone so young, Elissa. My son studies in Boston as well :)

  • 4. Danielle  |  September 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Autumn is also my favorite time of year… but in southern California. The light shifts this time of year from a dark, heavy yellow of summer to a whiter, more clarified, crisp light. Everything seems more pure in autumn light. And then there’s the winds. I have no words to describe them. Some call them Santana, others “Santa Ana” (devil winds). The winds are warm and smell of Eucalyptus. These winds are the harbinger of the Halloween season which lasts for 60 days in La La Land.

    The fall moon, I guess it’s a “harvest moon”… It’s big and fat (perspective wise) and sets over the ocean here, creating those mythical streaks of light on the water that you see in oil paintings. The best is when that big fat moon is full and lights up the ocean as it sets in the late evening.

    Some people say that L.A. has no seasons. They’re definitely wrong. The seasons here are just subtle and you have to be a native, going through many of cycles to notice them.

  • 5. allysay  |  September 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I’ve lived in Boston my whole life and I can relate exactly! I love Boston because everything is so accessible, by foot, the T, or bike. I love walking on the Esplanade in the fall and people watching. I love when the cherry blossom trees on Commonwealth Ave bloom and that’s how you know it’s spring. It’s the best city in the world.

  • 6. D-  |  September 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Because you’re amazing :)


  • 7. Kateri Ransom  |  October 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

    LOVE this post, great writing, great inspiration. I now want to go to Boston…ok, I’ve always wanted to go there, but you just officiated it.

  • 8. Dana  |  October 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I so wish that I lived closer to the ocean. Why I love Manitoba? We’ve got so many lakes, a great music scene, folklarama in the summer, festival in the winter, some of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita in the country (gotta love tasty options). We’re such a culturally diverse area that you can walk down the street, have Lebanese for lunch, stop in at a Polish deli afterward to pick up some kielbasa, and continue down the street for gelato. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

  • 9. katieleigh  |  October 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I love Boston for all these reasons. And the bookshops. Beautifully written.

  • 10. vicki norris-karten  |  October 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I grew up in NYC, went to Emerson and stayed in Boston for 11 years. I moved to RI and have lived here for many years. By far, without a doubt, Boston was my favorite place to live. It is a city alive with beauty, culture and intellectualism.

  • 11. Dawei  |  October 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Beautiful writing

    I oddly thought the same thing when riding the Red Line to Cambridge…

    ” the lights streak across the black water like crayons lined up in a box…”

    I’m glad you’re blogging again

  • 12. Nikita  |  October 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Awesome pics! :)

  • 13. Mia  |  October 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    This is so lovely, Elissa…

  • 14. Sarah  |  October 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I love this post! I’ve never been to Boston, though I keep meaning to visit friends who go to school there.
    I’m from New York but I study in D.C. Compared with home, D.C. sometimes seems like a disappointment — the city is smaller, less diverse. There’s no good pizza and the subway closes at 1 a.m. But on the other hand, there’s the tangy, vegetarian-friendly deliciousness of Ethiopian food. The ability to fly past the Lincoln Memorial, the White House and the Library of Congress on my weekend runs. I’ve seen Colin Powell at a play and I walk past John Kerry’s house on my way to CVS. There’s cherry blossoms and the kite festival in the spring, pumpkin bread from my favorite bakery and the National Book Festival in the fall. It’s not New York, but it’s lovable nonetheless.

  • […] 4. 5 Reasons to love Boston. […]

  • 16. Mary  |  October 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I went to Boston for college (away from my home town of San Diego) and I loved the four years that I spent there. It’s such a beautiful and wonderful city – love your photos that capture it’s essence.

  • 17. Mykelin Higham  |  October 14, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Elissa… I am a high school senior in the IB program, and I am dying to go to college in Boston. There’s so many amazing schools there, but most of all, I am in love with the city… even though I was only there two days in the spring and one day again two weeks ago. I’ve lived almost everywhere in the US except the northeast, but that’s where I want to live the most. The big cities full of history and character, but close to the breathtaking rural landscape; the beautiful, extreme seasons (especially autumn); and the gorgeous coast (is that enough synonyms for beautiful? :) I hope I join you there next year!!

  • 18. Eileen黃愛玲  |  October 16, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for this. :)

  • 19. Five Things I Love About D.C. – Sweetsonian  |  October 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    […] Inspired by 17 and Baking. […]

  • 20. Jessica K.  |  October 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Beautiful, Elissa! You are a very multi-talented and lovely young lady! :)

  • 21. andrea danani  |  November 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    good work ;)

  • 22. LoveHoundUK  |  December 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I went to Boston a few years ago and fell in love with the city. The water and the history are some of the reasons I loved the city. There was also an atmosphere of freshness not stuffiness in Boston !

  • 23. Aimee  |  January 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I have been leaving in Boston for 14 years since I came in from sunny Caribbean Dominican Republic and have fallen in love with it. the only bitty ity issue is driving in the snow.

  • 24. Ashley Bee  |  April 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    SO happy I stumbled upon your blog! I’m the same way–passion for food, but decided to pursue a degree in writing. I am an Emerson alum, so these pictures hit home so hard. I miss my city so much! Take good care of it for me, will you?

  • 25. jlcommeree  |  April 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Boston is in my thoughts today as are you. Thankfully my family back there is south of Boston and have no need to go in to the city. I hope all the tragedy is over and they find the second suspect. Stay safe. – John – Seattle

  • 26. Pride in Photos Photography  |  April 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Nice to meet you…we love Boston too…what an amazing place!! We spent 10 days there and didn’t want to leave. My favorite part…was the people…so very nice!

  • 27. coffee table  |  June 26, 2014 at 12:28 am

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  • 28. dream interpretation  |  October 24, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Sounds so beautiful. I must go!


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Elissa Bernstein

I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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