I know you’ve had your doubts about me over the years, and I understand why. I have briefly left your side for Paris, Florida, North Carolina, and New York. And yes, I know how you feel about New York. And I know I’ve been spending more time there lately than you’d care for. I will admit: that city has always charmed me. Back in college, I thought New York was the one. I was going to move there and work in publishing. I was going to live on the Upper East Side and go to tiny coffee shops where they drew pictures of flowers in the foam of my lattes and frequent Pinkberrys and take cabs more often than I should. But I don’t feel the way about New York that I feel about you. New York is the hot city I need to sleep with while I sow my oats and get the craziness out of my system before I settle down. But you—you’re the city I marry.
You have your attractive aspects, and while we both know there’s more to love than vanity, secretly you know you’re pretty– and revel in it. I have to say I love the character of Back Bay, the quaint, yet urban winding roads of Beacon Hill, the familiarity of the sophisticated South End. I love that Fenway feels like a large secret club I’m lucky enough to belong to, that you can’t find in any other city. You’re special, Boston.
You nurtured me while I grew up, giving me the exact dose of culture I needed. You connect me to my parents, who both grew up in your brick embrace. Your hospitals, the best in the country, keep me safe, and make me believe I possess the freedom to be a little reckless when I want to. With Boston Ballet and the Red Sox, you gave me passion, and even though I never made it as a ballet dancer, and you let Jacoby Ellsbury escape, I am forever grateful for those passionate experiences. And when it was time to become an adult, you knew I was having trouble, and you presented me with a good job, a perfect apartment, and people whom I feel blessed to have met. You allow me to dance in your streets with my friends on weekends, urban enough for a city girl like myself, yet small enough to feel that somehow, you belong to me.
Most important, Boston, you challenge me. You gave me weather that taught me to be ready for anything, and how to appreciate all seasons. You bounced back quickly after a terrorist attack. You dangled many a World Series in my face before you actually let me take one. In that way, you make me grateful, strong, and patient. And that’s why I choose you, Boston. You bring out the best in me.
Our relationship may get rocky at times. I may curse your weather, your public transit system, and your lack of decent restaurants open past 2 a.m. I may even need my space while I find myself, and don’t be offended if I choose to do that in your rival city. But please know that my love for you runs as deep as the blood in my veins, the same blood I share with my family, who never left you either. Remember who I am and the strength of what we have. Because even if I find myself in New York for a few days or years, it’s you, Boston. It’s always been you.