40 Reasons to Love Boston

For four decades, we’ve been celebrating the very best of Boston. In honor of that anniversary, here are 40 of the reasons we’re so proud to call this city home.


Because of this.


Fenway Park Photo via Jason Tench / Shutterstock.com


Because after 400 years, we’re ready for our close-up.


The Heat Photo via TheHeatMovie.com

It’s not surprising that Hollywood has developed a recent crush on Boston. After all, so many of its players are from here (see reason three). Spot your neighborhood in The Heat, R.I.P.D., or The Way, Way Back this summer? Maybe it’ll turn up in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, opening Christmas day, or in Live By Night, the latest Dennis Lehane adaptation filming anytime now (in case you were hoping to sign on as an extra).


Because this is a city of firsts.


Harvard Photo via Tupungato / Shutterstock

The country’s first college (Harvard, 1636), the world’s first successful organ transplant (a kidney, 1954), the country’s first subway (the T, circa 1897), and the country’s first public park (the Common, opened in 1634). For evidence the tradition continues, see reason 11.


Because even our Republicans have blue streaks.


Photo via Dan Winslow / Facebook

Case in point: The state rep (and former U.S. Senate candidate) Dan Winslow is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and drives a freaking Chevy Volt.


Because of our first responders.

Boston Marathon

Photo via AP

When the bombs went off on April 15, the blasts were so loud that eardrums burst. A piece of one of the explosives wound up on the roof of a six-story building. Shrapnel shredded the bodies of men, women, and children. Yet miraculously, just three people died.

Much of the credit for the lives saved goes to our first responders. Medics sprinted toward the blasts, as did runners who became medics. In a moment, everything clicked—somehow, everybody knew exactly what to do, and did it exactly right. Think about what it takes to tie a good tourniquet: to grab whatever you can find (a belt, a T-shirt, a lanyard), tie it around someone’s limb as it spews blood, and then pull because a life depends on it. Somehow, everyone at the finish line knew how to do that.

More than 180 people were rushed to the hospitals, some with limbs hanging on by scraps of skin. The number of injured would rise to 264 as more victims checked themselves into hospitals. In the end, we lost four people because of what happened that day, but in perhaps no other city would so many victims have survived.


Because our worst year of snow-removal performance would have been DC’s best. And saving shoveled-out spaces is totally acceptable, even endorsed by the city.


Parking Space Saver Photo by Martha_Jean / Flickr


Because the harbor is now clean… and still features the country’s oldest lighthouse.


Boston Harbor Lighthouse Photo via Allan Wood Photography / Shutterstock


Because when entering the State House, all visitors must pass through the General Hooker entrance.


General Hooker Statue Photo via Wikimedia Commons


Because we bike everywhere, even in February.


A Bike on the Charles River. Photo via Hynkle / Flickr

Only in Boston is it possible to commute to work on a bicycle along a snow-plowed river trail watching the sun rise. Metro Pedal Power is a kickass bike messenger, delivering boxes full of CSA veggies in the trunks of their trikes. Hubway is among the most successful bike-share programs in the country. Oh, and the Longfellow Bridge is about to lose a car lane—to make room for more bikes.


Because Corita Kent’s colorful art (and possible secret portrait of Ho Chi Minh) has dominated the view going south out of town on I-93 for more than 40 years.


‘Rainbow Swash’ Gas Tank Photo by BostonPhotoSphere / Flickr