This Boston Map Took the Whole ‘Annex Cambridge’ Thing Seriously
A trendy map replicating the Boston landscape was created by San Francisco-based Urbane, which is run by three graduates of colleges that aren’t located in Massachusetts, of course.
The map details parts of the city and gives individual sections a niche-nickname based on common stereotypes associated with the locations, like “Students Enjoying PBR” over in the Allston area, and “One Way Streets and Townhouses” in the Back Bay, right next to “The Gays, The Brunch, And Darn Good Roast Chicken.”
“So many students, so many outsiders, and even more—so many Green Lines. How can the average visitor ever figure out your windy, twisty streets of navigational chaos?,” the company wrote in a statement posted with the new map. “At Urbane, we have settled the dust on the social maze that is Boston. Just remember to not experience what Charlie experienced when he forgot to pay his exit fare—he never returned, and his [fate’s] still unlearned!”
To add a cherry on top of this demystified version of the Boston map, which happens to stretch into Cambridge (because, you know, Cambridge is Boston, right?), the company said, “Go Red Sox.” Also included—besides the obligatory “Hahvahd Yahd” reference and a little leg of land dedicated to the Wahlbergs and Scorcese in Southie—are color-coordinated labels for each transit line.
It’s worth noting that the obvious indicator that the map was devised by someone not from Boston (besides a message from the creators) is the fact that areas like Hyde Park, parts of Dorchester, Roxbury, Roslindale, and other neighborhoods aren’t even included, while bits of Cambridge often associated with the city—made famous by movies, mostly—made the cut. In a tweet to Boston, the company said, “We’re based in California, but have travel experience around the globe, and we also draw on locals for help with every map. We did use locals for research and our COO, Trevor Felch, visits each year to watch the Red Sox.”
This isn’t Urbane’s first attempt at re-labeling a city based on stereotypes and their “travel experience,” with mixed results. The company has done similar maps riffing on other U.S. and Canadian cities—and at least Toronto and D.C. turned out the same way.