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Old 02-15-2011, 06:42 AM
 
88 posts, read 203,555 times
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As a few people have said, when you are talking to folks from the rest of the country you are better off saying your from Boston if you live in Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Newton, Chelsea, Everett, etc. It gives them a better picture of how you live then saying you live outside the city. In most of the country when you live outside the city it's exactly that.

Anywhere outside the Boston DC metroplex all of those cities would just be part of Boston proper. While population is a pretty good measuring stick for the size of a city in most of the US, in the metroplex, population density and metro population are far better tools to gauge how large a city really is.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA USA
261 posts, read 844,144 times
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Wow what a hair-splitting thread! When away from the area, you say you are from "Boston" even if you are from Weymouth, Watertown or Woburn. When in the area you specify the exact locale. Boston(Greater Boston) is really made up of 70 cities and towns. Go to San Antonio and drive for 25 miles in any direction - you are STILL in San Antonio. Do that here and you will pass thru a dozen or so individual entities that are part of GREATER Boston. Even my location here on my profile says BOSTON even though I sleep in Braintree. If I get on my roof and can just see the top of the Hancock tower however..
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,336 posts, read 15,298,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveV View Post
Wow what a hair-splitting thread! When away from the area, you say you are from "Boston" even if you are from Weymouth, Watertown or Woburn. When in the area you specify the exact locale. Boston(Greater Boston) is really made up of 70 cities and towns. Go to San Antonio and drive for 25 miles in any direction - you are STILL in San Antonio. Do that here and you will pass thru a dozen or so individual entities that are part of GREATER Boston. Even my location here on my profile says BOSTON even though I sleep in Braintree. If I get on my roof and can just see the top of the Hancock tower however..
That's what many people (even in New England) don't get. Boston, as in the city proper, is 49 square miles. TINY by American major city standards. Most big cities are in the hundreds of square miles. Some are are WAY more than just a hundred or so square miles (Jacksonville is nearly 900 square miles).

It goes beyond just being in the "metro area." Hell, Lakeville, Freetown, and Bedford, New Hampshire are technically "metro Boston" (according to the Census Bureau, anyway). What a stupid concept up this way. Arbitrary boundaries based on a county system (one that is all but irrelevant in New England). Places like Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Newton, much of Brookline, Everett, Watertown, etc. are all essentially urban extensions of the city itself. It's hard to tell when you've crossed from Boston into Brookline or from Cambridge into Somerville. Those cities (and town, in the case of Brookline) are seamless extensions of urban Boston. They are distinct and separate ONLY by political boundaries (and a river or two). In most U.S. cities, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Chelsea, etc. would just be neighborhoods within the city limits. However, for various reasons, those cities have remained independent. Still, they're very much an intertwined part of Boston's urban fabric which is why it's understandable that people would say they're from "Boston" (even though most don't if they live outside the city limits).

It's easier to get from much of Cambridge to downtown Boston than it is from other parts of Boston (Hyde Park, West Rox, etc).

I have no issue with those who say they're from Boston while away from Massachusetts. Many people just assume you are anyway. I mostly grew up in Freetown (40 miles South of Boston) but a college professor in Maine called me his "city boy" because I was from Boston (in his mind) and I had "common sense and street smarts." My neighbor had chickens and a high school classmate brought his goat to school once. Often times, if you're from Eastern Massachusetts, people just assume it's "Boston." It's easier to just go with it sometimes.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:18 PM
 
5,757 posts, read 13,320,646 times
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One thought I have sometimes about the idea that Gabe1972, DaveV, and LRFox have been discussing in the last few posts is how a visitor from out of town who was completely unfamiliar with the Boston area would see things. You could have the visitor in your car, riding around Boston within the city limits, and also moving around through the various small cities that have already been mentioned, along with Quincy, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, Malden, Medford, probably a few others, and if you never told your guest exactly where you were, this person would most likely assume that all these towns were various sections of Boston, because of the generally urban or inner suburban character of these places, all of it forming one urban mass extending out from downtown Boston.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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There are those who might not be familiar with Cambridge, but recognize Boston, so it's just a way to simplify things; there's no intent on deception here..
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:18 PM
 
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I live in Somerville, about 200 feet from the Somerville/Cambridge line, and if I'm in another state, I'll tell people I live in Boston because it's just easier. Cambridge is a lot more recognizable name than Somerville, but some people may not know Cambridge is right across the river from Boston. If I'm in Massachusetts I tell people I live in Somerville though, because I assume they know where that's at. I think as long as you live in Suffolk or Middlesex counties you're allowed to tell someone you're from or live in Boston. Also, most people don't realize how small a place Boston proper is mileage wise. Very few people actually have a Boston address. Everything in Boston proper is either ridiculously expensive or really ghetto. And even the ghetto-ish places can be expensive.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,568 posts, read 2,708,555 times
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I was born at Mount Auburn, raised in both Cambridge and Watertown/Belmont (over by the Cemetary). When people ask where I am from originally, I say Massachusetts...if they dig again, I will tell them Cambridge area. Otherwise I just tell them where I am currently living--who gives a sh*&?

I have to admit, after traveling the world and being the military for 20+ years, I get a kick out of some kid from Springfield or Haverhill or North Adams ranting raving about growing up in Boston. When I meet people who say they are from Boston, next question is always...Really now? Where at? One guy actually answered, well I'm from Norwalk, Conneticut, but went to Fenway alot as a kid. WTF?

And anyone who attempts a Boston accent get's a straight 'shut the f&^$ up' look from me.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Boston
1,082 posts, read 2,411,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
One thought I have sometimes about the idea that Gabe1972, DaveV, and LRFox have been discussing in the last few posts is how a visitor from out of town who was completely unfamiliar with the Boston area would see things. You could have the visitor in your car, riding around Boston within the city limits, and also moving around through the various small cities that have already been mentioned, along with Quincy, Lynn, Revere, Winthrop, Malden, Medford, probably a few others, and if you never told your guest exactly where you were, this person would most likely assume that all these towns were various sections of Boston, because of the generally urban or inner suburban character of these places, all of it forming one urban mass extending out from downtown Boston.
I consider all of those places to be part of Boston. As LRFox pointed out, they are only distinct from a political/municipal standpoint. In terms of environment, economy, transportation, etc., they are all part of one contiguous urban area. It's all part of the City of Boston.

I live within the technical definition of Boston, and I'm not at all bothered by the idea that these other places are also part of Boston. What does bother me, though, is that some people will tell me, "you live in Roslindale, that's not part of Boston," because they only consider the area that roughly corresponds with the original Shawmut peninsula to be Boston.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:36 PM
 
27 posts, read 234,085 times
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There is another reason you guys are missing.

A larger percentage of people in Cambridge either attend or work at Harvard. And this is their way of not flouting those credentials as they assume that everyone in the world knows that Cambridge, MA= Harvard.

Not everyone is aware of that geographical detail of course, but there is a sense of false modesty they like to exude by replying-"I'm from Boston"

(I can speak firsthand of this as a Harvard grad. Many of my classmates felt they had to hide the fact they were attending Harvard)
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