If you take Bostonians at face value they seem like a miserable, unfriendly lot. When I first moved to Boston five years ago, I was taken aback by this unfriendliness. I grew up in the west. If you passed someone on the street, it was impolite not to say hi and acknowledge their existence. My first few days I was excited to see the city and I hit the streets and did my best to say hi to people that I passed on the sidewalks. It didn’t take me long to figure out that most of the denizens of Boston thought I was crazy. Most people here do not say hi. They don’t look at you. They don’t smile. And if you are lucky they won’t push you out of the way. But if you are impeding them to the place they are rushing to, they may push you or say something.
At first I was determined not to let their attitude change me. I continued to say hi to people. But the glares got to me after a couple of years. I stopped saying hi.
Last night I was walking home after work and this woman was walking in my direction. And she looked at me and smiled. I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, a friendly.” I smiled at her and said hi. She didn’t acknowledge me at all but continued to smile. Then I thought to myself, “Is my fly down or something?” I checked and it wasn’t. I’m not sure what she was smiling about, but it wasn’t to greet me.
I would like to note that once you get to know a Bostonian many of them love to talk. If you want to start up a conversation, talk to them about the Red Sox. I’ve never lived in a city that loves their baseball as much as these folks.