Murphy’s Law – Saying goodbye to Boston

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

On December 30, 2006, I packed up all of my worldly possessions and moved from Maryland to Boston. For two years and three months, this city has been my home, but now I am once again packing up all of my worldly possessions and moving back to the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since this city has been my home for over two years, I wouldn’t feel right leaving it without saying goodbye.

It’s been great being a pasty Irish guy named Murphy in a city with such a rich Irish heritage like Boston. Walking the streets of the city, I would feel like I was home. I would feel like these were my people. Then, some asshole would bump into me and tell me to fuck myself and the moment would be ruined, but still, for that brief moment all was right with the world.

One of the coolest things I got to do while living here was see Dropkick Murphys live on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I think the only thing I could do in my life that would be more Irish than that would be to fly to Dublin and make out with a leprechaun.

After moving to Boston, it was fun to watch movies like The Boondock Saints, Mystic River and Good Will Hunting again and actually recognize some of the locations used in those films. I have eaten at Doyle’s Café more times than I can count. Doyle’s has been around since 1882 and numerous films, television shows and commercials have been shot there, including The Brinks Job, Celtic Pride, The Irish in America: Long Journey Home, Mystic River and Boston Public. I have often walked by the Fairmont Hotel Copley Plaza, which was used in The Boondock Saints, and every time I do, I think about climbing into the air duct, putting on a ski mask and throwing some rope over my shoulder like Charlie fuckin’ Bronson.

Speaking of walking the streets, I will miss being able to walk or take the T anywhere I need to go. I sold my car shortly after moving to Boston and honestly I haven’t really missed it. The long commutes I had living in Maryland are not something I’m looking forward to having to deal with once again. It was also nice to be able to ride on a subway where they didn’t care if you had a Coke or a bagel with you, since the DC Metro arrests anyone who brings food or beverages on the train, including diabetic little girls. I will also miss all of the strange people who ride on Boston’s public transportation, like the lady with the Kiss t-shirts and the really long fingernails and the kid who was rolling a joint while sitting across from me on the bus the other night.

I will miss walking down to the Li’l Peach convenient store (a.k.a. Tedeschi) down the block from me and picking up whatever I needed. Sure, I had to wade through all of the degenerate gamblers who sit there all day playing Keno, but when I got up to the counter, the very nice cashiers always called me “buddy” or “my friend,” which always made me feel welcome. I will also miss the jellybeans they sold there – which were two for a dollar – because they are the best jellybeans I have ever had in my life and I’ve never seen them sold anywhere else.

Speaking of food, I will definitely miss the food at Bukhara Indian Bistro and Fire + Ice. I will also miss Bukowski Tavern, with its tasty and cheap pub food, amazing beer selection and the wheel of beer that gets spun if you can’t decide on what to order. I will also miss all of the local places that delivered to my apartment and I will miss the delivery drivers, who started recognizing me because I’m lazy and order food too often. I will definitely miss the large man who always wore the hairnet and called me “big guy” and I will miss the really nice guy who worked for the shitty place that always screwed up my order.

It will also be odd to have to actually seek out Dunkin Donuts locations, instead of just having one on every street corner. I think I will be sad to once again be surrounded by hundreds of Starbucks instead of Dunkies.

I will miss the energy of this city and the open-mindedness of Massachusetts. It was nice to live in a progressive state that allows gay marriage and that just decriminalized marijuana (which I’m guessing the dude with the joint on the bus was thankful for). I love the DC Metro area, but people back home aren’t always so open-minded. I will also miss attending events with Mayor “Mumbles” Menino, which I got to do twice thanks to my old job (I even got my photo taken with him). Speaking of Menino, it will certainly be weird to be living in a place where the entire city can’t be shut down if someone puts up a Mooninite Lite-Brite.

There are a few things I won’t miss about the city. I won’t miss the assholes who get into loud fights at the bus stop just outside my apartment window at two in the morning. I won’t miss the jerks who loudly and drunkenly celebrated all night whenever the Red Sox or the Celtics won a championship. And really, I won’t miss any of the countless Patriots and Red Sox discussions I’ve either overheard or been dragged into since moving here. It will be really nice to be able to casually talk to people about the Redskins and the Capitals once again. I also won’t miss the crazy Masshole drivers or the confusing Boston roads that make absolutely no sense. And I guarantee you I won’t miss the cab drivers who have no clue how to get anywhere. I also won’t miss the crazy New England weather and all of the god damn snow.

But I will miss you, Boston. You’ve been my home for two years and three months and you have certainly become a part of me. I’ll think of you the next time I watch The Boondock Saints or Good Will Hunting. I will think of you when I’m dying for a drink of water on the DC Metro. And I will think of you the next time one of your teams wins a championship and I am sleeping peacefully in my quiet room.

Goodbye, my friend.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

  1. Bill March 25, 2009
  2. Joel Murphy March 25, 2009
  3. Brooke March 25, 2009
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  7. Chris Kirkman March 25, 2009
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