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I love MA

I grew up on a densely settled, flat, barrier island, right outside of Queens, NY, on Long Island's south shore. I lived a stone's throw from the ocean, but we had no view. Between me and the water were six and seven-story apartment buildings that ring the shore, block after block after block.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved New England. As a kid I was drawn to the cliche of New England. It was not only the rolling green hills and white steeple churches, but the hardscrabble tenacity of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. I already had the hardscrabble background, all I needed was Wharton's austere country landscape to fill out this childhood fantasy of myself.

In September 1986, at age 19, I found myself at college in Boston, Massachusetts. A month later the world's most famous ground ball error turned a man, and an entire region, bitter. When the Mets took the Sox in the World Series, the city lost it's breath. I paid no mind, I was a Yankee's fan.

Slowly, but surely, I stopped saying cawfee and started saying kahfee. And when I went to my first Yankee's/Red Sox match at Fenway with my just-visting, New Yorker pals, I was the only one of my group rooting for the home team. I was proud to be a Sox fan, and only a little thin skinned about my team's perpetual inferiority.

Hanging around with local punks at the city's rock clubs, rather than my college cohorts, I always felt more like a townie, than a budding intellectual. To the townies, though, my education would always keep me separate. The friction I still feel straddling these two worlds came vividly to mind when I watched Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone this weekend. It is an almost pitch perfect movie about class, Boston townie-style. The movie looked perfect, too, right down to the grimy vinyl-clad three-deckers and ubiquitous corner stores.

When one character says "up Providence," which is geographically south of her, my heart swelled in defiant pride of the implied willful ignorance. I found myself aching for something lost. Was it something as cliche as lost youth? Partly, it must be. But it isn't only youth, really. It is mostly my absolute love for the town portrayed in the movie. Even though I moved out of the dense residential neighborhoods of Boston ten years ago, in my heart, I think I will always live there. They are kin to me. They are etched deeper in my heart than where I spent the first half of my life. Who can tell why, they just are.

And this musing makes the quiz I saw at ZantiMissKnit's blog last week very timely:

You Are 56% Massachusetts

You're likely a Massachusetts transplant. Big rotaries still scare you, and you probably live outside of 495.

They got the first part right, but I have never been afraid of rotaries and I live right outside of 128, not 495, which is a fairly opaque reference to all save a million or so people in the greater Boston area.

As far as knitting, Friday night I was struck down by a bad bout of tendinitis in my right forearm. The pulsating pain is a nuisance, and so I am a whiny mess. Yesterday was a regional holiday so I was home fotzing around when I decided to throw caution to the wind and plow through the last leg of La Digitessa. They are rack drying presently and in a day or two I'll have pictures!


peaknits said…
Can't wait to see your La Digitessa's - take care of your arm for now!
Knitting Kris said…
I've never been to Fenway before, although my DD is aching to go. We have to venture "North" to Boston Children's this summer.

Knitting La Digitessa with an injury? YIKES! You are a trouper! :) Hope you're feeling better soon!
Nell said…
Take care of the right arm. Irregardless of any knitting you want to do!

I went to college about an hour and a half west of you. So I too have a fondness for Boston. But it is certainly not as deep as yours. I love that you feel such a strong connection to where you live. I hope to have that someday.
I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts - your writing style flows really nicely and your subjects are interesting too.

Personally, I grew up in Brooklyn (so know Long Beach pretty well), but my sister also went to school in Boston and now lives there and LOVES it. Your post explained so much to me - things that she has felt so strongly about her adopted state but has never been able to adequately verbalize :)