In 2004 Northeastern University was made infamous by the Weekly Dig, a bi-monthly Boston entertainment magazine that is known for its humorously candid portrayal of Boston goings on (digboston.com). Northeastern, to be fair, did not need much help with infamy. The previous superbowl, when the Patriots won, the city erupted into chaos with rioting so severe that for years after, any playoff games for the Patriots, Red Sox, or Celtics (…sorry Bruins…) were preceded by the clearing of all on street parking around Campus and the presence of Riot Police Officers on every corner. The clip, from the Dig Awards ran:
"If anyone had thought to give out an award for barbarism before, there’s no doubt that the Northeastern kids would be working on a dynasty by now. Their behavior is legendary, as evidenced by their dominating performance in this year’s poll. The Huntington Huns roll kegs, flip cars, set fires, crowd porches and basements, manhandle pedestrians, and urinate publicly with the reckless abandon of a population unencumbered by trivial notions of decorum. They’ve vexed elected officials, been denounced as “knuckleheads” by the mayor, been the target of draconian legislation and utterly destroyed their Mission Hill neighbors’ will to live. Here’s to whatever they have planned for next year."
2004, of course, was the year we ‘Cowboy’d Up’ and ‘reversed the curse’ with the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series for the first time in eighty-six years. It was also my freshman year of college. My friends and I were thrown into Boston sports culture head first, learning very quickly that when spirits are high, it only takes three minutes to sprint through the empty streets to Fenway Park. The clip from the Dig Awards was instantly embraced as a badge of honor, a mark of who we were. Sure, every college at one time or other is rated the best party school. But the Huntington Huns? That was all us. I should mention that Northeastern is actually a legitimately good school, and under normal circumstances, I speak highly of the academic quality of my education. Still, at eighteen, it’s just more fun to be known for city recognized rebellion. My mom, who does not text, somehow magically figured it out for one night to say “No rioting tonight if the Sox win please.” Awesome.
I thought of this while wandering around Edinburgh this summer. Walking down the street one early early morning (For the record, I was up for a conference, not returning from bars. It was June, not August…), I saw a car that had been lifted from the street, and dropped into the apparently car sized gap between the street and the building next to it, perfectly filling the space. I have been trying for months but can’t do this justice in words so I’ll be reverting to pictures to truly capture this.
I never found out why the car was there, but it stayed for months before suddenly disappearing as quickly as it had shown up. At this point I’m not even sure I want to know the truth since it can’t possibly be as exciting as not knowing where and how the little red car got there.
The point of all this being, that no matter where you go and how obliviously you travel, there’s no place like home. A natural first thought upon seeing this would have been utter speechless confusion. My first thought was, “I don’t understand. The Red Sox didn’t win last night….” Truly a testament to how shaped I was by college.
You can take the girl out of Boston…