#Local Boston News
2 min read

Abstract Maps of Boston Usually Get It Wrong

Abstract Maps of Boston Usually Get It Wrong

Boston, MA– There have been some egregious attempts by businesses attempting to cash in on what tourists consider to be "authentically Boston." So many overdone stereotypes, often on bumper stickers or t-shirts with some variation of "pahk ya cahhhhh." Tourists' knowledge of Boston is based on four things: our wicked awesome accents; our reputation for being Masshole drivers; the city's cultural history, which locals are not as obsessed with; and our obsession with Dunkin. (Ok, that last one is valid.)

But it gets tiring, seeing all this pandering to Boston stereotypes. It should be a crime to advertise smoothies while alluding to the city's cultural history. The midnight ride of Paul Revere doesn't inspire anyone to buy more smoothies. We're not going to buy a sandwich because you mention the Boston Tea Party. So patronizing.

The below abstract representation of Boston, spotted at Kung Fu Tea at Symphony Station, mentions a random spattering of towns and neighborhoods around Boston.

Can anyone make sense of this? from r/boston

Belmont, Norwood, and Woburn are listed twice. Waltham is misspelled "Walthem." And there are some glaring omissions, noted by many commenters on Reddit. The only thing that makes sense: maybe the image represents where most of the shop's customers or employees are from? We may never know.

Folks, it gets worse. The shop's link has since been taken down, so we don't have the visual anymore, but this Redditor alludes to an "abstract" map of Boston, sold online at Marmont Hill, which seems to mention Boston themes at random.

Some people have absolutely no idea what this city looks like from r/boston

Reddit user u/henry_fords_ghost brought Marmont Hill’s maps of Boston to the attention of the local Boston subreddit. Sure, the maps are meant to be more cartoonish and fun adaptations of Boston rather than what the city actually looks like, but even if it's just for fun, the depictions are still so downright terrible and not representative of our fair city.

For one, the map suggests that the Boston Pops are a crucial aspect of the Bostonian landscape, though it is thoroughly unclear what that would actually mean. Is there a place in Boston you can go to where the Pops are always standing around waiting to meet and greet with visitors? If so, weird.

Additionally, the map of Boston’s most iconic landmarks label the bridges as “Bridge” and “Boston Bridge.” You know, those classic locations.

My personal favorite is that instead of highlighting Fenway Park, the map just reads, "Red Sox." Just like the Boston Pops, apparently the Red Sox are permanent fixtures on this map.