Boston, MA– For many cities, it is easy to associate stereotypes with attempts to condense the culture of the city into one particular essence. Whether it's a series of "Windy City" t-shirts in a window display in Chicago or the shrines to Starbucks in Seattle, these types of displays are meant to attract tourists mostly by appealing to the base knowledge they have of the cities they are visiting. However, on the flip side of that decision is the local community that is allegedly "represented" by these sorts of displays, but they instead find such a thing reductive and cringe-worthy. It reads like someone who is clearly not from Boston is trying to sound "authentic."
One of the most cringe-worthy examples of this fake authenticity has recently made the rounds on the Internet and gone viral on r/Boston on Reddit.
Reddit user u/RaeADropOfGoldenSun shared the image of a sign above store aisles, calling it "the worst thing I've ever seen," and as a member of the Boston community, I have to agree. This atrocious sign is boldly displayed at a Walgreens in Downtown Crossing in Boston. Presumably, it is meant to promote some of the products within. However, it is completely nonsensical and it reads like someone read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for Boston and then took to making a sign that would "appeal" to the tourist's imagination of Bostonians.
What does it mean for a sandwich to be "Ivy League"? Did a grilled cheese attend Harvard? And why do so many people insist on phonetically writing out the dropped R sound as evidenced by "hee-ah" and "pah-ties"? It seems like pandering that no one is entertained by. The sign also has a curious emphasis on the legacy of the Revolutionary War by referencing the Boston Tea Party, the war itself, and Paul Revere's ride. I mean, technically Boston is associated with all of those things, but none of them really make me want to go buy sushi from Walgreens.
Here's one more Boston-esque phrase they can add to the list: "swing and a miss."