RANDOMODDNESS

Boston Squares

Wednesday · January 16, 2002 · 01:13 AM

When I first moved to the Boston area (33 months ago, don’cha know), I was amazed at all the Dunkin Donuts. I was amazed at the traffic circles (or should I say “ro-TAH-rees” – still working on the Boston accent). I was also amazed that there were so few street signs and so many signs talking about This Square or The Other Square.

(There’s not really a This Square, although it would be cool if there were. Imagine asking for directions? “Excuse me, do you know where This Square is?”

“Which Square?”

“This Square.”

“It’s right here.”

“No, This Square.”

“Huh?”

Then they’d beat you up and take your wallet. Oooh, the hilarity.)

I’m from New York, where a square is basically the intersection of Broadway and one of the avenues. Maybe not, but that’s my rough guideline – think about it, Times Square (B’way & 7th Ave), Harold Square (8th Ave), Union Square, etc…

In Boston the rule is wherever three streets intersect, they can call a square. This is insane since the streets are packed together in a totally random order, like pick-up sticks. No nice grid system, ala Manhattan. Basically, this means every other street corner in Boston can be called a square.

On my corner, there are three streets that come together and I’ve been thinking about applying to name it a square. “ToeTag Square” has a nice ring to it. Then I thought that maybe it wouldn’t be approved and I should pick a nicey-nice name. I’m a block from an elementary school, so I thought I’d call it Pi Square to promote math skills.

sigh Looks like I’ve become a Boston “square”...