The idea is this: Boston is an extraordinary place in so many respects. We are a mecca for medicine and academics. We are a creative city with lots of artists and musicians in our midst. We have a gorgeous city and some of the most beautiful beaches, mountains and forests around. Basically, our reputation is stellar. Except in one area—friendliness.
I moved here from Ohio 36 years ago and have become, in almost every respect, a Bostonian. I have embraced all but one (okay, two—I’m still a Steelers fan. Sorry!) of our local trademark traditions. The one holdover I have from being a Midwestern gal, though, is—thank goodness—my habit of saying hello or at least smiling at everyone I pass. For years, my Boston-bred buddies have chided me. “Did you know that person?? Then why are you saying hello?” Inevitably, when someone else responds and strikes up a conversation, they’re also from the Midwest. In fact, as I rode my bike to work the other day, I saw a gal getting out of a car with an Ohio license plate, so said in passing, “Morning! I’m from Ohio, too!” Do you know what she did? She ran down the street saying, “From what part?” So I stopped and we chatted and exchanged cards.
I love my adopted city. Love it! But I want it to be more friendly and welcoming. So my proposal is—and I think it’s befitting of a new(ish) Mayor and administration, too—for an initiative called “Hello, Boston.” I want this to be known as a warm city, on top of all the other accolades people heap on top of us.
In the survey I just filled out, my excuse for not doing as many cultural and/or creative things as I’d like is that I work so hard. That said, I would be so happy to somehow carve out the time to help brainstorm on this idea and to work to make it a reality. There are so many ways in which this could make us the best city in the world and it would introduce us not only to people from all over, but even more importantly, to each other!
I look forward to hearing back from you.