15 things that Boston is better at than anywhere else

Boston. The Hub. The Cradle of Liberty. The birthplace of Leonard Nimoy. As one of America’s oldest and greatest cities, we're like the cool big brother who just knows what's up. The young up-and-comers may try to follow suit, but they'll never be quite on the same level. Especially when it comes to these 15 things:

1. Firsts

Boston Common was the first public park. We had the first lighthouse. The first post office. The first newspaper. The first UFO sighting (seriously). The first telephone. The first subway (not to be confused with the first Subway). And so on.

2. The 4th of July

From the nearby re-enactments in Lexington and Concord, to the dazzling light show over the Charles, Boston's Independence Day surpasses them all -- even those featuring Jeff Goldblum. Everyone else might as well just stand around halfheartedly lighting sparklers.

3. Hating the Yankees

The "Yankees SUCK" chant doesn't just manifest itself at Fenway. You might hear it at a Celtics game. Or a sweet sixteen party. Possibly at a baptism. It's also an acceptable non-specific salutation, kind of like how Hawaiians use "aloha".

4. Accents

The Boston brogue is a thing of linguistic beauty. It’s impossible to mimic if you’re not indigenous, so don’t even try. For more on this, watch Mystic River.

Erik Christensen

5. Winter

It lasts from Halloween through Memorial Day. It doesn't involve snowstorms, it involves nor'easters. It's not uncommon to receive a shovel as a Christmas gift and actually be pretty happy about it.

6. Loosely obeying traffic laws

This goes for both drivers and pedestrians. Traffic signals are just suggestions. Bang a left!

7. Perpetual construction

The Big Dig might be over, but it doesn't really FEEL like it.

8. Higher education

There are 60 colleges and universities within the 128/95/1 loop. Some of them are kinda famous. Others are Tufts. (Kidding Tufts, you're great too!).

9. Innovation

See #9. We attract some serious intellectual all-stars, and then they stick around and create startups.  And then the startups have startups. They grow up so fast.

10. St. Patrick’s Day

Chicago may have its green-tinted river, but we have Southie. And St. Paddy’s is an official city holiday. (Technically it’s Evacuation Day, but who’s counting.) Bars start the day early, as do many Irish or soon-to-be Irish revelers. This one isn't close.

11. Historical tourist attractions no one finishes

Fact: everyone who has ever visited Boston has started walking the Freedom Trail, then bailed halfway through to start drinking. It's is how our forefathers would have wanted it -- certainly Sam Adams, at least.

12. Medicine

Get ready for more firsts! First to use anesthesia (mmm... ether...), first kidney transplant, AND the first open heart surgery. Also, thanks to all the smart kids we educate here, the hospitals and research facilities are world class. It's a good place to get sick!  

13. Tap water

Apparently, the American Water Works Association voted our tap water as the finest tasting H2O in the country this year. Watershed protection, FTW!

14. Marathons

Marathon Monday/Patriots Day electrifies this city like nothing else. 500,000 (+/-) spectators line the 26.2 mile course to cheer on 30,000 brave/insane runners all the way to the finish line. And nothing will ever change that.

15. Championships

You know the numbers, people. Eight titles since 2001. Pats, Sox, B’s, and C’s. Titletown. This section could also be titled "igniting jealous rage in other cities".

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