Boston, MA, USA

Mission Hill, Boston

may 20 // canon 5d // mission hill, boston 

There's a hill in Boston--a steep, sloping hill--a few miles from downtown. And squished on this hill, crowding the winding streets that criss-cross it, stand hundreds upon hundreds of tall, multi-family homes (triple deckers, if you will) . They stand on top of one another, their windows peering into each other, their back decks so close that you could toss a beer to your neighbor. Most of them are dilapidated, with strange lay-outs and quirky features (clawfoot tubs, bay windows, hardwood floors, long hallways) --but their also very, very expensive, and almost entirely inhabited by students and kids in their 20's. 

Welcome to Mission Hill. 

I never got to live there, but I had the chance to visit, saw my fair share of apartments, met people of all walks of life at all hours of the day. I tiptoed in and out of people's lives, peering at their posters and sometimes sleeping on their couches and photographing their homes when they're not looking. And while it wasn't the same as a life in the city, it was as close as I could come, and therefore good enough. 

There's something about the air--a smell, or a feel, I'm not sure--in the city during springtime that I miss. I don't know what it is, but when it's sunny, and you're out of school, walking up the hill past dozens of other students--carefree Friday feels, bags from the liquor store in their hands, everyone so happy to be done for the week--it's contagious. My friends and I walked up, and up, and up in the late-spring sunshine to a third floor apartment with golden light and great views from the teensy-tiny deck, and ate cheese puffs on their absent roommate's bed before a party in JP. 

On one hand, it wasn't anything special--but at the same time, it very much was, a rare moment without responsibilities or future-related anxiety before everything gets real and decidedly grown-up. It's nice to feel 22, you know? And there's really no better place to do that than in a cramped, old, falling-apart apartment on a hill in Boston, I think. 

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