Boston is a wonderful city full of culture, history and beauty. Yet Boston is also a very strange city, full of oxymorons and seeming ideological discrepancies. For example, Massachusetts was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage–a very liberal move–but, they have very strict drug and alcohol rules.
On my birthday a friend tried to order me a shot and the bartender gave her a knowing look and said he couldn’t give us shots, but he could give us “shooters.” As far as I can tell though, a shooter is a shot with ice and a straw and a slightly larger glass. I’m not sure what purpose this serves. The same amount of alcohol is included in the shooter as in the shot, but I guess the straw encourages slower drinking, so that could be the reason.
At first I thought I was crazy. How could such a blue state have such strict rules about alcohol? And sex? Now, I’m not an expert on the sex toy industry, but I’ve only seen one “adult” store in Boston. At home, where I went to school and other cities I passed many more. But then I read this passage in American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare the Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee about how the Minsky brothers got around prohibition and moralists during their burlesque shows:
“the following afternoon, Herbert installed red, white, and blue lights in the center of the footlights trough and wired them to the ticket booth, where he was stationed every night. If he saw a cop in uniform or suspected one had infiltrated the audience in disguise, he threw on the red light. At once the act downgraded into a tamer version of itself–a “Boston,” they called it, named after that city’s especially vigilant enforcers of decency.”
This crazy discrepancy that I experience today has a history! Who knew? I guess it makes sense, considering Massachusetts was initially settled by puritans.
I have no overwhelming or interesting comments to make on this observation, but it fascinates me as it’s a real life example of how our past, our history, affects us today.
Also, fun fact, Boston is nicknamed Beantown because the Puritans took Sunday as a day of rest to its most extreme, i.e. no cooking. So on Saturdays the Puritan women would cook up some beans for the next days cold meal.