Hello! Are you, by any chance, Triston Casas, Red Sox slugger, budding yogi, and problematic napper? Oh, you are? Wonderful! I’ve actually written this piece specifically for you and no one else. For anyone who is not Triston Casas, please go away — I’m sure Bryan’s written a fresh rant about the front office that you can take a look at and either enjoy or hate-read (oh, look at that, he has!)
Ok great, now it’s just you and me. So, Triston, we’ve noticed that you have a lot more personality than the typical cliche-spinning, attention-shy rookie. And we’ve also noticed that, not only are you not avoiding fame, but that you’re actively seeking it out to an extent. That’s great! Really. You’re probably going to have to deal with plenty of boomer takes about “not being focused on baseball” or whatever, but forget about that. As you yourself have stated, you are in the entertainment business, and the most beloved athletes tend to be those who learn to enjoy the spotlight.
In that regard, I’m here to help. You already know the first thing you need to do to become beloved in Boston: you need to hit, and just two nights ago, you hit your first homer off of a left-handed pitcher in a game setting in 656 days:
That’s great, let’s try to keep that up. But there’s an even higher level of Boston love that can’t be reached by athletic prowess alone. And while I have nothing to offer to help you spit on a slider just off the corner, I absolutely can help you in that department. Because here’s the thing: the secret to being truly loved by Boston fans, is to make us believe that you love us, too.
What I’m saying is: hang out with us, Triston. We’ll love you for what you do on the field, but it’s what you do around the city that will elevate that love to higher dimension of adulation.
People around here still talk about the fact that Larry Bird used to mow his own lawn in front of his modest Brookline ranch. Isaiah Thomas is a Boston legend not just because he was a short king playoff hero, but because he played pick-up games with kids on Cambridge playgrounds. There was Bill Lee, who reportedly wouldn’t even change out of his uniform before going for a drink at the old Eliot Lounge. There was Bill Walton, regularly taking the T from his home in Harvard Square to the Garden (he didn’t even mind having to transfer at Park Street!) And of course, there’s David Ortiz. It’s possible that no athlete in Boston’s history has ever done as good a job making us believe he liked us as Big Papi, who has seemingly posed for pictures with the owners of 76% of all restaurants inside 128.
So don’t cloister yourself off in some suburban McMansion out in Dover. Live with us here, in Boston. Eat with us, have a drink with us, get to know the city.
That’s where I can help. You’re a Miami kid who hasn’t even spent a month of your life in this extremely un-Miami place. So here’s a little guide to your new hometown. Learn to love it, Triston, and I promise you that it will love you back.
Where To Live
Union Square, Somerville
You’re young. You paint your fingernails. Your musical taste ranges from Taylor Swift to Gunna. You need to live in a place that still vibrates with the energy of youth. You’re a Union Square guy, Triston. Sure, it’s on the other side of the river from your place of work and traffic on Storrow can be hell, but with the new Green Line extension, you now have a one-seat ride to the ballpark. Get yourself a nice little condo on the slope of Prospect Hill, make yourself a regular at Aeronaut, and order momos from Himalayan Kitchen at least once a week. Welcome home.
Where To Party
La Fabrica, Central Square
We’ll just get this out of the way now: there are many, many things that Boston does better than your hometown of Miami — but nightlife is decidedly not one of them (unless you like Irish pubs that close at 1AM, in which case, swoon!). If you’re looking for a little taste of the fun you took for granted back home, head to Central Square. With legendary spots like the Middle East and the Cantab Lounge, it’s one of the better nightlife destinations in the city, but it’s La Fabrica that ties it all together. From 5-10PM, it’s a fun Latin fusion restaurant. But from 10-2AM it’s the type of pulsing Latin club that Boston, sadly, doesn’t have enough of. Don’t worry about not knowing anyone — if the aforementioned Big Papi is in town, there’s a good chance he’ll be spending the evening here, so that’s at least one friendly face you’ll know.
Where To Nap
Peters Hill, Arnold Arboretum
Napping on the floor of the clubhouse was, admittedly, not a great decision on your part. Fenway has a nap room, dude! Don’t make Rob Refsnyder climb over you to get to the Double Bubble.
Instead, get yourself one of those portable camping hammocks and trek up Peters Hill in the Arnold Arboretum. It’s a little more out of the way than the Esplanade or the Public Garden, but the view is phenomenal and the lighter crowds make for a better snoozing experience. If we get any freak April snowstorms, this should be your sledding destination, too.
Where To Do Yoga When You’re Actually Trying To Do Yoga
The Bandstand At Jamaica Pond
Within city limits, it’s really hard to find a more peaceful spot to get your yoga in than Jamaica Pond. Plus, it’s JP, so at any given moment there will be 6-7 moms spread out on yoga mats out there, all of whom would be willing to help you perfect your bakasana.
Where To Do Yoga When You’re Actually Trying To Get Someone To Notice You For Doing Yoga
Fiedler Dock, The Esplanade
Fiedler Dock, particularly during the post-work hours of 5-9PM, can sometimes feel more like a singles bar than a park. So if you’re actually trying to perfect your bakasana, maybe consider somewhere else. But if what you really want is for someone jogging by to see you, stop, and say “hey, nice bakasana. I’m Sophia, what’s your name?” then the Esplanade is your best bet. After you towel off, head to the Night Shift beer garden. All I ask is that I get an invite to you and Sophia’s forthcoming wedding.