A few years ago when I went to Boston to visit one of my oldest and craziest (and best) college friends, I came off the plane wearing my usual traveling headgear – a Yankees ball cap. My friend, knowing that I’m not a rabid fan, just a lifetime resident of New York State, raised an eyebrow and said, “I’m not so sure about that.”
I shrugged and said, “It’s just a hat. Who cares?”
The next morning as we walked her dog, a guy actually stopped cold to stare at me over the roof of his car. Point taken. We went out later that day so I could buy a Red Sox cap.
Full Disclosure: I don’t stray far from the house while wearing my unmistakable “B” emblazoned cap. Around my hometown, it is not uncommon to see a Hummer roll by with a decal of Calvin whizzing on two little red socks. Case in point: I once wore my Yankees cap while wearing a Boston hoodie (just the word ‘Boston’, not Red Sox!), and a mouthy guy yelled at me that I was cross dressing. Nice.
Now, I just don’t endorse sports rivalries (as if we need more division), and personally think that the whole Yankees-Red Sox rabid-fan-thing can get tiresome. Both teams are legends. And I love that both cities have rich history, singular energy, and incomparable people. I suppose such deeply ingrained identities can fuel a long rivalry, the Curse of the Bambino notwithstanding.
In reality, I’m not so sure that any two other iconic world cities could be closer together in history and sensibility. Boston roots are deep and tenacious, as are New York roots.