Train Spotting: Allston Christmas on Harvard Avenue

These two guys are like any others just trying to survive move-in weekend in Allston.
These two guys are like any others just trying to survive move-in weekend in Allston.

While typical of any college town, the early September game of musical apartments escalates into a wholesale war of attrition among Allston’s population of students and stunted adults each year.

Traffic becomes unbearable. Drivers with mattresses tied to the roofs of their vans scream bloody murder at each other. You can’t walk down Harvard Avenue without catching scabies from a tattered futon someone tossed on the curb.

However, those with the fortitude to peruse the sidewalks on Allston Christmas can discover discarded goodies that aren’t infested with scabies, or any parasites at all. For some insight into the mass exodus from and disembarkment into Rock City, we talked to these two random dudes on a Pratt Street lawn during the height of the mania.

Get anything good for Allston Christmas this year?

Sean Mason: I got some books out of the f—ing dumpster. Couple of history books.

Andrew Gallagher: One about the Cold War…. and one about Margaret Thatcher?

SM: I did not take that one.

AG: There was one about weed.

Everyone prefers weed to Margaret Thatcher.

AG: Margaret Thatcher…what did she hate? Poor people and acid house?

Are you guys moving out or moving in?

SM: Moving out, if the movers ever come. He’s been stuck here waiting for almost five hours.

AG: I’m in hell.

Are you getting the f— out of Allston?

AG: I’m getting the f— out of this specific neighborhood, but I’m staying the f— in Allston. It’s, like, an eight-person house here. It’s like a squat. I need to leave.

What are the best parts of living with seven people?

SM: It’s rough. You’ve got to learn how to get along.

AG: Honestly, this is the first time I’ve asked myself that question. There’s the rent. That’s about it. In terms of the social aspects? Nah. It’s terrible. My inner dialogue is so f—ed up. I’m like a schizophrenic.

SM: Your consciousness has seething ideas of anger just spewing from you. The hate that swells in you after however many years!

Got any funny stories about bed bugs or other parasites?

SM: None that are funny. Christ almighty.

What about terrifying?

AG: There was some roommate who lied about his room being infested with bed bugs. He was like, “I don’t have f—ing bed bugs,” while constantly scratching himself and s—.

Why are so many drivers telling each other to go f— themselves today?

SM: Because there’s too much f—ing traffic, that’s why. There are too many movers, too many tourists and too many new people in the city. Everybody hates everybody right now. In some respect, that makes sense. At the same time, everybody should just pull out some cannabis and calm down.


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