Homesick.. or just sick of Home?

img_3632

Is it sad that I have spent the past three
years, summers included at Boston College and in the Boston area?  I feel like I have grown up in New England and that I know each street, each restaurant and each bar as if I spent my whole childhood roaming around.  I noticed this the past weekend when I visited home in New York City.  59th street is where I grew up dancing and 29th and Park is where I resided my entire time before BC.  This weekend I headed home for a minimal surgery and Columbus Day to catch up with friends and local family.  I realized while I was home however how when trying to find local places to meet up and local eateries I only thought of Beacon Street and Newburry street and was forgetting about the iconic meatpacking district and 5th avenue.  I took it upon myself however to use the world-wide- web and try not to feel like such a stranger to my hometown.

img_3628

img_3630img_3631

Thank heavens for Yelp and Instagram during my stay back home.  Hate to admit it, but my entire stay home I used yelp to find local eateries and Instagram to search my previous found restaurants and see more personalized in depth pictures.  I wondered if I actually forgot my favorite spots or if I just forced myself to as I wanted to culture myself more in Boston. I mentioned this to my father last night as he sat there smiling and saying you do know there was a time we did not have these sites with reviews and recommendations.  I rolled my eyes even though I knew it was the truth.  Without these reviews, in-depth essays about service at restaurants, and detailed pictures on both social forms I would not have bias opinions on where to meet friends and where to go eat.  My dad informed me how he would go to the first spot on the corner and would enjoy every moment of it… is this making us miss out on potential hot-spots? Am I making the right decision by following advice of these apps?  Are their opinions bias?

 

These applications on my iPhone definitely spark numerous questions in me.  In a way I wish it was 1995 and I was just going to the local pizzeria on the corner, where I could judge the food by its actual taste.  Instead I am judging it and viewing it based off of what I see prior and read prior.  Oh it got 4/5 stars.. it must be good then. Oh they said they have good calamari?  Gotta check it out!!

How many places really are that appetizing and how many hidden gems are we missing out on?  Do social media and food mix well, and are we home-sick or really just sick of home?

10 comments

  1. emmaharney21 · ·

    Interesting post! I think your title engages the audience and made me want to read more. I thought your point was interesting about your point regarding missing out on randomly stumbling upon restaurants. I think what sites like Yelp allow us to do as consumers is find those random “hole in the walls” that you would never think to stop at. If anything I think the internet has allowed us to experience more of a cities attraction than we may have otherwise. Interesting points!

  2. kdphilippi18 · ·

    I was actually just thinking about this topic while I was traveling in Lisbon this past weekend. I used trip advisor and yelp to guide my restaurant choices and it definitely made it more difficult to find the smaller more “hole in the wall” restaurants because they mostly stirred me to the more touristy places. One restaurant I visited that had 4.5 stars and amazing reviews was only okay and another that I randomly decided to try while roaming the streets was great! While I love yelp and am an avid review junkie, I would agree that we do sometimes miss out on these smaller places. It would be interesting to know the restaurant penetration of yelp and trip advisor – are there reviews for most restaurants out there? If so, I wonder the percentage of people that won’t try places because of a low rating? Great post!

  3. daniellep2153 · ·

    I had a very similar experience once I moved to Boston. I’ve found over the past 5 years, I have become more of a Bostonian and less of a Jersey girl. I also use apps like Yelp, even when in Boston, to help me find the best places to eat in the city. If a restaurant doesn’t have a spot on these apps, I’ll usually skip it and simply move to a place that does. More recently, I have also become too dependent on the ratings given by other people. Although I will continue to go to restaurants based partially on the number of stars, I will also try and keep in mind that these reviews are biased and that I may have different tastes than those rating these apps. Great Post!

  4. I definitely use Yelp all the time to check out different restaurants and pick which one to go to. It’s interesting to think about who the people are who actually review the places, though. We probably don’t know that many people ourselves who actually go on Yelp and leave reviews, yet they’re the ones who make the whole thing valuable. A good chunk of reviews are probably people who either really love and really hate a place, and review it because of that (which sometimes makes me question the validity of the ratings) along with a handful of people who just like to review places. It’s also interesting to think about Yelp after the guest speaker we had who talked about the lawsuit between the laundromat and Yelp, and who should be held accountable for any fake reviews.

  5. adamsmea89 · ·

    This is definitely an interesting question to think about! I do agree with you, sometimes I wish that we didn’t have to look everything up online and every detail about it before we go and do it. Whether its a restaurant, a movie, a bar, a band etc. it would be a nice change of pace to just go somewhere without knowing what every meal tastes and looks like ahead of time. For me, even more than yelp, I can’t imagine a world without GPS. I would not be able to get anywhere with an old fashion map, so I do think technology takes the place of knowledge in a lot of cases.

  6. alinacasari · ·

    Interesting blog post!! Definitely brings up a lot to consider. I frequently use Yelp in Boston or at home to find places to eat because I like to see the different features that Yelp allows you to search by. It’s convenient to me to put in price ranges or food types so that I can get exactly what I want. However, I completely agree that sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on some more local, hole in the wall type of places because they are too small to have so many reviews. One of my favorite places at home has maybe 10 seats, so it probably would never pop up on restaurant lists on Yelp when someone searches in the area. It seems like we need a better way for smaller restaurants to not be overshadowed by more populated ones with more reviews. Really cool post!

  7. Nice post. When people visit from out of town and ask for restaurant recommendations, I find myself just turning to Yelp/Tripadvisor. Of course, a colleague picked a restaurant for us a few weeks ago. It got good (but not great) rankings on Tripadvisor, but was (honestly) one of my best meals ever in Boston. It was definitely quirky, which could have accounted for some of the low ratings, but it was MY kind of quirky.

  8. katieInc_ · ·

    Great post! I completely agree with feeling more like a local in Boston than in our actual home towns. Every time I fly back home to Wisconsin, new restaurants and bars have popped up in Milwaukee, and I feel like I have to peruse different Milwaukee Instagram accounts and skim Yelp for the latest places to visit. How inauthentic! It does make me wish for the “old times” of somehow instinctually knowing what local coffee shop to visit to catch up with an old friend or which new tapas bar is actually good. Sadly, I think as we continue on into life after BC and begin exploring other new cities (or remain in Boston) review apps like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and even Instagram will remain integral to driving in store traffic.

  9. So I have the opposite problem with the same solution. In my time at BC I have spent far too much time at school and on campus. I have barely gone out of further than Cleveland Circle on any kind of regular basis. My home area I know very well and am always trying to get out and about. There is something about BC students and our homelike campus that sticks many of our feet to the ground. I intend to start using these apps like Yelp to explore Boston some more in my last year. I’m afraid of leaving Boston without really ever being there.

  10. Aditya Murali · ·

    Great post! I have thought a lot about this, and about how many quality mom and pop restaurants have gone out of business purely because they didn’t develop a big enough following, and didn’t have a good enough culture of people creating reviews on apps like Yelp. As your dad mentioned, he said that he went around the corner to get food; I feel like back then, a restaurant just had to be differentiated within its geographical area, because people who lived in this area would just go to the restaurants closer to them. But now, with apps like Yelp, people are probably more willing to go a farther distance to go to a restaurant with a better review, which makes life a lot harder for restaurants trying to make a name for themselves.

%d bloggers like this: