Although I grew up not far from Boston, I’ve not-so-secretly balked at what can feel like Boston’s insularity, blue law-stagnation, self-satisfaction, and borderline hostility. Even its roadmap is aggressive: I once faced a four-way stop in Southie in which all three streets read “Do Not Enter.” And when I wandered around Harvard Square one recent, lazy afternoon, I could locate every stop on the routine outing I’d take with my childhood friends nearly 20 years ago — down to the scruffy jewelry booth where one of my daring friends had surreptitiously gotten her ears pierced. Boston hasn’t changed since 1628, I thought, un-generously. I’ve often said that Manhattan, where I spent four years in my late 20s; D.C., where I attended college; and Providence, where I’ve lived for the past three years; have my heart. Those cities, it seemed, were more exciting, more of-the-times.