Originally published in Baratunde’s bi-weekly GOODCRIMETHINK column in the August 29, 2007 edition of Boston’s Weekly Dig

Dear Boston,

This is the hardest (and first) letter I've ever had to write to you. I'd like to think I could tell you anything by now. I'd like to believe that you'd listen, but I know better because I know you. We all have our own coping mechanisms. You've got a wicked temper, and when you get angry, you tend to drink heavily and burn cars and finance unstable infrastructure projects.

For that reason, you might want to sit down. I've got something to tell you, and you may not like it. Here goes: For the past few years, I've been seeing other cities.

At the time, I told you they were just business trips, and at first they were: a festival in Austin, a comedy gig in Chicago. Still, things have gotten serious with one of them. We stay up late all the time, sometimes just talking about my dreams. She gives me more comedy and writing opportunities. She says I'm not really living unless I spend every day under threat of a dirty bomb explosion.

I'm moving in with New York.

Don't try to change my mind. My bags are packed, I have a place to stay and I've already changed my network on Facebook. Before you go canceling another round of elections, I should make it clear that I have no intention of supporting the Yankees. I didn't care about baseball in Boston, and I damn sure won't start in New York. My rule has always been, if it makes bitter Bostonians happy, I'm for it. So, go Sox!

Boston, we've been together for a long time-12 years. We never talked about our "future" or raising a family, but I know you assumed we were headed there. You've got to understand, though, that a person gets tired of going to bed in the same town night after night, year after year. It's not you, it's me.

However, this doesn't have to be a goodbye letter. I refuse to simply throw away all that we've built together. I'll visit you often, and I'll stalk you online at Universal Hub and the Dig's new 'website. I'll continue to recommend you to drunk high school students who are looking forward to becoming drunk college students.

And of course, if you'll let me, I'll continue to write for the Dig.

The timing of my announcement is probably rough for you, falling just before the annual Running of the Rental Trucks from August 31 to September 1, but you'll do just fine without me.

My one unrealized Boston dream was to be present when some government inspector finally shut down the U-Haul in Central Square, where the employees' idea of customer service is to lift a ringing phone six inches and slam it right back down on the receiver. I know New York can be a brutal bitch, but I've still never seen something as cold as what goes down in that dream-crusher of a retail operation at 844 Main Street.

Oh, and tell Somerville: Nice job on giving me a parking ticket my last day in town. I get it. Ranting about peak oil while owning an SUV cannot go unpunished. Justice was served.