North Shore Guidebook

The Real Steve's North Shore Guidebook is an art project and somewhat-satirical guide to my home turf on the north shore of Boston. Inspired by the recognition that we often lend faraway destinations an air of prestige that we withhold from our own neighborhoods, and modeled after a certain American tour guide with similar initials, the Real Steve's North Shore Guidebook aims to allow the reader to experience the north shore afresh and illuminate its quirks and character.

Please note that this guidebook reflects a snapshot of the north shore circa summer 2019.

North Shore Guidebook cover North Shore Guidebook preface North Shore Guidebook explore spread North Shore Guidebook eat spread North Shore Guidebook shop spread North Shore Guidebook beaches spread

In the interest of kindness to the entities featured and to preserve the project's original format, I've refrained from extracting the text from the images above, but the preface reads:

Stone Collections

I was taking a stretch break in the middle of nowhere—halfway up the east fjords of Iceland—when I watched a tour bus disembark two dozen passengers in front of a small cottage bearing a sign for “Petra’s Stone Collection.”

We travel long distances to witness the wonders of the world, and while the world is certainly filled with wonders, we sometimes lend faraway sites an air of prestige that we withhold from the attractions in our own backyards. Would Stonehenge have the same draw if it stood in the center of Blackburn Circle?

This guide is an opportunity to experience the North Shore afresh, “laughing all along the way at the travelers who have seen Rome and Paris.” If you find yourself laughing instead at any of the North Shore destinations, just remember that on the South Shore, over a million people are disappointed by Plymouth Rock each year.

—Steve