Boston’s Most Liminal Spaces: An Abbreviated Guide

What is a liminal space? In essence, it is a place where one senses the barriers between the real and the unreal becoming thin. A transitional area where, at any moment, impossible things might occur. Defining what makes such a space is tricky, however; there is merely is a certain thingness to them, a je ne sais quoi which must be felt rather than expressed.

As one of North America’s oldest cities, Boston is lousy with such spaces. For those planning their next vacation or anyone simply wishing to know their city better, we present this helpful guide.

The Museum of Bad Art

The Museum of Bad Art has the benefit of being situated directly below affordable beer. A free gallery located in the basement of the Somerville Theatre , the MoBA is a showcase of mediocre art, curated for maximum surreality. Only accessible when drunkenly escaping a mediocre movie date, the museum features red velvet couches and usually at least some nudity. When you return to your seat 15 minutes later (if you return), you’ll wonder if it had all been a wonderful, unsettling dream.



The Fiduciary Trust Building

Seemingly designed to fill passersby with unease, the Fiduciary Trust Building is a looming monument to man’s hubris, not beholden to the normal laws of physics or good taste. Walking beneath its overhang is not advised. It….changes a person.


Buildings should not do that.

Any Ocean State Job Lot, but Especially the One in Lynn

The prevailing atmosphere of any Ocean State Job Lot is that one might imminently die. This is not a fault. Spread across much of New England, the franchise is most readily identified by its staunch commitment to disarray, innumerable cardboard boxes, wide selection of out-of-production cosmetics, and ever-present scent of chemical fertilizer. By virtue of being located in the City of Sin, the Job Lot’s Lynn location is among the most liminal. Make sure to bring a buddy for your visit, lest you round a display of ceramic frogs and slip through the veil in an instant.


Frog vibrators are the least of it.

The Porter Square Station Escalator 

The Porter Square escalator is the closest thing to purgatory most of us will ever experience. Located 105 feet below street level, the ride up can last anywhere between 2 minutes and eternity. Take care not to touch the fossilized gloves which dot the median; those who do so will be trapped between worlds and lost forever.


This photo helpfully named “deathstairs.jpg.”

Honorable Mentions: The entire B Line, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, all of Central Square, all of Copley Square, every Kappy’s location, the 66 bus, the Wendy’s at Downtown Crossing, and the Financial District, but only on Friday and Saturday nights after 11pm.






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