Ah, September First. Move-in Day across the City of Boston, also known as Allston Christmas (named for a neighborhood with a particularly high concentration of students) for all the free furniture , technology , bedbugs, and sometimes even victuals simply left on the curb by trust fund college kids who couldn’t be bothered to bring them (or who will have a parent’s credit line replace/upgrade them). As Boston’s population suddenly swells 50% over the course of a single weekend (while a high percentage of perennial residents also trade domiciles, since the majority of leases are based on a September 1st move-in), the local culture shifts towards something resembling the Thunderdome.

September First is also known as the Day of Storrowing, a verb created by a local news blog that has gained traction in the local vernacular over the years. The act of Storrowing refers to the collision of a large box truck against one of seven low-slung overpasses above Storrow Drive, committed by out-of-town drivers (usually students) moving into a local college campus who have failed to comprehend the multitudinous low clearance and No Truck warnings as well as ignoring the cacophony of clearance chains posted at every entrance to the parkway, and is now used to describe similar incidents at similar overpasses. Such a collision usually results in the top of the cargo box being sheared off, material loss (from both the vehicle and said student’s belongings), the involvement of various police agencies, a photo that makes it into the local news cycle, and the great embarrassment resulting therefrom. Despite the efforts of the several law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction in the city, there’s always at least one idiot and more often than not the Storrowing is conducted to spectacular effect. Storrowing is not necessarily limited to an action conducted on September 1st or the weekend preceding Labor Day, as throughout the year even professional drivers will wind up in costly predicaments.

This of course in conjunction with the increased rate of vehicular collisions in general, with hundreds if not thousands of foreigners attempting to simultaneously navigate the labyrinth that comprises the city’s roads.


As early as 2009 (to my knowledge) there has been an informal pool of locals wagering against brand of truck, time and place of impact, even the school the student is about to attend. I once won a small sum on two of the categories. There are also locals known to camp out at these overpasses, simply watching the world burn for the sake of entertainment.

This year’s first chronicled impact is an oddball, as while a box truck was damaged beyond the scope of its Collision Damage Waiver while in the act of transporting a student’s possessions to a new place of residence within the city, the act was not committed against an overpass, but a fire escape.


This, reportedly, is considered an act of gross negligence by the rental agencies, so that deposit is definitely gone.


Fortunately I’ve stayed put in the same apartment I’ve lived in since mid-college for over ten years now (and I’m local myself anyway) so I haven’t had to contribute to the madness for some time, although driving through the city on this weekend is still suuuuper annoying. Worse than being forced to drive through Sox traffic when the BU Bridge is closed...