It is a peculiar, beloved symbol. It’s an old friend for anyone who follows baseball. It’s a landmark to everyone who lives in or around Boston.
You can see it from miles away and follow it to the park.
Visitors recognize it no matter where they come from. Yet it’s nothing more than a giant neon advertisement for a gasoline product you can’t actually find in the area anymore.
The product may have left town, but no one is moving the giant Citgo sign over Fenway Park.It has been an important — dare I say iconic and bizarrely beloved — part of the Boston skyline since 1940.
It is held in particularly high regard by Boston sports fans. Red Sox sluggers are enticed by the so-called “C-IT-GO” sign as they blast home runs over the left-field wall. Runners in the Boston Marathon welcome its sight as the 20th mile marker. Its pulsing flash in the night sky has been used by mothers-to-be at nearby Beth Israel to time contractions.
It is an important piece of navigating the twisting roads of Boston. When you see the Citgo sign, you know you’ve found Kenmore Square. And Fenway Park. As soon as it comes into view, you are no longer lost. If you are on any of the high points of land looking towards midtown, you can see it, that bright red triangle.
Kenmore is a particularly Byzantine area of the city, so while you may see Fenway Park, actually getting to it can be surprisingly tricky. But no problem, really … if you just follow the giant red and white sign.
They tried to take it down some years back. Bostonians and baseball fans erupted in protest. What in any other city might be an eyesore is a beloved symbol in Boston. Maybe you just have to live here to get it.
If, perchance, you’re on your way to see the Red Sox, you’re home.