We’re deep into our discussion of “sexy” architecture of Boston, but what about those buildings that are sexy because they are so… how shall we put this… freakishly strange?
To explain where the term “Sexy-Ugly” is from, let’s flash back to the 2001 flick, Kissing Jessica Stein.
Specifically, let’s recall the following chat between the two leads, as they discuss Jessica’s inability to find a man who matches her dream:
Jessica: If you’re lucky enough to find someone who’s the right kind of smart and the right kind of funny, usually they’re just… kinda…
Jessica: Ugly, exactly. Oh my God, is that awful?
Helen: No, not at all. Ugly doesn’t do it for you. That’s okay. See me, I’m kinda into ugly… But only if it’s Sexy-ugly.
Fabulous. You get it, right? “Sexy-ugly” is someone who is not conventionally beautiful in a Brad Pitt or Giselle kind of way, but there is something so striking about them that they are really hot anyway. There are googobs of Internet lists of which celebrities could be categorized as Sexy-ugly, but a few might include: Lyle Lovett, Lil Wayne, Jack Black, Steve Buscemi, and many more.
Understood? Great. Now let’s apply it to two buildings in Boston, both located right by South Station in the Financial District.
1. The Fiduciary Trust Building, also known (by me) as the “Fatty-bo-batty Building.”
The Fiduciary Trust Building by South Station has a giant hanging potbelly. The ponderous weight of its torso balances upon a tiny stick of a trunk, like a man who has chugged far too much beer in his life and never once exercised his little legs.
Bottom line: the Fiduciary Trust Building is sexy-ugly. You kind of want to keep ogling it, and you kind of want to shield your eyes. Either way, you’re moved.
2. The “Building with the hole in it,” also known as the Federal Reserve Bank Building.
This tall, sleek sweetie is Boston’s third tallest building, was completed in 1977… and features “a distinctive opening near ground level which allows sea breezes to pass through.” Um, thanks, Wikipedia, but you can just say, “Whoa: that building’s got a massive, freakish hole in it!” Sexy-ugly for sure.
Incidentally for any of you Providence, Rhode Island fans, the Federal Reserve Building looks eerily like Brown University’s Science Library (or, affectionately, “SciLi”) in which I frequently fell asleep on rough bright orange couches while “studying” during my undergraduate days.
And further completing the coincidence, the character Jessica Stein in the movie quoted above attended no other but Brown University! And that’s the kind of stretch text-to-world connection that only an English teacher can make.
So what’s YOUR take on the concept of Sexy-ugly? On these Sexy-ugly buildings of Boston? Comment away.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have visited this site over the decade. Lillie also runs Teaching Traveling Global Education Community and Drawings Of… Educational Cartoon Site. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow on social media with the links below!