Really, Greater Boston is a wonderful place to live.
I know that there's been plenty of heated debate on this board about great places to live in the USA. There are arguments for New York City's hustle and bustle, California's beauty, and so on. But, by and large, the best place in the country really is Greater Boston. The attributes:
1. It's a bastion of liberalism and open-mindedness. Gay marriage is legal.
2. Education is a priority. It's home to some of the world's finest universities, including Harvard and MIT.
3. Health care is exceptional. It's home to some of the top hospitals in the world, including Dana Farber and Children's Hospital.
4. It's gorgeous: Splendid architecture, located right on the Atlantic ocean, only miles from lovely beaches in the summer and beautiful mountains for skiing.
5. The suburban areas have warmth and character. Beyond the cities of Cambridge and Boston are lovely towns with old-fashioned squares, family-owned shops, and rich history: Concord, Lexington, and so forth.
6. It's a tech leader: Kendall Square is home to more innovative businesses and start-ups than anywhere besides the Silicon Valley.
7. Culture and the arts are priorities: Boston is home to the Ballet, the Symphony, the Opera, and countless large and small theaters. There is a thriving arts scene. No, it is not as large as New York's by any stretch, but it's of equal quality.
8. Exceptional museums, including the Museum of Fine Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum -- a truly unique gem.
9. The food scene is diverse. Boston is home to renowned chefs including Ming Tsai and Barbara Lynch, but it's also hospitable to outsiders. There is a thriving Chinatown, a close-knit Italian community, and numerous other ethnic enclaves with small, family-run restaurants. It's possible to eat very well here. Plus, the seafood!
10. It's just two hours away from marvelous retreats like the Berkshires, which offers Tanglewood, Williamstown theater, and Jacob's Pillow; the luscious beaches of Cape Cod and Maine; and breathtaking skiing venues in the Northern Kingdom.
Yes, there are drawbacks: People can be aloof, though it's really just Yankee reserve. It isn't NY or LA -- it is smaller, this is true. The fashion scene could use major work. And the cost of living is exorbitant (though there's a reason the cost is so high ... it's worth it). Overall, though, I'm hard-pressed to think of another place in the country that's as open-minded, educated, culturally rich, and beautiful as Greater Boston and New England.
Oh, and how could I forget? Sports team loyalty unlike anywhere else.
Wonderful place, but it's very cold and very expensive.
I refuse to live anywhere that has snow or humidity. Boston has both.
R4 where in this country can you live without snow or humidity?
Boston is full of racist lowlifes. And doesn't Erstwhile Daniel Bexton live in Boston? That's enough to keep me away from there.
Anywhere in the desert southwest, or along the California coast. (And by humidity, I don't mean fog, but heat and humidity.)
who is daniel bexton
Well, smell you OP!
OP? People like you are one of the (many) reasons I hate New England. Just like people who know they suck, so they have a need to constantly brag about their achievements, people like you know their NE town sucks, so they have to insist that everybody needs to love it.
I hate New England, and I can come up with many more annoying/disturbing characteristics than you can selling points.
Besides, it's motherfucking COLD there.
Thanks for this. i have an opportunity to move up there and have visited a lot but still it leaves me cold (not just the weather). Good points, but those boxy wood frame 3 story apartment houses in the more affordable areas are to me about the bleakest looking architecture in America. I really want to love it, but something just doesn't sit right. And I hate sports team talk.
r11=prefers the early bird special at denny's, and swamps.
Good points, OP. I can see it being worthwhile. I've lived in NYC and SF and could see Boston with the right opportunity.
OP is in the final stage of valiant rationalization before he caves to his innermost longing and moves to NYC.
Ya gotta love it here! we got class AND loads of cultcha!
Angelo from Woosta aka Wormtown
R16 Wicked good!
We love it!
I agree with OP. I moved here 14 years ago and still love it.
I'm from Boston and I think the OP covered a lot of what makes my hometown great.
I still spend time there in the Summer but when I'm there in the Winter it just about kills me now. I think California thinned my blood.
There's a city about 45 miles south of Boston that has many of the same features.
What is northborough like?
its not heaven to those seeking the most sophisticated and glamorous lifestyle possible, but it is an awesome place to live for real people. I would challenge any of the red staters currently losing their mind about liberal government to spend some time in Boston before saying its all that terrible.
It might be OK now, but what was it like when Mittens was the governor?
It's also extremely corrupt in a certain suburb I won't name. As bad as any hick town in the south, if not worse. Certain people get VIP treatment from the government. I'll leave it at that for now. California is another area where this occurs, particularly within 50-60 miles of Hollywood (not LA or Boston themselves).
As for Boston, the transit system sucks, it's overpriced, the food is lousy, the nightlife is a joke, and it's exceptionally racist. Like New York without the "New York."
Don't even get me started on duckpin bowling.
It can't be anything special. None of the Theroux clan or Bill Bryson has ever written about it.
why not name the town r26?
way too cold in the winter. I grew up in NH and spent 6 years in Boston before leaving for NYC.
while in Boston I took my first visit to California and to me it was magical, and in '88 I moved to San Francisco for the first time. on my third stint in SF and plan to stay
I'm spoiled because I grew up in the SF Bay Area, which has pretty good weather. Then I moved to DC for nine years and couldn't deal with the summers OR the winters (yes, I'm a weather wimp.) Now I'm in SoCal, which is nice, but it's too hot in the summer where I am.
r22 Northborough is nice and middle class. Pretty town center, decent schools good access to the Pike, 290 and 495 so you can get into Boston.
Five mins from the Solomon Pond Mall, 15 mins from the Natick Mall and they just opened a huge Wegmans on the edge of town.
I found it to be very small, very provincial with a real lack of sense of fun.
Initially I thought it was very nice but it soon wore off.
Also, the people are rude and unfriendly.
Universities and hospitals don't turn me on.
It's near to some nice places. That's the best I can say
yes R26 what is the suburb? sounds like most of them.
[R11] nails it. Boston sucks. It's a big town masquerading as a city. Yeah sure it looks nice, but so does fruitcake--then you bite into it.
It is also terribly racist. And Cambridge is a big joke.
People from here bag about it so much and extol its supposed "virtues" because they're too limited in scope by being from inbred Boston to appreciate better, bigger, worldlier, more inviting and interesting cities.
Thank God I'm in my last year of grad school here. Four years of this hole has been more than enough!
Haha, sorry, I meant brag, not bag.
so r34 where are you headed?
r32 gets it for the win. Plus its COLD. That's all.
Lighten up, R36, you're wrong and you don't have to be such a dick about it. I'm from Boston and I've lived in some great American and European cities (and one Canadian city).
Boston's a great town.
I never found it to be particularly racist.... How do you mean?
[R34] here. Haha...good question, [R37]. I will be going on the job market next year. Praying there's a job at a university in NY or some other city I can deal with! But one can only hope. With my luck I'll get a job at Tufts or MIT or BU...and be stuck in Boston!
[quote]I never found it to be particularly racist.... How do you mean?
This is what he means.
Wow, [R42]/[R43]. I saw those Forman pics in a class a few years ago. Didn't expect to open your link and see them! Had forgotten how powerful they were.
r36, I lived in Boston for 8 years but didn't like it. My partner and I moved to Portland, Oregon and have been here about 22 years. We love it.
Yes it does rain a lot.
and Boston is more racist than other places in the country? lmfao. Get real. It's no worse than NY or LA.
and LOL @ the NY stanning queens or the wimpy weather bitches from Florida or Cali hating on Boston. I'm from Boston. It has its pros and cons obviously, as every city does. It's a smaller version of NYC. NYers and transplants like to proclaim NYC is the best in the world, and they trash every other city they're "forced" to live in. They're never happy anywhere else because of their own insecurities. Florida and Cali both have so many problems and the people in those places are largely weirdos.
I don't enjoy when we get extreme winters here, but it's part of the area. The food is great here, and many chefs and critics from all over rave about it. Not too bad for a smaller big city.
Please, R46. Boston may have its special charms, but in no way is it a "smaller version of NYC."
how does the collapsing fire escape photo prove racism? I don't understand.
Overpriced, shit weather, your vote doesn't count for anything, the single worst city to drive in in the entire country, and you're surrounded 24/7 by rich privileged suburban white kids who will be the masters of your universe from New York and Washington in 30 years.
There are some good things about the city but I thought I'd add some balance to the OP's BJ.
Yes the driving skills of Massachusetts drivers are world renowned! Nothing more pleasant than going 10 miles in two hrs on the Mass Pike, surrounded by some of the most sharp, proficient, polite and generous drivers in the USA.
I've supported the OP's Boston BJ in this thread but I have to chime in on the racism.
I was born and raised there, I've lived all over and I haven't encountered a more racist city than my hometown. I guess I've seen some in America that just about equal it but nowhere surpasses it.
My views may be influenced by having witnessed the busing riots but it's more than that. There's a line in Stevie Wonder's Living for the City - 'Cause where he lives, they don't use colored people.' Boston is like that. Depending on what circles you socialize in, your only contact with people of color is waiters. Even then, some upscale places won't use them.
I love my hometown but it is fucking racist.
Agree with R51. A refugee from Medford (Meffa) here. Medford was the most racist place I've ever been--and I now live in the South. If you listened to Prince, or Irene Cara or Janet Jackson or Michael Jackson or any other artist of color, you were listening to "black music"--and that term was meant as a put-down not as a synonym for R&B. My neighborhood was 100% white. My high school class had less than a dozen African-American students in it--I know because I was called a n***er lover for befriending them. My father, a public official, would say things that would make me cringe, such as saying, "He's a nice guy. He's black but he's not a bad guy." And if you were gay? Consider yourself a child molestor, because that's what the good people of Medford, Mass thought a gay person was. Left when I turned 18 and have never gone back. Maybe it's changed over the past few decades but the city I remember? Racist, homophobic blue-collared dumb-assed drunks. Hardly cultured, intelligent, or sophisticated.
For the people talking about how racist and homophobic the Boston area is, are you talking about the past? lol I mean if you haven't lived here in over 20 years it makes no sense to comment about that. Also, you can find people with personal anecdotes of discrimation from anywhere.
Yeah As someone who just left Boston after living there for 10 years I did not find it racist at all. Maybe things were different in the 70s, but the busing riots happened nearly 40 years ago.
Well, R53, I'm in my fifties. I spent the first 26 years of my life in Boston. Since then, although I have lived in many other places, I have maintained a second residence in MA and spend a decent amount of time there every year.
It isn't anecdotal, it isn't incidental, racism is deeply ingrained in the cultural and social life of the city. If you think Boston isn't racist, you're not paying attention.
Maybe you went there to go to school and don't actually know.
lmao Louise is from the 60s and 70s exactly my point. You're clearly stuck in the past. I'm not saying no one is racist in Boston, as EVERY place in the world has its share of racists, but if you're gonna say Boston is more racist than other parts of the country, that's just a joke. I have lived in the south, NYC and California too so I know.
I was born and grew up in Boston, but I've been living in San Diego for 30 years. I like San Diego--it's a great city, but Boston is still my one and only hometown. I go back twice a year.
My dear R56, I never said Boston was *more* racist than other parts of the country. I said that no other city was *more* racist than Boston although some were arguably *as* racist as Boston. I stand by that evaluation.
Among the places I have lived are NY, TX, several CA cities, two European cities and one Canadian city. At the moment I'm in Santa Barbara. I have always maintained a second residence in MA and spend several months a year there. Every year.
You may think you know Boston but you do not. At least you don't know Boston the way a native Bostonian does. You're probably an out of state student, a transient or a transplant.
Naturally, you are welcome to believe any boneheaded thing you wish. If you are going to continue arguing this matter (a course of action I do not endorse), please try to actually read the posts to which you are attempting to respond.
I grew up in lily white Metrowest Boston and unfortunately have to agree with some of the comments about racism in the area. In the past it was unpleasant at times.
There’s been a lot of change however in recent years with the huge influx of well educated, highly paid immigrants who’ve settled in the suburbs, mostly from India and Asia who work in academia and medicine. The wealthiest areas of my suburban hometown are now owned by engineers doctors and researchers from India, Pakistan and China. Their kids make up the upper tiers of graduates at my former high school. It’s a huge sea change and one that’s been difficult for a lot of the original “locals” who’ve lived there for decades and never thought they’d be sharing local space with people of color or different ethnicity.
So things are changing albeit slowly.
[quote]Florida and Cali both have so many problems and the people in those places are largely weirdos.
Wow. Generalize much?
R58 I have to jump in here. First of all, bringing up that old cunt Louise Day Hicks is absurd because she is dead and is from another era. Her actions were in the 60s and 70s. It's natural you would find older people in any big city who are racist. There are also plenty of people here aren't. You can find racism, both subtle and blatant, in any big city in the world. I come from the south and there is NO way you can tell me Boston is equally as racist as where I am from. Segregated proms in Georgia? hello. You're clearly out of touch with the younger generation in Boston.
Please leave us out of this discussion. We don't care what any other city thinks of us. TIA!
I don't understand how anyone can say that Boston is cold or gets too much snow. They get well less than four feet of snow per year and almost none of it is in November or May. The individual snowfalls tend to be quite light, rarely over five inches. Frequently it even melts, rather than sticking around until May as it would in a normal climate, since even in the winter months the daily highs are almost always above freezing. It almost never gets down 0 degrees (fahrenheit). Also the winter days are amazingly long and sunny, rather than being six hours long and overcast.
The real weather problem with Boston is that it is too hot in the summer. However that's what Cape Cod was invented for.
Of course it could be that my standards are atypical since I grew up in Alaska....
R63 the queenery from the Calis and Floris knows no bounds. They knew they couldn't talk about the people (those 2 states have the most crazies and idiots) so they complained about the weather...silly huh?
I have named the town, to the MA attorney general, and the FBI.
I don't believe in Trial by Datalounge.
This is BIG.
How did the Big Dig work out? Did the traffic improve?
[quote] 'The cost of the Big Dig, including interest on borrowing, has mushroomed to nearly $24.3 billion'
We ain't freakin' racist here!
Is the town Lawrence, r65?
Grew up in the Greater Boston Area during the busing but wasn't unduly affected by it.
The Busing Crisis was the biggest dumbest cluster fuck acted on by liberal officials in this country, and I'm a lifelong liberal saying this. Ridiculous example of destroying peace within a city for no god damn good reason. You take two of the most depressed areas, with the two worst schools, one a 100% white and another 90% black and you swap out the students. They didn't invest in making either school better, they just swapped out the students. Communities who were used to seeing their kids walk to school and back watched their kids go off in buses. Both communities responded with violence.
In South Boston it resulted in a huge dropout rate and many drop outs drifted into organized crime. Whitey Bulger profited from the busing crisis, but not so much the actual students it was supposed to help.
The Marlborough Street fire from those photos was an arson case and inadvertently I ended up working for the man who owned the building and ordered the arson. He was a Greek descent lawyer who wanted to renovate the building for profit and decided to burn out the remaining tenants. He served a couple of years at Deer Island and then went right back to work as a lawyer. It took me 6 months to extricate myself from that job after I found out who he was.
I have lived in the Boston area for a long time.
There are many good qualities, as the OP points out, but the city has become much too elitist: way too expensive for what it offers (this isn't NYC after all). Before it got too expensive, this really was a great place to live.
As for racial unrest, I don't think it's worse than other places. Philadelphia has worse racial tension than Boston.
One thing I HATE about Boston is the over-the-top devotion to team sports. I find sports stultifying myself. I don't care if someone likes baseball and football. But the near-religious importance people place on these games is utterly absurd imho.
r69 busing is also huge waste of money; the mayor is trying to get rid of it. I think it eats up 10% of the total school budget. It wasn't just poor areas, it was city-wide.
It doesn't have to do with racial disparities much anymore, as white people have basically opted out of the system. So now it's brown people getting bussed great distances to go to school with other brown people. So there's no longer even a pretense of trying to have a level playing field for black and white students.
It was a stupid experiment that helped nobody and achieved zero in terms of racial justice.
R70 I agree about the sports craziness but it's not just the locals; the amount of colleges we have here contributes to that lol
It is wonderful to live there because most of its housing stock predates World War II, when they made stuff to last. A neighborhood in Boston can go to crackheads and be abandoned and still return to life in a couple months. Abandon a neighborhood built last year in Phoenix and Las Vegas for six months and all the homes will be permanently uninhabitable.
What about Newport, RI? I've always thought it would be a great place to live. It's only an hour from Boston and close to the Cape.
spent some time in Boston. Great city but can get boring.
spent some time in DC. Great city but can get boring.
Only difference is DC has much better weather, better architecture, and is the seat of world power.
but boston's food....yum
Who in god's name would stay in Boston for the FOOD???
You people are freaks.
[quote] I never said Boston was *more* racist than other parts of the country. I said that no other city was *more* racist than Boston...
Are there lots of hung, older topmen in Boston?
There's a reason metro Boston only gained 200,000 people from 2000 to 2010. People are clambering to get out of that hell hole to a place more affordable with better weather.
I'm from Swampscott, MA. right outside of Boston. It's a great place to live, and grow up.
I live in NYC. Massachusetts is my favorite state, and Boston is a great city. While I'm happy to be here now, I could see myself in and around Boston at some point. Love it there.
[quote]so they complained about the weather...silly huh?
Uh, Boston's great and no insult to her people, but the fact that it's fucking freezing for most of the year and starts to get dark out at about 3:30 in the winter doesn't count for nothing.
And the accents... Ouch!
Like a lot of places, it's a great place to be wealthy, but the working class neighborhoods/towns of New England are hellish in their own special, awful way.
are there any DLers who lived in the Fort Hill area in the 60s? There were a lot of communes up there, including the Lyman Family, cult-y disciples of Mel Lyman. There was also a gay commune of sorts called Fort Hill Faggots for Freedom.
Those pictures that R42 and R43 posted are from the 1970's. South Boston which was mainly Irish Catholic Racist Homophobic is now 14% Hispanic, 3% African American, 4% Asian and many gays now live there. In the 1970's, it was probably 99.5% white.
They voted for Obama and Elizabeth Warren.
watching boston's finest. some scary areas of Boston.