Thursday, March 03, 2011

the REAL pros and cons of living in Boston

It has come to my attention that there is a lot of traffic to this blog from the google search "pros and cons of living in Boston," which leads people to this post, which is, sad to say, mostly about how I like to wear slippers.  For some reason, that post is like the 5th result of the above google search, which is probably due to some crazy math algorithms I don't understand.  I am actually amazed I spelled algorithm right on the first try.

I feel sorry for those people, so here is an ACTUAL post about the pros and cons of living in Boston.  Bear in mind that is coming from a native's perspective.

Things I love about Boston
1. Small in size.  In Boston, if I am lost (which has happened often), and I find a street I recognize, I can turn down it, and it won't take too long to get somewhere helpful.  I tried that technique once in Chicago and ended up an hour away on the opposite side of the city.

2. Dunkin Donuts everywhere.  Mmmmm, iced coffee.

3. Public transportation is relatively cheap

4. You can get away from the city without too much hassle. The ocean is easily accessible, as are trees and other such outdoor prettiness

5. Something for everyone. Sports if you're into that.  Culture (museums, musicals, symphony, universities, live music, libraries) if you're into that.  History, if you're into that.  Progressive politics, if you're into that.

6. Seasons.  I lived in New Jersey for two years, and I actually was sad about the mild winters (and rolled my eyes the time school was cancelled for two inches of snow).  I like that as soon as you're getting tired of one season, the next one is creeping in.

7. "I got her numbah -- how do you like them apples?"

Things I'm not as excited about:
1. People do drive kinda crazily. I'll admit it.

2. Things close down early.  The T stops between midnight and one, bars/clubs between one and two.  You're hard pressed to find something open 24 hours that's not a Dunkin Donuts (not a bad thing, see above).  However, this does not bother me as much now as it did when I was younger.  Now I'm like, "Oh, it's closing!  Guess I have no choice but to go home and snuggle under my covers!"

3. We still have work to do: For all of our progressive politics, there is still a lot of segregation and division in the city.  Between races, Boston natives and people who come for work/school, and especially between economic classes.  You can get on a subway car at one end of the city and ride it into another and see the demographics change entirely.

4. Stuff's expensive.  I don't really have a lot to compare this to, because I've only ever lived in cities, but my friends who live in smaller towns are always like, "My rent is $20!" Not the case in the Bean.

5. It's REALLY hard to give directions. Boston streets are NOT on a grid system. One time a guy pulled over in Hyde Park (where I live) and asked me how to get to the Prudential (the absurdity of this will make more sense to people familiar with Boston).  In my head I was thinking, "Park and take the Orange Line." (I am torn about whether or not this is really a con: see below)

Things people say about Boston that I beg to differ with:
1. "People are unfriendly!"  We're not unfriendly, we're just cautious.  Why are you saying hi to me if you don't know me?  Sometimes you're being courteous, sometimes you want me to sign onto your crazy website that has pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache.  I'm just sayin'

If you want an in, however, crazy-website people, Bostonians will ALWAYS talk about the weather.

2. "It's so difficult to navigate!"  I will admit, it's easy to get lost in Boston.  But that's only because the city has so much character!  No grids here, the streets are old cow paths (source of information: my dad).  The first weekend I lived in Chicago, I parked like 8 blocks away from my apartment because everything looked so similar there.  That will never happen in Boston!

Final Verdict: 
 I like it here.  Maybe you will too. :)


Anonymous said...

Boston is the greatest place I have ever lived :)

Anonymous said...

Your Con #3 is actually why old school Bostonians like the city. It's pretty much one of the only cities that still has segregation. If you go to a city, you know what you are going to get. People in Boston are not the biggest fans of "diversity" and segregation actually is beneficial for our culture. It keeps it authentic. You wont find this out west....

Anonymous said...

shutup bitch ^^^

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great view of it! It make me more certain that i want to move there. The girl i want to be with still is in Cali.I didnt like it there very much. i grew up on the west coast my whole life in the great mitten Michigan. Bostons pulling me to it. They even follow me on Twitter!

Anonymous said...

*^East coast typo

Anonymous said...

I had actually considered relocating to Boston until I read some of these posts. I'm shocked that no one responded to the out right condoning of racism and segregation. Someone even stated that "its good for the culture and keeps things authentic." Sure, if the goal is ignorance and regression, then it sounds like Boston is on the right track. No thanks Boston, I'm looking for a more progressive city.