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Old 03-09-2011, 08:18 AM
 
170 posts, read 373,941 times
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I'm going to agree with ogre. Though my husband and I grew up with snow & cold, we lived in Austin for long enough that we had to decide whether we could deal with winter again. Once we decided that the amenities that the Boston area had to offer were more important to us than a mild winter, we explored the idea of moving here. We arrived in December and have experienced one of Boston's "worst" winters in terms of amount of snow (this is what the locals tell us). Though we were vastly unprepared in terms of winter gear, we were mentally prepared for the winter and that helped us more than anything. We actually found the winter to be less difficult than we'd expected.

That being said, if you are not a winter person, this might not be the right place to move. It really does get cold and this year there was a ton of snow. However, the sun shines brightly most days and it's a good excuse for some hot chocolate. If you live close to public transportation, you don't have to deal with driving in the snow & ice too much. Invest in some good winter gear and it will make life easier.

The other thing I thought I'd mention is that the Boston area can turn from very urban to nearly rural in a short amount of time. This is nice because if you're wanting more urban than you've got but are not ready for car-less condo downtown living, there are lots of options in the surrounding cities. We were pleasantly surprised to find that we could live in an area that has a yard & driveway for our cars but we can walk to several shops & restaurants and can use the subway easily. I used to think that the whole area was BIG CITY but it isn't at all. You can even live in a rural area and still have access to the commuter rail that will get you into the city for work. There seem to be options for every personality and each town/city can have its own vibe that is unlike the town right next door.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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You both make some great points. I guess it's going to come down to making sort of a pros and cons list of everything and weighing my options because I don't think I'm going to find that perfect place that's entirely 'me.' So far, from what you all have informed me of and what I've experienced and researched, Boston seems to be the closest thing to what I need right now at this time in my life.

I love the point that you made veggiegirl26 about how it can be both rural and urban. I need the city life, but I'm a country girl at heart. Well…mountain girl really. Who knows, maybe my experience with the winters in the Rockies growing up will help with the winters there. And right now I have no desire to have a family, but it seems like if that ever changes it won't be such a bad place to start out. It's not my priority right now though.

I love how you talk about embracing the cold weather ogre. That's probably why I hate it so much because there really isn't any where to get out and go during the cold times around here. Growing up we would go hiking and bundle up to go down to the gym and play some basketball or go to the little shop in town that had hot chocolate. Amarillo is so spread out and flat and really inactive as far as entertainment or community events that you really don't want to get out of the house. I need to live in a place that is alive. Especially in the winter. We walked all around the city on our visit to Boston this past January and I was so surprised to be enjoying it in the heart of winter. First Night was a blast. I couldn't feel my toes, but it was a blast. Ha ha!
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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If I had it made like you do in Texas there's no way in hell I'd move to Massachusetts and I'm a native Bostonian. Guess the grass is always greener, but still...If you love the outdoors and already have jobs in TX (getting a job in any field right now in Boston is a feat of heroic strength) why would you want to leave?

I lived in El Paso, TX for about 3 months and I would consider Boston the "Bible Belt" compared to what I saw in Texas. The phrase "Banned in Boston" is still used on a regular basis and the city has blue laws that would make somebody who's used to partying in Texas feel as though they were living in a fascist dictatorship.

My advice: Stay put. I would.

All of that said however, if you're looking for a mix of rural and urban life, you would probably love places like Stoneham, Woburn, or Melrose. Melrose I think would suit you guys great because there's plenty of outdoorsy stuff to do nearby and you can make it downtown on public transportation in about 30 minutes on a good day.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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I know we have it really good with the employment and all, but really, that's about it. There isn't any outdoor options accept for cycling. Boston's creative fields are up and coming and that is much more than I can say here.

El Paso really isn't Texas. I know it is located in Texas, but it's like a breed between New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. It should be called New Texico. Trust me...the panhandle of Texas is the Bible Belt. If you're not seriously part of a church, there's not much else going on. The only blue laws I know of in Boston are just a few that prohibit selling alcohol on certain holidays and hunting on sundays. Are there other ones?

Thanks for the advice. I definitely want to look more into things before I decide.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:36 PM
 
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Drifter10, to follow up on my earlier post, if you want a relatively more slow-paced lifestyle, then living in the suburbs of Boston than in the city itself, might be a better option. I love spending time in Boston during the weekends, but I have lived most of my life in the suburbs (Natick, Andover, Methuen). In these suburban towns, you get all the amenities, a less rushed lifestyle, free and easy parking facilities, and better bang for the buck (in terms of housing expenses).

The main downside of these suburban towns is that if you work in Boston, then the commute can be horrible (if you're driving).

I personally love Natick, Methuen, Andover, and Quincy (based on personal experiences). Moreover, towns like Methuen and Andover are just 5-10 minutes away from the New Hampshire border (which does not have sales taxes - hence good location to buy high-ticket items).

Regarding the issue of meeting people, in my opinion, one of the best places to meet people is at the gym. Most gyms have occasional social events, which are good meeting opportunities.

If cold weather doesn't bother you, then Boston is way better than TX (based on the 4 short visits that I made to TX) and much safer too.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:14 AM
 
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Default Blue laws and such

Well, let's see here . . . MA does have the same kind of widespread smoking ban that more and more states have enacted in recent years. There's no smoking basically in any place of employment, including bars.

There are no Sunday evening liquor sales in stores, and I forget the hours but am pretty sure that Mon.-Sat. liquor sales in stores aren't allowed really late at night. The venues where it's legal to sell liquor are more limited than they are in some states. There are no drive-though beer and wine stores as some states have, and no beer and wine sales at convenience stores, for example, though I don't know what the laws about this are in Texas.

At this point there is no casino gambling in MA, so that might be an area where MA could be considered more restrictive than a lot of states, though if you're interested in hitting the casinos, you can find them nearby in Connecticut.

"Banned in Boston" still a phrase that's commonly heard? Certainly not regarding books with mature themes or that kind of thing. Not that I've heard anytime recently. If anything, in MA you're more likely to hear about the occasional controversy over attempts by the P.C. left to ban a book from a school library for allegedly being racist or something like that, but it's only once in a great while that I've heard anything like that. It's not the norm you're going to find at every turn.

I don't know whether RC1981 lives in MA now, or how long it may have been, but some old blue laws are gone. Though sales are limited to daytime hours, the old ban on Sunday liquor sales ended a few years ago, and retail stores in general have been allowed to be open on Sunday for years (since the '90's I think--can't remember for sure). I think some elaboration by RC1981 about what laws he/she was referring to could pin down whether MA has blue laws that you'd consider a problem. Generally these days MA is not an especially permissive state, when compared, for example, with states that allow bars to stay open until 4AM or whenever, but at present MA is pretty much in line with the majority of states when comes to most blue laws.

Last edited by ogre; 03-11-2011 at 12:30 AM..
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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Liquor stores can stay open until 11pm on Sundays, same as any other night.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
I think some elaboration by RC1981 about what laws he/she was referring to could pin down whether MA has blue laws that you'd consider a problem. Generally these days MA is not an especially permissive state, when compared, for example, with states that allow bars to stay open until 4AM or whenever, but at present MA is pretty much in line with the majority of states when comes to most blue laws.
Just to let you know, I've been out of Boston for 3 years. To be honest I don't keep up with stuff like this because I'm not really so much of a "party animal" lol But I do remember in Texas being able to buy beers at 5am in a gas station, you'll never see that in MA. Also I remember going clubbing in Dallas and El Paso and waiting for the lights to come on at 1:30 and be pushed out the door like in Boston, but the place stayed open right through til 6 am. If you're used to that then you're probably not going to find Boston nightlife to be very interesting.

Here's your typical night out in Boston:

You leave the house about 9:30. Get to the place about 10, wait in the line in the cold until about 10:30. Pay a $25 cover. Wait in line at the coat check until 11:00. Get up to the bar and wait your turn. At about 11:15 you'll be served your drink, which will cost about $10. If you smoke, you'll have to get your coat back and wait in the line again because you have to go outside and freeze. You can't take your drink with you. It's now 1:30 and the evening is drawing to a close. And you better have cab fare, because there's no more public transportation at that hour.

Not much to offer there, just being honest.

Having fun is a lot easier in other places, that's really what I meant. I never once got carded in Texas and I was like 22-23 when I was out there. I'm now 29 and still get carded for rated R movies in Boston. It's that kind of stuff that I'm talking about.

Oh yea, and a lot of places won't let you in if you don't have a Mass ID, but most of those places are college bars where you probably won't want to go anyway. The government probably has a deal with the bars to make all the college kids spend the $60 fee to get a MA id and in return they might overlook a couple of little violations...this is called croneyism and nepotism and it makes the world go round in Boston.

I'm not trying to put you off the idea of coming, I'm just trying to show you what it will realistically be like and how frustrated you'll probably get with life there if you're coming from a place like Texas. Everything is a hassle, just prepared for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
If anything, in MA you're more likely to hear about the occasional controversy over attempts by the P.C. left to ban a book from a school library for allegedly being racist or something like that, but it's only once in a great while that I've heard anything like that. It's not the norm you're going to find at every turn.
You don't follow the local theatre scene very closely do you? Shirley Q. Liquor's show has been banned. A legendary local band called Tree is banned, now they can only play in Cambridge. A lot of the bigger rock bands will never play the Garden because of outdated rules that are still in effect, so you'll probably have to go to Mansfield or Lowell to catch any of the more national acts, both of which will require a car. Last time WWE had a big event in Boston (not sure if you're a wrestling fan) they got fined like $200'000 for using barbed wire in one of the matches, which is against some dumb city ordinance and during the build up to the match the city was saying they'd shut down the event if that match got "too violent". Alcohol sales at sporting events are strictly regulated...and on and on and on...

You won't have to worry about your hubby doing anything nasty since strip clubs are pretty much prohibited in Boston, there's only one that I know about and the only reason it's allowed to function is because it's where all the senators go.

Also yes, Ogre is right about anything that isn't "PC" will probably get pulled from the public eye.

Last edited by RC1981; 03-11-2011 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:41 AM
 
5,680 posts, read 5,021,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC1981 View Post

Here's your typical night out in Boston:

You leave the house about 9:30. Get to the place about 10, wait in the line in the cold until about 10:30. Pay a $25 cover. Wait in line at the coat check until 11:00. Get up to the bar and wait your turn. At about 11:15 you'll be served your drink, which will cost about $10. If you smoke, you'll have to get your coat back and wait in the line again because you have to go outside and freeze. You can't take your drink with you. It's now 1:30 and the evening is drawing to a close. And you better have cab fare, .

That sounds like a night out at some cheesy Faneuill Hall place. It's certainly not the norm for everyone. Wait in line? Pay a $25 cover (where was this?)? Yeah, not so much.

I'm not arguing that MA doesn't have some weird alcohol laws, though. At least you can get a Blood Mary if you show up to brunch at 11:45 now.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:46 AM
 
596 posts, read 1,381,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
That sounds like a night out at some cheesy Faneuill Hall place. It's certainly not the norm for everyone. Wait in line? Pay a $25 cover (where was this?)? Yeah, not so much.

I'm not arguing that MA doesn't have some weird alcohol laws, though. At least you can get a Blood Mary if you show up to brunch at 11:45 now.
Erm...actually I was talking about places downtown like Rumor or Underbar, and it's even worse than that on Landsdowne St.
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