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Old 10-20-2006, 03:42 PM
 
Location: AZ
13 posts, read 98,879 times
Reputation: 23
Default Seattle vs. Boston

How does Boston compare to Seattle?

Up until about 6 months ago I lived in Seattle and I loved it! My fiance and I moved to the Phoenix area (which I absolutely hate...it is way too suburban) so that he could go to school. When he finishes (September '07) we are moving. His job will probably require us to move to the Northeast so I am researching cities.

I loved Seattle...so if anyone else loves Seattle tell me what you think Boston is like in comparison!

Mahalo!
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,815 posts, read 7,392,612 times
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I have not lived in Seattle.

However, my feeling is Seattle is more high tech (computer literate) and liberal than Boston is. May be Boston has more financial and medical/hospital companies. Seattle has more computer companies.
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:58 AM
 
1,007 posts, read 13,687 times
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Hi Hinalea -

In Boston now (on/off for 20+ yrs) & lived in Seattle for 1-yr in the mid-90's. If you take Boston & extract the bad, you get Seattle. Seattle is clean, people are much friendlier, it's smaller/less populated. I lived in Capital Hill, by the way, if that gives you a reference. Worked in Kirkland so crossed the floating bridge daily. Traffic is nothing compared to Boston. And parking is the worst I've seen anywhere, save for NYC. Many folks either don't have cars or leave them parked on the street all winter & take public transport once it snows. Commute times are the worst I've seen anywhere.

There are different neighborhoods, each with it's own flavor, some very high crime/rent, but it depends on why you're coming (high paying jobs, to be near friends/family, school), how much expendable income you have (it's horrifically expensive here), what you can tolerate (on-street parking is very difficult, long commutes) & age range. Public transportation goes everywhere, but it's very crowded, noisy & filthy, much like the city. Students, however, often live near the greenline (our train lines are different colors, then letters) & their lives are much easier as all the schools are on the green line, so commute times are greatly reduced.

Now, many folks like it, but it depends on where you live. There's as much arts/cultural events here as you'll find in Seattle. Students, away from home, experiencing city life for the 1st time seem to love it & have a wealth of school friends/roommates.

As someone who has lived in L.A. & Atlanta, 2 cities much larger than both Seattle/Boston, I have to say I loved the former cities, so it's not that I can't handle larger cities. There's just something about Boston that has never done it for me. What you will notice is that most neighborhoods have sections of very wealthy, middle-class housing & projects. So it runs the gambut from great to high crime. Very odd, somewhat like NYC where one block is burned out bldgs, the next is celebrity/wealthy folks' apts.

The good? I live 3-blocks from the ocean, can see it from my window, it's a very walkable city (again, depending on where you live, where you work, where you go on weekends). A small breakdown would be:

So. End - gay friendly, very high rents ($2K/mo is normal), lots of restaurants (all kinds from sushi to French to upscale diners). The other side is projects, high crime, drugs. Mid section is Hispanics w/Hispanic mkts/restaurants. Parking is tough.

So. Boston - used to be mostly Irish, now it's a mix, still mostly white. The projects which surround this 4-sq mi section are mainly minorities/foreigners. Bay View section has most of the crime/drugs. The middle section is working class, blue collar, not known for being friendly, lots of traffic, almost non-existant parking, always noisy. City Point section is mansions, condos. Not gay friendly. All the rents are high ($900 is beginning rent for dumps, $1,500/2b, $2K+ for converted condos) as this area is becoming gentrified. Crime is lower than other places, but slowly increasing due to added projects. Lots of bars/pubs. Tougher crowd.

N. End - Italian section, 1-sq mi, 100 restaurants. Worst parking in the city. Not friendly to outsiders living there. Almost no crime. Rents all over the place. Older apts, tough to find.

Back Bay/Bay Village/Copley Sq. - large gay pop. Upscale, hundreds upon hundreds of restaurants/cafes, upscale stores/malls. Very safe. Screaming high rents. Very tough parking.

Fenway - high crime, mostly students, noisy, very high rents.

Chinatown - almost no parking. Less than 1-sq mi. Very safe, hard to find apt.

Mattapan/Roxbury - very high crime. Lots of projects. Safe in daytime, stay away at night.

You may want to check out Dorchester, Quincy, Brookline & Allston/Brighton (all near Boston) - some lower rents, some higher, but Brookline is safest/no overnight street parking, so you may have to rent a space for $50/wk. Mix of students/singles/families in all, predominately Jewish/Hispanic/gay/students in Brookline.

Also, Cambridge/Arlington (next door cities, easy to reach via subway). Mix of everything, easier parking. MANY other sections, too, but that will give you a start.

Good luck researching. Check into other eastcoast cities/states, too... Baltic_Celt
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Old 10-31-2006, 01:49 PM
 
Location: AZ
13 posts, read 98,879 times
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Baltic Celt...
Thank you so much! That really helps! We have also been looking at Providence, RI since it seems a little cheaper than Boston but close enough that we could still go to Boston to do stuff on weekends and it's less of a drive to NYC from Providence.
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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I visit Providence regularly

The cons- lots of mafia influence, some 'rough' neighborhoods, in the south end, and north end.

The Pros; The east end including Federal Hill is very historic and charming. This is the location of Brown Univ, and the Rhode Island School of design. The east end has some great ethnic restaurants, shops, cafes and bookstores.

Downtown has much- the River walk, Providence Place, and the downtown is improving. Still some boarded up stores, and street people but getting better.
Some good cafes, clubs and restaurants here also.

Large student and gay population. Mayor is openly gay. Liberal.
Close to Boston and the Cape. Less stuffy then Boston- people actually drive to Providence to have fun- especially the gay population.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:19 PM
 
1,007 posts, read 13,687 times
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Hi Hinalea -

Another good post/insights from CelticLion. I agree, Providence is fun & I take Amtrak which brings you right from S. Station (downtown Boston). It's about an hour & quite a nice ride.

To check out Providence further, there is a neat website, which I check out for upcoming events & their job site is really informative. The site is "projo.com".

Happy Halloween!
Best of luck in your research... Baltic_Celt
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:09 PM
 
Location: AZ
13 posts, read 98,879 times
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CelticLion - Mafia? As in Cosa Nostra? I had no idea! Well, it's prolly like most places...be smart and stay away from the bad areas!
That's great to hear that Providence is liberal and gay friendly...Seattle is like that too. I grew up in Hawaii and didn't realize until I was a teenager that there places in our country that were anti-gay - how can people be so backwards?! From what you and Baltic Celt have saying it's like Providence might be a better fit for me.

Baltic Celt -- Thanks for the website!

You guys are awesome...I can't tell you how great it is to have insider opinions. When I moved to Phoenix I had no idea what I was getting into!
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:04 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
8 posts, read 27,771 times
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Cool Boston Is Cool

You know what? You are fortunate that you are moving to the northeast. Sure, NYC and Philadelphia are really crowded and congested. But, Boston is a totally different city. I've been there and have relatives that live there and everyone I knows loves it. It is a little bit smaller than Seattle, and has about the same population density (about). A guy posted something way above me about saying this city has high crime and could be dangerous... no WAY. this city is as safe as can be. Seattle has the same amount of crime. Just remember that in any city you go to you can't be looking up at the skyscrapers and fiddling around, you can't act like a tourist or you will get jumped. Trust me, I used to live in San Francisco, CA. Crap like that happens all the time. SF is a far less-safe city along with all the other California cities. I reccommend that you move to Boston. It is a pretty and nice city with a lot of interesting history!
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:01 AM
 
1,472 posts, read 2,722,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *hinalea* View Post
CelticLion - Mafia? As in Cosa Nostra? I had no idea! Well, it's prolly like most places...be smart and stay away from the bad areas!
That's great to hear that Providence is liberal and gay friendly...Seattle is like that too. I grew up in Hawaii and didn't realize until I was a teenager that there places in our country that were anti-gay - how can people be so backwards?! From what you and Baltic Celt have saying it's like Providence might be a better fit for me.

Baltic Celt -- Thanks for the website!

You guys are awesome...I can't tell you how great it is to have insider opinions. When I moved to Phoenix I had no idea what I was getting into!
The FBI used to think the main spot for the mafia was in Boston, but they later found out that Providence was where the the major players were and they controlled the Boston area from there.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:01 PM
 
80 posts, read 357,532 times
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I have lived in both cities...they are both great. Boston is older, has much more history and does not have any kind of a grid street layout (which I find more interesting and frustrating). Both cities have seasons, but they are more dramatic in Boston. Seattle has more of a high tech presense, while Boston has more higher education and research. Boston has a subway system and commuter rail in addition to buses, but the Seattle bus system is very good.

Seattle's climate is more temperate, but damp for long periods of time. It does not get that warm for very long in the summer, and winter there is cold and rainy with very few sunny days. Spring and Fall are also cloudy and damp. Although Boston is colder in winter, the air is dry and there are often very bright sunny days, especially with the snow.

Both have good access to outdoor activities. The mountains around Seattle are much more spectacular, but in my opinion the beaches in New England are better than those in the Northwest.

I met great people in both cities.
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