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Old 05-17-2009, 08:07 PM
 
7 posts, read 24,033 times
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We currently live in Upstate NY (Syracuse). My husband is expecting an offer this week from a Gainesville, FL company and is interviewing Tuesday in the Boston area. We would like to move to an area with a better climate - I know that Boston has the four seasons and winter weather BUT it has to be better than Syracuse, right? We get 130+ inches of snow here and this year it came in November and we didn't see the ground again until late March. It is gray, gray, gray here too. We refer to it as The Concrete Skies of Syracuse! My question - when it snows in Boston, does it stay around on the ground or melt within a few days as it does in NYC?

While the FL climate appeals to us, we are very interested in the urban lifestyle that we could have in Boston. The company he is interviewing with is in Watertown. If we lived in the city, would a reverse commute from the city to Watertown be feasible in 20-25 minutes or less? We would live to give up a car and become a one car family - him using the car to commute and me using public transportation or walking for shopping and errands.

Right now, with the real estate situation, the cost of living in FL is considerably lower than Syr or Bos. Cost of living calculators give us a range of 50-75k needed above our Syracuse income to have the same standard of living in Boston while we could actually take an income cut to move to FL (not that we are planning on it ). Does the Bos figure sound about right? I know that real estate Right now we pay about 8% in NYS income tax (after deductions) and our property taxes (county and school) are about $7200 a year.

Our thoroughly citified NY city daughter put her vote in for Boston influenced in large part because the NYS-Bos Chinatown bus is only $15!
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,528,280 times
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Well I grew up in Albany and lived in Miami for 3 years and Boston for 15 so ...

Your desire for the urban experience in Boston is way doable. You can commute from Harvard Sq to Watertown in 9 minutes according to Google maps. Realistically with Boston traffic it would be a bit longer at rush hour, but having done exactly that for 15 years, I can assure you that you have a green light on that issue. Just don't expect Boston driving to resemble Syracuse driving in any way shape or form. For the urban experience, unless you go to Midtown, you can hardly do better than downtown Boston (and that includes Cambridge). Price wise expect about $350K minimum to start for a two bedroom in BOS and $400 more realistically. As far as the snow goes, SYR averages 115 inches of snow per year while BOS averages 41 inches. It can stay around for a long time too but many years we had only one or two snowfalls altogether for the whole winter. So that's also a winner.

I lived in Miami Beach for my three years in FLA. I would think Gainesville would be a bore, the only thing there is of course U of F, but I assume you already know that. Average low temp in 44 in Jan and high of 91 in July, IOW, nippy in the winter and too hot in the summer. Compare that to the true ideal in FL (MIA) which is average low in winter of 63 and average high in summer 87.

So much cheaper, better but not ideal weather and no culture except college and you got GV. Slightly better weather, far more expensive and far more cultural you get BOS. Neither is nirvana. There is no perfect place unless you got a lot of money, but in neither are these two it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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Boston is easily accessible from many areas outside of the city too. You can enjoy the city life without living in it and paying the high price for it.

As far as the NYC-Chinatown bus-, not the best and safest mode of transportation.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 1,965,258 times
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In Syracuse it will snow 6 inches and then snow another 3-4 inches two days later so the snow doesn't get a chance to melt. In comparison, it doesn't snow as much in Boston. But, you're still in the Northeast and while you'll have the sunny winter days, most of the time it will be cold, dreary, windy, and all around wintry. If you're looking for a mild winter, Boston isn't the answer. But, if you don't mind winter and all you want is less snow, then you'll be fine.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
289 posts, read 1,032,749 times
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The Chinatown bus is only $15 because it's incapable of getting from Point A to Point B without breaking down.

The cost of living is lower in Florida, but jobs in Boston generally have higher pay than in Florida, so it sort of evens out.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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It's been very hard to compare such different places, each with their drawbacks and their pluses. I appreciate everyone's input so far. We really just don't want to grow old up here. Our parents are in their late 60's to mid 70's and the winters here are hard on the elderly. We are very attracted to the FL weather - heat doesn't bother us too much. We've been down there twice so far and Gainesville strikes us as very much like Syracuse - small city, university centered, quiet, etc. What we've been struggling with is if the pluses of BOS outweigh the winter weather. We love the idea of living in an urban area with college and professional sports teams, walkable neighborhoods, museums, public transportation, parks, river and ocean nearby, etc. I just keep thinking to myself, 'yes, there is winter in Boston but it CAN'T be as bad as Syracuse'. Assuming he gets a reasonable offer, now that I know that a reverse commute would be reasonable, I would have to say the winter weather is really the only entry in the 'cons' column for BOS.

There is also the fact because of the size, if something happened to his job in Gainesville, it would mean a relocation for new employment. In Boston, he would stand a better chance at a new job if he needed to look.

As far as the Chinatown bus goes, are your experiences specific to the NYC-BOS route or the Chinatown buses in general? She has taken the NYC-WASH DC bus several times and her experiences have been positive. I would like to give her a heads up if to avoid the service or the specific routes - not that she would pay me all that much attention :-)
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 1,965,258 times
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I've taken the Chinatown buses before (Fung Wah and Lucky Star) and it's not that bad. They had some issues awhile back where there were several incidents (bus caught on fire, accident) in a short period of time. The drivers have a tendency to speed. But considering they send buses 10-15 times a day, pretty much every day, their record isn't horrible. Your daughter could also consider Bolt Bus. It's a joint partnership between Greyhound and Peter Pan and it's nicer buses and the cost is only a little more ($20 each way).

Boston is a great city, but it definitely has a winter. If you want to be in the heart of an urban area and living in Boston or Cambridge proper, you'll probably end up living in a condo. The benefit is that your condo fees may pay for snow removal so it's not like a house where you have to dig out. Snow seems to melt quicker in the city, maybe because of the heat from so many cars and so much foot traffic. The other advantage to living in town is that you'll feel less isolated in the winter time. People tend to hibernate more in the suburbs, but if you're in the middle of everything, it's more lively .
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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There are plenty of other options for Bos-NYC for the same price or less, including Bolt Bus and Greyhound....
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:15 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
16,469 posts, read 33,412,913 times
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The Boston winter should be milder than Syracuse's. Otherwise, Florida is VERY hot in the summertime. You will have high electric bills from running your A/C. Texas residents have the same complaint. Otherwise, my boyfriend moved up from Naples, FL and has been very happy with the weather and the culture of Boston. I suppose though, for the best all around weather, it'd be in NC. We have friends in Raleigh.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,528,280 times
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I've taken the Chinatown buses many times - found it comfortable convenient and had no problems or complaints. I have to wonder if PP's who diss the FW Bus have actually ever taken the bus or just got their info from over-sensationalized schnews media.

One of my greatest joys in BOS was running with my dog. BOS has great trails along the Charles, along the waterfront and through the city which is wonderful for running with the doggies. OTOH, finding a place you can rent that accepts pets (particularly larger than 25 lb) can be a b**** [female dog].
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