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Old 10-13-2007, 10:13 AM
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Which city, overall, do you like the most in terms of quality of life, activity, historical attractions and significance, setting and location, job opportunities, and whatever else piques your interest: Philadelphia or Boston?
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:32 AM
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Never been to either, but I'd say Philadelphia and Boston both have equal amounts of lure to them. Both are among the oldest cities in the country, both are doing pretty well economically...I'd say Boston I guess peaks my interest more because it's on a body of water. I really like the Northeast a lot though. D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, New York, and Boston are all great cities and the landscape of the Northeast I have always found is quite beautiful.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:01 PM
Location: moving again
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Philly, no doubt. I just overall like it more, although boston is amazing too
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:14 PM
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
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I've been to both cities, and each had their benefits and drawbacks. Philadelphia has a much higher crime rate than Boston, but it is also a much larger city. Boston's mass transit system, the "T", seemed to be much more useful to us when we visited vs. Philadelphia's SEPTA mass transit system. Nevertheless, traffic congestion was wicked in both cities. People in the Boston Area must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks while motorists in PA won't yield to pedestrians since they know the law won't be enforced by our lazy police officers who I have never seen cite anyone for not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks as they do in MA. Boston's Freedom Trail was a great experience, even though the construction areas near the "Big Dig" were unappealing. Philadelphia's Olde City neighborhood is fabulous. Boston's Back Bay and Beacon Hill were very nice areas, as were Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square and Manayunk areas. Both cities are rather socially-liberal, which is a plus in my book---I don't take kindly to homophobes. Both cities have well-educated populations. Philadelphia has a much lower cost-of-living than Boston, and it is also closer to Washington, DC, Baltimore, and New York City. Both cities have some pretty good sports teams. It's hard for me to say that one city is truly "better" than another.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:39 PM
Location: Scarsdale, NY
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I agree with Scranton. Probably Boston because it's more dense.
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:13 PM
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I like Philadelphia because it has more breathing room.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:56 PM
Location: Bronx, NY
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I'd go for Boston, but its more expensive. Both cities are very old and have a lot of history and cultural attractions. I think they are pretty much equal on that front. You'll never run out of things to do in either city in terms of historical and cultural attractions.

Boston's public transportation system is used much more than SEPTA in Philadelphia. Many Philadelphians associate public transportation with poverty and shy away from using it (which is kind of self-fulfilling, because then the only people riding around on SEPTA are really poor). As a result there are parking lots all over Philly which is somewhat unusual for a city in the Northeast of its size. I believe people in NYC, DC, and Boston, are much more likely to use public transport than in Philly.

Philly has better street food, at least in my opinion (cheesesteaks, pork sandwiches, hoagies, etc). Boston though does have good chowder and reasonably priced seafood.

I would have to guess that the economy in Boston is a hell of a lot better than in Philadelphia. Philly is still kind of falling apart (a la 1970s/1980s style), while Boston seems to be very much on the rebound. In Philly the schools are in horrible shape and there is still a huge problem with crime. This is a major reason why the population in Philly appears to still be declining.

Boston, unlike Philadelphia, seems to be able to hold onto a lot of its college graduates after college. Most people don't realize this, but Philly is probably the 2nd biggest college town in the country after Boston. The area has towns of colleges and universities in and around the city. However none of them stick around after college. Most of the people going to school in Philly who aren't originally from the area end up going to NYC or DC.

The one benefit of the shrinking population in Philly this is that the cost of real estate and price of rentals is really cheap. You can get a 1 br in a very nice neighborhood in Philly for about $1,000 a month. I don't know the Boston real estate market that well, but I'm guessing the cost of renting is substantially higher in the nicer sections of Boston.

The fanaticism towards the sports teams in both cities is about equal. I don't care where you're from, but don't ever show up at a stadium in either Boston or Philly with an opposing team's jersey. You'll get harassed in both cities and in Philly's case they might even throw stuff at you while cursing you out.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:18 PM
Location: Thankfully in New England...
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Boston by far... the incomes, education, beauty, safety... etc etc...

Philly has it's advantages, but I believe that Boston has more. I've never really felt unsafe in downtown Boston... I can't say the same for Phila. (and I've been to both many many times) Plus there's hardly any vandalism or graffiti up in Boston for it's population and density. Providence, Hartford, or Philly each have lot of more graffiti problems.

Both cities "feel" very American which is a plus in my book.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:22 PM
Location: Thankfully in New England...
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Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post
Boston's Freedom Trail was a great experience, even though the construction areas near the "Big Dig" were unappealing. confused:
Go check it out now! It's done. The eyesore is gone. Beautiful and incredible parks are now ready to enjoy!
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:57 PM
Location: Villanova Pa.
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Location location location. Smart planning,smart planning,smart planning. Boston has it, Philaldephia doesn't.

50% of Bostons potential land area is at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean which makes solid ground surrounding Boston as good as gold (ditto SF+ Chi) . Hence the dramatic difference in cost of living compared to Philadelphia. Landlocked Philadelphia is surrounded by beautiful hills/valleys/forests in every direction which made for a very easy exodus out of the city by the middle/upper classes. Philadelphia has a decent setting but nothing spectacular(Boston Harbor,Chicago lakefront,SF Bay,NY harbor/manhattan. There was no extraordinary natural landscape that made people want top stay in Philly, hence the transformation in the city itself from middle working class/upper middle class to poor/ with certain exceptions of wealth and middle class.

Bottom line Philadlephia got way too big and the good times from 1800-1950 turned into one gigantic pitfall when large cities east of the Mississippi became the dumping grounds for this countrys poor and uneducated. Boston being much further north, signifigantly smaller, and not so tolerant to that migration pattern(smartly by them) came out much better for it.

You must give the upper hand to Boston in terms of quality of life.

Metro region, the quality of life wouldn't be much different. Both suburban regions are just outstanding. Two of the best metro's in the country.
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