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View Poll Results: Seattle or Boston?
Boston 59 40.14%
Seattle 88 59.86%
Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-15-2015, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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I would go soundly with Seattle. [No pun intended]

I love the Pacific Northwest, also known as the/one of the prettiest place(s) in all of mainland America.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:39 PM
 
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Boston is more urban with better transit and better universities, not to mention a lot more history. It's one of my favorite cityscapes in the country. Seattle has a nice downtown and a lot of very cool, distinct neighborhoods, but in terms of city feel and urbanity Boston wins.

I do think Seattle has better nightlife these days - I prefer Capitol Hill, Ballard, and Belltown to Back Bay, the South End, and Cambridge (those are the nightlife districts I know best). I also prefer Seattle's restaurant scene (slightly better seafood, better southeast Asian, slightly better gastropub-style [I hate that word but not sure how else to do describe it] places).

Hard to choose - I'd probably go with Seattle because I like the west coast flavor a bit more but both are great.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:40 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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I tend to think of these cities as very close equals in terms of popularity.
With generally only SF, NYC, and Chicago being more popular and well-liked.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN
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Never been to Seattle but I went to college in Boston and really loved it. I don't really know why these cities are comparable but Boston really is not like any other US City its the oldest and has the most history of any US City. Seattle is a fairly young city by comparison.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Miami Beach, FL/Tokyo, Japan
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this is a difficult one for me, Seattle is more beautiful but it never felt like a 'big' city to me. In fact, it feels like the last outpost before you hit Alaska.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:57 PM
 
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As an urban city, Boston is clearly ahead right now. It is more comparable to Philly and SF. While, Seattle is in a middle tier above it's new urban peers (Denver, Minneapolis, Portland) but below the old school urban cities (Bos, Philly, SF, DC).

Seattle is sort of a proto-urban city, it has a good downtown, some nice neighborhood urban villages (Ballard, U-District, Fremont, West Seattle) and decent bus service. To get to the next level, they need to fill out their downtown, densify their urban villages and working on linking it all together with rail.

But, Seattle is absolutely on fire right now and is clearly growing faster than Boston. Seattle is slowly narrowing the gap, but given Boston's lead it will be firmly ahead for at least the next 10 years. Overall, I tend to think of Boston as the 5th most urban city. DC is probably 6th and Seattle is probably 7, having firmly passed Baltimore since 2010 (LA and Miami are too unique to rank).

If urbanism were quantifiable, Boston would probably be an 83, DC would be an 80 and Seattle would probably be a 74. Boston is probably improving at 0.2 pts. a year and Seattle at 0.4 pt per year. In 20 years (if these trends continue), Seattle will probably be at a level roughly where Boston is today. But, of course Boston will be at a higher level then today. So it would probably take 40-50 years before the cities are on equal footing. And realistically that is too far in the future to make any sort of reasonable projection.

Last edited by jpdivola; 04-16-2015 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDPMiami View Post
this is a difficult one for me, Seattle is more beautiful but it never felt like a 'big' city to me. In fact, it feels like the last outpost before you hit Alaska.
Seattle is kind of an all size fits all sort of place (unless you happen to be in monstrously huge cities like Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Seoul, Moscow, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Paris, Sao Paulo, or the like).

I've been to it twice and have found the "Seattle Freeze" junk as well as the "nerd, socially inept, techie, 9-5" thing to be non-factors (to the point where it is a not an accurate description for the city at all, I'd say it exists but not a thriving factor of the city overall). The Seattle of today is a very cosmopolitan place; sizable Ethiopian population (and among the best Ethiopian food in America outside of Washington DC), Russian population, Thai population, Arab population (particularly Lebanese), Filipino population.

For a West Coast city the nightlife in Seattle is hella active too, personally thought it was more so than San Francisco and much more neatly organized in the core region as well. The city is coming onto its own quickly, lots of cranes and at just about each part of downtown. Seattle has very attractive residential areas and they are either new-like or well kept, so all of your amenities will be pristine and will feel like a "first time owner" sort of experience (with it comes the security that all your wiring, doors, counters, so on will be in nearly new condition). The region is growing quickly and culturally I find it to be advantageous since it isn't a target city for one demographic, race, color, or background of people but really everyone.

Seattlities have a neutral standard American accent, you can be roughly from anywhere in America or world and more or less your pronunciations, accents, and manner of speech will be uniform with the people that live there. Its easy to integrate into Seattle, even on just a trip.

Also, the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria cannot be replicated outside of the Pacific Northwest, in North America, at least. Stunning sight of the evening? The Olympics, the Sound, the Pacific, the Island, and the exact converging point where they all come together.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 04-16-2015 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Miami Beach, FL/Tokyo, Japan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
Seattle is sort of an all size fits all sort of place (unless you happen to be in monstrously huge cities like Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Seoul, Moscow, Istanbul, or the like).
When I said "last outpost before Alaska" I didn't mean exactly small Alaskan town, but rather Seattle as a city emerges out of nowhere, surrounded by nature.

I was in Seattle once, in the summer of 2010, for about 4-5 days. I had a great time. I stayed with some relatives of a then girlfriend, who were Asian, and they sort of took over of showing me a good time. And took to many spots I have now forgotten. As you can imagine we didn't immerse ourselves in the nightlife but we went to some jazz bars, we had great seafoods, and we tried a couple establishments Seattle was famous for, we took a ferry to some island in the Puget Sound, and went kayaking off UW (they have some bridges, lake, swampy area according to fuzzy memory).

Being said though, I my impression of Seattle was that it needed infilling. Her urban fabric didn't hold the neighborhoods together.

Now as to Boston, I'm much more experienced with that city. In fact, on the east coast, I know Boston by far the best. One of my good friends has a 5-story brownstone right in southend. Now my sister goes to Harvard Medical. Last time I was in Boston was January of this year but I have been more times than I can count.

The urban fabric of Boston is much more cohesive and Boston is so compact, you can practically walk to everything but if you need to cab across the city you'd never hesitate. Also, Boston feels to me to be more diverse. The whites in Boston are made up more of Europeans, instead of Americans of European ancestry. The black population in Boston is made up of Afro-Caribbeans. And asians, while not as much as Seattle, are there due to the good universities.

That all being said, when I first arrived in Seattle and overlooked the Puget sound with Mount Rainier in the distance, I said to myself this was the most beautiful cityscape in all of the USA.

So that's what it makes this hard, both have qualities the other one doesn't
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,112,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdivola View Post
As an urban city, Boston is clearly ahead right now. It is more comparable to Philly and SF. While, Seattle is in a middle tier above it's new urban peers (Denver, Minneapolis, Portland) but below the old school urban cities (Bos, Philly, SF, DC).

Seattle is sort of a proto-urban city, it has a good downtown, some nice neighborhood urban villages (Ballard, U-District, Fremont, West Seattle) and decent bus service. To get to the next level, they need to fill out their downtown, densify their urban villages and working on linking it all together with rail.

But, Seattle is absolutely on fire right now and is clearly growing faster than Boston. Seattle is slowly narrowing the gap, but given Boston's lead it will be firmly ahead for at least the next 10 years. Overall, I tend to think of Boston as the 5th most urban city. DC is probably 6th and Seattle is probably 7, having firmly passed Baltimore since 2010 (LA and Miami are too unique to rank).

If urbanism were quantifiable, Boston would probably be an 83, DC would be an 80 and Seattle would probably be a 74. Boston is probably improving at 0.2 pts. a year and Seattle at 0.4 pt per year. In 20 years (if these trends continue), Seattle will probably be at a level roughly where Boston is today. But, of course Boston will be at a higher level then today. So it would probably take 40-50 years before the cities are on equal footing. And realistically that is too far in the future to make any sort of reasonable projection.
Seattle is certainly growing at a fantastic rate, but there's a possibility you're underestimating the growth in Boston right now...especially along the waterfront and in Cambridge. Fan Pier/Seaport Square are now well under way and will essentially create a new neighborhood bordering downtown.

This is a picture of Fan Pier in 2007:


This is the current state of Fan Pier:


And this is the full build:


NorthPoint in East Cambridge is going to create a whole new neighborhood as well:


Full build (opposite angle):


A shortage of housing and a boom in the life science sector has sparked a large amount of development all over the urban core. Between Downtown/Downtown Crossing, South Boston Waterfront, East Cambridge, Kendall Square, the South End, Fenway/Kenmore, and even Somerville, I don't think there has been this level of construction in Boston in a long, long time. It doesn't seem to be cooling down anytime soon either because the housing shortage is causing bidding wars and over-asking at alarming rates.

At this point, I don't know what to expect, but it seems construction will likely increase before it decreases. In 2007, then-Mayor Menino asked for bid to build the tallest tower in downtown. One bid was submitted. The plan never materialized due to the financial crisis, but the bidding was reopened again last year. Just this Monday, 8 bids were submitted for the project, so hopefully that's a sign of things to come. Personally, I think this is the best option:
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,479 posts, read 7,708,485 times
Reputation: 7295
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDPMiami View Post
When I said "last outpost before Alaska" I didn't mean exactly small Alaskan town, but rather Seattle as a city emerges out of nowhere, surrounded by nature.

I was in Seattle once, in the summer of 2010, for about 4-5 days. I had a great time. I stayed with some relatives of a then girlfriend, who were Asian, and they sort of took over of showing me a good time. And took to many spots I have now forgotten. As you can imagine we didn't immerse ourselves in the nightlife but we went to some jazz bars, we had great seafoods, and we tried a couple establishments Seattle was famous for, we took a ferry to some island in the Puget Sound, and went kayaking off UW (they have some bridges, lake, swampy area according to fuzzy memory).

Being said though, I my impression of Seattle was that it needed infilling. Her urban fabric didn't hold the neighborhoods together.

Now as to Boston, I'm much more experienced with that city. In fact, on the east coast, I know Boston by far the best. One of my good friends has a 5-story brownstone right in southend. Now my sister goes to Harvard Medical. Last time I was in Boston was January of this year but I have been more times than I can count.

The urban fabric of Boston is much more cohesive and Boston is so compact, you can practically walk to everything but if you need to cab across the city you'd never hesitate. Also, Boston feels to me to be more diverse. The whites in Boston are made up more of Europeans, instead of Americans of European ancestry. The black population in Boston is made up of Afro-Caribbeans. And asians, while not as much as Seattle, are there due to the good universities.

That all being said, when I first arrived in Seattle and overlooked the Puget sound with Mount Rainier in the distance, I said to myself this was the most beautiful cityscape in all of the USA.

So that's what it makes this hard, both have qualities the other one doesn't
Agree.

The cohesion in central Seattle is starting to show and grow together nicely but downtown still has a lot of deadzones where the buildings are further spaced out from each other and at times have a large rectangular (long in length, adding to distance between some buildings in downtown from one to the other) parking lots.

I think it is coming onto its own rather nicely. Capitol Hill and Belltown are easy walks from the center of downtown, the waterfront is excellent, and Pike Place Market almost 100% reminds me of Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco (the outside portion of Pike Place), right on down to the smell of fish and shrimp for blocks away and the massive elongated lines that abound everywhere near there.

I think of Seattle as a city as a younger and more handsome version of San Francisco. Seattle's buildings look aesthetically more pleasing in person and the more lush nature of the setting amplifies even more.

Boston is aesthetically the prettiest city in the Northeast Corridor, best exemplified by Newbury Street, the area around Charles Avenue (where the Public Garden and Boston Common are), and the slightly upward sloping streetscape of Beacon Hill. Seattle doesn't have the physical in-city streetscape to match Boston but the social environment has pretty much caught up.

Lots of opportunities to be had in Seattle and keeping Florida in mind, I like the tax structuring in Washington (state) more so than rivals like Boston or San Francisco.

Today, unfortunately the sprawl around Portland and Seattle is gobbling area up between the two and this same suburbanization has definitely crawled its way to the Canadian border as well. Seattle is one of those places where if it were smaller, its experience would actually be enhanced even more, especially in terms of nature.
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