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Old 03-15-2010, 08:55 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,858 times
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Hello,
Does anyone have any thoughts on how living in the D.C. area compares to living in the Boston area?

My general impression is that the two places are similar in many ways, e.g. great public transportation, convenient access to airport and rail system, lots of culture and diversity, large academic community, high cost of living. I'm interested in how these kinds of things compare.

For example, although the high rents may be comparable I've been told that the actual condition of apartments tend to be more run down Boston due to the student population who will still pay high rents for a less 'updated' place.

Also, I'm told that the traffic in the DC area is far worse than the Boston area. Is that true? Boston traffic can be pretty bad ...

Also, I've read on this board recently that some find DC to be unfriendly. People say this about Boston too, but I've always thought this was the case in most cities, so it doesn't surprise me too much.

I like the Boston area, but am considering a move to DC for a job, so I'm wondering how much of a change it would be.

Thanks so much for any thoughts.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Movin' on Up
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NE native who moved here from Boston in '97.

Yes, similar in size, public transport, educated population, cost of living, lots of single professionals.

Newer apartments here, far fewer buildings from pre-WW2, and many new buildings unlike Boston. Usually warmer weather, except this past winter.

Friendlier here. More people from other parts of country and world, no equivalent to the working class Southie, Revere, Lynn locals who hate everyone who's not from Mass.

Traffic about the same, it's worse or better depending on where you live/work.

Women better looking here. More preppy, less of the big hair Revere look, or "you want meet me at the pahty" Billerica chicks.

Much, much better sports in Boston. Still a Sox and Patriots fan. DC sports are abysmal, bad owners and half the time fans cheer for away team, but this is a good thing when Red Sox play in Baltimore or DC, or when Celtics play the Wizards. Plenty of bars show Boston sports teams, lot of transplants in this area.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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People from Boston tend to like Boston better.

For everybody else, there's really no comparison. Boston is significantly more provincial.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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I have not lived in Boston, but have traveled there several times and have been impressed with many things about it. The cold weather is not for me (it's cold enough here...lol.). But here is what I have found:

The DC Area is:
-Much more diverse (by diverse I mean beyond black/white/hispanic/asian)
-Much warmer summers
-More spread out. Suburbs are big here. It seems as Boston functions as a "small village" which I think is actually kind of neat and unique. All of the towns have their own theme like Newton, Brookline, etc. Once you get out of DC and parts of close-in Arlington, Bethesda and Silver Spring, it is suburb land and you could be anywhere in the US.

I would also say...
-Cambridge is hard to beat between Harvard Square and all the literary and food hideaways
-The beach is much closer to Boston. It takes three hours to get to the Delaware beaches and I bet you all can get to the Cape quicker than that.
-DC has the advantage of having the Shenandoah nearby which is nice. I know Boston has the Berkshires, but the southern mountain ranges of the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge have an appeal for me personally.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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I will qualify my above statement in light of the last post - Cambridge really is a unique and wonderfully intellectually pretentious little stretch that can't really be replicated anywhere that doesn't have the pillars of MIT and Harvard.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
741 posts, read 2,603,382 times
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I'll just add that I thing when it comes to the metro the "T" goes more places and seems to be a little cheaper.

However, the DC metro is more modern with newer cars, but only goes certain places.

I find DC way more diverse in it's demographic as well compared to Boston. Boston had to be the 'whitest' city I've been to so far...
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Boston, and Cambridge more specifically, is the worst city I've ever lived in.

It is outrageously expensive, nothing is convenient, the weather is MISERABLE (windiest city in the country, rainier than Seattle, snowier than Chicago - and back to the rain for a second - just when you think winter is over and it will start getting nice, it decides to rain for three whole months, Spring doesn't exist here), the people are hideous and rude, the city as a whole is nothing more than an overgrown small New England town, the food (other than Italian food in the North End which is hit or miss) is mostly gross unless you're going to fine dining and overpriced.

Cambridge is even worse - all the problems of Boston with none of the charm or attractive buildings. Harvard Sqaure is a bunch of horrible local businesses or horrible chains. The people here are even uglier than Boston. The Harvard campus is ugly and mismatched - the students are weird and pretentious. Much of the rest of the city consists of a bunch of weird intellectual wannabes. And let's not forget that everything closes early here - but I guess it makes sense when it gets dark at 4pm for part of the year.

With that said, DC has its problems, but it is a very fun city with much nicer people and nicer weather.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
29,748 posts, read 28,352,382 times
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Yep. DC is better than Boston by a long shot.

1. DC has a much more diverse professional class. I feel that minority professionals tend to gravitate towards NYC and DC more than anywhere else. If you look at law firm websites, you don't see too many faces of color in the Boston offices compared to DC.

2. Better housing. DC is expensive too, but Boston is crazy.

3. Weather. I don't think I have to say much on this.

The only advantage Boston has is its rich ethnic diversity. I mentored at East Boston High School for a year and the whole entire globe was represented in one classroom. Boston also has some cool areas like the North End and Back Bay. But the city's overall vibe was a turn off for me. I guess the shamrocks posted all over the T didn't do it for me.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
23 posts, read 62,692 times
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I am from the DC area and went to school in Boston. I definitely prefer DC over Boston. They are both great cities, and do have a lot of similarities, but there are also a lot of differences. The weather being a major difference, you have many more months of warm weather in DC than in Boston. The public transportation system is much better in DC than in Boston.

The rentals in Boston are quite high, and the buildings are much older and more run down. While the rentals in DC are high, you can usually get a more updated unit for the amount you are spending (depending on the area of course). And the size you get for the amount of rent you spend is much more in DC.

Traffic in DC is much worse than in Boston. Boston has rush hour...DC has rush HOURS.

As far as the friendly factor, I felt that people were much less friendly in Boston when I lived there. I always accounted it to the weather. It gets so damn cold there, and the winters last SO long. I know I was probably less friendly when I lived there because I was freezing my arse off half the year each year!
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Plymouth,Michigan/Quad Cities, (IA/IL)
364 posts, read 668,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbgriffith1 View Post
Boston, and Cambridge more specifically, is the worst city I've ever lived in.

It is outrageously expensive, nothing is convenient, the weather is MISERABLE (windiest city in the country, rainier than Seattle, snowier than Chicago - and back to the rain for a second - just when you think winter is over and it will start getting nice, it decides to rain for three whole months, Spring doesn't exist here), the people are hideous and rude, the city as a whole is nothing more than an overgrown small New England town, the food (other than Italian food in the North End which is hit or miss) is mostly gross unless you're going to fine dining and overpriced.

Cambridge is even worse - all the problems of Boston with none of the charm or attractive buildings. Harvard Sqaure is a bunch of horrible local businesses or horrible chains. The people here are even uglier than Boston. The Harvard campus is ugly and mismatched - the students are weird and pretentious. Much of the rest of the city consists of a bunch of weird intellectual wannabes. And let's not forget that everything closes early here - but I guess it makes sense when it gets dark at 4pm for part of the year.

With that said, DC has its problems, but it is a very fun city with much nicer people and nicer weather.
I had to respond to this, as everything you said about Boston/Cambridge
is the same way I felt about the Metro Detroit area when I moved here. Especially the part about the miserable weather and hideous, rude people.


I also have spent time in the DC area so I'm sure it is a much better place than Boston.
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