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City vs. City #3: Boston vs. Seattle

Boston or Seattle?

  • Boston (Bean Town)

    Votes: 33 67.3%
  • Seattle (Emerald City)

    Votes: 16 32.7%

  • Total voters
    49

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Boston - "east", culture, history, tech/finance economy, architecture, the Atlantic Ocean, great neighborhoods, the big dig, ugly winters, the Cape.

Seattle - "northwest", Cascades and Olympic Penninsula, San Juan Islands, ferries, defense/natural resource economy, great neighborhoods, Pacific Ocean, rainy winters.

Add your own thoughts and/or vote for your favorite.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I voted Boston. Seattle has many wonderful cultural and environmental jewels, but I just dont think I could handle the grey weather.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Have to go with the new hometown.

Seattle's nice and all, but once Boeing consolidates with Lockeed Martin, what's left for jobs? I can fly out once a year to take in the natural splendor, suck down fried clams that taste like burnt cooking oil at Ivar's, and shop at Uwajimaya.

As for Boston, we get four seasons, we're only a short drive to the natural beauty of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vemont and Maine (not to mention great stuff here in MA as well), the seafood's fresh, we have consistently very good (though not often great) sports, and despite earnest warnings from some of my less peripatetic and more parochial southern friends, the people are very friendly - just different!
 
Messages
5,353
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31
Although Seattle's cool, I'd fit right in Boston. I can be quite the snob at times :p, plus I have family there.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Maybe because it was so hyped in the press, but I was quite disappointed with Seattle. I loved Pike Place Market and (pre-earthquake) Pioneer Square. Capital Hill was mildly interesting. Some of the suburbs have a lot of trees. And, the scenery is quite nice. But, it rained almost the whole time I was there. Residential architecture was extremely blah-lots of shabby wooden houses in serious need of tlc. I still remember a singe story bungalow on a city lot on a treeless, unattractive street selling for $425,000. Don't care if it was Queen Anne Hill-absolutely nothing special about the neighborhood or the house. Lots of dreary commercial strips. Horrible traffic. Even the touted places like Kirkland and Bellevue are pale imitations of the similar, equally well-planned Bay Area suburbs like Walnut Creek (Kirkland was described as Seattle's Sausalito-I don't think so-although the prices were almost as high) . Maybe too much of a focus on architecture/cityscape, but I still prefer California!

On the other hand, Boston, I feel, is totally distinctive. Their tourist waterfront blows away the awfulness of Fishermans' Wharf in SF, love the red brick architecture (versus the midwest-transplanted-to-the ocean theme in Seattle), the narrow streets, the distinctive local culture. Love the coastal towns to the north and south. Think Boston's mayor (from what I read in papers, mind you) is far more prescient of long-term needs of all the City's residents-especially when compared to that sleezy dandy and the clutch of disfunctional morons running SF. The weather and scenery don't compare to California, imo, but Boston would be a close second as a place to live in the US.

The Lotto is up to $24 million cash value after taxes. Maybe I will get a townhouse on Louisburg Square!
 

Greenescapist

Cyburbian
Messages
1,169
Points
24
Re:

I live in Boston, but just returned from a vacation in Seattle, where my sister lives. I think Seattle is really nice, friendly and laid-back - but I think considering the omnipresent gray weather, smaller size and economy, lack of public transpor, less international culture, etc -- I prefer Boston. Yes, drivers are crazy here and everything is astronomically expensive, but we've got world-class universities and museums, nice architecture, a subway/rail system (albeit an old one!) and great proximility to other great cities like NYC and DC and great vacation spots like Maine, Vermont, the NH mountains and beaches.
 

Glomer

Member
Messages
207
Points
9
Boston........ "The Palm" .....has anyone else eaten at the Palm in downtown Boston???? Where if you spend enough money over a period of time, they put your face on the wall????

Lobster Bisque is unbelievable.......and the huge, huge, lobsters!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to get back.
 

Bucky alum

Member
Messages
82
Points
4
Let me diss Boston

First off, I have never been to Seattle, and I have friends who live in Boston and I have been there 4 times this year. The first few times I went to Boston I had a great time, I enjoyed the funny accents, I really liked all the colleges in the city and the idea of 4 seasons.
What really bothers me about the city was the people. Now I live in NJ, originally from Wi, and I think the Bostonians are worse than the Jersey folk. Basically, the business trips for me have killed Boston, every meeting; the mob, the government, or somebody wants a payoff and I have been completely frustrated by these people. As a tourist I liked it, but I couldn't live there...
 

statler

Cyburbian
Messages
447
Points
14
Re: Let me diss Boston

Bucky alum said:
First off, I have never been to Seattle, and I have friends who live in Boston and I have been there 4 times this year. The first few times I went to Boston I had a great time, I enjoyed the funny accents, I really liked all the colleges in the city and the idea of 4 seasons.
What really bothers me about the city was the people. Now I live in NJ, originally from Wi, and I think the Bostonians are worse than the Jersey folk. Basically, the business trips for me have killed Boston, every meeting; the mob, the government, or somebody wants a payoff and I have been completely frustrated by these people. As a tourist I liked it, but I couldn't live there...
I'd respond to that but Dan hasn't sent me my $50 "Pithy Reply Fee" :D
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
I grew up in Boston and after spending the first 18 years of my life there I have no interest in living there ever again. Those long ugly raw winters are not missed.

Now both Boston and New England in general are great places to visit.
 

green22

Cyburbian
Messages
101
Points
6
As a nondriver, public transport and relative lack of rain are important to me. Boston has subways and trolleys. Seattle has the monorail which goes nowhere. I am also comforted by a sense of history which is much stronger in a lot of Boston. Unfortunately Boston is pretty expensive, worse than Seattle at the present. I'll take the college presence over that of microsoft and boeing, but I will give high marks to Seattle on a general progressiveness. From what I saw I would prefer Portland and definitely Boston to Seattle.
 
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54
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4
Winter is Good

Winter is Good, I've never been to Seattlel, but half my family lives in Boston, and I think the place is great. But I don't mind winter. That's not odd. I am from Buffalo. It snowed here on November 1st. Happy Winter! : )
 
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2
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0
Seattle - the Emperor's New Clothes

some random thoughts that have been brewing in my head lo these 4 years I've lived in Seattle. no offense to Seattle dwellers, of course - some of my best friends are from here....

(sorry so long)

1. "It's so green here, because of the rain."

Has anyone who says that ever been east of St. Louis? Most of the populated areas of the country are green, virtually as green as Seattle (I'll give Seattle that 2% advantage). Boston and Seattle get the same amount of precipitation a year - 36 inches. It's just that Seattle's is distributed across more days, as misty drizzle. You don't need 260 cloudy days a year to get green. I'm guessing that many of the people who say that have only seen California - and in contrast to California, Seattle is indeed green.

2. "Everyone here is so outdoorsy."

I lived in Boulder, Colorado for 6 months. It was the most active, outdoorsy place I've ever seen. It's very hard to do things out of doors in Seattle because, well, it rains a lot. Contrary to the image of the populace here, I don't see tons of people braving the wet and riding their bike or jogging in the rain. A few, but not many. And only a tiny fraction of the people I would see in Boulder, 365 days/year. There is a reason that Seattle has one of the highest movie-viewing rates in the country, and that studios use Seattle as a test market for new films.

3. "It's so beautiful here."

What is beautiful to you? Noble old buildings can be beautiful. There are precious few noble old buildings in Seattle. Compared to most East coast cities, Seattle architecture is very, very new. It is also very 60's/70's. Some people like that. That's great. But I would wager a bit more people like old architecture as well, and there is more of that back East.

I can see the Olympic mountains from my apartment. But in the winter, I probably glimpse a tiny slice of them for a few moments a month. Point: it is beautiful in Seattle, during the windows when you can see anything.

4. "It's so diverse here."

Diversity in sexual orientation, certainly (and far more so than any other place I've lived). But ethnic diversity? From Asian countries, yes. But Cambridge, Massachusetts has just as wide a variety of ethnically diverse restaurants as Capitol Hill or Rainier Valley do here - Haitian, Ethiopian, Portuguese. I'm sure all these ethnic groups are represented in Seattle, too. But they are also in *many other cities*, and in significant proportions. Seattle is not any more diverse than most other large cities in the U.S.

5. "People here are so nice, so genuine."

Seattle has the most sarcastic, cynical population I've ever met. My repeated attempts to get to know people have been met with blank stares, politeness, and caustic looks. I've experienced some profoundly traumatic events in my life, and yet I don't respond to people this way. Do people here care that much about privacy? Are they tired of getting to know people? I can understand a whole spectrum of interest in engaging with other people, but in Seattle that whole spectrum is shifted several notches to the introverted side.

6. "People here are so tolerant."

Of some things, compared to other cities, yes - varying sexual orientation, ways of dressing, spiritual and usually religious beliefs. Political, for the most part. But people here can also be overly sensitive. If I talk loudly, I'm not sending you negative energy. If I drive a little more assertively, I'm not trying to kill you. If I get excited or boyishly enthusiastic about a subject, that means I like it, not that I'm being naive or unhip. It's almost as if Seattle is the polar opposite of Texas - tolerant of all things feminine, but uncomfortable with expressions of masculinity (I'm using masculine/feminine here as convenient, well-known descriptions, not generalizing about male/female behavior).

7. "I like the weather, it's relaxing."

Weather is perhaps the biggest contributor to what makes Seattle, Seattle. What distinguishes Seattle weather isn't lots of rain - it's lots of clouds. But they're not really clouds - when a child draws a cloud, they don't draw a boundless white monolith, they draw puffy, discrete bodies in the midst of a blue sky. Seattle doesn't have clouds, it just has whiteness. An omnipresent, monocolor sun-blocking shelf has no noticeable benefits, but for most people it does have costs in spiritual health.

If you want mild, go to Northern California. It's mild there, but also sunny. You don't need to sacrifice sun to get mildness.

If you want rain, most of the rest of the country gets thunderstorms. You don't need to sacrifice sun to get moisture.

If you want green, I've already covered that.

Someone once commented to me that she liked the mildness of Seattle weather because "it seemed to exist outside of time". What is so scary about experiencing the passage of time through the changing of the seasons? I like seeing snow in winter, leaves in fall, and warmth in summer.

Perpetual cloudcover may be the most fitting climate for passive-aggressive Seattle, but to me, it is less natural (ironic considering how 'natural' Seattle is supposed to be), and somehow more unsettling, than fluctuations in weather by day and by season.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Interesting!

Interesting perspective from a resident. I expected more when I visited last year, and came away a little disappointed.

I know a lot of fellow Northern Californians who go on and on about how great Seattle is. I found that outside downtown (which I liked), Seattle is awful from an architectural standpoint. I much prefer stucco to peeling paint wood frame houses transplanted from Indiana :) The overcast would get old, too (although its still acting like February down here in Cali! :) )
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Re: Seattle - the Emperor's New Clothes

Really iteresting assessment, NUJ. I don't disagree with you per se, but here's another former resident of the metro area's perspective.

1. "It's so green here, because of the rain."
I lived in the Seattle area (Whidbey Island) for several years, and it does seem greener than California (Northern or Southern). A large part of this is that the grass doesn't turn brown for the most part in the summer (even N. Cal grass/chapparel turns brown in the bay area), and the higher percentage of conifers in natural areas in/around the City give the perception of it being greener in the Seattle area.

2. "Everyone here is so outdoorsy."
You are right... people aren't more outdoorsy in Seattle. They just appear to be (like in Portland) because of the attire that they wear to adapt to the drizzle. Polartec type clothing and street hiking boots make everyone look like they just came back from hiking... but it's mostly to keep dry in the slosh.

3. "It's so beautiful here."

I could see Mt. Rainier during most of the winter from Whidbey Island... and the Olympics were amazing. The sunsets and sunrises reflecting on the Sound... ahhh... many fond memories. The fact that you can walk on a ferry and have a beautiful sunset ride for a few bucks right out of downtown is spectacular. And coming from California, there is at least the perception of much better air quality in Seattle. I know they have their bad air quality days, but for the most part it's nothing like what many people experience in other metro areas.

4. "It's so diverse here."
You were spot on with this one.

5. "People here are so nice, so genuine."
I found people to very pleasant and easy to approach in Seattle. I met people so much faster than in any other location I've lived. Those people that were caustic often came from other areas (mostly California, but there were a few poopy people I met from Colorado as well).

6. "People here are so tolerant."
I agree with you on this one too. People are tolerant of things that more conservative areas are not. However, the general population is not very tolerant of conservatives (at least not the people I know/knew). I would describe it as militantly liberal.

7. "I like the weather, it's relaxing."
I loved the weather there. But then I got all sun for 17 years of my life in L.A... so several years of no sun in Washington didn't bother me. But it definitely isn't for everyone. I liked that I never had to plug in my car, scrape my windshield or shovel my walk. But the constant drizzle meant having to mow my lawn for the majority of the year, which was the downside.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
It's funny that weather is such a big issue in this topic. Philly is gray and miserable from December through March and when you're done with that there's the April showers to contend with (it's still raining) and Boston multiplies that crapiness by a factor of two.

I was on a 10 day trip to Seattle and Vancouver and for all the tooting of the ethnic diversity horn I have to say it turned out to be a joke in both cities. While in our van in Vancouver on the 8th day of the trip one of the black girls elbowed the other and said "check it out - a black guy" It made for quite a bit of jokes on the trip home.

I don't think i could live in either place for the long term but if i had to pick it would be Seattle. Boston is just too expensive for what is offered and while Seattle puts all of it's stock in buses it's also a much smaller city than Boston. I think the system is comprehensive and convenient and the bus tunnel and all electric system was def. a plus. When Seattle builds it's "fixed-guideway" system (whatever that winds up being) in the next few years it's going to be much nicer than what any east coast city (DC excepted) has to offer.

edit: ohh yeah, Seattle has a very warped perception of what bad traffic is.
 
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RE: Seattle & Emperor's New Clothes, etc.

nerudite brought up some really good points which I want to respond to.

1. "It's so green here, because of the rain."
I lived in the Seattle area (Whidbey Island) for several years, and it does seem greener than California (Northern or Southern). A large part of this is that the grass doesn't turn brown for the most part in the summer (even N. Cal grass/chapparel turns brown in the bay area), and the higher percentage of conifers in natural areas in/around the City give the perception of it being greener in the Seattle area.

NUJ: great point. evergreens vs. browned grass.

2. "Everyone here is so outdoorsy."
You are right... people aren't more outdoorsy in Seattle. They just appear to be (like in Portland) because of the attire that they wear to adapt to the drizzle. Polartec type clothing and street hiking boots make everyone look like they just came back from hiking... but it's mostly to keep dry in the slosh.

NUJ: another great point. people *look* outdoorsry because it's the most practical thing to wear in Seattle weather (I can vouch for that).

3. "It's so beautiful here."

I could see Mt. Rainier during most of the winter from Whidbey Island... and the Olympics were amazing. The sunsets and sunrises reflecting on the Sound... ahhh... many fond memories. The fact that you can walk on a ferry and have a beautiful sunset ride for a few bucks right out of downtown is spectacular. And coming from California, there is at least the perception of much better air quality in Seattle. I know they have their bad air quality days, but for the most part it's nothing like what many people experience in other metro areas.

NUJ: I couldn't see the Olympics all that often from my apt. but dunno, may just be splitting hairs here...

5. "People here are so nice, so genuine."
I found people to very pleasant and easy to approach in Seattle. I met people so much faster than in any other location I've lived. Those people that were caustic often came from other areas (mostly California, but there were a few poopy people I met from Colorado as well).

NUJ: I'm gonna pull a major backpedal on this one. In my experience, there are people in Seattle who are caustic and distancing and there are people who are indeed 'very pleasant and easy to approach'. It's sort of bizarre, actually. It's like the weather pushes you one of 2 ways - down the path of healthy introspection, emotional recalibration, and approachability, or the path of, 'screw you, the world sucks, why care' cynicism. I live in a neighborhood (Capitol Hill) which emphasizes the latter, so I probably see more of it.

7. "I like the weather, it's relaxing."
I loved the weather there. But then I got all sun for 17 years of my life in L.A... so several years of no sun in Washington didn't bother me. But it definitely isn't for everyone. I liked that I never had to plug in my car, scrape my windshield or shovel my walk. But the constant drizzle meant having to mow my lawn for the majority of the year, which was the downside.

NUJ: Other people from sunny climes have told me how relaxing it was to come to Seattle, without the oppression of perpetual sunniness (e.g. one person from San Diego). I think this just boils down to individual preference.

Here I want to add an additional comment on the weather, also per jresta's comments:

Seattle has more overcast days per year than any city in the continental U.S., over 260 of 'em. The second-ranking city was Buffalo, at around 210 (can you tell I was once obsessively collecting statistics on this?). Seattle is overcast solid from October to early May, then more intermittently so after that. Seattleites joke about how summer begins on July 4 (and how lucky they are to get a sunny 4th).

I've lived in Boston too and Boston was nothing like it is here. East-coast cities generally have a few sunny days here and there in the winter, even if it's bitter cold (the proverbial 'cold and clear' day). Seattle doesn't get that. In Seattle it's just cloudy. Every day. No extreme cold. No extreme heat. Many days, no precipitation. Just a thick, grey, amorphous cover above. I really cannot emphasize this enough - to quote Darth Vader, (shaking his fist and leaning forward) "You don't know the power of the Dark Side!". If you haven't been through it, I simply can't explain adequately enough how consistently dark and cloudy it is here, for most of the year.

One further thought - Seattle is at the same latitude as the very northernmost tip of Maine, making its days shorter in winter (though longer in summer, which I have to say is nice).
 

sthooligan

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
Bless Seattle for jump starting both music and coffee culture in the early 90s. Bless Boston for dumping tea and hunting Tories.
On the music tip I'll take Nirvana over Aerosmith any day of the week.
 

pwright1

Member
Messages
9
Points
0
As a Seattlite for the past 5 years the answer is Seattle without a doubt. I lived on the east coast all of my life and though its exciting, historic with lots to do the weather is the absolute worst in the winter. Winters in Boston are dreary, gray, bitter cold and just plain ugly. Seattle's winters are quite mild and nice. There are flowers year around and everything is a splendid green. The landscape is so much more beautiful. Yes you have New Hamphire and Vermont, but we have the Olympics, the Cascades, Vancouver BC, Whistler, the San Juan Islands, Victoria BC, beautiful snowcap mountains and a better looking skyline. The rain is a myth. The eastcoast cities get more rain than Seattle does, and the summers are not hot and humid. Come on out sometime and see why Seattle is at the top or near the top of the list for most livable and desirable cities in america to live.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
Boston: old beatiful buildings and winding streets, the ocean.. more sunny days... closer to Europe.(what?)

Seattle: "scenery," access to hiking possibilities, closer to Canada (what?)

Can I go with Minneapolis instead??
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
And let as not forget that Boston has much more diverse population... Isn't Seattle the biggest most "white" city in the states? Next would be Portland, OR, and Pittsburgh...

Funny.. all those "most livable" places tend to be overwhelmingly white...
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Has anyone seen the book The Creative Class? Just looking at the website it looks like he argues that cities need computer nerds and gay people to succeed, and that cities must court those people. I'm going to hold off on my judgement of that theory because I haven't seen his evidence, but one egregious thing that he did on the website was redefine "diversity" to be based on what percentage of the population was gay, and then give cities "diversity" rankings based on that definition. Nilly-white Seattle ended up near the top of the list.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
We've had a couple of discussions about Florida's work in the past. Feelings here are a bit mixed on that, but I like his ideas. I never picked up on the "redefinition" of diversity. To an extent, Florida does do this. Rather than think of diversity in the traditional racial context, he defines it as population characteristics that indicate a willingness to accept new ideas.

I wonder if we might be getting OT. Maybe a new thread?
 
Messages
20
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2
It's silly to say that Seattle is more green because of rain. It's not. Seattle is a city with benefits and costs like any other city. When people refer to an urban environment in the Pacific NW as being natural and green they're talking about what you'd find if you leave the city and find some nature. In that regard I can imagine the draw to the Pacific NW, as the areas surrounding Seattle are breathtakingly beautiful. Much of the Pac NW is as close to Eden as you'll get in the states.

But there's more to a city than whether or not it seems 'green'. For example, I live in Portland which everyone touts as being a very environmentally friendly, beautiful, clean city -- if you don't think about the fact that there's a Superfund site running through the middle of town (the wilamette river).

Personally, I'd probably choose Boston. It seemed like a much more convenient place to live with a much more vibrant neighborhood culture and convenient services, good public transit, beautiful architecture, etc.

blargh. Just random thoughts. Take them at face value. If you had to choose between the two cities you're incredibly lucky. There are far, far worse places to live. :)
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
have to go with boston, as i cannot think of a song about seattle.
"dirty water" by the standells puts boston over the top
 
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4
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0
New guy beating a dying horse, it seems.

Seattle-area resident my entire life here, five-year Seattle proper-resident.

Seattle by far.

To answer some of the misconceptions people have been writing about...

Green. It's not green because of rain. The entire Puget Sound area, east of the Sound, anyway, was all farmland and lush, green forests before the big cities started popping up. Before I-5, I understand that it was all farmland where large suburbs like Auburn, Kent, Renton, and Federal Way now are.

It rains a lot more in Boston than in Seattle. The only difference is that when it rains in Boston, it pours. It's true that it's grey quite a bit in Seattle, but it's better than blistering sun and freezing snow. It generally snows every other winter in Seattle. I just checked the weather forecast for Boston, and they're expecting snow half the days this week. We've been having record high temperatures the past couple weeks. It got up to 85 Saturday.

But besides weather.

Overwhelmingly white? Are you aware of the Asian culture that only exists in Pacific Rim cities?

So that's 9.3% Asian. 3/4 white, which is relatively low for a large city.

Boston's population is 82.93% white. Don't believe me?
http://www.censusscope.org/us/s33/m1123/chart_race.html

Oh, and here's my source for the Seattle info, too.
http://www.censusscope.org/us/s53/m7600/chart_race.html

Diversity, beauty, the people are great, I can't think of one way that Boston beats out Seattle.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
I have to weigh in in favor of

my second favorite metropolitan area (after the Bay Area)

I love metropolitan battles (Skyscraperpage!) Even from a West Coast perspective, I beg to disagree :)

Boston has the Back Bay, Louisburg Square, the Boston Common, the North End, the South End. Boston has ARCHITECTURE. Seattle has trees and boring, shabby wood frame housing that looks airlifted from Muncie, Indiana. Oh, and a few mediocre condo projects that look like even blander, more cheaply built versions of the yuppie lofts built in SF during the boom. Plus, Seattle is an amazingly low density city with no public transit to speak of. No pedestrian scale neighborhoods other than, maybe, Capital Hill (a less interesting version of multiple San Francsico neighborhoods, imo. Just like Kirkland's claim to be "the Sausalito of Seattle" is preposterous-$1 million to buy a condo in a 1965 motel style building. Please). North Seattle-yucko. The lakes and mountains and trees are lovely, but Boston has the Cape, the Emerald Necklace, the various forest preserves.
 
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4
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0
I grew up in Boston (the city) and have been to Seattle multiple times.

I'm familar with the socio-economic stats for both cities. Stats can be VERY misleading. A good example is population density which is often based on county. Boston has a land area of 48 square miles (Seattle is around 92) and is in Suffolk County. Brookline, a town that Boston almost completely surrounds, is in Norfolk County. It is 6 sq miles with 70,000 people. Two cities, Cambridge and Somerville, are right on top of Boston and if you weren't from here you would assume they were Boston, but not only are they not, they are in Middlesex County! Cambridge is 6 square miles with 100,000 people! Somerville is 4.5 square miles with 77,000 people! There is a city called Chelsea just 1 mile from Boston's financial district. It is 1.5 square miles with 35,000 people! You can easily go, in a matter of minutes through multiple city and county jurisdictions! In reality, a large chunk of the area surrounding Boston is just as urban as the city , if not more so. It's really one huge city. If you incorporated surrounding cities like these (which probably should have been done along time ago) you would still have a city geographically smaller than Seattles 92 square miles but with a population of well over 1 million people, compared to Seattles 575,000-600,000.

Seattle is more relaxed, and much less crowded. If you don't like people and crowds DON'T COME TO BOSTON.

The traffic corresponds to the (real) population density. Boston is horrific, Seattle really isn't that bad. Cake compared to Boston.

Boston is by far more diverse. I'm always amazed at just how truly diverse it is after visting or living in other cities. It has an amazing mix of people. As an intersting (?) afterthought, it is also a prime eurotrash city. Seattle by comparison dosn't come close. Also, the statistic that Boston is 82% white isn't accurate. About 50%. The largest minority group is hispanic. The African American popution for Boston is 24% compared to Seattles 7.9%. Seattle is very caucasian by big American Cities standards. This is neither a good or bad thing, just an observation. Both cities have large gay populations.
People's attitudes in both cities are actually very similar. But I would say Boston is more aggressive, rough and gruff. This can be noted in the accents. A real Boston accent is fast talking and harsh. Similar to New York.This probably has a lot to do with the previously mentioned.

Weather in Boston is temperate. It can get hot in the summer (June thru late Sept) but it's unusual to remain oppressively hot and humid for long periods of time. Usually for a few days than it cools down nicely. It's a coastal city like Seattle. It also is frequently overcast and grey. There's nothing unusual about rainfall in Boston.It dosn't have a rainy season when it pour rains. It can rain anytime of the year. It in fact can be damp and misty for weeks at a time. The fall in Boston and New England is stunning. There's nothing like that 1st cold crisp fall day after summer. Winters in the city really aren't that bad. Usually you get 2-4 snowstorms max. Snow removal is good and after a week it's not unusual for most of it to have melt. It actually rains much more than snows in the city. Go 20+ miles out from the city (northern New England, i.e. New Hampshire, Maine get very heavy snow and cold!) and you can get heavy snow. It's actually not unusual to get no snow at all!

Seattle and the Pacific northwest in general remind me very much of New England. I always feel very much at home there. Even the names of the towns are often the same. But as far as Seattle and Boston are concerned, metro Boston is larger and more diverse.








loub3000 said:
New guy beating a dying horse, it seems.

Seattle-area resident my entire life here, five-year Seattle proper-resident.

Seattle by far.

To answer some of the misconceptions people have been writing about...

Green. It's not green because of rain. The entire Puget Sound area, east of the Sound, anyway, was all farmland and lush, green forests before the big cities started popping up. Before I-5, I understand that it was all farmland where large suburbs like Auburn, Kent, Renton, and Federal Way now are.

It rains a lot more in Boston than in Seattle. The only difference is that when it rains in Boston, it pours. It's true that it's grey quite a bit in Seattle, but it's better than blistering sun and freezing snow. It generally snows every other winter in Seattle. I just checked the weather forecast for Boston, and they're expecting snow half the days this week. We've been having record high temperatures the past couple weeks. It got up to 85 Saturday.

But besides weather.

Overwhelmingly white? Are you aware of the Asian culture that only exists in Pacific Rim cities?

So that's 9.3% Asian. 3/4 white, which is relatively low for a large city.

Boston's population is 82.93% white. Don't believe me?
http://www.censusscope.org/us/s33/m1123/chart_race.html

Oh, and here's my source for the Seattle info, too.
http://www.censusscope.org/us/s53/m7600/chart_race.html

Diversity, beauty, the people are great, I can't think of one way that Boston beats out Seattle.
 

nuovorecord

Cyburbian
Messages
444
Points
13
I've been to Boston once, and Seattle countless times. So I can't say for certain that I'd like to live in Boston, even though I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there, but I can say for certain that I wouldn't want to live in Seattle.

Seattle's weather can be gray and dismal, but when it's good, it's AWESOME. Low humidity, mild temperatures, stellar views of the Cascade and Olympic mountains, and greenery everywhere. There's a reason it's called The Emerald City.

But Seattle doesn't have much of a soul, IMO. The whole region just feels like a suburb to me, even the downtown. It's more of a "feel" thing for me than anything I can really quantify. And, it's a pain in the butt to get around, due to the region's inability to build a light rail system despite 30 years of talking it to death.

Boston, on the other hand, has a great mix of the old and the new. It has the chaos and diversity that you find in older cities, which I find particularly appealing. About the only thing I don't like about Boston are those Darned Red Sox!!! :-D
 

lutzr

Member
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1
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0
Traffic

I lived in Boston for seven years and I've been in Seattle for three. I'd pick Seattle, though it's not a knockout punch or anything.

I miss the green when the leaves fall in Boston, and they don't come back until May. I prefer the slower, more laid-back rhythms of Seattle to the East-Coast hustle and bustle of Boston.

And for traffic? Seattle's traffic is NOTHING compared to Boston.

Boston does have the T and the theaters and the weight of history. But I had a less impressive apartment in a dingier neighborhood, and I had to dig my car out of the snow one too many times in Boston.
 

hilldweller

Cyburbian
Messages
3,865
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23
The interesting thing about the Boston metro area is that very few people in the region actually live in Boston proper. So Boston is generally thought of as encompassing all of its inner suburbs, which vary in character from working class to very affluent. And those that live in Boston will tell you they are from Dorchester, Brighton, Southie, or another neighborhood with its own identity. All of these places are well connected by public transit and green networks. The end product is a "city of neighborhoods" trait that really appeals to urbanists and sets it apart from most other American cities.
 
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Boston. Don't get me wrong, Seattle's awesome, but the northeast cities are GREAT. They have culture, history, architecture, great old neighborhoods, dense cities, smart people, and nice people. There's something about the northeastern cities that makes them the greatest cities in the world. We have beautiful seasons. We're really known for our Fall and Winter beauty(Spring also).

The northeastern cities are charming with their old neighborhoods. I wouldn't leave here for anything.
 

Wildono

Cyburbian
Messages
92
Points
4
Seattle way

Unfortunately, I haven't been to Boston, though I should get there soon. I lived in Seattle for 7 years, and I must affirm newurbanjunkie's initial observations about "Seattle Nice."

From casual interactions, I've found that many Seattleites are self-absorbed. Not all, but many. On the surface, they seem very intelligent, but perhaps because they are inaccessible. Why are these folks cold? Too many jading haute couture trips to Europe on Mom & Dad's credit cards? Too many ugly-American tourists-in-the boulangerie experiences? I don't know. But it equals a big stick up the @R$e. They won't necessarily say mean things about you (in your face) when you say "hi", but they often won't say anything at all in response.

I'm a long-ago Californian who is rather upfront-friendly. A possible rarity, I didn't arrive in Seattle with Louis Vuitton luggage pieces squirting cash in my wake from a big real estate sale. I think the Californication of Seattle is complete - it's heading south and north.
 
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2
Boston wins my vote. There's something to be said for the distinct history of many of our nation's underappreciated cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and it's quite refreshing to simply drive into an unknown city, park your car at a downtown garage, and then fan out on foot with a few friends, bound for destinations unknown as you take in as much of the historic architecture, unique stores, and funky nightlife around you. :) I've been to Boston several times before, and each time I was highly impressed by the efficiency of the "T" in getting around the city. It was also wonderful to follow the Freedom Trail around the city in order to experience the city as a true colonist! While I've never been to Seattle, I'd assume that there isn't nearly as much "history" or "character" in its neighborhoods as there is in Boston, right?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
While I've never been to Seattle, I'd assume that there isn't nearly as much "history" or "character" in its neighborhoods as there is in Boston, right?
Seattle's neighborhoods are very low density and sprawling outside a couple of core areas. The residential architecture looks like a fourth-tier midwestern city (say, Anderson, Indiana) plopped in a nice setting. :p
 
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