Admittedly, this is wildly biased and heavily influenced by the fact that I had the time to get to know New York and Boston is just an acquaintance so far, but here is my highly unscientific early judgment on my first two adult homes.
Cleanliness – Boston
I can’t say there was no dog poop, but there was significantly less. And not a single subway station I’ve entered so far has smelled like pee. That’s a win for you Boston.
Friendliness – Tie
This one really is too early to tell. The only people on the street who have talked to me in Boston so far are homeless people and I have to say, it hasn’t exactly been pretty. In New York, people panhandling on the subway will apologize before they start to beg. Yesterday in Boston a homeless woman called me a bitch because I couldn’t tell her how to get to Copley Square. New Yorkers may have a bad rap as cold and unfriendly folk, but I wouldn’t count them out in this category just yet.
Convenience – New York
Hands down. I waited fifteen minutes for the bus in Boston yesterday, on a weekday. That’s like the M31 on a Sunday, or something you might find in Queens. The grocery store doesn’t deliver, so I’m assuming the McDonald’s and the liquor store don’t either. New York has everything, everywhere, all the time so this one goes to the Big Apple.
Variety – New York
We walked around Harvard Square yesterday and in one stroll I feel like we saw all there was to see. I feel like Boston is a city I can wrap my arms around. It’s really more like fifteen small, quaint New England towns all put down in the same spot, attached by a subway and separated by suburbia. Every subway stop in New York was a whole new world. East Harlem was so different from the West Village was so different from the Upper East Side was so different from the Financial District and so on and so on. For a tiny island in the Northeast, Manhattan is unmatched in this category.
Aesthetic – Boston
I sat in the Public Gardens yesterday and there is not match. I love Central Park, but this was so much better. There are Victorian homes. With yards. Made of grass. So much grass! And trees! New York is beautiful in its own way. I love the Chrysler Building and Grand Central, but nature really takes the cake and come fall, I know Boston is not going to disappoint.
Food/Culture – New York
Broadway. The Fashion District. The Met. Enough Michelin Star restaurants to feed an army. There really was never a question. This one goes to New York where the bright lights, the food trucks, the nightlife, and the art scene, like everything else in New York, never sleep.
Affordability – Boston
So far, I don’t feel like I’m spending less in Boston, but you get more bang for your buck, so everything feels like an upgrade. For the price of a one bedroom walk up in New York, you can get a two bedroom apartment with an elevator, laundry, a dishwasher, and a garbage disposal (otherwise known as the New York holy grail, and something you might dish out three grand a month for).