Review of Boston, Massachusetts

Not for me
Star Rating - 3/13/2018
I don't know how many stars are displayed on this web page but I rated Boston just one star. Frankly I don’t know why anybody would want to live in the Boston area unless they’re rich and grew up here. In the United States alone there are a number of elite universities outside New England. The weather is miserable and cost of living is among the highest in the world. I wouldn't go near Boston unless you make or will make at least 100K to 200K a year. Rent here is two or three times what it is in most cities, similar to New York or San Francisco. On the other hand maybe you’re reading this because you’ve got wealthy parents and you plan on going to Harvard (actually in Cambridge), so cost doesn’t make that much difference to you. There is probably a greater tolerance for LGBT persons and certain minorities compared to elsewhere in the US, although I’m not really a minority myself. Boston and vicinity seemed very crowded to me, but then again I grew up in American suburbs, not a city. Near a city, but not in one. Some people like noisy, crowded, congested urban areas. It seems normal to them. I hated the traffic. The first couple of months after I moved there somebody totaled my parked car in Copley Square. It was a hit-and-run but fortunately I wasn’t in the car. Most likely a large vehicle such as a truck smashed into my car and drove off. Might have been deliberate but I have no idea why. I had a job at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. During the few short months I worked there somebody totaled my parked car, broke into my employee locker, and I discovered a dead body on a sidewalk nearby. I called 911. It’s not too friendly. A couple years later somebody stole my Chevrolet I had parked next to a curb in the neighborhood known as Brighton, not considered a particularly bad area. Not long after that in a completely different part of town a woman crashed into the rear quarter panel of my Toyota for no apparent reason. Boston winters are cold and long with snow. Again, unless you grew up in the northern half of the US, have many friends here, and a lot money, I don’t know why you’d want to be living here. Shoveling snow is a lousy way to get your exercise and a good way to get a heart attack. I prefer the tropics. Because of the climate, much of the city—road signs, bridges, and overpasses—appear rusty, worn, and beat-up. The roads are often pockmarked with potholes, especially in the winter. Guess that’s why they call it the Rust Belt. Hollywood could use nighttime Boston for a dystopian movie set. If you have a tendency to get depressed the reduced sunlight and Boston climate will make it worse. The cold-climate beaches suck by the way compared to say California or Florida. Cape Cod can be pleasant if it’s not too crowded. Much of the Cape is marshland. Parking in the city is always a hassle. Better watch your car because there's a good chance somebody will steal it. Motor vehicle theft was nearly out of control when I was there in the ‘90s. That according to more than a few people I talked to and the media. Everybody has Lojack or some other aftermarket anti-theft device. Because of the sheer number of vehicles in the area you might as well assume that somebody’s going to crash into you at some point. Get ready for high insurance premiums. Socially Boston natives can be pretty frosty. It’s unlike anywhere else in the country in that respect. I’m 60 so I’ve been around. I also did a stint in the military with people from all walks of life. Bank tellers won’t give you the time of day unless you’ve got an account with them. The extreme arrogance and regionalism in Boston is really obnoxious, unlike any I've ever seen. I wasn’t expecting folksy. Fortunately not everybody is stuck-up and there are people from all over the world in Boston. There’s also plenty of entertainment in terms of bars, restaurants (I like the seafood); sports, if you subsidize wealthy athletes (Red Sox, Celtics, pro football 20 miles away); and music (the BSO, Boston Pops, rock/jazz/classical concerts large and small). I married a girl from Ohio and moved away.
Tom Paine | Fayetteville, AR
Reply to this Comment

3 Replies

It’s New England, winters are cold, not sure what you expected. Boston is not the suburbs, parking will be tough, that’s why most people don’t drive. The MBTA is reliable, it’s actually one of the highest ranked public subways in the country. Rent is expensive in Boston just like any other major city, if you don’t like that than go live in the middle of nowhere. I’ve found the people to be quite nice, maybe the energy you put out is the energy you receive.
Drake | Boston, MA | Report Abuse

Wow. What a scathing review. You're gonna get what you give and if you were that negative while you were here no wonder you didn't fare well. Boston is crowded, it's one of America's oldest cities, so that makes sense. We have winters so yeah the weather can be tough at times. The MBTA is reliable although it shuts down too early for my tastes. As far as regionalism and arrogance, apparently you haven't traveled that much because that's everywhere....most people like where they're from. I've spent alot of time in The South and I feel they're overly arrogant, only in The South do people try to pick fights over a 150 year old war they lost. Your car got hit in Boston? Mine got stolen in Atlanta. I feel much safer in Boston than most Southern/Bible Belt or West Coast cities. Boston is a bit grimy at times but everything is crammed into 48 square miles so it's small geographically and it's been there a long time hence the wacky roads. And yes Eastern Massachusetts/ Southeastern New Hampshire/ Northern Rhode Island are crowded since it's one of the first areas settled in the US. As far as drivers go Boston is no worse than any other city, actually statistically speaking Massachusetts and the Northeast in general is one of the safer areas driving wise in the US. Great schools, great hospitals, great universities. Full of history. Awesome sports teams. Good proximity to beaches and mountains. All in all Boston is pretty cool. Is it perfect? No, but it's a lot better than you've made it out to be.
B | Belmont, NH | Report Abuse

Spot on, Tom. I've worked in Boston for the past 4 years, and the traffic is terrible. Parking is expensive, and the MBTA is unreliable. People are very rude, even when rooting for the same sports teams. I could never afford to live there. Probably why I commuted from over an hour away, and felt miserable/exhausted getting home around 7 PM every night. Losing my job was a blessing in disguise. You've gotta come from money to swing it, even for the most rat-infested properties. It's really sad how out of reach the real estate is in Boston and its outskirts.
sari | North Attleboro, MA | Report Abuse
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