Boston, MA

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    Nov 19, 2008 5:08 AM GMT
    I'm just curious. I was browsing around job sites, and I'm noticing that Boston has high demand for people in my field. The city's always appealed to me from the perspective of someone who doesn't live there. I guess I could look it as an opportunity, or I could look at it as there are a lot of crazy people there so I need to stay away (my field is mental health/human service). I'm not sure how seriously I'm entertaining the idea of moving from my current location at this moment. However, I've lived in the South all of my life, and I feel the desire to branch out sometime in the not so distant future. I'm planning a visit for the Spring, but I'd like to hear some thoughts from people who actually live or have lived in the area. Positives and negatives. Yes, I know Winters there are freezing and cost of living is high. What else?
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    Nov 19, 2008 12:13 PM GMT
    I've lived here all my life, and I can't imagine living anywhere else (and yes, I have been to a lot of other places.) The opportunities around here are great, the winters aren't that bad (not like Minnesota) in that it usually fluctuates between below and above freezing all the time (mentally, that makes a difference to me). Sometimes we get socked with snow, and other times we hardly get any. Many times it melts before we get any more, so it doesn't always accumulate.

    The opportunities can be really good, the population is very educated, and you can get married here. I'd say to come up and visit and see what you think. Feel free to email me if I can help.

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    Nov 19, 2008 12:28 PM GMT
    Boston's a great city. I lived there for a few years, wasn't for me, but I can see how people fall in love with it.

    It's small, so it's pretty easy to get anywhere quickly.

    There's always something to do.

    Interesting mix of people.

    The city is beautiful any time of year... might freeze your nuts off, but it sure can be pretty.

    I always felt safe.

    The downsides for me were more personal things, and you might not have the same experience.
    I felt like a lot of people were snotty (not everyone obviously, but there are some loud ones). Pretty sure you find that anywhere, though.
    In some places, there's a lot of emphasis on status (flashy cars, guest-lists, etc... not on a scale like Miami, but enough to bug me).
    Also, I couldn't figure out why people felt the need to be so politically outspoken in a city where pretty much everybody has similar opinions (security, maybe?), but they got on my nerves after a while.

    My reasons for moving out were mostly just that I found out I didn't like city life, and I'm a pansy about cold weather. I did have a great time though, and I'm glad I got to try it out. Since you can cover most of the city in a day or two, a visit will give you a good idea of what to expect, provided you've got a good tour guide.
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    Nov 19, 2008 12:44 PM GMT
    I could never move out of Boston. There is so much going on around here. There are plenty of jobs for my field and my family and friends are here. Winters here suck but we get by. Not much into clubbing but the nightlife is pretty cool.

    Visiting in the spring should be a good time to visit. If your into running or biking...The Charles River is a popular spot.
  • beaujangle

    Posts: 1701

    Nov 19, 2008 12:44 PM GMT
    Yes, I do notice that there is a certain class in Boston, which is um good & bad, depending on how you see it.

    I was there in the summer. In the city during office hours, I recall seeing office workers in suspenders & sunglasses walking very fast, wow they do look very smart.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Nov 19, 2008 2:05 PM GMT
    The winters aren't that cold.

    It's less that there are a lot of crazy people than that MA has a larger support network for them than most (my mother worked, and ex and good friend work in the field).

    Cost of living isn't high so much as cost of *rent* is high. Food, for example, isn't especially high.


    Things to know... Bostonians are not into false friendship. They won't be super nice and blow sunshine up your ass. This comes off as "cold" to a lot of people.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of the gay Boston community. I find it largely a little snobbish.

    MA falls are gorgeous. There's a lot of good hiking. Skiing isn't too far.

    You can get married.

    The state is very... mentally focused. This is not a *bad* thing, but it is something to be aware of. There's a lot of colleges (the most per capita in the nation) and a lot of education. That *can* mean it's harder to find people who understand your need to balance physical with mental.

    That's my input as a born and raised MA native.
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    Nov 19, 2008 2:14 PM GMT
    I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and now live in Rhode Island. I think the best thing about living in this part of the country is that you are never that far from the ocean (Cape Cod is less than an hour away), the mountains (western MA, NH, ME, VT), and New York City is about 3 hours. Culturally, we have some of the best theatre, music and museums...and, again, NYC isn't far.

    I love the fact that we actually have 4 seasons. The saying here is, "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it'll change".

    Good luck with your process...and email me if I can be of any help!
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    Nov 19, 2008 2:25 PM GMT
    A few observations (lived in Concord, MA for 19 years, Boston, MA proper for another 5).

    I always compare Boston to LA. In LA it seems you can have dozens of acquaintances but few if any actual friends. In Boston you may not have as many acquaintances but the actual fridenships are deeper and more loyal. You have to make an impression with people. If you can make someone laugh that helps. Just keep in mind that humor in Boston includes a healthy dose of cynicism and witty sarcasm tends to be thick up there.

    If you're the least bit intellectually curious, it's the best place in North America. With all the schools and history in New England, even the seemingly simple blue-collar types will surprise you with sophisticated, poignant statements or opinions. Some consider the aura of intellectual curiousity to be a bit snobbish (too bad...only in America).

    Boston is the second windiest city in the US, and in certain pockets of the city it can be pretty cold in the winter. But if you know how to play in the snow you should be fine. December in Boston is gorgeous. Christmas is Boston's holiday (closely followed by St. Patrick's Day).

    People from all walks of life follow all five professional sports teams religiously, and I'd bet that there are more women and gay sports fans there than in any other city in the country.

    In the summer, the beach towns are beautiful, but things can get crowded.

    Each town in Massachusetts has its own unique identity, unlike newer American suburban areas defined by freeways and lacking a core. Main Street is alive and strong in MA. There's a strong anti-bigbox thing going on there.

    Italian food and seafood are top notch.

    I'd steer clear of the gay bars, where judgement and high-school regression reigns. Instead find a few activity groups. You'll grow a much healthier social circle.

    Catholicism, Judaism and Unitarian-Universalism are very strong in Massachusetts. But up there religion is still respected as a private matter.

    I'll edit this as I think of other useful tidbits.
  • stevarino7

    Posts: 149

    Nov 19, 2008 2:26 PM GMT
    I worked in mental health in MA, I wonder what company it is you are looking into. The demand is high, though the pay for it not so great. But they recently just passed a bill, and I can't remember the exact name, it just had the number 65 in it, that was going to help with some more funding in the field. I however don't know the real logistics of it or if with the current economy that will go any where at the moment.

    New England in general is great to live in because you can really discover a bunch of states within a fairly short amount of time. And each state is really good to be around for a certain season. Maine to RI coast during the summer, NH and Vermont in the winter and all of NE has nice foliage in the fall. I personally really enjoy the end of spring in Boston the most.

    It is definitely a nice city and worth a look or two. I would recommend living in the state to almost any one as long as you can handle a pretty cold winter (the wind is what makes it so damn chilly).

    So the consensus is pretty much the same so far. Pretty and entertaining, as well as cultural and well educated. And you have NYC not too far away if you need a break and a little bit more excitement.
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    Nov 19, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    I just moved here from Fort Lauderdale and I recommend it.
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    Nov 19, 2008 6:30 PM GMT
    Headed home in a year and a half and CANNOT wait!

    I'll add to the comments a few others have made regarding the people. Boston can be very clannish in the sense that you can be defined by where in the city you live and who your 'people' are. It's terrific if you're on the inside of course because you've got people who will have your back no matter what. It can be tough obviously though if you're on the outside.

    Here's the thing - getting on the inside is a lot easier with that little gay card you've got AND having a sport/hobby where you can join a group. Those things will get you entrer but you'd better be able to 'keep up' since, as others have pointed out, Bostonians can be rough on anyone they thing is a little slow!

    And for an appropriate parting thought - you'd better learn to LOVE this song!


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    Nov 19, 2008 8:26 PM GMT
    Thank you for all of your replies guys. I do enjoy sports, running, and other outdoor activities. The bars, party, and socialite scenes will have no weight on my decision. Gay people can be rude everywhere so I'm not worried about that either. Better original recipe piss and vinegar, than maple syrup flavored piss and vinegar. I'll definitely have to plan a trip up there sometime in the Spring to check it out. I'm in no hurry though.

    Stevarino- My field is behavioral health care. Don't really have my sites set on any particular company or organization in Boston. I was just surprised with the variety of jobs available. My plan is to get my Masters in Social work or counseling. There's really no money to be made anywhere for Bachelor's level candidates in the mental health field. It's pretty sad that 17 year old high school drop outs can make more money flipping burgers than a person with a 4 year degree can make trying to help facilitate rehabilitation for a person with a mental illness. Most helping professions are grossly underpaid regardless. Shows where our priorities lie. In supersized convenience food! Food by which 90% of its contents were never meant to be consumed in the first place!

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    Nov 19, 2008 11:08 PM GMT
    terra22 saidBoston's ok. It has its ups and downs.

    I originally was supposed to move to Florida a few months ago. But I can't leave my home! Boston is great for the gay community. Although its appearance can be a bit groggy sometimes from all the construction, it really is a great place to be.

    Especially around Christmas and the summertime.


    The gay community in Broward County (only) is large and friendly, but I strongly recommend against moving to Florida because aside from Broward County (and even that), the whole state is very anti-gay.

    I realize that not everything is political or that 20 somethings view things differently than 40 somethings, but when you get to be my age, you start getting angry about such things.

    I moved to Florida in 1997 and it became increasingly anti-gay and turned red (until this election).

    Amendment two was the final straw for me and now I am up here in Massachusetts where my spouse is on my insurance plan, my marriage is recognized by the state, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of state law. I'll take it, despite the winters. icon_biggrin.gif

  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14360

    Nov 19, 2008 11:23 PM GMT
    I would love to visit Boston because I have heard so many positive things about the city. When I visited there many years ago, it was all torn up from urban renewal and it was a horrendous mess. But Boston had a lot to offer and despite the then urban renewal activity, the city is an architectural treasure chest just like Chicago, New York, and Buffalo. I have to complement Boston for correcting a horrendous error from the urban renewal era and that is the burial of the I-93 central artery. Even though the massive project had serious problems, but the big dig corrected a horrendous planning mistake in the heart of Boston. The city and its waterfront are once again unified together. I have heard that Boston gay guys are hot especially the Italian guys. I would definately love to visit Boston now that the city has been put back together.
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    Nov 19, 2008 11:32 PM GMT
    Boston is a terrific city. I've lived here (in the city) for a long time. It's easy to get around (especially if you leave the car parked and walk or take public transportation), tons of history, culture, great pro sports, awesome restaurants... it's also a very pretty city and the surrounding areas are very nice. Accessibility is also key -- you can be on a beach or in the mountains without too much trouble since everything is relatively close.

    As far as the people are concerned, Boston has always had a reputation of being somewhat stodgy, conservative, puritanical, etc. It's really quite open minded, but like another poster inferred earlier in this thread, people in Boston don't necessarily wear their emotions on their sleeves. While this may appear to be stand-offish at first, there is really a lot more beneath the surface.

    In terms of gay life, there are plenty of bars, but as another poster indicated, I wouldn't center my social life around them. There are a great many strong gay sports, cultural, busniness, etc. organization through which you can meet some great people.

    Good luck with your job search!
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    Nov 21, 2008 4:33 AM GMT
    beantown is awesome.
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    Nov 21, 2008 4:47 AM GMT
    Now my next question is are there any places that are affordable without having to work 3 full time jobs. I've had bad experiences with roommates, I have two dogs which would probably repel most potential roommates anyway. I don't think I could afford it on my own, and the areas that I feel like I could realistically afford with the type of work I'd be doing seem crime laden. To me, there's really no point in moving some place if I can't enjoy life a little while I'm there. I can work 120 hours a week and be miserable here.
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    Nov 21, 2008 4:57 AM GMT
    look outside of Boston and consider commuting.

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    Nov 21, 2008 5:06 AM GMT
    There are a number of areas that are fine and not too far of a commute away. I live in Arlington, and many of the towns & cities on the northern fringe (Somerville, Malden, Medford, Arlington, Watertown) area nice and the rents aren't as bad as in the city itself. Dorchester is also coming up and I understand is rather nice. Granted, you're not going to find the same types of rent as in Charlotte, but I understand that you should get a little better pay here that there to compensate (somewhat). You are paying for location, which is near all the great stuff that Boston has to offer.
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    Nov 21, 2008 5:20 AM GMT
    Before you start calling people and house hunting, you'll need to read this and do your research:

    http://www.universalhub.com/glossary
    The Wicked Good Guide to Boston English

    And you should know, when the realtor says the place has 'charm', that means that electricity and/or indoor plumbing was added long after the original structure went up.
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    Nov 21, 2008 9:50 PM GMT
    Crimthann saidBefore you start calling people and house hunting, you'll need to read this and do your research:

    http://www.universalhub.com/glossary
    The Wicked Good Guide to Boston English

    And you should know, when the realtor says the place has 'charm', that means that electricity and/or indoor plumbing was added long after the original structure went up.


    Don't you mean "chahm?" Oh well, I tried

    Funny, here when they say a place has charm it usually means someone died in it. Or is that "character?"