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SoFLA954

Boston or San Fran?

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I've been to both of these cities and they are my favorite U.S. cities so far. I've been reading up on them since visiting them and even though they are different in many way they have many similarities.

-Both cities have there own style and vibe

-Both are somewhat in the shadow of other cities (LA for San Fran/ NY for Boston)

-Both have similar populations of around 7 million ( I added Providence to Boston's metro pop b/c you

minus well if San Jose is included in San Fran's

-Both are very wealthy cities and centers for Bio/high tech industry

-They are similar in area, both being about 50 square miles

-Both are more European in design and have good transit systems

-Both have prestigious universities (San Fran has Stanford and Berkeley, Boston has Harvard and MIT- I

think boston has the edge though in this field)

-Both are very liberal

-Both are on the ocean (yes I know I'm very observative)

-They were the top two favorite tourist cities by rating in the United States- San Fran #1 and Boston #2

-Both have high densities in the city propers- San Francisco's is much higher though

Well there's probably more but that's all I can think of for now. So which city do you prefer or think has the edge over the other? I can't really decide I really like them both about the same but I'll go with Boston because of my East Coast bias :)

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He, he. West Coast bias here, gotta go with San Fran!! I've only been to Boston once, and that was eons ago as a child so I can't state anything fairly about it, and don't really have an opinion. Boston has got to be special though simply for the role it played in the early times of our nation.

Why S.F. might have an edge:

Surfing? Yes, some people surf S.F.'s coast and we're close to Santa Cruz... (I know, I know....big deal....)

The hills are great!!

I've heard S.F. has the largest Chinatown in the U.S., if not the world (outside of China of course!) - I'm not sure if this is really true or not, but it's cool nonetheless.

I would say it is quite cosmopolitan, but I'm sure Boston is too.

Excellent scenery surrounding the city from mountains to ocean.

MAJOR DRAWBACK: Ouch!!! Those prices are steeeep! Steeper than any hill in the city, that's for sure. I'd love to live there, but could never afford it. :wacko:

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Mind you, I have only been to San Fran once for a few days, but here's my observation (I live outside Boston)-

San Fran has a much friendlier climate. Much friendlier people, for that matter, too. They also have better parks and certainly a much better public garden.

But I also felt that san Fran didn't have the interesting neighborhoods and neat places Boston has. Everything in SF was grids, and the only diference between the neighborhoods was the steepness of the streets and what stores where there. It certainly wasn't as interesting to explore. I also felt that Boston was a little more, I guess I will say real. San Fran still kind of felt like eveyone and everything was from somewhere else. But that may just be a factor of the short time I had to spend there.

Wish I could afford either one of them.

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I'd say if you had more time, you would have been able to find many more interesting places and neighborhoods. It definitely helps to have a guide or just raw time to strike out on your own and explore.

Some other disadvantages I'll add: traffic and parking can be a real issue. Not sure about Boston, but I guess this tends to be an issue in many large cities, not just S.F.....

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Believe it or not, I had a car for one day there. I found SF much easier on the driving, because there is a logic to how it is laid out. Boston is just a maze - try driving through the financial district, which LOOKS like it is a grid, but it really isn't.

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Im going to have to go with Boston. I myself dont seem to have problems with downtown Boston driving. Sure traffic can be horrendous sometimes on the MassPike, 93 or 95 but in what city isn't it. I think a real important part of the Boston area are its colleges and universities. Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, UMASS Boston, Endicott College, Lasell College, Mount Ida College, Newbury College, Northeastern, etc are all located in the Boston area.

There are a wealth of activities from shopping on Newbury Street to going to Boston Common to visiting the hisorical sites and museums or maybe taking in a Celtics Game.

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Both are probably the 2 best large cities in America IMO (yes, that includes NYC). I have to say tie. I will say I like the people more in SF/Bay Area. After I'm done with grad school in NC I wouldn't mind ending up in either area. BTW, add UCSF into the mix and education-wise they are pretty even.

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San Francisco.... (don't really have a reason, I just.... do :D)

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San Francisco seems like a magical place that I must soon visit. With all the cities on this forum whose enthusiasts are dying for density, height, major league sports, good mass transit, major economic power, and culture, San Francisco has all that. It's a winning city and I'm excited to hear Boston compared to it.

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Boston takes the cake as being my favorite. The history, top-notch colleges/universities, it's location on the beautiful Charles River and the rowhouses.

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I like Boston's old tree-lined and "town center" suburbs much better than SF burbs but like SF's inner city neighborhoods better. The bus system in SF has got to be the best and most usable in the US, and driving there was not as bad as I had thought, once you get into the city. Driving around Boston is a ridiculous nightmare.

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S.F.'s layout is fairly logical and well organized, but certain times of day are horrible and 101 getting into the city can be bad. Never had a problem with 280 though. Embarcadero can get pretty jammed too since it's got all the touristy stuff.

Did the Big Dig help out with Boston? Saw a program on the History Channel a few nights ago, pretty impressive project....

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Both cities are nice, but I'll take Boston. FYI, NEVER call San Francisco "San Fran" or "Frisco". They hate that. You either call it "San Francisco" or "The City".

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Unfortunately I haven't been to either of them but judging by pictures and what I have read about each I would rather visit Boston.

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Both cities are nice, but I'll take Boston. FYI, NEVER call San Francisco "San Fran" or "Frisco". They hate that. You either call it "San Francisco" or "The City".

Yep. When I was a kid, the parents would always say "We're going to The City". Almost never even said San Francisco!

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Yep. When I was a kid, the parents would always say "We're going to The City". Almost never even said San Francisco!

Does everyone in Northern California call SF "The city"? I heard that a couple times in sacramento.

new yorkers often refer to their city that way (to the annoyance of other east coasters;)

It's odd to hear SF called that, you would never hear people around chicago, philly, etc. use the term.

I guess SF is the one really dense city-like area in Cal., even if san jose has more people, everything else there is sort of sprawling.

Btw, I think boston is the nicer city physically, but SF has better people.

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Does everyone in Northern California call SF "The city"? I heard that a couple times in sacramento.

new yorkers often refer to their city that way (to the annoyance of other east coasters;)

It's odd to hear SF called that, you would never hear people around chicago, philly, etc. use the term.

I guess SF is the one really dense city-like area in Cal., even if san jose has more people, everything else there is sort of sprawling.

Btw, I think boston is the nicer city physically, but SF has better people.

Well, I don't know about everybody, but most of the people I know do refer to SF as "the city". You're probably right, a density thing vs. a sprawl thing and SF has skyscrapers, maybe more like what people envision as the classic skyscraper. I wonder, do people near Los Angeles refer to it as "the city" as well?

How are the people different in SF compared to Boston? I mean, why do you think they're better? I have a sense of San Francisco, but have no clue about Bostonians... :blink:

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Well, I don't know about everybody, but most of the people I know do refer to SF as "the city". You're probably right, a density thing vs. a sprawl thing and SF has skyscrapers, maybe more like what people envision as the classic skyscraper. I wonder, do people near Los Angeles refer to it as "the city" as well?

How are the people different in SF compared to Boston? I mean, why do you think they're better? I have a sense of San Francisco, but have no clue about Bostonians... :blink:

I have never been to San Francisco, which is ironic since it's almost like Mecca to gay people (and all my straight friends go and I have yet to). Because of this, I am unable to compare the two differernt citizen types. However, I did write a small review once about Bostonians for visitors to the city. I lived in Boston for a few years up until last month (now live in Providence, RI), and maybe based on my observations, you can then make some comparisons yourself.

"People in Boston seem apathetic and reserved, but we have a very "live and let live" attitude - this is what makes us the most accepting and liberal region in the country. If you want to get to know is, don't just expect a Bostonian to fawn over you because your a visitor. Ask a question, go to a local bar, when at dinner, talk to your server - we love to tell people about our city and answer your questions. Just do NOT ask for driving directions - if you have to ask, you shouldn't be driving!"

That was my observation. Maybe that will help a little... I'll give it some more thought.

-Bobby

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I have never been to San Francisco, which is ironic since it's almost like Mecca to gay people (and all my straight friends go and I have yet to).

Gay or not, it is a "must-visit" at least once for everybody! American and foreign. A friend of mine from Germany claims S.F. as one of his favorite cities in the world.

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I will say I like the people more in SF/Bay Area.

Not all of us Bostonians (or former Bostonians anyways) are total a-holes. :huh:

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SF is clearly the best City - Climate, Culture and (less) Crime. These two cities do share alot in common as pointed out above.

Everyone in California refers to SF as "The City", especially if you're from any point north of the Grapevine (and if you don't know what that means, you don't know California). It's been "The City" of the west coast for over 150 years. Remember, when LA was just a tiny town, SF with a major city... LA's rise is a much more recent phenomena. Though I live on the east coast now, you must remember that if anyone refers to the "City", I pretty much know they are refering to SF.

Remember, SF of today was founded in the mid-1800's after the gold rush, and has come a considerable distance considering it wasn't part of the original 13 colonies.

Consider this:

Tales of the City

When the lights go down in the City

The City by the Bay

City Lights Bookstore

etc.

All of these City monikers specifically refer to SF.

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I've never been to San Francisco, so what the hell do I know? but...

SF seems to have a more picturesque natural setting while Boston is no slouch with thousands of antique, historic structures.

Both are big tech places.

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I like Boston's old tree-lined and "town center" suburbs much better than SF burbs but like SF's inner city neighborhoods better.

Agree completely. The Valley looks like LA sprawl, and even wealthy suburbs like Woodside and Hillsborough lack the charm of Boston suburbs like Swampscott, Salem, and Wellesley. Those New England towns are a lot friendlier to local merchants than big Western counties.

Also agree with other posters that people in SF are much nicer. But no place combines culture and friendliess as well as Seattle.

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Boston has two things I hold near and dear that haven't been mentioned and that cannot be found in San Francisco.

WERS radio - Emerson College radio station is fantastic (88.9 if ya live here and can tune in and www.wers.org if ya don't)

and I mean, come on, the Red Sox! The culture of the Red Sox is so ingrained in this city and really adds to it I think... it's changed a bit since 2004, but I'll take it :thumbsup:

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