Saturday, November 27, 2004

Day 7 Friday November 26th 2004

Today was the tour-Boston-in-a-day travel blizzard. There were lots of places I saw including taking the "duck" tour which was awesome. It's called the duck tour because you're in an amphibian vehicle that takes you in the Charles river as well. Anyway, I won't go into details of what I saw or this post would never end. But I have to say this...

I was in NYC this March and now Boston. I've also been in Atlanta and have been given a guided tour by Puppetainer. I feel it's time to point out differences between NYC and Boston since they're really metropolitan - a.k.a. Bombay like.

1) I loved Boston more than NYC. It has the look and feel of having a history and culture with beautiful churches, large libraries dating back to early 1700s. NYC feels like a very large bus depot with shopping malls inside it. Everyone is coming and going. The city's identity resides in it's ability to keep people moving and I don't like that. Boston, on the other hand, feels like it has some character and classification that goes beyond appealing to mad high-end shoppers.

2) Maybe it was just me or the places I visited but African Americans are hard to find in Boston. It was a sea of Caucasians with the usual mix of foreigners. I'm sure there were African Americans but nothing compared to NYC. NYC is largely divided into two parts - those African Americans who live in the Ghetto and the Asians (read Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) who run the convenience stores. The rest are just visiting to see these two communities!!

3) Boston seems to be a place of learning unlike NYC. Sure NYC has Columbia University and such but you cannot question Boston's history of having Ivy League Universities and Research centers all over the place. It's not just about being able to get a college degree. The city literally is seething with research activity to discover the next cure or the next disease. Medicine is a big industry and a learning path that is typical of Boston. NYC teaches you to speak English such that no one understands it outside of NYC. That's how you fit in. Beyond that NYC teaches you very little in terms of academics.

4) NYC and Boston come really close when you talk about shopping experiences. I still think NYC has the edge in terms of the sheer volume of retail it processes and the throughput of shoppers in and out of Times Square. I have been to the main shopping hubs in both the cities and I think NYC is more jazzy schmazzy if you're planning to just shop.

5) Bostonians ( or maybe because it was Thanksgiving) do not dress crappily. I had to really try to find people like I see here in Dayton - people with pants hanging down to their knees or reverse baseball caps, eyebrow pierced druggie faces. None of that seemed prevalent although I'm sure it exists. Not much can be said about NYC in that regard because some of this crappiness originates from there so it does not compare to Boston in terms of how bad one can look. I just found that Bostonians had the word "fashionable" associated with their shadows. Maybe a class by Calvin Klein is a core subject in their schools - who knows.

6) Greenery, hands down victory for Boston. It's a big city but definitely not neck to neck with NYC when it comes constructing a concrete jungle for miles. Greenery in and around NYC was non existent and I can tell because I drove to NYC not just landed in an airplane. Boston has parks everywhere and there's no sign of wanting to get rid of them. Streets are lined up with trees on either side and on the median as well. Downtown is pretty well shrubbed as well.

So there you go. My judgement. Of course, I would still go to NYC if I were given a chance to visit one of those two cities. That's because NYC has that aura of being NYC that nobody can take away from it. And I love that. I would never live there but it's a brilliant place to visit if you like life in the dont-care-a-damn lane.

Eeyor was my hostess and she was great. She drives like I used to in Bombay and that brought back "fond" memories of how bad we had to drive in Bombay. She's not alone. Most of Boston drives that way and it's a big city thing not something specific to her driving. Drive like crazy if you want to live with crazy drivers.

Back to good ol' Dayton OH.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been too depressed and lonely since you've been I can't write.
And today I was refused a refund on a bag that I had purchased from a Samsonite store becoz "it smelled different, unlike the ohter bags in the store, which smelled like bags", as per the customer service I am simply pissed off...
Wait a minute, is this my blog webiste or yours?

3:13 PM  
Blogger Puppetainer said...

NYC has a lot of what you enjoyed in Boston, you just can't find it. The trick is to find someone who's lived there for years (preferably more than a decade) and have them show you around. NYC moves a lot, but for those who know how to find them it had great quiet spots too.

OTOH, Boston is one of the most active cities ever. I often wonder if they have the healthiest populace in the U.S.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Sheeshers said...

Eeyor, your baggage return story is really really wierd. If you're still interested in returning it, threaten them that you want to speak to the manager or you'd lodge a Better Business Bureau complaint. See how far that goes before giving up.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your blogs from 2004...miss you tons.

9:09 PM  

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