In short, Boston is a fascinating city. A meeting of past and present, a rich history, a thriving business scene, an excellent higher education system, many cozy restaurants, sports bars and cafes, museums, beautiful parks, and an international cavalcade. These are the keywords to describe the city.
We especially liked the fact that despite the big city, there are so many green spaces and parks everywhere. Another new experience is that you can reach many places on foot. In Charlotte, for example, we encountered a lot of obstacles.
We saw that there are several bike lanes. The question is how safe it is to ride a bike in traffic and between cars.
I also like that Boston is right on the water. That's always a plus for us.
Of course, like any place, it has its downsides. We've mentioned several times that the traffic is very chaotic and there are constant traffic jams. On the plus side, however, much of the traffic is underground; there are a lot of tunnels. What if there weren't?
Another problem is homelessness. There are a lot of homeless people.
That's a little bit of a concern. This is the first time they actually come to beg.
But there are also people who are just enjoying themselves, for example, dancing in the park…
I feel very sorry for these people. It breaks my heart to see them packing their whole life into a bag or even a shopping cart. But I don't know how to really (if at all) help them because you can't give money to everyone. And if you give it to them and they spend it on drugs or alcohol, I don't think that's any help.
Boston is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. In the U.S., but also in the world. The cost of living is reportedly 48% higher than the national average. In the downtown area, a one-bedroom apartment costs nearly $2,700, and a two-bedroom apartment costs $4,200. In the suburbs, it's a little cheaper: a one-bedroom apartment costs almost $2,000, and a three-bedroom apartment costs $2,900. The first year it cost us $1,670, now we pay nearly $2,000 a month. So Charlotte is a very up-and-coming city; unfortunately, you can see that in the prices. We couldn't afford a one-bedroom apartment downtown either… When we moved here, we looked at several apartments downtown. Sometimes we look at prices now, too, just to be in the know.
We also noticed the high prices in the restaurants. Not seriously, but we noticed that the price was always higher than usual no matter where we ate.
It is often said that America has no history and no attractions. But we believe there is! And history is definitely present here. I've been thinking about how interesting it is that so many immigrants came here hoping for a better life and then had to fight with their original home country for independence.
I believe the disadvantages listed here exist in every major city worldwide. But that doesn't detract from the attractiveness of the city. It's just part of it.
All in all, Boston is definitely worth a visit.