Comment of the Day: Boston. It’s Worth It Too.

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BOSTON. IT’S WORTH IT TOO. Green Line Train, Boston“I live in Boston which is pretty much the anti-Houston, moving there as an adult fleeing some of the things Blue Dog celebrates. Born and raised in sprawling Omaha, Nebraska, with its struggling downtown and leapfrogging subdivisions, I came east seeking the density, the option of subways and streetcars and walking because of the relative proximity of destinations, the historic architecture of row houses and institutions, the amenities of a major gateway city with an urban vibe. You’d hate Boston, the high cost of living, the terrible traffic on our chaotic layout of colliding streets, the lack of space, and the cold winters. I don’t like those things either, but I’ve decided to live with them because of the things I do like. You’ve made your choice too, and you intelligently don’t deny that you live in flat, sprawling, hot-humid, ten-lane-wide highway beribboned mass of strip mall scattered anonymity because you like it. And no snobby eastern elitist transplant so blinkered, he can’t appreciate the collective expression of American freedom that is Post Oak or The Woodlands or Sugarland or cul-de-sac-paradise-of-your-choice will . . . convince you otherwise. Midtown does seem to me kind of nice though :-)” [Robert H, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Real Houston Is Outside Those Tiny Urban Islands] Illustration: Lulu

31 Comment

  • I’m glad you like those things too. I hope you stay. You sound naive, a romantic of sorts. You can’t raise a family or save for retirement on “urban vibe” and history unless you’re rich. I’m sure that when real life kicks in for you you’ll happily flee Boston and find it funny that you ever thought this way. Good job posting on a two-month old thread.

  • “expression of American freedom that is Post Oak or The Woodlands or Sugarland or cul-de-sac-paradise-of-your-choice”
    I think we could come up with some much better examples here, these aren’t exactly the most inspiring of choices.

  • My eyes literally could not roll any harder.

  • There is absolutely no reason Houston can’t be all things to all people. I say that with absolute sincerity.

  • In case you hadn’t noticed by the CoTD selections, the folks who run Swamplot really hate Houston.

  • Bogus comparison. He loves “Boston” which equals an area of less than 50 square miles and 650,000 people while conveniently ignoring the other 4.2 million people who live the Boston SMSA. All of the things he might like about the City of Boston simply do not apply to the region as a whole.

    When he knocks “Houston” though, he’s talking about The Woodlands and Sugar Land which are not part of the City of Houston at all.

    I’m not a fan of Sugar Land, Katy, The Woodlands, Pearland or Clear lake, but Houston itself suits me just fine.

  • The thing to remember is that the conveniences, low price and sprawl of the Houston area occur because of huge government wealth transfers. The creation of large freeway networks in empty areas is the equivalent of a developer’s EBT card, as more money is spent on utilities for inefficient plans. At the same time, some inner-loop taxpayer has the privilege of having his house destroyed for a new freeway, his neighborhood turned into parking lots, and never sees his transport networks improve.

    That aside, it is also why Houston recently claimed the title of fattest city only a few years ago.

  • Not everyone has to have a passel of kids and a house big enough for each one to have his/her own zip code. I have a friend who works at Tufts in Boston & has a very nice 1/1 place for under $2000 -my firm has me in a 1/1 at the Domain at City Centre until my retirement in March – $1950 for 650 square feet, and walking to the office would be suicide. Houston is a great place to make money, but don’t get offended if we want to spend it somewhere else. I’ve done my decades with the summers and giant roaches.

  • Dear Progg,
    Merry xmas.

  • @Hellsing
    $1950/650 sq. ft. That sounds like a scam. You can do better inside the loop. Also you’re talking about renting. What happens if I want to experience the “urban vibe” in Boston with my spouse and two kids? We live modestly in a medium-sized house now inside the loop. How many more zero’s do I need to add to my mortgage to live in urban-vibe-Boston? Please. This conversation is a debate for people with no kids and a healthy does of disposable income or rich people. The decision is made for everyone else.

  • I think the commenters on this comment on a comment are reading more hostility in it than was intended. I “… live in flat, sprawling, hot-humid, ten-lane-wide highway beribboned mass of strip mall scattered anonymity” because I like it. There’s no need to be defensive. I’d much rather live here than Boston.

  • by the way, I don’t know if you are from Houston or not but complaining about “summers” and roaches is about as thin as it gets with respect to knocking Houston. I haven’t seen a roach in my house since 2003 and with regards to the roaches that live outside my house, they are welcome to roam my yard and driveway as they deem necessary. As far as heat and humidity are concerned, to me, that’s like the sun coming in the morning and going down at night – a complete non issue. I grew up as a kid running around during the summers drenched in sweat and as an adult I also get a little sweaty. So what?

  • Uh ok. What was the point? Boston is historic, liberal, and congested, then some lame stereotype of Houston, an opinion he probably gleaned over a weekend. Even for Swamplot this is lame. Was it really that slow of a day?

  • I grew up in Maine. Boston was our “big city kind of nearby.” I agree with Progg. It’s insanely expensive to raise a family in Boston. I honestly don’t know how people do it. My brother is a lawyer. As an associate in a corporate law firm, he’s pulling in more than double what I make as an architect. My sister in law works, too. But even with that level of income, they couldn’t afford to buy a house in Boston! (At least, not a nice house with good schools). They moved back to Maine to find a house they could afford. They settled on Yarmouth, which has some of the best schools in the State, and they haven’t looked back.

  • None of us ever miss Swamplots feelings about Houston. It’s off that a blogg about Houston, presumably celebrating Houston, really is nothing more than a continuous hate message to the very city that pays its bills. Bizarre, but oh so Houston.

  • I’m with ZAW, I mean if a Corporate Lawyer can’t afford a descent house in like Brookline, who is buying these houses. It’s even worse in SF. I have a friend who could buy and sell me like 3 times and he lives in a tiny condo in a so so neighborhood near Golden Gate Park. I’m like you could live in River Oaks if you moved back to Houston. His answer: He’d rather live in a box in SF than the finest neighborhood in Houston. I just don’t get it, but whatev.

  • While I do hate the suburban parts of Houston…doesn’t the fake east coast bred commenter realize hes actually from Omaha? not Boston…face it you’re transplant…Houston might suck but Omaha…I mean c’mon…Baytown is better than Omaha…

  • Having lived in both Houston and Boston I can concur……The best sight I’ve ever seen was Houston in my rearview mirror.

  • Most knocks on Houston are from people that must have never lived in or near midtown/Montrose. Sprawl? Freeways? What’s that? I go a week without getting in my car. If you don’t like Houston, it could be the area of it you’re in.

  • There’s got to be an ersatz Boston somewhere: a City that’s nice and historic like Boston, but affordable. Provodence RI maybe? Albany NY? Baltimore? Philly? New Haven CT has Yale and commuter trains to New York City – but historically outside of Yale it’s been pretty hardscrabble and crime ridden….
    Oh, one other thing to note. Up in Maine we call people from Massachusetts, “Massholes.” A good word for a lot of them. Massholes.

  • I always wondered where you could find the mythical epi-center of “where I live is better than where you live” – – finally at the place where there is nothing for someone else to disparage. Even within NY City, there are strong opinions between the boroughs – – they unite against NJ – – then many NJ residents scoff at much of the rest of the country as a back-woods – – and so it goes….

  • But even midtown/Montrose is “suburban” compared to a lot of other cities with true density… and a week without your car? Did you stay in the house?

  • You bunch of hypocrites. Someone from Boston posts a comment about he/she’d rather live there than here, and you’d think he/she personally dogged you out.

    Skip to the next article in Swamplot, say a story about trees being cut down, read the comments and you’d think some arboreal armageddon is upon. Skip to the next article about a structure being town down by it’s owner, read the comments, and you’d think the entire city should be placed under some giant plexiglass dome with all structures over 30 years old mandated to remain in place, Skip to the next article, read the comments, and you hear folks railing against concrete and increased density, or bitching about lack of ground floor retail…like they have in Boston.

    This guys posts a comment, and suddenly Houston is Xanadu.

  • People get just down right ugly when somebody else states they prefer living in another city. I don’t quite understand it.

  • To each his own.

    I don’t think that the CotD is really saying “Boston is better than Houston”.

  • someone’s ideal place will always be filtered through the prism of personal experience and prevailing economic situation. i’m sure many peoples ideal places involve either islands of seclusion or vast penthouses overlooking pristine gardens and museums, neither of which will ever be realistic for us aspirational humans. and that doesn’t mean one is ever better than the other, that’s entirely dependent on your personal experiences and desires.
    ZAW, be careful. you’re remark reinforces my limited experience of Maine as a bunch of “crabby” white hairs and hospitals everywhere you look. coming from Houston it felt like travelling back in time.

  • This falls into the category of–I can criticize my family, but don’t you even think about it. The C of D was written in a disrespectful way and that’s why the defense of Houston. As you stated, we all know Houston isn’t perfect, but Boston isn’t Valhalla. Get a grip, it’s cold, old and full of people with the mast annaying accents an Earth! God, if I have to here one more Kennedy.

  • @Progg: Perhaps Robert H. wants to enjoy his life before all those things happen, if they ever do. As a native Houstonian who has lived here for the better part of five decades as a law-abiding tax-paying citizen, I find I’m faring better in other climes at the moment. I’ve earned it. Feel free to peruse the site and see if City Centre is offering a scam. As my company is paying until my retirement in March, I find it perfectly suitable. Since my niece and her family are in my old Garden Oaks home and I sold my Oak Forest rental, I prefer to be close enough to carpool with a colleague or take a cab the short distance to my office. Isn’t that part of Houston’s appeal; the variety of situations available in all price ranges?

    A native Montrosian as well, I have experienced floods, roaches, mosquitoes, heat, cars & schools without A/C (those giant casement windows at Poe School and the hooks to open them!), a personal meeting with Hugo the gorilla, being dropped off at the Galleria for an afternoon of skating with a friend ALONE, trick or treating on North & South Boulevard, watching Lucky Burger being built, shaking hands with Dan Blocker at the rodeo, opening day at Astroworld, the Super Bowl at Rice Stadium; years upon years of Houston memories. Overall, it’s been fun! At this stage of my life, with likely more years behind me than before, I simply don’t want to play corporate Houston right now – I want to play something else.

    If Robert H. or myself or hundreds of thousands of other people don’t meet the criteria for “real life” because the good of another place outweighs the bad, so be it. I can’t see Boston or any other major cities depopulating anytime soon, but if Houston is the apex for fulfilling a certain life script, relax – the masses will be here soon enough.

  • @Hellsing
    Here’s a comparable place to where you are living in the Greenway Plaza around and you’ll see that it’s well below what you are paying:
    Anyway your life story was very moving and all but you didn’t answer my question….

  • Progg – which one?

    “What happens if I want to experience the “urban vibe” in Boston with my spouse and two kids?”

    “How many more zero’s do I need to add to my mortgage to live in urban-vibe-Boston?”

    “So what?”

    To answer:

    1) Perhaps you cannot. You made the choice of having a spouse and two children. I didn’t want piano lessons when I was young; hence, I am not a concert pianist. Such is life.

    2) Too many factors – size of dwelling required, neighborhood, situation of seller – needs to sell able to wait, down payment, credit score for mortgage rate, etc.

    3) My question as well, to most of the offense taken at an opinion on where someone wants to live. I’d chew my own leg off in Arizona – too far from the ocean. I don’t know how Grumpy Cat does it. My singular little opinion.

    I don’t work near Greenway Plaza. I work near City Centre. My firm felt that the rent was worth my proximity to the office as I could stay later in the evening during the transition of accounts to my successor. City Centre is also an excellent spot in which to entertain clients. The value of a property cannot always be measured monetarily.

    As for my “story”, it is simply musings of a long-time Houstonian not so insecure as to take different opinions regarding my birthplace personally. Mileage may vary.

    And no, I’m not planning on Boston. If I decide to commit for a year, I’ll roll the dice on this and wait for a couple of months!