Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Tale of Another Two Cities

I’m currently staying in Somerville, MA, my old stomping ground, instead of Staten Island, NY, where I currently live.  And I’m thinking about my life shuttling back and forth between two major cities on the east coast of the US.

I’ve talked a bit about my strange feelings about being a New Yorker now.  (See my post, The New New Yorker, 4/21/15.)  It’s a bit weird for me to go back and forth between the Boston area and New York City, but I still do it.  And each place is different.

Boston is what I call a colonial town with reminders everywhere about pre-revolutionary days.  NYC is skyscraper city.  I mean Boston has skyscrapers and New York has early Americana but history is much more predominant in Boston and gigantic new buildings are what dominate in New York.

Boston is The Hub, the ‘Athens of America’, filled with universities, and hospitals, and high technology.  NYC is the Big Apple, the largest city in the country, home of Wall Street and Madison Avenue, high finance and advertising and the fashion industry.  Personally, parts of New York really scare me--especially midtown Manhattan which seems to vibrate, where things are constantly flashing at you (especially, especially Times Square).  

Both cities are walkable and bikeable and have fairly good public transportation.  (Although the T in Boston shuts down at 1am.)  But Boston seems more human sized and New York can seem overwhelming.  There’s a lot to explore in both places and a lot to recommend both places and some pretty wonderful people in both places.

I like taking the Red Line across the Charles between Boston and Cambridge (or biking across the Mass Ave Bridge) and I like taking the Ferry at night and seeing Manhattan and Jersey City lit up--and, of course, the Statue of Liberty--and looking down the hill from Staten Island across the bay to Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.  Both places feel a little like home right now.

Even though I’m living in NYC now, I grew up around Boston and lived much of my adult life here and I imagine (although I can’t know) that someday I’ll come back and start a community here.  Meanwhile, I’m enjoying what both places offer.  I might as well take advantage of the situation.  It’s just what I have to deal with now.

Quote of the Day:  “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” Jane Jacobs


Austan said...

I hold both dear for just the reasons you describe. It's good to have change, and if being bi-city works, why not!? Good luck and I wish you a very very Happy 2016!

MoonRaven said...

Thanks and a Happy New Year to you as well.