General Question

Steve_the_Shy's avatar

Boston vs Seattle, Which should I move too?

Asked by Steve_the_Shy (35points) January 21st, 2017

I have been planning this for months now but I feel I’m missing some elements that will lock in an answer. So I’m reaching out to anyone who has lived or is living in either (Or preferably both) city to give some insight. Which of the two will offer an overall better quality of life for me?

* I am 24, no wife, no kids. Not anti-social but I generally keep to myself. I favor a quiet lifestyle but am willing to open to new things. (Nightlife included but I’ll stick to day activities)
* I have lived in hot weather (Currently living in San Antonio, TX) and cold weather (Huntington, WV) so either side doesn’t bother me too much.
* No license to speak of but due plan on learning to ride a motorcycle when I settle in in either city, so walking is my preference with public transportation being my backup for long hauls.
* Game designing is my go to career with being a Firefighter my fallback, however I do have experience in Room Service in nice hotels (My plan was to get back into hotels when I get to either city and continue from there.)
* Finally I picked up a new hobby, Boxing, so I would like to continue this hobby in either city.

I have no contacts in either city, when I move I’ll be bringing clothes and a few other personal belongings. With 3,400 in the bank I had decided that I’ll live off on 3,000 as I search for a job, if things look grim my bug out line is nearing 400.

The cost of living in both cities is more than San Antonio so it hardly matters if one city is slightly cheaper than the other, what matters is, given all that I’ve laid out, which city in the long run would I enjoy living in the most?

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25 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Perpetual rain vs. biting bone chilling cold. But that’s just Winter. You should spend time in both.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I don’t know where I first heard this, but if the choice is hard, it’s easy.

Meaning you like both options. Neither one will be had.

Flip a coin and you will make the best of your choice.

johnpowell's avatar

I hate to be that guy but you want to rethink that 3400. I have done the landing in a strange city (without a car to sleep in) thing that was much cheaper with a similar amount of cash and it was a nightmare and I failed multiple times.

I went to San Diego with a friend and we had around 6K between the two of us. Should be easy. Way out in El Cajon you can get a shitty two bedroom for 800 a month. Not without employment. We offered to pay six months of rent in advance. Still no dice.

So we were sitting in a shitty rent by the week hotel paying 400 a week while looking for places to live. Shocker, it is hard to get a job when you live in a hotel. Some serious catch-22 shit.

This was in 1999 so craiglist wasn’t as popular as it is now.

My advice is to suck it up and rent a shitty cheap room on Craigslist before you move.

And here is the best advice you will get today. Fuck Seattle. Move to Portland. Similar in nearly everyway but much cheaper. I have a friend in Boston paying 1200 to live in a closet. My apartment in Portland was 825 a month and I only paid 300 for it since I had two roommates that shared a room. And this was in a trendy part of town (10 minutes from Hawthorne) . Portland is hip, tons of shit to do, great public transport, and everyone is nice if they aren’t asking you for money.

JLeslie's avatar

Why are these the two choices? Is the gaming industry there in a big way?

The Portland idea sounds good as a third choice from the choices offered.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I too would ratify the Portland pick. But hurry. The word is out.

johnpowell's avatar

Lets be honest here. Game designing is sort of a lottery thing wherever you are. If you were going to get a great job doing it you wouldn’t be asking this question with hospitality as a back-up. (sorry)

My old roomate (my sister’s son) was a waiter Here and managed to pay his bills in Portland. In Portland you have much less of a commute with better public transport. So that opens up your employment options since you don’t drive yet.

And Portland is close to Seattle. Settle in PDX and have some fun. You can take the bus to Seattle for 80 bucks round trip to Seattle if you score a job interview there.

edit :: And no sales tax in Oregon. That bag of Doritos is 3.29!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

If you like the outdoors, nothing beats the Pacific Northwest. The Olympic Peninsula, The Straits of San Juan. The huge Redwoods, the incredible rocky cliffs and wild Pacific Ocean. And the Mountains: the biggies in the coastal range: Ranier, especially. Hking, camping, kayaking, mountain climbing—and some of the most challenging sailing in the world is right there.

On the other hand, if you are the metropolitan type and of an intellectual and cultural bent, you can’t do much better than Boston. Museums, art, good mass transit, history, music of every genre in every kind of venue, medicine—and some of the best libraries and educational institutions in the world.

What kind of person are you? In which one of those two extreme environments would you best thrive?

Mariah's avatar

I live in the Boston area now but have never even visited the PNW so I’ll do my best.

Boston is awesome except in the winter. There’s loads of stuff to do; check out if you want to peruse your options.

I don’t drive either, and I wouldn’t want to anyhow around here. Shit’s cray. Good bus and subway service though. Subway gets very full and often has technical problems, but it’s a reasonably reliable way to get around and it goes pretty much everywhere. Uber is very active here also.

Cost of living is pretty bullshit. There are some cheaper pockets. Here’s a resource: You would want at least one roommate. A 2 bedroom is typically similarly priced to a 1 bedroom and it’s much more comfortable to share the rent. You would only last like 1 month here on your current savings (with security deposit and whatnot).

Looooots of software engineering around here. I am one and getting jobs has been super easy. I don’t know how much in the way of game development specifically. Seattle has Nintendo.

I hope you’re a liberal fuckin’ hippie because we’re quite possibly the bluest state in the country.

JLeslie's avatar

^^And yet MA voted in Mitt Romney as a governor and isn’t your current governor a republican?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

“Bluest state” doesn’t preclude Republican governors.

Illinois has a Republican governor. We haven’t given a Republican an electoral vote since 1980. New Jersey has a Republican Governor. California and New York have had Republicans in the past decade.

CWOTUS's avatar

I grew up in Central Massachusetts and have spent some time visiting Boston. I’ve also lived in Olympia, Washington for three years and in that time visited Seattle. So I have some familiarity with the areas in those terms. (Both were long ago, however, and my industries have always been different from yours, so I have nothing to offer in that regard.)

Though I did not find the winters to be at all objectionable in Oly (nor the summers, either; Western Washington has amazing (wonderful) weather in the summer – it’s the best-kept secret of the Northwest). When I lived in Oly, the Daily Olympian, the major newspaper for the capitol of Washington – would make it a headline story any day that the temperature rose above 90° or fell below 20°. So, yeah, the weather ain’t too bad. And the winters were mostly cloudy, not all that rainy, anyway.

But the thing that I missed so much about living in the Northwest, and I never could explain it, was that they don’t seem to have many thunderstorms there. I think we may have had three, total, in the three years that we lived there in the early 80s. Now that I’m back in Connecticut, I think I’ll stay as long as I can. I like cold weather in the winter time, and I love the good chance of thunderstorms in the spring and summer.

As others have already noted, your grubstake is perilously underfunded. You should do whatever you can to line up a job – or at a bare minimum, a lot of good interviews and possibilities – before you move to either location. You’ve got no cushion to survive an extended period of unemployment, and room service tips aren’t going to do it for you.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

the thing that I missed so much about living in the Northwest, and I never could explain it, was that they don’t seem to have many thunderstorms there

Yeah, that’s a thing. I spent most of ten years in Los Angeles and I missed thunderstorms.

When it rained, it often REALLY rained hard, it was glorious. But I don’t recall a thunderstorm.

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JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Well sure. NYC, probably the most liberal dot within the state of NY, puts in Republican Mayors sometimes too. MA was a 60% 40% vote like CA and NY this past election if I remember correctly. Still a whole bunch of people voting for Trump. The NE, and parts of New England, are generally not blind followers of their party.

johnpowell's avatar

Holy shit Mariah. Rent in Boston is bonkers. I knew it was bad but not that bad. I am kinda curious how the person at the Burger King downtown swings that.

I pay $615 for a two bedroom 8 blocks from the university of Oregon.

Cruiser's avatar

Boston does not even rank on the best cities for top gaming development jobs and Portland ranks at the bottom of the list. If you want a career in gaming then go where the jobs are even if it means having 8 roommates in studio apartment. You are young and time to make that commitment to your career while you have the time before a S/O and or kids come into the picture where your choices in life will be much more limited.

marinelife's avatar

Boston and Seattle are very different.

In Seattle, people are very focused on doing things outdoors: hiking, kayaking, skiing in their spare time. The outdoors is so beautiful there: the mountains, the water. It is a western city with all of the people acceptance that entails. Seattle’s climate is very temperate. No houses have central air. I had two friends who moved from Texas and they were amazed that many places had no window screens. They did not need them because there are not a lot of bugs. As for tansit, it’s much sketchier in Seattle. Driving in pretty much required.

Boston is more of an East Coast city. When you meet people, they tend to ask your religion, what college you graduated from, etc. with the intent of slotting you into their social structure. There is a lot more and a lot longer history in Boston, The architecture, the museums, the culture are all very rich if that matters to you. You said that you did not care about climate but Boston is much colder in the winter and much hotter in the summer. I almost forgot. You mentioned public transportation: the systems for that are much better in Boston than Seattle.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The thing about the Pacific Northwest that was most impressive to me was how BIG everything was out there. The spaces, the mountains, the trees—all were so bloody big and overwhelmingly beautiflul. No photograph or film can adequately depict it, not even iMax. It has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Truly, I’m not being arrogant when I say this—There is nothing like it on the other side of the Mississippi. The East has the Smokies, the Appalachians, the White Mountains with their beautiful broad leaf and pine forests, but nothing like the enormity of the upper Cascades, their wild rivers, waterfalls, high mountain meadows strewn with an explosion of colorful wildflowers, clean, clear blue lakes, and those huge redwoods with forest ceilings that start at 100 feet from the floor. The silence and subdued light in a redwood forest is like walking through one of the world’s great cathedrals. There are high mountain lakes with nobody around for miles.; beaches that are deserted on the most beautiful days—something unheard of anywhere on the East Coast.

The nature there is indescribably awesome and inspires a kind of, I dunno, an undeniable feeling of spirituality, a feeling that there is something bigger than ourselves. It can’t be explained. Poets and authors have tried their best, but have always fallen short.

And Vancouver is a really nice get-away town. Jazz, art, bohemians. That ferry ride over is a very pleasant one as well.

Steve_the_Shy's avatar

I wish to thank everyone contributing their two cents in the discussion. The idea of straight ignoring Seattle and instead to look into Portland defiantly caught my eye.

Yes 3,400 is extremely light for such a tall task but I figured it would be the bare minimal to even attempt this, last I checked (and I’ll check again just before leaving) a plane ticket the next day, one way, back home is roughly 400. Thus, if my savings near 400 and I have no solid leads on jobs, I leave. I did gave a mind to partner up before leaving or at least make a contact at the selected city and meet said contact to ease the burden, but I’m stubborn so I’m still fighting on ‘Should I, shouldn’t I?’

Entering game designing (of any kind) is in fact a crap shoot. Gaming in general is over-saturated because many bright eyed young adults fresh out of school will jump to any opportunity to enter the gaming industry. I still have a few years left of being hopeful so I’m still working towards it, worst comes to worst I’ll simply shift views. I have leads that both cities laid out have game testing at the minimal, and many have worked their way up from there.

Finally do I prefer an outdoorsy environment or the joys of living in a vibrant metropolitan? I’ve lived in both actually (Current San Antonio and years back in Huntington) I enjoyed both environments and it appears each city excel at one, so that’s good to hear.

The one guy that said to keep it simple and flip a coin, ehh, at this point that’s also not a bad idea. Both cities seem very alluring to me so I just might enjoy where ever I go. I still have time to iron out and fine tune details on both plans of action for which ever city I choose so I’ll continue my research until then.
But please keep the insight coming, every little bit helps with finally deciding where to go. Again thank you all.

chyna's avatar

Please let us know what you end up doing.

johnpowell's avatar

I have two experiences.

I went to Washington DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. My trip was Amtrak from Portland to Boston (stayed in aforementioned closet) and then to NYC to stay with another friend and then to DC where I slept outside before getting the train back to Portland.

The vibe on the east coast is very different. I landed and asked a person that was paid to help me find the correct train and she called me stupid. I had luggage. And that was pretty much the vibe all over the north east. I have no interest in returning. Sorry northeast people. You are like smokers that are baffled why non-smokers think you smell.

So back on the west coast.

Favorite band was playing and I took the bus to Seattle. Landed at the bus station. No fucking clue where I would sleep or where the concert was. So was near a hotel and tried to get a room near the Space Needle. 180 a night. Not happening.

So I walk around for a bit and find a store and bought a 40 of Bud. So I brown bag on the curb to think. And then magic. A hippie woman with dreadlocks walks by and informs me that what I was told by my cousin Nick about brownbagging in Seattle was false. I could get arrested!

So I explain what my situation is. No clue where I am, need to find where the concert is, need to find a cheap hotel near the concert. She gets me to 40 dollar hotel that is walkable to the concert.

Sorry east coast.. West Coast people are more laid-back.

VenusFanelli's avatar

I think I’d go for Seattle of these two. Boston isn’t a friendly city.

Cruiser's avatar

@johnpowell Very interesting story and experience…I had a similar experience when I was stranded at the Indianapolis airport after our plane was forced to land on 9/11 during the shit storm that fucked our country between the eyes.

As my family and I sat stranded in the luggage area….not one, two or three…but dozens of locals came up to us offering us to share a roof over our heads at their homes. I have never been so humbled by such care and generosity in my life. Cool people lurk in all corners of our country.

Strauss's avatar

I haven’t lived in either city, but when I was reading the details, and saw boxing, for some unknown reason I thought, of course, boxing has to favor Boston.

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