BOSTONIANS ON THE BIG APPLE
Thanks so much to Neil Swidey for his extensive comparison between New York City and the city of Boston (“New York vs. Boston: The End-Game,” July 8). I hope he plans to take his primary, hands-on field research a step further for a full-length nonfiction publication. And I hope he received hazardous-duty pay for his trip to the Fenway bleachers. That’s no place for the weak or the squeamish. Swidey’s factoid-saturated view of our nagging insecurities regarding The Big Apple will benefit my cocktail party conversation greatly.
Thomas Brian Condon / Orleans
A quick note to say that I love it when I read an article and come away saying, “I didn’t know that.” That holds true for Swidey’s story about Boston vs. New York. Great — and fun — read with a ton of interesting and thought-provoking information. Thank you!
Kirk Hazlett / Belmont
Excellent piece of writing by Swidey, but if the mental and language skills of Frankie and Phil are at all indicative of those of the young people whom New York City is hoping to educate at their new CornellNYC Tech, then it is going to take much, much more than just the new tech-focused graduate school on Roosevelt Island to attract venture capital investments. Mayor Bloomberg Inc. will probably need to go all the way back to the embryo stage to find suitable raw material for the new educational enterprise — for which it will likely have to (humbly) tap into Boston-based biotechnologies.
John Bader / Brookline
I grew up in Western Mass. but have more friends in New York City than in Boston. Having experienced both cities extensively, there’s only one way I can explain why New York is beating Boston: perception. New York City is a brand that is considered “cool.” The bars are open until 4 a.m. They have great happy hours. There are plenty of cabs. It’s the center of the media and finance world. It’s that overall experience and lifestyle that attracts young talent. It’s the exposure Manhattan gets through the media that compels young people to tell their friends about the time they got $40 all-you-can-eat-and-drink sushi during happy hour in the Lower East Side. Overall, I think the Back Bay/Beacon Hill/North End/South End wins in quality of life vs. Manhattan. It’s significantly cleaner. It’s easier to walk. Nicer buildings. Better parks. A drive to the Cape is an hour away. Mayor Menino has the right idea with the Innovation District initiatives in regards to getting tech jobs here and stopping the brain drain from Harvard and MIT. But there are a few Puritanesque laws that need to be squashed before 22-year-olds perceive Boston as more than just a cute place to visit.
Bryan Roy / Boston