I just wanted to apologize for not posting over the past few days. It's Spring Break and, well... I'm enjoying the vacation.
Anyway, I decided to go to New York City for the weekend. I've traveled all around the world; I've been to Melbourne and Christchurch. I've been to the Dominican Republic and Tennessee. I've seen NASA's Control Center and had dinner on the top of Cinderella's Castle. Yet, I've never been to the Big Apple. So, when my friend asked me to come and visit another friend who goes to school there, how could I resist?
I assure you all, there is a point here. So many people love New York City. People all over the world dream about moving there. Clearly, none of those people have been to Boston. I told you I had a point: Boston rocks! Visiting New York only made me fully appreciate Bean Town. New York may have a huge population and the Statue of Liberty, but it pales in comparison when it comes to the feel of the city. Manhattan seemed so manufactured, so processed and so homogenized. It makes me think about American cheese... sure, it tastes okay and is good in a sandwich, but it's just not good cheese. It works, but there's nothing special about it.
Maybe I just didn't spend enough time there. However, I didn't feel that way about Sidney or Auckland. Heck, I didn't even feel that way about Houston. Every major city I've been to has always had some sort of feel to it that makes it unique and great in its own way. I can't explain it. However, NYC lacked that feel. I didn't go there and just get what it was all about. Maybe I feel that way because I'm too biased coming from Boston. Maybe NYC is too international; maybe there are so many people from so many different parts of the world that it can't have it's own unique identity. Maybe that's a good thing and I shouldn't be complaining.
The friend I stayed with lives on Stanton Island and I actually have to say I really liked it there. Stanton Island definitely had a feel to it. Maybe NYC has too many parts to feel unique as a whole and I should be looking at each part of NYC separately. Boston's a compact city, there aren't as many parts to the city as there is New York, so the real problem could be that NYC is just too big to feel as if it has a unique feel or identity.
I don't know. I don't understand it. All I know is that visiting New York made me appreciate just how great Boston is. We need to make sure Boston stays that way. Too many important jobs have been lost to mergers. Politicians play with our bread and butter as they allow other countries and states to get the head start with important research like stem cells.
Massachusetts is probably the greatest state in this country; we're the best educated, well off and are ahead of the curve on civil rights and even family values (just look at our divorce rates: lowest in the country). However, Massachusetts would be nothing without its heart and sole: Boston. People are leaving the state in droves, we're the only state in the country that has a shrinking population. While some would argue a shrinking population is a good thing, the fact of the matter is that something is causing people to leave, which illustrates a problem.
It means public colleges aren't as accessible as they should be (80% or more UMASS students stay in Massachusetts). It means better job opportunities are being created elsewhere. It means housing is too expensive. These are all problems that must be dealt with. However, I won't be coming up with any answers until Monday, when I'm back at school.