Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Why I Live in Boston

This past weekend, Sean and I made a road trip/excursion out to Cleveland to
see all my old buds/surrogate family. My friend Jumar even came up from
South Carolina, where he's busy training with the Navy's Nuclear Submarine
program (with my baby brother! Small world!) The hyjinx of the weekend are
probably fodder for another blog, but long story short; I found myself
grumbling quite loudly about the difference in cost-of-living between the
two cities.

Case in point: my friend Sarah, a fresh-faced new grad; is looking to buy a
house. A 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a nice yard in the hip barely-a-'burb
'burb of Lakewood goes for around $120,000. A townhouse in the same type of
neighborhood? Around $85,000.

Sean and I dabble our fingers in the idea of buying a house, and we'd be
hard-pressed to find one of similar description for less than $450,000.
And that would be in a much crappier neighborhood.

Now, before you start to blather on and on about salary differences and how
they're SOO much lower in Cleveland, let me say this: They're not. I mean,
Ok, if you make $75,000 in Boston, you might make $60,000 in Cleveland. But
bear in mind you'd be chopping your living expenses by two-thirds.

So, I've been more than a bit depressed about the seeming impossibility of
living the life I'd like to live while residing in Boston Proper.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not about to pack my bags and move back to
Cleveland (great town, but I'm kind of a coastal kind of girl...). But I've
been incredibly frustrated by the cost of living HERE. I know you locals
are used to it, but I'm just NOT. As I've said about a million times, an
above-average-income yuppie couple like Sean and I shouldn't have trouble
finding an apartment (not even a HOUSE!) we can afford. Suck!!!

Cut to last night. We met up at Scullers jazz club with my girls from
school and their respective boys to take in a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show.
Bemoaning that the show conflicted with the free Guster concert in City Hall
Plaza, we filed in to the small, intimate club with floor-to-ceiling windows
overlooking the river and settled in for an absolutely GREAT concert. We
sat 3 people back from the stage, and we were in the back of the
club. When they left, they walked right past us for high-fives and
handshakes. And it was a ridiculous amount of fun. I think my throat is
still sore from "Hidi hidi hidi ho"-ing and "Go Daddy-O"-ing.

Cut to this Friday. We're giving up the free Blondie concert (again, at
City Hall Plaza) in favor of seeing Iggy Pop with Fischerspooner and the
Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Yay! And all summer, there'll be Free Friday Flicks and
the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell. The weekends will be stuffed full of
Art Festivals and Music Festivals. We'll go hiking in the Berkshires, we'll
go down the Cape, to the Vineyard, maybe to Nantucket. We'll drive up to
Maine and eat lobster at a roadside stand. There's about a bazillion cool
things to do. All. The. Time.

And that kind of justifes the ungodly expense and makes me feel a little
better about living here. Well, for now, anyway.

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