Today Boston is the largest city in New England, and one of the most historic, wealthy and influential cities in the country. Its plethora of museums, historical sights, and wealth of live performances, all explain why the city gets 16.3 million visitors a year, and one of the ten tourist locations in the country. Although not technically in Boston, the neighboring cities of Cambridge and Brookline are functionally integrated with Boston by mass transit and effectively a part of the city. Cambridge, just across the Charles River, is home to Harvard, MIT, local galleries, restaurants, and bars. Brookline is nearly surrounded by Boston and has its own array of restaurants and shopping.
Living in Boston
Before your move to Boston, it is important to note that it is a city of unique neighborhoods, many of which were towns in their own right before being annexed to the city. There is a strong pride within the neighborhoods of Boston, and many people will often tell you they are from "JP" (Jamaica Plain), "Dot" (Dorchester), "Southie" (South Boston), or "Eastie" (East Boston), rather than that they are from Boston. And, interestingly, people from the suburbs will tell you they are from Boston when in fact they live in one of the nearby suburbs. Among Boston's many neighborhoods, the historic areas of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Downtown, Fenway-Kenmore, the Financial District, Government Center, the North End, and the South End make up the area considered "Boston Proper." It is here where most of the buildings that make up the city's skyline are located.
Navigating the streets of Boston can be difficult until you become familiar with the area. While other American cities have their streets laid out in a grid (New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix), or along a river, lake, or other geographical feature, the modern streets of Boston are twisted and maze-like. Boston in the 1600s was a narrow peninsula surrounded by farmland and distant settlements. Landfill, urban expansion, waves of economic change, and new technologies have seen sensible street patterns added on to and collide in less sensible ways. Due to dense development, the older street patterns have largely remained in place without being adapted to their modern surroundings. In this way, Boston is more similar to old European cities than most typical large American cities. Boston is known as an excellent walking city, since it is clean, historic, and generally-safe. It also has excellent public transportation available in the metropolitan area and suburbs, to complement foot travel.
You will soon realize upon your move to Boston that New England’s weather is unpredictable. It becomes very cold in the winter and experiences higher humidity in the summer. From late May through late September the weather is ideal and the summers are quite comfortable, with sunshine 60-65% of the time and highs in the mid 70s to low 80s F. When the heat does start, there are some beaches within the city, and many beaches outside of it, for swimming. The Boston area's fall foliage is at or near its peak beauty in mid-October, which also normally offers the advantage of many crisp sunny day. In the wintertime, the Atlantic Ocean has a large moderating effect on temperatures. The average low in January is 22F.
Boston’s Education and Culture
If you have a future college student in the family, Boston may be your best place to move. The area's many colleges and universities make Boston an international center of higher education and medicine, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Boston's economic base also includes finance, professional and business services, biotechnology, information technology, and government activities.
Boston is placed among the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world. At nearly $363 billion, the Greater Boston metropolitan area has the sixth largest economy in the country and 12th largest in the world.
Boston's colleges and universities have a significant impact on the regional economy. Boston attracts more than 350,000 college students from around the world, who contribute more than $4.8 billion annually to the city's economy. Some of the most renowned and highly ranked universities in the world are located in the Boston area. Four members of the Association of American Universities are in Greater Boston: Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Brandeis University. Hospitals, universities, and research institutions in Greater Boston received more than $1.77 billion in National Institutes of Health grants in 2013, more money than any other American metropolitan area. Its largest private universities include Boston University; Northeastern University; Suffolk University; and Boston College. Boston's only public university is the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Sports fans moving to Boston will not be disappointed. Boston has teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues plus Major League Soccer, and has won 36 championships in these leagues, as of 2014. It is one of six cities (along with Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia) to have won championships in all four major sports. The Boston Red Sox, a founding member of the American League of Major League Baseball in 1901, play their home games at Fenway Park, built in 1912, and the oldest sports arena or stadium in active use. The TD Garden, formerly called the FleetCenter and built to replace the old, since-demolished Boston Garden, is adjoined to North Station and is the home of two major league teams: the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. While they have played in suburban Foxborough since 1971, the New England Patriots of the National Football League were founded in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, changing their name after relocating.
The Greater Boston area is steeped in history and a wonderful place to visit, Live, work or study.