Tale of Two Cities: New York City vs. Boston

By Bryna Shuman, Staff Writer

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New York City and Boston are some of the largest centers of culture in the American Northeast. But they’re far from similar, so how do the two cities compare?

New York City is the height of everything new and exciting in the world. A wonderfully fast-paced city, New York is home to shows quickly coming and going on Broadway and exhibits at museums swapping out to display the newest art, artifact or scientific research. In contrast, Boston is a city built entirely on remembering the past. One of Boston’s most famous attrac- tions is the Freedom Trail, a red-brick road that runs through the city. People can follow the path to nearly every well-known Revolutionary War site in Boston, including Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house and the USS Constitution.

New York City celebrates its diverse ethnic makeup in many ways, including the wide range of food spread through- out the city. New Yorkers can choose from almost any cuisine — from Italian to Chinese to Thai to Mexican — at nearly any time of day or night. While Boston also has a wide range of options, from the Italian restaurants of the North End to classic Irish pubs, Bostonians tend to appreciate traditional New England cuisine. Clam chowder, baked beans and lobster platters are some of the comfort foods that can be enjoyed throughout the city. New Yorkers may rush to Starbucks in hopes of ordering a coffee frappuccino before the line is out the door. Comparatively, any self-respecting Bostonian prefers large iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts, often referred to as Dunks, even in the dead of winter.

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NYU may not be known for its sports teams, but the city is famous for its athletic franchises. Don’t let the city’s glitz and glamour fool you. True New Yorkers are seriously passionate about their teams and are willing to fight you tooth and nail to prove it. The same atmosphere can be found in Boston, as streets crowd with fans on game days. Mass celebrations occur all over the city after an important victory. The hometown loyalty of each city can best be demonstrated in the famous New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry. Wear one team’s jersey in the opposite city and be ready for some serious heckling.

Celebrities who call the city home
New York City, as one of the top performance centers in the world, is home to a wide range of actors, musicians and celebrities. Greenwich Village itself is home to many famous names, and it is not unusual to see celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K. and Sarah Jessica Parker out and about near campus. While Boston has less well-known names, those who grow up there never really forget their roots. Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have all starred in movies set with heavy focus on their hometown, such as “The Fighter,” “Good Will Hunting” and “The Town,” respectively, and many films shoot on location throughout the city.

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 25 print edition. Bryna Shuman is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]