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[personal profile] gusl
These are my impressions:

Finding stuff:
Both cities are big enough for my needs, as far as my commercial needs are concerned. As long as I know where to find rice milk and bicycle parts, I'll be happy. In fact, Pittsburgh might have better late-night options, due to Massachusetts's blue laws

Cost of living:
Renting an apartment in Pittsburgh costs, ceteris paribus, half as much as in Boston. But since ceteris not paribus, Pittsburghers live bigger than Bostonians.

Weather:
Pittsburgh is a bit warmer all year round, but surprisingly also more humid and has more wet days (according to my World Weather Guide).

Social:
Boston provides an endless supply of potentially-interesting people. But since most of them are related to MIT in some way, you're not likely to run into them at a nightclub: you have to network your way to them, something which I failed to do during my one year in Boston.
In Pittsburgh, this supply might be more limited. CMU is like a mini MIT (or actually like a cross between Bucknell and MIT). But again, the lower level is more important: what will my immediate surroundings be? If I can relate to my colleagues, housemates, etc, then I don't need to care what my city is like as much: I was socially unhappy in Amsterdam, despite knowing several hundred people (most of my colleagues socialized almost exclusively with each other: I didn't click with them, except for two or three people, so I quickly found other scenes). Then again, it's nice to be able to relate to people you meet spontaneously (this is the reason [livejournal.com profile] sarandipiti left Bucknell, which I didn't understand at the time). The question is: will I find such a "scene"? In Amsterdam, I occasionally enjoyed the Blijburg scene, but while this was wonderful as far as *musical* relationships go, it was merely "ok" for meeting interesting people.

Transportation:
Boston is much better, especially given the T. In Pittsburgh, even taxis are hard to come by. Bikers need to struggle with hills. If I go to Pittsburgh, I will consider buying a car.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-04-14 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rdore.livejournal.com
Pittsburgh is a bit warmer all year round, but surprisingly also more humid and has more wet days (according to my World Weather Guide).

I don't know much about Boston weather, but in Pittsburgh it can be very chaotic more than anything - it can go from 18C and sunny to -5C and snowing in a few hours. Pittsburgh would in general be a bad place to go if you don't like some ammount of rain and snow. (Although I personally don't think the weather is a good thing to make a decision where to live based on unless it's particularly extreme, or you have some particular hobby, health condition, etc., that needs to be accounted for.)

Boston is much better, especially given the T. In Pittsburgh, even taxis are hard to come by. Bikers need to struggle with hills. If I go to Pittsburgh, I will consider buying a car.

The cost to live in Pittsburgh with a car is generally less than the cost to live in Boston without one.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-04-16 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jozefpronek.livejournal.com
In Pittsburgh:

Bicycle parts: go to Gatto's (more expensive) or to some of the cheaper places in Bloomfield.

Food: the Strip District is difficult to beat for Italian and Greek cheese - Penn Mac (or Pennsylvania Macaroni - but people call it Penn Mac in Pittsburgh) has over 400 varieties of cheese from Europe, at extremely affordable prices. They also have amazing olives (I think from Greece). In general, restaurants in Pittsburgh are so-so and overpriced - there are some exceptions on the Strip District - but buying for cooking it yourself has several good options in Pittsburgh.

Transportation: it really depends a lot on where you live, but yes, most buses and trams are slow. The worst part of it is that they tend to run late, very late and are quite dirty (we Latin Americans, used to our new shining Transmilenios, TranSantiagos, Curitiba buses, etc. which run quickly, on time and are kept very clean, cannot understand how the US has those slow, late and dirty buses! :). Yes, buy a car (if you manage to deal with Pennsylvania's bureaucracy for a driver's license).

I would personally prefer Boston, but again I have only spent short amounts of time there, while I have lived for a year in Pittsburgh (and been back quite often).

(no subject)

Date: 2006-04-22 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gaspaheangea.livejournal.com
Here's an analogy in terms of spices:
Boston is like capsaicin.
Pittsburgh is like isothiocyanates.

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