New Yorkers love boasting about how they can't afford to live there. But that do. And pulling that off has become the unique status symbol. As part of the snobbery, they warn others not to look for a job in New York because the cost of living is so out of hand.
Well, those New Yorkers now have competition. In Boston Magazine, Rachel Slade points out that the cost of living in that city is 39.7% above the U.S. average. Just as wonderfully painful, there is a shortage of places to bunk.
In itself, that article gives Bostonians license to, just like New Yorkers, become a kind of Greek Chorus. They chant the financial perils of trying to make a life in that historic city. There's no better fun than scaring the jesus out of the young, the dreamers and unemployed who envision Boston as their Promised Land.
But, face it, it will not be easy for Boston to really stand toe to toe with Manhattan as too-expensive. When people ask me why I relocated to flyover country (Austintown, Ohio), they get it right away when I say: I couldn't afford New York Metro any more. The answer is fine. They leave me alone. Obviously, I'm not some kind of miscreant fleeing the law. Or, simply a loser.
Suppose, though, I replied that Boston became beyond my budget? Duh. A frown would cross their face. They would file away in the collective community consciousness: We got to watch this one.
Boston may have to hire a public relations agency to position and package itself as unaffordable. That's the ultimate branding in the era of Trumpism.
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