Moving New York to Boston - what are the risks?

Is it worth it? Especially career-wise?
Things are going very well here for me; new opportunities constantly. What can be gained from throwing that all away and starting from scratch in a new city with a smaller industry?
Oct 1, 14 11:15 am

con:  low pay, high cost of living.

pro:  located in cultural hub, will meet interesting people and do interesting work, constant stimulation.  

If you don't have anything tying you down where you are currently, go for it, you only live once, and you can always go home after NYC beats the crap out of you for a few years.  

Oct 1, 14 12:07 pm
You're saying that boston firms are less high-stress?
Oct 1, 14 2:39 pm
DeTwan sound like the world will bow down to you. Go gettem tiger!

Oct 1, 14 6:17 pm

Definitely watch out for Boston cream pie and clam chowder.

Oct 1, 14 8:10 pm
thompson's gazelle

It's funny that people in New York consider moving out while the rest of the world is dying to go there. If I were you I would stay there; it's the most coveted city by the young in the world (including myself), especially in the design discipline. I agree with CHI-GMP. In Boston, you'll most likely do less interesting work, although you might get paid equally or even slightly more than in NYC, with slightly cheaper cost of living (cigarettes!!) and slightly colder winters. Unless you want to get into academia, I'd stay in New York.

Oct 1, 14 9:48 pm

Miles....I was going to say:  "Whatch for the Fish and Chips"...  and never paaaark ya carrrr and leave it unlocked!

Oct 1, 14 10:47 pm

CON: being around and/or becoming insufferable snobs, loss of connection to the real world, inability to find a parking place ever again (ever), that horrifying accent, having "Harvard" become 33.333% of your usable vocabulary.

PRO: someday, you'll be able to leave.

Oct 2, 14 3:00 pm

Boston is highly competitive, there's like 5 schools with graduates who are flooding the employment line. You'll be competing with students from across the river too.

Oct 3, 14 9:49 am

not sure why you'd move if things are going well - boston seems to be booming and a few firms do some boundary pushing work, others do more run of the mill work but do it well; not unlike nyc.  my impression is that boston has less of the trickle down economy of nyc (hence a bit less vibrant art scene), but a bit more academic.

Oct 3, 14 10:25 am

6 schools - although I haven't met anyone who went to mass art...  plus UMass has a program and there seems to be a lot of RISD and other ivy-league people around...


tough market to break into if you don't already have some kind of connection...

Oct 3, 14 10:28 am
Is boston highly competitive at all levels of architecture experience, or just for the first few years after college? Seems like many junior level people would leave Boston if the market is flooded for them. But what prospects are there for breaking in at an intermediate or senior level?
Oct 5, 14 11:46 pm

above entry level?  you should be fine.  recent clueless GSD grads are a dime a dozen around here - but if you've been in an office for a few years and can pull together a solid set of CDs with minimal to no supervision, people will want to hire you.

Oct 6, 14 12:27 am

@chigurh, do you think that Boston is more expensive than NYC? I've been to both cities, but I haven't lived there, maybe that's the reason I'm mistaken? But just looking at hotel websites like shows that NYC has an extremely high cost of living, even if just at a hotel. I doubt it that the normal apartments are cheaper.

Oct 6, 14 3:58 am
the orange menace

@SophieJ Boston isn't more expensive than NYC, but the drop isn't so significant in terms of cost of living vs wages. Housing in Boston is the third most expensive in the country after NYC and SF.

To answer the original post while touching on some of the other comments - if you love NYC then you may not like it here in Boston. To each his own and all that. Basically everyone here not from NYC themselves HATES IT when someone goes on and on about how New York is better, blah blah blah - so keep that in mind. Don't make the move if you're going to be that person longing for New York.

Boston is full of architects who have worked in New York - so to CHI-GMP's point, no firm that will pay you something comparable to what you are getting in Manhattan will give two shits about you coming from New York - unless you're looking at smaller, locally focused firms. If you're at a big name firm now that will carry a lot of weight, obviously - I'd argue that is much more important than your current zip code.

Based on your post, I'd stay in NYC. Without more context, you seem to like New York and to be happy with your career path. Why move?

Oct 6, 14 9:45 am
Is most of the work in boston urban or suburban work? Seems like the metro is comprised more of suburbs than city.
Oct 6, 14 3:54 pm

most of the local work is in the "urban core" (mostly inside and along route 128) - so largely urban or semi-urban - there really isn't much truly "suburban" style work (aside from some rehab of the odd industrial or office park) as most municipalities and the commonwealth have adopted smart growth development strategies - plus there's very little new space to build out in the suburbs due to all the conservation area.  I'd say the bulk of the current work is closer to downtown and around transit in the inner-ring - some high-rise, but also a lot of mid-rise and mixed use projects going on - not NYC scale, though.   Also - New England in general has a lot of really old building stock so local work tends to lean toward rehab… 


more reading:

Oct 6, 14 7:40 pm

I’d stay in NYC. The work here is conservative and unimaginative (brick to please the planning board). Rampant NIMBY-ism and a few of the firms that do moderately interesting work tend to think they’re much better and more important than they actually are. It’s like they have an inferiority complex to NYC.

Look up the biz journal lists. You’ll notice most firms are in downtown. It’s really congested. The subway is getting marginally better but you may be disappointed if you’re used to the one in NYC. Boston/Cambridge/Somerville are almost as densely populated as NYC but we have a significant middle class housing shortage and drastic enough action hasn’t been taken to add enough to keep up with the rate of people moving in.

On the plus side, taxes seem lower here. It’s also gorgeous during the falltime. 

Oct 16, 19 8:50 am

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