May 31, 2012
BOSTON — A video from the Future Boston Alliance takes shots at Boston's reputation for stodgy government and sleepy nightlife. The video has prompted support and skepticism, and It's put the city's entertainment options — everything from food trucks to T-accessible live music and art events — back under the microscope.
It's not a frivolous matter. Every year around this time, Boston undergoes a mass student exodus following college graduation. Young, talented students come here for school, but many leave afterwards.
Jessica Martin, a researcher for the Boston Indicators Project, said the reasons for this are easy to determine.
"Boston is a very expensive city, particularly in housing," she said. "Many young people, many households in general are spending upwards of 35 percent to 50 percent of their income on rental prices." And relatively high wages, she said, don't offset it. Martin said affordable housing geared specifically to new grads might help provide a better chance for young professionals to establish themselves in Boston.
The Greater Boston Housing Report Card for 2011 found that Greater Boston had the third-highest rents in the country, after New York and San Francisco. However, given the enduring popularity of those expensive cities, the vibrancy of city life may mean the difference in retaining the newly educated generation.
Does Boston deserve its reputation as a sleepy city, or has it gotten a bad rap? What can be changed? Tell us in the comments or vote on Facebook. Some responses so far ...
Julia Carpenter: "Interesting — but the devil's in the details."
Allan Danley: "With over 55,000 people who took a Segway tour in 2011 Boston should be supporting new and innovative ways to see the city of Boston. Not only carbon-free and green but fun and exciting."
Doreen Iudica Vigue: "It is not stodgy. It's like Paris. If you don't respect the culture coming in, you are not going to get a kiss on both cheeks or a hot baguette. Simple as that."