by Geneve Lau
photography courtesy of The Next Web
It’s no doubt that students are often faithful to the coasts they originally came from. Whether it be the Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee that is so quintessential to New England, or the warm sandy beaches surrounded by cliffs of the Pacific Northwest, each person has reasons they love each coast.
To better understand the “coast to coast” comparison, four students from various locations were interviewed regarding four categories: food, transportation, beaches and climate. Finally, they were asked their preference.
One noted cuisine that was different from coast to coast was Asian cuisine. Alyssa Giammanco (SAR ’21), from the Bay Area, noted that her home has “much better sushi than ever found in Boston.” Marisa Marino (CGS ’20), who grew up in New Hampshire and moved to Jupiter, Florida, a few years ago, mentioned that “Boston and the Northeast in general offer a more authentic variety of oriental cuisine,” in comparison to her new home down south. Justin Shapiro (CAS ’19) believed that “It’s easier to eat healthy in L.A.” as a native of the City of Angels. Phoebe Bobola (CGS ’19) noted Boston being famous for Italian food, in addition to being well-known for seafood.
Overall, it was a general consensus that Boston’s transportation system is good. Besides providing a form of transportation within the borders of Boston, it also branches out to surrounding areas with “a set fare no matter the distance” as noted by Giammanco. Coming from L.A., Shapiro was used to 30 minute drives and traffic, and found it shocking when people would complain about these things. He mentioned that despite the Green Line being slow at times, “It’s easily accessible.” Bobola mentioned that her hometown of Seattle has “good public transportation, but definitely not great or easy. The city also isn’t walkable.” One of her favorite parts about Boston is how easy it is to walk everywhere, and how beautiful it is.
Overall, it was agreed that there was a significant difference in the beaches from coast to coast. Giammanco noted the characteristic cliffs alongside the beach that are very unique to the Bay Area. Marino rarely finds herself stepping foot in northeastern beaches because the water is so cold, but in Florida, the “crystal-clear” water “feels like bath water and sometimes not different in temperature than the humid air.” Being a surfer, Shapiro noted that the “waves are better back home” in L.A. He also argued that the beaches on the west coast are “prettier with cliffs and mountains.”
Without a doubt, the cold of the Boston winters was definitely notable. Bobola was surprised by the change and said, “What I didn’t realize is my biggest problem wouldn’t be snow or ice or weather that changes in seconds, but the wind. Constant, relentless wind!” Shapiro complained that “Boston is too cold in the winter and too humid in the summer,” but admitted that fall and spring are better. Contrastingly, one of Giammanco’s favorite parts about Boston is the four seasons, who doesn't get to experience this in her home in the Bay Area.
Marino put into words perfectly her preference of the coasts, “It’s always been too hard to pick because I have taken so much time in my life to see just how different they are and incomparable in every aspect. It’s like my Hannah Montana: best of both worlds.” Shapiro is a die-hard West Coast lover, but Giammanco noted that she does prefer the East Coast even though she’s a Bay Area girl at heart.
It can be easy to pick a side, but most of all, it’s important to examine the unique differences of each coast and celebrating the things that makes each location so special.