Huffpost ranks Boston-Cambridge-Newton as the 7th most segregated cluster in the United States. Is it true? It certainly is. I have been living in Cambridge for almost 8 months now and I know what if feels like to walk amidst a very noticeably white crowd. If it’s not surprising to you, it definitely was to me. Boston and the surrounding midget cities have around 22 universities and colleges in total which implies that the region must be fairly international. When I got here I heard someone say that every seventh person in Boston is Indian. That is true but just in areas where the cost of living is considerably less.
If you go South of Boston, the neighborhoods become more saturated with people of color. It’s not uncommon to see 6-8 people living in a 3 bedroom apartment because the city is ridiculously expensive. Let me give you a better idea of how expensive Boston is. There’s a revolving restaurant at the top of the tallest building in Boston – Prudential Tower. “The restaurant has been around for almost 5 decades now but in two months it will be closing down in less than 3 months now“, said my Uber driver a few days back. People used to spend 60-70 dollars per person to get dinner at this restaurant with the city view. However, for the past two years, the restaurant has been operating with a net loss; courtesy of staggering high rents in the B-town.
With an unemployment rate of over 9% for black people compared to a meager 5% for white people makes a person of color like me feel like 2 dollars. I remember an acquaintance say that Boston can make you feel from 2 billion to 2 cents in merely 2 minutes. Why? Here’s my list of whys.
- High literacy rate: Every other person to meet here is a post-doc and some academic hotshot and you feel as if you were born yesterday.
- Segregation: I once went to a work party with over forty people. However, I was the only person other than the host’s wife who had a wheat-ish hue in their skin.
- High cost of living: You think multiple times before wanting to move into a bigger or independent apartment. Having a private bathroom in a shared apartment is also rare. Even if you find a place which offers this convenience, you can’t expect to pay to less than 1500 dollars.
- Individualism: Lack of culture in this country and all the alleys reeking of capitalism is already depressing enough. But living in a city where no one has time to talk to you or socialize can make you feel very unwanted.