Bright Lights, Big City: The East Coast

Author: Alecia Pirulis

NYC from Staten Island Ferry

Svelte models, actresses, and dancers crowd together with smart-dressed, briefcase-toting business people and awe-struck tourists snapping photos with cameras. Tall structures of steel and glass rise from the granite landscape as yellow taxis grind to a halt, the blast from the cabs’ horns mingling with those of gridlocked cars, delivery trucks, and tour buses. The air is heavily scented with a unique combination of car exhaust, misty fog, metallic heat wafting from the subway vents, and the aroma of fresh-baked bagels and hot coffee from street vendors. It is morning in the one-and-only Big City, the one city that all other cities in the world are compared to. And it is just one of the iconic skylines that dominate the East Coast.

If you are planning to move to the East Coast, you’re sure to find yourself immersed with history, legends, crowded streets, the height of culture, and endless nightlife. These are just a few of the cities that make the East Coast an amazing place to live:

New York, New York: The Big Apple is the largest city in the United States – and has been since 1790. It was founded by Dutch colonists in 1624, and the city briefly served as the US capital in the late 1700s. The sites here are among the country’s most treasured: Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Wall Street, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue, and the Brooklyn Bridge. As proven time and again throughout history, New York it is one of the toughest, most resilient cities in the world. New York consists of five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Living in New York, you’ll enjoy Broadway performances, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, world-famous restaurants and nightclubs, the Tribeca Film Festival, and several museums.

Boston, Massachusetts: With a history that dates back to 1630, Boston is synonymous with American history and is home to many firsts, including the first subway system and the country’s first public school, which opened in 1635. Boston was settled by Puritan colonists along the Massachusetts Bay. Some of the most important events leading to the American Revolution took place here – the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, the ride of Paul Revere, the Siege of Boston, and the battles of Bunker Hill, Lexington, and Concord. Boston is a major international port city and it is home several major colleges and universities, including Boston University. Nearby Harvard University’s business and medical schools are located in Boston. MIT is also located across the river in Cambridge.

New Haven, Connecticut: Although New Haven isn’t the biggest city in Connecticut (that distinction goes to Bridgeport), it is an economic powerhouse, home to several major hospitals, manufacturing companies, and the area’s largest employer – Yale University. The English Puritans settled New Haven in 1638. The town was built around an open square, the New Haven Green. This 16-acre green space at the heart of downtown is a National Historic Landmark. New Haven is an attractive city with historical architecture and beautiful, old elm trees shading the city’s streets and sidewalks. New Haven’s claims to fame include the invention of the hamburger, made famous by Louis; Lunch, a tiny brick building that has served “fast food” since 1895.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The City of Brotherly Love is the second-largest city on the East Coast. This economic and cultural powerhouse has a strong economy based in information technology, finance, research, education, and tourism. This is the Cradle of Liberty – home of the Liberty Bell and Franklin Square, Independence Hall and Valley Forge National Historic Park. The Dutch settled the area in 1623, and the English took over in 1664. William Penn arrived in 1682 and formed the Pennsylvania Colony. One of Philly’s most famous residents, Benjamin Franklin, gave the city a library, one of the colony’s first hospitals, and fire protection. The Franklin Institute, opened in 1824, is named in his honor. Known for its food, culture, architecture, and beauty, Philadelphia is one of the nation’s most beloved cities.

Washington, DC: The United States Capital is one of the nation’s busiest, most important locations. The surrounding suburban communities raise the population to over one million during the work week, and this is a top tourism destination. Visitors come to see the Washington Monument, the White House, the Capitol building, the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, Ford’s Theatre, the Kennedy Center, and more. Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is one of the country’s oldest Catholic universities. It, along with Howard University and George Washington University, are part of DC’s ever-growing economy, which in addition to government, includes finance, research, medicine, and education.