Which Coastal City Should You Live In?

Zoe Samuel

How much do you like to surf?

Would you consider scuba diving?

How often do you go to see live theater?

How often do you find you need to travel to Asia?

Do you aspire to work in entertainment?

Can your job be done remotely?

How much stimulation do you require on a daily basis?

Do you care if you don't know any of your neighbors?

How important is local history?

Do you like getting to use languages other than English?

Do you want to work in tech?

Do you mind tourists?

How do you feel about cold weather?

How much value do you place on manners?

What sort of dwelling appeals to you?

Do you mind a long, painful commute?

How much do you like to get around on foot?

How often do you find you need to fly to Europe?

How important is a low cost of living?

How much do you feel you need to be "where the action is?"

How important is a low crime rate?

How quiet do you need things?

How seriously do you take your relaxation?

How much do you like to get your outdoorsman on?

How do you feel about intense humidity?

What's your idea of a great social activity?

How important is ethnic diversity?

What's your idea of highbrow entertainment?

How do you feel about stifling heat?

Which natural disaster's immanent arrival freaks you out the least?

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Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The coastal cities of the world exist primarily because of trade. Deep ports, access to waterways that were the ancient highways of trade, the housing to accept an influx of immigrants and the jobs to give those people an income all contribute to a virtuous cycle of urban growth. Coastal cities have a lot in common, but they also have a lot that makes them different from each other.

Timing is part of what sets coastal cities apart. While Manhattan was colonized, just a few miles to the north, City Island was established as a rival. It never really worked out, and now City Island is just a neighborhood in the Bronx, part of New York City. Similarly, Miami had a long history with trade in the Caribbean, including piracy, but it wasn't until the 20th century that it really took off, giving it a much more contemporary vibe than say, Boston or Philadelphia.

Geology also plays a role. New York is mostly built on bedrock, allowing the willy-nilly building of skyscrapers, while San Francisco endures the slow leaning of the Millennium Tower, built on mud that isn't supporting it in the best of circumstances and could totally fail in an earthquake.

Finally, trade and culture form the bedrock we experience the most. Boston sports several large universities, giving parts of town a young, hip vibe. San Francisco is the world's hub of tech businesses, making it the preferred home of many a startup. Chicago (on the coast of a great lake) is a transport hub with top colleges, stock and commodity exchanges, and a creative community.

Which should you call home? It's a matter of priorities. Take this quiz, and we'll help you out.

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