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Keller @ Large: Boston vs. San Francisco tale of the tape

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BOSTON – It’s almost showtime for the Celtics and the Warriors in the NBA Finals. And you know what that means – time for some head-to-head comparisons between America’s two most iconic cities.

When Tony Bennett famously sang “I left my heart in San Francisco,” he didn’t mention that it probably fell out while he was riding a cable car one of the city’s 48 named hills. That’s a lot of hills, most of them quite steep.

Boston has Beacon Hill, Bunker Hill and a few others. But if hills are your thing, it’s edge: San Francisco. 

And while the Zakim Bridge can be beautiful when it’s all lit up, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of a kind. Again, edge: San Francisco. 

Their most prominent politician is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a powerful female icon. Ours is Senator Elizabeth Warren, another powerful woman. We’re calling this one a draw.

When it comes to historic catastrophes, it’s hard to top the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that left half the city homeless. But for sheer quirkiness, the edge goes to the great North End molasses flood of 1919.

Maybe the Celtics defense can bog the Warriors down as well, non-lethally of course.

As late-1960s hippie scenes go, the Boston area had a good one. I distinctly remember watching the Buddy Miles Express play for free on Cambridge Common and wondering what that funny smell was.

But San Francisco had Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead and the rest of the Haight-Ashbury scene. Groovy edge to San Francisco – at least, until Charles Manson came along.

And while San Francisco’s signature dish, the spicy fish stew cioppino, is tasty, it tries way too hard. Give us good old Boston-style chowder any day. (But don’t even mention Manhattan “chowder” – that’s disgusting!)

Another comparison — Boston isn’t exactly cheap, but did you know the cost of living in San Francisco is 33% higher than here? Our summers are a lot nicer too.

So what’s the bottom line? If the Celtics take better care of the ball, improve their shot selection, and stay away from the cioppino, we like them in seven.

Get the duck boats ready.


BOSTON – It’s almost showtime for the Celtics and the Warriors in the NBA Finals. And you know what that means – time for some head-to-head comparisons between America’s two most iconic cities.

When Tony Bennett famously sang “I left my heart in San Francisco,” he didn’t mention that it probably fell out while he was riding a cable car one of the city’s 48 named hills. That’s a lot of hills, most of them quite steep.

Boston has Beacon Hill, Bunker Hill and a few others. But if hills are your thing, it’s edge: San Francisco. 

And while the Zakim Bridge can be beautiful when it’s all lit up, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of a kind. Again, edge: San Francisco. 

Their most prominent politician is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a powerful female icon. Ours is Senator Elizabeth Warren, another powerful woman. We’re calling this one a draw.

When it comes to historic catastrophes, it’s hard to top the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 that left half the city homeless. But for sheer quirkiness, the edge goes to the great North End molasses flood of 1919.

Maybe the Celtics defense can bog the Warriors down as well, non-lethally of course.

As late-1960s hippie scenes go, the Boston area had a good one. I distinctly remember watching the Buddy Miles Express play for free on Cambridge Common and wondering what that funny smell was.

But San Francisco had Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead and the rest of the Haight-Ashbury scene. Groovy edge to San Francisco – at least, until Charles Manson came along.

And while San Francisco’s signature dish, the spicy fish stew cioppino, is tasty, it tries way too hard. Give us good old Boston-style chowder any day. (But don’t even mention Manhattan “chowder” – that’s disgusting!)

Another comparison — Boston isn’t exactly cheap, but did you know the cost of living in San Francisco is 33% higher than here? Our summers are a lot nicer too.

So what’s the bottom line? If the Celtics take better care of the ball, improve their shot selection, and stay away from the cioppino, we like them in seven.

Get the duck boats ready.

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