No one off the baseball diamond enjoys comparing Boston to New York City. Boston can be compared to parts of NYC. Boston can be compared to Brooklyn, for instance, but all of Boston cannot be compared to the whole of America's financial and cultural capital. One can compare parts of Boston to parts of New York City; Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and Hyde Park to Staten Island, perhaps, but what's the point?
Anyone can compare a seven course meal to a cold, egg hard boiled the day before. The egg has all the building blocks of life and can satisfy an appetite, but there is really no comparison. Boston may cradle powder kegs between its legs, but New York City is the place that shoots off sparks, using its stockpile of ammunition to showy, profitable, pyrotechnic advantage. Both cities are of similar age, but one is a tall man and one is a short one. Every shrimp quickly learns that a Napoleon complex won't get you the girls or respect in the end.
Boston keeps itself content doing what it does best. New York City is two states removed by rail. Boaton well knows that the higher one reaches the harder it is to keep balanced on tippity toes. The higher one swings, the harder the tumble. The faster the boom, there's no stopping the bust. Step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back. There isn't a smooth patch of paving in Boston. This is a city that steps gingerly, minding its peas and queues.
Boston is wise.