First, our weather is as good or better than Boston. It doesn't rain all day, ever. The traffic is never more than a two red light wait, and drivers are polite. Usually, they are! Unfortunately, the highway engineers have been tampering with a satisfactory highway network, by forcing in roundabouts, and making some 4 lane major arteries 3 lanes. They say it improves the flow, but this is only because many avoid those roads now, causing less traffic. There was a successful campaign by the businesses on Fireweed Lane (a major east-west mid-town street) to keep these city planners out of the area.
Now, comparing museums, I have to admit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is quite fabulous, and the $20 admission is acceptable, but there is a limited amount of time and energy to visit all the galleries in one visit. The Anchorage Museum of Fine Arts is also great, altho' quite a bit smaller, but adequate, and the $7 admission is more reasonable.
Restaurants abound in both cities, but overall, the prices in Boston are much higher. Anchorage boasts umpteen Mexican restaurants, and I didn't see any in Boston. The fast-food chains are in both places, and sidewalk cafes are inviting. Starbucks are found on most corners, it seemed, and shops between Copley Square and Arlington/Boston Commons are quite fancy. But Boston has no Nordstroms. How can that be! Anchorage has a downtown core with Nordie's and J.C. Penney's being the two major stores, and free parking at Penney's garage. Forget about parking in Boston -- it can be done if you want to pay $12/hr. Well, I don't.
Public transportation in Boston is pretty special. You can even take a subway to the airport (a shuttle takes you the last part right to your terminal) which is truly easier than turning in a rental car, or getting a lift there thru a toll-gate. Logan Airport is huge, and they've upgraded many restaurants and shops since 9-11, I understand. However, Anchorage has upgraded their airport, too, and it's easy/free access. . .but there's no public transportation to get there.
There are many educational colleges there. Northeastern Univ. just dropped their football program, but there's Harvard right across the River and many smaller colleges. On the music scene, you have Berklee School of Music, New England Conservatory, and other smaller schools. In Anchorage, you have ME! Yes, I teach piano, but we have the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) and Alaska Pacific University. . . and Charter College completes the diversity of offerings.
The sports scene at this time of year focuses on skiing, and Anchorage has Mt. Alyeska Resort, which is one of the best anywhere, and only an hour's drive away. Boston offers trains to Conway, N.H. and other ski resorts in N.H. and Vermont. The cost is prohibitive and unlikely that most can afford such luxury, whereas in Anchorage/Alyeska, ski bums have it good, with a hostel nearby the mountain, and reasonable prices for lift tickets and food.
I guess you can say I'm hooked on Alaska, for so many reasons. We even have our own history, altho' different from the elitists of New England. What can compare to the gold miners, and early settlers in Matanuska Valley. They have a story to tell, and it is just as colorful, in a different way.
So I guess the bottom line is that Alaska is a great place to visit, and even greater to live here. Come and see for yourself.