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moving to Cambridge, MA...need help!

Old Oct 21st, 2010, 04:46 PM
  #21  
 
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I actually disagree about the Fenway, I live nearby and think it's a great place to live. There are 81 home games per year, so the area is obviously super lively during those times, but there's lots of times when it's really quiet. Ambulances go by my house constantly, but they're like white noise to me, they don't bother me at all. And there are so many great restaurants and shops opening up in the area.

If you take the Green line to Lechmere, you're looking at about 35 minutes door to door. I used to work right across from the Galleria so I'm very familiar with the commute.
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Old Oct 21st, 2010, 05:31 PM
  #22  
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I agree with Rizzuto and Wyatt. I worked in the Fenway for many years and the area has improved every year. It is divided into two parts--East and West Fenway--and is divided by the park called the Back Bay Fens.

The park is surrounded by cultural institutions and schools, it has a beautiful rose garden and a large "victory" garden--where people apply for small plots to plant vegetables and/or flowers.

The Fenway is a pretty compact area. Sure you adjust your driving schedule around the starting and ending times of Red Sox games but that becomes second nature. You'll find more families walking around during that time than drunk revelers. But anyone driving into any part of the city takes events into consideration, whether they be Red Sox games, the Boston marathon, and the different walks and parades. It all makes the city an interesting and vibrant place to live.

The area seems to appeal to you, so maybe you can try it out with a short sublet or temporary housing.

As for ambulance noise--the large Longwood Medical Area is west of the Fenway and you'll hear ambulances in the distance if you're on a side street but you'll hear police cars and ambulances all over the city. Like Wyatt says--you stop hearing them. No big deal to most people.

There are lots of new restaurants in the area now and it's a short walk to the Back Bay commercial area.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 07:21 AM
  #23  
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ok, good to know indeed. So I found some sublets and maybe you can tell me about these streets. One is on the corner of Shawmut st and W. Newton st(South End) and another one is on the corner of Boylston st and Gloucester(Fenway). If you know of pretty good streets to take a peak, let me know I am 22 year old out of school so I understand what some of you said about the caos in Brighton. I think I can get use to the sirens noise in Fenway thank you!!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 07:30 AM
  #24  
 
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Have you used Google Earth to look at the streets you are considering? That can give you a visual idea of what areas look like?

I still stay if you can't do 1-month temporary housing to look around in person, at least try to sign the shortest lease possible on your 1st place. People can give their opinions and try to describe neighborhood "personalities" but it's not until you are IN a city that you can judge for yourself which best appeals to you.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 09:02 AM
  #25  
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Gotcha Actually these are temp leases, I was just still wondering what they were about. Thanks Suze!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 09:14 AM
  #26  
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elly,

The South End is not as convenient to public transportation and the neighborhood varies a lot from block to block. I'm not really familiar enough with the corner of Shawmut and W. Newton St. to comment. The South End has many of the top new restaurants in Boston.

The corner of Boylston and Gloucester is right smack dab in the Back Bay section of Boston, right opposite the Hynes Convention Center. I didn't know there were any apartments there on Boylston though the apartment you refer to may be on the Gloucester St. block.

Depending on where the apartment faced, it could be somewhat noisy--there is a bar right on Boylston at that corner. And parking would be a challenge. But, if you can live with that, you'd be in a great location--surrounded by stores and restaurants, near a large grocery store, and a couple of blocks away from the convention center subway stop on the Green Line. It would be a great place to start out in Boston. It has people walking around all day and late into the night so you would not feel unsafe going home.

It's across from the Prudential Center shopping area which connects to Copley Place--so you'd be adjacent to two large indoor shopping areas, which might be convenient when you're getting used to a Boston winter. The location is just a couple of blocks from the border of Back Bay and the Fenway.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 05:33 AM
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The areas you are looking at require riding the T. Have you used public transportation before? There are stops along the green line where you will be squeezed in like a sardine. Your commute could become a big part of how well you like going to work everyday. It might be best to have the flexibility to move from one part of town to another to suit the commute.

Have you thought about living in a roommate situation until you get a feel for the area? My niece moved to Boston from another state and other than family, she didn't know anyone and was feeling very isolated. She's now lived in two different apts she found on Craig's List, one in Charlestown the other in Somerville. In both places she just needed to give a one-month notice. The beauty for her was that she found like-minded people who became friends. She has since talked about living alone, but likes have people to hang out with.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 06:18 AM
  #28  
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I'd pick the back bay (gloucester/boylston) location over the South End (shawmut/w newton) location.

Like CW says, the South End neighborhood can vary from block to block, and I don't know it well enough to tell you how it is at Shawmut & W Newton. In addition, SE is less convenient, as you'd have to catch the Silver Line (a bus) from Washington Street to DT crossing, then somehow switch over to Green Line. It's going to be a pain and you'll be standing on the street waiting for the Silver Line.

OTOH, the Back Bay location is close to everything you'd need; and the Green Line station is underground, and you can get to Lechmere without changing lines. But like cw says, that area can be noisy at night, esp weekends. However, given that you're only 22, I bet you can get used to that, and you'll probably be out until 2-3 am on weekends anyway!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 06:57 AM
  #29  
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Thank you guys for the info. When it comes to commuting, I will most likely rely on my car since I'm stuck with the lease. I have a feeling I'm going to end in the hotel for the first few days anyways, it looks like from all the great info you told me, there's too much to consider. I'm still on a hunt however so might bug you all later with new street names if the place seems descent thank you again!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 08:21 AM
  #30  
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Please reconsider the car issue. You will most definitely spend more time driving than using public transit to get to work.

And have you considered the cost of parking? It'll easily be $300-400 a month to park in a lot or garage in the Back Bay area. And what about parking situation at work? Have you checked that out?

If you choose to park on the streets, resident parking spots are limited and hard to come by, esp during winter when we get mountains of snow on the streets. You also have to figure out when is street cleaning (you have to move your car). Also, street parking is not allowed on most downtown streets during snow emergency.

I don't know where you're from, but having a car in downtown Boston is a liability.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:23 PM
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I worked across the street from the Galleria for two years. The commute on the Green line is awful because a lot of the trains end in North Station so you have to get off and wait for another train to come and they didn't come frequently. There is a T parking lot at Lechmere for $4 per day but you need to get there by 7:30 am. The Galleria had special parking rates for local businesses which was something like $9 per day. Check into that.
Another commuting option for weekdays is to take the Red Line to Kendall Square and take the EZ Ride bus which stops right at the Galleria. http://www.charlesrivertma.org/program_ezride.htm
FYI there is a great Thai restaurant, Similian and Afgani restaurant, Helmand nearby.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 03:00 PM
  #32  
 
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If you'll have a car, the South End location makes way more sense than does Back Bay -- much easier to find on-street parking (though you'll need to register the car in Mass and get a Boston parking permit).

That said, the Back Bay would be a great location, as you could walk to a million different places, including work (though it might take 25-30 mins or so).
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #33  
 
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Hi Elly,

I am just now on the verge of making a move from AZ to Cambridge (only without a job and a place to live as of yet). I was wondering how did you fare in your move and how are you liking it now?? BTW, it seems like everyone was so helpful in their responses to you. It is very heart-warming to see such kindness on the internet. Did you find it easy enough to make friends once you were settled in the area?

Thank you for your guidance and input whenever you have the chance.
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Hi greengirl - My daughter moved to Cambridge - without a job - a few years ago and did fine. She lived near Central Square which was a really nice area. She had friends in Davis square and Sommerville also, both good neighborhoods. Other than right around Harvard Square or MIT it's not too overrun with students. She took a part time job in retail for a couple of months before she found her full time job.
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Old Mar 6th, 2016, 12:21 PM
  #35  
 
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Hey! So the problem with Craigslist is the huge amount of scams! I'd recommend http://navut.com if you don't know the area, its an online tool to find neighborhoods and they have pretty much the same listings as craigslist. It's also free so check it out and see what comes up in your results!
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Old Mar 7th, 2016, 08:46 AM
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The OP was looking for an apartment 6 years ago. Probably found something by now.
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