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Old 12-17-2010, 12:32 PM
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 1,971,118 times
Reputation: 358


Gosh, I don't think Central is a bad area. It's one of the grittier neighborhoods in Cambridge and has it's share of homeless folks, etc., but I'm female and I wouldn't flinch at living in Central Sq.

OP said that she's checked out the area and read up on it. Maybe it would be worth her while to walk through at night if she's still visiting. Now, it is all based on personal comfort and I've lived in the Boston area for awhile so what works for me and what works for OP could be very different. OP did mention in a different thread that she and her husband are moving from ultimate suburbia, so maybe Central wouldn't be the best choice as the first location for the urban experience.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:49 PM
170 posts, read 374,517 times
Reputation: 153
Thank you all for your help. Shiver's right...everyone has said Central Square is perfectly safe but we are simply not used to totally urban living. We decided to look at Arlington and found something that is close enough to things to do without being right in the middle of everything. I think it will be a better fit for us. We can always move to a more urban area if we live here for a while and realize we really want to be a bit closer to everything.

Your help has been so valuable!
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:20 PM
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,260,554 times
Reputation: 186
Arlington is nice! Very cute, walkable town and livelier than your typical suburb. Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:58 PM
36 posts, read 154,585 times
Reputation: 34
I agree- try some other, less "gritty" neighborhoods of Cambridge- like Porter or Inman Square. I live in Brookline Village and I love it- and it feels very urban, close to everything, yet safe. But a big part of why I'm here is the fact that I have 2 school age kids - if I didn't and could save $400 a month and commute time, I would probably consider crossing the border into Brighton or Jamaica Plain - or going over the river to Cambridge...
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:58 PM
83 posts, read 292,652 times
Reputation: 77
Caveat: realtors around here often refer to Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood as being "Brookline Village".

I don't mind Mission Hill but it's got more public housing than some people feel comfortable living near, and it's certainly sketchier than Central Square or anything else in Cambridge.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:42 PM
122 posts, read 204,698 times
Reputation: 116
We lived in the Riverside neighborhood (3/4 toward Central Square) when we were grad students and young professionals and really enjoyed it. It did not strike us then as especially dangerous. Lots of good restaurants. No idea about dog walking possibilities.

We're now looking for a condo for our daughter, who will be in the Longwood medical area and are seriously looking at Brookline Village. It is less edgy than Central Square and looks quaint and a bit less interesting, but likely somewhat safer. We'd prefer our old neighborhood but it is not as convenient to the medical area (there is a Harvard shuttle and and a MBTA bus from Central Square so it is not terrible). Brookline Village feels a little more suburban, a little safer, and is probably a little less expensive (though we haven't really compared). But, we liked that area a lot in an earlier stage of life.
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