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Old 12-17-2010, 06:12 PM
 
17 posts, read 29,199 times
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We will soon be moving "back" to the Boston area (after a 25 year hiatus in CT) after our youngest starts college. We are thinking of buying in Newton or Brookline. We would like to live in an area where we don't feel too young or too old. We'll be in our early 50's and are pretty active, but we don't want to feel out of place. Are these two towns a good fit for this age range? We want to be in a very walkable area, close to restaurants, culture. We'll have the 2 kids with us during breaks, so we need at least a 3 bdrm. We're looking in the $550 and under range, so condos may be our only option. I worry that having a condo won't give us enough storage or parking. What about Watertown? I know it's not on the "T", but is transportation close by?
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:06 PM
 
5,763 posts, read 13,331,365 times
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Default Consider adding Arlington to your list.

Newton and Brookline both seem to fit the criteria you've described, except that the housing prices are on the high side. If I'm not mistaken, houses are more expensive on average in Brookline, so you may have a better chance of finding some possibilities at the right price in Newton. I would recommend absolutely scouring Newton to find what's available.

Watertown is a mixed bag as far as suiting the criteria you describe. There is public transit in the area. There are busses serving Watertown itself, and commuter rail in Belmont, which borders W'town to the north. Things get a little iffy on whether the town has the kind of character you want when you say you're looking for "walkable," "restaurants," and "culture." Watertown has a bit of a blue collar and broadly middle class history. It's long been a family kind of town. One result is that you're more likely to find small lowbrow stores and eateries than the fancier kinds of places you can find in some spots in Newton and Brookline.

This is a bit tricky because the population mix in W'town suits your need to avoid feeling out of place regarding age. The word I hear is that young professionals have begun to discover Watertown, which could mean that over time you'll see more upscale restaurants and artsy shops, but this might also skew the age range so that the predominant character of the place could involve a population younger than you.

Of course, there's no way to no for sure what Watertown's character will be in the future. For now, there's a broad age range in the populace, and public transit at least in the vicinity, but not the same upscale collection of businesses you'd find in Newton or Brookline.

Another town you might want to consider is Arlington. Arlington has a broad range of ages represented, has a bus connection to the red line in Cambridge, and has a collection of restaurants you could walk to from many neighborhoods.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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My husband and I moved to Watertown this past summer; like you, we are young and active "empty nesters." We were attracted by the lower housing prices and quality housing stock on peaceful, tree-lined streets. I would agree with almost everything the previous poster said. There is a decidedly blue-collar feel to the city, but, if I look at my street, there are definitely some recent comers who are decidedly white-collar. Everyone here is nice, though, even though not everyone is what I would think of as a kindred spirit. I think you need to have a slightly adventurous and maybe visionary spirit to want to live here. There is excellent public transportation and Cambridge is practically within spitting distance. We also really enjoy the Allston/Brighton area for restaurants. There is a great library. Waltham is also nearby and good for ethnic dining and shopping on Moody Street. It seems like it is turning into a more "upscale" town, but, nobody in their right mind would hang that tag on it just now...Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice. I'll definately have to check out Arlington.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseystab26 View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'll definately have to check out Arlington.
Just be aware that Arlington is pretty much a "dry town", so - if you like to have a drink with dinner at an Arlington restaurant - your options are somewhat limited. There are some establishments with liquor licenses. Forget about liquor stores.

The concept of "dry town", BTW, is bizarre to me and something I've only ever run into in Chicago and Boston, though I'm sure they exist elsewhere.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:59 AM
 
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I didn't realize that about Arlington. I lived briefly in Woburn about 25 years ago, and I remember that you couldn't carry your drink from the bar to your table. A waitress had to do it for you. Now that's bizarre. Do they still have that rule?
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:57 PM
 
5,680 posts, read 5,016,201 times
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I know there are wine shops in Arlington....can you really still not buy spirits in a store?

MA liquor laws are so odd.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:03 AM
 
17 posts, read 29,199 times
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Here in CT the liquor stores still close at 8:00pm and are not open on Sundays.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:30 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,012,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
I know there are wine shops in Arlington....can you really still not buy spirits in a store?

MA liquor laws are so odd.
Correction: Arlington liquor laws are so odd. I have family in Arlington and I believe that's still the case.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:31 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,012,777 times
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Originally Posted by caseystab26 View Post
Here in CT the liquor stores still close at 8:00pm and are not open on Sundays.
I can't believe that blue laws are still in place in CT. That's amazing in 2011! Just goes to show, you just can't assume anything.
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