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Old 11-13-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
23 posts, read 34,320 times
Reputation: 21

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I'm heading up to Boston later this month to help a friend look for apartments. She currently lives in NYC (and has also lived in London and LA). I lived in Boston in the 90s, but reading through the forum and online has made me realize that the neighborhoods seemed to have changed quite a bit.

About her
- late 30s, single, has a cat
- cosmopolitan, educated
- foodie, fashionable, artsy
- sociable, but not into the club scene

Her specs
- 1-bed or 1-bed with study
- clean and modern
- private (doesn't have someone looking in her windows)
- rent (not buy), price range flexible.

She currently lives in loft in a doorman building in Soho NYC for which she pays $3500/month. She is moving for work. She'd prefer a walking neighborhood, near shops and restaurants. She doesn't have a car, but would be willing to get one. I've warned her that she will probably be in a brownstone with no doorman and she is okay with that.

I had recommended the South End and we will look at a couple places there, but I'm wondering if other neighborhoods should be on our radar too. A lot of people on these forums mention other neighborhoods including: South Boston (gentrified?), waterfront (innovation and modern buildings?), Back Bay (that's not too stuffy?), Midtown (never heard of this, where is it?), Brookline (isn't that for families?), Cambridge (too young?), etc.

Any comments or input would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:45 PM
 
Location: East Coast
865 posts, read 2,245,576 times
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South End would indeed be a pefect match for her. If she doesn't need a car, I wouldn't recommend her buying one.

The Seaport District might offer some great housing choices, too, but that area doesn't have a traditional neighborhood feel. It might be worth checking out, just in case. Park Lane Seaport (www.parklaneseaport.com) is a very nice building.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: a bar
2,545 posts, read 4,854,748 times
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A couple new residential buildings just opened in the Seaport/Fort Point:

381 Congress

http://315ona.com/?utm_source=Live31...Live315OnA.com
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
5,944 posts, read 6,742,771 times
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There is no better place than the North End's Artsy, European café scene for a foodie lover of lofts.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:28 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
23 posts, read 34,320 times
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Helpful notes so far.

North End is an idea.Llooks like slightly lower pieces than the South End, too, although I'm not sure price is big issue for my friend. Is the dining scene there for Bostonians or tourists?

Seaport and Fort Point is a new area that I don't remember, but those buildings look nice with NYC-style amenities. Is there a difference between those two or are they the same neighborhood? Is it a walking neighborhood?
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,684 posts, read 3,205,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeisme View Post
Helpful notes so far.

North End is an idea.Llooks like slightly lower pieces than the South End, too, although I'm not sure price is big issue for my friend. Is the dining scene there for Bostonians or tourists?

Seaport and Fort Point is a new area that I don't remember, but those buildings look nice with NYC-style amenities. Is there a difference between those two or are they the same neighborhood? Is it a walking neighborhood?
The Seaport District or nowadays more commonly called South Boston Waterfront District or Innovation District is separate from Fort Point, which is centered around the Fort Point Channel and the Children's Museum. The Seaport District is currently the priciest neighborhood in the entire city because housing is a bit scarce there but whatever housing your friend can find is bound to be opulent with stunning views of the city skyline and our harbor. Issue I have with this district is that it is not entirely built up yet. There aren't many restaurants yet and it is not the most walkable district. Sometimes, it can get quite windy.

The Fort Point Channel District is much more built up and has many lofts that were converted from factories and warehouses. Is your friend into blazing modern architecture or handsome old fashioned architecture? That is the stark difference between the two districts. The Fort Point Channel District has its share of restaurants and pubs but not nearly as numerous as the Back Bay or Cambridge, at least not yet.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
5,944 posts, read 6,742,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeisme View Post
Is the dining scene there for Bostonians or tourists?
Dining scene is for everyone. It is one of the few neighborhoods in Boston that is vibrant every night of the week and very safe. There is a nice indoor skating rink (for wearing off all the good wine and food). She will also get to live near the waterfront (the best part of living in Boston).

BackBay despite prestigious reputation does not have much open after 9pm. on weekdays. The Copley green line stop can be downright scary.

There are still many hobos on the steps of the library.

There is always lots of trash thrown in the street.

There are a lot of students and tourists around the Pru and the Mass Ave. side of BackBay.

On the grittier edges of the South End, there are still many rehab facilities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeisme View Post
Seaport and Fort Point is a new area that I don't remember, but those buildings look nice with NYC-style amenities. Is there a difference between those two or are they the same neighborhood? Is it a walking neighborhood?
It is the same neighborhood. Seaport is considered to be the newer part where the ICA. Fort Point is the older buildings closer to South Station. Up until very recent, this was home to many serious fine artists. Every year there was a popular studio walk. Home to the popular Channel nightclub, it had a very edgy feel back in the 80s and 90s.

Seaport still has some traces of being a former warehouse area and can be desolate in spots. As the other poster said it needs more restaurants. Flour Bakery and Remington Coffee are two popular hipster spots, during the day.


Can't go wrong either place. I just think North End has a more relaxed warm welcoming feel between the two.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,684 posts, read 3,205,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post

BackBay despite prestigious reputation does not have much open after 9pm. on weekdays. The Copley green line stop can be downright scary.

There are still many hobos on the steps of the library.

There is always lots of trash thrown in the street.

There are a lot of students and tourists around the Pru and the Mass Ave. side of BackBay.

On the grittier edges of the South End, there are still many rehab facilities.

I don't know whether you're trying to bash the Back Bay Neighborhood with this post or simply trying to tell the OP to simply look elsewhere. Either way, I would not want to put down a neighborhood with a Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a Neiman Marcus, a Barneys of New York, and a Saks Fifth Avenue all within walking distance of each other even if I could never afford to live there. Back Bay remains the most prestigious neighborhood of Boston and until the Seaport is fully built, the most popular as well.

There aren't as many hobos at the library as there used to be but someone from Manhattan of all places like the OP's friend should be aware of that. Same goes with lots of students and tourists and trash thrown on the street. It happens in Manhattan too as in any big city. If the OP's friend wanted to look for clean streets far away from tourists and college kids, someone would have recommended Newton for her but that's obviously not what she wants.

And yes the South End still has a gritty side (the Lenox Street projects) and rehab facilities in some parts but it is so much better than it used to be in the '80s and '90s and well to do people have moved back in. I would still consider it. All of this one can experience in Manhattan too depending on which part.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:05 AM
 
873 posts, read 1,427,860 times
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I think Back Bay or the Seaport would be great. Personally, I'd go with Back Bay because of its central location, but it depends on if she decides to keep her car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
BackBay despite prestigious reputation does not have much open after 9pm. on weekdays. The Copley green line stop can be downright scary.
Scary? I think that's a bit of hyperbole. I've been there at times and felt uncomfortable, but never scared. I would only be concerned if I were walking around the library later than 1 or 2 AM and honestly, you should probably always be on guard at that time, especially if you're alone.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
5,944 posts, read 6,742,771 times
Reputation: 4277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
I don't know whether you're trying to bash the Back Bay Neighborhood with this post or simply trying to tell the OP to simply look elsewhere. Either way, I would not want to put down a neighborhood with a Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a Neiman Marcus, a Barneys of New York, and a Saks Fifth Avenue all within walking distance of each other even if I could never afford to live there. Back Bay remains the most prestigious neighborhood of Boston and until the Seaport is fully built, the most popular as well.
Those are fabulous large chain department stores, some now found in your local neighbor mall. Restoration Hardware, a personal favorite, is also at the Wrentham Mall Outlet. There is also Marshalls, Burger King and crummy pizza parlor across from the library on Boylston street.

The Zanzibar back in the 90s was the creepiest nightclub I was ever in, den of vice, with multiple dark corners.

Louis, the grand men's clothier, moved from BackBay to where, the Seaport.

The Prudential Center once filled with affluent Gillette executives, moved all those professionals to South Boston.

Newbury Street was cooler and more elegant in pre-dotcom days, all the art galleries, cafés and small unique clothing stores. Many of the ad agencies and design firms once there followed the ICA to the Seaport. The ICA leaving BackBay for the Seaport did not help the neighborhood either.

Those brownstones on Commonwealth and Marlborough street, many of them could use a good scrub and returned to their grandeur. The people who can afford to live there don't seem to be keeping up these historic buildings.

Berklee School of Music and the Boston Architectural Center, points for that.

BackBay once the haven of wealthy professionals has become the land of trust fund college students whose parents can afford to rent from people who were wise enough to buy property in the 1970s, when one could buy a condo on Marlborough for 30k and people in their 60s who settled in the 1980s during the glory days. Would not recommend to someone in their 30s who can afford to live anywhere.

Last edited by 495neighbor; 11-14-2013 at 08:27 AM..
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