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Old 01-04-2014, 01:36 PM
39 posts, read 78,919 times
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I'm looking to purchase a place in an area that's relatively affordable and accessible to the T and I've been thinking about places in the area southeast of Maverick Station and by Orient Heights. A lot of the threads here are negative about Eastie in general but there are no posts in the last several years and I've read good reviews online from other websites. How is it living there, has the area improved?

I have jobs in Brookline, Lynn, and Jamaica Plain, so the location would be great. I am in my late-20s, single, and currently living in Watertown. Right now it's really far from Lynn and also very difficult to get into Boston for concerts or to go out because parking is very expensive or hard to find and I have to take a bus and 2 subways to get anywhere (red to park and then green line), which takes a bit of time. From the blue line I am just a few stops from getting into Boston.

I was also looking at Malden Center but it is a bit far from Jamaica Plain and also not as close to Brookline. South Boston seems like an option but it looks like long walks to the MBTA from most of southie and the crime seems a lot higher, at least in terms of homicides.

One other concern is staying out late in Boston. Since the MBTA stops around 100-200, late nights are effectively precluded?

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:42 PM
Location: Everett, Massachusetts
315 posts, read 506,806 times
Reputation: 553
I've never lived in East Boston, but I did work there for a few years, and I also spent a year living in Winthrop, which borders East Boston on the Orient Heights end. I really like East Boston a lot and feel as though it's underrated. The Jeffries Point section near Maverick Square has seen a pretty dramatic increase in real estate values and rental prices in recent years and has probably the largest number of young professionals in the neighborhood if you're looking for that kind of mix. Other parts of East Boston have varying proportions of immigrants, the vast majority of whom are Latin American, and old-school East Bostonians, largely of Italian and even Irish descent. The Eagle Hill area - where the streets are named after revolutionary war battles in one direction and generals in the other - tends to be more heavily Latino, though there have been some condo developments in that area as well. The Paris Flats, just outside of Maverick Square in the other direction from Jeffries Point, has many streets named after European cities, and its geographic position close to the middle of the neighborhood is reflected in its population - a mix of young professionals and Latino immigrants with a few old timer Italians. From Day Square northward the neighborhood becomes progressively more Italian, with a bit of Irish thrown in, especially around the streets named after poets near the old Dom Savio HS. Up by the brand new Orient Heights T station there is a small commercial cluster as well. The one notable absence at the Orient Heights end of town is a convenient supermarket - you'd have to venture up to the Stop and Shop on the other side of Suffolk Downs in Revere or down to the Shaw's in East Boston's Central Square.

As for your commute, getting to Lynn would be a snap, and Brookline wouldn't be too bad. Jamaica Plain is awkward to get to from many angles, so that would probably be the most difficult from Eastie. You mentioned Malden as well, and I know quite a bit about that area too. It's worth noting that the orange line commute from Malden to JP, though somewhat long (30-35 minutes) is a straight shot; getting to Lynn from Malden is easy too. Brookline would be the worst of the three (if you took the T option to JP), but it is doable and probably somewhat comparable to the East Boston-JP jaunt in terms of general difficulty, though don't quote me on that - might be worth a test run.

South Boston is going to get you a lot less for your money than East Boston or Malden; I'd say you might get a bit more bang for your buck in Malden that Eastie, but you have to weigh out the commute and think about your long-term work situation.

Good luck, and sorry for the rambling response!
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:58 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
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Recent credible news reports have it that the T will be reintroducing late-night service this spring, YAY!!!
This had been tried for a while about ten years ago, but the set-up was lousy so patronage was light. It proved too unwieldy to run buses along the approximate routes of the subways, not to mention the scheduling couldn't be relied upon. (There of course wasn't "an app for that" back then. So you'd wait for sometimes 20-30 minutes outside a shuttered station for your bus to roll up.) In 2014 the plan is to keep the trains running, along with buses on key routes like the #1, until 3 AM or so. Can't wait!

Jeffries Point and Orient Heights are indeed "nice" areas, the former since more recently (roughly the early '90s.) Eastie's recent vote against allowing a casino into Suffolk Downs perhaps indicates an unduly fearful populace, but it also is proof of a watchful one erring on the side of caution. And as loud, dirty, and sketchy as the Maverick Square area may be it's also said to be a prime spot for "good eats cheap" if you have a hankering for Central/South American food.
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