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Old 04-03-2008, 11:38 AM
40 posts, read 130,269 times
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Default My family is considering a move from Madison, WI to Boston. Where are the best areas of the city to live?

We want to purchase a home or condo (2/2 over 1000 sf) in the $500 - $600K range. My place of work would be on Commercial Street and I'd like to have a relatively short commute or live in an oceanside community with a reasonable commute. My daughter will be starting kindergarten next year and we'd like to have her in a good school, whether public or private. Also, if it matters, we are Libertarians and Unitarians so we'd like to be in an open minded community.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:41 AM
253 posts, read 899,283 times
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If you want a short commute with good schools and nice neighborhoods, check out East Milton - Cunninhgam Park area. To have those and be on the ocean you would need to commute to Hingham which is about a 45 min train ride to South Station (but a gorgeous town with phenomenal schools on the ocean, anmd unbelievable community sports and involvement.)
MIlton is still within driving distance of the beach, though, just a shorter commute for you.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:36 AM
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I think of open-minded communities and seaside communities as different places--not necessarily, of course, but that's just the way it seems to work. Open-minded includes parts of Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Watertown, Newton, and--who knows, probably lots of places in that direction. Along the coast to the northeast you have East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Lynn, Nahant, Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, and beyond. Some of those are working class towns, others middle class or upscale. Not sure any of them would be called "open-minded" -- at least compared to Madison. To the south you have S. Boston, Dorchester, Quincy, Weymouth, etc. Parts of Dorchester are very diverse and open-minded but schools in the city of Boston are an issue to be navigated and many (suburban) posters here would warn you away from anyplace like Dot. Milton is a nice place; E Milton being a more affordable section but you'd have to check how accessible to Boston by T. Farther out is Hingham--beautiful, historic town, as someone else said, but open-minded? Perhaps, but Hingham was in an uproar over reviving the commuter train through the town. A train?? Horrors!

I'm assuming you won't be driving to work. For a commute with a short walk to Commercial Street, consider places on the blue line and the orange line--Blue to Aquarium and orange to Haymarket. Some of the green line streetcars go to Haymarket too. Anything on commuter trains serving North or South Stations will mean a longer walk to the office. North on the orange you have Medford, Malden, and Melrose, all pretty close. The blue line brings you right to the seacoast albeit in workingclass communities.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:45 AM
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Should have added that south on the orange line brings you to Roxbury and Jamaica Plain--Boston neighborhoods, both diverse and open-minded, JP being the more desirable of the two. JP has a good Unitarian church that's suffered from fires--not sure of the status now. The old First church in Roxbury is very stately and picturesque, not sure how active it is. West Roxbury has the Unitarian church associated with Dr. Parker, a Transcendentalist and Unitarian divine from the early days of the movement.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:23 AM
Location: Chicago
265 posts, read 664,375 times
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I have no idea where you would go to find that exact combinations of attributes, but there's no worries on the Unitarian front. It isn't like in the midwest, you'll no trouble finding a UU congregation wherever you go.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:24 PM
40 posts, read 130,269 times
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Default Thanks for the information

Thanks to everyone who has posted. It seems we have many available choices. Does anyone know anything about Hull? I've been reading that it is trying to reinvent itself and may be a good place to buy. From what I've read the trade off would be access to the highway, for which an alternative seems to be the commuter boat, and below average public schools. My questions are is it a town that welcomes outsiders? And, based on location, how has it fared in past major storms?
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:12 AM
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The Unitarian Universalist headquarters are in Boston, and the church has its origins here: there's a UU church in just about every mid- to upscale town, so no worries there.

If you want to live by the ocean and have good schools: Marblehead, Swampscott, Rockport or Newburyport to the North; otherwise, Duxbury or Marshfield to the South, or Hingham.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:17 AM
967 posts, read 3,264,012 times
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Gloucester is a terrific waterfront community with a mix of ethnicities & income brackets. The train into Boston is about 45 minutes. The public schools are not well regarded there but there is a terrific little private school called Eastern Point Day School. It's located in an old church but I believe it's non-denominational. There is a UU church in town.

Closer to Boston, I've heard wonderful things about Hingham.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:02 AM
29 posts, read 103,108 times
Reputation: 13
I also relocated from Madison, WI to Boston, MA. The neighborhoods that seem the most liberal and open minded is one that are already mentioned, Jamaica Plain, Cambridge also reminds me of the parts of Madison. Parts of Cambridge remind me of University Heights. Jamaica Plain has more of a Willy Street feel to it. I am not too sure where good schools are located. What part of Madison did you live in?
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:04 PM
42 posts, read 93,636 times
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Hull is very touristy. We went there the other day - it would be like living in Myrtle Beach but in Massachusetts. Dead in the winter, but booming in the summer. Extremely pretty views though.

I live in North Weymouth and it's right by the water. We have bus service to the Quincy Center T stop, the commuter rail a couple miles down the road, and then the good old Harbor Express. Weymouth is more "rugged" than other towns around. We like it but understand why some people might not. East Milton and Hingham are pretty "classy" and "trendy." There is a commuter boat in Hingham which is good to get into town. The commuter rail did just re-open (Greenbush line).

If you were looking at Christian private schools, you can check out South Shore Christian Academy in Weymouth. Hope this helps you.
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