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Old 07-05-2008, 10:16 PM
 
17 posts, read 93,211 times
Reputation: 12

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My husband and I have rented in Allston Village for 7 years now. We're finally ready to buy a home, and with a 2 year-old in tow, but we can't afford to buy anything decent around here. We're thinking about buying in Dorchester, but I just don't know the neighborhoods there well enough. As is probably the case with most who consider living there, our main concern is safety.

Now, Allston may be noisy and obnoxious, but we're used to it, and I feel safe here. We actually love the cultural diversity, the various shops all within walking distance, and great inexpensive restaurants. Sure, there may be public intoxication, public urination, vandalism, and the like, but we don't worry about random, violent crime.

From what I've been reading, most of Dorchester has problems with crime, and I really want to avoid anywhere dangerous, especially with a growing family. What parts of Dorchester might we consider buying in, without exposing the kid to too much crime? We're of mixed racial decent, mostly Asian, but are comfortable around a diverse population.

Here is a list of neighborhoods I found... Please feel free to dish, and name street names!

Adams Village
Bowdoin/Geneva (Meeting House Hill)
Codman Square
Fields Corner
Four Corners
Franklin Field
Harbor Point (Columbia Point)
Lower Mills (Cedar Grove)
Neponset (Port Norfolk)
Peabody Square (Ashmont)
Polish Triangle
Popes Hill
Savin Hill
Uphams Corner (Jones Hill/Everett Square)
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 14,487,207 times
Reputation: 8133
ugh, you couldn't pay me to live anywhere near Franklin Field. ditto Codman Sq (w/ some exceptions) and most of Fields Corner
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:54 AM
 
17 posts, read 93,211 times
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Thank you eevee. Do you know what exceptions around Codman Square?

My husband and I saw a home around Meeting House Hill. It was a lovely, large condo in a 3-family, and when we walked around the neighborhood everyone was really friendly and there were good restaurants and stores nearby. But one of the neighboring streets, Hendley, was an absolute horror. Most of the windows on most of the homes were boarded up, and someone told us that police had cracked down on the area and done a lot of drug busts and stuff and emptied out those houses.

What a shame; in every way except the crime, it was a great home.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 11,698,112 times
Reputation: 1497
Savin Hill or near Ashmont maybe. Not Fields Corner/Geneva Av.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:10 PM
 
17 posts, read 93,211 times
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Thanks. I've heard that it can be nice around the T stations, presumably because there's more police patrolling around those areas. I know they weren't always so nice; I remember hearing about a lot of crime at those T stations... Does anyone think Dorchester as a whole is pretty doomed, or is the city trying to clean it up, at least in some areas?
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,374,655 times
Reputation: 187
Adams Village seems to be a nice, middle-class area. A friend's sister owns a condo there and has never had any trouble.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:41 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,844 posts, read 12,612,574 times
Reputation: 6759
Thanks for even so much as considering "da Dot" as a place to move. In spite of all the great sections of Boston's largest neighborhood, the entire place gets painted with a negative brush for the gang/crime problems of a few parts. You did leave out two distinct portions of Dorchester: Mt Bowdoin (which I rate at 3 on a scale of 10, 10 being "nicest") and Melville-Park (7-8.) The latter is mostly referred to without a hyphen, causing people to assume a park with that title defines the locale. But in reality the name was derived from the streets (Park St on the north, Melville Ave on the south) which mark its boundaries.

Boston has progressed by leaps and bounds from its racist reputation that was opened up to the world during the school busing ugliness which went down between the mid-70's and mid-80's. South Boston may have grabbed the most headlines for violence, but da Dot wasn't far behind in terms of incidents. Ask any AA family that had its windows shattered, children beaten, etc if they dared to be the "pioneers" on a block. A friend of mine who lived on Meetinghouse Hill during that era once told me of being awakened to the sound of screams and smashing objects: a visit from the local Irish boys was being paid to the Vietnamese "pioneers" on the next street over. But times change and so do people. And the people who don't change die or move away. Walk or drive down "Dot Ave" today and try to keep count of the nail salons and "pho" restaurants. See how long it takes to not spot a Black person strolling on a sidewalk or patronizing a business. Today I think the only "lily White" sector of Dorchester is its southeasternmost community known as Cedar Grove - and I could be wrong on that. The days of neighborhood "transition," met with intense resistance, are largely a thing of the past. About the only part of Dorchester that's struggling with this now is the portion of St Mark's Parish between "Dot Ave" and Adams St. Away from there, the central and eastern regions are mainly "integrated" in varying degrees of ethnic proportions and comfort levels.

Viewing the thread originator's realities and needs through the lenses of mine (which are vastly different), my vote for top three "Dot" neighborhoods to concentrate on is: 1. Savin Hill; 2. Lower Mills; 3. Neponset or Adams Village.

Adams Village - goyguy rating = 8

Bowdoin/Geneva (Meeting House Hill) - goyguy rating = 1

Codman Square - goyguy rating = 2 west of Washington St, 5 east of Washington St

Fields Corner - goyguy rating = 1 west of "Dot Ave," 4-7 east of "Dot Ave"

Four Corners - goyguy rating = 0

Franklin Field - goyguy rating = 0

Harbor Point (Columbia Point) - goyguy rating = 4

Lower Mills (Cedar Grove) - goyguy rating = 9

Neponset (Port Norfolk) - goyguy rating = 8

Peabody Square (Ashmont) - goyguy rating = 6

Polish Triangle - goyguy rating = 8

Popes Hill - goyguy rating = 7

Savin Hill - goyguy rating = 9

Uphams Corner (Jones Hill/Everett Square) - goyguy rating = 4-5

BTW have you checked out Roslindale?
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:50 AM
 
1,915 posts, read 3,701,389 times
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The area between Codman Square and Fields Corner is a gem. The station that serves it is Shawmut on the Red Line. The Wellesley Park neighborhood (where I used to rent) is absolutely beautiful. I lived right on Wellesley with the gas lantern street lights and flower gardens.

Dorchester Atheneum: The Story of Wellesley Park

Alot of people trash Dorchester...but there are amazing parts as well.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:17 AM
 
17 posts, read 93,211 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for all the replies, and goyguy, you really went all-out! Thanks for the absolute wealth of information. I will definitely share this with the hubby.

We have not actually looked at Roslindale, as hubby works south of the city off 93, so we were focusing on places with fast and easy access to the highway.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 14,487,207 times
Reputation: 8133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kharing View Post
The area between Codman Square and Fields Corner is a gem. The station that serves it is Shawmut on the Red Line. The Wellesley Park neighborhood (where I used to rent) is absolutely beautiful. I lived right on Wellesley with the gas lantern street lights and flower gardens.

Dorchester Atheneum: The Story of Wellesley Park

Alot of people trash Dorchester...but there are amazing parts as well.
it's the area right around the Shawmut stop that I would consider general exceptions to the "avoid Codman Sq." some of the side streets off of Dot Ave seem very nice (I was in the area b/c there was a pet store kind of nearby I wanted to check out). not sure what the crime rates are for that area though, but I looked like you could get a nice house there

not sure if it was mentioned, but what about Ashmont Hills or right around the Ashmont area? is it still pricey as heck? did they even ever finish fixing up the Ashmont stop (when I left Boston, they were just tearing it down)

good rating goyguy. I swear, I don't know many of the official names of parts of Dottie, so have no clue where the Polish Triangle even is! (I use T stops and major roadways as my landmarks)
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