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Old 04-23-2009, 08:00 PM
Location: Boston, MA
1,694 posts, read 3,218,449 times
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That area and Chinatown in general has become a lot better than what it used to be but I still would be careful living anywhere in or near Downtown, especially late at night. The city still has its share of vagabonds and hoodlums so walking briskly and in groups at night is recommended. The Silverline can get very crowded and so be very wary of pickpockets too.

One good thing is that Ming's Supermarket is right close by as is Chinatown if anyone's into Oriental groceries. To locate the nearest Shaws or Stop and Shop is harder though.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:12 PM
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,552,346 times
Reputation: 3804
That area is coming alive kinda fast, but as others have stated, it has a ways to before it is glamorous. The Pine St Inn is two blocks southeast and that's a big homeless shelter. There's low income housing in various locations within a few blocks. On that part of Berkeley there is also a lot of very cool but as yet unrestored old brownstones. Due north is a small industrial area where the Boston Herald, some Chinatown warehouses and supermarkets. Then you get to the depressed Mass pike. Two blocks east you got the elevated section of 93 south. Between the fairly dirty warehouse sections and the highways, well it's none too glamorous.

On the upside, that part of Harrison is being restored as the Sowa arts district. It's a hotbed of starving artists so it's rich in culture. There are lots of galleries on that very block. There's more fully renovated buildings and brand new brownstones than rundowns. At that location, you are only a few blocks from some of the nicest parts of town.

Basically, it's a tradeoff. Moving there makes you somewhat of a pioneer. For less money you get downtown, the South End, Chinatown, Southie, Sowa and all the amenities only a few blocks away. If you work nearby all the better. On the downside you are in an unfab block. It's sorta like living in the king's palace, but in a small room in the cellar. If you're buying and can tolerate some degree of inner city ugliness for 10 years or so, you're property value is likely to double - maybe triple if they ever approve an air rights development over the pike.

I've never seen a prostitute walking the streets of Boston in the whole 15 years I lived in the South end or Fenway. Certainly there are hustlers standing on the corner of Washington and Kneeland every night, but I think they mostly sell pot to college kids and shake for change. I never had a problem other than wishing the cops would just clean up that corner. That's all a legacy of "the Combat Zone" which is fading - but Boston changes slowly.

What would I do? Well, I did buy in a recovering neighborhood in the south end (Lower Rox) and lived there for 7 years. How did it go? We suffered no crime. We had great friends and lived the downtown city life like a seven year vacation. Problems we tolerated was noise, filth, gross ghetto manners - all the usual indecencies of ghettoism. I minimized it when convenient by walking a path to the green line around the few yucky blocks (through Northeastern). You could do that from there by walking to Tremont by way of Harrison to Union Park or Waltham St. Quite nice that way actually. Choose the right path and you'd never have to see the ugly part of that area ever. My experience as a whole was fulfilling. Although inner city life comes with its liabilities, the inner nice city people are warmer and more human than the robots of Back Bay. If I was young I'd think Dover Lofts was a deal (assuming it's a good price). However it won't be without its stresses there. If you want stress free living like Brookline, I'd recommend somewhere else.

Last edited by xS☺B☺s; 04-25-2009 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:59 PM
Location: Portland, Maine
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That area today is all together different from 20 years ago. It's a snap today: one of my favorite areas of town.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:49 PM
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I don't know if you are still considering purchasing or not, but I live right around the corner, above the Dunkin Donuts and Fast Frame in the building at the corner of Washington and East Berkeley. I moved here, single F with a dog in my mid-thirties six years ago and quickly got use to the neighborhood. It is still (and probably will remain) a little rough around the edges and aside from the standard urban car break in, I've never had any problems personally with crime. The neighborhood is a very vibrant place to live and it really is a neighborhood. If you like cities, this neighborhood can't be beat, however, if you are looking for something that is more 'gussied up', and would feel perfectly at home in the Back Bay, this neighborhood might be a little less than ideal for you. I would recommend going to Foley's for dinner one night (the nachos and the burgers are quite good) and taking a walk around the neighborhood at 10 pm (any day of the week) to see if you feel comfortable or not. Good luck!
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