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Old 07-02-2009, 06:58 AM
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Our family would be coming over to Boston towards the year end. We're considering renting accomodation in either one of the squares(Porter/Harvard/Central). Which square along the red line has closest proximity to a large supermarket?
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:18 AM
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Porter Square has a large Shaws market right next to the T stop, but Central and Harvard have easy access to supermarkets as well. Real estate lingo can be a little loose, so an apartment being billed as "Harvard Square" or "Porter Square" may actually be a bit of a walk from either.The main big grocery stores are Shaws, Whole Foods and Trader Joes, so if it's a big concern for you, you can plug in the address of the proposed apartments on their websites and find the closest one.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:36 AM
Location: Boston, MA
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Shaw is the typical middle class supermarket and is largest in size. The one in Porter Square is very convenient; there is another one on Mt. Auburn Street just a short trolley bus ride away from Harvard Square. Trader Joes and Whole Foods (especially Whole Foods) are more upscale. Go to Whole Foods if you are delighted in organic products.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:31 PM
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Cantabridgienne and Urban Peasant

Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:34 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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For no-frills food shopping, those in the know forgo Shaw's and Stop & Shop. The prices are a lot kinder at Market Basket (with a location on Somerville Ave east of Porter Square and slightly northwest of Central) and Foodmaster (on the 83 bus line between Inman Square and Porter.) If you're not daunted by a selection of, say, 3 brands of diet grape soda versus 14 there's no reason to walk into one of the big flashy chain supermarkets.
For the purer purist version of natural/organic food shopping, Harvest Co-Op in Central Square is the place to go. Then there are Whole Foods locations both right outside the square on Prospect St and just ahead of the bridge on River St. And a Shaw's is situated at the southern fringe a short two blocks off Mass. Ave.
Harvard Square may lack for major food retailers within easy walking distance, but it can boast of the "Market in the Square" store for imported and/or "healthy" groceries as well as a popular salad and hot-food buffet. And, on Kirkland St, you'll find the incomparable Savenor's - favorite store of the late Julia Child (a longtime resident nearby) and the only place to find goodies like rattlesnake steaks. At Christmas time one year they were even selling reindeer spare ribs! The Broadway Marketplace is a serviceable location for most essentials of food and drink, a shadow of its earlier incarnation as the Broadway Supermarket.
Of even more immediate consideration should be the cost of housing. The entirety of Cambridge is "hot" and priced accordingly, with the vicinity of Harvard Square the most expensive but no place terribly cheap. In terms of safety, the community with the unimaginative name "Area 4" has always been one of the worst, but once-quiet North Cambridge - particularly west of Mass. Ave - is experiencing an upsurge of "things goin' on." The better areas which aren't full of houses "no one" can afford are Riverside, Avon Hill, Inman Square, North Cambridge east of Mass. Ave, Cambridgeport, Huron Village, and the portion of East Cambridge nearest Lechmere Station.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:45 PM
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As others have mentioned there's a large Shaw's / Star Market in the shopping plaza at the Porter Square T stop. It always makes me chuckle and wonder where everybody over 30 shops for groceries - since it's not there. There's also another Star Market, older, less frenzied and my favorite, just a couple of blocks from the Porter Square T.

There's a newer Shaw's / Star Market (they're changing the name of the Star Markets to Shaw's around here) in Central Square that has a parking garage I believe.

Harvard Square presents the biggest hassle supermarket-wise of any of the squares - specialty markets but no big supermarket nearby.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:41 PM
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Default Packards Corner

Packards Corner at Boston University has a SUper 88 Market and a --Shaws within walking distance (pretty close)
Within walking distance to Harvard Avenue as well off Comm Ave.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:54 AM
Location: MA/NH
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Sign up with the zipcar service and use their cars when you go shopping. Or take a cab home. All options that are much much cheaper than owning a car 24/7.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:36 AM
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Wow...thanks everybody for all the useful tips!
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