Safe areas around Boston (Cambridge, Quincy: middle-class, best neighborhoods, rental)
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Hi I am currently from Philly and as bad is it is getting here Me and my girlfriend are looking to relocate to the Boston area. We are 24 yrs. old, however we are not a big party couple or into the bar scene very much so i am not looking for a college town. I heard Cambridge and Somerville is nice and i would also appreciate any other suggestions, however i would also like to know about any racial issues if any. No matter what any one says; Philly still has predominately white and predominately black areas, which there are always arguments, fights, etc. when either or pass through certain neighborhoods. If there are any areas like that around boston i would also like to know.
Boston is segregated quite a bit, and was notorious for its racism back in the 60s and 70s. A little bit of that still exists, but it's nowhere near as crazy as it was then.
Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan are regarded as the worst neighborhoods in Boston. Some parts are ok, many aren't. Most of the violent crime in Boston occurs in these three, but it is not as bad as Philly.
Fenway/Kenmore are loaded with college students, as is Allston/Brighton. Parts of Cambridge too.
I am looking to rent and I can not spend a fortune on rent, because i still have about another 1 - 1.5 yrs left of schooling, however it is an online program so I can work full time. However with that being said i will be looking to spend no more than $1800 per month. I also do not mind about 35 minutes out of Boston. So if you know any places a little further I would appreciate it. I would rather spend at little as possible with staying out if the bad neighborhoods. Thanks for your help.
If you can afford it, there's Newton and Brookline.
Somerville is a very dense area, seems a bit working class (but nothing like East Boston, Chelsea, or Revere). Don't know what else to say there, I only been there a few times. Someone else would be of better help.
A friend of mine lived on Beacon Hill, one of the priciest neighborhoods in town. But a 250 sq. ft. studio cost him over 1000 a month. He probably should have went to the good parts of JP for the money, considering he was going to Northeastern.
Is there any particular landmark you want to be near? I presume you're going to school in Boston. Which one? Might help better get you a fit for a neighborhood near where you have to be. Cause for example: Somerville to Boston College is an hour by subway. A/B, Brookline, and Newton are not on the same branch as Northeastern and Wentworth.
Me and My girlfriend are a white couple and hearing it is segregated quite a bit I would like to know of the more predominately white areas.Not that I am a racist, however i have had past experiences of what a segregated city may be like and it seems to be the same everywhere i have been.
For Boston proper: Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End. I don't know much of Boston south of Huntington and Turnpike, someone would be of more help there. I mostly deal with areas along the Green Line, and those would be fine. This would include Newton and Brookline.
Fenway/Kenmore is mostly white, but college student
Allston/Brighton is mostly white college student or Asian
South Boston is mostly Irish, but "my family's been here five generations" type deal.
Cambridge is a bit more diverse, but with the very liberal attitudes in the city - there's not too many problems. At least none I'm aware of. (Ignoring the whole Henry Louis Gates incident)
I live to the west of Boston. Much of the western suburbs would be fine, if that is something you'd be interested in. Not as many rental choices, except right near the Turnpike - say Natick or Framingham. Any further, you're outside 35 minutes. Outside 128 though, if you're not right near commuter rail you have to drive.
One feature of Boston is that there is not much in the way of really bad neighborhoods right in the central part of the city in and around downtown. Unless you were to work in a job that was not really a downtown office kind of job, and the job happened to be located in one of the more crime-ridden outlying sections, you would not likely have any reason ever to travel to the worse neighborhoods. Your main concern about finding a low-crime area would be in finding a reasonably safe place to live. Entertainment, and work in any downtown kind of job, would mostly take you to areas where you would need to exercise the usual prudence that's advisable in any city but would be safe for the most part, because most attractions in Boston are concentrated in a few mostly nice sections in that central region of the city.
If you're concerned about possible racial animosity, you want to avoid Mattapan. Roxbury can pretty much be crossed off your list as well. Rox. is a pretty large section of Boston, and has some solidly middle-class neighborhoods, but it's mostly black, so if you want to avoid bad memories of past racial tensions, or avoid trouble in the future if you happened to wander into the wrong neighborhood, then for the most part you'd probably want to avoid Rox. One possible exception would be the Mission Hill neighborhood in Rox., which is racially mixed and has a blend of students, young professionals, and regular city residents.
Dorchester is another section that covers a fairly large area by the standards of a compact city like Boston. It's racially mixed on the whole, but has a history of being more locally segregated by local neighborhood. I know only the general character, but not a lot of detail, about many of Boston's outlying zones, so I can't help you out as far as what specific neighborhoods in Dorchester could work for you. Then there are some other sections of Boston that have traditionally been white, where the deomgraphics are showing some signs of change, and where there are some good neighborhoods and other neighborhoods best avoided even for those of the race that predominates, just because they are not the best neighborhoods. Again, I don't know enough about most of those areas to know details about the good and bad neighborhoods.
Brighton is mostly college students in some neighborhoods, mostly blue-collar in others. Allston is similar, with some middle-class families mixed in.
Outside of the city of Boston, Somerville has some blue-collar neighborhoods and some artsy young professional kinds of areas. Somerville is largely residential, but densely populated and urban. By the way, if an artsy young pro. kind of area with that urban residential character seems appealing, inside the city limits you might check out Jamaica Plain.
I second the suggestion to look into Newton and Brookline, if an older suburban feeling appeals. Arlington and Quincy are towns you might want to check out in the urban-suburban transitional zone.
Cambridge is generally either urban or inner-suburban in character, and is a mix of students, professors, professionals of various sorts, and maybe a few '60's hangers-on scattered around. Think far-left politics, little ethnic eateries, and small local dance clubs, and some pretty standard city commercial districts in a few areas as well.
As Lowerdeck suggested, Natick is a good possibility for a more suburban kind of town where the rental properties are not as few and far between as you'd find in many suburbs. Framingham as well, though I lived in F'ham and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I would consider Natick generally a much nicer town to live in, even though these towns are next door to each other, and both have a similar very suburban look and feel.
Probably some other possibilities, but a lot depends on questions like whether you would want access to public transit, whether you would want to be able to walk to a coffee shop right around the corner, etc. The truth is that when I saw this thread's headline I guessed at first that you were a minority. It's usually minorities who post on here asking about places where they won't have to worry about race. Being white, you should have a pretty wide range of choices in Boston and vicinity.
There may be some who would criticize you for seeking a mainly white area to live in, but I do realize that racially mixed areas in reality are not always the multi-cultural little heavens some would like to believe they are. There can be some serious tension between the races in places like that, and I don't have a problem with someone who would prefer to avoid these difficulties. Fort Hill would be one racially mixed neighborhood where the races seem to interact well, and Jamaica Plain, more of an entire larger section of Boston with its own neighborhoods, is somewhat mixed, and an area where the various races living there seem to mix well, without a lot of tension between them. As I said above, though, if you would prefer to avoid taking chances on this, being white gives you a lot more possibilites in Boston than a minority person would have. Outside of some areas already mentioned in above posts and earlier in my post, your choice of where to live will depend mostly on your budget and the amenities you'd like to have in your neighborhood.
Hi I am currently from Philly and as bad is it is getting here Me and my girlfriend are looking to relocate to the Boston area. We are 24 yrs. old, however we are not a big party couple or into the bar scene very much so i am not looking for a college town. I heard Cambridge and Somerville is nice and i would also appreciate any other suggestions, however i would also like to know about any racial issues if any.
Hi. I was posting in another forum and saw your thread. I don't live there now, but I was born in Boston and grew up in Newton. I also graduated from UMass Boston. So I guess I know Boston pretty well.
I can think of over 30 colleges in the Greater Boston area just off the top of my head, but that doesn't make Boston or Cambridge necessarily your typical college town. When I think of a college town, I think of a place where most activities are geared to college students.
I moved to FL several years ago, but unless things have changed dramatically, I don't think you'll run into any racial problems (unless you're a racist.) In fact, except for predominantly Black areas like Roxbury & Dorchester, Boston is one of the Whitest & most segregated cities of its size in the country.
Although Cambridge has been recommended, I'm guessing from what you've written that you would not fit well into the Cambridge scene. Cambridge is a very liberal & diversified community.
Since you said you don't mind living 25 minutes outside of the city, I'd recommend looking in the Northwest suburbs. As a die-hard Democrat who enjoys ethnic diversity, I hate to even write this but, since you asked, I've lived in both Burlington & Woburn and they each have a Black population of less than than 2%. Reading is next to Woburn & only 15 miles from Boston. I guess there's no racial tension, because almost all of its 24,000 residents are White.
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