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Old 12-01-2009, 06:19 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,106 times
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Hi,
My husband is now working in Boston and I am still in NJ. Our three kids will be out of the house next Fall ( all in college) and so I am beginning to research Boston and of course neighboring suburbs. Proximity to Boston is pretty important - My husband's office is near South Station.

I will probably be working as well up there although haven't started the job search yet. I am in the field of educational diagnosticians.
I am looking for a neighborhood with a real sense of community, access to green space, good gym/YMCA, etc. Not sure where to start. Considering:
Newton, Watertown, Brookline, Concord, Lexington, etc. and am open to other suggestions. I am a native New Yorker so this is all new and foreign to me. I would appreciate any suggestions at this stage. We won't start serious looking until the late Spring in all likelihood.
Thanks
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:37 PM
 
3,728 posts, read 10,863,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zabou58 View Post
Hi,
My husband is now working in Boston and I am still in NJ. Our three kids will be out of the house next Fall ( all in college) and so I am beginning to research Boston and of course neighboring suburbs. Proximity to Boston is pretty important - My husband's office is near South Station.

I will probably be working as well up there although haven't started the job search yet. I am in the field of educational diagnosticians.
I am looking for a neighborhood with a real sense of community, access to green space, good gym/YMCA, etc. Not sure where to start. Considering:
Newton, Watertown, Brookline, Concord, Lexington, etc. and am open to other suggestions. I am a native New Yorker so this is all new and foreign to me. I would appreciate any suggestions at this stage. We won't start serious looking until the late Spring in all likelihood.
Thanks
try Arlington or Bedford Newton is very pricey as the rest- I do not know watertown so let another poster relate to that. You also might look toward the
south shore homes!

Last edited by maggiekate; 12-01-2009 at 07:07 PM..
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,123 posts, read 6,486,938 times
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With the nest empty, 'twould seem that Cambridge would be a happy solution. The city is bisected by the Red Line subway which leads directly to South Station. And "educational diagnostics" sounds like a field that'd be well represented within its boundaries. One example is the organization Fair Test, which lobbies for changes in the SAT and other standardized exams and makes its home there.
Cambridge itself is brimming with "culture," thanks in part to its being the base for Lesley University and two other colleges you've probably heard of (MIT and Harvard.) There are community arts groups galore, everything from theater and orchestras to the Cambridge Community Chorus that I'm proud to populate the bass section of. Central Square alone contains the city's "Family YMCA," a YWCA, a "Get In Shape - For Women" franchise, the Dance Complex, and a Boston Sports Club, for those inclined to working out publicly. Green space is at a bit of a premium, but Dana Park in the Cambridgeport section and Danehy Park in North Cambridge are good-sized outdoor spots. There are also plenty of "vest pocket" and slightly larger parks scattered throughout the city. Mt Auburn Cemetery is a favored spot for "getting back to nature" - some 168 acres of landscaped splendor which is also popular with dozens of bird species. Fresh Pond, the source of the city's water supply, is flanked by a pleasant wooded area which can get thronged with walkers/runners on nice days. And the entire riverfront is a pedestrian-friendly place to go, even more so during the spring and summer when Memorial Drive is closed to vehicular traffic.
Foodies never have to leave town, as Cambridge contains dozens of restaurants of all kinds. The Porter (Square) Exchange in a remodeled old Sears store is famed for its strip of Japanese sushi/noodle holes-in-the-wall along with a full restaurant. Indian eateries abound, with multiple choices in Central and Harvard Squares alone. You can even find places specializing in Afghan and Ethiopian cuisines. The renowned Legal Sea Foods restaurant chain has locations in Kendall and Harvard Squares, the latter with a "jumping" outdoor bar during warmer weather. On and on the list goes!
For housing, Cambridge is a patchwork of communities ranging from the "mansion district" along Brattle St to the public-housing-heavy "Area IV." Most of the neighborhoods are within an easy walk from shopping, dining, entertainment, etc as well as a "T" station or at least a good bus connection. Prices are definitely on the steep side, but have gotten more "affordable" during recent economic circumstances. What you won't find much of is relatively inexpensive single-family homes, but condos and apartments in buildings of all kinds are abundant.
For what it's worth, friends from NYC tell me that they hit Central Square when they need a taste of home - "it's just like Washington Heights there!" This was meant in a good way, since the area is a lively crazy-quilt of humanity. The adjoining Inman Square vicinity is also good for this, as is Harvard Square (naturally.)
So - there's a thumbnail sketch of the city that I've been happy to hang my hat in for over twenty years. Brookline is also a great place to reside in and visit, well served by the Green Line trolleys and perhaps also reminiscent of parts of NYC given its large Jewish population with attendant businesses and kosher restaurants/delis. Arlington, Quincy, and Waltham would be the other "urban suburbs" to check out. The additional communities on your list are much more suburban-leaning in their atmosphere - and also their property taxes.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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With the places that you mentioned you're considering, you've either (a) got way too much money - just kidding ;-P or (b) you haven't finished looking around yet.

I am in complete agreement with MaggieKate -- check out the South Shore! Braintree is a nice community and your commute to South Station would be "instantaneous" and far more economical when compared to the North Shore towns you mentioned. The Red Line on the T will get you from Braintree to South Station in 25 minutes.

You could also look further down Rte 3. Hingham is a beautiful sea-coast town with lots of history and a great water shuttle that will take you right into downtown Boston just a stone's throw from South Station. The shuttle runs year round.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
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Brookline might be a good idea. It has a nice, "semi-urban" feel and is safer than Cambridge (although Cambridge is quite safe too). I don't think there's a YMCA, but there are gyms, yoga studios, etc. I'm not a fan of the Green Line subway, but otherwise it's a very nice, upscale area (if you can afford it!)
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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Thanks for all the input. I am still in the learning phase- we will probably begin looking actively in the early spring.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 7,926,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lz1982 View Post
Brookline might be a good idea. It has a nice, "semi-urban" feel and is safer than Cambridge (although Cambridge is quite safe too). I don't think there's a YMCA, but there are gyms, yoga studios, etc. I'm not a fan of the Green Line subway, but otherwise it's a very nice, upscale area (if you can afford it!)
Brookline is nice, though more expensive than some other areas. It's very close to Boston, but the commute to South Station takes perhaps longer than it should. You have to take the Green Line, which is slow and crowded, to Park St. and then transfer to the Red (or walk).

If you can afford Brookline, you might find something you like in Auburndale, West Newton or Newtonville (parts of Newton). These places are not as "urban" as the northern half of Brookline, but are denser than some other parts of Newton and have "village centers" with some shops, etc. They also have easy access to the Mass Pike and the train to South Station (about 20 mins one way).

Newtonville has a Y, and there is a YMCA in Oak Square, in Brighton near the Newton line, not too far away. It has a parking lot if I recall correctly. Boston Sports Club has a location in West Newton.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
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Don't forget Winchester, as I often mentioned in these forums. It boast 2 commuter rail stops to NORTH station. Then, it's less than a 15-walk to South Station (or a quick transfer to the Orage line to State St.).

Quincy has one of the few YMCAs on the South Shore, but likely 5 miles or more from most of Braintree. Winchester is near Woburn's YMCA and their Whole Foods Market. Wollaston Hill, Squantum, Marina Bay and Merrymount are nice sections, as is the area near the John QAWuincy Adams house.

Winchester, with lots of professionals. is very safe, costly and has a nice town center. It also has Sandy Beach, near Medford and the Mystic River. Also near the Middleasex Fells for hiking...
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
1,168 posts, read 1,726,438 times
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Too many typos in my above post...the board would not let me edit my post after 90 minutes of posting. I started the post but after an interuption, never got back to it for awhile, but somehow submitted it in my confusion. Hmm...

Belmont is a nice town, only a 10-15 minute bus ride (electric, not gas) to Harvard Square. Milton is also often overlooked; it's next to Quincy and the Mattapan area (not too desirable) of Boston. But Money magazine this summer did not overlook Milton: 5th best place in U.S. to live.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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Wow,
I am astounded by the wealth of information here. This is so useful. So, it is important for us to be as closer to SS ( as opposed to North Station) - I am intrigued by the description of Winchester. I will probably be looking for work in Concord, Lexington, Cambridge and possibly Boston- I have some professional contacts in all these areas. My youngest just got accepted to Bowdoin as well ( further north near Portland Maine). Also, I row ( not competitively) so access to a body of water with a boathouse is tremendously appealing. I love nature and have a 3 year old Irish Terrier 'pup' who loves taking long walks and I need to have easy access to green space for sure.... I am also looking for a close knit community... I like to bike, knit, work out, give back to the community however I can.. We are definitely going to look in the Newton area- I understand that there are 5 or more town centers ( which reminds me of our current town Montclair, NJ) . I like and welcome diversity as well. I don't mind commuting a bit for my work which will probably not be full time at this point. Am interested in hearing more about all these communities, especially the ones that are an easy commute to South Station. Thanks again for all your input. This is a wonderful forum that I accidentally stumbled upon!
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