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Old 03-11-2010, 08:32 PM
 
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Can anyone give advice about the safety of Pleasant St in Dorchester? I've read that Dot is usually safe east of Dot Ave but Pleasant St is one block west of Dot Ave. I'm a single woman considering buying a condo there. I'd need to walk to JFK T stop to commute to work (I've heard that's fairly safe--is that true?). Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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"Fairly" sums it up pretty well. Pleasant St itself is, well, pleasant. So are the streets which intersect from either direction. But Dorchester - like most older sections of cities - has numerous distinct neighborhoods within itself. Those neighborhoods, in turn, have zones and subzones that have characteristics of their own. Pleasant St is near the invisible boundary line where the overall-rebounding Savin Hill neighborhood gives way to the seemingly redevelopment-proof Uphams Corner community. Friends who live on Trescott St (which runs west from Pleasant to Bakersfield St) have never run into problems, but they "never go beyond Bakersfield" and "never walk slowly on [nearby] East Cottage." Urban living has always been like that; as long as you don't take the proverbial wrong turn everything's copacetic.
I'd rate the area about a seven on a scale of ten in terms of livability. As far as the walk to JFK/UMass is concerned? Some of the route between Dot Ave and the southern entrance to the station is shabby/sketchy in appearance, but the neighborhood is decent. One would need a car for "bulk" food shopping, otherwise pretty much everything can be reached on foot: the Shaw's supermarket by the Red Line stop, liquor stores, the Avenue Bakery, Patty's Pantry, The Banshee (Irish pub), etc etc etc.
(Yes, it's me again! I take it St Mark's Parish didn't work out? Or are you keeping the option open as you explore alternatives?)
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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There is an entrance to the JFK UMASS station at the end of Crescent Street at the other side of Dorchester Avenue. It's generally safe except late at night. It is not a particularly well lit section of the station, the shadow from the overhead expressway bridge doesn't help, and there have been robberies in the past but I haven't heard anything lately. That said, it is not at all scary or anything. I would take the safer way and walk along the better lit Columbia Road at night than cut through Crescent Street.

I consider that area to be moderately rough. Nothing happens during the daytime but keep an eye out at night. Many young people have actually moved into that section of Dorchester and gentrified it to some degree so it is getting better.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Quincy, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
Pleasant St is near the invisible boundary line where the overall-rebounding Savin Hill neighborhood gives way to the seemingly redevelopment-proof Uphams Corner community.
There's also Jones Hill in between Savin Hill and Uphams Corner. Jones Hill is a safe area; I'm friends with a married couple who have lived there several years and have never had any trouble. I've walked to the T from their place late at night and never encountered anything sketchy (although it was pretty deserted, which I always find somewhat unsettling in any city neighborhood). But unfortunately, I really don't know much about Pleasant St. north of Savin Hill.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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Merely saying "thanks" to you all for responding doesn't even begin to cover my gratitude (especially to Goyguy and Urban Peasant--I've read the archives and your posts to others on Dot in general are incredibly informative and helpful . Goyguy, you should get a commission when I buy a condo--you've been way more helpful than my broker (I suspect she is afraid of Dorchester). But I am sort of drawn there--I like the gorgeous old house and i love being so close to the water. And to answer your question, the St. Mark's area, while adorable, feels a little too far on the (few) trials runs I've made. I work in Harvard Square and teach yoga there and thought walking with all of my stuff on winter evenings from Shawmut to Rosemont ... well it didn't appeal to me. Plus a couple of the options on Pleasant St come with off-street parking. After fighting for parking spaces for 6 years that sounds like a dream. When I walked around Pleasant St yesterday it seemed pretty pleasant That's also great to know about Jone's Hill. So, thank you guys so much for your help!
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:34 AM
 
13 posts, read 72,073 times
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Since you guys have been so incredibly helpful I hope you don't mind if I pose two more questions: if the walk to Savin Hill T stop isn't much farther than JFK, would that be safer at night? In terms of Jones Hill (forgive my ignorance) which area exactly is considered Jones Hill? I thought it was east of Columbia Rd and west of Dot Ave (west of Edward Everett School) and south east of Uphams Corner. But google maps link Jones Hill and Uphams Corner and I thought Uphams Corner was a place that might be safer to avoid. Is it just one of google's glitches? Or am I wrong? Thanks for your help (again).
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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Jones Hill boundaries are Pleasant St, Stoughton St, Hancock St, and Columbia Road. It's a real hill and maybe the height helps make a sharp break from the busyness of Uphams Corner. Cushing Ave, one of the best streets on Jones Hill, begins right in Uphams Corner but a block in and you're suddenly in a leafy neighborhood of big, well kept Victorian houses. Uphams Corner lacks the middle-class shopping choices of Coolidge Corner and other favorite locales but I'm not sure one needs to avoid it.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Savin Hill Station is a little further but better lit than the side of JFK Umass that you would access to get home. There is a Rite Aid Pharmacy at the corner of Savin Hill Ave. and Dorchester Ave. as well as a few shops near Savin Hill Station so it should definitely be more comfortable to walk at night than Crescent Street. Crescent Street is all right to walk on during the daytime.
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