Wellesley, Weston or Hingham (Boston, Newton: transplants, house, preschool)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
15 minutes is a bit optimistic unless it's the weekend and you book it. It's around 20 minutes with little to no traffic. During most other times, I would put it at 30-45 minutes.
Agreed. Traffic always has to be considered, and even at times with very light traffic, Weston to Cambridge in 15 min. is a bit of an optimistic estimate, unless maybe you lived practically right next to the Mass. Pike in Weston, and went to a section of Cambridge immediately across the river from the Mass. Pike exit.
Have to disagree with the earlier description of Weston as "rural," though it might seem that way to someone used to city living, as in right in the city as you're used to. Low-density suburban is a more accurate description of Weston, though I agree with others that Wellesley would be a better fit than Weston if you're trying to minimize the change from an urban to suburban setting as much as possible. I'm not very familiar with Hingham, so can't compare it to the others, and I also wouldn't know about the moms versus nannies at the playgrounds in the W towns, but Wellesley definitely trumps Weston on the size and variety of its downtown.
I second RE Analyst's suggestion that you consider Newton. I don't necessarily agree that it could be described as a "city" in terms of atmosphere. Though Newton is incorporated as a city, and has the population of a small city, at 80-90k, it's largely residential, more of an upscale older inner suburb than a city. Still, Newton does have good public transit in many neighborhoods, and a variety of local shopping, spread among a number of neighborhood commercial centers rather than concentrated in one large downtown. Newton is also in a good location for a commute to either Weston or Cambridge, for when your husband's work location shifts, so it's definitely a town worth considering. Just stay away from the southwestern areas, like Waban, if you want to avoid a somewhat leafy, low-density feel.
You might also consider Brookline if the idea of a nice inner suburb appeals. Stay toward the north in Brookline to avoid the leafy feel.
Have to say that RE Analyst is right -- Newton sounds like best for you. Newton has 13 villages, and all have unique characteristics -- some better for certain things than others. Depends on what you want as priority.
Best family neighborhood combined with walkability is Newton Highlands or Newton Center. Best family neighbrhood combined with suburban (hmmmm, how to put this?....1950's quietude) is Waban. West Newton has Route 16 as its main "square" - but with good access to highway, commuter rail to Boston. Gorgeous old mansions in West Newton Hill -- well, really in any part of Newton. And great access to Boston.
Really too much to summarize. But suggest you check it out.
Oh boy. This is the one village I don't know a lot about. I think it's a bit amorphous and situated mostly outside of I95 (unlike the rest of Newton). Certainly any village is going to have positives, but I just can't picture a "center" for this particular area.
Maybe a quick google search would help. Every village has its own boosters and probably a website and such.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that city-wide, Newton offers quite a lot of benefit -- so the individual villages only matter in the sense of "place" you prefer.
warning off topic: Trying to get some info to answer your question, stumbled across this site. It's rather impressive effort by someone about Newton cultural events info so just wanted to share with anyone who might find it useful). Newton Culture Fix: March 1-March 6 | Village 14
Newton Lower Falls is a little more dense than some of the other areas of Newton around it. The houses are very close together and tend to be older. There are some townhomes sprinkled in as well. It has easy access to 128/95 and rt. 9. It doesn't have a defined village center though like many other areas of Newton. Not my absolute favorite part of Newton but still not a bad place to live at all.
Just wanted to chime in here. I am in my mid-forties and have a five year-old daughter and recently moved to the Bates Area in Wellesley. The Bates neighborhoods are fairly thickly settled and chock-full of young children if that is what you seek. Because the lots are close you do get to see people often.
Our neighborhood actually has several organized activities for the kids every year so it is great. This is still considered a starter neighborhood for young families so I am one of the older parents here. However it is a designated tear-down neighborhood with houses well over a million dollars being built so older parents seem to be coming in..Sadly many younger families are starting to be priced-out.
Being new to Wellesley I am no expert but I don't think the Dana Hall neighborhood is going to have the same kid-friendly atmosphere. It is an older more established neighborhood. The lots will be slightly bigger and most houses more expensive. Aesthetically you may find it more pleasing than the neighborhoods off of Weston Road. I know this because my friend from NYC was thinking of relocating here but was not impressed with the landscaping in my neighborhood as compared to nicer parts of
New York Suburbs.
As many people have mentioned Wellesley has a nice mix of everything. They were the overall winner in Boston Magazine Recently because of the combination of eateries, activities, shopping, and other ammenities. The town is also centrally located and although there is a bit of traffic (easy for those used to NYC) here you can get places fairly easily.
I don't know Hingham well but I know MV like the back of my hand. For what it is worth you can live in Wellesley and visit the Vineyard easily. We have a second place there and spend most of August there. Also as many stated here Weston will be larger lots and may be more difficult to connect.
Thank you all so much for your help! We are still figuring it all out, but feel like Wellesely in Bates or Dana Hall may be a good first step and perhaps Weston later after we get to know people and can handle more distance between homes. Hingham may be too much of a commute. We hope to see some rentals pop up for summer soon. It's been slow in the above areas.
Wellesley more new money, Weston very preppy, older money. Wellesley more working Moms, many bankers and financial service people, Weston more stay-at-home Moms. Wellesley more politically left, Weston more right. Don't know about Hingham.
Last edited by 495neighbor; 04-02-2012 at 04:25 PM..
One last tidbit. Should you choose Wellesley I think someone mentioned The Wellesley Mother's Forum (WMF). This is a great group to join and you will meet a lot of people. I did not opt to join the Newcomer's Club so I can't comment on that.
I was at a coffee the other day for the WMF and met two very nice moms from Manhattan. I also know a handful of other moms directly from NYC. They all seem to really like it in Wellesley and feel they made the right move .
There are a lot of working moms here which somewhat surprised me. The WMF does have events for working mothers too. I do not work and am an older mother so being in Wellesley has been a little challenging for me to find my "niche". That said there are plenty of nice people here and sometimes you just have to put yourself out there a bit and work with people who are "over-scheduled". We have only one child so I work hard at making playdates for her even if they are with the nanny instead of the mom .
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.