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I am going to be moving to Salem in Oct. 2009. I am currently in Alaska which has been my home for most of my 47 yrs on the planet, however I have lived in other areas of the country so I am prepared for the culture shock, again! It takes me about 6 months to get use to *freeways* and all the congestion of people and traffic etc. However, I don't want to have to worry about a car and insurance right off the bat so I need to live where I can walk or there is at least reasonable public transit. I am not concerned about the cost of living as we are use to that in Alaska, and my children are grown...so it is just me, and I live pretty modestly. I have a pretty diverse resume with experience in mid-upper management [including property management], I have PCA (personal care attendant) experience and I am also a certified hypnotist and registered yoga teacher. My goal is to have a job lined up before I arrive but I will also be paying 3 months rent in advance and likely will be seeking a room share situation on a month to month basis so I can relocate as needed should my job demand it.
I have read most of this thread and I would like to hear more about the public transit in Salem. I have a feeling what I consider walking distance is a tad further than many folks that have grown up in urban and/or populated areas. What do the people in Salem consider *walking distance*?? Is 1.5 miles walking distance? I understand there is a train that goes at least into Boston, are there more stops? Does it go north at all? Should I find housing in nearby towns that is less expensive is there regular public transit between towns?
All in all I think I will be fine as walking doesn't intimidate me distance wise, and being from AK snow and winter don't slow me down much either. I am hoping some Salem locals will see this and allow me to pick their brain on specific details such as: any yoga students out there with knowledge of the nearby yoga studios? And what about PCA requirements in the area? I have 10 months to prepare but I don't think one can ever be too prepared so please, tell me what you know about this area!
I know a co-worker of mine lives with his partner in Salem and partner takes the train in to work at the Fogg Museum, which is right near Harvard Square (the red line subway in Cambridge). I think the Salem train comes into Porter Sq. in Cambridge, one stop from Harvard. Also (or instead) I think it comes into North Station, which is right in downtown Boston, and you can transfer to other lines as needed.
I think Salem would be a pretty good place to live and walk or use public transit to work and activity. The seaport area is very nice, the converted lofts and all are very nice. There's good bus service on the main streets, too.
There's just enough of a bit of grit to keep it from being "too cute" as a town, but there's plenty there to interest someone. Best wishes.
Salem is a very walkable city and like you, a mile or two is not a big deal for me. The train which is located downtown stops at towns all along the north shore with one branch going to Rockport and the other Newburyport. It goes into Boston with stops at most towns ending at the North Station where you can pick up the t. Go to the www.mbta.com website. Check out craigslist Salem to see what type of rents are available as prices vary.
There are many yoga programs as well. See the Salem YMCA which just refurbished its facility and the new Y in Marblehead near Salem State College. There is also Living Well, one on crombie street both downtown.
Thanks! I had read the public transit wasn't great in Salem but I had a feeling that was the opinion of someone very use to bus stops on each corner, here in Alaska the public transit is primitive and behind the times at best so what many would consider poor likely looks GOOD to me . I did cruise craigs list and I think I should have an easy enough time finding a room share in a good location for a pedestrian, especially if I send them 3 month's rent in advance.
I have done all the reading I can find that seems pertinent but I don't always know where to look or which words to *google*. Does anyone have some informative websites, perhaps some sites with local merchant web pages? It's been almost 20 years since I lived outside Alaska and we are very isolated in many ways from the rest of the country, and while far advanced in some techincal areas due to the remoteness of things, we are also very far behind the rest of the world on social trends and commonly know things about *big city* living, so I will read everything I find.
I have just down loaded google earth and would recommend this program to anyone thinking of relocating anywhere they are not familiar with. In just a few clicks I was able to calculate the distance from one buisness to another and see the exact location of every yoga studio in the area (including website urls).
Again thanks so much for the information, I love this forum and all it seems to offer the person trying to do their homework before taking a big plunge. I am very much looking forward to my grand adventure and learning to live as a pedestrian (this would never be a possiblity in AK). The thought of not having the overhead of auto upkeep, gas and insurance is very freeing!
I'm seriously considering moving to Salem,Ma as well in a few years, after i finish my Master's in Social Work. I've read alot about Salem, and it looks like a fun place to live, plus since i live in FLA I'm tired of teh same old 2 seasons year after year I've never even seen it snow before so I'm definitely ready for a change =-D
The commuter rail (from Salem) does not go directly to Cambridge. You must take the rail to North Station (yes it does go further north to Beverly and beyond), switch to the orange and then the red line. I don't believe they've changed that much.
Salem is a very walkable city. I used to get off the train, walk to Steve's Market, get dinner and walk home, all inside of 15 minutes. You can also walk to Pickering Wharf and many other areas. I never had a car when I lived there.
I loved living in Salem.
I live in Peabody the next city over from Salem. My home is only about two miles from downtown Salem. I grew up in Salem as well so I know a lot about the area. First Salem is a great place to live with the exception of those who commute by car. Salem can be very difficult to get out or in to during rush hours. Even for us who know the back roads! That is why I'm not living there now. A two mile drive from Salem to my current location would in rush hour most likely be a half hour or more in trafic. For those working in Salem or commuting by train Salem is very convienent. Buses go to both the Peabody (Northshore mall) and the Danvers (Liberty Tree mall). Salem is a great place to walk around and is fun in the fall leading up to Halloween. There are areas you want to stay clear of like the point, however most of Salem is quite nice. If you choose to live in the downtown area remember parking can be an issue. Salem police for the most part are friendly and helpfull (unless you are a problem to them of coarse). If you have any question or concerns about Salem feel free to ask. Best to get me @ [EMAIL="firstname.lastname@example.org"]email@example.com[/EMAIL]
Salem used to be a nice little seacoast city, but it has become horrendously over populated in the last 15 years or so, and with many many ethnic cultures, so it is culturely diversified more than it had been.
Is this a bad thing? Cultural diversity is something that all communities should embrace.
I have lived in Salem for 6 years and I absolutely love it. Met my husband on the Hannah Glover for a music cruise and the rest is history. He has been here since the early 70's. We were married under the gazebo at the Salem common. We bought a 100 year old mill building in "The Point" and converted it to a single family home. We jokingly say that we live in the Domincan Republic as there are parades for Presidential elections, Spanish music usually playing within hearing distance, many family parties. People are courteous for the most part. We are either greeted or simply ignored. It is a distance kept that we accept. The Point is slowly and quietly being populated by pioneers restoring old buildings into lofts. As people become property owners here, you can see an inprovement in the landscape, literally. We groom our own street corners. We are a block from a very nice park and the Palmer Cove yacht club. The dempgrahphic changes within a three block walk down Congress Street, we leave the Spanish culture to find ourselves in the midst of Early American culture, art, and history. Food smells wafting in the air, name your cuisine, you'll find it along that walk. If you are a music lover in a 4 square mile walk there are 7 restaurant locations (amongst 136 restaurants on last count) feauturing live music. Street musicians abound in the warmer months. This is a dog lover town. I counted 17 different breeds of dogs on one of our walks. Peabody Essex museum is a mariners museum featuring multiple art exhibitions throughout the year and is free to residents. If you are a bike rider you can discover other wonderful features of Salem, to Hawthorne Cove to Winter Island to the Willows. Look up Wikiki beach for a public yet small and private beach with the look of the rocky coast of Maine. Never crowded. Lifeguard on duty. I wouldn't call our small city crowded except of course during Halloween season and for a month that can really be fun. The head count was 160k squeezed onto our streets last year for Halloween night. Amazingly orchestrated by the Town of Salem municipalities so that the streets are clear and quiet again by 11:30PM. Salem on the whole is a most wonderful place to live. We have chosen "staycations" for the last couple of years and sometimes joke when we realize that we rarely go out of town for fun...it's all here.
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