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Old 09-30-2007, 06:34 PM
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I'm a 23 year old female moving to boston in the beginning of the year. I'm going back to school but im not doing the whole dorm thing.I will be moving by myself so i dont even know where to begin. What areas are exciting and fun or around people my age to live in? and hows the nightlife? i want to live somewhere close to where the action is like the bars/clubs/restaurants/shopping.. I'm taking my car with me but i heard that you dont need one out there...Please help me with some advice!! Thank you!!
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:18 PM
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Some of it may depend on where you'll be going to school, at least if you want to be able to walk a few blocks to get to class. If you don't mind a subway ride, you can live pretty much anywhere in the central part of Boston or in Cambridge and find getting to class convenient. Downtown Boston and the surrounding neighborhoods make up a very compact area, with pretty much all the stuff people go to the city for located within a few square miles.

One factor to consider is cost of housing. Since you're a student, I'm guessing that money will be kind of tight. A lot of students use craigslist and services like it to find people they can get together with to rent a house or apartment. One of the big areas for student housing is in Brighton, a neighborhood a little west of downtown. One of the plusses for someone with a car is that there are a lot of single-family houses for rent in Brighton. Even though the houses are close together and the yards or small (or often basically non-existent) it's still less densely populated than the central parts of the city, so parking is likely to be more manageable. Still, it's best to check with prospective landlords about the availability of parking in a driveway, or, if this is unavailable, what the rules are about winter-time and nighttime parking on the street in the neighborhood in question. It's best if you can park in a drivewy, so you avoid the city parking fee, and if you can't do that you need to be sure there's convenient parking on the street in any neighborhood you're considering.

Brighton itself is not a center of clubs and restaurants. Think more like coffee shops and neighborhood eateries. However, the Brighton section is just two or three miles west of the Back Bay section, which is the center of the club scene.

Another place where a bunch of students live is Cambridge, just across the river from Boston. If you'll be going to Harvard or MIT living in Cambridge will put you very close to campus. Parts of Cambridge (especially in the vicinity of Harvard) have a little bit of a bohemian flair. Don't be too surprised if you see trinket peddlers, tambourine players, and various street performers adding some color to this area. The '60's have never completely died around there. In much of Cambridge you'll find coffee shops, one-of-a-kind non-chain restaurants, and small clubs, and from the main areas where students settle it's a quick subway ride to Boston. Cambridge is more urban than Brighton, so there's more going on in the way of nightlife right in the neighborhood, but parking your car might be more of an issue, so this is something to check especially carefully if you consider renting in Cambridge.

If you're in a different situation than most students, and have some BIG bucks to spend on housing, you might want to check out Back Bay, the parts of the South End closer in to downtown, and the section of the North End along the waterfront. The North End is another area with some nightlife, but it's more in the form of cozy restaurants (lots of Italian restaurants) than clubs. As mentioned above, the Back Bay is the center of the club scene, and the South End is immediately south of both Back Bay and downtown, so it's convenient to both.

Hope this gets you started. If you've got questions about details, feel free to ask. Best of luck with your move.

Last edited by ogre; 10-01-2007 at 09:28 PM..
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