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Old 01-11-2013, 08:30 PM
 
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Moving from St Louis MO to Boston and have narrowed our decision down to the South End or Cambridge as place to live. Will have our 17 year daughter with us but schools are not an issue. Planning on renting for a year, maybe two. So many different neighborhoods in Cambridge I'm not sure which is best. Getting conflicting advice from others. Some say South End is not very safe at night and that it might be too young. (We are late 40's and want to make friends near our age.) Those same people recommend Huron Village in Cambridge but I'm worried that will feel too suburban for me and that it is far out from Boston. Any help will be much appreciated!
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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I prefer Cambridge to the South End as there are more places that have some green. We lived for a number of years between Central and Harvard Squares -- would be a fun neighborhood for a 17 year old. Porter Square and neighborhoods around there -- walking distance to lots of restaurants, shopping. Davis Square has a lot going on. All are pretty safe. Huron Village is a bit more of a shlep -- the subway does not go there and so one probably has to take a bus to Harvard Square to get the subway (my daughter does that when staying with family friends in Huron Village). I don't know how long the walk is. I'd suggest living in walking distance to the subway. The South End seems a little grittier to me, though there are terrific restaurants there. But, you are probably closer to bad neighborhoods so the late at night walking around may be less good.

We also like Coolidge Corner (in Brookline). Bought a condo there, which my 19 yo daughter and roommates currently rent from us -- very safe, fun, multigenerational neighborhood. They love the neighborhood and it is walking distance to where they go to college. But, so does a 60 year old friend who lives across the street.

In addition to the local stuff, both Cambridge and Coolidge Corner folks can get to Boston for concerts etc.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:40 AM
 
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Thanks for your reply. I liked what I read about Coolidge Corner but haven't ever been there. I will definitely look into it. Seems like our biggest problem is going to be our black lab.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Dorchester (Boston), MA
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Huron Village is a 20-25 minute walk from the Harvard Square T station. A beautiful walk in the summer, a grueling walk in the winter. Several buses run down Concord Avenue from Harvard station but never as often as you'd like. If you plan to work or socialize mostly within Cambridge, then Huron Village can be a beautiful place to live. It's one of the few areas of Cambridge that isn't overrun by students and it's suburban feel can be a nice break from the more urban parts of Cambridge. However, getting back and forth to Boston from Huron Village on public transit is not very convenient. Another option is Agassiz, a Cambridge neighborhood that is still very nice but more urban than Huron Village. The downside is that there are more students (mostly grad students) in that area and it's still a bit of a hike from Harvard Station -- about a 15 minute walk at best.

I personally love the South End but I've never lived there. One thing I do not like about the South End is that the subway stations servicing the area (the Back Bay and Mass Ave stations on the orange line) are still pretty far from most parts of the South End; it's as much as a 25 minute walk from parts of Washington Street. Also the silver line bus that runs along Washington always seems to have sketchy characters on it (at least it seems that way to me). The areas closer to Huntington Ave might offer better access to the rest of the city.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Mass
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The South End is more dog friendly. You said the daughter is leaving for college- so I'm assuming your dog is staying with you, too, and is not heading off for an advanced degree.

You will meet more people with dogs in the South End than Cambridge and your socializing will be with other dog people. True, most of the new transplants are your yuppies who bail out after the first born reaches the 1st birthday taking their Puggle and BMWx5 with them. This opens a spot up for new people to come in.

But, the long time residents are older (45-65) and have raised kids in the SE and spend their time in the dog park and on neighborhood associations.

Try finding a place located in the Ellis Association - lots of good, friendly, mature people.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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If you have a dog, Huron Village is close to Fresh Pond Reservation, where you can take your dog on a 2.5-mile off-leash walk every day. Along the walk, you can visit the small dog pond, where dogs frolic and play in the water all summer long. It is a great area for dogs.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Mass
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Love Fresh Pond-the new remodel is great. I remember it before the new pump house. Lots of new shops around Alewife, too.

OP said she was concerned with Cambridge feeling too suburban - if you're a city person, it's the 'burbs. ) I'm a city person.

In Cambridge, I've always felt you need a car to get around and it's not a dog culture as in SE. Dogs can't go on the bus but they can on the trains ( not commuter). You can walk to Foodies in the SE and leave him tied up while picking up groceries. There are a couple of shops in Huron Village (both share a Formaggio kitchen, too).

In the South End, you can walk to Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, North End and waterfront with an active and well behaved dog. It's a blast and a great way to enjoy the city in all weather.

Both areas are COMPLETELY different - almost like cats and dogs.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Mass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2mass View Post
The areas closer to Huntington Ave might offer better access to the rest of the city.

Huntington is Back Bay. Southwest Corridor is dividing line between BB and SE.

SE runs Mass Ave, SW Corridor, Arlington, Albany theoretically.
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