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Old 04-30-2008, 01:08 PM
3 posts, read 10,186 times
Reputation: 11


Thanks for taking time to check this out. So, I'm moving to Boston with my girlfriend this August - I'll be attending a graduate program at BU. We haven't had much luck finding detailed, insightful descriptions of Boston's various areas and would like some help narrowing our options.

I've been told that many BU grad students live in Brookline, Brighton or Cambridge. Brookline seems more suburban and expensive (no overnight street parking??!!??); Cambridge's reputation precedes it; and I don't know much about Brighton.

We want a "liveable" area: shops, restaurants, cafes, safe, etc. We'll be renting, want to find a 2 bedroom and can spend around $1800.

Any info you can provide is much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:42 PM
Location: Boston, MA
137 posts, read 394,826 times
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Brookline and Brighton are geographically very similar. It is often very difficult to tell where Brookline ends and Brighton begins. I technically live in Brighton, but I am so right on the Brookline line. This works out well for me because I am allowed to park on the streets at night in Brighton, as you noted in your post. The public transportation system, specifically the Green line in the main form of transportation for the Kenmore/Brookline/Brighton/BU/BC/Coolidge Corner/Cleveland Circle area. The Green line splits into 4 lines, 3 of which make stops in this general area. BU is on the "B" line which travels on Commonwealth Ave and ends up at BC. The "C" line travels on Beacon St. and is the main Brookline line, having its busiest stop at Coolidge Corner, and ending in Cleveland Circle. The "D" line travels a little farther out, on the Longwood Medical area, makes a stop very close to where the "C" line ends in Cleveland Circle and then travels out to the Newton area. All of these lines also travel inbound to all parts of Boston. If you are going to be spending a lot of time at BU, I would recommend staying close to the B line, Brighton being your best bet. But don't be scared off by Allston or Brookline or even Kenmore, as they are all very close. Allson as a rule is more bus-accessible than t-accessible, which personally i dont like.

Cambridge is another great option but you would want to drive to school and the prices are slightly higher, still in your range though. Cambridge utilizes the "Red" line of the T, and is a pain to get to from Brighton/Brookline. Wouldn't be a problem driving though. Cambridge probably has more for the late 20s, early 30s crowd than does Brighton. Brighton has tons of college kids due to the proximity of BC and BU. Brookline is more like Cambrdige.

In summary I would say if you definitely want to have a car, I would vote for Cambridge, otherwise I'd vote for Brookline or the nicer parts of Brighton. Personally, there's something about Cambridge that I just don't like... kind of a snooty-hippy thing, if thats possible, but to each his own. Clearly it is a very stimulating area with Harvard and MIT so close. If you dont have a car, definitely go with a nice part of Brighton. That's what I did. I pay $1600/month for a really nice 2 bedroom with my gf. I do get annoyed by the college kids at times but its not that bad. Lastly, you can get parking in Brookline, it just costs a lost, usually 300ish/month. Let me know if you have any more questions. I also know a lot of realtors if you need names.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:02 PM
3 posts, read 10,186 times
Reputation: 11

Thanks for your response - very helpful. A couple of follow-up comments and questions: First, I want to take public transit to get to BU - selling my car this summer - and like you I prefer subway over bus. We will have my gf's car but hope to use it very little. Brighton sounds like a good bet, I hear what you're saying about Cambridge. How do know where the nicer areas in Brighton are? Which areas/streets/etc are nicer, have more nearby? I sort of like the sound of the Brighton/Brookline border, what are the major dividing lines?

It would be great to get the names of a few agents, we're coming out to visit in late May and need to set up a few appointments. Thanks for your help Jake.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:26 PM
Location: Dallas
4,630 posts, read 10,478,444 times
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The coolest place on the Brighton (west) side of BU is Harvard St in Allston. Harvard St between Comm Ave and Brighton Ave has lots of fun stuff with some great party spots and good restaurants. Anything on the B line or the # 57 bus is doable. If you want a bit more upscale, look down Harvard Ave south of Comm Ave. Very nice too. The Kennedys grew up down there.

Last edited by xS☺B☺s; 04-30-2008 at 04:29 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:14 PM
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 15,347,968 times
Reputation: 8153
trust me, you may want to take the #57 bus over the "B" green line, which is often considered the worst T line. I used to live in Allston and usually ended up taking the bus to Kenmore/Fenway as opposed to the train. plus, the "B" line doesn't go into some sections of Brighton like Oak Sq. which is quite nice. however since the "B" is the main line that travels along the campus, it may be a necessary evil.

it's actually not that hard to get to BU from most parts of Cambridge. the #47 bus leaves Central Sq and crosses over the BU bridge and goes through a bit of Brookline and the Fenway area. yes, it does involve taking a bus as opposed to the train (learn to love the buses here. the train lines are set up in a way that in order to get to some parts of the city, you must ride all the way into downtown then back out again. it's like spokes on a wheel and the only way those spokes are connected is w/ the bus lines)

w/ that budget, you could afford some areas of Brookline, if you could live w/o a car and w/o the luxuries some Brookline apartments have. another option you can consider is the Fenway area. I'll admit I have no clue what the prices around there are now (last I was there, the Trilogy complex wasn't even half done, and I have a feeling that the complex may up prices in that area, if it hasn't already), and it does get very noisy/hectic w/ Fenway Park and Lansdowne st right there, but there seems to be a lot of nice places off the main road, esp near the Brookline border, near St Mary's "C" line stop. this area would put you w/in walking distance of the "D" line Fenway stop (which has a nice mall/cinema nearby), the "C" line, and almost walking distance of the center of the BU campus (the #47 goes down this stretch).
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