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Old 03-06-2009, 09:53 AM
1 posts, read 7,693 times
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I am looking at a condo which lies in the pocket between Broadway, 93, Washington St, and Mcgrath Highway. More specifically it is closer to the corner where Broadway and 93 meet, at least from a map point of view. I visited and I noticed that the area seemed dominated by a Portuguese population, which doesn't bother me at all, as long as it is safe. Does anybody have any first hand experience with living in East Somerville? Is it safe? Did you enjoy it?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:14 PM
Location: Newton, Mass.
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A summer or two ago (last summer?) there was a shooting there in broad daylight, and there's allegedly a larger-than-average gang presence. I've never lived there because I'm not a huge fan of the Sullivan Sq area, but I had a friend there for a few years. It's not the worst area but not the best.

It's also a bit cut off from the western areas of Somerville because it's on the orange line and not the red. There are buses to get over there, but the buses sometimes seem to take forever to come. From Central I used to actually go in to DTX and back out on the orange because I couldn't deal with that 91 bus.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:41 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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I worked in that area (opposite side of 93 just north of Home Depot) and not once in eight years did I observe or experience any "problems." And my commute entailed walking to and from Sullivan, sometimes with the return trip as late as 9 PM or later if I'd stopped at the Mt Vernon for food and/or drink.
The question of whether there's an actual gang issue around there, or if it's bored kids looking for ways to annoy, is an open one. A few bad things have happened, but only at late-night hours. There've also been some crackdowns on drug dealing and whatnot that seem to have helped matters.
All the same, East Somerville isn't high up on my list for places I'd relocate to if the need arose. Much of the housing stock has seen better days. The majority of the "original" population has moved out, turning the neighborhood over to a considerable number of recent Hispanic and Brazilian immigrants and a relatively small yuppie contingent. For every established business that remains along Broadway (gotta show mad love to Patsy's Pastry Shop) there's a grungy "ethnic" grocery and a liquor store. I wouldn't say the area is in a state of decay, but it's noisy and dirty.
The real question to be asked is whether a move there would be long-term or for five years or less. Union Square, the western sector, is taking off in terms of gentrification and will only accelerate in that direction when the new Green Line light-rail line is built. Investors have reincarnated the moribund Assembly Square Mall just east of 93 into a heavily visited big-box store collection. The site of the lumberyard on McGrath Highway which was driven out of business by Home Depot is now a "Super" Stop & Shop. So now might be a great time to buy, while real estate is moving slowly and before East Somerville is "discovered" by more people. It all depends on how much of a pioneering spirit you have.
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