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Old 11-07-2009, 12:17 AM
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I am a single woman, late 30s no kids and moving to Boston. I will work downtown and would like to take a train instead of fighting parking. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to live?? I was looking at Salem.....any ideas about Salem? Or otherwise? thanks. I was reading other posts that Chelsea isn't a good idea. I cannot afford more than $1000 a month and don't mind studios. I have been looking on craigslist, but not sure about the areas. thanks!
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dogwood617 View Post
I am a single woman, late 30s no kids and moving to Boston. I will work downtown and would like to take a train instead of fighting parking. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to live?? I was looking at Salem.....any ideas about Salem? Or otherwise? thanks. I was reading other posts that Chelsea isn't a good idea. I cannot afford more than $1000 a month and don't mind studios. I have been looking on craigslist, but not sure about the areas. thanks!
What about Quincy? I found a couple of good apartments on the Boston dot com site, just go to Real Estate then click on Rental instead of Real Estate as you scroll down. They're $1000 a month. Not bad.

This particular site I'm talking about:


This one has an apartment on their rental area with heat and hot water & gas included, you can't beat that with a stick these days! So check it out when you get the chance. PLUS it even says you just have to walk to Quincy Center's MBTA "T' OR to the Wollaston "T" station.

I just checked to see if there were any apartments in Salem $1000 and under but there weren't. YET, in Swampscott there was one and it's a 2 bedroom, 2 bath under a grand a month. Not bad at all, besides, they have some good stores in Swampscott compared to Salem and there beach is a lot prettier in my book AND it's actually closer to Boston! Yet, you can take the commuter rail in at Swampscott OR in Salem and still get to North Station in no time.

Let's see, I actually think you will luck out on this particular Boston site by looking under "rentals" in their real estate section! Scroll down and you'll see minimum and maximum for rent, & put in 1000 & 1000 for both fields and it comes back with all these towns near Salem with apartments for under this amount. Melrose has a 1 bedroom right on Main Street, they have a bus that will take you right to the Oak Grove "T" stop for getting in to downtown Boston in no time. Melrose is a charming town, they have Turner's Seafood restaurant in the center of town and this one is absolutely awesome, again, it's a quaint nice town to live in and it's safe for a single girl like you (& I as well!):

Stearns & Hill's Bistro - Melrose, Massachusetts

Quincy is on the south shore, you would take the MBTA red line in to South Station to get in to downtown Boston's financial district, the Seaport District and any where else you would like to walk to along Atlantic Ave and thru the waterfront. If you end up moving to or near Melrose they have the MBTA orange line to get you in to North Station for Faneuill Hall Marketplace, the North End and of course any where else you would like to go in downtown Boston.

Salem, Swampscott has the commuter rail that would bring you right in to North Station where you could do the same, or take the green line (trolley) in to the Back Bay as well....

I know a town that you should check out, it's Winthrop. It's awesome there to live when you're single. You could get in to Boston via the MBTA bus and Orient Heights MBTA subway I believe. I was just there yesterday at Cafe Rossetti's along Winthrop Shore Drive. I went to the Boston site and put in Winthrop and two apartments came up for $1000 a month on there, one on Winthrop Shore Drive along the beach, perfect for the warmer months, just get yourself a lounge chair and walk across the street to the beach. I would live there in a heart beat! Plus you can see Boston's skyline from some parts of Winthrop as you're cruising thru there. Up by the Winthrop Arms Restaurant it's beautiful, really gorgeous homes up thru there with stunning views from some of there properties!

Sorry I didn't see one apartment in your price range in the town of Salem, but at least you'd be able to still get there if you lived in any of the towns mentioned here!

Look at the towns of MELROSE, Everett, Medford, Malden, WINTHROP, Swampscott, QUINCY**on the south shore always had really nice apartments! I put the towns in capital letters for the places I'd look thru first! ALSO WAKEFIELD, definitely check Wakefield out on this site, I saw some for UNDER a grand a month, down to 850 a month! They have the most beautiful lake in Wakefield, it's Lake Quannapowitt, it's beautiful to walk it around 6PM at night on nice nights in the warmer weather!

Here's a write up I found on YELP, this person who wrote it is a hoot whoever she is, I loved her descriptions, here it is:

It doesn't get 5 stars cuz you can not swim in this lake, well, you can, but let's just say its strongly suggested you don't.

While people fish in Lake Quannapowitt, I'm only writing about it from the "pretty walk while exercising" point of view. And, it's truly perfect for that.

The walk around Lake Quannapowitt can be separated into 5 sections:

1. The gentle, scenic side that hugs the lake;
2. The noisier, busier side that does not hug the lake;
3. The North End, near the Wakefield/Reading Exit on Rt128;
4. The South End, near the center of town.; and,
5. The Business Park (Quannapowitt Parkway)

1. The gentle scenic side that hugs the lake has plenty of parking the whole 1 mile length. Whether walking or jogging, it affords a great view of the lake the whole way and, whichever way you are walking, it ends up at a park. You can walk up and back for a nice 2 mile walk and while most walk AROUND the whole lake, read on to see some reasons why you might not want to...

2. The noiser, busier side is also about 1 mile. This side, however, has a constant stream of cars, trucks and motorcycles with their noise and air pollution. You WILL get blasts of exhaust fumes, both regular and diesel, and it will be just pure irony as you walk by a lovely cemetary. There are also trees overhanging this side, some not too high, and, in spring, and summer, you could find yourself wearing some of those tiny, green, worms that drop from a strand of webbing.

If you like being squished between noisey, fumey vehicles and little, green worms and cemetaries. This side is for you.

3. The North End. There's a parking lot down here and, before 4pm, some of the best hotdogs on earth at "Freds Franks" from spring to fall. There's also a Honeydews for water and/or iced coffee after/during your walk. There's a pleasant park down this end, not too big but nice... and a little beach that no one's actually sunning at. Traffic is continuous but not noisey, or full of fumes.

4. The South End. There's plenty of parking down here at the church parking lot. There's also a large park, a playground for kids and a bunch of beachfront usually dotted with geese (but no one suns or swims on it). During seasonable days, there's usually a slush cart at this end with water, if you need it. This end also allows a decision to take a minor shortcut through a small cemetery and walk along the water's edge by a ball park and, yet another (very nice) park, (if you're heading clock-wise, that is...)

5. The Business Park. You don't actually walk through buildings... but you walk by a few. The first stretch is a loooong road/driveway, but then it's nicely land-scaped to the left and lake beach and scrub to the right. This area is ideal for fishing and is very nice during the day, however, personally, I would not recommend people walking through here at night. Even if it's lightly lit, it's the perfect place for weirdos to lurk.

Remember, the scenic side is the best side and you can get a good 2 mile walk if you start at the parking lot on either the south or north end, and then just turn back once you reach the opposite side. It's up to you.

The last thing I'd say is to probably avoid going at high-noon. There's not much cover from the sun. And, if you like the feel of walking around with all kinds of people and pets and bikers and so on, you'll want to go right after dinnertime.. lots of people walk the lake around 6pm-ish on nice nights.

Happy Walkin!


Last edited by CityGirl52; 11-07-2009 at 01:13 AM..
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:12 AM
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If you don't mind small apt's I would stay close to the city. I was single in my 30's and never regretted living right in the city. I lived in various parts of Boston in my 20's & 30's. You can't go wrong with North End or Charlestown safety wise. I lived in the South End for many years and never had a problem there although sometimes it doesn't "feel" safe when you are walking around at night. I live the next town over from Wakefield now. Nice town if you are married with kids but I would have died of boredom if I lived there in my "other" life!I would stay away from Swampscott/Salem/Quincy/Everett/Malden unless you don't mind always being on a bus or the train. Have you checked out Somerville at all? Davis square and other areas' are right outside Boston are filled with single/young people restaurants bars etc...Apartments may be less there since its not in Boston proper but I dont know that for sure. I guess it all depends on the lifestyle you want. I really enjoyed meeting my friends after work and walking to get there, then not having to worry about getting the last train out of Boston like some others did. Doing loops around the Charles River either jogging or on your bike is an amazing incentive to get out and exercise. Boston is an amazing city to live in and has so much to offer. The suburbs don't even compare. Believe me, you'd get sick of the loop around Lake Q in Wakefield in a hurry. Good Luck with your decision!
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:47 AM
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If you can find an apartment in the North End, Charlestown or the South End you GO for it girl! I tried and got "No Results Were Returned For Your Search" back when I looked on the Boston site late last night. The South End has one that was under a grand BUT restrictions apply, you need to go on a list to live there as others with lower income need it. Also, unfortunately if you want to live IN Boston proper in one of the neighborhoods, as an alternative you could possibly do this with a roommate??? Would you want to go that route? It might have to be the way to go if you really really want to live right in the city itself. I was born and raised in the City of Boston (Charlestown) and then lived there as well, thru my 20's & early 30's and lucked out getting an apartment right in Southie.

Although...keep reading to the end because I have some more scoops, it was late last night with my original post to you, I had to take a time out where it was pushing to 3 AM! I saw FOUR apartments in Brookline (very close to Back Bay via trolley)??? There were two in Brighton (gag me!!! ) and a studio in Newton (bus & subway) IF you wanted to check them out on that Boston site. I STILL would live in the towns mentioned to you in my first post, regardless, seriously! I always wanted either a lake or the ocean right near where I lived even as a single 30 something, no matter what!

Good luck you'll find something, you just have to decide what you want to pay and pay attention to what the apartment looks like. Be careful in places like Brighton/Allston, the landlords can be cute if you know what I mean, your rent might be a grand for 6 months, then all of a sudden it's not, so that's what you want to be careful of in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Check the ones out in Brookline may be?? Hopefully you will luck out there getting a place, it's extremely close to getting in to town via a trolley and that's IT.

My old neighborhood Charlestown (02129) which is right over the foot bridge in the North End for an apartment? Forget about it, if you can find something under $1800 a month you'd be lucky, that's considered cheap!

There's another site that you could check out for an apartment in South Boston (02127) may be?? You will have Castle Island to walk around and trust me on this when I tell you this one, this particular "loop" called Castle Island and we called it the "Sugerbowl" too way back when, you will NOT ever "get sick of in a hurry!" I saw an apartment that you would have to grab quick in this neighborhood for a grand a month, in fact it's even on the Boston site so you wouldn't have to go to this particular Rooney site if you didn't want to. There's actually a few and they're even in the better part of the neighborhood. You want to be on the EAST side if you live there to be closer to the beach. They have the City Point bus that goes right to South Station area OR even the Bay View bus that takes you right thru to West Broadway for the Broadway "T" subway stop. There's also the Copley #9 bus to zip you in to the Pru area in the Back Bay that you'd love. You can go to the Rooney-RE dot com site if you want and take a look at the rentals there to see what I mean. Yes they start at $3500 a month on this site, just so you get an idea of what's there, but the very last one looks interesting on this site! There's a lot of roommate situations in this neighborhood these days due to these type of rents being charged now there. I have a few friends that own 3 families there and they've got roommates on their 2nd or 3rd floors due to the high rents. The very last one on this certain site is the one I'm talking about, so check it out to see what you can find. You can walk right in to the Financial district where South Station is in no time from the east side, it's only a 2 mile walk down L & Summer Streets to get there. There's quite a lot of pubs in Southie now more than ever that you'd be able to walk to, also Lucky's Lounge on Congress Street has Sinatra Saturday's and Sunday's, a lot of 30 somethings love this place, these people that own this lounge also own the Alibi Lounge in the Liberty Hotel on Charles Street, so put these two places on your agenda for when you get here permanently to live, I even love Lucky's on Congress Street, back when it first opened we'd go here a lot, now on weekends there's lines to get in there. Some times you luck out though, it's fun during the week too!


Again, good luck, wherever you decide to live! IF you can get something with heat included you'd be able to go out more to the pubs and all that, but I know I'm dreaming with this scheme aren't I! Hey, you never know, they're out there, you just have to do your homework really good that's all!

Last edited by CaseyB; 11-07-2009 at 09:05 AM.. Reason: removed realtor's link
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:19 PM
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Thanks to both of you for all the great information! I really appreciate taking the time to write on this thread. I do want to be close to things and don't mind a 500 square foot place. I also don't want to hang out where college kids are because I will feel like their mother. I am 39, so I would like to get active in the community and take some art classes like ceramics and I also ride horses. So, I would love an area that is close to things during the week when I work and still able to go out to the country area to ride.

I was also looking at Milton because there are some stables there. But, not sure if Milton is dead boring. I would rather be in a village area I could walk around and get something quick to eat at a nice cafe or have a glass of wine with friends after work rather than be in a dead area with nothing to do. I could always drive to stables on the weekends.

I am willing to pay slightly above $1000, I just want to be smart about it. Does Charlestown or Somerville have a little village area to walk around? Are the people there in their late 30s?

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Old 11-07-2009, 01:07 PM
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Charlestown is one square mile, in fact we call it the "Green Square Mile" because of the irish heritage most of us have that were born there. They just did a documentary on it in the last few years that you can purchase at a few places within the town. When you get the chance, you can rent it too down at the library I believe on Green Street. There's Main Street with alot of different ethnic restaurants, like Tangierino Restaurant & believe it or not they even have nightly belly dancing shows all the time, where it's a Moroccan chophouse and tapas bar. It's extremely popular and always crowded, especially on weekends. Todd English's original "Olives" is located near this really really pretty park in City Square, I was just there in September at the "Arts In The Park" festival they had one weekend. It was such a beautiful day walking thru this lovely, quaint little park, checking out all the arts & craft booths. It's located just as you walk over the foot bridge from the North End and also around the corner from it is the Charlestown Marina right where the USS Constitution/Old Ironside is located. That is a lot like a village thru there, they have some really neat bistro's and restaurants and a museum here and you can walk all thru it and even get in to Boston via a water taxi in no time. The Marriott Residence Inn has an outside patio that a lot of people really like, you sit right out along the harbor and see the sailboats and yachts cruising by! Max & Dylan's is upstairs on the corner of the foot bridge right as you walk toward the entrance of the Marina and the Navy Yard bistro & wine bar (one of my favorite places), is just behind the Store 24 in thru there. There's another park called Paul Revere park that is really nice along the waterfront and you can even walk from there right over to the Boston Garden and North Station from here, there's a quick short cut thru the locks right after this park! Also, look for "The Tavern on the Water" while you're checking out the Marina, it's a very popular watering hole with beautiful views of Boston Harbor to boot there and as you're walking all around the "Navy Yard" as we call it, you'll see where I mean. "Fig's" also owned by Todd English is in Charlestown down on Main Street:


Don't forget to look for this place called "Paolo's", it's an Italian restaurant that's extremely good. I've been there several times; it's romantic here and really pretty charming with great cuisine. Put it on your agenda for when you arrive. The Ironside Grille restaurant is down by City Square too, it's another good one. There's even a place with Thai cuisine, called Chow Thai located at 187 Main Street that's a big hit these days in the neighborhood...

If you want to pay more to live here, you could do that, it's up to you. It's really good to go right to the neighborhood for a visit if you can soon and you'll be able to talk to some of the real estate people that will direct you to some great apartments thru there.

I know that Davis Square in Somerville is GREAT for your age group. When you come for a visit GO there to see for yourself. Inman Square is another hot spot, it's located near the Cambridge-Somerville border basically in Cambridge:

Inman Square

Both quick places to get in to and out of via car or MBTA bus or quick connections for Sullivan Square's MBTA subway and the red line would be a piece of cake for you too, if you choose to live in one of these two areas.

Here's some information on Davis Square in Somerville, I think you would really like it there. Plus no matter where you live either in Boston in one of the neighborhoods or in Somerville or Cambridge, I93 or I-95 south or north can be reached very easily if you want the country on weekends. That's what a lot of people have up their sleeves while they're working in Boston, they take off on weekends for either the north shore or NH/ME/VT up thru north country OR they take off for Cape Cod in the other direction. That's the beauty of living in and around Boston, it's the best of both worlds.

Davis Square Somerville, MA | CitySquares

Good luck!

Last edited by CityGirl52; 11-07-2009 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:40 PM
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One of my good friends has a horse and instead of driving out to it every other day where she boarded it, she ended up buying a house with more land north of Boston. They found a place with enough land for a barn and all that. They were always always taking off on weekends to see this horse and to make sure it was getting fed, groomed and all that. Now though they are as happy as a lark living in a place and having this horse right on the property with them, they don't have to go very far now! They were forever driving out to the western part of the state, all the way out to the Berkshires and forever always moving the poor horse some where different every time you turned around. One time they had it boarded down by the Mass-Connecticut border. It was such a long haul all the time for them and their kids. I'll tell you, this family is SO much better off where they are now having the horse right with them at all times, they keep saying it's like they died and went to heaven having it that way after all those years...
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:17 PM
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The safe part of Charlestown is the very expensive, yupped-up area (in my humble opinion). The outlying parts and projects are very townie and not a place for the OP, I think.
Davis Square in Somerville or anywhere along Mass. ave. From Harvard Sq. to Porter and onto Davis would likely be a fine place for a 39-year-old woman who wants a lively life after work.
Yes, you'd expire in Milton. Not sure where you'd walk to a cafe after work, but without question, you'd have no one to meet when you got there. Only in the city and its immediate areas (Arlington, Belmont) are you likely to find a single-woman life as you describe (as I lived until age 42). (Changed homes and area, not status...)
A studio in Cambridge between Harvard and Porter is the perfect place for the OP. Plenty of places to walk to after work or on weekends, and likely a lot of people to meet up with. (Disclaimer- this was MY neighborhood, in every sense, when I was 31-42, largely).
Best wishes. I'd forget about any of the suburban towns/areas. They just don't have the life she is looking for.
I wouldn't like to walk around at night in the South End, no matter how much rent I paid. Also, I think it might be too expensive for the OP.
I guess you could say I favor the Red Line areas that are more crunchy/artsy than downtown neighborhoods, which I see as more expensive, overall less safe, and zero parking, hard to get out of town.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:36 PM
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I couldn't agree more with brightdoglover. If I found myself single - um, God forbid! yikes, with two kids, let me not go down that mental route - so OK, if in a parallel universe I was single without kids, I would pick Somerville, and probably the Davis Square area. Unless I went with the Cambridge Mass Ave strip she described, though I don't know if rents might be higher in Cambridge.

Welcome to the area! I really, really love the Cambridge-Somerville area, and I can't imagine a more fun and interesting place for a 39-year-old newcomer to the city to live. You may have some college kids in your neighborhood, but they won't predominate, and you'll find all kinds and ages and nationalities of people. You'll have some of the better public transportation options. You'll be in an incredibly vibrant, intellectually and artistically stimulating area.

I have lived in some of the suburbs mentioned - Arlington and Melrose, respectively - and while I do think each town is a great place to live with a lot to recommend it, I think you want a more urban lifestyle. I think you'd feel somewhat bored and isolated in each town, and I don't think it would be particularly easy to meet people with whom to be friends. So again, I agree with brightdoglover that you'd be better off sticking to the city rather than the suburbs.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:24 PM
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If you don't mind small, I recommend Beacon Hill. I lived there for 4 years, and it's safe and social and close to just about everything. I don't know about rents, but worth it! Good luck!
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