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Old 06-24-2010, 06:32 AM
23 posts, read 126,350 times
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We are planning a relocation from Brooklyn to the greater Boston area and have narrowed our search to either Brookline or Arlington. We have an 8 yr. old so school is important. However, we are torn between things like owning a detached house w/ a yard vs. living closer to the city and having more diversity and cultural exposure (not just race). I understand the differences may be slight but at this point we would like any intelligence folks who know these areas well can give. We are looking in the 400k-500k range and will probably rent for a few months before making a purchase. Regardless of renting, we must decide where to live in-time for our child to start school in Sept. Another issue is a work commute to Quincy- would love to us public transit but understand everything is a trade-off.- Thanks people!
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:16 PM
Location: North of Boston
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If you work in Quincy why would you be looking at either Brookline or Arlington? There are several nice south of Boston communities where your $400-500K will go a lot further.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:35 PM
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Brookline has an excellent school system and Arlington's is good but getting better. Brookline is much much more urban/city like environment which in turn has a more diverse (socio-economic & racial) environment as well. Brookline also has a large jewish population if you are looking to participate in that religio (many temples, bookstores, shops etc.) You will not get much in Brookline for $400-$500k, a condo maybe. Arlington you can get a bigger condo or a small house w/yard etc. Arlington is more of a small town feel than Brookline being a city. Brookline has the T (green line) running through it, Arlington has very close access to the T via bus or walk to Cambridge/Alewife if you're in E. Arlington area. Brookline is pretty much a small borough of Boston. Arlington is a town outside of Boston, more of a borough of Cambridge at this point. I love Arlington but if I won the lottery, I would love to live in Brookline. I have no idea of how the commute would be to Quincy.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:14 PM
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Brookline is filled with ex-New Yorkers, something you might be interested to know! (I live in Brookline, and am an ex-NYer, ex-NJite and ex-Brooklynite).
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:47 PM
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Trishaluna pointed this out already, but it's worth repeating since this would be a significant factor . . . 400-500k will go further in Arlington than Brookline.

Assuming that your workplace in Quincy were within walking distance of the red line, you could commute by public transit from either Brookline or Arlington. The best location for this may be the east side of Arlington. That area is very near the Alewife station on the red line, the transit line that serves Quincy. From far east Arlington you could walk to Alewife. Neighborhoods in Brookline near the green line are probably better than any part of Arlington except the area near Alewife for a transit commute to Quincy. From Arlington other than the east side you chug along through street traffic on the bus to get to the red line. From Brookline you chug along on the green line, often slower than the other subway lines, to get to the red line. But you have a shorter ride on the red line once you transfer from the green line than you do from the bus line that runs through Arlington.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:37 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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I'm also curious as to why other communities are being ruled out - particularly Milton, which adjoins Quincy to the west. It can boast of thriving if not "unique" business districts, an ethnically and economically diverse population, housing selections which range from duplex to "estate," and highly-ranked public schools not to mention the renowned Milton Academy. One thing Milton doesn't have within its borders that Arlington and Brookline do is a movie theater, but there's a cineplex minutes away in Quincy Center.
MBTA service isn't all that great around there. It's mainly along north-south routes except for the famed Mattapan High-Speed Trolley on the northern fringe of town, which connects with a Red Line subway branch. There are a few bus lines which run into Quincy sporadically, but going car-free in Milton on a full-time basis wouldn't be practical. Neither would it be in Arlington.
Between the three towns, Brookline's schools easily rank #1 with Milton's a respectably close second. With all due respect to the previous poster, any school district which continues to shed AP classes + music workshops + other "frills" in the wake of ongoing voter refusal to support needed tax increases is not "good but getting better." Arlington's system has dropped from second-tier in quality to about fourth (out of ten) in my estimation. Friends in that town unanimously agree, with one couple disgustedly reporting that their daughter spends half her days at the high school in study halls due to all the eliminated courses she would've liked to take. Other families of my acquaintance have reluctantly gone the private/parochial route with their kids. The schools may still be "good," especially in the elementary and middle grades, but "getting better?" I don't think so. Arlington's "cool factor" has increased by leaps and bounds, thanks in part to relaxed "blue laws" which now allow for liquor to be sold in restaurants. But the educational career of an 8-year-old child should take precedence over having two independent theaters and five Japanese eating places close to home.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:54 AM
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Arlington is a nice town but I really like Brookline. There's an urbanesque feel in the Coolidge Corner, Washington Sq area and it's a jump to Fenway for a game. a good portion of the BC students live in the Cleveland Circle area. The C line is right on Beacon St and will take you straight into town. The D line goes towards South Brookline which has a bit more of a suburban feel. the B line also skirts the outter egde of Brookline.

Depending on where you husband will be working in Quincy, he could possibly drive via the Jamaica Way - approx 40minutes drive in the am from the Coolidge corner area to North Quincy. I think it would be a pain in the b**t to travel via train - Green line to the Red line switch point and then Red line to Quincy could be at least 1 1/2 at the end of the day.

With that said, I think GoyGuy is right most parts of Milton are nice and quite nice actually. A certain area is close to 93 where Quincy runs alongside of. trains would agin be a problem - bus maybe?!? but driving will be quick because you would be going against the traffic. Good Luck
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:21 PM
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Rep to Goyguy for suggesting Milton. It fits very well with your description of what you're looking for, and it's very close to Quincy. I'm sure you have your reasons for having Brookline and Arlington at the top of the list, but if there's still room for considering other options, Milton is worth serious consideration.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:45 PM
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,392,218 times
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One thing about Milton (I live next door in Quincy, which sadly no longer has a cineplex): There have been several murders in the last couple years, and recently there were bomb threats at the high school, and I think a teenager was suspended for bringing a gun to school. Also recently heard about an armed robbery at an ATM in broad daylight. I've only lived in this area for a year, but I get the sense crime might be on the rise in Milton.

I lived on the Brighton/Brookline border for several years, and really like Brookline for its city-like feel. I don't have kids, but Brookline's schools would definitely be tops among the towns mentioned here. A commute to Quincy by public transit would be a headache, though. And 400-500K is likely to be a two-bedroom condo, if you're in the more urban parts of town.

Arlington is nice: less urban than Brookline, but more urban than your typical suburb. Probably a little cheaper, but as goyguy said, the schools aren't as highly ranked. However, I think it would be the difference between good or great schools, not "bad" schools" versus great schools.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:43 AM
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According to city data there have 2 murders in Milton in the last 10 years, 3 in Brookline and 2 in Arlington. A few false bomb threats at a high school wouldn't scare me at all.

I like Brookline and Arlington better than Milton, but if I were commuting to Quincy, I would choose Milton for sure...the commute isn't worth it.
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