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Old 12-18-2010, 07:44 AM
170 posts, read 426,266 times
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Kaytees--I figured that's what you meant!

We ended up choosing a place in Arlington but I wanted to come back to this thread and update it because someone else might be having a similar debate:

Keep in mind that we are used to a very suburban environment. Many people would probably have no qualms about living in that area but we are wimpy and wanted to see how comfortable we felt there after dark. I think it was about 9 pm on a weekday. We walked around the town square and down Moody St with our dog. No one was out looking sketchy or anything. We saw some people waiting at the bus stop next to the commuter rail station south of the town square. The people there were obviously waiting for the bus--they weren't just "hanging around". A couple of teenagers were going into a convenience store but they, too, looked like they were going there for a reason. People were in the restaurants, even though it was a Monday night. One woman was out walking her large dog. We saw two women walking together through the town square. Moody St was surprisingly well lit. There were not a lot of people out and about but those that were looked like they were going somewhere or doing something. No one was in the town square looking for trouble. That being said, we didn't go down the side streets. It was definitely darker and quiet on those side streets. We did drive through them during the day and they looked just like regular homes where people go to their jobs and come home to their family. We did see some business signs that were mostly in Spanish (to the east of Moody St on Main St). We assumed that that meant there were a number of Spanish speaking residents living in that area (a post above confirms that) but the feel of the entire area was similar: everyday working people live here.

Because of our wimpy-ness, there were things that stood out to me as different than the type of area that I am used to. Along Moody St, there are a number of interesting restaurants but there are also a number of discount stores and thrift stores along that street as well. There was one store advertising "adult products" or something along those lines. At night, the restaurants are open but the thrift stores were closed so it meant that some areas ended up being livelier than others. Heading south on Moody St, it only took about 10-15 minutes to get to the end of the action and we turned around. I think it could be a good fit for some people but it didn't feel "right" to us. The good thing about the Boston area is that there are specific feels to each town or neighborhood so if one doesn't feel right, there are lots more to check out.

Last edited by orangetravelerJP; 12-18-2010 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:49 PM
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What part of Arlington did you chose? We are in a similar dilemma ... renting for now in Newtonville, but thinking about where we want to buy and live on a more permanent basis. I like Newtonville, and am also considering Arlington, but am less familiar with that area.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:42 PM
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Breezy1, it seems like all of the action in Arlington is near Massachusetts Ave. We felt like there was more going on there than in Newton but I don't know what would be a better fit for you. We just drove around a lot of areas, wrote down our preferences (sq footage, city-feel vs. not-so-city feel, access to transport, close to things we wanted to do), and then tried to match them up with the towns. It helped us narrow things enough that we felt like we could wait for the right place to come along. I think the best thing to do is to take some time to see other towns and see if one feels like the right fit.
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