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Old 09-16-2012, 07:13 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,264 times
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I recently got a job in Hopkinton and will be starting in October. I'm 22 and looking to rent an apartment there or possibly in Framingham, Natick, or other towns around. Do any of the towns within about a 30 minute commute of Hopkinton have a bit more to do for people in their 20s?

I know I can go into Boston on the weekends and that will be nice, but are there any towns with a bit more culture/entertainment/ things to do during the week? Also I will be a single female living alone, so the neighborhood would need to be fairly safe.
I've read that Framingham may not be the best place for a young female to live alone. I'd appreciate any advice on which town and what specific areas of that town you all might suggest living in. Thanks guys!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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Framingham/Natick is going to have the most to do for someone in your age group in the immediate area. Plus you'll be fairly close to Waltham/Newton/Boston which also have a lot to do.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Red Sox Nation
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I think you might be bored living in Hopkinton. It is very suburban, mainly single family homes and families. I live in a similar town and it is perfect for me, but as a single person in their 20's, not so much. I would probably look into Natick as opposed to Framingham. I think it is a much nicer town over all, with good access to shops and dining, as well as downtown Boston via the MassPike or commuter rail.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:19 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,310 posts, read 6,836,424 times
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Natick is a good choice and 1 bedroom apts go for 1100 to 1300, which is a lot lower than the hip towns like Newton, Brighton, etc. There are a lot of rentals in the area across the w natick commuter station and you may be able to find private (in law unit or similar) rentals in a more single family residental area or close to downtown natick. . The distance to work and to the fun places are perfect. You won't feel like it takes forever to get into Bos on weekends. One thing is the Rt 135/126 intersection is horrible during rush hour. I'd try to avoid passing thru there to get t/from Hop.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:00 AM
 
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Thanks a bunch guys. I think I'll look into apts in Natick. Do you have any specific apt complexes to look at or should I just start on Craigslist and go from there?
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Ohio
2,310 posts, read 6,836,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewel9001 View Post
Thanks a bunch guys. I think I'll look into apts in Natick. Do you have any specific apt complexes to look at or should I just start on Craigslist and go from there?

Yep, CL is your friend.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:24 PM
 
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As a 22 year old, I would move to Newton / Watertown area and commute.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: CT
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I lived in Newton and commuted to Hopkinton. It wasn't bad at all (reverse and all that). I also lived in Waltham and commuted to Holliston (similar areas). Again, reverse commute, but I opted to take back roads from Natick.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
8,547 posts, read 14,062,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keekski View Post
I lived in Newton and commuted to Hopkinton. It wasn't bad at all (reverse and all that). I also lived in Waltham and commuted to Holliston (similar areas). Again, reverse commute, but I opted to take back roads from Natick.
In my younger days, I commuted from Newton to Marlborough. It wasn't bad at all being a "reverse" commute and all. I was helping some clients find a house in Hopkinton earlier this year and drove from Needham to Hopkinton many times (sometimes during rush hour). The drive wasn't bad at all.

Newton would definitely be more expensive than Natick, but it's much closer to Boston and if you live along the T it's much easier to get into Boston for social activities.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:53 PM
 
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Default Waltham, Brighton

Quote:
Originally Posted by sblumberg View Post
As a 22 year old, I would move to Newton / Watertown area and commute.
In the general area Sblumberg suggests, I'd add Waltham to the list. More on that later in the post.

Jewel9001, you're going to have a choice to make. The entire general section of the metro area where Hopkinton is located has a predominantly suburban character, so you have two choices:

a) living in a place where your commute would most likely be a bit longer than 30 minutes but you'd have some decent entertainment and/or dining options of the sort that generally appeal to single young adults

b) living closer to Hopkinton in one of the places that come as close as possible in the way of entertainment and dining, while being realistic that these will be suburban locales without much of a young single professionals population nearby and with fewer young singles kinds of entertainment options than you'd find in some more urban locales.

Keeping this reality in mind . . .

NATICK AND FRAMINGHAM

I'm guessing that the posts above that suggest Natick are based on your preferred commuting time. Within the near vicinity of Hopkinton, Natick Center (downtown) does have the closest thing you're going to find to the kind of commercial center you find in urban settings where you can walk between little shops and local eateries. You might even find a smattering of young professionals in some of the apartment buildings downtown or nearby. Still, you have to be realistic about the fact that Natick is decidedly a suburban family kind of town--like that whole area near Hopkinton--and you're not going to find the classic young singles experience in Natick Center, just closer to that life than you'd find probably anywhere else very close to Hopkinton.

As far as what you've heard about Framingham as possibly not the best place for a young female to be walking around, that's very exaggerated. Many people seem to feel that the downtown area is kind of dangerous, but many neighborhoods elsewhere in F'ham are decent, and some are very nice. If you're okay with driving around to restaurants and the like, F'ham could work fine for you, but if you're looking for something as close as you can get in that area to a walk-around-from-shop-to-shop city kind of commercial district, F'ham doesn't work so well. The town's downtown is pretty much faded and dead. All the major commercial activity is centered around a big mall district, where the restaurants and stores are very spread out and you'd have to drive everywhere.

Natick shares that mall district with F'ham, but unlike F'ham also has an attractive downtown area that has a modest collection of local shops and eateries. Still, F'ham is the one other town in close vicinity to Hopkinton which does have extensive shopping and dining (lots of chains but a few more distinctive local kinds of places scattered widely about). That makes F'ham the one other town in the immediate vicinity of Hopkinton which has a good amount of commercial activity. Just plan on driving everywhere for shopping and dining in F'ham. Same is true in Natick, except if you're within walking distance of downtown.

NEWTON/WATERTOWN/WALTHAM

You'd most likely have to accept a commute longer than half an hour from the major centers in these towns. The reason I added Waltham to Sblumberg's suggestions of Newton and Watertown is that downtown Waltham has a young professionals crowd and a pretty good restaurant scene. I haven't really spent time in Watertown recently, but word is that some young singles are becoming established there. This seems to be a fairly recent development, though, so Waltham would probably be a better choice than Watertown, if you're looking for some of a singles scene. Waltham has had that kind of scene for longer, and probably has more restaurants and such.

Keep in mind, though, that Waltham is still not really in the city. Neighborhoods outside the vicinity of downtown are quite suburban. Even downtown, you don't walk out your door and get the sense that the city surrounds you. Still, downtown Waltham might have the best singles scene you'll find just a little beyond the 30-minute commute time you'd prefer. Downtown Waltham also has a commuter rail station, so Boston is accessible without driving.

One hint about the commute from Waltham would be to learn some back routes. While rt. 128/I-95 might appear to be the main route leaving Waltham for the first leg of the commute, 128 southbound toward the Mass. Pike can have heavy traffic during the morning commute.

Newton has some good-sized commercial centers with small local kinds of businesses, most notably Newton Centre and West Newton, but Newton is largely family-oriented. With a population of something like 85k, Newton is large enough that you'll probably find some of almost any age group here and there, but it's not a big center of the young singles crowd in general. On the other hand, many sections of Newton have public transit service of one sort or another (both commuter rail and light rail, depending on the neighborhood), so Boston is readily accessible, and the drive to Boston is fairly short as well.

ONE MORE POSSIBILITY: BRIGHTON

There's not a lot of big-time nightlife, but there is a population of young professionals and grad students, along with some local small shops and eateries, around Brighton Center and Oak Square. If you live generally east of Market St., that part of Brighton is largely student ghetto territory. Even at 22, it's possible that when you've got to get up and go to work every day, you may find that you don't appreciate having noisy parties around you at night. Farther west around Brighton Ctr. and Oak Sq. you're still fairly close to some of the student young crowd hangouts, if they interest you, without being surrounded by noisy undergrads (still some of them around, but toned down a lot since they're mixed in with grad students, young working folks, and longtime blue collar residents).
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