The various neighborhoods of Boston range in environment, affordability, and social scene as much as the winding career paths of the former members of the 90’s power-boy-band N’SYNC. Each one offers something different and unique, however the same characteristics that appeal to one person may be the deterrent for another. For students, neighborhoods range from the affordable and spacious student filled duplexes of Allston/Brighton to the more swank, pricey, and ultimately smaller apartments of downtown Boston. A neighborhood reflects upon you as much as the car you drive in LA. It represents and embodies your own priorities, values, and personality. It is an extension of ones-self that has been materialized in the coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and green spaces that surround you.
How do you choose what neighborhood best fits you? What I look for in a great apartment is proximity to a T stop and school, a safe and friendly neighborhood, and most importantly price. As I touched upon in my first blog entry at ONEin3, I have lived numerous apartments in Boston over the past seven years and am currently on my fifth.
My first apartment was 160 Newbury Street. There were five people, three boys and two girls ranging in age from 20-22. It was a perfect fit for a Sophomore in college. We did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. People stopped by constantly and there was always something to do. We were a 30 second walk from the Copley stop and a ten minute walk from school, and most importantly the price was right. What I quickly learned was that Newbury Street is not just a street and my front yard, it is Boston’s very own catwalk. It is a venue of its own where Boston’s most “fashionable” come to see and be seen. Now people watching is one of my favorite sports, however watching people so into themselves can only be entertaining for so long. Newbury Street is a great place to live, however one year at 160 and another at the corner of Hereford and Newbury was enough for me.
I moved to the North End for my Senior year. I had been to parties and of course the restaurants and decided that it was time for a change from Back Bay. I openheartedly embraced the bakeries, butcher shops, and great aromas with my best friend Petey “G.” We loved everything it had to offer, from the new Rose Kennedy Greenway to back street breakfast spots. The people were great and the environment was full of energy, to live in the North End is a unique experience that no other neighborhood in Boston can offer. Pete and I both lived there the following year in separate apartments (hold back the tears, we’re moving back in together this fall), and he currently still lives there. The only downfall for the North End is that one does not get much bang for your buck. Space is as expensive as the streets are narrow there. However, the options for food whether it be restaurants or family owned specialty grocery stores are unmatched and worth any pint sized apartment.
No matter what neighborhood you live in chances are you are surrounded by friends, good food, a great local bar. What do you love about your neighborhood? What are parts you had to warm up to but now love? What would you do to improve your neighborhood for the better? If you could live anywhere in Boston for free for one year where would it be (neighborhood/street/building)?