Tag Archives: neighborhoods

ONEin3 Advisory Council Interviews – How We Want to Improve Boston!

We had our 3rd and final group interview with 15 excellent ONEin3ers this morning, all vying to be part of the ONEin3 Boston Mayor’s Advisory Council. It seems like every year at least one of the interview groups is significantly weaker than the other two, but not so this year. All three sessions were really solid, with interesting and thoughtful conversation about Boston.

Each of these interviews serves two important functions. Of course, they help us to select the Council, but they also function as echoes of the 19 focus groups that were the official beginning of the ONEin3 Boston initiative. Our selection committee loves doing these interviews because  they help us keep our focus on the most important issues that face young people in Boston.

The format of these conversations is pretty basic. We sit in one big group around a table and ask each participant to introduce him or herself. Each participants tell the group one thing that he or she likes about Boston and one thing that could be improved. Once we have all those goods and bads on the table, we move into an open discussion of a couple issues that emerge in their introductory comments.

(Read on for more on what we discussed and please head to the comments to tell us what you think!)

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Neighborhoods Shmeighborhoods

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.

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Filed under Fact and Reflection Fridays, ONEin3ers in the World, The Active Life, Where You Live-Housing & Neighborhood Nights

What you have all been waiting for: The Intern’s Reflections on her trip to Jamaica Plain

The Devin and I sat at Brendan Behan Pub after our afternoon of exploration of Jamaica Plain.  In front of me was a pint of White Allagash fresh from the tap and an American Bull Mastiff sniffed under my chair in search of scraps of food.  The music was at the perfect volume and groups of people lined the bar just relaxing on this quiet evening.

I turned to The Devin and we said simultaneously, “I would definitely live here.”  I am straddling the line between early and late twenties, while Devin is nearing middle age and our life styles are most certainly changing away from weekend barhopping in Faneuil Hall.   After just five short hours Jamaica Plain seemed to offer a welcoming alternative to the college-like feeling of a lot of Boston, and I felt like I could take a deep breath and relax without actually having to leave the city. The bar scene seemed like another option to Starbucks for the patrons as a type of “third space” where they can socialize and relax with the benefits of having a good pint of beer instead of a place to go dressed up with your friends to get drunk.

Jamaica Plain offers an environment that differed from the rest of the city.  In the spirit of comparing everywhere I go in Boston to where I grew up, I would compare Jamaica Plain to Berkeley, California.  I definitely got an “alternative” feel while walking around…lots of bikes, different types of people and small restaurants.

We started our day driving to Jackson Square and slowly walking up Centre Street. Immediately, I noticed the uniqueness in the architecture.  We passed a few typical Boston triple-deckers, but I loved how each had a personality with by having a piece of flair such a well -placed arch or a fun vibrant color.

Up a little further, Centre Street I felt like I was on the set of the movie “Now and Then.”  I had a vintage feeling while walking down the street, I am not sure whether it was the Goodwill or the City Feed that was painted in red, white and blue. I soaked up the feeling of walking down the street in a different era.

We went into City Feed, which I would compare to a small Whole Foods with community uniqueness aspect.  Customers can get locally grown products and there were small clipboards where a customer can request a product that is not already offered.  Just being in City Feed I felt a part of the Jamaica Plain community and realized the adhesiveness the neighborhood has to offer.

Another thing I loved about Jamaica Plain was that there were dogs everywhere.  Besides children and food, nothing brings neighbors together like dogs.  Dogs seem to be welcome everywhere as a result. Brendan Behan Pub allows them in their bar and I watched as people struck up conversation about the canines and gave them friendly scratches.    This might not seem like a big deal to some people, but I feel like it attests to Jamaica Plain’s pride in community and gathering in a public sphere by allowing dog owners to socialize at a bar without having to leave their four-legged friend at home.

So on a whole I would say Jamaica Plain is pretty amazing and the only criticism I would have is it is not closer to the North End and can’t visit more often!

Note: Devin and I went to Jamaica Plain for just a few hours.  As a result of the short time spent there this reflection is only supposed to represent what an outsider might experience if seeing Jamaica Plan for the first time.  We know that we did not see everything that Jamaica Plain has to offer, so we would love anyone with suggestions for places to see to let us know in the comment section.  Also, if you are a JP resident and you would like to blog about what it’s like to live there, please let us know so can provide the fullest picture possible of the neighborhood.  Thanks!

The Intern, Kendall

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Filed under Fact and Reflection Fridays, Where You Live-Housing & Neighborhood Nights

SAVE the Date
Great Neighborhoods Summit

Hello ONEin3ers what are you doing June 10, 2010 from 9:00 am to noon?

Whatever it is, it is probably half as cool as receiving a free breakfast (best meal of the day) kicking off the new Great Neighborhoods program.

What is the Great Neighborhoods program, you ask?  It is a program that will help residents create communities that are affordable, diverse, walkable, and have a high quality of life.

Another question…

We all want vibrant, healthy neighborhoods with a transportation system that gets us where we want to go, a choice of homes we can afford, services we need and recreation we want, and a place where our opinions are heard.  There are examples of these “great neighborhoods” in metropolitan Boston – but how can we create more of them?

Don’t know that answer? You probably should think about going to this fabulous event.

Not convinced yet?

At this spectacular event there will a panel of people who have helped communities create great neighborhoods across the country.  For the rest of the morning there will be a  discussion of ways that you (yes YOU!) can help create “great neighborhoods” and shape the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance’s innovative new Great Neighborhoods program.

LEARN how other cities and towns broadened opportunities for local residents.

LISTEN for lessons that metro Boston should adopt.

SHARE your ideas in discussions with our panelists and Smart Growth Alliance members.

Learn, listen and share?….pretty awesome!!!!!!!!

Complimentary breakfast (in case you didn’t believe me the first time that does mean FREE FOOD that you would typically eat in the morning hours) and sign-in starts at 8:30am
 Wentworth Institute of Technology – Watson Hall
550 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

To learn more and to register, visit:

http://ma-smartgrowth.org/campaigns/gn

For questions, contact Tracy Hudak at thudak[at]mapc.org or 617-451-2770, extension 2018

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ONEin3 Gets Around POSTPONED

ONEin3ers…this snowstorm came at the absolute worst time for ONEin3 Gets Around‘s pilot event in Fort Point. And this is not the first time. Last winter we decided to throw a big holiday party and we got two feet of snow dropped on our heads, but the show went on.

Unfortunately, the City of Boston has declared a snow emergency and we must abide by postponing the festivities.

We apologize for the inconvenience and we promise we’ll reschedule so we can all try out Drink, Channel Cafe and Barlow’s in the very near future.

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The Weekend Plan, with Yelp’s Leighann Farrelly

What a week, ONEin3ers! Though it’s all but in the past, this particular seven-day stretch in mid-January is one we won’t soon forget. Whether you consider Tuesday’s election results triumph or tragedy, I think it’s safe to say we could all use a drink…or two. And since this post is all about what’s poppin’ on the weekend, we’ll forgo the political analysis in favor of finding some fun straight through till Sunday. No trucks, back-ally deals or American Idol failures required.

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Want to “Get Around”?

The ONEin3 Boston Mayor’s  Advisory Council is looking for young connectors in Boston to be hosts for a pilot version of ONEin3 Gets Around, a campaign aimed at getting Boston residents between 20 and 34 to experience what all of Boston’s neighborhoods have to offer.

As a host, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with the Council to create a small, special event for about 10-15 people at a venue in your neighborhood.

This is a great leadership opportunity for selected hosts, and provides the opportunity to connect and work with the City’s leadership.

To apply to be a host, visit tr.im/ONEin3GetsAround

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