Welcome to The GradCafe
Hello! Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts. However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts. This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:
|Guest Message © 2013 DevFuse|
- [March 2012] February (and January) Stats: Did you make it to the top ten posters? Check here
Boston & Cambridge, MA
Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:44 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:16 PM
Cambridge has the best hangouts (try Charlie's Kitchen--mmm lobster rolls) and you can take the subway past harvard, mit, and straight to downtown. In general Boston mass tran SUCKS, but the red line is ok compared to the green line, which services areas west of boston. Basically, if I decide to live in Boston another year, it's going to be in cambridge.
Hope that helps. Feel free to pm me if you have other specific questions.
Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:18 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 01:52 PM
Other than that, boston is great. not too big. I've been here for my undergrad and have liked it a alot. There's always plenty to do, especially in the way of academics. Since you can walk 12 steps and be on another campus, you'll never have trouble finding the resources you need. Lots of great restaurants, etc, everything closes at 11or 12 though.
re: transportation - I don't have much to compare it to, but I think the T/busses are pretty nice. I use a bike these days.
Posted 10 March 2006 - 02:46 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 02:48 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 02:53 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 02:57 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:19 PM
I moved to Boston (somerville, actually) after I graduated from undergrad and my husband will be a grad student at either Harvard or MIT next year. We live in Somerville, between Davis and Porter squares, right now and have really loved it. It's a great location - right by the red line, as well as walkable to grocery stores and everything else you'd need - two T stops to Harvard, or you could walk there in under half an hour. Somerville, especially near Davis, is a fun place to live and feels less hectic/crowded than harvard square. It's also cheaper. The closer you get to harvard square, the smaller the apartment you'll get for the price. We rent our current place for 1200/month, 1 bedroom, 4 rooms total, not in the greatest condition but it's huge and pretty nice. For the same apartment in harvard square it would cost at least 1600 dollars. We're actually moving across Massachusetts Ave. to Cambridge next month, because we can afford a nicer place now, and for 1500/month we'll have an 850 square foot place with a modern kitchen, heat and hot water included, in a building with a pool and other amenities. You have to hunt around, but it's possible to find good deals. Definitely live with other people to make it cheaper.
I've found the public transportation here to have its costs and benefits. Usually it's great, sometimes it's frustratingly slow or not moving at all. Learn at least three different ways to get where you need to go, and you'll be fine. (seriously, I know four different ways to get from my house to my job via public transportation). Boston is a walkable and fun city - I didn't think I would like living in the city, but I've really grown to love it. Housing will be your biggest expense, so if you can find a good deal there, you should be set.
The different neighborhoods have different feels, too. If you're looking for something that's more intellectual and more the coffee-shop environment, try Davis, Porter, Harvard, on the red line in somerville/cambridge. If you're looking for a more bar-type area, Allston or Brighton are good choices. I don't know much about Kendall/MIT since I don't live there or spend much time there, but I hear it's cheaper than other parts of Cambridge. Lots of grad students live in Central Square, which is between Harvard and MIT, but I find Central square to be crowded, loud, and a little sketchy for my taste.
Good luck! Feel free to post with any more questions.
Posted 11 March 2006 - 07:15 AM
I checked out the housing websites at MIT and Harvard. The cheapest room is about $600 per month and I understand that it would be really really small. Does any of you have any comment on the on-campus housing at MIT or Harvard? I am very tight on budget and would be willing to pay $800 a month at most for housing :cry:. From what I gathered, it would be difficult to find a nice single room off-campus at the price. So I guess my options are:
- find roommates and live off-campus. I prefer having a bedroom of my own but can share common room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.
- on-campus housing. 140-200 sq. ft. single room. Any insight on Ashdown House, Green Hall, Tang Residence Hall at MIT or Child Hall, Conant Hall, Richards Hall at Harvard? especially on single rooms.
I will try to check out the neighborhoods that you mentioned when I visit the schools . Is there any good online resource for finding off-campus housing in Cambridge and the Boston area?
Thank you all so much!
Posted 11 March 2006 - 02:57 PM
If you do decide to sign a lease, make sure you find a realtor that won't rake you over the coals. Many charge a full months rent for the fee!
Posted 12 March 2006 - 05:54 AM
Consider looking into Watertown. The 71 bus goes from Watertown to Harvard Sq in 5-10 minutes and runs every 7 minutes at peak time. It is very convenient. The 70/70A runs from Watertown to Central Sq (close to MIT). I think it takes about 20 minutes and runs every 20-30 minutes at peak. You may be able to find a $800 single bedroom in watertown. It's a nice town. Very safe, pretty, small and a mixture of urban life and suburban green space. It's on the Charles River so you can walk/run/bike to Cambridge or even all the way into downtown Boston if you want and never have to be on the road.
I agree with pretty much everything said here. I fall on the PRO side of the mass transit debate. I come from Texas, with no mass transit at all, so I'm not picky and just love the T. We have a car, but when it dies we aren't planning to replace it.
Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:03 AM
Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:45 PM
Any insight on Ashdown House, Green Hall, Tang Residence Hall at MIT or Child Hall, Conant Hall, Richards Hall at Harvard? especially on single rooms.
I've been at MIT for five years (ugrad/grad), so I can comment a bit on the housing. Ashdown closest dorm to campus and oldest dorm, but very unpleasant, old-looking, depressing inside. Puts the dump in its moniker, "Ashdump." zero social life. I lived in Green, it's a female-only hall, I hope you realize that if you're a guy:). Right in the heart of campus, very small and tight-knit community, good international/american mix, wonderful housemaster, at least in 2004-2005 year. Rooms are recently renovated and light and airy,and best of all, can't beat the price. I'm paying 5-something to live in an apartment in Soemrville (around same as I did at Green), and my heat doesn't even work half the time:( If you're comparing off-campus and apartments, definitely take the utilities fees into account. I believe Tang is organized into suites, two or so people have rooms off a common room, apt-style. Never been inside myself but have heard good things.
Posted 14 March 2006 - 02:20 AM
1. It's a very expensive place to live. Cheaper rents can often be found in East Cambridge, Somerville, and Allston. I lived in Allston throughout college. The cheapest rent I ever had was $450/mo (subletting in a big apartment with 6 other people, something I wouldn't really recommend as graduate-student friendly); the most expensive was $650 (neither price includes heat/electric). Some areas of Somerville are wonderfully quiet; Allston is a bit on the dirty side and most buildings are full of rowdy young undergraduates. Brigham Circle is also a great place to live; neighboring Mission Hill is somewhat cheap but the neighborhood isn't the best (I did live there during high school, though, and personally have no bad experiences to report).
2. Watch out for your heating bill. It can get really expensive. Places where rent includes utilities are a good idea, although the temperature may not always be optimal.
3. It's really nice to have a car in Boston/Cambridge, especially when it's time to go grocery shopping. However, it is extremely hard to find parking if you have out of state plates, as many (maybe most) streets only allow those with neighborhood-resident stickers to park there. You may end up either parking far away from your apartment or paying a lot for a space. If you're there for the long haul (i.e. if you're entering a PhD program) it's a good idea to get MA plates and a resident permit sticker for your neighborhood (it costs about $15 and enables you to park on many streets).
4. I have no clue what the actual statistics are, but the crime in Boston is really not that bad -- stay out of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan when you are alone at night if you are really worried (even those places are not the urban jungles they are sometimes made out to be, but still there's no reason to risk it). There was a rash of muggings in Allston last year, but nothing too crazy. Overall, it's a pretty safe city and I always felt comfortable there.
5. Places to hang out: someone's already mentioned Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge. Some good music venues are TT the Bear's, the Middle East, Paradise Rock Club, and Great Scott. There are tons of good coffee shops around. There are dive bars, hip bars, and yuppie bars. There are a million book shops where people tend to congregate. You'll find good places no matter what your taste, I think.
Good luck. Do post again if you have more specific questions. Congratulations!
Posted 17 March 2006 - 04:22 PM
Posted 17 March 2006 - 04:40 PM
I have a question - how early is too early to start looking for apartments in the Boston area? I'll probably be looking in the Medford/Somerville area (unless there's a reason to avoid it??). I'm not familiar with Boston at all and will be moving there from Chicago. In my experience in Chicago, it's almost impossible to find anything more than 1.5 months in advance, but I know things can vary widely.
Hi - I live in Somerville currently, and Somerville and Medford are great places to live, especially for students, since it tends to be cheaper than Cambridge/Harvard Square. Craigslist is a great resource. Good areas of Somerville to check out: Davis Square/West Somerville, Union Square, Tufts. Right now, (end of March), you are just starting to see some listings for May 1 and June 1. Most stuff now is for April sometime. When I first moved to the area, I came and looked in mid-April and saw lots of apartments for June 1.
Hope this is helpful - feel free to post with more questions about somerville.
Posted 20 March 2006 - 11:24 AM
Posted 20 March 2006 - 03:09 PM
thank you so much! in the materials I rec'd from tufts, they said that most apartments in the area don't go on the market until september 1st - but i'd been hoping to move in August - do you think there will be 1 bdrms on the market for leases starting 8/1? Is $1000/mo. realistic for a 1 bdrm? It doesn't need to be huge, but preferably not a box either . I've heard nothing but great things about Boston & am really excited to move there!
Hi again -- you should be able to find a selection of apartments for August 1 - i'd start checking Craigslist around May/June...it's true that more things will be for Sept 1, but if you're willing to consider Aug. 15th you'd have more to choose from as well. As for 1000, it's on the low side for a one bedroom...at least in Davis square, 1000 won't get you too much - but I have seen some. It may also be slightly cheaper further up by Tufts, because you're further from the T. Craigslist will be a good resource for that too. Good luck!
Posted 23 March 2006 - 06:26 AM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users