SperlingViews - Somerville, Massachusetts
Cost of Living,
73.92% of people are white, 6.81% are black, 8.72% are asian, 0.26% are native american, and 10.29% claim 'Other'. 1.15% of the people in Somerville, MA, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 98.85% are non-hispanic).
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Ready to move on...but where? - 11/17/2011
I've lived in Somerville/Cambridge for 10 years, the last 4.5 with my husband in Spring Hill. It really is a great place to live if you are in your 20s & 30s: it is bike-friendly, dog-friendly, and no kids/young kid-friendly, which sums up my peer group very well.
But we are ready to move on. We are both creative professionals, so while we do well, we will never earn software engineer salaries like some of our friends. Neither of us work in downtown Boston, so the convenience public transportation doesn't help us. Somerville's population density has exploded, and with it rental & dining out costs. I commute 7 miles each way to work, but that takes me 25-60 minutes depending (Construction nearly every day for 4 years through Harvard Sq! Really.). We bought motorcycles & bikes to avoid driving. We don't drive on the weekends if we can help it. Commuting is like the 7th circle of hell, and I want to find a place where we can live without that stressful congestion.
We want a house, open space, trees, possibly a family. The trouble is figuring out where to relocate. We'd love to buy an affordable home in a rural area, but with access to creative professional opportunities. Anywhere in the 128 belt is a traffic nightmare, at any time of the day.
We've looked in southern Maine, southern Vermont, and western Mass. I keep looking into the Hudson River area (from Peekskill to Saratoga Springs), for the proximity to NYC/Albany jobs, but I don't know NY state very well. I keep thinking about NC/VA, especially along the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are a ton of homes out there and a ton of realtors eager to show up places, but I haven't figured out which region to focus our search. Where do GenX creatives thrive, when they are done with the single nightlife, but not interested in suburban sprawl? [read more...]
Not too bad a place to live - 9/30/2008
Living in Somerville is OK. I'm not a 'city' person and I would rather be out in the country some place, but it's not too bad here. I'm in my early 50s and own a house. I get along fine in my neighborhood and I can't say this is the worst place I've ever lived.
The winters here could be worse but I grew up in Rochester, NY and it's better here than there although they really don't know about snow removal here. Yes, people actually do 'save' their on the street parking spot with a chair or trash can. Parking is at a premium.
Summers are OK, it gets hot and sometimes humid but Somerville does get ocean breezes which apparently cool things down a couple of degrees. not too noticeable.
Generally people here are nice and helpful. The population is definitely much younger than I am as a general rule (probably due to the 60 colleges in the greater Boston area). We figure about 25% of the population changes every September (and May) because of the influx (and outpouring)of college students. At the end of May, you can drive almost any where around the Boston area about 10 to 15 minutes faster because there's that much less traffic. You just have to remember in September that things will slow down again.
We play a game on Labor Day weekend called "Count the Moving Trucks". It's not unusual to count over 100 trucks that weekend. Per day.
West Somerville, including the Davis Square area is probably the hippest area to live in. The Davis Square T (Mass Transit) station puts you on the Red line subway and you can get almost any where from here without too much trouble.
Somerville has a large population of artists.I've heard there are more artists here than in any other part of the Boston area.
Tufts University is located on the Somerville/Medford town line. Harvard University is probably about 5 miles (two T stops) from Davis Square.
Somerville is sort of a banana shape that curves around Cambridge. It borders on Medford, Arlington and Cambridge and was once part of Charlestown. The first American flag was flown in Somerville on Prospect Hill.
Somerville is sometimes referred to as Slummerville. They're talking about East Somerville. If you live in trendy West Somerville, you're good. It's expensive to live here compared to many other parts of the country and even East Somerville isn't cheap any more.
Somerville has great restaurants. There are a few nice dog parks. There's a nice movie theater in Davis Square.
I can't confirm the club scene here as I don't do the club thing. It's kind of embarrassing going into a club with friends (most of mine are younger) and realizing you're the oldest person in the club!
I also don't have children so I can't tell you what the family thing to do is around town.
Somerville is about 7 miles from Logan Airport. It can take you an hour or more during high traffic times to get there from here.
I find that people are usually very helpful to out of towners. Cabbies are fairly friendly and helpful too.
Drivers, on the other hand, are fairly nuts and not very well trained. But I'd still drive here over NYC.
Oh and don't say anything bad about the Red Sox. People here are insane about the Sox. Almost as bad over the Patriots.
Somerville is OK. It's convenient to interesting things to do and good jobs. It's convenient to go pick up a loaf of bread or go out for a good burger. There are a lot of different ethnic groups in the area and we have a rich melting pot culture. That's probably one of the best things about living here.[read more...]
Davis Square - 2/8/2008
we are midwest transplants to the Boston area and lucked out by finding this great little neighborhood - right on the train line, little stores and good community - we even got rid of our cars and walk everywhere, and love the lifestyle. But remember, the closer you live to the train, the more expensive your rent (and if you are moving from almost anywhere except places like NY, San Francisco or LA, you will be blown away by the cost to rent or buy in the Boston area)![read more...]