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Benihana
01-25-2008, 05:02 PM
Just found out I will be moving from Chicago to Cambridge, MA at the end of the summer to start a two-year graduate program. Any advice from the Bostonians out there about the city in general or Cambridge in particular?

I should probably get a car, right?

Bip Roberts
01-25-2008, 05:10 PM
I feel sorry for you

Chip R
01-25-2008, 05:12 PM
Just found out I will be moving from Chicago to Cambridge, MA at the end of the summer to start a two-year graduate program. Any advice from the Bostonians out there about the city in general or Cambridge in particular?

I should probably get a car, right?


Oh, yeah. Driving's a snap there. :eek:

Boston Red
01-25-2008, 05:29 PM
Driving here's not bad. You don't really need a car if you live in Cambridge and don't need to travel outside the area often. The Red Line provides easy access to Boston and the immediate surrounding areas. Zipcar is actually a pretty good alternative in that scenario if for no other reason that parking is expensive and not exactly plentiful.

I prefer the South End to Cambridge myself. You're looking at about $1500-2k a month to rent a nice place there, but there are fantastic bars, shopping, restaurants, cultural attractions, transportation (T) and other entertainment options (read: Fenway Park) all within reasonable walking distance. And Harvard Square is probably an easy bus ride across the Mass Ave. bridge and then down to Harvard from there (not sure as I never needed to get to Cambridge, but Orange Line to Red Line will get you there simply enough anyway).

Dress warm.

Stephenk29
01-25-2008, 07:20 PM
I'm sure you will, but you have to hit up Fenway.

Not that I'm a Red Sox fan obviously, but Fenway is just an incredible atmosphere.

Dom Heffner
01-25-2008, 07:21 PM
Buy a Yankees cap. I hear they adore that team.

And be sure to scream that you love them in a crowded place. Applause should follow.

Benihana
01-25-2008, 09:41 PM
Driving here's not bad. You don't really need a car if you live in Cambridge and don't need to travel outside the area often. The Red Line provides easy access to Boston and the immediate surrounding areas. Zipcar is actually a pretty good alternative in that scenario if for no other reason that parking is expensive and not exactly plentiful.

I prefer the South End to Cambridge myself. You're looking at about $1500-2k a month to rent a nice place there, but there are fantastic bars, shopping, restaurants, cultural attractions, transportation (T) and other entertainment options (read: Fenway Park) all within reasonable walking distance. And Harvard Square is probably an easy bus ride across the Mass Ave. bridge and then down to Harvard from there (not sure as I never needed to get to Cambridge, but Orange Line to Red Line will get you there simply enough anyway).

Dress warm.

Thanks. And as far as the last part goes, coming from Chicago I'm sure it won't be a problem. :thumbup:

cincinnati chili
01-25-2008, 11:42 PM
Just found out I will be moving from Chicago to Cambridge, MA at the end of the summer to start a two-year graduate program. Any advice from the Bostonians out there about the city in general or Cambridge in particular?

I should probably get a car, right?

Congrats. Which school? What field of study?

Feel free to PM me, and I doubt M2 would mind either.

I lived in Somerville the past 3 years (bordering Cambridge to the East and Northeast), and know Cambridge really well.

Your choice of where to live might very much be dictated by whether you want to have a car, how much you're into biking/the outdoors, etc., where you're going to school, whether you have a dog, and how much $$ you have.

cincinnati chili
01-25-2008, 11:46 PM
Driving here's not bad.

You're kidding right?

Boston drivers were named the worst drivers in America for a reason. The state is about to go through an insurance crisis, because so many of the drivers are uninsurable due to their inability to drive safely. Plus, it's compounded by the fact that many of the roads are too narrow for the amount of traffic. The city wasn't built for cars.

The only upside, is due to "trial by fire" I became a much more confident and aggressive driver, as I had to drive for my job. That benefits me now in more civilized environs.

It's tougher to learn to drive in Boston than even NYC, because at least NYC is on a grid.

p.s. The guy turning left at a stoplight has the unofficial right-of-way.... Seriously.

MWM
01-25-2008, 11:49 PM
Going to HBS?

Chip R
01-26-2008, 12:15 AM
You'll love the traffic circles. I still wake up in a cold sweat thinking about those. :eek:

Benihana
01-26-2008, 12:34 AM
(oops)

MWM
01-26-2008, 12:43 AM
oops

M2
01-26-2008, 03:04 AM
Boston drivers were named the worst drivers in America for a reason.

By people who can't drive. We weed out the weak.

But, as you noted, driving is a lousy way to get anywhere quickly in this town. There's also no parking anywhere and you usually have to pay extra on top of an already high rent if you want a place with parking. Add in the insurance premiums and a car is just one big, expensive headache in Boston.

reds1869
01-26-2008, 09:42 PM
My sister lives in Somerville and from my time there I agree that you don't need a car. She and her husband kept one and sold the other when they moved to Boston, and both of them take the T everywhere. The only time I've driven in Boston was to go to Foxboro, but even then we could have gotten there without a car.

Rent will be expensive, considerably more than in Chicago. Negotiate with the landlord; most of the private real estate owners (read: non-corporate) in metro Boston are willing to bargain. My sister was paying $500 per month less than her neighbor for the same basic floor plan at one point--simply because she asked. She has never paid the listed rent for a place there. Now BUYING real estate is a different matter entirely!

I second the motion of visiting Fenway. Taking the stadium tour there was one of the most enjoyable baseball experiences I've had.

cincinnati chili
01-26-2008, 10:52 PM
My sister lives in Somerville

I was a 3-year resident, and I've got some Slummerville trivia for you.

The first American flag was raised on Prospect Hill in Somerville (http://www.yelp.com/biz/prospect-hill-monument-somerville).

Fluff was also invented there (http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/massachusetts/articles/2006/09/24/15_minutes_of_fame_fluff_gets_a_full_day/) by a guy named Archibald Query, although I understand that he ultimately sold off all rights to his invention for a thousand bucks. Poor guy didn't know what he had.

Whitey Bulger (http://search.boston.com/local/Search.do?s.sm.query=whitey+bulger&p1=Well_MostPop_Hottest_Searches_Pos4), the real-life fugitive who inspired the Jack Nicholson character in The Departed, was raised in the Winter Hill section of Somerville.

The deal with Somerville is that the nicer parts are near Davis Square and the Red Line, while I lived on the shadier part (like most of Somerville - shady) near the Orange Line. However, the Orange line side is super convenient for downtown commuters. My subway ride to downtown was 8 minutes from Sullivan Square, while you're lucky to get downtown from Davis Square in 25.

The next hot area, theoretically, is Union Square, which is right in the middle of the city. The Green Line is supposed to be extended there by 2013... of course, that's in "Boston" years, which means they'll be lucky to have it there by the 22nd century. Once the green line is certain to get there, however, property values will skyrocket.