Wicked Good Conference / Boston /

Another moving post... Lowell? etc


By ginger - Feb 4, 2004, 9:39 AM
Post #1 of 18

We will hopefully be moving to the Boston area soon.. a job is pending. Obviously is it expensive to live there, and we've never been to Boston.
I've read the other "I'm Moving" posts, and you have all been helpful.
The job will be in Burlington, MA. A commute of around 30 min or so wouldn't be a problem, though I don't know the average expected commute time, so it might be more.
The most important things to consider are apartment costs, location, and I guess public transportation, which seems the way to go in the Boston area. Does it reach out to Burlington?
I've found some cute apartments in Lowell, for around 1,200.00, which is pretty much our max allowed, but I don't know much about the area besides what I've read. I would appreciate some personal input on cities.
Another factor would be proxcimity to a university of some kind. Not next door, really, just within a reasonable distance.
Also, we would prefer a rather laid back area.. one where two women would feel rather safe, etc.
Jamaica Plain, from what I've read here, seems up our alley, but I haven't checked the commute time.
I'm not looking for a college kid town at all...
I don't think I should be concerned with a 'boring' town, so long as it is comfy. If we are looking for something to do, is thinking we can hop a train or bus to Boston within reason?
We won't be able to look at the apartments or towns before we move in, so I look forward to any advice on areas.
Thanks!

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc
By so - Feb 4, 2004, 9:51 AM
Post #2 of 18 [In reply to]


In Reply To
I've found some cute apartments in Lowell, for around 1,200.00, which is pretty much our max allowed, but I don't know much about the area besides what I've read.


I wouldn't describe Lowell as safe, or a place that I'd want to live..they're fixing it up, but there are still a lot of gangs, etc...

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By LaDivina - Feb 4, 2004, 9:57 AM
Post #3 of 18 [In reply to]

I know a few lesbian couples who live in Waltham, and they seem to like it there. One couple lives in a 2BR apartment in a complex and pays 1500, but the complex is right on the Charles River, so that might make a big difference. It's about 15 miles from Burlington, but that's 15 interstate miles. I know it'd be about 10-15 minutes at non-peak hours...don't know about rush hour, though. Waltham is also on the commuter rail.

Welcome!

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Ron Newman - Feb 4, 2004, 9:58 AM
Post #4 of 18 [In reply to]

On the other hand, Lowell has a hugely popular folk festival in July, great musical entertainment at Boarding House Park on summer weekend nights, the Lowell Spinners minor-league baseball team, the Lowell Lock Monsters minor–league hockey team, the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, the Lowell National Historic Park, and a beautiful riverfront walkway.

Lowell is also becoming a haven for artists, some of whom are refugees from Boston's escalating housing prices. The Revolving Museum moved from Boston's Fort Point Channel to downtown Lowell.

There is limited bus transportation between Lowell and Burlington, but unless you work a 9-5 schedule, it probably won't serve your needs well. There is more frequent and useful bus service from Burlington to the Alewife Red Line Station in Cambridge. Lowell does have commuter rail service to Boston (but this doesn't serve Burlington).

Lowell has a branch of the University of Massachusetts, but I think of this campus as primarily a technical school rather than a general university. I could be wrong about this.

Burlington is the most boring possible town you could live in -- Lowell would be a lot more interesting.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc
By ginger - Feb 4, 2004, 10:14 AM
Post #5 of 18 [In reply to]

So Lowell sounds like a good place to visit, but not live, at this point.. Is that about right?
I will look into Waltham, thanks!

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Ron Newman - Feb 4, 2004, 10:17 AM
Post #6 of 18 [In reply to]

If you want to work in Burlington but have easy access to Boston, my suggestion is North Cambridge, West Somerville, or Arlington. The #350 bus runs from Alewife Station (in North Cambridge) through East Arlington and Arlington Center to all the big office developments in Burlington.

Commuting from Jamaica Plain to Burlington -- by car or by public transit -- would be no fun at all.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc
By Buzzy_Flatus - Feb 4, 2004, 10:42 AM
Post #7 of 18 [In reply to]


In Reply To
So Lowell sounds like a good place to visit, but not live, at this point.. Is that about right?
I will look into Waltham, thanks!


It all depends upon your appetite for "funky".

Lowell and Waltham were both important 19th century manufacturing towns. As the 19th century industrial might of New England faded away, Waltham was kept viable by close proximity to Boston (it became a commuting suburb) and, later, by very close proximity to the route 128 beltway, where many high tech companies located.

Lowell, on the other hand, hit the skids pretty hard when the textile industry moved south, and suffered another grievous wound when Digital Equipment Company closed up shop, which pulled a lot of money out of the general area. Economically, it is a pretty hardscrabble place.

But it is, as Ron points out, interesting. There's a lot of arts activity (cheap space in interesting old buildings), and, as a first stop for a number of arriving immigrants, it has the vitality that comes from that.

In Lowell you'll get a lot more space for your $ than in Waltham, but it's a lot grittier, higher crime, fewer or your neighbors will be overeducated professionals, etc. Neither is a horrible commute to Burlington.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc
By so - Feb 4, 2004, 11:18 AM
Post #8 of 18 [In reply to]


In Reply To
In Lowell you'll get a lot more space for your $ than in Waltham, but it's a lot grittier, higher crime, fewer or your neighbors will be overeducated professionals, etc. Neither is a horrible commute to Burlington.


Parts of Waltham are pretty nice, but the neighborhood behind the taqueria, for example, is also pretty run down...lots of good new restaurants there though, and even though it's in a rundown place, the taqueria is great..

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc
By Chris - Feb 4, 2004, 11:26 AM
Post #9 of 18 [In reply to]

Just to add to Funny's post, once the textile industry moved south it left alot of brick wharehouses along the river which have now been converted into some nice lofts.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By adamg - Feb 4, 2004, 12:38 PM
Post #10 of 18 [In reply to]

North Waltham is your basic suburban kind of kids/dogs/split-level area; the South Side, along Moody Street, basically, is a lot more urban. You've got Brandeis University right in town, and it has a lot of cultural stuff going on (a modern art museum, theater and music), plus you're not that far out of Boston by commuter rail (oh and Moody Street has a ton of ethnic restaurants).

You're right about JP, it's definitely a lesbian-friendly place (so is Roslindale, right next door and with slightly cheaper rents). But depending on which part of JP or Roslindale you're in, the commute could be a serious grind. On the plus side - you're a quick subway or commuter-train ride away from downtown Boston and both areas have nice commercial districts and plenty of green space.

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Re: Lowell Folk Festival

By Ron Newman - Feb 5, 2004, 11:21 AM
Post #11 of 18 [In reply to]

For those of you who have never been to Lowell, this might be a good weekend to explore:

Lowell's 4th Annual WinterFest Celebration, Friday 6:30 pm - 1 am and Saturday 1-8 pm

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Re: Lowell Folk Festival
By ginger - Feb 6, 2004, 9:56 AM
Post #12 of 18 [In reply to]

Thanks for the replies everyone..
We are pretty much limited to what is online, with pictures. I'm not sure how we will go about it. There seem to be a lot of nice sounding places listed, but no pictures..
How about some of you pick us out a place? :)
Lowell has the best price/space/etc.. but I'm not looking for a 'gritty' neighborhood.
Thanks for the help with the transporation between cities also.
I will look further into the places mentioned and hopefully will have some luck..
Thanks so much!

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Fred Sennott - Feb 6, 2004, 3:25 PM
Post #13 of 18 [In reply to]


In Reply To


In Reply To
So Lowell sounds like a good place to visit, but not live, at this point.. Is that about right?
I will look into Waltham, thanks!


It all depends upon your appetite for "funky".

Lowell and Waltham were both important 19th century manufacturing towns. As the 19th century industrial might of New England faded away, Waltham was kept viable by close proximity to Boston (it became a commuting suburb) and, later, by very close proximity to the route 128 beltway, where many high tech companies located.

Lowell, on the other hand, hit the skids pretty hard when the textile industry moved south, and suffered another grievous wound when Digital Equipment Company closed up shop, which pulled a lot of money out of the general area. Economically, it is a pretty hardscrabble place.

But it is, as Ron points out, interesting. There's a lot of arts activity (cheap space in interesting old buildings), and, as a first stop for a number of arriving immigrants, it has the vitality that comes from that.

In Lowell you'll get a lot more space for your $ than in Waltham, but it's a lot grittier, higher crime, fewer or your neighbors will be overeducated professionals, etc. Neither is a horrible commute to Burlington.


Like any city its size Lowell has good and bad neighborhoods,and commuting from Lowell to Burlington is a lot easier than Waltham to Burlington,even better would be Woburn and its not a bad trip to Boston from there.
Trust in God and sin not.Don't blame me I'm like Sparky I voted for Sarah to.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Ron Newman - Feb 6, 2004, 3:34 PM
Post #14 of 18 [In reply to]

However, Woburn has almost no public transportation.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Fred Sennott - Feb 6, 2004, 3:52 PM
Post #15 of 18 [In reply to]


In Reply To
However, Woburn has almost no public transportation.

It most certainly does.It has a number of "T" bus lines in addition to rail lines.
Trust in God and sin not.Don't blame me I'm like Sparky I voted for Sarah to.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Ron Newman - Feb 6, 2004, 3:56 PM
Post #16 of 18 [In reply to]

The only T stop in Woburn is in a useless location (Anderson), far from anyplace where people live.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Fred Sennott - Feb 6, 2004, 3:58 PM
Post #17 of 18 [In reply to]


In Reply To
The only T stop in Woburn is in a useless location (Anderson), far from anyplace where people live.

Someone who was considering commuting to Burlington from Lowell would probably have a car.
Trust in God and sin not.Don't blame me I'm like Sparky I voted for Sarah to.

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Re: Another moving post... Lowell? etc

By Vikram - Feb 7, 2004, 1:38 PM
Post #18 of 18 [In reply to]

The LRTA has buses from downtown Lowell to Burlington. Also, the MBTA has 2 buses from Alewife in Cambridge/Arlington to Burlington (the 350/351).

Have you considered Arlington? I used to work in Burlington and most of my co-workers live in Arlington. It's not super gay friendly but NOT unfriendly either. You could get a pretty nice place in a suburban setting in Arlington.

Then again, if you're young and gay, just move up the road to Somerville or Cambridge..where you'll have a much better time..but consequently rents will also be much higher.

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