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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
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Best Student Neighborhoods in Boston

Bicycle Bill is a hip bike and repair shop located in lower Allston or “LA” as it is sometimes referred

Looking for a place to live that’s conducive to UMass Boston student life? This demand can mean very different things to different people, what with the marked diversity of our student population. How important to you are factors such as eating establishments, music/art scenes, proximity to the UMass Boston campus, or the age distribution of your resident neighborhood? Let’s take a glance at five Boston neighborhoods and assess these questions head-on to make the housing hunt a little less daunting, shall we?


With an ever-flourishing arts and music scene complete with abundant sources for live music/studio recording, food and drink, it shouldn’t strike us as a surprise that this part of Boston is inhabited primarily by students with a median age of 25. Due to their popularity, among the most notable music venues boasted by the neighborhood are Great Scott, located at 1222 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton Music Hall at 158 Brighton Ave., and O’Brien’s Pub at 3 Harvard Ave. Each of these bustling establishments feature live music acts almost every night, as well as a bar. In the culinary department, Allston is sure to satisfy even the most diverse of tastes, with Brighton Avenue’s roster of eating establishments that ranges from American and Italian all the way to Korean, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Afghan, and Japanese. By car one can easily get to the UMass Boston campus in roughly fifteen minutes, or a little over an hour by public transit. If all of this appeals to you, and a median rent of $2,300/mo. isn’t steep enough to discourage, then you just may settle quite snugly in this hip corner of the Bean!


Jamaica Plain

Situated in the southwest corner of Boston, a commute from Jamaica Plain to the UMass Boston campus normally takes around twenty minutes by car, and between forty-five and fifty minutes by public transit. This four and a half square mile neighborhood has its own claim to fame in history and the DIY arts field with its Footlight Club, the oldest continuously-running community theatre group in the United States, having faithfully performed yearly since 1877. If the high, fast-paced energy of inner-Boston isn’t something you can stand during all hours of the day, you can escape to a prominent leg of Boston’s Emerald Necklace chain of parks, taking form in the Arnold Arboretum, the second largest link in the Necklace. Two other locations that are ideal for enjoying the outdoors are Jamaica Pond and the Franklin Park Zoo, situated just outside of JP’s northwest and southeast borders, respectively. If a median rent of $1,950/mo. and median age of 34, combined with the aforementioned set of characteristics are among those you look for in your community of residence, then give a move to Jamaica Plain some serious thought!


Harbor Point

Among the most attractive features of living at Harbor Point for a UMass Boston student is its short walking distance not only to the campus itself, but also to JFK station on the MBTA Red Line. This tiny northern corner of the eastern Dorchester peninsula shared by UMB overlooks a beautiful view of Boston’s Old Harbor. It is a relatively quiet and safe community, which is also walking distance, or a convenient and free shuttle bus ride away from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. One frequent complaint about living in this location is its inconvenient distance to shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Its resident population is largely in their early- to mid-20s, and the average rent is approximately $2,020/mo. If you are prepared to drive or carpool to most places other than school and the T, and can swing a rent price upwards of $2k, then you very well may find a home at Harbor Point.


Savin Hill

Situated in the northeast corner of Dorchester, Savin Hill borders Harbor Point on the William T. Morrissey Boulevard line, making a commute to UMass Boston from this neighborhood nothing short of a dream. Residents enjoy a fresh and diverse rotation of top-rated eating establishments that range from American, Caribbean, and Spanish to Indian and Japanese cuisine. Roughly 15,000 residents fit into this square mile neighborhood with a median age of 30. Another feature of living in this area of Boston that is sure to appeal to the average UMass student is its modest median rent of $1,750/mo. If you’re someone who loves a fine and diverse selection of food made to order, values living extremely close to the UMass Boston campus, and are really looking to pinch pennies when it comes to rent, Savin Hill is a top recommendation.


South Boston

If the abundant park areas of Jamaica Plain made that neighborhood seem like a fit for you, but you’re still looking to live someplace within a good walking or cycling distance from the UMass Boston campus, then look into South Boston. Nicknamed “Southie”, this densely populous 4.1 square mile neighborhood is located just 2-3 miles north of Columbia

Justin Matheus

, and boasts numerous park areas, including, but not limited to, Castle Island, Pleasure Bay, Carson Beach, Dorchester Heights, and Medal of Honor Park. South Boston offers a fair number of highly rated diners, bakeries, and delis that range from Italian to Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as several moderately rated Chinese and Mexican/Latin American eating establishments. Southie is also appealing to many who identify closely to their Christian faith, with over ten churches ranging from Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal, and Albanian Orthodox denominations. For the very religious and those who are comfortable with a median age of 34, aren’t turned away by a median rent of $2,350/mo., and value parks, varied food, and a convenient commute to school, give Southie some serious thought!