Looking for housing in Boston can be stressful. It’s certainly not a renter’s market, and many apartments are over-priced, under-maintained, and old, particularly in areas with high student populations. But, don’t be discouraged! There are gems to be found in places like Allston & Brighton, particularly if you don’t mind sharing a bathroom with two or three other people. While apartment-hunting last year, I decided to look off the beaten path, and after several weeks of searching, found my place in Roslindale (a mere 15 minutes from MSPP).
I love, love, love my apartment – it’s in the attic of a three story house affectionately referred to as “the big red house” by its current and former inhabitants. I often babysit for my downstairs neighbors, and the neighbors below them occasionally surprise me with homemade treats from their native India. Our landlord has had us all over for dinner, and is quite timely about fixing small problems in the apartment as they arise. There is even free laundry in the basement.
I also love the neighborhood – a 7 minute bus ride gets me to the Forest Hills T station, a two-minute walk gets me to delicious coconut ice cream, and a fifteen-minute stroll takes me to the top of Peter’s Hill in the heart of the arboretum. While the nightlife in Roslindale leaves something to be desired, I appreciate the peacefulness of the area most nights, as I slog away at problem sets and writing reports. And, my Spanish-speaking self loves that I can get to Jamaica Plain easily (the self-dubbed – if not entirely accurate – “Latin quarter” of Boston) for delicious Cuban food and the opportunity to finally have a conversation en español. So for those of you who have decided to take the plunge and attend school in Boston, good luck with the housing search. With some patience and creativity, you will certainly find the perfect abode for you. May I recommend you begin the search in “Rozzie”?