Boston - Allston

Once home to stockyards, slaughterhouses and meatpacking industries, Allston today is a thriving mecca of activity. Largely populated by students and young families, Allston caters to the individual looking for something different-and cheap. It's hard to turn a corner in this neighborhood without running into a discount furniture or thrift store. Allston's Harvard Ave. boasts everything from upscale eateries and pool halls to local dives and mom-and-pop grocery stores. There's rarely a quiet moment in this neighborhood-everyone from students to the elderly traverse the streets of Allston through all hours of the day and night.

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Boston - Back Bay

The Back Bay, once a stagnant pool of water behind the Public Garden, now holds some of the most exclusive real estate in Boston. A stroll down Newbury St. will take you from high fashion to hip ice cream parlors, and a walk back up Commonwealth Ave. will let you take in some of the most elegant townhouses in the city. With its rows of historic homes and a vibrant commercial district to boot, Back Bay is an elegant and exciting place to live.

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Boston - Beacon Hill

The beacon on this hill that used to warn settlers about foreign invasions is long gone, and today Beacon Hill is a close-knit community in a downtown location. The neighborhood's cobblestone streets and brick rowhouses directly border the Boston Common and the Public Garden, American's first botanical garden. The gold leaf of the State House Rotunda adorns the hill and shines across the Common. A great place for families, this historic neighborhood is a blend of classic Boston architecture and expansive green space.

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Boston - Brighton

Brighton, like neighboring Allston, was home to agricultural plots and stockyards in post-colonial days. The extension of street car lines in the 1800s, however, encouraged residential growth, and soon houses and apartments were built across the neighborhood. Unlike Allston today, Brighton is fairly quiet, especially at night. The neighborhood, which is primarily populated by graduate students, young professionals and families, consists of an intricate network of streets lined with houses and small apartment buildings. Local family businesses mix with national chains of pharmacies and banks along Brighton's main drag, Washington St, which runs straight through Brighton Center to Oak Square.

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Boston - Chinatown

Chinatown may have been built on a landfill, but you'd never know it while walking around this neighborhood. What identifies this area of the city is the truly mixed uses of land. Residential properties co-exist with family owned and operated businesses, local institutions and, of course, some of the best Chinese restaurants in the country. With four community murals and old ads still adorning the sides of brick buildings, a walk through Chinatown is a cultural and historical journey through the past. Chinatown is also unique in how accessible it is to residents and visitors alike with several nearby MBTA stations and major roadways.

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Boston - Dorchester

Dorchester is Boston's largest neighborhood and also its oldest, founded a few months before the city itself. The neighborhood's historical diversity is exhibited in its architecture, from the old Victorian homes of wealthy Bostonians to the multi-family dwellings of later groups of immigrants. Today, Dorchester retains its diversity. Its main thoroughfare, Dorchester Avenue, connects many close-knit neighborhoods and thriving commercial districts of all kinds. Dorchester is also home to the University of Massachusetts at Boston and the John F. Kennedy Library.

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Boston - Downtown

Downtown is really the heart of the city. Many companies and agencies have their headquarters in the area, and City Hall and the State House are also located here. The area comes alive each weekday around noontime as thousands of corporate business folks and other downtown employees break for lunch and do some quick shopping or run errands.

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Boston - East Boston

A lot of neighborhoods claim to be diverse, but East Boston is the real deal. East Boston has always been a neighborhood of immigrants and in recent years it has become home to people from all over South and Central America as well as South East Asia, Haiti and Eastern Europe. Though it is well known as home to the airport, East Boston is full of wonderful stores and restaurants representing its different ethnic groups. Long-time Italian restaurants stand next to Brazilian cafes. Its housing is a mix of historic and new, with many three deckers lining its streets. In recent years, homeowners have been restoring the historic homes of the area to their former glory.

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Boston - Fenway

The Fenway, perhaps best known as the home for the "boys of summer", is more than just a ballpark. It is actually a dense urban neighborhood with a considerable amount of green space (the "Fens"). Although the Fenway consists of a large number of college students, it also contains a significant population of professionals, young and old. The famous (or infamous) Landsdowne Street, bordering the Mass Pike on the North and Fenway Park on the South, is home to many of Boston's most popular clubs and watering holes. If you travel the street, however, keep your eyes open for the occasional home run ball that clears the green monster.

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Boston - Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a true merger of city life and suburban life. Hyde Park prides itself on its tremendous amount of useful, open space including the George Wright Golf Course, but it also retains the City's character in its people and community institutions. Hyde Park is also the place Boston Mayor Thomas Menino calls home.

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Boston - Jamaica Plain

Yes, Jamaica Plain is a part of the City of Boston; no, it is not its own town. Diversity is the strength of "JP", to which it is lovingly referred by residents. Every ethnicity, socio-economic stratum, and sexual orientation is well represented in this neighborhood sandwiched primarily between Roxbury and Brookline (Brookline is its own town). The rich diversity in JP has created a strong character of social awareness and tolerance among neighbors and residents.

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Boston - Mission Hill

Once filled with farms and most of the breweries in Boston, Mission Hill today is an architectural landmark district with a combination of freestanding houses built by early wealthy landowners, blocks of traditional brick rowhouses, and many three deckers. Many families and some students and staff from the nearby Longwood Medical Area come to Mission Hill for the affordable rents. A diverse community in proximity to downtown, Mission Hill offers its residents an excellent view of the city from an historic neighborhood.

Boston - North End

How many other big cities can boast having a neighborhood where residents walk the streets, visiting local fruit stores, butcher shops and corner markets for their groceries? The North End is most famous for its plethora of Italian restaurants and strong ties to Italian roots. With a different Italian Festival every weekend throughout the summer, there rarely is a dull moment in the North End. Need another selling point? The North End is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston.

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Boston - Rosindale

Roslindale, sometimes referred to as "Rosinopoulos" by residents for its large Greek population, began as a classic street car suburb. Today, one of the most unique characteristics of the area is the sheer number of people from all races, backgrounds and countries who call Roslindale home. Roslindale Square, the heart of the neighborhood, is the subject of a National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street award. It is considered to be an example of the value of historic and aesthetic preservation in economic revitalization.

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Boston - Roxbury

A drive through Roxbury is both a history lesson and a tour of a modern urban neighborhood. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston, Roxbury has long thrived on its proximity to downtown while retaining its neighborhood qualities. Home to a great number of parks, schools and churches, a visitor can see Boston's history in the architecture and landmarks of the neighborhood. At the same time, Roxbury is a thriving community with a multitude of housing options and a variety of ethnic shops.

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Boston - South Boston

If the dictionary had a listing for neighborhood pride, there would be a picture of South Boston next to it. Its residents are famous in town for their love of and loyalty for their neighborhood. And it's no wonder. Southie boasts miles of beaches and waterfront parks that culminate in Castle Island. There, visitors can enjoy the Revolutionary War era fort, get a bite to eat at Sullivan's, play in the playground, fish off the pier, or simply take a stroll. South Boston is densely populated known for three deckers and rowhouses, there are single family homes in the neighborhood too. It is also home to a great variety of bars and pubs and, more recently has been the location for some new restaurants. Year round, a visitor can find residents strolling up and down Broadway doing their shopping and greeting their neighbors.

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Boston - South End

The South End, with its blocks of Victorian brick row houses, upscale restaurants, and art galleries, is swiftly becoming one of the most popular places to live in Boston. Many of the row houses underwent renovation starting in the 1960s, and today the neighborhood is filled with a diverse mix of families, young professionals, a gay and lesbian community and a thriving artistic center. Trendy restaurants brush shoulders with coffeshops and Mom & Pop grocery stores along Tremont Street and its side streets all the way down to Washington Street (link to Wash. Main Streets), which is experiencing an artistic revival - a significant number of artists are moving in, and galleries are cropping up around the area to show their works.

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Boston - West End

The West End, considerably impacted by Urban Renewal of the 1970s, is a small but significant community tucked behind Beacon Hill. Historically an ethnically diverse and vibrant neighborhood, the West End today is economically anchored by Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Boston - West Roxbury

Originally part of the town of Roxbury, West Roxbury formed its own government in 1851 and was annexed by Boston in 1874. Bordered by Roslindale and Hyde Park, West Roxbury's main thoroughfare is Centre Street, lined with local restaurants and commercial establishments. Today, the neighborhood's tree-lined streets and mostly single family homes give it a suburban feel in an urban setting. Life in the neighborhood centers around political and civic activism as well as local parishes and youth athletic leagues.

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Somerville is a city located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 77,478. With only slightly over 4 square miles of land, this makes it the most densely populated community in New England.

Somerville was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from the urbanizing Charlestown because it was still largely rural. By the early 1900's, Somerville itself had become a densely-packed urban area, featuring immigrants from across Europe.

Today, Somerville is an eclectic mix of blue-collar families, young professionals, college students and recent immigrants from countries as diverse as El Salvador, Haiti, and Brazil. It is known for its large number of squares, which help mark neighborhood boundaries while also featuring bustling business and entertainment centers. Among the most active today are Davis Square, Union Square, Ball Square, Teele Square and Magoun Square.

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