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Subject: Need advice from those familiar with the Boston Area rss

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Einmal ist keinmal
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Andover
Massachusetts
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My family and I may be changing jobs to work at Ft. Devins (west of Boston). We will need to decide where to live within the next couple of weeks and move shortly before Christmas. We have a 2 year old son. I would like to find some regular gamers/groups. I prefer deep Euros, but occasionally indulge in Ameritrash as well. We will consider an apt/townhouse, condo or house. What areas around Boston will fit the following criteria best?

--fairly safe, low-crime
--close to Ft. Devins (max of @20min drive or @45min ride--train/bus)
--close to Boston
--public transportation is a plus for the above two criteria.
--Rental prices no higher than @$1,100/mth (with paid utilities offsetting)
--Or, home prices no higher than @$200,000. (not sure if we would buy or not)
--easily accessible to gamers/gaming groups. (and specify a little about the group if you can) *this should be #1,
--Good elementary schools or private schools (this isn't critical, as we could move again before my son is school age.)

Hmm, that's all I can think of right now. If you were in my position, what town, city would you start looking for an apt, house?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Or, point me towards any useful website(s).
 
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Taylor Liss
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Quincy
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I live in Quincy (Wollaston section) which is south of Boston. I don't think it near the area you want to be, but I am a 20 min train ride from boston and the neighborhood is wonderful. A great place to live.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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Cambridge
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I'm not sure about the prices, but I will second the Quincy area. From there, there's several groups that exist, Pandemoniums on Wed for some Euro goodness and MIT on Friday for deeper Euros and other things. It is about a 30 minute ride to get in town but Quincy is safe, has a lot of schools, very T accessable, and it has a beach for the summer time which is actually fairly nice. It is a quiet neighborhood. I haven't had any major complaints about it other than most of my activities is in Cambridge.

Areas you should avoid is Alston/Brighton area(too many college kids and too high of rent), Some parts of Dorchester(violent crimes), Somewhat Brookline and Cambridge(high rent). Another option is Sommerville. It's quiet and fairly peaceful from what I know of it. The downside is that it is about 20 minutes/30 minutes also by T and you have Harvard traffic to fight through. Back Bay I don't know about that well other than it is Northeastern area. Malden is ok, though there isn't much to do there and it is on the Orange line which has been under construction for years now and sometimes will be delays on the weekends. Forest Hills is pretty much in the Back Bay area. Ashmont isn't too bad, I do believe it is more like Dorchester, but again it is about the same distance by T.

I hope this helps!
 
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Seth Brown
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North Adams
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The T there is pretty good, so as long as you're near any line, you'd be okay. I don't know Ft. Devins, but the Quincy, Somerville, and Arlington areas are all pretty nice. Some more central areas are very nice too, but tend to have pricier real estate.
 
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Chief Slovenly
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Burlington
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Ah, crap.

My wife and I live in a Watertown apartment with our soon-to-be four-year-old son, with our daughter on the way. We moved from the SF Bay Area maybe a year and a half ago, and our rent on our place is slightly cheaper than Bay Area standards -- but our place is larger, at roughly 2000 sq. ft. We love Watertown: it's a nice mix of white collar and blue collar folks, with an assload of really kid-friendly parks within walking and driving distance.

We'd planned on buying in this area, but the downturn in the economy, and the likely loss of my wife's job, put the kibosh on that right quick. We were looking at houses in the 350-400 range, and within the 95 ring, that's the price range you're looking at for a 3bd/2ba, although the economy in general has thrown pricing out of whack for a little while.

Realistically, you're probably looking at either Fitchburg right next door, or the northern reaches of Worcester, or maybe Concord to the east. However, these places aren't really close to Boston: my commute into the city takes maybe 25 minutes or so by car, whereas from Fitchburg or Worcester... maybe someone from one of those places can comment, but I'd say maybe around an hour.

Good thing from both Fitchburg and Worcester is that there's a rail line to Boston from both those places. You'd do well to look up commute times on the MTBA site.

As for the game group I frequent, I finally settled on one that meets very locally, weekly on Wednesday nights (although I can only show up biweekly on account of being a dad myself) on the MIT campus in Cambridge -- the Beantown Gamers Meetup group. They seemed to fit my gamer style, which is frequently boisterous and trash-talking, although respectful of strategy. I've been really itching for more strategic things, but we've gotten great mileage out of things like Bang!, Shadows Over Camelot, Adel Verpflichtet... lighter stuff, but good stuff. But I'm hungry for more. And it's too bad that you're a bastard and going to live far away, when we could have gamery playdates.

There's also the big local con, Unity, which you should become a member of with a quickness. They haven't secured a meeting space yet as their last one in a hotel's banquet hall, had to be scrapped because the land got sold off to make condos. But I hear space will be found possibly for the next one in January.

There are also small gatherings pretty much anywhere.

Feel free to GM me if you wanna talk more. Although you're still a bastard.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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1. Not true for Unity. It's in February this year with a location set. Check again.

2. If you come for the Wed, why not show up for the Fridays as well? Same things really, if not more Titan.
 
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Josh
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I'd say that satisfying all of your wants will be a pretty tall order. This is because, in general, the closer to Boston you are the more the housing will cost but the better the public transport will be, whereas far away from Boston the housing will be cheaper but the public transport will be more skeletal or nonexistent. I personally would think it's unrealistic to think you could live in Boston or a first-ring suburb and get to your job in the times you want. However, it might be possible to live in what is called MetroWest (Framingham and surrounding areas), be relatively close to Boston, and be relatively near your job. I suspect that the best of both worlds for you would be to live within striking distance of your job by car, with a nearby MBTA commuter rail for the occasional pop into the city.

Please look at this map, and pay attention to the route in the left upper quadrant that starts "Fitchburg." I suspect you want to live in or near to a town listed at the end of this route. Note that the Framingham route is the bottom left route (this map is not geographically accurate).

EDIT: In fact, why not start by looking at Shirley or Ayer? They're both very close to your job and have commuter rail stops. Looks like real estate exists in your price range, also.
http://www.homes.com/Content/ListingSearchResults.cfm?City=A...

http://www.homes.com/Content/ListingSearchResults.cfm?City=S...
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Josh
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You should find out if there is a shuttle bus from the local commuter rail stations to your job (some employers offer these). This would allow you to live closer to Boston, assuming that you were living fairly close to another commuter rail station. Here is the schedule for the Fitchburg commuter rail line. Looks like Shirley/Ayer to Boston is about 75 minutes.
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Einmal ist keinmal
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Andover
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Thanks for all the replies, I will take it all into consideration.

Keep the suggestions coming.
 
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Einmal ist keinmal
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Wow, I've got a lot of researching to do now with all this information. Again, thanks.

I'll keep this post updated with our plans. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/2836566#2836566

Please post all further comments there. I decided that it was better to post it in the Northeast Forum after I already posted this one.
 
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