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Great Neighborhoods: Boston

Photo courtesy of the Greater
Boston Convention & Visitors

Once named “The Hub of the Universe,” Boston has long been the center of all things American. A walk along the Freedom Trail, one of this compact and walk able city’s attractions, highlight Boston’s prominent role in the American Revolution. Today, a new revolution has become apparent. Modern Boston is Boston is an ever-changing blend of compact neighborhoods, dramatically distinct communities and world-class cultural attractions, all surrounded by acres of urban parkland. From afar, the city's two most notable landmarks are 20th century structures—the retro 1950s-styled, 52-story Prudential Center and the shimmering mirrored, 60-story, John Hancock Tower.

But up close, Boston's history, dating back to the 1600s, is showcased by the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill , the OldNorth Church in the North End, and the now-decommissioned Navy Yard on the Charlestown waterfront.

The diversity and vitality of its different enclaves gives Boston the reputation as "a city of neighborhoods." While you can get an authentic old world Italian meal in the North End, enjoy soul food in Roxbury and visit a real Irish pub in South Boston, it's still a walking city where no neighborhood is very far from another.

The neighborhoods contrast dramatically in housing prices. The median housing price for Boston is $440,000 for a modest single-family home, but a multi-level townhouse on Louisburg Square in Beacon Hill, the most expensive street in the city can set you back several million dollars. More down to earth, but still upscale, are the South End, Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods. And the less expensive "streetcar suburbs," that are still part of the city, include Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park and Allston.

In all of the city's neighborhoods apartments can be found, but again, location plays a heavy role in determining price. In the city's core—neighborhoods such as the South End and Back Bay—apartments start at $1,800 a month and go up (sometimes, way up) from there. Cheaper apartments can be found in other neighborhoods, such as Roxbury, East Boston, or Mission Hill, but monthly rents lower than $1,000 are few and far between.

Bostonians are eminently proud of their city and a brief tour of the funky South End, the family-friendly Dorchester neighborhoods, hip suburban Somerville and archetypically New England Sharon, show why.

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