Monday, October 27, 2014

A Random Walk

For more than thirty years, I've been fortunate to live in a very elegant and historic neighborhood. While I sometimes take it for granted, I almost never spend more than a few minutes outside without enjoying the beauty of Back Bay's buildings, bricks, gardens, and trees. I drink it all in with the fresh air. It makes me happy; it "restoreth my soul," assuming I still have one. Back Bay feels like it's in my bones by now.

In the recent years that we've been house-hunting, I can't help comparing other neighborhoods with mine, and although there's a lot of beauty all around Boston, there's no place like home. (And there's nowhere more convenient or centrally located for a walker like me.) But it looks like we're going to have to leave here, since we seem to be priced out of this market. So nowadays, every walk I take around here is bittersweet, and I admire, and savor, and drink it all in more than ever.

Here are a few quick photos I took last week on an ordinary, cloudy day, during a typical, nothing-special walks. I am utterly spoiled, as you will see. It's going to be wrenching to move away from here... in so many ways.


  1. As always - wonderful writing and pictures.
    Are you convinced you'll have to move from Back Bay? I first came upon your blog as a house hunter in Beacon Hill - you are my flagship house hunter secret sharer! (We's had our sights set on Beacon Hill, looked for a few years. In the end we went elsewhere - crisis precipitated by an increasingly bad landlord, and nothing was on the market in Boston that we wanted for price we're willing to pay - - and are very happy with the move)....scrolling back on your posts, am so glad you didn't buy near the Hungry i on Charles street - huge rat problem in that area. .
    BTW, I know someone in medical staffing. and she reports that some doctors who have been offered desirable positions at MGH are turning the offers down, with the cost of house purchase in the area as a major factor.
    All best wishes! ENM

  2. Thanks so much for writing, ENM! Congratulations on your move! I envy you, and am glad you are happy. Beacon Hill is a tough nut to crack. We're pretty sure we'll have to leave but we both feel so bad about it that we also keep hoping something will come along as we explore other areas. We think about that Cedar Lane Way condo whenever we pass the Hungry I; it was nice... we never even thought about rats! Just noise. There's a charming condo deep into the South End that we like but everyone tells us the neighborhood is too scary, so we're on the fence.

  3. We stayed for a month at a time for several years on a furnished unit in Cedar Lane Way - lovely, very quiet, although doesn't get much light. No problem with rats when we were there - but that unit was 3 floors up, had no outside and was not near a restaurant. A garden space - lovely as it is - and near an eatery, especially on flat of hill, and with a basement/ ground level - sounds like a 4-time whammy. Even on upper Mount Vernon, rats traps are set among the shrubbery at the Nichols House Museum.

    You may have seen this: Reddit map and comments-reference to Biblical plague…
    I love Beacon HIll, but personally, would not buy or rent basement or first floor there.

    Moving along to ...we bought furniture from a guy who lived in the South End. He gave his personal line of no-go I think at Shawmut Avenue, and Harrison a definite no. Hard to live in place where you have to think twice about going out for a walk. I don't even have a US driving license (have one in the UK!), so I identify with your concern with walking/being near public transport.

    I'm sure you will find a place that you feel right about buying. (I think when you see it, you;ll know it).

    You do a great blog. And I am a coffee drinker — who loves dogs. So there can be peace in the Middle East!!! ;).

    1. Thanks for the insights! Lots of food for thought... this place we like is on Mass Ave past Shawmut, so I'll bet it's in the "no-go" zone. There are some nice streets beyond Shawmut that seem safe and well-tended. But Mass Ave doesn't appear to be one of them.


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