I lived in Boston and commuted to campus all year.

Harvard is in Cambridge, Mass., but my house is not. With two medium-sized dogs, one of whom is a pit bull and not loved by society, finding an apartment was not a walk in the park. However, in Dorchester, a neighborhood in Boston south of downtown, my pups and I live across from a park in a three-family Victorian.

the park across the street (taken from the front window of my dining room in fall 2014)

the park across the street (taken from the front window of my dining room in fall 2014)

Dorchester is accessible to downtown and Harvard by the red line subway (or, T, as it’s called here). Some parts of Dorchester are a little bit of a walk away from the T, but I got lucky and live two blocks from a T stop. When I hop on the train, I’m generally at Harvard in 35 minutes, giving me time to read a paper or just enjoy the ride. (Note: during winter storms, I won’t lie: my commute was a nightmare…but so was everyone elses.)

I really love my apartment–it has loads of charm and space for the price tag I’d pay for a much smaller apartment in Cambridge. I love that my dogs have a park across the street as well as a larger park, about a 20 minute walk away, which we walk to every day for exercise.

Dorchester Park, a twenty minute walk away

Dorchester Park, a twenty minute walk away

Of course there are some cons, too. Living a little farther away, I have to plan my time on campus strategically and come equipped with all the things I will need for the day. It’s not really feasible to run home for lunch, etc. I’ve gotten use to this, though, and don’t really mind it. It actually ends up making me be more organized. I have to be prepared for the day when I leave!

I’m not telling you to live in Dorchester (though I think it’s a great choice), but I am telling you that it’s okay not to live in Harvard Square.  You’ll see plenty of Cambridge even if you live elsewhere.

PS: These cuties are pretty happy with their apartment.

Hans, dressed festively for the holidays

Hans, dressed festively for the holidays

Lily was really thankful to have a coat this past winter!

Lily, thankful to have a coat this past winter!

Joshua Jenkins is an Master’s of Education candidate in the Language and Literacy strand, pursuing licensure as a reading specialist. Josh was a special educator and reading interventionist in New Orleans and is interested in the research on reading disabilities and what all grown-ups can do to help bolster reading development for all children.

 

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