by Laura Geraty
Price range: one bedrooms range from $1,200-$2,800; two bedrooms range from $1,900-$7,500; three bedrooms range from $2,100-$7,500. (Note: high value represents top-of-the-line, newly renovated apartments)
Availability: Approximately 150 apartments are available at any given time; roughly 550 total apartments for rent in the South End.
(The above values are estimates from Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty)
Getting in and out…
Depending on your destination, one of the most convenient ways to get to and from the South End is on your own two feet. Even the furthest corner of the neighborhood is only 1.5 miles from the Friedman School, making your commute the perfect time to fit in extra exercise.
However, if it is raining, or you feel just plain lazy, there are also plenty of public transportation options. To access the subway, pick up the Orange Line at either the Massachusetts Avenue or Back Bay stops; another alternative is to catch the Silver Line bus, which runs down Washington Street and takes you directly to the Tufts Medical Center stop. With all of these options, having a car is a luxury but not a necessity.
Why choose the South End…
The South End is bursting with diverse boutiques, art galleries, public parks and open markets. A foodie’s mecca, this neighborhood offers more than 110 restaurants within its 1.5 mile radius. Whether you crave popular French or Italian cuisines, or something more exotic like Ethiopian or Cuban, the possibilities are endless.
Speaking from experience, this glut of options can be dangerous when living on a student budget. However, since the South End has nearly 30 well-maintained parks, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the neighborhood with a wallet-friendly picnic. Most of these parks also welcome dogs, making the South End a good choice for anyone with an animal companion.
The South End is best in warmer months, when many trees and private gardens are in full bloom. A delightful Sunday can be spent at the SoWa Open Market, snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers while perusing wares from artists, independent designers, and antique dealers. Finish your day with a local brew and some live music at the Beehive, and I’m sure you’ll agree: it could hardly get any better than Boston’s South End.
Why not choose the South End…
Although I’m a loyal South Ender, truth-be-told the neighborhood has several cons. First, it is expensive. In addition to the pricey rent, there are few cheap-eats in this area. (I’m still trying to find a decent pizza delivery place that’s less than $30 for a large cheese and salad!) However, a persistent bargain hunter will be rewarded (irresistible $5 sandwiches at the South End Formaggio, $6 chock-full-o-grilled-veggie burrito from El Triunfo, and free wine-tasting every Friday and Saturday night at BRIX).
Second, the South End’s crowd is decidedly older. The upside to this is that you won’t be kept awake by a college kegger going on next door; the downside is that it might be more difficult to make likeminded neighborhood friends. Also, while the bar scene is lively, high-end wine and martini lounges are more common than student-friendly Irish pubs.
Third, and this goes for all Boston neighborhoods, there are some dodgy areas. It is advisable to be on guard when walking alone late at night. Luckily, there is a large police presence ensuring your safety.
Laura’s South End picks
- B & G Oyster: $$$ (550 Tremont Street)
- Toro: $$-$$$ (1704 Washington Street)
- Union Bar and Grille: $$-$$$ (1357 Washington Street)
- Franklin Café: $$ (278 Shawmut Avenue)
- Beehive: $$ (541 Tremont Street)
- El Triunfo: $ (147 E Berkeley Street)
- South End Formaggio: Artisan products (including cheese, meat and wine) from around the world (268 Shawmut Avenue)
- BRIX Wine Shop: Bottles start at <$15 (1284 Washington Street)
- SoWa Open Market: May-October (540 Harrison Avenue)