Allston is jam-packed with small businesses and restaurants that serve a ton of different purposes. While geographically close to the hustle and bustle of Boston, Allston is cut off from the main city of Boston and is bordered by the Charles River. The buildings are often older and made of brick, which gives the neighborhood a lot of personality. There are also a few parks and the view of the Charles River if you are more into lush scenery than buildings and homes.
The population is largely made up of students, young professionals, and immigrants. This means there are a ton of thrift shops, furniture stores and such; which cater to the high residential turnover caused by the students, as they account for most of the residents here. There is also a wide variety of cuisine available in the neighborhood to satisfy the many immigrants who call this area home. Most people in the neighborhood are single and young, which makes sense due to the large number of students.
Allston was originally an eastern section of the former town of Brighton. In 1867, a new railway opened in the area and it and the post office near it (and eventually the whole neighborhood), was given the name Allston. It was named after a painter that lived and worked across the Charles River. The community originally developed around livestock and railroad operations. Eventually, those gave way to the numerous different businesses and residences that are currently in the neighborhood. Despite all of the great things going for the neighborhood, it has still managed to maintain a fairly low cost of living. While those coming from the Midwest or other, cheaper, areas of the country will scoff at the prices, it is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the Boston area. In fact, the rent is an average of $1,000 cheaper than the Boston average and the overall cost of living is around 50% of the state average, which makes it extremely attractive to those looking for affordability.
While driving around is definitely an option, it is not the best option for this neighborhood (or for any in Boston, really). The option that most people opt for in the city is public transportation, as about 50% of the people use it, which is about 25 times the national average. There are several different bus lines that operate throughout the neighborhood and the neighborhood also plans for a commuter rail station. In addition to public transit, the flat area of the neighborhood makes it perfect for walking and biking as well.
- Harvard University
- Boston University
- Berklee College of Music
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- The campuses of Harvard and B.U are renowned and you would be doing a disservice to yourself if you didn’t check them out while you are here or if you live here.
- “Allston Christmas” is a period in Allston leading up to the beginning of September. This is the time where renters move out and other renters move in (largely students). As a result, these people often leave couches, chairs, tables and more on the side of the road to pick up for free, as they no longer need them.
- Brighton Music Hall and the Paradise Rock Club are two great music venues to check out if live music is your thing.
- There is an annual fair on Harvard Avenue, which features live performances, international food and much more. This took place on September 25th in 2016 and always takes place in early fall.
- The area is full of restaurants that serve international cuisine, so no matter what your favorite is, you will likely be able to find it in Allston.
- Ringer Park is home to over 12 acres of land that is full of sporting courts, walking paths, playgrounds, and more.