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Eloise Libre | Frankly Candid

Tufts neighborhoods deciphered

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 09:12

Most upperclassmen, and maybe even some freshmen, have woken up to the reality that is off-campus living. Early on during sophomore year, it comes time to make a careful decision about who to live with and where. Things to consider include the number of bedrooms available for various apartments, rent prices, how much you trust your friends and who of your peers are most likely to clean the bathroom using anything more disinfectant than warm water.

I already provided my best tip for seeking an off-campus apartment (see previous column “Check the Basement”), but now I will bestow upon you, dear readers, my best wisdom about choice housing locations for off-campus living.

I’ll start with the Bromfield-Pearson-Dearborn neighborhood, otherwise known as Engineer City. Engineers, math majors and jocks often inhabit this area because of its proximity to Anderson, Halligan and Gantcher. In my experience, residents of this neighborhood are generally close friends, standing in solidarity against the Somerville arsonist.

Moving down towards Davis Square, we conduct an examination of the Ossipee and its environs. For all intents and purposes, I’ll include in everything south of Ossipee Road — Ware Street, Electric Avenue and Whitman Street to name a few. These roads are not too far from campus, but definitely a trek if you are trying to get to the gym; bikes required. Earlier this fall, I came across a flyer advertising a block party hosted by the Ossipee residents, unclear whether by students or real adults. Either way, this neighborhood has been known to throw a good party from time to time.

As we loop back around towards campus, we approach a neighborhood that I consider particularly underrated. Teele Avenue, Whitfield Road and Sawyer Avenue lie sandwiched between Pro Row and Powderhouse; an ideal location, especially if you like the people living in Lewis Hall or enjoy a good show of the Theta Chi renovations. This neighborhood is super close to campus and especially ideal if you don’t have a meal plan because you can easily run back home for lunch in the middle of the day.

Then we approach the Chetwynd, Sunset and Upland neighborhood. Also a notably social region, this chunk of Medford-Somerville produces residents who often frequent Ginn because Tisch and the Campus Center are too far a trek. This neighborhood is somewhat awkwardly “middle ground” between the Boston Avenue hubbub and Davis; I’d imagine that anyone living here would be rather in shape because, of most off-campus living, these streets are furthest from any convenience stores or bus stops.

This brings me to the king of off-campus housing regions: Boston Ave. With big living rooms, cheap rent, and free parking (except during snow storms! Beware of aggressive ticketing and towing), this neighborhood features students from all walks of life looking to have a good time. The plethora of vicinity shops has everything you might need: Dunkin Donuts, convenience store, ATM and the mysterious cafe that replaced Boloco. For any retail needs beyond those, the 96 bus conveniently stops directly across the street from Espresso Pizza — also delicious, I might add.

There are perks and disadvantages to each neighborhood, mostly having to do with location and proximity to campus/civilization. Still, there will always be one detail about Tufts neighborhoods that confuses me: why would anyone other than Tufts students choose to live so close to campus? While we appreciate your company, I cannot imagine that you enjoy listening to our 3 a.m. bursts of academic frustration, watching the degeneration of our curb appeal or overhearing the occasional basement shenanigan. I tip my hat to any non-students in the area for putting up with us.

Eloise Libre is a senior who is majoring in history. She can be reached at

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