I am a single Mama of a 22 month old bi-racial girl and I am starting to think about moving to a good place for her to grow. I am thinking about a condo in either Cambridge or Brookline. Issues that concern me are racial and ethnic diversity, safety, schools, parks and trees. I work from home, so commuting is not an issue. anyone have good insights or feedback? Thanks!
Cambridge vs Brookline- which seems better for children to grow?
well, I've lived both places and I much prefer Brookline for raising my kids, it has so much more of a family feel, especially when you get farther away from BU/BC student apartments. So many parks. Probably not as much diversity as Cambridge... but still urban and, well, definitely more diverse than where I grew up in the Midwest! And so much safer--we finally left Cambridgeport after the third shooting in our neighborhood in a year.
If you want to stay in the urban part of Brookline, you'll be looking at either Coolidge Corner or Brookline Village. Once you go farther west/southwest you'll be in very suburban/mostly residential areas. The demographic of the urban areas are mostly caucasian, jewish, asian, with small hispanic & african-american groups, probably not as diverse as Cambridge, but very family friendly and a great school system.
I think Brookline probably has a better school system, but Cambridge has better transportation. The Redline is so much better than the Green Line (waiting outside, lots of delays, twisty and bumpy ride). I also like the restaurants and activities in and around Cambridge more than Brookline.
Edited by Maurine - 5/24/11 at 2:19pm
Having grown up in Cambridge, attended the Cambridge public schools, and because I live there now and plan on sending my children to the public schools, I have to say Cambridge, but of course Brookline is great, too. Cambridge's public schools are high quality, with an active school committee and active parents. Cambridge has one of the highest per pupil expenditures in the state. There is an amazing assortment of elementary schools, each with a different focus or theme. Cambridge has the advantage of having a wealthy school district in an integrated, urban setting. About half of the students are children of color, half are white. Cambridge has a very low crime rate. There are great playgrounds (including a tot lot in mid Cambridge, a new, Lord of the Rings style playground on the Common, and many, many more). Cambridge is very leafy, and a lot of emphasis is put on creating and preserving open space. The river is a great place to walk, and Memorial Drive is closed on Sundays to cars. I like Inman Square (where I used to live), Mid-Cambridge, Riverside (where I live now), Cambridgeport, and many other neighborhoods.
I grew up in Brookline and love that I did. I attended the John D. Runkle School. Fabulous! But that was a long, long time ago. I have heard that things have changed since then. Well, everything everywhere has changed since then. I loved living there. I love visiting Brookline still. With the T all over, it's easy to get any where you need to and it's also easy to drive anywhere if you need to drive instead.