Hunter
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The Glenville Stops serves beer and wine only, but it is definitely a place to checkout if you are interested in an adult bar hidden. It's nice and quiet, and right off of the T. It is funny because it is actually right in the middle of a college neighborhood.

Devlin's in Brighton does weekly jazz and they do not have a cover charge, they have a low-key crowd devoid of college kids which only adds to the atmosphere. The food is great and their service is friendly. I've had two dinners there, both of them were more than I expected. However, I did order one appetizer which was not for me, but they just took it off of our bill without batting an eye. Like I said, great service. I recommend it if you want to get a group of 6-8 people together on a table and not shout.

I will add this to both suggestions, not every place is the same night after night, so use your common sense. I once experienced a are get taken over by about 40 drunken people from a wedding party come into what had been up until that point a great evening and turn the place on its head.

This is an extreme example but things can change pretty quickly.

In general I will say that you will have more success in general on a Sunday-Wednesday night than Thursday-Sat.

On top of that it also depends on the time of night. Some bars are crazier right after work, some are crazier late at night.

In Boston proper I would recommend The Hawthorne for most evening. As for late nights and weekends excluded this is not a solution since it is busy

For those of you who don't mind the metro area you could try TOAD in Porter Square Cambridge for chill live music. It has been a nice little retreat in the past and in general.

The Burren is another options it is located in Davis Square Somerville is nice if you want a more Irish pub type thing rather than a club. This is Boston after all!

The hard part for many is actually finding free live music. It simply is not a big thing in this area, a lot of bars are small in the area so it's hard to accommodate guests and a band. As a side note if you are going to be those groups that show up with a big party, do your server a favor, let them know when the first person shows up so they can plan your billing. Don't be the group that pays with 4 cards and a mix of Benjamins, then only tip on the card amounts leaving next to no tip.

Hunter

There is a lot of culture around our little marathon here. The whole "kiss a Wellesley girl" is unique to our wonderful little city. But the marathon has so much to offer. And my BF has been running it for years. And so it is nice to have his input on what I needed to work on.

Wellesley

For example I know a lot of people are quite eager to capitalize on the downhill portion of the race. This is right at the beginning and they hope to gain time for the hills in miles 16-20 which are known to cause problems. But the thing is, downhill takes more of a toll on your quads than you think and the race is very crowded initially. Which makes the whole thing an inefficient attempt to try to get around people. All of which cost both time and energy.

If you know how to handle them (BF does) you will see that the hills are tough but not terrible.

You just need to plan for them and that means that you have prepared for them.

They can be attacked.

But you better be sure that you know what you are doing before going for it. Otherwise they will take everything you've got and more. What I have been told is that if you're not sure; if this is your first Boston marathon, then you should err on the side of caution and take them without full force because it may end sooner than you want it to.

In some stretches there are a lot of downhills, especially all of the ones that come after Heartbreak, and there you can make up any time you lost by playing it a little too safe in the hills.

Obviously, as with everything in life, it's a lot easier to formulate a good plan if you've run the race before. But with the Boston marathon you will learn something new every time.

I would suggest talking with people that have run it, or I would look online. YouTube has channels that can help you prepare.

And I hope to start gaining my experience next race. Things that I have learned are to make sure you bring a garbage bag or an old mylar blanket. You'll want to sit on it while you are waiting in the athletes' village.

There is lots of time to kill and you'll end up with a soggy, muddy butt without one.

Also I have been told that you will want to bandage your tits, if you are a woman.

Hunter

There are so many wonderful things to do. You can walk the Freedom Trail for starters. Before you start make sure that you download one of the apps so you get some info while you walk. The Freedom Trail is amazing and you will have a chance to stop by some historical landmarks like Old North Church and the USS Constitution. One of the best parts is that it is free.

Here is a little bit more about what you'll be getting: The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States.

When the weather permits I like to go and explore the esplanade, these are paths along the Charles River. I usually try this late spring through the summer months and into early/mid-fall which is ideal to get the broadest palette of colors.

One thing that I did when I was younger was go to the Boston Public Library at Copley Square. It was a nice chance to catch my breath and it is really beautiful simply to walk around the area.

The same goes for Beacon Hill, mainly because it has a great historic neighborhood to explore.

You can also go to Harvard Square. For those of us who enjoy activities like exploring the shops this part of town is ideal. And of course you can visit Harvard campus over there.

This really isn't my type of thing. But my mother loves to visit Isabella Stewart Garnder Museum and I used to meet here there when she was in town. It was nice and there is a lot of history, plus $5 admission with a student ID, and when you are on a budget it might be a nice addition.

Then we have Boston Harbor (tea party anyone) and Faneuil Hall. Both of these are interesting to visit, and there are a lot of restaurants and cafes in the area so it can be nice fora couple of hours.

I'm a foodie so the North End is great since I love to eat Italian food and they have plenty of pastry shops, too. It can be great fun to explore the area with the intention on finding something tasty to eat. If you walk the Freedom Trail, North End is right at the end of the trai so it might be a nice way to end the day.

Hunter
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Buying a Home in Boston

The realestate prices here are, well, high, and they can be anywhere from high, to insanely high. But there are the exceptions to the rule and I got lucky. My grandmother moved into a retirement home when my grandfather passed away and I had the chance to buy from her. I paid fair market value for the home, but knew what I was getting. My boyfriend has gone through a much different expereince and I have friends that have as well.

What I can safely say is that I got lucky.

Things canand will go fast. You need to have your pieces in place before you go forward. Because, after the initial offer things will progress very quickly.

You may feel like you are in a tennis match with, counter offers, final offers, etc. all happening within a day or less.

The purchase and sale agreement of the property all happen in a week or two. And even though mine was a done deal I have to say that I also felt like things rushed by. We don't give you much time to make these huge life decisions, and you will spend quite a while reading through pages and pages of legalspeak.

Make sure to talk those over with your agent or attorney.

Like I said, your pieces should be in place before you move forward. Your loan application will probably take forever.

Because it takes time, make sure that you start getting organized in terms of bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns etc. They will ask for all of the above, and it is better to have them on hand nd ready before they ask you for them. In fact it is a plus when it comes to getting apporved because it looks like you have everything together and that you are super organized.

Location, Location, Location People

I see a lot of people make the decision based on price alone and then hate the location.

I wasn't in the best location with my grandmother's house, but what I got was a sentimental touch that I wouldn't have gotten from any other first home. So this was less important to me, but it left me with a little bit of adjustments, more so than I would have done otherwise had I picked out a home.

The reason that I can say that is because I actually had another home selected, but when the opportunity came up I jumped on it. Had things not worked out for some reason I had everything locked into place for that property. But location is key. I was told to answer the question: What's the maximum time you're willing to commute?

And that is a rough estimate, but then you should add 50% to that.

Location, Location, Location People

Once you have that you have a radius that you can work from. Once you are there you can narrow your search area to certain locations and your agent can help you.

The more data you have to compare the better and you will be happier in the end. I felt like there wasn't anything else that would make me happy at that time and since I was able to recognize what is a good deal and what is overpriced or a potential money pit (thanks to the help of my father) I got lucky.

Whatever you do make sure that you research the difference between town water/sewer vs. private well / septic. I am adding these here because the further out you get the more it will play a role in the property you select. easements, town zoning laws if you plan to build or renovate in the future.

Checking FEMA flood maps can be a good idea too.

Other location-specific factors:

  • Is it on a busy, main street or side street? Corner lot ok? On a hill? Near something noisy like the highway or train tracks? Near a Superfund site? What kind of services do you get for your taxes (trash pickup, etc)?

Remember that you will also need to factor property taxes, insurance, closing costs, and maintenance costs into your financial calculations. All of which will add to the cost by a couple of percent. And as in my case, with a "turn-key, all you have to do is move in!" purchase you will need to at least something done.

All of which was done by my father.

Hunter
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I work close to the fincial district, okay, theoretically, I work in the finical district, just not in the heart. And so most days I will just pick up some lunch there. Pricey? No, not if you know where to look. But if you don't look carefully you will just end up eating chicken salad every day.

And I hate chicken salad in general, so I can't live like that. Which is why I explore the various options regularly and see if they have something new to add. But if you like Mexican food there are a lot of wonderful places to eat. For example, Al's steak bellino which is filled with steak and cheese with onions and peppers is probably the best lunch I've had - many times now - since I work close to them. Also don't let a long line scare you away they move fast.

Here are a couple of other options:

  • Viga
    • They are always good if you enjoy subs. I recommend their chicken Parmesan for the first try.
  • Five Guys in DTX
  • Falafel King
    • Get a Shwarma and some napkins, it's wicked good.
  • Chacarero
    • They make a Chilean and it is really good, not to mention filling. They only accept cash only and you will be satisfied with a small.
  • Cosi
    • Their salads are good and they also make flatbread sandwiches which are also really good. They have a special where you can do a 50/50, that is get a small salad and a half sandwich.

Outside of that there are tons of food trucks along the greenway, I've tried a fair bit of them and never been disappointed. Keep an eye out for Tenoch, they do Mexican sandwiches or burritos and they are so worth the wait. Tenoch's Tortas are on another level if you just want to buy a quick bite to eat and they have a pretty good variety for just a small shop. Another staple in the area is Bon Me which are solid and if you see them give them a try.

Lunch in the District

Hunter
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I usually do not go out to bars. But there are a number of restaurants that have great beer lists which contain a least a substantial assortment of local stuff listed below:

  • Old Magoun's Saloon which is located in Somerville at Magoun Square
  • Publick House in Brookline
  • Idle Hands
  • Deep Ellum which is located in Boston/Allston
  • Mystic Brewing
  • Daddy Jones which is located in Somerville at Magoun Square
  • Night Shift
  • Lower Depths in Boston/Fenway area, they only accept cash
  • Christopher's which is located in Cambridge/Porter Square
  • Five Horses Tavern which is located in Somerville/Davis Square

I don't know I have tried a lot of beer and my taste will sway from time to time, usually because a certain brewery will change the recipe, or they don't offer a certain beer in their assortment. But right now, for my tastes buds, the best Boston metro beer is Lord Hobo's Boom Sauce. Lord Hobo is a restaurant turned restaurant/brewery in Cambridge). Boom Sauce is one of my favorite beers in town.

Boom Sauce

Trillium is one of the newer local breweries that people really like. They're making really solid beers - but, I think the variation across their styles is a little limited. You can't go wrong with Trillium - but, I don't often experience as much of a change in flavor from one beer to the next as I would expect.

And if you want something a little more full, Jack's Abby's House Lager is great. You'll find that almost anywhere. They have other varieties but the House Lager is usually the best.

If we're talking the Boston area, the greatest beer of all time for me is Olde Burnside's Ten Penny Ale. Goes great with a sword too. It tastes so good it is like drinking straight ichor with your undeserving mouth. Yet they are not quite Boston, actually They are from Hartford if I'm not mistaken. I usually don't have a lot of opportunities to drink it, which is one reason why it is so good. Even though they aren't from around here you can still find their beer a little bit to the west. You will have to check out their map of spots where you can find their brew.