Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts Information
Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, is a thriving community chock-full of distinctly varied dining options and great Irish pubs. Dubbed “JP” by the locals, this region is ringed on all sides by jewels of the “Emerald Necklace” — Franklin Park, the Arnold Arboretum, and Jamaica Pond, to name a few — making it the perfect choice for city dwellers who also love the outdoors. Founded in 1851, the area was originally part of West Roxbury until gaining a separate identity in the early 20th century. It was also one of the first “streetcar suburbs” of America — communities whose growth and prosperity was built around the use of streetcars.
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts Details
The area has a population of nearly 36,000, and is predominantly female, but only slightly. The number of white-collar workers residing here greatly outnumbers the percentage of blue-collar ones, a trend that is on a marked upswing as the community grows in popularity. The population is well-educated on the whole, with 33 percent of residents having completed a master’s program, and an additional 28 percent holding a bachelor’s degree. Roughly a quarter of the population falls into the 25-34 age bracket — the highest percentage by far.
Though you’ll still find a great many descendants of the Irish settlers for whom the town is famous (see the mascot of Boston’s NBA team, the Celtics), Jamaica Plain is also home to a growingly diverse population — in fact, nearly a third of the town’s residents are now Hispanic or Latino, and an additional 20 percent are Non-Hispanic Black or African-American. Since the early 2000s, the area has been known for its LGBT-friendly vibe as well.
Foodies and enthusiastic drinkers will find plenty to enjoy in Jamaica Plain. The close-knit neighborhood is home to two of Boston’s most hip and happening Irish pubs: The Brendan Behan, a small but always-bustling nook located on Centre Street; and St. James’ Gate, famed for its soul-warming shepherd’s pie and perfectly chilled Guinness Draught. The Centre Street Café has been a neighborhood staple for over two decades, serving one of the best Sunday brunches you’ll find anywhere in the city. It’s vegetarian-friendly, as well. Speaking of which, Vee Vee, as the name suggests, is a vegan restaurant also located on Centre Street, and is fast becoming an area favorite. Boston Magazine recently rated Tres Gatos tapas and wine bar as one of the area’s 50 best, and the atmosphere is as unique as the food and cocktails, with a cozy bookstore in the back.
Looking for a great way to spend a weekend afternoon? Take a stroll around the Arnold Arboretum or Jamaica Pond, or tour Franklin Park on your bike. Another good choice for a walk or a bicycle ride is Forest Hill Cemetery — a safe and serene option for the whole family. The entire community, in fact, is easily explored by bicycle, and this is the preferred method of transportation for many residents. You’ll understand why when you’ve explored this “Eden of America” for yourself. The region is also served by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train and bus service, making it easy to get around for those who don’t want to bother owning a vehicle.
The architectural style is mainly Greek Revival, with a touch of Italian influence. The Curley House, former home of US Congressman James Michael Curley, is an official Boston landmark, now used for town meetings and functions. Another landmark, the Loring-Greenough House, dates from 1760 and can be rented out for private events and functions, including weddings. Whichever street you turn down, you’re likely to be impressed by the beauty and historical significance of the buildings you encounter.
Real estate is currently a hot market in Jamaica Plain. The median home price for the area is currently listed at $599,500, which is slightly higher than the Boston average of just over $561,000, and well above the Massachusetts average of $378,900. However, the average rent price is slightly lower than the citywide average, at $2,600 versus $2,700. Current trends have shown that the area’s popularity is growing, along with the median market price of real estate, meaning that the prices are likely to continue increasing in the years to come. For this reason, if you’re considering making an investment, it’s best to do so sooner rather than later.
If you’re looking for a place to live in Massachusetts, but you want neither the seclusion of the countryside nor the high-stress of city living, you need look no further. This sweet spot has everything you’re looking for — a sense of community and the excitement of a wider world just moments away.
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