Lowell & Boston, MA

posted on: May 6, 2008

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This weekend was our one and only chance to find a place to live in Lowell, MA before we move there in July for my husband's new position at University of Massachusetts Lowell. We had three days to learn the area, find the ideal place to live, and meet a few of our new neighbors.


Lowell, MA is located about 30-45 minutes northwest of Boston. It's main attraction seems to be the university, but there's plenty more to see in Lowell. On the first Saturday of each month you can get a sneak peek into the thriving artist community known as Western Avenue Studios (WAS) during their monthly open house. During this time of year there's also White Water Rafting downtown and rowing on the Merrimack, which seems to be a very popular sport with both the University and the local High School having huge Crew teams. There are also plenty of festivals year round, as well as new developments to help keep the city in a state of constant improvement. They also happen to be filming a movie in downtown Lowell, which we were able to get a sneak peak of in between the massive trailers and equipment semis (sorry, no cool pics).


Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Lowell is that much of the city is actually considered a National Historic Park. Between the rivers and canal system, the water is everywhere- lined by old mills and factories being renovated and turned into apartments and condos with large, gorgeous windows, tall ceilings, and hardwood floors. It definitely made the decision about finding a place to live really difficult!!

(this is my "how many more places do we have to look at?? 'Cause I'm worn out" look.)

Ultimately we decided on a place that allowed us to keep our dog, have on-site parking, and gave us plenty of room to include a wonderful home office for me with room to have other people work with me!! It's walking distance to downtown, the train station, and it has plenty of room to entertain. We also had a chance to hang out with some of our new "neighbors". There are a lot of amazing photographers in the New England area, and I was so grateful to the people who were able to join us for brunch on Sunday at Ryles Jazz in Cambridge!!!

Super sweet couple, The Feds.

Jamison Wexler and The Smiths.

Eric Laurits never ceases to crack me up!

The beautiful and fashionable Shyla- also new to the area!

Tony Yu and Krista Guenin

Tony's adorable daughter...
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Robert Mirani

Stacy Doyle

Jeff Newcum

.. and to everyone who I didn't manage to get a photo of, thank you so much!!! I'm so glad we could meet!! I also have to give a huge hug to Liz, who Alex has been pen pals with for quite a while before our trip. Liz and her husband gave us some great information about the area and shared a wonderful meal with us at Centro in downtown Lowell...

Random things I learned on my trip to the Boston area...
- There are more Dunkin' Donuts than Starbucks (this might be a problem)
- Regular Coffee means Cream & Sugar
- Chances of having your car broken into when parked on the street in Boston= high
- New Hampshire = No Sales Tax
- "Jimmies" are candy sprinkles for doughnuts or ice cream
- Everyone's a sports fan- especially a Red Sox fan
- Everything is a "short drive" away
- If it doesn't serve alcohol, it probably closes early

25 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. jmpang5:13 PM

    you're quick to pick up those last few points of insight in only one weekend! =) somewhat odd that i can be so excited about your move to the boston area even though we don't know each other... guess that's blog culture for you. enjoy your last two months in IN, hope the move will go smoothly!

  2. Yay! I'm glad you were able to get such a great place to live! Can't wait 'til you move out here :)

  3. it looks great!! how cool to live in a loft, and such a nice office.

  4. Sounds like you are already a part of the Boston family!

  5. i loooved the tour :) looks like a great place to live! nicole = jealous!

  6. Alicia Williams9:04 PM

    I am so so sorry I didn't get to meet up with you at breakfast. My husband needed me to go down the cape. When you move in, please give me a call so I can point out the Starbucks in the area. There is one at Drum Hill Rotary in Lowell thats not to far for you :)

    Can't wait to meet you!

  7. what a cool spot! very urban!

    please let me know if you are coming up my way. you, your hubby and poochie-kins totally have a place to stay.


  8. It was great meeting you and Alex. Kate and I had a great time talk with the both of you. Can't wait till we all hang again later this summer.

  9. Annabel11:31 PM

    You will grow to love Dunkin Donuts coffee. I promise.

  10. welcome to the club :] Beantown for ever. Rock on Ruthdogg.

  11. I'm so excited for you. This look like a dream of a place to live. Enjoy it!

  12. Lynne Stacey8:10 AM

    It all looks so awesome! I have a friend who moved from Indy to the Boston area and the biggest shock for her was the much higher cost of living.

  13. Hehe... I especially love the random things you learned part of your post. Starbucks.... Dunkin Dounuts.... you have no idea how you have been deprived on "the" best coffee in town. A super louie sized funky fanabla!!!! You'll thank me later. ;)

  14. Glad you had such a successful trip, Anne! We were sorry to miss you, but will surely catch up in July! Hugs!

  15. Hi Anne,
    I am so glad I got to meet you!
    Cyndi Smith

  16. look at you schmoozin....

  17. lowell is such a cute town! welcome to New England.

  18. YAY!!! I cant wait to play with you miss Anne!
    Thanks for giving us an excuse to congregate ;)

  19. Awesome to have you on the East Coast!! Long live Dunkin!!

  20. Very cool! I'm going to Lowell next month to shoot a wedding & haven't been there before, so your photo tour of the city gives me a much better feel! Thanks!!

  21. ok mass is going to be awesome...but noooo you're moving away?!! sadtimes! i would just love to get together with you sometime before you move!!

  22. Wow! Great apartment! I can't wait to see what you do with yours. I'm already totally jealous of your new office...

    What a great lady to let you in to film her apartment and then stick it on the web! You really need to do portraits of her dogs or something to thank her for that one.

    Anyway, good luck with the move!

  23. I have a dear, dear longtime friend that lives in Lowell - her name is Erika and she blogs at wonderbliss.com - she isn't a photographer (professionally at least), but she is an awesome person. Just had to point her out to you because I would *love* to live close to her.

    Now with you there, I have ANOTHER reason to want to visit Lowell right away!

  24. I am the Erika Christine just wrote about. :-) It's so much fun to see Lowell through fresh eyes! We moved here about 5 years ago - I've worked in Lowell since 2001 - and I'm smitten with downtown. There's just so much going on here! Be sure to try out Viet Thai (across from city hall). They make the BEST fresh spring rolls!

  25. And yes, the Drum Hill Starbucks is the closest one I know - though if you're downtown, you should try out the Coffee Mill (Palmer St) or Brewed Awakening (across from Centro). By the way, Centro has the BEST mac and cheese EVER!


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