The convenience and bustle of Fenway-Kenmore

by Agatha Kereere / Beacon Staff • April 8, 2015

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As students begin the annual housing search, the Beacon will feature a different Boston-area neighborhood each week—complete with pros and cons, nightlife prospects, and advice from current residents.

Centered around Fenway Park, the baseball stadium home to the Boston Red Sox, and about a 20-minute T ride away from Emerson is the neighborhood of Fenway-Kenmore.

“It gives me a lot of bragging rights,” said junior Jamie Bishop, “because I literally live in the closest possible building to Fenway.”

Though apartments can be pricy, the neighborhood is lush with cultural activities.

Located in the eastern part of Boston, Fenway-Kenmore, according to the City of Boston website, is divided into four areas: Kenmore Square, Audubon Circle, East Fenway, and West Fenway. The neighborhood is full of apartment buildings and townhouses, housing many college students and is accessible by the T’s Green and Orange Lines and the 19 and 55 buses.

“I really loved living there,” said Tu Bao Nguyen, who graduated in December but still lives off the Kenmore stop on the Green Line. “I feel like it is a really safe neighborhood that I could leave and come home to at weird hours.”

The prices of some abodes in Fenway-Kenmore can be quite steep for a typical college budget, said Michael Foley, a Fenway Properties Realtor.

Studio and one-bedroom apartments can start around $1,650 to $1,800, he said, and two-bedrooms can be around $2,700.

He added that the neighborhood’s limited space may not be ideal for those who enjoy lots of room to maneuver.

“You can get a two or three-bedroom split, where you have one bedroom and then you transform the living room into a bedroom and then two students can live in there,” said Foley.

About 30 percent of neighborhood residents live in studios, 40 percent in one-bedroom apartments, and 30 percent in splits, according to Foley.

“The buildings have been structured like that for a while, too,” he said.

The properties, which tend to be old, have a charm that takes some getting used to, said Bishop, a visual and media arts major.

“They’re generally super old, so they also look a little dirty, but after living here for two years and cleaning endlessly, it’s literally just because they’re old,” said Bishop. “My apartment ended up growing on me a lot and now I think it’s really charming because of the tilted floors and exposed pipes.”

The neighborhood doesn’t feel too touristy, said Anya Aksenov, a senior marketing communication major, and the location makes her feel like she is living in the heart of the city.

Fenway-Kenmore is closer to Emerson’s campus than other neighborhoods like Allston.  But Aksenov, who lives off the Fenway stop on the Green Line, said the distance between the area and school isn’t close enough to make heading back home between classes worth the trip.

The neighborhood offers plenty of activities for people to see and do besides attending a Red Sox game, like visiting the Museum of Fine Arts on Huntington Avenue near Northeastern University or the restaurant Sweet Cheeks on Boylston street, according to Askenov. Other popular options, Nguyen said, include venues like Pour House, Dillon’s, and House of Blues.

Living in the area brings students closer to one of Boston’s beloved teams—which, Bishop said, provides benefits and drawbacks.

“I can go right outside and get cheap Sox tickets,” said Bishop, who lives off the Fenway stop on the Green Line. “But living close to Fenway also means it’s really loud, and you see a lot of drunk Red Sox fans hanging around outside.”