Brighton, Massachusetts: The Sweeter, More Kind, Sister of Allston




(Historic Cleveland Circle Clock)

Brighton, Massachusetts is the sweeter, quieter, and more residential twin sister of Allston. While Brighton has its share of college students from Boston University/Boston College it has at least as many young professionals and families with a vested interest in keeping their neighborhood clean. On the northwest side of Boston,  Brighton has easy access to the Massachusetts Turnpike and the MBTA Green Line. Far more affordable than Beacon Hill/Back Bay, “Little Cambridge” as Brighton was once known as  has an average home value of  $485,000 median income of $50,000. There are four main neighborhoods of Brighton: Brighton Center, Oak Square, Cleveland Circle, and Chestnut Hill. Brighton Center is home to delicious bakeries Athan’s and Daniels, the breathtaking architectural gem St. Columbkiller church, numerus Irish pubs, and scrumptious ethnic restaurants.  Oak square, which feels like a small village, has plenty of residential parking, is home to a YMCA center, has a branch of the Boston Public library, and is within walking distance of many nature trails along the Charles River. Cleveland Circle, has all three green line branches (B,C,D) pass through it,  is home to the athletic fields of Cassidy Park, is a stone’s throw from the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and is the location of the future AC Hotel. The AC Hotel, which will be located at the former site of the Cleveland Circle Movie Theatre and Applebees’, will be a 162 room luxury boutique hotel. Also on this site will be Waterstone at the Circle; this development will feature 92 luxury older adult/independent living apartments and superb amenities such as a fitness center, pool, restaurant-style dining room, theater and underground parking. The Chestnut Hill section of Brighton was previously detailed here.

There are a lot of fascinating things to check out in Brighton:  The Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum traces the history of this area from British colony named after its cousin city across the pond to modern day cosmopolitan-chic section of Boston. BHMuseum_Feb07_2_LO.jpgThe Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum houses permanent and temporary exhibitions related to the heritage of Allston and Brighton. Included in the exhibition are historical photographs, artifacts, books, maps, signage, letters, portraits, interactive web-based stations, oral history video and stations, models, dioramas and historical ephemeras. Community Rowing, Inc., located at the Harry Parker Boathouse, offers rowing lessons to people of all ages from novices to Olympic level athletics.  From their website, “Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) changes lives and communities by providing access to the sport of rowing and its profound social benefits.” For live music, dancing, exposure to Irish culture, and a taste of the Emerald Isle’s(Ireland)’s sports and drink come on over to the Green Briar. The pub broadcasts live Irish sporting events, including rugby, soccer, and hurling. If one needs a pick me up from all that rowing or cheering pop into Cafenation where one can get assorted coffee/tea beverages, delicious breakfast sandwiches, and Nutella/fruit infused crepes. One little known fact about Brighton is that  by 1866, it contained 41 slaughterhouses, which later were consolidated into the Brighton Stock Yards. A tribute to Brighton’s meat carving past is the Stockyard restaurant, a culinary institution of Brighton for close to 50 years. Thick cuts of meat, delicious burgers,  fresh caught fish,  and even a raw bar make this place a must see when in the area.



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