The ups and downs of Mission Hill

by Xakota Espinoza / Beacon Staff and Emily Murphy / Beacon Staff • February 16, 2012

For junior Jordan Koluch, life on Mission Hill has its peaks and valleys. Her most notable gripe, she said, is the inconsistency of the E train on the Green Line, which she takes to school every day. 

“The E line sucks. Sometimes it takes me 45 minutes to get to school. Sometimes I’m standing in the street, waiting for the T in the torrential rain,” said the writing, literature, and publishing major. “There are beautiful days when some sort of spirit is smiling upon you and the T is there, and it [only] takes 20 minutes.”

Residents of the 1.1-square-mile neighborhood now face the concern of potential MBTA cutbacks that could affect their daily commutes. 

In order to tackle the MBTA’s $5.2 billion debt, transportation officials have proposed budget cuts that would eliminate weekend service of the E train — the primary method of transportation for commuters on Mission Hill — in addition to closing the line at 10 p.m. on weeknights. 

“I understand why they have to do it. They’re very in debt,” said Koluch. “And honestly, I’d be willing to pay much more for a T pass if I could rely on the E line showing up at certain times.”

Despite the potential MBTA cuts, Jenny Isenburg, a real estate agent at Brigham Circle Realty Direct, said that from her experience, Mission Hill is an ideal area for college students. 

According to Isenburg, the neighborhood has undergone a tremendous amount of renovations as of late, including transforming an 19th century brewery and pickle factory into apartment buildings. Isenburt said she believes that this will lead to a newer, shinier Mission Hill. 

Koluch said one of her favorite aspects of living on Mission Hill is the abundance of college students that reside in the area. 

“There’s Northeastern, Wentworth [Institute of Technology], [Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences],” said Koluch. “It feels more collegiate than the area where Emerson is.”

Pros

 Great variety of restaurants, from Mexican to Italian to Greek  

 Students from a variety of schools adds to collegiate vibe 

 Cheaper than areas closer to downtown. 

  Museum of Fine Arts nearby

 “Brigham Circle is an awsome place to hang out. Lots of students, great vibe, nice neighborhood.” — Real estate agent Michael Swan

 

Cons

The arrival of the E line is unpredictable

Potential T cuts could close the E line on weekends and weekdays after 10 p.m.

Safety can be a concern

“There’s a lot of broken glass on the weekends. I have never personally felt unsafe, but I also don’t like when my friends go home alone on the T at 11:30 at night.”— Junior Jordan Koluch


Commuting 

Total Distance: 2.5 Miles 

Approximate Travel Times:

Green/Orange Line: 17-45 minutes

Walking: 50 minutes

Bicyling: 15-25 minutes

“I ride the bus 50 percent of the time when I don’t feel like standing outside in 20 degree weather, and sometimes they [the buses] beat the E line.” — Junior Jordan Koluch

 

Eliza Marie Florendo, Beacon staff, contributed reporting.