21 Things Only Somerville Locals Understand, Because This City Is So Much More Than ‘The Brooklyn Of Boston’

Maxine Builder

Measuring only four-square miles, Somerville, Massachusetts is the fifteenth densest city in America, with a population of over 75,000. As a former resident, I can say with complete confidence that the city packs a lot into such a little place besides people. In my four years of living there while I attended Tufts University, I never felt like I ran out of things to do. Now that I’ve left, I’m always hearing from friends who stayed about the new things to discover that make me regret leaving.
But Somerville is also in the midst of a bit of an identity crisis, with the Boston Globe asking if Somerville is growing too hip in 2013, and the New York Times featuring Somerville, “as a hip alternative to both Boston and Cambridge” last fall.
Well, everything you’ve read about Somerville is true … kind of. For all its chic trappings, Somerville’s still got some grit to it. Yes, the city is growing and becoming more popular with new gourmet restaurants and bars, but Somerville is trying to make sure this growth happens responsibly, without displacing the very residents who built it up and made it what it is in the first place. Things like…

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