What is it like to live in Allston?

Location, Location, Location Allston-Brighton
A Green Line train rumbles along at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Harvard Street in Allston.
A Green Line train rumbles along at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Harvard Street in Allston. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Allston may have the reputation of being a transient neighborhood — one where college students rent out houses, have parties, and move on after they graduate. But for many residents like Rita DiGesse, 87, Allston is home — and has been her whole life.

Her father bought their Lower Allston single-family around 1924, and DiGesse was born via home birth in that same house in 1929. She still lives there today.

“I’ve seen families come and go and come again,’’ DiGesse said, noting that she has also witnessed the rise of apartment buildings in the neighborhood and the move away from single-family homes.

DiGesse, who once ran a day care and a ceramics business out of her home, is still very active in the community. She belongs to the Allston Civic Association and the Harvard Allston Task Force. She volunteers at her church and McNamara House, a retirement community. She is vice president of the Friends of the Honan-Allston Library.

“[My friends] used to call me the ‘Mayor of Lower Allston,’ ’’ she added.

Though things have changed throughout her 87 years, DiGesse said she still loves to go to The Breakfast Club, a local diner and popular brunch spot.

“It’s always been a diverse neighborhood,’’ she said. “It’s great, even the students.’’


Rita DiGesse of Allston —Handout



The number of years Allston/Brighton was a part of Cambridge. It was referred to as “Little Cambridge.’’


The percentage of the neighborhood’s population that is between the ages of 20 and 34, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.


The acres of land dedicated to academic space, the most in Boston.


The number of MBTA Green line stops here. Plans to build a $25 million commuter rail station in Allston are still in the works.


The fare for Boston visitors traveling the four miles to the “new and prosperous village’’ of Allston on the Boston & Albany Railroad in 1868, according to a Boston Landmarks Commission report.


The Allston ZIP code made famous by the popular PBS show “Zoom.’’



Food (and lots of it)

Want Chinese food? You’ve got it. More in the mood for Mediterranean? Don’t worry, it will be easy to find. Allston is a culturally diverse neighborhood with an ever-so-available supply of good eats.


‘Allston Christmas’

Every year around the dreaded Sept. 1 moving day, Allston basically becomes a large trash can as people leave unwanted items on the street. Anyone need a couch?



The neighborhood didn’t get the nickname “Allston Rock City’’ for no reason. You can find concerts at Brighton Music Hall, Great Scott, and Wonder Bar. Paradise Rock Club is also close by.


A mural on the side of a building in Allston. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


The Massachusetts Turnpike. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


Great Scott, a music venue. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


The Charles River. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


A boy looks out the window of The Breakfast Club as people line up out front, waiting for a table. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


Local icon Twin Donuts. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


Homes line a block of Adamson Street. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


A woman walks a dog in Ringer Park. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff


Children climb rocks in Ringer Park. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff



Apartments for lease in the Green District. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
Flag football at Harvard Stadium. —Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Megan Turchi, a reporter for, can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @meganturchi.