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What is it like to live in Waban?

Location, Location, Location Newton
Newton, MA - 1/17/2016 - Waban Square in the Waban Village of Newton, MA, January 17, 2016. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)
Newton, MA - 1/17/2016 - Waban Square in the Waban Village of Newton, MA, January 17, 2016. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff) Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

When Alice Jacobs moved to Waban 25 years ago, she was married, but she wanted to be engaged.

She wanted to be engaged in her community.

Alice and her husband, Larry, had moved their family from Virginia, and she found the Newton village to be “uniquely welcoming’’ and a village with “lots of community organizations you can join.’’

There were also sidewalks, facilitating an easy walk to the post office or market and opportunities to meet neighbors, both residents and the people who run or work in local businesses.

“This is a complete village,’’ she says.

Joshua, the eldest of her two sons, was away at college and preparing for graduate school when they moved. Today, he and his family live down the street. Her son Aaron, who was a junior in high school when they moved, died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Alice, who is in her 60s, is one of the founders and volunteer director of the Waban Library Center, a free-lending nonprofit organization launched in 2009 after the city closed the village’s public library branch.

“I feel the library . . . is an extension of my quest for engagement in the community,’’ she says. “Just to live in a pretty house, that doesn’t do it for me. It’s really important for me to be an active part of my community, and Waban makes that available.’’

 

BY THE NUMBERS

2

The number of shoe repair shops: Waban Shoe Repairing Co. (1637 Beacon St.) and The Soleman (95 Wyman St.)

 2,500

The number of cards Waban Library Center has issued since it reopened in 2009 as a nonprofit

1833

The year essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson moved into a farmhouse on Woodward Street, according to wabanimprovement.org. Emerson had lost his wife, gone abroad, and at 30, returned to America, living for a year in the house with his mother. The house was struck by lightning and burned in 1894.

 

PROS & CONS

Pro

Family-friendly

Excellent schools, active neighborhood organizations, and within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, recreation, and the train station. Pictured above: Waban Library Center

Con

Driving

Traffic can by trying, and finding a place to park can be difficult, particularly on Beacon Street.

Pro & Con

Stability

There isn’t a high turnover rate of homes, so getting into this community can be difficult. Looking at sales through October, 4.09 percent of the village’s homes changed hands in 2015.

 

Hattie Bernstein can be reached at hbernstein04@icloud.com.