Many consider Jamaica Plain the most diverse neighborhood in Boston, as its population represents a tapestry of nationalities and cultures. As the old bumper stickers used to state: “There’s Nothing Plain About Jamaica Plain” and “JP: Where the Mixes Match”! Its gorgeous green spaces, including the 281-acre Arnold Arboretum and its proximity to the world renowned Longwood Medical Area have fueled the popularity of “JP” for decades. Residences range from the mini-estates of Pondside, Sumner Hill and Jamaica/Moss Hill to tons of condos in converted multi-families to lofts in new and re-purposed buildings throughout JP. There’s still plenty of rental property, too! There is also a steady line-up of new-construction projects all along the Orange Line to downtown Boston to satisfy the burgeoning numbers of hipsters, medical professionals and empty-nesters who are flocking to JP for its culture and ideal location. Highly successful Main Streets programs and an extremely engaged population have revived and continue to keep strong the Centre-South and Hyde Square commercial districts.
Jamaica Plain falls under the Boston Public School system and is home to the Conley and Manning elementary schools. There are also several private and charter school options. For more information, we invite you to visit sites such as www.greatschools.org or www.education.com
Jamaica Pond, an ancient kettle pond and part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, is encircled by a 1.3-mile path for walkers, joggers and birdwatchers and offers outdoor concerts, (including the newish JP MusicFest) non-motor boating, and the annual Lantern Festival. Other jewels in the Emerald Necklace to which JP holds claim are Olmsted Park, Franklin Park and the 281-acre Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University which contains over 16,000 individual plants, including one of the largest and best-documented woody plant collections in North America and the world. An afternoon at “The Arbs” is a delight for all, especially on Lilac Sunday in May when these fragrant beauties are at their peak.
Jamaica Plain is served by four stations on the Orange Line which runs from Forest Hills Station to Malden, with stops that bring you to Roxbury Community College, Northeastern University, Longwood Medical Area and Museum Row, Back Bay and Downtown Boston. The Needham line of the commuter rail also serves Forest Hills and Ruggles Stations during peak commuting hours.
Centre Street is without doubt the “main drag” in JP, running from the Arborway on its southern end to Tremont Street on the Roxbury side. Restaurants range from Thai, Indian, Sushi, nouvelle American and Tapas to excellent Dominican throughout the Latin Quarter! Cafes and Juice Bars also abound. The Forest Hills district is home to several excellent eating establishments, totally necessary with all the new housing popping up in that area. “Downtown” JP is also a magnet for its variety of shops and services, from baby clothes and kitchen supplies to millinery and haberdashery, women’s clothing, gifts and more. JP is also home to two great thrift stores where people-watching is as fun as shopping.
Whether you’re a history buff, music lover, bookworm or tree-hugger, JP has something for you. The Footlight Club located on Eliot Street, near “the Monument” is the oldest continuously-running community theatre in the United States, now in its 142nd season! JP Porchfest is a sure sign of spring, as is the amazing Wake Up the Earth Festival and Parade that banishes winter, regardless of the chill in the air. JP Open Studios, one of the first to be established in Boston and now in its 26th year, is another annual event not to be missed. The historic Loring-Greenough house is home to lecture and music series, as is the recently renovated JP branch of the Boston Public Library on Sedgwick Street. The Conley Branch of the BPL, about a mile down Centre Street, is a trove of activities as well.