When Bradley Searles moved to Allston from Somerville in 2000, he never expected to be a long-term resident. But in 2004, he and his wife Amy bought a house just down the street from the apartment they rented in Lower Allston.
“We looked farther out at places like Quincy, but it came down to convenience. We were a few years away from having Brendan,” he says of their young son. “I didn’t need to be more suburban. It’s near work and near to shows.”
Searles is a software and Web tester by day and an avid music fan, thus the mention of “shows.” His website, Bradley’s Almanac, was among the country’s first music blogs. So it makes sense to be in the self-dubbed Rock City, near clubs like O’Briens, Great Scott, The Paradise and Brighton Music Hall — as well as a stone’s throw from Central Square.
But even Searles admits Allston’s student stew is annoying: “Allston becomes crazy September through May. That’s why I chose Lower Allston. The turnpike is a barrier. It feels alive but not overly noisy.”
Searles says the biggest annoyance may be Harvard’s defunct expansion program, which carved a hole in Lower Allston, literally and metaphorically.
“Harvard talked a big game about what it was going to do for the neighborhood,” says the 41-year-old Vermont native. “We all feel abandoned.”