Maps: We’ve collected some suggestions local sites students frequent on a series of maps. These of course do not cover everything but are a good start .. and some places better shared via word of mouth.
Student Publications, Events & Other things..
Thresholds is the annual peer-reviewed journal produced by the MIT Department of Architecture, held in over 150 university art & architecture libraries around the world. Content features leading scholars and practitioners from the fields of architecture, art, and culture. Thresholds 43: Scandalous!, edited by Nathan Friedman and Ann Lok Lui, is currently in production.
Little-T, a thresholds offshoot, is a student run, multi-media broadcasting group providing an immediate outlet for architectural discourse. Little t seeks to fill a void in the architectural publication world by providing an outlet for raising questions, testing positions, and opening dialogues on an as needed basis without the necessary delays of established print journals. Browse the blog or see what LittleT has published in the past.
XS is a submission-based, student-run guerrilla publication within the department. Its ephemeral and to-the-point nature allows us to have quick discussions about issues pertinent to architecture and design. Written responses are limited to 500 words and XS encourages a balance of images and writing. Submissions are accepted in the forms of opinion articles, photo-essays, comic stripes, poems, fictions and interviews.
Code Kitchen was founded by MCP alum Benjamin Goulder and MIT Architecture Candidate Sayjel Paltel. Code kitchen is a weekly meetup that focuses on leveraging programming skills in the field of architecture. Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to join regardless of programming knowledge. Meetups happen on Sundays (Time and Location: TBA)
Anonymous 8 is a bimonthly event that has been held for the past two years, initiated by recent alum Yihun Lim. Anonymous 8 brings together eight random students from the architecture disciplines and treats them to a free dinner or brunch.
Tips & Tricks is a bi-annual student teaching event organized by the Architecture Student Council. Need to brush up on rendering skills? Want to know any interesting model building techniques? Think you know enough about a specific topic to teach to peers? The Tips and Tricks event is for you! Student volunteers take 5-10 minutes to teach any techniques that may seem useful to newer students. Topics may include: How to render, Interesting Rhino commands you may not know about, how to effectively use a hot wire cutter, best places and methods to buy and transport materials around Cambridge/Boston. Keep an eye out in your inbox for the Tips and Tricks event!
One of the best things about Boston is it’s public transit. Between the MBTA (Red, Green, Blue, Orange, and Silver lines), buses, and the commuter rail, you can travel to different parts of Boston, Cambridge, and even New England on a budget. Located at various T stations, the commuter rail allows you to travel up to 60 miles away from the city at a reasonable cost. Take a ride if you’re looking for an adventure. Pay close attention to the schedule when planning trips, Commuter Rail trains come at lower frequencies.
Investing in a car-sharing service like ZipCar com can be a good idea if you don’t own a car (students receive a discount!). It can be rented by the hour for large grocery store hauls, or even by the day for longer trips. Services such as Lyft or Uber are also useful.
One of the best methods to get around the city is with a bike! Cambridge’s relative flatness, large amount of bike lanes, and pedestrian friendly laws make it an ideal destination for riding a bike. Don’t forget a helmet! There a number of bike stores around Cambridge & Somerville.
Housing & Neighborhoods near MIT
If living on campus is not for you (due to cost or other reasons), strongly consider looking for off-campus housing. The following list of websites can guide you to a new place. We recommend finding at least 2-3 roommates to aid in the search. Most new students find success with Pad Mapper and Craigslist. If you choose to live somewhere beyond a 1.5 mi radius from campus, a bicycle is strongly recommended.
padmapper.com, craigslist.com, apartments.com, bostonapartments.com, apartmentx.com, rent.com, roomateconnection.com
Central Square is one T stop from Kendall Square and the site of a variety of live venues that host a variety of parties and music shows, in addition to a plethora of bars, pubs, restaurants, and grocery stores. Did we also mention it’s close to MIT?
Cambridgeport is immediately southwest of Central Square and next to the Charles River, Cambridgeport is a popular area for students, families, and professionals alike. Rents may be higher than when you venture out towards Inman Square, but proximity to MIT and the esplanade make it worth the cost.
Inman Square is about a ten minute bike ride from campus and is home to a number of bars and restaurants that are worth the trip. Inman is a diverse neighborhood of locals, families, students, and young professionals.
Davis Square is located near the border of Somerville and Cambridge, is relatively far from MIT. Students who choose to work live in this area make due by using either the T, or biking (20 minutes). Expect late nights at MIT, so Davis square may not be an ideal location to rent if youre not fine with making the commute.
Kendall Square is a relatively pricey (but close) location to MIT. For the past decade, MIT and Cambridge have invested heavily in turning Kendall Square into a destination for Graduate students, researchers, and young professionals alike.
Kirkland Crossing is located at the intersection of Kirkland/Washington St and Beacon Street, and only half a mile away from Inman Square. Due to its relative affordability, the area is densely populated with grad students. A bike would be a smart investment if living in this area.
Boston: Due MIT’s proximity to Boston, living in the city can also be an option. However, expect rent to rise significantly after crossing the river.
Finances / Banks
MIT Federal Credit Union: Trustworthy credit union located in the Heart of MIT. Great for new international students who lack a major US bank account.
Bank of America: Largest bank of the United States. Their fees are usually on the high end , so it is not recommended unless you are already a BoA member.
Cambridge Savings Bank: One of the oldest and largest community banks in Massachusetts. Offers no-fee accounts for students, and reimburses ATM fees at the end of the month if your account has a monthly direct deposit set up (TA or RAship)
If you are looking for a bank and want another option besides the three above, take a walk to Central Square! With over 12 branches along Mass ave , you can easily find what you need.