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Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Welcome to Somerville, Massachusetts.
While widely regarded as a neighborhood, Somerville is actually its own city just two miles outside Boston. The city has a population of around 76,000 people and was established in 1846, when it became separated from Charlestown. In 2006, the city was named best run city in the state by Boston Globe, and the city has also received numerous All-America City Awards. Somerville has been subject to massive gentrification since the Red Line of the subway system was extended through the city in 1985, with most of the changes revolving around the Harvard and Tufts area. In the 1990s, rent control and the dot-com boom further accelerated the process, and real estate prices actually quadrupled between 1991 to 2003. Luxury condominiums became more common, and long-time residents have had some issues conforming to the new standards. Since Somerville is so close to several prominent schools, the city has an ongoing influx of student residents as well as young professionals. Most of these reside around Cambridge, since that's where the preeminent Harvard University, Lesley University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the Tufts University are situated. Most of the people living here however are Irish American and Italian American working-class, as well as a smaller number of Portuguese American families. Somerville is, aside from being a diverse town, an artsy community with the second highest number of artists per capita in America. The city has two major art studios: Brickbottom Artists Building and the Joy Street Studios. Both are located in previously industrial structures in the Brickbottom district, and open studio events have been held here since 1987. If you're interested in sports, check out the Dilboy Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium best known for women's soccer. Somerville also boasts eighty-three historically designated places including libraries, parkways, churches and more. If you want to know more about the rich history of Somerville, stop by the Somerville Museum for an all-encompassing lesson in the city's past.
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