JazzVille: Bn'B Boston & Cambridge

House - Private room · Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States

Well appointed bedroom and bath in 1872 home gives privacy and quiet rest amid all the excitement of Cambridge and Boston, with incredible access to everything.

Your host, Joan
275 Reviews
Response rate: 93%
Response time: within a few hours

Well appointed bedroom and bath in 1872 home gives privacy and quiet rest amid all the excitement of Cambridge and Boston, with incredible access to everything.

The Space

--Welcome to the center of Cambridge, MA. where you can access virtually anywhere in Boston or Cambridge easily by walking AND excellent public transportation!

The Space:
Quiet, nicely appointed bed room with Queen- sized bed w/ private shower /bath; and BREAKFAST all included.
The Building
Owner-occupied duplex condominium (2nd & 3rd floors) of beautiful Mansard Victorian home in the heart of Central Cambridge.
About the room:
The Airbnb suite is sunny and quiet with great views of Cambridge and Boston.
Quality appointments include a large, leather window seat and a built-in computer workstation with a tiny library above.
The room lighting is designed to make working at a computer, reading in bed or relaxing en suite enjoyable, for what ever your need.
Down to a person, I'm told by everyone who stays here how well they sleep, (couples included!)

My condo has 2 full baths a master bath (3rd Floor) and a guest bath ( 2nd floor).

About the guest bath.
**NOTE: I have only one Airbnb room, therefore you will not have 'other' guests sharing your bathroom.

The guest bath consists of a shower/ sink/ toilet/ and a well-stocked medicine cabinet with travel soaps, shampoos, just in case you forget something.

Other features:
**A hairdryer is kept in the bedroom for your convenience.

*** Jazzville is Air Conditioned for high humidity days; not like a refrigerator, just enough to wring out the moisture)

*** ironing board & iron available, upon request

BREAKFAST IS INCLUDED in the cost of your room.
Central Square, my neighborhood, is teeming with restaurants of every price point, street food takeaway joints, and Tibetan all you can eat buffets to several of the most revered, chef-owned restaurants in Boston

Omnivore or Vegan you will have no trouble finding and eating great food close by.

*** See also: my AirBnb neighborhood guidebook on the Jazzville listing page ( upper right) for tips and locations on the neighborhood restaurants and entertainment for smartphone navigation (marked on 'exploded (website hidden) maps of Cambridgeport)

There is much more to Boston than the Freedom Trail! Current Cambridge and Boston street maps and guide books are in the Airbnb room for your use.
Many different sightseeing venues ( guided walking tours, trolley tours, Duck tours, Segway Tours, Harbor Sails, ferries, etc.)

An extensive Hubway bike system throughout greater metro Boston/ Cambridge and surrounding town makes touring by bike a breeze.

Dine In Option ( $ Ask host about availability)
Corkscrew with 2 wine glasses (no charge)

JazzVille is highly accessible and centrally located to reach all the major sightseeing destinations in both Cambridge and Boston.

I am a FOUR MINUTE WALK ( five blocks) To a direct PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION node (the RED LINE T and many bus routes.)
Here you can go direct to either Harvard Square or downtown Boston also direct to the airport and direct to bus and train terminals. Walk to MIT (under 8 minutes) and Harvard University (15 minutes) Or... take the 'T' one stop in either direction to reach both Harvard and MIT campuses in under 10 minutes.

Whether you want to visit the great universities, see a Red Sox game or visit Boston's North End for dinner, you will find it easy to walk or use the T from JazzVille. Even day trips to the North Shore, (Gloucester, Salem, Newburyport, Ipswich and Essex) for antique looking and whale watching (or witch hunting!) are a snap because the connections to the commuter rail and water taxi are very direct. Other attractions, including the Freedom Trail, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum are accessed directly from my front door.

Cambridge is sometimes referred to as the cultural 'Left Bank' of Boston. We are our own city with a distinct, funky, artsy vibe--and of course, we are the home city of MIT & Harvard. I am located in Cambridgeport section which is smack-dab between both Universities. Boston and Cambridge are two friendly, human- scaled, walking cities, side by side.

I will encourage and to help you to see Cambridge and Boston as a native while you discover it for yourself as a visitor.

Rather than tell you what to do, I try to hear what you may be interested in and then help you to accomplish finding compatible venues in the most efficient way, given how much time you have.

Some of my guests are here for academic programs. If you are here for a longer stay, there is an outrageous amount of clothes-closet and built- in drawer space, & overhead suitcase storage to keep things tucked away, so that your room remains pleasant to work in and feels free of clutter.

PLEASE NOTE: Two female house cats, Sydney and Wynstyn, live on premises. They are generally not allowed in the guest room. Being shy girls, they (generally) prefer to keep to themselves.

Most local people park on the street--(and you could too, were it not for the fact that you need a Cambridge Resident Permit), so...
For those with an automobile: FREE on-street parking is also available with the loan of my Cambridge Guest Pass.
Parking can be found usually right in front of the house. (or at most, a half block away.)
Guests are responsible for obeying the posted Cambridge Street Parking restrictions.
(strict enforcement!)
If you need to arrive by car, once you are in Cambridge, you will find that you will have little use for your vehicle.

The Green Street Garage is a public parking garage with very modest day rates; it is about 3 blocks from my place and a great place to stow a vehicle until you are ready to use it, (or in a snow emergency when streets have to be cleared!)
OTHER VEHICLE TRANSPORT: Car rental by the hour and day
ZIPCAR stations all around.
20 or more cars to choose from at any one time, (note: drastically less on weekends!) 3 pick up points which are less than 4 minutes walk from my house, 4 more pick up points with multiple cars in less than 8 minute walk.

Need to Rent a car ? Enterprise Car Rental very close by (4 blocks away with excellent rates and service )

--Cambridge is a walking city, and we are proud of it!
If you are able, I highly recommend doing the majority of your travel by foot and public transportation!

Bus, walk or Ride the T.
GREAT STREET MAPS are here waiting for you!!

OTHER OPTIONS : Tired from a long day? 'Dining In' Option/ (available upon request as host schedule allows.)

Host-prepared Gourmet/ Dinners Aprox $13-$15 Suggested Donation. (Prepared with Always Fresh, mostly local, seasonal, sustainable, ingredients. I'm an omnivore who's solved most 'dilemmas.'

You'll eat very well if you eat with me!!

I provide a
Healthy Breakfast, free of charge. Breakfast is easily adapted to vegan tastes.

(Breakfast is usually coffee / tea/or Yerba Mate Choice of Milk or Coconut or Flax Milk/.
Always fresh fruit, and either granola , eggs, hot steel cut oatmeal, or hearty whole grain toast with seasonal fruits, nut butters, and occasionally, savory herb cheese or pesto spreads.

For Lunches and dinners:
Plenty of restaurants right up the street from me: they run from expensive to dirt cheap.
Tibetan, Thai, Palestinian, Pizza, Subs, Felafel, New American Fusion, 3 different Indian All- you-can-eat luncheon buffets--to choose from, vegan, Sushi (You name it, we got it.)

Don't feel like going out?
You can also DINE IN at Jazzville for dinner (if you request it in advance, or sometimes I can accommodate a later request. if I can I will, bu no guarantees!)
I charge a modest fee ,just to cover the ingredients... (see above)

World famous universities MIT and Harvard are within walking distance (on the subway line as well.) Mass General Hospital is also 2 stops away.

Also easy to visit:
Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Emerson College- all super accessible from Jazzville. (Did you know that We have over 90 Colleges and universities in the Metro Boston Area?!)

Jazzville is located a 4 Minutes walk to the the 'T'. from there you'll have Incredibly E-Z access to downtown Boston, Freedom Trail, Quincy Market, Fanueil Hall, The Seaport District, North End, Newbury Street, Convention /Prudential Shopping Concourse, and even to Logan airport.

Flying in? Its possible to fly to Logan Airport and get right to my door--very easily-- with out a cab! (How? Use the "T"! Silver line to Red Line.)
Coming by Bus or Train? Ridiculously easy! A direct (Red Line) subway route from station to station.

You are also convenient to the commuter rail and water taxi, so visiting The Harbor Islands, Salem, Rockport, Gloucester and Cape Ann are easy day trips to make from Cambridge, by T, by train and water taxi.

Whale watching from the Aquarium is popular.


The Neighborhood is residential. Mostly '3 Deckers' (the traditional housing stock of Boston) with a couple of hi Rise buildings and some single family, historic "soap worker" cottages.

Central Square ( which is a geographical and subway stop 'center point'/ "midpoint" between Harvard University and MIT, on Massachusetts Avenue. (or "Mass Ave"as we call it.) is a little 'textured' i.e. 'gritty.'

It is a real eclectic stew of diverse clientele, as it is a major transportation node. (Lots of folks passing through, along with the stay-put locals.)

We locals are, ourselves, a diverse bunch: a mix of folks who shop at the discount merchandise retailers, scientists, poets, recent immigrants , international college students, lots of young professionals, some 'sketchy' folks; some street regulars, some winos, politically correct food co-op customers, cool coffeehouse hanger-outers, and some fancy hipsters who eat at a handful exclusive restaurants with reputations for great food, along with a couple of independent local pubs with good, if not great food.

Yes ! All of this diversity in the one pleasantly textured neighborhood.

02138 and 02139 might be the most opinionated and educated zip codes in the United Sates, but we are not exempt from the ubiquitous: Dunkin' Donuts and a somewhat seedy MCDonald's are also represented in Central Square. (I'm just saying...)

The street life on Mass Ave is certainly a mosaic of all of these different peoples and eateries.

My 'hood, just off Mass Ave, is pretty much made up of young professionals, some older, lifelong Cantabrigians and some young families from all over the world-- and I do mean all over the world.

It's a four to five minute walk from the subway to my place, which has a pleasant 'neighbor-hoody' kind of vibe.

It is highly diverse, highly educated, edgy and eclectic (both culturally and economically) population.

Welcome! At Jazz Ville you will have a very comfortable oasis from which to explore the whole area!

I look forward to making your Cambridge experience a fulfilling one.

Guest Access

Bedroom suite and Private Bath
Kitchen at breakfast between 7-9 AM

Additional spaces with invitation of host.
Kitchen: Dine w/ host or have prepared dinner for you (to eat on your own schedule)

Laundry room:
If you need to do laundry, just ask.
I'll be glad make my laundry room, detergent, drying rack or dryer, etc. available free of charge. (single load)

(My laundry room is conveniently located just next to the Airbnb bedroom).

Interaction with Guests

I value my privacy and yours: I tailor my interactions based on your social cues.
Here's what to expect:
A welcome at the front door. A brief tour of the house, at which point, once you are comfortable with the layout, you'll be given your own key to come and go as you like for the remainder of your stay.

I'll check in to make sure that you are comfortable navigating Cambridge and Boston and the T independently, so you can get the most from your trip.

There are nicely organized travel books and sightseeing info right in the room to help you imagine the possibilities and go about sorting out the sights by yourself.

And, of course, I'm glad to answer questions, and share any local insights, if needed.

Mornings (between 7-9 AM) are usually our principal time together. This time can be either very interactive (conversational ) or not.

If you like start your day with quiet, I am happy to prepare breakfast and leave it out for you.

The Airbnb Travel experience is a unique way to experience being a Citizen of the World. The 'stay with a local 'perspective is one I truly love. Being part of this network is rewarding for me on many levels and from what my guest tell me, they love it too.

Overwhelmingly, my guests seem to agree that Airbnb provides them with a more 'human' travel experience.

No one is a stranger here.
Conversations about everything from world cultures, food ways, anthropology, democracy, health care and economics spontaneously break out at the breakfast table.

Breakfast is a great time to ask for help to find Boston Cambridge/ treasures/ activities/ or if you need help figuring navigation/ transportation.

During the work week day, I have to concentrate on work. (I run a consulting firm form my home. I like to start my day at 9AM.)

You have all the autonomy of a home stay with a friend.
Come to explore Cambridge and Boston from a place right in the heart of Cambridge
--- That's about it!

The Neighborhood

Located in
The Cambridgeport Neighborhood
5 blocks from Central Square T Stop (Red Line)

---Walk to everything!
--There are a wealth of restaurants and bars within a few minutes walk.

( **Pop Open my 'Guidebook' (on the Jazz Ville listing page) and you'll see my write ups on the individual pubs, coffee houses, museums, places of worship and other cool places in this part of Cambridge.

***Navigate the neighborhood with your Smart Phone and know the inside scoop on local stuff.

( **Pop Open my 'Guidebook' (on the Jazz Ville listing page) and you'll see my write ups on the individual pubs coffee houses, museums, and sights of the neighborhood and Cambridge.

***Navigate the neighborhood with your Smart Phone and know local stuff.

Getting around

Couldn't be easier! I'm tucked away in a pedestrian paradise with easy access to every form of public transportation.
Mass Transit:
I'm 5 Blocks from Central Square, a transit hub for:
Red Line Subway and Many Boston-to-Cambridge MBTA bus routes including:
Harvard Square, Downtown Boston, Innovation District, (Kendall Square), Symphony Hall, Berklee, (Wally's!) Fenway Park, Isabella Stewart Gardener Musuem, Museum of Fina Arts, ICA, Seaport District, Rose Kennedy Greenway, JFK Museum, and more.

The Red line links to directly to Logan Airport, South Station ( All subways and Trains) as well as the Bus Terminal; the Red Line leads directly here to Central Square

Hourly transportation rentals: Zip Cars, & Hubway Bike Rentals.
Need to rent a car for a longer term? Enterprise Car Rental is right in the neighborhood, too. ( 2.5 blocks)
Traveling by car?

I also have very easy access to all Metro Boston expressways leading to Rtes 93, 95 and the MASS turnpike (Rte 90)

Other Things to Note

Multi-unit building.
Condensed, close knit urban neighborhood.
I value my neighbor's and my guest's comfort and well being in equal measure.
Please be considerate and refrain from loud conversations at the front entrance.
Absolutely no smoking in on the front porch.
However if you let me know of your desire to smoke, I'll be glad to direct you to where to enjoy a cigarette comfortably in my back yard.
I 'll also supply you with an ashtray, so your cigarette break is fulfilling, relaxed and the butts are not left behind on the ground.

Kitchen Access
I'm sorry, I do not offer guests kitchen privileges at JazzVille. Do to my home layout ( open plan ) its impractical for me to have folks padding about in my kitchen when I'm working close by.

l prefer (and actually enjoy!) serving you from my kitchen. Or bringing you a cup of tea later in the day.

Guests are made welcome in the sunny kitchen for a full breakfast between 7AM & 9AM.

Enjoying Our Best Breakfast:
Guests who have the best experience typically come down early: (phone number hidden) AM.

By 9:00 AM I'm clearing breakfast things away for the day and beginning my work day.

Sleeping in:
Feel free to sleep as late as you like at Jazz Ville.
However if you do elect to sleep in, you will need to plan on going out for breakfast.
There are plenty of coffee houses and tasty options within a few minutes walk, for late risers

Night Owls:
--Coming in late?
No problem. I'll leave the front hall lights on for you. Come in quietly and turn off the light in the front foyer. ( I'll show you.)

I'm glad to store the odd doggie bag, bottle of wine or water, but please do not count on large quantities of food storage space in my refrigerator.
I use my fridge heavily and often have little, if any room.

Getting the Most from your Visit:
I truly love AirB & B hosting, thus I'm delighted to help every traveler plan how to get the most from his or her trip to Boston and Cambridge.

The best time for us to explore your options together is usually just after you arrive, or at breakfast, where I can give you my full attention.

I am delighted to help get you oriented and give all the local to tips on walking distances, maps, the hidden finds and great eating places, according to your own specific interests, budget and objectives.

I have a full social life and a demanding work schedule. Thus its best to speak with me at the beginning of the day, or preview things in the evenings for the next day.

From 9AM to roughly 6PM I'm working and prefer not to have interruptions.

During the day, I need it fairly quiet, not a lot of hustle and bustle here at the house.

----THANK YOU for reading this!

Room type: Private room
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 2
Beds: 1
Extra people: $18 / night after the first guest
Cancellation: Moderate
Pet Owner: Cat(s)
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • Great and quiet place,well located. Different and tasty breakfast every day. Nice and clean room. Joan is an extraordinary woman, funny, smart, interesting and thoughtful. She gives a lot of good advice about what to do, when, the subway, the restaurants ... In brief, a place to go, a woman to meet.

    July 2014
  • Thoroughly enjoyed our stay at JazzVille. Joan went out of her way to accommodate us, even ordered perfect weather! Great location, close to public transportation and lots of good restaurants. Her site includes lots of great information; used it to find a car rental agency in the neighborhood. Breakfasts were delicious and we enjoyed our discussions with Joan. Thanks for everything.

    June 2014
  • We had an enjoyable two day stay at Joan's house. It was very convenient for travelling as just five mins walk from the main train line. Lots of good restaurants close by and a short walk from the Charles River, one stop from Harvard Sq. Joan is a great host, welcomed us with a much appreciated pot of tea and helped us with lots of questions on restaurants, places to visit and navigating our way around Boston. Nicely furnished room, instant wi-fi, private bathroom in a beautiful old house in secluded side street.

    June 2014
  • I felt welcome from the first minute on when I arrived at Joan's place. She is an open-minded and easy-going host and her neat house is perfectly located in the middle of Cambridge between the Charles in the South and a T station in the North.
    This was my first Airbnb experience and I am sure it won't be my last.

    June 2014
  • I had a wonderfull stay at Joan's. Nice and quiet room (and at par with the description and photos you see on AirBnB). Breakfeast was also very pleasant, great food, different every day + great conversation with Joan. Finally, the house is well located in Cambridge. Thanks again Joan

    June 2014
  • Joan is a wonderful host and we felt at home right away. The location is perfect and near all the places we wanted to go. Great stay!

    June 2014
    Response from Joan:

    Thanks, Ana. Come to visit Cambridge and Boston again soon!

    June 2014
  • The remodeling disturbance in much of the house is somewhat mitigated
    by Joan's hospitality and the nice location between the "T" and the subway
    bike rental.

    June 2014
  • Our experience at Jazzville was great, the posting lists exactly what to expect. The neighborhood is amazing, extremely close to the train, walking distance to Harvard with great restaurants and bars.
    The house is very clean and welcoming. Everything you might need or didn't think about packing is there.
    One of us staying there is very allergic to cats and didn't have any problems, the room is clean, cozy and perfect for two people.
    The host is amazing prepared breakfast every mooring and spent time chatting with us.

    May 2014
    Response from Joan:

    Thanks for your kind compliments and heartfelt appreciation. You are what makes hosting such a rewarding experience! I look forward to your return!

    May 2014
  • Joan was an incredibly friendly host. She went above and beyond, fixing us tea, coffee and breakfast in the morning, and acting as diplomat and tour guide to the city. Location couldn't be better if you are visiting Cambridge. I walked everywhere no problem, even the walk from the train with my luggage was a snap.

    May 2014
  • Staying with Joan is the best decision you'll make in Cambridge. She's become my go-to host when I'm in town. Her home is comfortable and convenient, and her breakfasts are a real differentiator. Highest possible recommendation.

    May 2014
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Parsons School of Design, NYC; Boston University
Principal, Healthy Communities Consulting
Funny, politically astute, progressive pragmatist. Arts and culture-as in Music--as in Jazz, visual arts and food ways-reign supreme at JazzVille. Work in the Sustainable Foods Movement. I love to cook, and when I'm not doing that I write, teach and think about Food. (I've been called 'Totally Food-Centric," more than once.) People who know me tell me I'm a very capable household manager, which is probably why hosting for AB& B feels natural for me. Besides cooking and food/ farm interests, visual arts and music, I'm a licensed builder. World travel has influenced me and my interests in both of these pursuits are immediately apparent to anyone coming to stay at Jazz Ville. I provide a unique, comfortable oasis for visitors looking to navigate their own journey through Boston and Cambridge.
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