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The Boston Globe

Business

Boston humming as appeal of life in city booms

The century’s first decade has brought a historic surge of newcomers to the city, most settling downtown. They carry fresh expectations — and pose real challenges

Susan Mai’s Beacon Hill apartment is a postage stamp of a place. The kitchen isn’t much bigger than the bathroom, and entertaining friends is a bit like playing Frisbee in a phone booth.

But for all its drawbacks, Mai says she couldn’t be happier. She walks to work at a local publisher, eats out five times a week, and thinks of Boston Common as an ideal front yard.

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