My wife and I are renting a small house within walking distance to the school. I really wanted to be able to get around on foot the first year, and we sort of lucked into this place. Our lease begins in June so we'll actually be there pretty much the whole summer.
Unfortunately, I'm not real familiar with the area either so I'm not much good for advice. I do, however, recall being told that the northeast part is more desirable, so I think you're on the right track.
Where are you coming from?