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Old 04-15-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Hudson Valley
8 posts, read 13,237 times
Reputation: 12

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I've recently finished my Master Degree and landed my first "real job" in the Norwich CT area. Am relocating from the Hudson Valley-however not familiar with this part of CT.

Any ideas of where I should be looking? I am in my late 20's, single female who likes to be outdoors yet involved with her community- I am looking for a safe but busy downtown that is vibrant and full of things to do after work. (to that point- is there anything to do after work/on the weekends??)

any insight would be great. thnx
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
10,946 posts, read 16,783,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celerystick View Post
I've recently finished my Master Degree and landed my first "real job" in the Norwich CT area. Am relocating from the Hudson Valley-however not familiar with this part of CT.

Any ideas of where I should be looking? I am in my late 20's, single female who likes to be outdoors yet involved with her community- I am looking for a safe but busy downtown that is vibrant and full of things to do after work. (to that point- is there anything to do after work/on the weekends??)
The city of Norwich has seen better days, and you will get mixed review from people. It "may" be improving because of the the money from casino visitors. I am hesitant to suggest a place to live, but I think you can find a safe place north and northwest of downtown which has some nice Victorian buildings. (The east side around the old Thermos plant looked like a bombed-out war zone the last time I went through.)

There is at least one gathering place downtown, The Harp and Dragon Pub. As you sound like a person who wants to be involved with the community, I suggest finding the safest place you can in Norwich. Perhaps the renovated factory at 150 Yantic. In any case, I suggest using a Realtor or you will get stuck with a blah suburban place.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:45 PM
 
468 posts, read 496,774 times
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It sort of depends on how far you're willing to commute and what your tolerance is for crime and general unattractiveness. If you're willing to commute a bit and have a low tolerance for crime and unattractiveness, I'd suggest Mystic. It has plenty of bars and restaurants and a decent social scene year round. It's largely crime-free and beautiful. You could also try Glastonbury, which is a sort of longish but easy Rt. 2 reverse commute. It's largely families and Hartford County isn't my idea of a prime place for someone who likes the outdoors, but it's relatively vibrant and certainly safe.

I know people who live in both Norwich and New London. They believe themselves to be relatively safe, they like their neighborhoods, there are some bars and restaurants, etc. They both have relatively vibrant communities--New London in particular, which for whatever reason seems to be the spot for young hipsters in the area who aren't afraid of catching a stray bullet or being murdered for fun. But I wouldn't live in either place. They're largely physically unattractive, filled with dilapidated buildings, there are always questionable looking people roaming the streets and loitering, etc.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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Congrats on your job offer and welcome to Connecticut.

The biggest entertainment draws in the area are the casinos - Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods - and the beaches - Ocean Beach in New London, Rocky Neck in East Lyme, Hammonasset farther up in Madison. Not to mention Misquamicut over the border in Rhode Island.

New London has an okay downtown area that is fine during the daytime, and maybe even for an early happy hour. There are some interesting shops, a few pretty good restaurants, and I was surprised that the Garde Theater was as decent as it was. I'm not sure how it is later at night, though, as I'm a married with children and in my mid 40s. I would judge it more of a place to visit, though, and not live.

Old Saybrook has some nice areas and good restaurants, and gives you an easy commute to the casinos for nightlife. Agree above on Mystic as well. More of a social scene than Old Saybrook, but could be 30 minutes or so of backroads to Norwich.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:38 PM
 
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I always suggest living as close to work as possible and using weekends to get to entertainment. There are plenty of places to rent in Norwich. Without knowing a budget it's hard to recommend where, but there are lots of two family homes, some apartment complexes, some condominiums.

Norwich has an ice skating rink, a public golf course, a beach at a lake in a huge local park, hiking trails in the park also. There are several gyms in the city you could join.

What it lacks is much evening entertainment for young people. For that, you'd have to head to the casinos ( both nearby), to New London or to Mystic.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Hudson Valley
8 posts, read 13,237 times
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Thank you everyone for your responses- it is greatly appreciated. I'm not gonna lie- am a bit nervous- this is a big move- I have no friends/ family or support network. I've lived in many other places but always had friends or family members near by.

This area sounds like a mixture of old industrial re-use (which is encouraging to hear as an urban planner), but lacking in a community-feel/involvement. I need to make sure that there are things to do afterwork people to meet/chances to be social (besides at a bar.... Which is great- but am a bit over the bar scene & not into gambling).

Is New London or Groton perhaps a better choice?? I wouldn't mind an urban area. Are there any rowing teams/women's rugby leagues?? I dunno- something to do/volunteer with? I like to garden, play sports, the beach etc. I even like church which is odd- being the only single 20 something in a church these days. (Sigh).
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:40 AM
 
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New London & Groton aren't really urban areas. More like small cities/large towns that have seen better days.

Not sure there are rowing teams or rugby leagues. There might not be enough of a corporate presence in the region where major corporations would have their own team, like you get in the Hartford and Stamford areas. I do know there is a ping pong/table tennis league in the area, so I assume there are other leagues, too.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:07 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 7,900,841 times
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Oh dear, the casinos are not just for gambling. They are resort complexes, with shopping malls, music and entertainment venues, etc.

I don't think you'd find a woman's rugby league. There is a rowing club. See if you can find the Chelsea Rowing club on the internet or check with the city of Norwich Recreational Department. There is a marina in town , on the river, so some activity there.

Norwich is an interesting city. The city center area was an old mill area. Tremendously interesting architecture of the wealthy, mill owner homes. Once out of the city center, it is very suburban. The northwest section of the city is sort of rural, there are still some working farms.

You could check on meetups to see what might be interesting to do. There are certainly numerous churches and I believe there is a garden club called Green Thumb.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Hudson Valley
8 posts, read 13,237 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by willow wind View Post
Oh dear, the casinos are not just for gambling. They are resort complexes, with shopping malls, music and entertainment venues, etc.

I don't think you'd find a woman's rugby league. There is a rowing club. See if you can find the Chelsea Rowing club on the internet or check with the city of Norwich Recreational Department. There is a marina in town , on the river, so some activity there.

Norwich is an interesting city. The city center area was an old mill area. Tremendously interesting architecture of the wealthy, mill owner homes. Once out of the city center, it is very suburban. The northwest section of the city is sort of rural, there are still some working farms.

You could check on meetups to see what might be interesting to do. There are certainly numerous churches and I believe there is a garden club called Green Thumb.
thank you Willow Wind.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
10,946 posts, read 16,783,017 times
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Originally Posted by NewJeffCT View Post
New London & Groton aren't really urban areas. More like small cities/large towns that have seen better days.

Not sure there are rowing teams or rugby leagues.
New London might be a better choice. Groton is smaller and suburban, although you might meet some Navy or Coast Guard people with the same interest in sports teams.

If you are interested in New London, I suggest reading "The Little Pink House" to see how urban re-development can go wrong.
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