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Old 03-20-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
786 posts, read 1,604,829 times
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Which cities (and towns, borough etc) in the Northeast (and by that I'm including New England, NY, PA & OH) have the most to offer (in what ever way you like) outside of the arbitrary seeming list of larger cities below?

New York
Philadelphia
Boston
Pittsburgh
Rochester, NY
Syracuse
Buffalo
Providence
Portland
Burlington, VT
Manchester, NH
Columbus
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Toledo
Dayton
Akron
Worcester, MA
Springfield, MA

Yeah, so discounting those, which places in those states have the most to offer?
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Some of my favorites in New England:

Portsmouth, NH
Salem, MA
Newport, RI
Northampton, MA

All offer a tremendous amount of history, vibrant and walkable downtown areas, surprisingly strong cultural scenes for their size, and natural beauty (either the ocean, or, in the case of Northampton, farmland and forested hills). They're also well-connected to larger cities.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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In NY, I'd say Utica, Binghamton, Ithaca, Albany(Schenectady and Troy), Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs. Many of the other college towns and some of the other smaller cities do as well. It all depends on what you like to do too.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 03-20-2012 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,037 posts, read 16,093,312 times
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Verseau hit the nail on the head. Those are probably the four best that you didn't list. I've got a nice, but some what grittier option:

New Bedford, MA.

It's an incredibly historic city. It was once the wealthiest city on Earth and the center of the Whaling industry which means it's chalk full of stunning architecture. Herman Melville wrote "Moby Dick" about his exploits on the Whaling vessel Acushnet out of New Bedford. Many of the buildings he described in the book (including the Seamen's Bethel) are still standing in the city and open to the public.

New Bedford was a huge player in the Underground Railroad as well. Fredrick Douglass called the city his home.

Today, New Bedford is the highest grossing fishing port in the U.S. You'll find better, more affordable seafood in NB that you'll find just about anywhere in the Northeast (and I say this having lived in Providence, Boston, DC, and Portland ME). It also has one of the largest Portuguese (specifically Azorean and Cape Verdean) populations in the country which means excellent Portuguese food and celebrations (including the Feast of the Madeira which is one of the largest Portuguese festivals in the world attracting over 100,000 people).

About 1/2 of New Bedford's downtown area is a National Historic Park called, "The Whaling District." It's full of shops, restaurants, bars, galleries and a Whaling Museum all lining beautiful cobblestone streets. Also downtown, there's an Ocean Explorium, Art Museum, and the UMass Dartmouth College of Art and gallery. New Bedford has a couple of Theaters, the biggest being the Zeiterion which is located downtown and houses the Symphony Orchestra, New Bedford Ballet, and a host of other concerts and shows.

Outside of downtown you have a number of historic residential districts filled with gorgeous old homes and gardens. One of those mansions and its grounds (within walking distance from downtown) is now a museum and open to the public... the Rotch Jones Duff House. Also outside of downtown you have a Military Museum (http://www.forttaber.org/museum.html - broken link), a nice Zoo and a Fire Museum.

In addition to those attractions, New Bedford has a few excellent parks. Buttonwood Park is the city's largest park and is home to the zoo. The park was designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead (Central Park, NYC). My favorite, however, is Fort Rodman/Taber which is at the Southern tip of the city and offers views of Buzzard's Bay, the Elizabeth Islands and even Martha's Vineyard on a clear day. The peninsula in the Southern part of the city is full of decent beaches. New Bedford also has a ferry to Martha's Vineyard and Cuttyhunk.

The best thing is that the city's still a well kept secret. It's about an hour South of Boston, 30 minutes East of Providence, 30 minutes West of Cape Cod, and 45 minutes North of Newport RI. It's surrounded by great places which is a plus, but it also keeps the city under the radar. New Bedford was a little bit run down 10 years or so ago. While it still has some issues (unemployment is still a bit high and schools suck), the city has made a BIG recovery and is in a nice renaissance. The downtown area is gorgeous and many of the residential neighborhoods are really nice. I'm in the process of wrapping up my Master's and starting my own company right now and I've been looking at homes in New Bedford. It really is a great, livable city that so many people even in MA are clueless about.

Here are a few photos (my own):














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Old 03-20-2012, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
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Thanks very much guys, I rather hoped some of these would be mentioned by those in the know as they've seemed rather interesting to me. I'm quite interested to read all that about New Bedford as I've so far thought about it quite unfavourable due to the info I've seen before.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:58 PM
 
56,766 posts, read 81,102,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceTenmile View Post
Thanks very much guys, I rather hoped some of these would be mentioned by those in the know as they've seemed rather interesting to me. I'm quite interested to read all that about New Bedford as I've so far thought about it quite unfavourable due to the info I've seen before.
What do you want to know about these places?
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,037 posts, read 16,093,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceTenmile View Post
Thanks very much guys, I rather hoped some of these would be mentioned by those in the know as they've seemed rather interesting to me. I'm quite interested to read all that about New Bedford as I've so far thought about it quite unfavourable due to the info I've seen before.
You're welcome. New Bedford is a FAR cry from what it used to be although many who haven't been in years still have a bad image of the city. It's really quite nice.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:01 AM
 
Location: Weymouth, The South
786 posts, read 1,604,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
What do you want to know about these places?
Not a great deal really. I've heard of them, I know where they are, I vaguely know how large they are, I've probably had a gander at all their Wikipedia pages, oh, and I was really into this state site Sterling last year and got all this basic data on at least a couple of them.

Of the ones you said I was glad to see Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs and Binghamton as I just for some reason liked the look of them. All 4 of the ones Verseau said have been vaguely interesting to me for some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
You're welcome. New Bedford is a FAR cry from what it used to be although many who haven't been in years still have a bad image of the city. It's really quite nice.
You say it's better than it used to be, I assume we're talking crime and economy? When you say 'used to be' how recently would you say it was 'bad'? I've not been looking at cities and stuff like this for more than maybe 6 years, so any info or vibe I've got would have been in that time. Was it outdated info even then? Those images of New Bedford look really really nice. What's the cost of living like there? Is the real estate cheaper than in other places?
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,025,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
Some of my favorites in New England:

Portsmouth, NH
Salem, MA
Newport, RI
Northampton, MA

All offer a tremendous amount of history, vibrant and walkable downtown areas, surprisingly strong cultural scenes for their size, and natural beauty (either the ocean, or, in the case of Northampton, farmland and forested hills). They're also well-connected to larger cities.
you have good taste. i like your choices.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
16,762 posts, read 23,200,142 times
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Probably Hartford, CT.

The city itself is poor, but the suburbs are beautiful, affluent and affordable (for the Boswash). It is one of the most affluent metro areas in the nation.

There are a lot of jobs - it's the insurance capitol of the world. You're 35 minutes to the beach, an hour to the mountains, 2 hours from NYC and 2 hours from Boston with mass transit available to both.

That said, it's Connecticut. It's expensive. But the economy here is generally better than elsewhere.
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