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Old 10-31-2014, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LexusNexus View Post
Wow, that's the first I've heard of that. I've never been to New England. Are you saying that for instance a black person cannot count on living in New England and simply being treated as a "person"? I've heard that the class distinctions are deep in NE, but what of the racial distinctions?

Great thread. I have my popcorn and I'm enjoying the dialogue here.
I live in New England. As accepting as people seem face to face, every and I mean every boss I've ever had here in New England has had no problems using racial slurs like it's nothing. Even my coworkers say things. My friends also and most of them aren't blue collars either. They're young 20 somethings and a lot of them have office jobs or are in college. You should hear what's said about the Somalis in Lewiston or the Indians in Portsmouth. Nobody will say anything in public but with friends people talk.
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by joeyg2014 View Post
I live in New England. As accepting as people seem face to face, every and I mean every boss I've ever had here in New England has had no problems using racial slurs like it's nothing. Even my coworkers say things. My friends also and most of them aren't blue collars either. They're young 20 somethings and a lot of them have office jobs or are in college. You should hear what's said about the Somalis in Lewiston or the Indians in Portsmouth. Nobody will say anything in public but with friends people talk.
I find that there are more extremes. I grew up in Billerica and I certainly heard many comments made about gays, blacks and other minorities. I briefly reconnected with a former classmate of mine and a few years ago we went out to dinner. She was black and my wife asked her if it was difficult for her growing up as one of the only blacks in a mostly white town. She told us that she never had any problems and nobody ever made any comments to her. I was surprised because I used to hear anti-"non white" comments all the time. I guess it is a bit more passive aggressive in New England.

But on the other side, I lived in Cambridge for two years and I sometimes felt stifled at work or other places during some of my conversations. I had lived (and now live again) in Asia and my wife is even Malaysian-Indian. I've traveled to a fair bit of the continent and most of my Cambridge coworkers knew that. So sometimes I'd make a silly comment like "The Chinese will eat anything" or "Malaysians don't like to walk" and suddenly I'm treated like David ****ing Duke. I'd try to explain to them that I had actually been to China and saw the types of food that people eat there and it was far more extensive than what we Americans eat. Not to mention, if there had been a Chinese person in the room, he'd probably think my comment was funny. As for Malaysia, I lived there for over four years, yet I have white people giving me the "shame shame" look for making generalizations about Malaysians. Once again, my Malaysian-Indian wife would have though the joke was funny.

Of course the last I was in Billerica and ran into old classmate who proceeded to tell me how much he hated Indians and how his mother wouldn't sell her house to Indian families.

So I guess it comes from both sides in New England and maybe even the rest of the country. I think I went off topic here a bit...sorry.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:42 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Originally Posted by bolehboleh View Post
I've enjoyed this thread tremendously which is why I'm giving it a bump. A few thoughts:

First off, I'm a native Mass resident, born in Billerica, MA, but I've also lived in Brookline and Cambridge, MA, Burlington VT and Hamden, CT (and many other place outside New England the the US). I've noticed since I'm currently living outside of the US that I identify more with New England than I do with the US. I think that that comes from my other travels around the US. Something about the region is just different. Yes, much of CT identifies with NYC, but I can also remember living in Burlington, VT and (other than sports teams) they seemed to be more focuses on the state of VT than New England as a whole.

As for CT, yes the the Southwestern corner is heavily influenced by NYC, many of the smaller towns in there resemble New England style towns in other parts of the region. Actually, the part I hate about CT the most is the Hartford area because it reminds me of the suburban sprawl I've seen throughout the Midwest and South....I hate that! If we're going to keep arguing that CT isn't part of New England, then we should also make the case that Vermont and Maine are in two different regions...The two states don't border each other, the accents are different and Maine has a nice coast where Vermont has beautiful mountains and rolling hills (better than Maine's in my opinion). But there are certain things that tie our region together: maybe it's the quiet and direct manner when we speak (I go nuts listening to loud New Yorkers and Midwesterners)? Maybe it's our loyalty to our towns and not counties? Maybe it's our low crime rates? Maybe it's the fact that we're the least religious part of the country? Maybe it's the fact that even the religious people there don't try to shove it down our throats? I don't know, but New England is a beautiful region and I love it very much. Go Patriots!
I'm glad you bumped the thread up. It's interesting reading about us and how we are--actually, others' perceptions mostly of us and how we are.

And of course CT is New England and most of it is middle class. The only people who think it's rich and like NY are the people who live in that little corner of CT down by NY, southwestern CT aka The Gold Coast.

Within itself, New England is varied. I'm from western MA and identify more with CT than MA. I had only been to the MA capitol of Boston a few times until just a few years ago. I avoid Boston and that general area as much as possible. It's congested and only getting worse. To me, it's mostly yuppies.

I'm more familiar with Vermont but have been exploring New Hampshire--both are extremely beautiful states. I wouldn't live in either one though due to the winters.

The last couple of years I've been checking out Maine. You always hear people sighing and speaking longingly of Maine but I never understood why. Now I think I finally get it. The people there are more like people used to be, more laid back and easy going, friendly yet reserved, and helpful when needed. The scenery is different with the rocky shores and the somewhat poor, old fashioned rural towns. There isn't too much snobby yuppie wealth and that's a pleasant difference. The state has an over all genuine feel to it.

Long ago I used to hate New England. That was until I traveled the entire country thinking I'd find something better to move to. All I wanted was to come home.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post

Long ago I used to hate New England. That was until I traveled the entire country thinking I'd find something better to move to. All I wanted was to come home.
I feel the same way. I wouldn't, however, dismiss the metro Boston area too much as it's very nice (but very expensive). Sure there's a lot of "yuppies" in Boston, Boston's livability and quality of life is fantastic. I also love the small England cities and towns like Salem, MA, Montpelier, VT, Burlington, Vt Westerly, RI, Gloucester, MA, New Bedford, MA, Portland, ME etc. There's something about the smaller NE cities with dense urban cores that draws me back to the region. That's why I've never been a fan of the Hartford area as it reminds me too much of the midwest. All sprawl.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:10 AM
 
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bolehboleh, I could answer that Greater Boston sprawls as much as Hartford. Yes, there's a much bigger urban concentration but then when you consider the strip along Route 9 west, Route 1 north and south, and various lesser strips, it's pretty sprawley. The two have similar settlement patterns and were founded by the same people, Puritan colonists looking to establish a network of small settlements. In Mass they founded Boston, Charlestown, Cambridge, Lynn, Watertown, Salem, Roxbury, etc., all within a few years. In Conn, a breakaway group from Cambridge founded Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor right off the bat and the settlements multiplied from there. Both cities now are relatively small proportions of their metro areas in both land and population, and in both metros you have many suburbs and several satellite cities.

I'd say one thing that really distinguishes New England is the settlement history. The Puritans (and the Pilgrims) really meant business; they formed settlements all over the place, all of them self-governing towns. Some of these became cities later on but the town governance continues to the present day. In New York, it was very different. There the King awarded these huge manors, or patents, like Livingston Manor, and other people lived on the land like serfs. As LINative said, New York (especially when it was still New Netherland) had trouble holding its territory because it was so relatively underpopulated by European settlers. Some of the present day towns were originally trading places on grounds owned by the lord of the manor. New England was all about making religion-based community while New York was all about trade and making your fortune, but also reproducing the feudal land holding system here in North America.

in_newengland, I don't know how you can dismiss Boston as all yuppies. The city is very working class, like the working class hero mayor who died last week. Most of the neighborhoods in Boston are working class neighborhoods, and most of the older towns around Boston are either working class towns, like Revere, or have working class neighborhoods within them, like Belmont, Arlington, and Brookline. All the gangster and crime novels and movies play on that working class history.

I guess the many wealthy towns in the area and the big gentrification trend that's made neighborhoods like Charlestown and South Boston seem yuppified makes it easy to overlook the working class presence.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:33 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
in_newengland, I don't know how you can dismiss Boston as all yuppies. The city is very working class, like the working class hero mayor who died last week. Most of the neighborhoods in Boston are working class neighborhoods, and most of the older towns around Boston are either working class towns, like Revere, or have working class neighborhoods within them, like Belmont, Arlington, and Brookline. All the gangster and crime novels and movies play on that working class history.
Nitpickying, but none of Brookline or Belmont is working-class by any reasonable use of the word. It's all rather educated white collar areas, just some parts are wealthy. But no, I don't think Boston is mostly yuppies and do think it's one of the best parts of New England. Eastern New England in general more distinctive, though western Massachusetts does to some extent as well. Don't feel we have that much in common with Connecticut, which feels blander to me.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:28 AM
 
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nei, you're probably right-- you see three deckers from the Riverside cars passing through parts of Brookline and the Waverly area of Belmont has lots of two-family houses but many of the people living there these days probably aren't exactly working class. I was implying that few of these places are like Longmeadow, where there's no one but the affluent. Many of the more outlying suburbs-- Dover, Weston, etc.-- may be all all affluent but within 128 there's a noticeable social gradient within most communities.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:36 AM
 
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I came here late! But I would also like to add something, as a nutmegger who's lived in the state for 11 years now:The wealth is EXTREMELY concentrated in the SW corner. When most people hear that, they think, oh, okay, the SW QUARTER (caps for clarififcation). But no, I mean the EXETREME corner. For example, My town of Fairfield is two towns away from New York by the most direct route (Weston and then Wilton). By I-95, We're the sixth municipality in.

Point being, even here (Well within the NYC "Metro", but will discuss that issue later) THIS is the battleground between Boston and New York, right here. People always have debates here about which teams are better, so in Fairfield itself, It's 50/50. But anything further east belongs to Boston. Also, us Fairfielders always joke that if something is really wealthy it must be from DARIEN or NEW CANAAN or GREENWICH, where the actual wealth is.

Some data to back these points?

http://web2.uconn.edu/ctsdc/Reports/..._OP2004-01.pdf Talks about how CT is really split into five archetypes, and as you see We're suburban/normal, not spewing money

Connecticut Economic Development | Our Region - Connecticut Towns & Municipalities This has two major points: 1) We're considered Central CT (so Western CT doesn't even apply to us), but also that six (Just 6!!!) towns in from NY You're pretty much out of the loop of NYC. We're the last town along the coast that has ANY commuters from NYC even appear in our list (and even then, out of the total workforce, it's a really small population). Also, look at the top 5 employers. All (Maybe 4) are in the town itself, meaning we don't commute anywhere other than our own downtown (or schools, if you payed attention )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._capita_income And this. If you put these on the map, You'll see how close together the top seven are. Us? in Fairfield? 18th, far behind the others and in fact even behind Hartford suburbs.

I don't go into NYC any more than I do Boston (each @ 2 times a year). A great city is only 20 minutes away: New Haven. I go there WAY more often. But, I like Boston far more than NYC. It shares more of my values, like Education (see where this is going?) Also, I'm fine with taking out the panhandle of CT. But to say the entire state is not New England is a bit unfortunate. All of the businesses here have New England in their names, for example "New England Fireworks." Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk? Advertises itself as the best aquarium in NEW ENGLAND.

Thanks, and have a great day
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