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Old 07-13-2011, 10:57 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,998 times
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Hi all
I am a MA native-grew up in Newton. Currently we live in Sudbury, and have since 05. We gut renovated an antique home.

Since buying our house we have also had 2 small boys. We feel no connection to this town even tho we have joined the family network etc---Its a nice place, just not the right fit for us But it has a great school system. However, we are really lacking in community here (which we miss & want for our boys) and we are financially strapped and feeling squished in our house.

We need to find a funky, artsy, liberal, family friendly town...somewhere with a mix of good ol' fashion little league and a streak of rebellion. We need it to be affordable..and close to our extended family as our boys have grown accustom to having their grandparents close-by. (We'd love to move back out to W.MA but because of jobs and family....out of question). We have white collar educations but blue-collar jobs - interesting mix of priorities.

We have considered Natick (too much $? not enough funk?) and Maynard (seems great, but I worry about school system). Anyone have any ideas of where a bi-polar family like this could feel at home?
Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rennew View Post
Hi all
I am a MA native-grew up in Newton. Currently we live in Sudbury, and have since 05. We gut renovated an antique home.

Since buying our house we have also had 2 small boys. We feel no connection to this town even tho we have joined the family network etc---Its a nice place, just not the right fit for us But it has a great school system. However, we are really lacking in community here (which we miss & want for our boys) and we are financially strapped and feeling squished in our house.

We need to find a funky, artsy, liberal, family friendly town...somewhere with a mix of good ol' fashion little league and a streak of rebellion. We need it to be affordable..and close to our extended family as our boys have grown accustom to having their grandparents close-by. (We'd love to move back out to W.MA but because of jobs and family....out of question). We have white collar educations but blue-collar jobs - interesting mix of priorities.

We have considered Natick (too much $? not enough funk?) and Maynard (seems great, but I worry about school system). Anyone have any ideas of where a bi-polar family like this could feel at home?
Thanks!
Peoples Republic of Cambridge?
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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I'd love Cambridge- but its $$ to get enough space and driving around would be tough (I'm not a good city driver). Also- my husband would like to have a space for a workshop- he's a carpenter.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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Natick doesn't feel particularly funky or Cambridge-esque, though there are more artist studios now and local music than there used to be.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:58 PM
 
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That's a tricky combination of features you're looking for. As you most likely realize, it's going to be a challenge to find those two milieus in combination in the same community. I have my doubts about whether Natick would be as funky as you're looking for. Nice town, but pretty much pure suburbia.

One town that comes to mind for the streak of rebellion part of what you're looking for is Concord. Well, sort of. Artsy, but maybe not so rebellious. Still, Concord might offer that side of what you're looking for to some degree. I'm really not sure, though, what the town offers on the Little League, etc., front. Concord may be more expensive than Sudbury as well, though hearsay has it that property costs may be a little less through the roof in West Concord.

One thought is that maybe you could live right next to Maynard, in Stow (though the one disadvantage with regard to schools is that the regional high school Stow shares with Bolton is in Bolton, so the trip to school at the high school level could be a long one) or South Acton. You'd get the Little League life in Stow or Acton, and find some degree of funkiness just over the line in Maynard. Not the very best possibility, I realize, since one milieu you're looking for would be in the town next door, nearby, but still not the place where your neighbors would live.

Hmmm, how about Arlington? You'd want to do some research on the schools. I've heard rumors of some cuts in budget for the schools, so you'd want to do some checking to make sure they are still solid in quality. If so, Arlington might be a pretty good fit. It's in the transitional zone between urban and suburban in character, and is a family kind of town that also has some younger adult population, and you've got Cambridge right next door.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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We have thought of Arlington too. Oh, I just don't want to make another move that ends up not feeling right1 However, we know where we are is not really working so we need to try something. If Maynard's schools were better I think it would be a perfect match. Wish I knew how to know if they were trending better or...not. I know they are building a new high school and recently built a library and middle school. Seems like good steps but... ho hum.
In other news- anyone want a gut renovated antique in Sudbury?? Still needs a few things finished up (ext trim paint, interior paint, tile work on back splash and upstairs bathroom, landscaping. We own most of the supplies needed to finish). 3 bd 2 bath all systems, walls, floors, roof, siding etc new new new!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
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I bet that West Concord would be a good match personality-wise. But, I agree with Ogre that you'll probably find it as expensive if not more so than Sudbury. On the other hand, the school system in Concord is top top notch. A friend of mine student-taught there last year and said the teacher morale is very high and that they feel well-supported by the school system and town. That's a big deal, IME.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
324 posts, read 560,849 times
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Another thought....are you tied to the western suburbs? Have you considered the north shore? You might like Newburyport or some of the other towns up there.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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NotAPrincess, interesting that you raise that question about whether they are focusing on the western suburbs, and that you suggest the North Shore. The same thoughts occurred to me (great minds think alike, apparently), which leads me to come back on here with the suggestion that Rennew and family do some research on Rockport. Rennew, be warned that it's really a stretch for me to suggest Rockport, because I'm really not familiar with everyday life in that town, and am basing this suggestion on a little bit of hearsay here and there. That's why I suggest it as a place you might want to research, not a place I'm wholeheartedly recommending.

I've heard someone who grew up in Rockport describe the town as a nice small-town kind of place. At the same time, I know there is some presence of an artists' community there, which may give the place somewhat of a funky vibe. Really depends. The tourist traffic during the summer would be a negative point for some people, so that's something to ask yourself regarding your own preferences, because Rockport does get tourists for those three months or so. And again, I'm just tossing this out as kind of an out-of-thin-air suggestion as a place you might want to at least check into, because I don't know the day-to-day life in that town at all from any personal experience.

I just don't know about the schools in Maynard. For a long time they've had less than a stellar reputation, but who knows whether the new construction indicates an improvement in the overall quality. Tough call there, because that's a situation where only time will tell. Too bad there is that big question mark about the schools, because it does seem that Maynard's longtime blue-collar/middle class population mix and small-town feel combined with the recent influx of former hip young city residents looking to find some of the same features that attracted them to the city in more of a small-town family setting could make Maynard a good fit for you in many respects.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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Good point about Rockport. I have friends who live in nearby Gloucester who had similar interests - funky, liberal, friendly, a bit offbeat. They spend a lot of time in Rockport & really like it. It has a nice feel to it. My friend knows quite a few of the owners of the little shops there.
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