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Old 10-25-2018, 09:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBornMassMade View Post
Holly Cross is hell to walk around ON campus let alone walking on and off. PVTA is weak, It’s cold and there’s just not a lot to do in Worcester that you will know about if you haven’t lived there 5+ years. Ik this is u popular but Worcester is one of my LEAST favorite cities in New England. Pretty bland, too cold, too hilly, very shabby looking in the urban parts and then sooo much of it that is suburbia. I prefer Providence New Haven Lowell and even Hartford before I prefer Worcester.

The CT cities are more dense and walkable, easier to navigate , warmer, flatter more diverse,, closer to NYC, more metropolitan. Ditto for Providence. Lowell has more nightlife and a more interesting vibe overall and is closer to Boston. Worcester makes me think Medical Center, bus stop, ghetto, and preppy college kids not the more esoteric type you might find around Boston.
As you suggest, it's not a great city if you're an outsider looking to drop in for an evening and 'explore' a downtown strip as many of it's interesting spots are scattered throughout. As a city to live in (west/north end) or live near, it offers great breadth and has very interesting bar/restaurant scene for a city on it's size ... if, and only if ... your definition of good nightlife isn't your proto dance clubs. For that, Prov and Hartford are certainly better.

I lived in Lowell for 6 years and my friends still there lament not having spots like Vincent's, Dive, Greater Good, Armsby, Birch, Dead Horse/Sim Jang, Ralph's, Bocado's, etc.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
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My bad I meant WRTA not PVTA
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
As you suggest, it's not a great city if you're an outsider looking to drop in for an evening and 'explore' a downtown strip as many of it's interesting spots are scattered throughout. As a city to live in (west/north end) or live near, it offers great breadth and has very interesting bar/restaurant scene for a city on it's size ... if, and only if ... your definition of good nightlife isn't your proto dance clubs. For that, Prov and Hartford are certainly better.

I lived in Lowell for 6 years and my friends still there lament not having spots like Vincent's, Dive, Greater Good, Armsby, Birch, Dead Horse/Sim Jang, Ralph's, Bocado's, etc.
No it’s a fine coty to live if your on the Norh and West but there’s no good reason the 2nd biggest coty in New England with nearly 200k people(!) shouldn’t have a main drag with activity and dance night clubs in addition to the spots you mentioned. That’s part of what makes a city attractive (to most)and certainly to younger people looking for a little bit of lifestyle and not functionality. Worcester is not my bag at all but I fully understand why it is for some.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBornMassMade View Post
No it’s a fine coty to live if your on the Norh and West but there’s no good reason the 2nd biggest coty in New England with nearly 200k people(!) shouldn’t have a main drag with activity and dance night clubs in addition to the spots you mentioned. That’s part of what makes a city attractive (to most)and certainly to younger people looking for a little bit of lifestyle and not functionality. Worcester is not my bag at all but I fully understand why it is for some.
It is, and will continue to be, one of the biggest downsides of Worcester from the perspective of potential residents. I looked into Worcester a little over a year ago before settling on Somerville. I know another poster here did before settling on Providence.

Worcester is a nice city and one that's making strides. It's taking bigger steps than any New England city outside of 128. And the lack of a vibrant urban core may not be a big issue for some; but it's an issue when a vibrant urban core is considered (by most standards) to be an important part of what makes a city great. Not just for visitors, but for locals alike. Downtowns are hubs. They are where locals live/work/shop/play. They're where visitors base themselves to explore the city. They're anchored by cultural institutions (theaters, museums, event venues, etc.). They have great public spaces. And they have the density of shopping/dining/retail to keep people in the area well after the 9-5 workday.

The last part is where Worcester is sorely lacking. It has the institutions and the good public spaces (I love Worcester Common). But while there is some great urban architecture in the city center, it's been bisected, leveled, redeveloped, paved, and urban "renewed" to the point of being a shell. Where buildings (as grand as many of the gems that still stand) once stood, you now see parking lots. Post 1940s construction in downtown Worcester, like many other cities, was auto-centric and really carved up the city center. While new developments around the station and at the old mall are steps in the right direction, it's going to take decades to restore the downtown to some semblance of what it used to be. And it really needs a good downtown core to be a "great" city.

Providence comparisons are understandable, but not completely fair. Between the 60s and 90s, Providence was a city with a dying/dead downtown core as well. When we talk about Providence today, we still focus on the College Hill, Federal Hill, Wayland Square, etc. But public investment in the river and private investment downtown combined with good bones have restored Downtown Providence to a pretty vibrant area (one that still has room to grow). Worcester has neither the size (it really isn't as big as Providence), nor the bones to compete on that level. And Providence, for all of the talk of how messy the politics are and how business unfriendly it is, is attracting just as much (if not more) development in the city center as Worcester is. So it will continue to improve even as Worcester does.

Worcester's on the right track. But it's definitely fair to make the case that the lack of a vibrant downtown area is detriment to the city.
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Old 10-25-2018, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Essex County, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBornMassMade View Post
Holly Cross is hell to walk around ON campus let alone walking on and off. PVTA is weak, It’s cold and there’s just not a lot to do in Worcester that you will know about if you haven’t lived there 5+ years. Ik this is u popular but Worcester is one of my LEAST favorite cities in New England. Pretty bland, too cold, too hilly, very shabby looking in the urban parts and then sooo much of it that is suburbia. I prefer Providence New Haven Lowell and even Hartford before I prefer Worcester.
I admittedly haven’t spent much time in Worcester, but I’m in Hartford on a weekly basis. I really can’t imagine any city being more dead than downtown Hartford on a given night.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Originally Posted by iAMtheVVALRUS View Post
I admittedly haven’t spent much time in Worcester, but I’m in Hartford on a weekly basis. I really can’t imagine any city being more dead than downtown Hartford on a given night.
It’s gotten worse. I went to college in Hartford. There were about 5 clubs and 4 college type bars and a couple restaurant and UConn played at the XL Center. About 3 of the five clubs shut down since I graduated for various reasons mainly related to their college aged clientele. So it has gotten much worse. But there was also a warehouse style club with cheap drinks on the West Sode of Hartford by CT Fast Trak and there were some Dancehalls in North Hartford. Hartford STAGE, the movie theater down there, and the Riverfront cruises are nice. And of course the Yardgoats...Most of the downtown center is totally deserted at night though, no doubt. But because it’s extremely walkable well lit and clean you can move from each end of downtown to various activities on foot if need be. It’s flat as well. The Italian restaurants downtown and in West Hartford and the east side of Hartford are some of the best I’ve visited.

Not to mention students from Central Connecticut State University, Trinity College, UConns downtown students, U of Hartford, Sacred Hart all within 8 miles of downtown in an area that’s easy to drive around in comparison to Worcester. The downtown apartments are affordable and quite high rise. Downtown was pretty much addict and trash free.. Hartford’s neighborhoods also have nightclubs lounges and barsalthough I never thought they were particularly worth the visit they are enjoyed and frequented by many. Hartford also has its fair share of well renown museums Connecticut Science Center, Wadsworth Atheneum, Museum of Connecticut History, Children’s Museum, Mark Twain’s House and Museum, and the Trash Museum.

Then of course you had 30 minute aces to New Haven which is quite lively and 20 minute access to Springfield and it’s casino/club quarter. lastly it’s an hour closer to NYC. So for me-for entertainment-I t’s Hartford by a long shot.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post

I lived in Lowell for 6 years and my friends still there lament not having spots like Vincent's, Dive, Greater Good, Armsby, Birch, Dead Horse/Sim Jang, Ralph's, Bocado's, etc.
Lowell has little nightlife. Downtown Lowell is still pretty dead after 6:00PM and on the weekends unless some big festival is going on.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:18 AM
 
3,105 posts, read 1,832,132 times
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Lowell has little nightlife. Downtown Lowell is still pretty dead after 6:00PM and on the weekends unless some big festival is going on.
Which is sad, given how concentrated the city core is. I'm not convinced post-Tsongas Lowell can maintain momentum, even with recent fed and private investments. I thought the popularity of neighbors Chelmsford and Westford would booster, but instead investment has gone to those towns.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:35 AM
 
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Umass Lowell has been the real engine for downtown. They are still expanding and growing, so I think lowell has a chance. Also the hamilton canal district has taken a long time, but infrastructure improvements might help private development soon.

Development Updates — Hamilton Canal Innovation District

Also, new courthouse project https://www.mass.gov/info-details/co...udicial-center

and $300M+ renovated high school will inject some capital into downtown.

45minute train ride to north station from lowell vs 90 minutes from worcester.

I always thought Lowell had more potential, due to its canals, riverfront, etc but will see how that turns out.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
2,687 posts, read 3,964,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airunxc View Post
Umass Lowell has been the real engine for downtown. They are still expanding and growing, so I think lowell has a chance. Also the hamilton canal district has taken a long time, but infrastructure improvements might help private development soon.

Development Updates — Hamilton Canal Innovation District

Also, new courthouse project https://www.mass.gov/info-details/co...udicial-center

and $300M+ renovated high school will inject some capital into downtown.

45minute train ride to north station from lowell vs 90 minutes from worcester.

I always thought Lowell had more potential, due to its canals, riverfront, etc but will see how that turns out.
Lowell has the unfortunate location of being too close to sales tax free New Hampshire so it will be a challenge to attract substantial retail to the city core. I have a coworker who grew up in the Lowell and laments that Downtown Lowell lost all of its department stores to suburban malls (it used to have a Woolworths and Jordan Marsh among others). Too bad because retail could definitely bring large crowds into Downtown Lowell. All it can hope for is more dining and nightlife experiences. The Hamilton Canal District, which increasingly looks like a smaller version of North Point in Cambridge, together with the new courthouse may bring some changes but it remains to see if those same folks working there will want to stay in Lowell or just commute from elsewhere and leave by nightfall each day.

BTW, in an aside note to Mouldy the O.P., Lowell is one old industrial city in New England with a rich French Canadian past worth researching about. Lynn, MA and Pawtucket, RI are a few others.
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