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Old 05-02-2022, 07:29 AM
 
127 posts, read 102,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post

1. How are the medical facilities and doctors in and around Chicopee? I have been blessed with my doctors in Oklahoma. I wish I could take them all with me (ironically one did just move to Boston. I am so jealous!) This is very important for me as I have some health problems.

2. How bad is Springfield as a destination to go for short bursts (like watching a symphony)? Now I know that Tulsa is also a pretty risky town and I do go see symphonies there, but it's scary to walk alone at night. I'm wondering if Springfield is comparable to Tulsa, or worse?

3. Grocery stores. How are the grocery stores? The reports of the Walmart in Chicopee being bad concerns me. I use Walmarts a lot where I live. Are there other good alternatives in town? Are the ones in Holyoke in an okay side of the town (I know Holyoke has a Target), or should that be avoided?

4. Are there standard chain restaurants like Domino's, Pizza Hut, Arby's, etc.?

5. What are the "bad" areas of Chicopee and West Springfield to watch out for and not rent an apartment/walk through?

6. Flooding, flooding is the largest concern I have in regards to natural disasters in the Northeast. Kinda like the bad areas, I have no idea what I'm getting into in this region of the country. I know that Chicopee and West Springfield are near rivers. I'm also relatively close to a river where I live, but we don't have flooding in my neighborhood. I need to find out where flooding doesn't occur, or if everywhere's dangerous.

7. How is the transportation in Western MA? Honest to goodness, one of my reasons for wanting to move to the Northeast was because I know they have better infrastructure and in fact, some places more people use public transportation than cars. However, I know that Western MA is a different animal from the Boston area (which I couldn't even dream of affording).

8. Colleges... I do ultimately plan on going back for Grad School. I know that New England has some pretty great universities and colleges, but are there any in this area?

There are good colleges in this part of the state. Not as many as Eastern MA but we have UMASS Amherst, Westfield State, Springfield College, Elms, AIC, Western New England, etc. Depends what you want your degree in.

8. Any other towns to recommend? (Understanding that I need them to be affordable, and not full of Trumpers)

These are a lot of questions. I appreciate any anyone can answer for me. This is not an imminent move for me, unfortunately. I just began a desk job where I live and I want to get a lot of experience in that before I start trying to present myself in this "foreign" land. lol
1.Baystate Medical Center in Springfield is a very good hospital. It is one of the best in New England. There is also another hospital in Springfield (Mercy) and Northampton and Holyoke. There are some smaller ones in Westfield and Palmer too. Am probably forgetting some.

2. Downtown Springfield is largely fine. I work downtown and have attended many events downtown after work and have never felt unsafe or ran in to any problems. If you are alone that may be a little scary but I have never had issues.

3. I can't speak much about the Walmart in Chicopee. I went there without realizing it had a reputation and I survived. The Target in Holyoke is in the mall so completely fine area. You shouldn't have any problems with stores.

4. Yes there are standard chains.

5. I can't speak much about Chicopee but I have seen lots of people here talk down about Springfield but WEST Springfield is a completely different city. It is smaller and more suburban.

6. No Flooding concerns that I can think of.

7. Outside of Boston, public transit is limited. In Western MA we have the PVTA bus system but that is about it.

8. In Hampden County: Westfield, West Springfield, Agawam, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham. The last 3 are very suburban and more expensive for the area but are nice towns.

Hampshire County: Northampton, South Hadley, Hadley, Easthampton.
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Old 05-02-2022, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aboucher33 View Post

5. I can't speak much about Chicopee but I have seen lots of people here talk down about Springfield but WEST Springfield is a completely different city. It is smaller and more suburban.

6. No Flooding concerns that I can think of.

7. Outside of Boston, public transit is limited. In Western MA we have the PVTA bus system but that is about it.

8. In Hampden County: Westfield, West Springfield, Agawam, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham. The last 3 are very suburban and more expensive for the area but are nice towns.

Hampshire County: Northampton, South Hadley, Hadley, Easthampton.
The issue is no car. You can’t live in most of suburbia without a car. You need affordable rental housing walkable to a bus route. It’s possible but I don’t see how you could find that remotely from Oklahoma.
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Old 05-02-2022, 12:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
The issue is no car. You can’t live in most of suburbia without a car. You need affordable rental housing walkable to a bus route. It’s possible but I don’t see how you could find that remotely from Oklahoma.
Right - the only way to have reliable public transportation is by living in a large city and if we're only sticking with coastal reliably blue states those will be either very expensive or very unsafe, sometimes both.
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Old 05-02-2022, 01:01 PM
 
2,439 posts, read 4,797,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post
2. How bad is Springfield as a destination to go for short bursts (like watching a symphony)? Now I know that Tulsa is also a pretty risky town and I do go see symphonies there, but it's scary to walk alone at night. I'm wondering if Springfield is comparable to Tulsa, or worse?
Fine I think. Springfield Symphony plays in the municipal auditorium next to City Hall on Court Square. Right downtown, well policed area, not bad at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post
3. Grocery stores. How are the grocery stores? The reports of the Walmart in Chicopee being bad concerns me. I use Walmarts a lot where I live. Are there other good alternatives in town? Are the ones in Holyoke in an okay side of the town (I know Holyoke has a Target), or should that be avoided?
Western Mass has the Big Y chain. Lots of those around. WalMart is a late comer in New England; I don't think people use it for groceries as much as maybe other parts of the country. Lots of supermarkets in the area, not only the Big Y's. If you land in Northampton they have the River Valley food coop; then you're really a whole level up from the commercial grocery chains. The coop also has a store in Easthampton, which is Northampton lite. Holyoke has a big Stop & Shop on Lincoln Street in a nice neighborhood. Everything east and west of Northampton Street (US 5) in Holyoke is fine to live in, shop, visit. Just the city center has fallen on hard times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post
5. What are the "bad" areas of Chicopee and West Springfield to watch out for and not rent an apartment/walk through?

6. Flooding, flooding is the largest concern I have in regards to natural disasters in the Northeast. Kinda like the bad areas, I have no idea what I'm getting into in this region of the country. I know that Chicopee and West Springfield are near rivers. I'm also relatively close to a river where I live, but we don't have flooding in my neighborhood. I need to find out where flooding doesn't occur, or if everywhere's dangerous.
Not sure about bad areas-- parts of Springfield and Holyoke are rough but I don't know if any real worries in Chicopee or West Spfld.

The Conn River has natural meadows that absorb floodwater. Northampton meadows stretches along the river and around the Oxbow. In Chicopee, West Springfield & Springfield they built on the meadows but diked the area for flood control. I don't know of a major flood incident in the Pioneer Valley since the 1950s. The lower valley--from Holyoke south--is built on terraces-- lowest right on the river, then up a level and sometimes up again. Holyoke has three levels. Springfield two; the downtown and south end are at river level (although its diked). You move along State St or Maple St and you go uphill to the next terrace or level, about 30-40 feet above the river plain. There are 'dingles' where small streams have eroded little ravines through the edge of the terrace. Willimansett is on the river level; the rest of Chicopee east of I-391 is up a level. West Spfld Riverdale Road and the stores and apartment complexes along there are in the flood plain. Diked but still, maybe more risk there than most places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post
7. How is the transportation in Western MA? Honest to goodness, one of my reasons for wanting to move to the Northeast was because I know they have better infrastructure and in fact, some places more people use public transportation than cars. However, I know that Western MA is a different animal from the Boston area (which I couldn't even dream of affording).
Look at the PVTA (pioneer valley transit authority) website for bus routes & timetables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post
8. Colleges... I do ultimately plan on going back for Grad School. I know that New England has some pretty great universities and colleges, but are there any in this area?
The Univ of Massachusetts main campus in Amherst has plenty of grad programs. There's also Westfield State College. Two of the seven sisters-- Smith and Mount Holyoke and one of the little three, Amherst College. The Northampton-Amherst area is also the "five college area" although three of them are in Amherst alone and one, Mt Holyoke, in South Hadley. Springfield has several colleges and Chicopee has the Elms College. No shortage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post
8. Any other towns to recommend? (Understanding that I need them to be affordable, and not full of Trumpers)
Where Tulsa Okla looks like one contiguous urban area, in Mass there are lots of big clumps and little clumps with wetlands and forested areas in between. It's all pretty accessible by car but if you're talking walking and buses then I'd hesitate to recommend, say, Greenfield, even though it's a nice town, walkable, affordable, with food coop and everything else you need, but you'd never get down to Northampton-Amherst on a bus. Belchertown is nice and close to Amherst but I don't think any buses connecting the two. East Longmeadow is a fine suburban town but you'd spend all day getting to Northampton or Amherst on the bus from E. Longmeadow. Agawam and Southwick are suburban but a little too Trumpy for you. Westfield is nice and accessible to West Spfld and Spfld itself by bus i guess but not to Amherst without a car. Don't count out Holyoke; it's a-ok all along the Route 5-Northampton Street corridor and walkable too. Easthampton would be great for you too esp if you can ride a bike over to Northampton.
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Old 05-02-2022, 01:07 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
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This sounds like a terrible idea.
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Old 05-02-2022, 01:09 PM
 
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Report: Holyoke is the most dangerous city in Massachusetts


https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news...massachusetts/
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Old 05-02-2022, 01:16 PM
 
4,927 posts, read 2,536,126 times
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In addition to Providence and Buffalo, you might also consider Pittsburgh. Even parts of Chicago (yes, that) and Detroit (that, too) would be a better choice than MA considering your situation and what you want, in my opinion. To each their own.
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Old 05-02-2022, 01:19 PM
 
15,677 posts, read 20,170,578 times
Reputation: 20838
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwindsRock View Post

1. How are the medical facilities and doctors in and around Chicopee? I have been blessed with my doctors in Oklahoma. I wish I could take them all with me (ironically one did just move to Boston. I am so jealous!) This is very important for me as I have some health problems.

2. How bad is Springfield as a destination to go for short bursts (like watching a symphony)? Now I know that Tulsa is also a pretty risky town and I do go see symphonies there, but it's scary to walk alone at night. I'm wondering if Springfield is comparable to Tulsa, or worse?

3. Grocery stores. How are the grocery stores? The reports of the Walmart in Chicopee being bad concerns me. I use Walmarts a lot where I live. Are there other good alternatives in town? Are the ones in Holyoke in an okay side of the town (I know Holyoke has a Target), or should that be avoided?

4. Are there standard chain restaurants like Domino's, Pizza Hut, Arby's, etc.?

5. What are the "bad" areas of Chicopee and West Springfield to watch out for and not rent an apartment/walk through?

6. Flooding, flooding is the largest concern I have in regards to natural disasters in the Northeast. Kinda like the bad areas, I have no idea what I'm getting into in this region of the country. I know that Chicopee and West Springfield are near rivers. I'm also relatively close to a river where I live, but we don't have flooding in my neighborhood. I need to find out where flooding doesn't occur, or if everywhere's dangerous.


7. How is the transportation in Western MA? Honest to goodness, one of my reasons for wanting to move to the Northeast was because I know they have better infrastructure and in fact, some places more people use public transportation than cars. However, I know that Western MA is a different animal from the Boston area (which I couldn't even dream of affording).


8. Colleges... I do ultimately plan on going back for Grad School. I know that New England has some pretty great universities and colleges, but are there any in this area?


8. Any other towns to recommend? (Understanding that I need them to be affordable, and not full of Trumpers)
Sounds like you want to live in Eastern MA, not Western MA.
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Old 05-02-2022, 02:05 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 17,956,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestieWhitie View Post
Right - the only way to have reliable public transportation is by living in a large city and if we're only sticking with coastal reliably blue states those will be either very expensive or very unsafe, sometimes both.

Up-thread, I suggested that you could make it work in metro Springfield if you could somehow find rental housing on the West Springfield bus route. There's a bus every 20 minutes. Goes to the mall in Holyoke. Goes past the Riverside shopping plaza in West Springfield. Goes to downtown Springfield where you can transfer to get to Baystate Medical. In theory, you could do an office drone job at Mass Mutual and get by just fine without a car. Unless you had months to try to find housing on that bus route, it would be challenging to find an apartment in West Springfield.


The challenge is finding a smaller affordable city that has a high service bus route with everything you need on it. Your job. Retail. Health care. I think that's the best one in Springfield. I've shopped at the mall and Riverside within the last few years. There are some apartment complexes between Riverside and the bridge crossing the river to Springfield. For example, this is in West Springfield right on that bus route between the bridge and Riverside. $1,095/month for a 2br 1960s apartment that says it includes heat and electricity.

https://www.apartments.com/the-carri...ld-ma/qlb651x/


I imagine that you can find 1 bedrooms around there for sub-$1000.
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Old 05-02-2022, 02:44 PM
 
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I was also going to vouch for Chicago, St Louis, or Portland. Or how about VT? I think you'd fit in well in VT based on your description of yourself but you'd have to like winter as well.

I didn't even ask, have you been to Boston? It just seems like Boston and Tulsa are two very different places and while Boston appeals to you, you dont really know a place until you've spent some time there. I also think you'll run into some financial issues as well given your situation. Most people who move to Boston these days are moving here for a high salaried position...or the young people starting out have well off parents they can rely on.

I'd hate to tell someone no, don't move here, you'll hate it...but sometimes you do have to take a step back and take a look at cost of living, where you are jobwise, what the real estate market is like and of course how you'll get around.

It's nice to see someone posting here though who isn't like yo i have a housing budget of 2 million, looking for top schools with close proximity to Boston. These are the people who have made our state so expensive...but it's not entirely their fault. Seems like CD is at least getting a bit more diversity on people wanting to move here.
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