How's it like living in Greenfield,ma ? (Amherst, Northampton: real estate, crimes)
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Just another Place im thinking about going to..... not a surprise..lol i have written a billion of these threads..lol...im sorry everyone ... but yeah i just want someone's opinion that lives there or lives near Greenfield,ma. How's it like living there ? Is it really Expensive there? i know Massachusetts has the same Minimum wage as here in california $ 8.00 an hour..
Can someone give me some advice on this place im thinking about going too.... thanks Everyone... take care
Greenfield has probably the worst public school system in Massachusetts. Last year a $2.25 million shortfall was discovered, the superintendent left, and the school committee chair quit in disgust. At the end of the 2008 school year every administrator quit for better jobs in other towns, leaving the town with no superintendent and no principals to run the schools. The current school committee chair ran against the current mayor in the last mayoral election and lost, their politicking, games and backstabbing never end. The Greenfield public school system is in a shambles and the Town Council has asked the state DOE to take over in receivership.
Greenfield is full of young punks, alcoholics, and addicts. There are not so many murders in number but they tend to be horrific and brutal. Many of the old homes you see in town are actually halfway houses or alcoholism/methadone treatment centers. It's the most hostile and openly racist town I've ever been in and there have been many recent racist incidents. Backstabbing, slander and gossip are the norm. There's a hip newcomer population downtown but the outer neighborhoods like down Green River Rd past GCC are mostly paranoid, right wing gun nuts and head cases.
Even the local radio show hosts joke that Greenfield is where you can marry your own cousin. If you have a college degree in Greenfield it's not viewed as a sign that you're educated, it means you're from somewhere else.
Greenfield marches to it's own drummer, not in any good way, and is 50 years behind mainstream Massachusetts. Therefore, houses are relatively cheap but you'll end up commuting to Amherst, Northampton, or Springfied to work or have any kind of normal social life.
My goodness. One of these posts makes it sound like walking down Greenfield streets is like walking through a hell hole, and living here is horrific. I don't dispute that what you say is not based in fact. I have seen drug addicts, racists, etc. BUT, there is another side to it.
My husband and I own a house in Greenfield. We live in a nice, crime-free area. Neighbors are very nice. We don't have children, so the schools are not a concern.
We live a nice life. We both have good jobs in healthcare. We own a lovely home. We enjoy going out to eat at great places (People's Pint, Mesa Verde.) The radio is good (NPR, WRSI). We can see Hollywood films locally (The Garden) or go about 25 minutes away and see foreign and indie films. Concerts, etc. are plentiful nearby in Northampton and Amherst. We can go hiking, camping or canoeing on the CT River.
I work right in downtown. I go to the shops, Wilson's and the Co-op. Yes, the punks are hanging out, and I often see this man that appears to have mental illness, but they don't bother me and I don't bother them.
For us... Greenfield is a decent place to live.
Just my two cents.
Just to play devils' advocate to the points raised, I'll point out that the CT River doesn't eve pass through Greenfield - it's somewhere else. The concerts (and all the intellectual/cultural life) in Northampton and Amherst aren't in Greenfield; they are...well, somewhere else. And, last I heard, NPR, National Public Radio, is not IN Greenfield; it's national radio (you guessed it, somewhere else).
Can't help but mention the charming fellow on Washington St. in Gfld who killed a man and woman last fall and cut them up into many pieces with a knife. The year before it was the man who was murdered and the body dumped on the railroad tracks behind, of all places, Hope St. The teenager who was beat to death with an aluminum baseball bat at the gravel pit; the retarded man on Chapman St. who was tortured, burned with cigarettes, killed, rolled up in an old carpet, the body dumped in the river; and the 22 swastikas and other Nazi symbols painted on Poet's Seat tower last year.
wow i guess someone was expecting to live in nirvana.look,every city,town has there issues and good points,why dwell so hard on the negative things that happen and try to look for the good in something.i personally do not live in greenfield but am familiar with it and find it to be a decent little town.to point out that all the things that shawshank wrote about were not in fact in greenfield is just plain negative.do you work and play inside the borders of your city exclusively,i think not.shawshank was just pointing out the many things to do in the greenfield area,no need to be so negative.
The incidents I referred to are widely known and have been reported in the local media. It's not negative to admit to problems when the problems are a reality. It's honesty. No one wants to live in a bad area and honest factual info helps people make informed decisions.
The Pioneer Valley is a great area to live in, especially Amherst and Northampton. Greenfield is the pits, IMHO as a Greenfield property owner with insider info about how bad it really is...and it's pretty bad.
I got a good laugh at citing National Public Radio as a reason to enjoy living in Greenfield though. That one made my day. Oh yeah... and, there's tons of gold in Fort Knox, the Taj Mahal in India, and fantastic restaurants in Paris, France. That's three more reasons to live in Greenfield!
Just because I'm the curious sort, and not in any confrontational way at all, I'd like to ask teachertype: If Greenfield is such a pit, why live there? I've been there a few times now, and plan to be there more, and while I'm the first to admit I don't have a 24/7 experience to draw from, I've not seen anything that would peg Greenfield worse (or better) than any of the many other places I've lived. I tend to go by the personal philosophy that what you look for, you find.
One individual's personal philosophy has no value. The public schools are in a state of total chaos in Greenfield. The situation in the schools is a burden to every taxpayer and every family with children. It also affects the quality of individuals who eventually run the town, town offices and town government - in Greenfield the quality is low. The body count is factual and a matter of public record, not debatable. At best, they're pretty stupid in Greenfield. There's an under the surface sordid aspect to Greenfield that's unique to Greenfield.
Why live there? 1) Real estate values are dropping like a stone; it's difficult to sell. 2) A lot of people in Greenfield "live" there in the sense that they own a home and sleep there, but work elsewhere, socialize elsewhere (Amherst/Noho), and tuition there child out to the public schools systems in other towns. The Greenfield Public Schools are dysfunctional so lose roughly $2,000,000 a year because hundreds of families send their student to other systems under School Choice. The quality of a town's public school system has a major effect on property values.
Well... I live, own a business and socialize in Greenfield and love it. All those crimes teachertype talked about were spread out over years of time and extremely exaggerated. Not to mention at least two of those I know about were crimes committed by people that didn't live in Greenfield. The baseball bat kids were from Northampton (thanks Noho!) seeking revenge on some kid and the washington st murderer wasn't from town either. It's all in the police logs if you care to check for yourself. At any rate, this town is a lot of fun if you're young. Plenty to do. Cheap. And if you like the outdoors, theres plenty of hiking in the state forest in town. There are a lot of tax credits and investment being dumped into downtown this quarter thanks to some very motivated and wealthy individuals that see Greenfield as a "good project" town. It was in the paper the other day that the guy that started the Iron Horse in Noho (and owns a few other places) bought up a few buildings on main st. They are currently under construction. Not to mention the transportation center going in that Deval Patrick was just here breaking the ground for. Anyway.. enough said. Teachertype is just like many other people about Greenfield. They even admitted they don't hang out in town so what do they know, right?
Last edited by CaseyB; 05-02-2009 at 07:33 AM..
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