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Old 05-28-2009, 05:36 AM
 
943 posts, read 2,709,752 times
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Does anyone have a historical or intellectual perspective on the famous Massachusetts reserve. I love my trips to New England but can not get over the people. I have never been anywhere outside of maybe Miami where I have met so many cold, distant, prickly and unfriendly people.

Hopefully some of you have some well thought out perspective on the topic instead of making excuses and a back and forth about how people should interact with strangers.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:00 AM
 
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I spend most of my time in Cambridge and have never noticed what you're talking about. Where, specifically, do you spend time in MA?
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:16 AM
 
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This an interesting question. I'm no expert, but I think it has to do with the Puritan culture that began in England. It's a Calvinist outlook that views the world as harsh and unforgiving. I think high population density also exacerbates the disagreeableness.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:46 AM
 
Location: The Outer Limits
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The Weather plays an important part in human behavior.
I head to the Sunshine State Nov. 1st, and stay until sometime in May;
eveybody seems to be so happy, whether shopping or at the beach.
I just can't be happy and outgoing on a cold, damp, overcast, stormy,etc.etc.day.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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There are a few new posts in this thread that may shed some perspective on it. It's been said that Boston is a "living, working city", and not really geared towards tourism as some other cities are.

Do you find Bostonians to be friendly-or cold people?
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrasser View Post
The Weather plays an important part in human behavior.
I head to the Sunshine State Nov. 1st, and stay until sometime in May;
eveybody seems to be so happy, whether shopping or at the beach.
I just can't be happy and outgoing on a cold, damp, overcast, stormy,etc.etc.day.
Yes, but Illinois Wisconsin and Mich all have worse weather than Mass and are much friendlier
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:16 PM
 
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The New England Yankees tend to be somewhat taciturn.
In the small towns sometimes there's a mentality of...if I needed to know you I already would.
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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I have to comment to your original post: Miami people not friendly??? People go up and kiss and hug complete strangers! It's a cultural thing.Can't imagine a place more friendly than this. We're leaving Miami for a number of reasons, but "not friendly" is definitely not one of them, and the welcoming, friendly attitude of most people here is something I think we take for granted. Wonder what part of Miami you visited or lived in??
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Springfield and brookline MA
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why do people insist that we here in the baystate are cold and rude,or impersonal or whatever it is that people say.maybe it is just that everyone else is overly friendly,nosy busybodies who can't keep to themselves.just my opinion and probably doesn't matter much. i know when i go to visit my relatives in spartanburg sc that people seem to treat me a little different because i talk funny(to them anyways)and don't fit into there way of living,maybe visitors of new england don't fit into our way of living and just can't seem to accept that not everyone is going to be like where they are from.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Rhody
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Here are some of my conclusions based on my impressions and from what I've heard others say:

-The weather: cold=contract

-Irish- clanish, insular -sorry

-Competitive, transient, liberal culture, contrast with locals whose families have been here for generations, and travelled less, experienced less, because clearly Mass was the first stop off the boat.

-Busy people, often from elsewhere looking to get ahead have less time and opportunities to stop and smell the roses, and there is no 'laid back' local culture to reinforce. When Mark Twain lectured in Worcester back in the day, he said he never had eperienced a more stone cold audience.

-History: industrialization, manufacturing- tough, blue collar roots, partially of Colonial stock. The West was founded more recently by Pioneers (not Pilgrims), ranchers, homesteaders, and more enterprising sorts who wanted out of Massachusetts, amongst other places.

Though a New Englander, I lived in Nebraska once where I never experienced more diversity of all people, from lesbians in cowboy shirts, to Native Americans, farmers, rednecks, and students from all over the states and the world. In a Midwestern city surrounded by cornfields you are bound to rub elbows with all types of people. In New England, for too long, it has been easier to retreat in our leafy, old communities, and forget that other places, and people exist.
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