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Old 09-15-2008, 05:03 PM
 
Location: portland, me
556 posts, read 1,139,241 times
Reputation: 181

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INNISART - If you decide to move to Keene, take the job transfer. You can always find a different job later. Good jobs are hard to come by in Keene.

I grew up in Keene, and it is quite different now. Crime is now there. There was never major crime when I lived there, but just pick up a local paper (The Keene Sentinel) and read the police reports. Taxes are insane. I grew up in town, and it was great. I always walked/biked to school, but those houses are much more expensive now.

The shool system isn't as good as it once was. There is plenty to do outside though. Many lakes, ponds, trails, etc. I love visiting Keene and the surrounding area, but I don't know if I'd ever want to raise a family there. I actually moved my gf and her daughter out of Keene not to long ago. She, as a small business owner, couldnt make it in Keene.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:18 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,666 times
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Default cheshire county

I grew up in Cheshire County. I wanted to chime in on this thread, because of my total love-hate for the area.

Generally...Keene is really a remarkable place. I think it is an ideal area to raise a family. Despite rising crime rates, which honestly correspond to a national trend more than an area-specific development, Keene is still unbelievably small-town. Its true that people do not lock their car doors, and that residents are largely trusting and trustworthy. When I attended Keene High, 10 years ago, it was a very good school. There have been major structural improvements since then, and my niece seems to have an overall positive opinion of the school, but other than that I don't know. The weather is harsh, but it is not intolerable, and it can be extremely pleasant, even idyllic at times. Having lived in NYC for 10 years, and spent time nosing around a lot of cities and small towns in the US, the quality of living in Keene is, in my estimation, very, very high.

Politics... A major virtue of Keene & the Monadnock Region is that it is very liberal. This has to be contextualized, however. Liberal politics in NH means something different than it does in most states. I know this is a generalization, but N'Hampshirites tend to lean toward a more civil - libertarian version of progressive politics. For example despite being a state that recognizes same-sex civil unions, NH is not a hugely unionized. NH opposed the REAL ID Act, but cited federalism and funding grounds for the opposition. Keene is rife with alternative schoole like Antioch, Waldorf and Montessori, Ethnic restaurants, and out-of-state college students, but you'd be hard pressed to find service providers who speak spanish. So I would boil NH liberalism down to a belief in privacy and independence, mixed with a very New England Protestant version of open-mindedness. It is not an open-armed, bleeding-heart altruism state or region.

And don't forget, while you will pay out the nose in property taxes, there is no sales or income tax. And that applies to liquor, which is sold by the state.

If you're looking for a beautiful non-suburban, small-town-america place to live, this is a great option.

**Don't be misled about racism, however. It is alive and well in NH. It is a 96% white state, and no matter how you spin it, racism is a function of institutional power. In New England, xenophobia is just a more subtle creature. Like a lot of posters had mentioned on this site, New Engalnders express things, especially bias and bigotry, between the lines or in a nuanced way.

**On a more alarming note, it seems increasingly likely to read of the police shooting someone during an arrest (twice in the last year or so), or being shot themselves. Because, oh yeah, NH PEOPLE LOVE GUNS. [URL="http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/11/30/live_free_and_die/"]Live free and die - The Boston Globe[/URL]

But don't mistake me - most are very decent folks, if a little bit cold & prickly (which we natives think of with both pride and consternation).

Last edited by nhexpat; 09-17-2008 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:41 PM
 
122 posts, read 189,633 times
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Thanks, NHEXPAT for that info! That was some of the best information I've received about Keene. There are pros and cons to every town, and you covered them both well. I am still hoping that Keene is our final stop, in regards to a move - there's just something about it that I love.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Texas
587 posts, read 1,002,494 times
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Default safe areas in town

We are thinking about moving to Keene and I would like to live in town, but have 2 children, ages 10 and 13, so want to be sure to be in a very safe area. I'd really like to be right in town - within walking distance to a coffee shop, grocery store or shop that sells groceries, etc. There have been a couple of posts about increasing crime in the neighborhoods downtown, specifically close to the college, etc. Is there an area in town that will fit the bill for us? Thanks so much for any help!
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:28 PM
 
Location: portland, me
556 posts, read 1,139,241 times
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Many of the neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown are not great. If you don't mind a longer walk (15 minutes +) then try the outer Water St. area (including Valley St, Eastern Ave, No. and So. Lincoln, outer Beaver St. and outer Roxbury). This area allows you to still walk downtown, kids to walk to the middle school, walk to Robinhood Park, etc. Lower Main St (opposite the College) has some nice areas too near Wheelock School, and you can still walk downtown.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:25 PM
 
Location: "FV" (most can't pronounce it)
1,187 posts, read 2,235,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renlouis View Post
We are thinking about moving to Keene and I would like to live in town, but have 2 children, ages 10 and 13, so want to be sure to be in a very safe area. I'd really like to be right in town - within walking distance to a coffee shop, grocery store or shop that sells groceries, etc. There have been a couple of posts about increasing crime in the neighborhoods downtown, specifically close to the college, etc. Is there an area in town that will fit the bill for us? Thanks so much for any help!
Try the other side of the state - Dover, Exeter, Portsmouth and a few other towns in that region definitely fits your description. Durham has the University of NH, and there are many community colleges as well in the surrounding towns.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Texas
587 posts, read 1,002,494 times
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Dubthang - Thanks for the info. I must say I'm a little disappointed, I was hoping to be able to live right downtown, but 15 minutes isn't a bad walk. Do you think the Outer Water St. area would be pretty safe? What kind of price range would the homes in that area sell for? We'd probably be looking to be in the 300 - 400K range.

NH2NCmom - unfortunately, we aren't going to have big choices of area - the reason we would be moving is my husband getting a new job, which will be in Keene.

Any more info from anyone would be great - Thanks everyone!!
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:32 PM
 
Location: portland, me
556 posts, read 1,139,241 times
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Renlouis- If you look at a map of Keene, it is pretty easy to see why living downtown is difficult. Anything less than 5 or 10 minutes is business type buildings. Downtown is quite big too. It's a good walk just to loop it. In my mind, downtown starts at the Water St./Main St. intersection and ends at the common (intersections of West St, Court St, Washington St, and Roxbury).

The only streets that are fairly decent (that I can think of) right near downtown are Winter, Summer, School, Court St, and Washington. I grew up on Hancock St. which was a great neighborhood.

Keene is a very walkable town. I hiked and biked all over the place when I lived there. 300/400 k will get you quite a bit of house depending on where you live. I'd rent something downtown first, if possible, so that you can explore your options. I think you will find that the best area are away from the downtown area, but still resonably close.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Texas
587 posts, read 1,002,494 times
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Thanks so much dubthang! I will take a look at those streets on a map and I am hoping to go up for a visit soon to look in person. I'm glad to hear it's a walkable town. I live in the suburbs of Dallas and we have to drive almost everywhere we need to go (grocery store, coffee shop, etc. ). I told myself that wouldn't be so if/when we move. I appreciate your assistance!
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:00 PM
 
Location: portland, me
556 posts, read 1,139,241 times
Reputation: 181
Good luck with Keene. Keene is a pretty big area. I suggest cruising rt 101, 12, 10 and 9 if given the chance to get a scope of its size. Hit up Brewbaker's Pub beside the Colonial theater downtown for tea or coffee. Perhaps visit Robinhood Park for a quick hike around the pond.

Roads like Jordan Rd, Base Hill Rd, and Hurricane Rd. will allow you to sample some of the more rural, but very nice areas. Streets like West St, Main St, Court St, Washington St, Winchester St, and Park Ave are some major roadways to hit up to get a feel of the traffic flow. Careful of the rotaries. The right lane makes right hand turns, usually the next imediate right hand turn. The inside one moves on to the next turn. The rotary at the Common always confuses newcomers so don't feel bad if it happens.

Once you are settled. Explore the surrounding towns. THe best part about Keene is often the surrounding areas, and what they have to offer.
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