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Old 08-04-2007, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,434 posts, read 4,596,457 times
Reputation: 410

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I remember readding a post in which the poster said he/she liked northern Vermont better than southern Vermont.

I'm curious about the differences, cultural and otherwise, between the northern and southern parts of the state.

Is there a real cultural divide between north and south?

Does it also make sense to write of a divide between the eastern and western parts of the state?

The only things I can say, as someone who has visited the state but is not (yet) really intimate with it, is that the mountains are bigger further north, and that the population center, and major city, are up north.

But Burlington, the most urban part of the state, is in the northwest, while the Northeast Kingdom, the most rural part of the state, and, from what I have read, the most conservative, is in the northeast. Both in the north.

In the south there are Brattleboro in the east and Bennington in the west. I don't know anything about Bennington - I don't think I've ever even been there - but I am beginnning to know Brattleboro.

I have noticed that Brattleboro inspires strong feelings on this forum. Some posters praise it to the skies as an intimate, cohesive, special, cosmopolitan place, a near-utopia but for the lousy economy. Other posters seem to regard it as a flaky, wacky, la-la-land, stuck in a 1960's time warp.

Yes, the place is noted for its liberal, artsy, bohemian atmosphere, and I have met several ex-hippies who maintain their youthful interests and attitudes, but I have found more diversity than that. After the police taser incident, there was a big outcry, but there were also plenty of letters in the Brattleboro Reformer, the local paper, supporting the police's actions.

I'm wondering if southern Vermont is more culturally influenced by Massachusetts (especially the Pioneer Valley) and New York, including New York City, while northern Vermont is more archetypically Vermont, whatever that means. And I'm wondering if southern Vermont is more influenced by transplants from other areas, while northern Vermont is more dominated by natives.

Since Burlington is the exception to the above, I'm wondering if Burlington is more like an island off the coast of northern Vermont than part of northern Vermont itself.

I'm also wondering if these questions mean anything. But history, geography and culture are interesting and fun.

Also, I'd like some insights for the future. If I move to Brattleboro and decide I don't want to stay in a small town, I might want to go to Burlington. I've been there, but I haven't explored it or researched it. I've heard so much about it. There's even a blurb about it, in the new AARP magazine, on good cities to to retire to.

Last edited by arel; 08-04-2007 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,018 posts, read 6,051,485 times
Reputation: 1425
Arel...I'll try and answer in more detail later, but yes, to me, there are differences. We always joke that anything south of Route 4 really belongs to Mass & NY. Because it is closer to the metro areas, Southern VT seems to have more of that influence. Especially after 9/11.
Burlington is a species unto itself. There is a reason people like it so much - it's so close to Vermont!
My favorite part of Vermont is the North Central/NEK area. Basically east of Route 100 and north of Route 2. Also, the Peacham, Barnet, Bradford, Ryegate area. This is "Vermont" to me.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,434 posts, read 4,596,457 times
Reputation: 410
Somehow, I don't think a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker could be comfortable in the Northeast Kingdom. From what I have read, there is too little in the way of amenities, stuff to do or cosmopolitan mindset. I could be wrong on that, though. I have read there are good schools there.

I have alsoread that the NEK is the most beautiful part of Vermont.

I don't think I would be accepted there, either. I'm from out-of-state, I'm from NYC, I'm from a minority ethnic group and from a minority religion, I'm sort of liberal, I don't hunt, etc., etc.

What is the NEK like for transplants, especially ex-New Yorkers?

Last edited by arel; 08-05-2007 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:15 PM
 
31 posts, read 98,393 times
Reputation: 15
We're about to leave for 2 weeks in VT, 1st week Queechee, 2nd on Lake Champlaign. We've been to northern (Lake Seymour) and Queechee which is southern to us. The people have been the nicest everywhere. One reason, we try to fit in in YOUR state, we extend ourselves to the people, but frankly that's easy to do because we (my family) like them so much. But I've already researched the tax situation, if my wife and I wanted to retire there instead of here in PA. We probably couldn't afford to.
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