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Old 07-10-2007, 05:34 PM
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,899,484 times
Reputation: 450


I just came home from a short trip to Brattleboro. Went up Sunday, came home today. Got home about 3 1/2 hours ago.

On the way home, I discovered a strong homing instinct towards New York City. I found surprising comfort in the familiarity of the local roads. This was a bit unsettling, but I guess it's human. After all, New York is home to me.

But since I've been back in Brooklyn, I have had at least 3 jarring incidents of New York style in-your-face rudeness.

While in Brattleboro, I visited Dublin and Keene, NH. I was at a small religious commemoration in Dublin and got to speak with local people.

One person commented on the very high cancer rate in New Hampshire. She said Vermont is a better place to live. I wonder if the high cancer rate in New Hampshire is related to all that unregulated industry. If so, maybe they should change their state slogan from "Live Free or Die" to "Live Free and Die".

I also noticed a marked difference in the manners of Vermont/New Hampshire people and New Yorkers. I commented on this and was asked to elaborate. I said that the New Englanders seemed calmer, more polite, less in-your-face and less materialistic than New Yorkers. I now want to add more soft-spoken and even a little reticent. They seem more cultured and civilized, but their quiet ways seemed a little alien at first.

And I saw so many lakes in between Brattleboro and Dublin! My friend, who was driving me to Keene, is an avid swimmer and she pointed out places where she sometimes pulls over and goes swimming. (I, personally, would not do that, as I am not a good swimmer and even if I were, I would never swim alone.)

In Brattleboro, I checked out the Colonial Inn and Spa for the swimming pool. Very expensive. I checked out the Outer Limits Health Club. Not unreasonable, but I could go to a small club here in Brooklyn that is less expensive. A better club, even in Brooklyn, is much more expensive, though.

I was also told they are building a "Y" in Brattleboro.

I had some soup and some shrimp salad at the Brattleboro Food Co-op. The soup was reasonable, but the shrimp was expensive.

From what I've seen, the cost of living is pretty high, not much lower than in Brooklyn.

But on the way up, when I left Massachusetts and entered Vermont, I discovered that I was breaking into a big smile!
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:15 PM
8 posts, read 32,814 times
Reputation: 13
As a lifelong Vermonter I can say that we don't "hate" tourists and flat landers, we hate when they come into our state, disrupt our lives, buy up our property so they can vacation there once a year and then blatantly insult us and the way we live. If you are coming to Vermont because you like the way things are and you want to be a part of that, then we welcome you with open arms (literally). But if you are coming here to get away from city life for a couple days and you are going to ***** and complain that the roads aren't good enough, there's nothing to do, this or that wasn't to your liking, then no obviously we're not going to like you. Vermonters as a whole, I have found, completely live by "treat others as you would like to be treated."
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:00 PM
Location: Denver, CO
224 posts, read 625,503 times
Reputation: 79
Originally Posted by NYtoVT View Post
The man is true VT having lived here all his life. I guess the bottom line here is that a person like this can be found anywhere in the state. You just have to look for him.
I had a similar, though briefer experience years ago when I first moved here. I was traveling back to Burlington with my boyfriend when his SUV skidded on a patch of ice into a phone pole. This must happen often on this particular stretch of road, as the owner of the house nearest the phone pole had stacked snow in front of it, so the landing was a soft one. A little dazed, but unhurt thanks to our snow cushion, we were getting out a cell phone to call for help when we saw a man walk out of the house. He jumped in his truck, drove behind us, and had us chained to him and pulled out before we could even exit the car. When he was finished, he unchained us, pulled his truck back into his driveway, & walked inside. We called out thanks and offers of money, but he just kept walking inside. Vermonters can be great neighbors, even if you don't live near them.
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:02 PM
Location: Denver, CO
224 posts, read 625,503 times
Reputation: 79
I forgot to mention, when I first moved from Washington DC metropolitan area to Burlington, VT, I was absolutely shocked by how many people would say hi to strangers, look you in the eye & smile, wear bright colors, etc - so much more welcoming than northern VA! In the same vein, the people also seem less judgmental overall.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:50 PM
1 posts, read 2,019 times
Reputation: 11
Thumbs up GOODS and BADS

My wife and I live in New York 30 miles north of NYC. We purchased a piece of land in southern Vermont and occasionally drive up just to be on the property. We talk about what to do on the land every time we're there and it's fun eveytime. To me, once I get across that "welcome to Vermont" sign, I just get real happy and look for forward to what ever happens that day cause we pretty much wing the whole day. A favorite part of my day is the drive just off Rt. 91 , along the back roads to my property, about 15 miles. I rarely see my neighbor but when I do, I enjoy talking with him very much...he's been in Vermont for ever. No concrete, just a lot trees, barns, rusty tractors, cows, horses and very few people...you get the picture. No house on the property yet but we did clear a piece just so we can move around. The point I'm trying to make is this...when a place makes you happy just being there, the other stuff doesn't matter. Every place has GOODS and BADS, and for my wife and I...Vermonts a keeper!
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:04 PM
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I haven't dealt a lot with people yet except for people who 'have to' be nice like real estate and school staff but so far people have been fine, not overly nice but not rude.

My husband is British and it's like how British people are--they are sort of reserved till you get to know them. They mind their business in England and I do think that's how a lot of New England people are as well.

People do say hello or hi as they walk or bike or whatever more than I am used to but I say hi back being a friendly person. I quite think people are bemused we moved here...

I'll take reserved over the fake NY "Hey, how ya doin'?" (like anyone cares, anyhow...lol).

As for driving/tailgating/whatever I feel like a target with the NY plate on the car but then I just forget it (it's not my problem...there are morons from every state..)
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:57 AM
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,899,484 times
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Specifically, how friendly is Brattleboro?

I have gotten a few bad vibes there, and I found them painful, but I don't want to paint the town with a broad brush when a fine brush would do.

Often, when I have spoken to storekeepers, or at least people at the desk, I have felt that they didn't really want to talk to me beyond what is needed for commercial transactions. I once went to a folk dancing meeting, and when I joined a dance was asked not to. A local real estate broker has not returned my emails. Several local people in my profession have not returned emails.

I'm wondering, is it the town? Are people being rude or is this just New England reserve? Is it the luck of the draw?

Is it me?

At any rate, I am feeling uncomfortable.

I wonder if I am being oversensitive, and/or if I am taking things too personally.

I wonder if I am overgeneralizing from some specific instances.

I also wonder if the negative experiences are from people "from away", e.g. from New York! Brattleboro has lots of transplants. When I got tailgated and honked at in Brattleboro - the only time - the car's license plate said New York!

I also wonder if this is largely a cultural difference. New York vs Vermont, mid-Atlantic vs New England, big city vs small town.

At least, in a big city, even in the neighborhoods, if you do not feel comfortable in one group you can go elsewhere. In a small town, there is nowhere else to go. You see the same people on a regular basis, even if you work in another town.

A small town is nice for the intimacy and cohesiveness, but if it is not friendly and accepting, for whatever reason, and/or it is full of gossip and backbiting, I'm not sure I could be comfortable there.

iBrattleboro is having a picnic today. I would have liked to go, but, unfortunately, the friend I stay with in town is away this weekend.

I plan to visit Brattleboro in two weeks, on the first weekend in October, and hopefully I'll be able to check this out more.

And see the foliage, too.

Last edited by arel; 09-22-2007 at 07:17 AM..
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:20 AM
6,764 posts, read 19,727,694 times
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Arel, I don't know about Brattleboro but here there are a lot of transplants from other states. (specifically the Upper Valley).

As far as the NY thing, unfortunately it dogs you as you move. People hear the accent (mine is not pronounced but sounds more when around non-NYers) and maybe they get this stereotype you have to fight against.

I've said this before. When we lived in Central PA people were always looking at us funny. My husband is British so he talks with this NY/British accent that half the people can't be bothered to understand or they find 'charming.'

Anyhow, you know, you have to just live your life and say 'screw u' to people who are 'standoffish' because of stupid things like accents. If you are a nice person and a decent person, that will take you a long way anywhere in the world. I've lived in several states and in the UK and most people are decent and want to be friendly. If they don't, their loss...

There will always be some people living in their stereotyping world or someone who sees 'outsiders' as rich interlopers good only to make money from. That can happen in NY as well as in other states.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:40 AM
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 5,899,484 times
Reputation: 450
Thanks, Gypsysoul22. I had been wondering if I had done anything to provoke these responses. I had originally included my New York accent and other New Yorkisms, but I had edited them out.

Actually, I think I was thinking of the New Yorkisms that can offend New Englanders, not any prejudice they may have against New Yorkers.

But Brattleboro has a lot of New Yorkers. It has been described as a kind of overseas territory of New York City.

I don't know. I'll learn more when I visit in two weeks.

Sounds like you're settling in. Keep us posted on how things are going. I am following your thread on this.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:08 PM
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,416,428 times
Reputation: 395
As far as business people not returning calls or missing appointments, I found that to be pretty common here during my first year. In fact more so then anywhere else I have ever lived. The way to deal with that is not to take it personally, but like with any bad experience or poor service you will not take your business to them. Word of mouth is pretty powerful when it comes to sloppy or careless business practices and eventually if this is the way someone does business they will not survive very long. As far as people not being friendly or appearing to blow you off, well, that exists everywhere as that is just the way some people are. As far as Brattleboro goes, I have limited experience there. As a matter of fact I went through town today up US 5 from Mass and then west on Vt 9 and as much as I know there are very decent folks there the overall vibe I get is not one that is conducive to wanting hang out there. Might have something to do with my vet plates as in many other places folks will wave or give you a thumbs up gesture, but in B'boro I have yet had that happen and I go through there several times a year.
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