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Old 08-01-2007, 09:14 PM
 
18 posts, read 103,453 times
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Hello,

I'm looking to move to a small town. I'm considering the Pioneer Valley, especially near Northampton and along the Connecticut River. I’m also considering Beverly.

I don't like the noise, hustle, bustle, and congestion of Boston. I'm looking for an area with parks and/or near the water, and close to a whole foods market. I’d like to be able to take walks in quiet areas. I’m also into yoga, meditation and alternatives. I’m looking for a progressive town, like Northampton. I prefer a town that has some diversity, since I’m black; I also have a disability. I need to move from Boston because I'm very sensitive to noise so being in a quiet setting will help my well-being and recovery.

Can anyone tell me if I can find what I’m looking for in or near Northampton? Easthampton seems like a nice, quiet town. I read a post indicating the surrounding towns are very conservative. If the town has very little diversity, then is it open to others who are different? And, any info on Beverly.

I know Northampton has a lot of what I’m looking for, I don’t know how quiet it is. I did apply to a development on State St., near downtown Northampton.

Thanks for any feedback you can give me.
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Old 08-02-2007, 05:46 AM
 
15,823 posts, read 28,157,967 times
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Not sure how you came to a choice of Northampton and Beverly. Northampton is substantially larger, is a town unto itself, and has lots and lots of college people, beginning with the U. Mass Amherst school nearby. Beverly is a suburban town. Very pretty views of water (what water were you eyeing in Northampton, the Connecticut River?) I'm sure either town would be substantially calmer/quieter than Boston, but I think Beverly is part of the North Shore suburban-to-Boston commuter life. I think it's quite upscale and not very diverse at all- likely as open to diversity as any Boston suburb. (Northampton, of course, is PC to absurdity, and lots of whole foods and such that you are looking for).
Do you drive or not? That could be a huge consideration in places.
I don't know if there are small towns "near Northampton along the river." Are you hoping to walk out your door for quiet walks near the water? Is a job an issue? Apartment or house?
Good luck. Quiet walks among trees and near water are indeed a blessing.
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:44 PM
 
5,776 posts, read 14,438,002 times
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Default Northampton area

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietGal View Post
Hello,

I'm looking to move to a small town. I'm considering the Pioneer Valley, especially near Northampton and along the Connecticut River. I’m also considering Beverly.

I don't like the noise, hustle, bustle, and congestion of Boston. I'm looking for an area with parks and/or near the water, and close to a whole foods market. I’d like to be able to take walks in quiet areas. I’m also into yoga, meditation and alternatives. I’m looking for a progressive town, like Northampton. I prefer a town that has some diversity, since I’m black; I also have a disability. I need to move from Boston because I'm very sensitive to noise so being in a quiet setting will help my well-being and recovery.

Can anyone tell me if I can find what I’m looking for in or near Northampton? Easthampton seems like a nice, quiet town. I read a post indicating the surrounding towns are very conservative. If the town has very little diversity, then is it open to others who are different? And, any info on Beverly.

I know Northampton has a lot of what I’m looking for, I don’t know how quiet it is. I did apply to a development on State St., near downtown Northampton.

Thanks for any feedback you can give me.
I don't know a lot about the town of Beverly itself, though of course in much of the north shore area you get some gorgeous views of the ocean, as well as some great beaches. Though it's not the wide expanse of water you see with the ocean, the stretch of the Connecticut River in the vicinity of Northampton is very attractive.

Regarding the info that many towns around Northampton are very conservative, I'm not sure one way or the other what their politcs are like, but a lot of the towns around there are very small, and tend to be heavily cliquish, with people set in their ways and not so welcoming of newcomers moving in from outside. A couple of towns I would especially recommend staying away from, in order to avoid this attitude, would be Hadley and Southampton.

I don't know about Easthampton from personal experience. I did know several people who lived there, when I lived in the area. From what I heard, Easthampton sounded like just a basic pleasant small town, but you're likely to find less going on downtown than in Northampton. Keep in mind, though, that I'm basing this info only on what I've heard.

If it would work for you to live in a rural area and drive to town for entertainment, one area you might look into would be Shutesbury. This too is based a lot on hearsay, but I understand that Shutesbury has more people associated with the area's colleges than many other small towns in the area, and so is less dominated by the narrow local cliques.

The town of Northampton itself might well suit your needs. Though there is a large college population in the area, which can make some spots pretty noisy. this is less so in Northampton since it is the largest town in the local area, and is home to only one college--Smith--and a small college at that. This means that the town has people from various walks of life, rather than being completely dominated by the college crowd. You will see a fair number of college students from the area in downtown Northampton, especially on weekend evenings, but the downtown does have a good variety of shops and restaurants. It's also generally much quieter than downtown Amherst, the other good-sized town in the local area.

Amherst has two colleges right in town, including UMass, the one large university in the area, and basically exists for the colleges. At night during the school year, the dowtown streets in Amherst are often filled with crowds of rowdy students getting sloshed at the bars. Also, if you're planning to buy a house, you can find quiet neighborhoods in Amherst, but if you're renting, it's tough to find apartment complexes that aren't heavily populated with students, with lots of noisy parties going on.

In Northampton (Noho to the locals) you'll find a larger downtown with a greater variety of businesses, that is more attractive aesthetically than Amherst's center, and most of the time will be much more quiet. Also, in Noho you're very close to the river, and those water views you're looking for. So, all in all, Northampton itself is worth a look.
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:32 AM
 
46 posts, read 192,128 times
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Hey Quiet Gal,

We just moved to Northampton from the big city (Seattle) and it is a nice place in general. People are tolerant, probably a bit too PC as the other poster mentioned but it is peaceful, there are a lot of things going on, and I know there are several places to walk by the water. It is not as dramatic as the ocean of course, but there are lots of pleasnat places to walk around the valley.

I dont know much about the small towns around the area, but they do seem a bit insulated, although they are quite beautiful. Shelburne Falls is a nice small town on the river and people seem pretty open there.

Overall the whole valley is quite liberal and open minded, at least they like to say they are, or at least as much as humans seem able to be!
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:19 AM
 
1,270 posts, read 5,042,959 times
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Try Winchester !!! its great and still close to boston
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:35 AM
 
141 posts, read 183,598 times
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Northampton is quite liberal and can be too PC for some tastes. But you can just ignore that if it is an issue.

The thing that bothers me is how aggressive the pedestrians are. That takes some getting used to.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:10 PM
 
18 posts, read 103,453 times
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Thanks Ogre!! This is very helpful. Someone else suggested shutesbury, it seems like a good alternative to Northampton. I'll definitely not apply to Amherst bases on what I'm hearing about the students-I didn't like the noisy students when I was going to college. Thanks again.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:34 PM
 
18 posts, read 103,453 times
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Thanks christoforest for the info. I wondered what is an example of being a bit too PC. just curious. I'll look into Shelburne Falls, even though I think it's kind for far from Northampton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by christoforest View Post
Hey Quiet Gal,

We just moved to Northampton from the big city (Seattle) and it is a nice place in general. People are tolerant, probably a bit too PC as the other poster mentioned but it is peaceful, there are a lot of things going on, and I know there are several places to walk by the water. It is not as dramatic as the ocean of course, but there are lots of pleasnat places to walk around the valley.

I dont know much about the small towns around the area, but they do seem a bit insulated, although they are quite beautiful. Shelburne Falls is a nice small town on the river and people seem pretty open there.

Overall the whole valley is quite liberal and open minded, at least they like to say they are, or at least as much as humans seem able to be!
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:56 PM
 
18 posts, read 103,453 times
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Hey Cosmonewman,

Thanks for the info. By agggressive do you mean that a lot of pedestrians walk across the street when they don't have the light?

For those who find it too PC, do you know what it is that is most anoying to them? I'm just curious, since I'm not around people who I feel are politically correct.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmonewman View Post
Northampton is quite liberal and can be too PC for some tastes. But you can just ignore that if it is an issue.

The thing that bothers me is how aggressive the pedestrians are. That takes some getting used to.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:13 PM
 
18 posts, read 103,453 times
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Hey brightdoglover, I laughed when I read "PC to absurdity". do you have examples of this? I'm not around folks who I would call politically correct. I find it interesting that a few poster have said this about Northampton.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Not sure how you came to a choice of Northampton and Beverly. Northampton is substantially larger, is a town unto itself, and has lots and lots of college people, beginning with the U. Mass Amherst school nearby. Beverly is a suburban town. Very pretty views of water (what water were you eyeing in Northampton, the Connecticut River?) I'm sure either town would be substantially calmer/quieter than Boston, but I think Beverly is part of the North Shore suburban-to-Boston commuter life. I think it's quite upscale and not very diverse at all- likely as open to diversity as any Boston suburb. (Northampton, of course, is PC to absurdity, and lots of whole foods and such that you are looking for).
Do you drive or not? That could be a huge consideration in places.
I don't know if there are small towns "near Northampton along the river." Are you hoping to walk out your door for quiet walks near the water? Is a job an issue? Apartment or house?
Good luck. Quiet walks among trees and near water are indeed a blessing.
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