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Old 08-23-2016, 05:29 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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What do you want it to say? Let me know and I'll edit the title.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:37 AM
 
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From my memory of commentary here over the years you'll find much more love of Western Mass and the Berkshires than of central Mass. It features the lovable but easily criticized Worcester along with a number of downbeat larger towns-- Gardner, Fitchburg, Southbridge. Other regions have geographic features that focus our mental maps, like the Connecticut (Pioneer) Valley or the North Shore, South shore, Merrimack valley, etc. With Central Mass the geographic image is vague. The sharpest feature to me is the Quabbin which is on the edge of Western Mass and so not fully central or western.

Central MA has some beautiful spots: Brookfield, W. Brookfield, Hardwick, Petersham; also Princeton and the Wachusett Meadow sanctuary there. Harvard, Bolton, Lancaster, Groton are all nice places but are they central or eastern?

But Western Mass is downright gorgeous (excepting the Spfld-Chicopee-Holyoke urban area), as are the Berkshires.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Gardner, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
What do you want it to say? Let me know and I'll edit the title.
Central and/or Western MA: what do you like?


That should suffice, and thank you!

I'm not going to worry overly much about the text in the body of my OP. If folks follow the thread even to the end of the first page, they'll see why I don't mention Central MA at first.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:25 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
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Broadband coverage to extend in 9

Well, some of Western MA may be getting better coverage it seems.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:24 PM
 
6,684 posts, read 5,829,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
But Western Mass is downright gorgeous (excepting the Spfld-Chicopee-Holyoke urban area), as are the Berkshires.
Even in the urban area there are spots that are good. I'm here.



Mattoon St



Classical is pretty good. If you are looking to flip a condo this would be it. The HOA fees are a tad much for me though.


The thing about the region is you can see high end literally around the block from low end. The other side of the tracks certainly applies. I've seen some parts remind me of Quincy/Braintree/Weymouth. Others like Brockton and some like Cambridge and it's the same city.

The historical areas were at least designated that and to be frank they might get more support this fall if CPA passes. 10 communities will have it on the ballot.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:27 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
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I like seeing that Mattoon St is still looking good. It was revitalized back in the '70s.

And that is Classical High School??? A bit over the top in decor for me but nice to see that it's still there and people pay big bucks to live there. What a great location.
(My dad went to school there a long, long time ago--I thought they were going to demolish it at one time, thought it HAD been demolished.)
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:02 AM
 
787 posts, read 1,050,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovarisch View Post
I'm sorry this debate has reared its ugly head again. It refuses to die! I believe the answer is as follows: geographically, Western Mass. comprises the four westernmost counties, with a few possible cheaters added (Athol? Warren? Hardwick?) from extreme W. Worcester County. SOME people don't count the Berkshires as part of W. Mass. (both natives and non-natives); others do. They are CULTURALLY and geographically distinct, but, if you go ONLY by map, they are part of W. Mass. AND, regardless of what some folks think in Boston, central Mass. (including places like Gardner and Sterling) is NOT W. Mass. Does that cover it?
BINGO!

Personally I'd put Athol in Central MA.

Ware/Hardwick/Barre/North Brookfield straddle the central/western line since they're in the extreme western part of Worcester County. I briefly lived in that area in the '80s. People there referred to it as the start of western MA because they're roughly equidistant from both Springfield and Worcester. Anything "citified" they did was done in the former because it was easier to get to than the latter.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:08 AM
 
1,476 posts, read 2,407,927 times
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I miss the ethnic European traditions that a lot of town had. I grew up in ludlow, we had five Catholic Churches polish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Ukrainian. Each one had its awesome traditions and festivals.

I miss the western mass specific things like part pizzas, fried dough with marinara, high school sports on the local news, grinders, tag sales, rag shag parades, stag parties, etc
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:35 AM
 
Location: North Quabbin, MA
939 posts, read 1,224,744 times
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I like that Central and Western MA are not touristy or artificially quaint. Berkshires aside, you're dealing with very real small towns full of very real and down to earth people often living in scenery to die for. The living is affordable (if can find a job), people look out for each other, and there's not much in way of pretension. Check out towns like Ashburnham, Barre, the Brookfields, Granville, Northfield, and Whately for what I'm talking about. Unfortunately the cities and larger mill towns in the region are our state's equivalent of the Rust Belt and while they are not absent of charm, are very overwhelmed with socioeconomic problems. Northampton and Amherst are the only semi sizeable towns in the region that are thriving and it's all because of the colleges.

In contrast places like Woodstock VT or Stockbridge MA give me the creeps. Full of wealthy tourists in Jaguars shopping for artisan soap and trinkets. For better or worse, Central and Western MA (minus Berkshires) generally only has those types passing through and maybe stopping to gas up the Land Rover, twitching in disdain at the little people in their mud huts, taking a picture at the French King Bridge, and moving along to their third home somewhere vetted by the lifestyle magazines. We who live in the lesser places at least get to keep our scenery to ourselves (pssst, there are a thousand equal to better views than the French King if you bother to get off the main roads!)

Last edited by FCMA; 08-28-2016 at 06:43 AM..
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:29 AM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
24,020 posts, read 23,467,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCMA View Post
I like that Central and Western MA are not touristy or artificially quaint. Berkshires aside, you're dealing with very real small towns full of very real and down to earth people often living in scenery to die for. The living is affordable (if can find a job), people look out for each other, and there's not much in way of pretension. Check out towns like Ashburnham, Barre, the Brookfields, Granville, Northfield, and Whately for what I'm talking about. Unfortunately the cities and larger mill towns in the region are our state's equivalent of the Rust Belt and while they are not absent of charm, are very overwhelmed with socioeconomic problems. Northampton and Amherst are the only semi sizeable towns in the region that are thriving and it's all because of the colleges.

In contrast places like Woodstock VT or Stockbridge MA give me the creeps. Full of wealthy tourists in Jaguars shopping for artisan soap and trinkets. For better or worse, Central and Western MA (minus Berkshires) generally only has those types passing through and maybe stopping to gas up the Land Rover, twitching in disdain at the little people in their mud huts, taking a picture at the French King Bridge, and moving along to their third home somewhere vetted by the lifestyle magazines. We who live in the lesser places at least get to keep our scenery to ourselves (pssst, there are a thousand equal to better views than the French King if you bother to get off the main roads!)
Well worth repeating. Thanks for such a wonderful post.

The views in Whately are to die for and living out in EMass now, I had almost forgotten. Starting to forget Hatfield and Chesterfield, Southampton, other pretty towns too. There were always semi secret places you could go to get away from it all and find solitude, some place by a waterfall, a place to walk quietly on a wooded path, or a meadowland walk complete with bluebirds. A perfect day might include a drive out to the Montague Book Mill to spend hours of sheer fun which would include the picturesque ride to and from. And you always had that rim of blue mountains around you wherever you went. That's when you knew you were home.

I now live in a rural area on the North Shore and it's not too bad but I NEVER go to Bawston. That would be like a foreign country to me and not a good foreign country either.

Re: previous post--I always say grinder and tag sale, water fountain (not bubblah) and they can just work their little brains trying to figure out what I mean, lol.
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Last edited by in_newengland; 08-28-2016 at 08:44 AM..
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