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Old 04-08-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
231 posts, read 599,815 times
Reputation: 41

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So I'm looking at moving to MA next year for the fall term at Western Newengland college of law. What is life like in MA in general. What should I plan for? How is the job market? - Particularly in Springfield?

I want every thing you know on Springfield. How expensive for a 1br apt? Besides the horrid cold is there anything I should be warned about?

The nickname being Tax-a-chusettes, is it hard to earn and keep a living wage? Are people generally friendly? The people here in florida are clicky and flighty.

What about city life? I love to shop and drink and get bored easily you have stuff keep me occupied?

THANKS!
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,499 posts, read 21,808,924 times
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I love Western Mass. It's a more outdoorsy type of area. People here like to go on walks, bike ride, run, hike, and everyone has a dog. I love the winters. It's a mystery to me why people get so concerned about the cold and the snow. Just be sure to invest in good clothes, wool socks and hats and warm gloves, and you'll be fine. I love living in a place where there are 4 distinct seasons. Everything is so beautiful now that spring is coming. The maple sugar is running, soon the asparagus will be growing. June is berry season, and so on.

As far a being bored or not, that's up to you!
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
231 posts, read 599,815 times
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Thanks woof for the info. It sounds pretty but I think I'll get sick of it after a month or two.. or maybe not - Here in Florida we have 2 seasons - Hot and Cold. I guess we could drive into Boston for other stuff but according to google maps thats about an hour drive.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
11,362 posts, read 19,932,453 times
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Western Mass. may be a bit more outdoorsy but it's hardly devoid of cultural attractions, nightlife, or and other activities that don't necessarily involve the great outdoors. Aside from being near Six Flags (it's literally right accross the river), Springfield has the NBA Hall of Fame, two art Museums, a nice science museum and a new history museum coming soon. It also has an Entertainment district with some good nightlife options as well as some good restaurants. There's also a Minor League Hockey team in town too. So, yes, there are things to do in Springfield. However, most would contend that Northampton, a few minutes away, is the cultural hub of the area... it has an excellent restaurant and bar scene as well as many other things to do. Northampton will be where most of the entertainment is, but Springfield is certainly not devoid of it at all.

Springfield's job market isn't wonderful so finding a job may be difficult. The city itself is considered by most to be on a bit of decline, and while that may be true in some regards, it's often overblown on a large scale. I personally enjoy Springfield. It's not as pristine as many would hope for, but it's a cool town and it's in the center of a region that actually has a lot of both natural and cultural activities. It has some grit and character that many find charming (I do often times).

I've mentioned nightlife and dining (again, Entertainment Dristrict-aka Worthington St-Springfield and Northampton, MA are the best for dining and nightlife), but the best shopping is at the Holyoke Mall which is quite nice. Northampton has a lot of boutique and eclectic shops, but the best of the chains and major brands are at the Holyoke Mall. Of course, you can always make a trip to the Boston area (close to 1.5 hours east) for the real luxury shopping.

A decent 1 bedroom apartment will likely cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $700-800+ You may easily end up paying more for something nicer. Check Craigslist.org (Western Mass). Crime can be an issue in certain neighborhoods in Springfield, so if you're curious about a neighborhood or street where an apartment you're looking at is listed, ask here and we should be able to help out a bit. I would also look for places in East Longmeadow and Wilbraham if you can find them.

If you find that the people in Florida are "cliquey and flighty" I don't know how you'll feel about people here. I can make a generalization for you, but it REALLY depends on your personality and the individuals you meet. You're likely to meet people via school and work. It's likely that some of them will be friendly and some of them likely won't be. New England has a reputation for being provincial and "cliquey" and some find this true while others don't. It depends on the individual I guess. I personally feel that if you're outgoing (but NOT prying) it's not too difficult to meet people you enjoy being around (and they feel likewise) here.

As far as the weather goes, it isn't too much fun, but the snow is worse than the cold. I can deal with cold by layering and putting more clothes on (more easily than I can deal with being hot... you can only legally lose so many layers, you know?) when needed. I think you'll enjoy the first few snowfalls but by the end of January, you'll be begging for summer. It's already been mentioned that there's plenty to do outdoors in Western Mass.

Hope this helped a bit.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,499 posts, read 21,808,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajacques View Post
Thanks woof for the info. It sounds pretty but I think I'll get sick of it after a month or two.. or maybe not - Here in Florida we have 2 seasons - Hot and Cold. I guess we could drive into Boston for other stuff but according to google maps thats about an hour drive.
Then move to Boston!
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Chicopee, MA
40 posts, read 160,578 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajacques View Post
So I'm looking at moving to MA next year for the fall term at Western Newengland college of law. What is life like in MA in general. What should I plan for? How is the job market? - Particularly in Springfield?

I want every thing you know on Springfield. How expensive for a 1br apt? Besides the horrid cold is there anything I should be warned about?

The nickname being Tax-a-chusettes, is it hard to earn and keep a living wage? Are people generally friendly? The people here in florida are clicky and flighty.

What about city life? I love to shop and drink and get bored easily you have stuff keep me occupied?

THANKS!

Well, Western New England College is based in Springfield. As terms of living wise Springfield is high when it comes to taxes and such. Springfield also has the highest crime rate.

As for the cold, I know you live in Florida and you have two seasons hot and cold. We have four: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Spring is relatively warm, heck this year alone we have had 90 degree weather. Summer is really hot and humid (so you would love it since your from Florida). Fall is actually nice when it comes to weather its relaxing. Winter is not as bad as we are known for the coldest month in winter is in February. Other than that we have been actually very lucky in terms of temperature.

People here in the region are relatively friendly and outgoing. We are made up of all cultures, so it's not really a click type community.

We may be known as Taxachusetts, but when it comes towards our region we are the most affordable area. It's very expensive east, in the west we are excluded from them. Chicopee is a neighbor to Springfield. The city is one of the most affordable areas. Low taxes on property, etc.. Plus, we don't have to pay for our trash to be removed, unlike Springfield.

The job market just like anywhere else is not the greatest at the time. In the past century we have lost many jobs. But, the future will be brighter. Our communities are mostly for change. Since, your going to college for law we do have many job opportunities in that field, however it's not as good as say NYC or Boston.

Shopping and drinking wise you will find that you will never get bored. The area is mostly outdoors type but we do have many places for entertainment, etc.... You love to shop, go to New England's largest mall in Holyoke- Holyoke Mall (check their website: Holyoke Mall). There's also plenty of other choices in terms of shopping. Springfield mainly Boston Road (home of Eastfield Mall and big box stores). Chicopee (Memorial Drive: home to many stores). Holyoke (the mall). West Springfield (Riverdale Road; many shops: Kohls, etc....). Northampton (King Street:many stores, than theres downtown Northampton: many clubs, theaters, live music, culture, stores, restaurants, etc....). Amherst (home to Umass you have the downtown.) Hadley (you have a Hampshire Mall; not as great as Holyoke Mall, relatively small, but the area also has many big box stores.) Springfield has plenty of clubes and restaurants, but its bad when it comes towards the night, specifically 12.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Az.
402 posts, read 646,972 times
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I grew up in Mass and am glad I left. Nanny state to an extreme. It has the fewest freedoms left in a state that really started freedom in America. And it's cold to boot! nothing to recommend it over all.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:51 PM
 
25 posts, read 69,454 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajacques View Post
Here in Florida we have 2 seasons - Hot and Cold.
Huh? You must be in North Florida. I am from Western Mass and during 2 years in Ft Lauderdale it did not have a cold season for me.

Springfield is a $hithole. I am not sure why no one said it yet. Seriously it bottom of the barrel for Massachusetts. Look up the crime statistics, income, and foreclosure reports. I lived there for 4 years in the Forest Park section and had my car broken into a few times. That was a few years ago when the city was better. As I was moving out there were major budget problems and they had to lay off a lot of police. The nightlife sucks now because they opened too many bars. When you go downtown they are all 1/3 to 1/2 full and feel dead. There are regularly fights and stabbings in the Springfield club scene. I never felt unsafe personally but don't go shooting your mouth off downtown. Maybe my opinion is jaded after living in Florida and Boston, but I think Springfield is the pits and I would not move back there.

Most of the rest of Western Mass is nice with beautiful scenery and if you like small artsy cities Northampton is voted as one of the best in the country. Just understand that you will be driving from town to town to do stuff and not walking around one city.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
289 posts, read 1,205,967 times
Reputation: 341
Most people do not live in Springfield by choice. There are some neighborhoods that are okay, but most of Springfield is dumpy and crime-ridden. There are several nicer places to live nearby. Unless you're on an extremely tight budget and can't find an apartment elsewhere within your budget, you should avoid Springfield.

The unemployment rate in the Springfield area is something like 10% nowadays. It has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Springfield was struggling even back when the country still had an economy. It's very difficult to find a job. I know multiple people in this area who have been unemployed for a year or more. Things are really rough for Springfield right now.

The taxes in this state are far from the worst. I think the nickname "Taxachusetts" was invented by people who just like to complain.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:02 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,450 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by arigold1975 View Post
Huh? You must be in North Florida. I am from Western Mass and during 2 years in Ft Lauderdale it did not have a cold season for me.

Springfield is a $hithole. I am not sure why no one said it yet. Seriously it bottom of the barrel for Massachusetts. Look up the crime statistics, income, and foreclosure reports. I lived there for 4 years in the Forest Park section and had my car broken into a few times. That was a few years ago when the city was better. As I was moving out there were major budget problems and they had to lay off a lot of police. The nightlife sucks now because they opened too many bars. When you go downtown they are all 1/3 to 1/2 full and feel dead. There are regularly fights and stabbings in the Springfield club scene. I never felt unsafe personally but don't go shooting your mouth off downtown. Maybe my opinion is jaded after living in Florida and Boston, but I think Springfield is the pits and I would not move back there.

Most of the rest of Western Mass is nice with beautiful scenery and if you like small artsy cities Northampton is voted as one of the best in the country. Just understand that you will be driving from town to town to do stuff and not walking around one city.
I have to agree with arigold1975 and then....Springfield is really a $hithole...and people leave in Springfield because they do not have any choice....I live in Worcester myself and I've been in Springfield couple times and there is nothing going now on that city besides the high crime rate...
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