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Old 06-10-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 2,086,240 times
Reputation: 359

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I didn't grow up in MA, but have lived in Boston for about 9 years. I actually grew up near Albany, NY which is only about 40-45 miles from the the MA border. Some of the issue is that the parts of MA right over the border (Pittsfield, North Adams, the Berkshires) get their TV/radio stations from Albany, NY so they identify more with NY than MA (you'll see quite a few Yankee fans out that way).

And yes, people in the Boston area don't really travel out to W. MA too much. If they do, they don't go further than I-84/Strubridge because they're going to CT, NYC, NJ areas. Or, they may hit up Six Flags or the Big E in the Springfield area. A lot of people I know went to UMass, but they didn't really didn't venture too far out of the area. As far as outdoor activities, people in the 495 corridor mostly go south to the Cape or north to NH and Maine instead of West.

People in Eastern MA identify strongly with Boston and the big city mentality. In Western MA, people identify more with Springfield or perhaps even Albany, which are much smaller cities.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Springfield and brookline MA
1,281 posts, read 2,644,891 times
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i grew up in brookline and moved to west springfield when i was 22,as far as one poster commented on the people out here being more well off,that is way off.there are more poor rural communities out here than well of ones.as far as identifying with albany, i never even think of albany or have been to albany either,and neither have any of my friends.and i can attest that living in the springfield area while not as big as boston, it is definately not laid back.people here are just as educated and politicaly and socialy involved as the peole from the boston area.and i have been to the south shore the north shore and metro west and some of those towns are more back woods and rural than some wetsern mass towns.i just don't get the divide and probably never will,i think it will reamin a mystery to me forever.

oh and the nyc crowd flock to the berkshires,they leave the springfield metro area all alone.i also think it is funny that my in-laws get a hotel room wen they come to visit because they don't lke to drive very far in one day(they live in attleboro,and think it takes days to get here.)
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: W.Mass
184 posts, read 603,417 times
Reputation: 112
Shiver has a good point about W.Mass people identifying more with Albany (I also spent my youth there). There are other factors, though. Most people have no idea how much more liberal and tolerant the atmosphere is out her (WMass) and we even call it "the Happy Valley"! It makes Central MA residents jumpy, since they are often very conservative, esp. socially, as well as religious (Catholic). The Boston crowd...I see them as snobby...and intolerant of WMass and there's been a long-standing rivalry between the colleges there and out here, esp. after UMass became the state university in 1948.

As for Eastern MA kids getting away from the Amherst area as fast as they can...I don't see that at all! This place is swamped by people from all over, including Boston, who went to college here and fell in love with it, then stayed.

Another big chasm is Quabbin Reservoir! It makes east-west travel far more difficult than it would probably be otherwise. As someone observed, Easter Mass. people are more likely to travel to the south, toward Sturbridge (Ugh! I spent my teen years there after Albany), or north to New Hampshire, say, for recreation.

Who knows how much more unified the state would be with Quabbin splitting it in half? Still, regional differences are always present. For example, when I lived in VT for awhile, I was always grilled about being a "Flatlander", until I said I came from WESTERN Mass.! Somehow, they equated that with being more "countrified" and less stuck up.

As for Vermonters, many do not even consider southern VT (such as Brattleboro) to be really a part of the state! Go figure...
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
8,081 posts, read 12,235,941 times
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A hotel room? That's funny. To tell you the truth, we don't visit very often. I was in Easthampton for a wedding last year, but actually my husband is representing someone in court this afternoon in Springfield, so he's on his way home now. I guess like another poster said, we are more likely to visit New Hampshire, Maine, the Cape or Rhode Island - nothing against Western Mass.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:35 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 6,850,349 times
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I know everyone's going to roll their eyes, but NJ is much the same way only it's split north/south. People from the northern part of the state scratch their heads at the more countrified southern part, and the southern part wants no part of the crowded, expensive, urban northern part. There is also a large geographic feature separating the two sections, the Pine Barrens, much like Quabbin.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Springfield and brookline MA
1,281 posts, read 2,644,891 times
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i really don't see how quabbin separates the state,that one just baffles me. quabin is not all that encompassing,easily passed to the north and south,as a matter of fact there are plenty of roads that go north and south of it.

Last edited by CaseyB; 06-10-2009 at 05:41 PM.. Reason: That image is copyrighted see webpage: " Copyright of the image remains with Terra Prints Inc."
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:17 PM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
746 posts, read 3,249,231 times
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I like all parts of the state and have friends in Boston, Newburyport, Provincetown, Tewksbury, Gardner, Hadley and of course, all up and down the Berkshires.

And I'll tell you another secret - I love Bennington, Vermont and Cambridge, New York, too.

I think most people talk a good game, but in the end they just tend to be unadventurous and repeat the same places over and over.

Nothing wrong with that, either. Doesn't mean they hate me.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:59 PM
 
2,405 posts, read 4,714,554 times
Reputation: 1716
Quote:
Originally Posted by VlyRoadKid View Post
Shiver has a good point about W.Mass people identifying more with Albany (I also spent my youth there). There are other factors, though. Most people have no idea how much more liberal and tolerant the atmosphere is out her (WMass) and we even call it "the Happy Valley"! It makes Central MA residents jumpy, since they are often very conservative, esp. socially, as well as religious (Catholic). The Boston crowd...I see them as snobby...and intolerant of WMass and there's been a long-standing rivalry between the colleges there and out here, esp. after UMass became the state university in 1948.

As for Eastern MA kids getting away from the Amherst area as fast as they can...I don't see that at all! This place is swamped by people from all over, including Boston, who went to college here and fell in love with it, then stayed.

Another big chasm is Quabbin Reservoir! It makes east-west travel far more difficult than it would probably be otherwise. As someone observed, Easter Mass. people are more likely to travel to the south, toward Sturbridge (Ugh! I spent my teen years there after Albany), or north to New Hampshire, say, for recreation.

Who knows how much more unified the state would be with Quabbin splitting it in half? Still, regional differences are always present. For example, when I lived in VT for awhile, I was always grilled about being a "Flatlander", until I said I came from WESTERN Mass.! Somehow, they equated that with being more "countrified" and less stuck up.

As for Vermonters, many do not even consider southern VT (such as Brattleboro) to be really a part of the state! Go figure...
Interesting thing about the Quabbin Reservoir is that it was created so that Metro Boston could have water. They flooded 4 towns...one of them was one of the wealthiest town in MA at the time. Many people were very angry at having to move their homes and businesses. There are many ghost stories and hauntings in the Quabbin Reservoir area because of this.

Western MA is very beautiful and I can't believe how many people I talk to in the metro Boston area who have never visited or have no interest in other parts of MA.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:43 PM
 
18 posts, read 55,156 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by western mass and love it View Post
i really don't see how quabbin separates the state,that one just baffles me. quabin is not all that encompassing,
I've been reading some of your posts and you obviously haven't got a clue about much of anything to do with western Massachusetts. I'll explain to you exactly how the the Quabbin separates the state, east from west.

It's an old grudge. The Quabbin isn't a natural body of water. It's man made. There used to be several towns there, like the town of Prescott, but they were forcibly evacuated and flooded in the early part of the last century to create a water supply for Boston. There's a water pipeline that runs all the way from the Quabbin to Boston and you might hear people joke and say" Western Mass. - water supplier to Boston."

The flooding of those towns is a huge monumental symbol of the disregard and lack of concern Boston, the Commonwealth, has for the finances and well-being of western Mass. People in western Mass. feel that we're on our own.

Another thing that separates us east from west is, so many of us grew up here, went to college here, bought our houses, started businesses, raised our families here, but every flotsam and jetsom from Boston and it's suburbs, and New York, spends a few short years here, before they go back where they came from, and then feels entitled to tell us what's what about western Mass. as if you know what you're talking about. Let me tell you, you have about 90% of it wrong.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Springfield and brookline MA
1,281 posts, read 2,644,891 times
Reputation: 1288
well thanks for the condescending post and the history lesson that i already knew.but just like the whole debate about the civil war with the southern states,GET OVER IT. no one alive today had anything to do with the flooding of those towns,and that is not what i am talking about.actualy it's the attitiude that you display is what i am talking about. i am glad you know the REAL western mass,and it is obvious that you alone know the real western mass.but this is my home also and i think i have a pretty good grasp of what the area is all about.


so anyone else have any thoughts or ideas that are a little more productive or is this going to turn into flame war(i hope not).
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