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Old 06-11-2009, 07:43 AM
2,056 posts, read 3,712,741 times
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There are still some hard feelings over the Quabbin and a society of survivors that would meet regularly to remember the old days in Dana, Prescott, Enfield, and Greenwich (same with the West Enders displaced by urban renewal in Boston in 1958-59). Probably that continues even as the actual survivors dwindle. But Quabbin is a marvelous resource for the state--water for the east, an "accidental wilderness" as someone called it for the locals who can walk, hike, picnic, fish, and encounter all the wildlife that has found a habitat there. I'm sure that it has local isolating effects in towns like Barre and Petersham but doubt it makes a barrier at the larger scale as Routes 2, 9, 20, and the Turnpike all pass it by.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:06 AM
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 20,651,347 times
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Originally Posted by western mass and love it View Post
was just curious as to what everyone's opinions are on the east vs west and vice versa vibe that permeates through out this state.it is one of the smallest states land wise and yet there is such a great divide. can't we all just get along.(and i don't mean on this forum i mean in real life)
I don't know what you're talking about. Everyone in the state seems to get along fine as far as I see.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:35 AM
Location: Oakland, CA
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I grew up in Eastern Mass and went to college in Western Mass and STAYED. Though, I won't deny that most students do move to Boston after they graduate. It's not because they have anything against Western Mass, but it's because there are so few job opportunities out here, especially for recent grads, that if they're really adamant about getting their foot in the door, moving to a major city like Boston makes a lot more sense than staying in a primarily rural area.

The atmosphere of Western Mass and Eastern Mass feel very, very different. I used to get culture shock while I was in college whenever I'd go back and forth between school breaks. They are different worlds. Eastern Mass just feels so busy and stressful compared to Western Mass. I don't mean to generalize, but a lot of people out there, especially near Boston, are very uptight and have a short fuse. I didn't even notice the anger of Boston until I spent so many years in Western Mass. I was just used to it and took it as normal. But honestly, Boston just wouldn't be Boston without the anger! The road rage is phenomenal, but that is not surprising since there is traffic everywhere and the roads are impossible to navigate. On the other hand, there is a lot of diversity, always something to do, and a lot of opportunity in Eastern Mass. You can basically do anything you want if you set your mind to it. And it has an ocean that I miss living near so much...the beauty of some of the coastal areas in Eastern Mass could give Western Mass a run for its money.

Western Mass is so much more laid-back and has a much slower pace. People here act generally happier and don't complain much. They don't beep their horn at you the split second the light turns green. Store clerks don't feel the need to make it clear to you that you're making their day more miserable by being there. It's a lot friendlier. There are fewer people, no lines to wait on, no crowds, and what people out here call "traffic" is a total joke. It makes sense that it's more laid back here than in the urban parts on the other side of the state.

A lot of people out here do still hold a slight grudge against Boston for the Quabbin. It's not so much because they still care about the towns that were flooded a century ago--it's much more about what that historic event symbolized. Our political leaders don't give a crap about western Mass and the flooding of the towns to feed Boston is a classic example. They don't know anything about this part of the state and don't acknowledge that people actually live here. They think Boston is the only part of the state that matters. Tax spending is spread out very disproportionately throughout the state. Almost every penny of our tax dollars earned in Western Mass goes towards funding in Boston. It doesn't make sense. Western Mass gets completely ignored. This part of the state has fallen deeply into neglect and grows poorer and poorer each year. And the people out here are pissed about it.

Last edited by theh; 06-11-2009 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:20 PM
Location: New England & The Maritimes
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Wow, anyone who thinks there is such a divide needs to get out of Mass once in a while. Ooooooo western mass is more rural. that's about the 'divide'. There is no hate though, maybe some bitterness from certain people out west but certainly no disdain towards w.mass from bostonians.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:53 PM
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The way I've always seen it,

Cape/Islands- The cape is weird because of the season, in the off season large parts of the economy shut down, a sort of depressed feeling can be felt. Not much traffic, once memorial day hits the cape becomes just as stressful and full of traffic/road rage as the boston area. Lots of wealthy folks, and elderly so the environment is not very well suited for younger folks.

Eastern MA-Stressful, traffic lots of pissed off people year round. Everyone is rushing somewhere, and as was said earlier most have a pretty short fuse and not much patience. Expect to get nearly run off the road, given the finger and never look anyone in the eye.

Western MA- Totally different world, I think because much of it is still very much a rural type area. People are generally more polite and willing to help out others in western MA it seems. I'll disagree with a previous poster on here about W.Ma being more liberal than Boston/Cape because I don't think thats even possible. It seems that a majority of the conservatives are living in W.Ma which makes sense as it still retains its routes as an agricultural area.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:55 AM
Location: Cape Cod
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From an Eastern MA perspective, I would say that the Cape, NH, ME and RI are just more convenient. We can generally get to the ocean, a lake, a ski slope, etc. and not have to deal with the Mass Pike and it's tolls. While the Western part of the state is most definitely beautiful, I can reach a wide range of sports and cultural activities by public transportation or a relatively short drive. And the Pike is a monotonous, boring ride. If I'm travelling from the Cape to NH, there are plenty of detours I can take to make the ride more interesting. I can also be in Newport in less than an hour.
Not casting any aspersions on the "Westerners", but we "Easterners" are probably very spoiled with the number and variety of places we can go and just don't feel the need to go further.
I have a friend who lives out past Springfield and she dreads making the trip East. She's a former Florida and North Shore girl, but she prefers her neck of the woods.
Whatever makes your boat float.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:39 PM
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I guess the east-west division was sharper before the turnpike. Route 20 was pretty slow and 9 was worse because it goes right through Worcester. Railroad travel wasn't very fast either--if you think the Boston to Worcester trip is slow, try the Worcester to Springfield segment (hardly anyone has as there's been very little passenger service since the 1960s). I did it once and it's a long and winding (rail)road. I believe some of the rhetoric at the time they decided to build the turnpike was making it "one state", and it has to have helped, as has locating the state university in Amherst. Still, there's quite a gap, not the least of which is the change in accent--the broad A and the dropped R disappears somewhere west of Worcester; around Springfield and Holyoke people carry the flat A of upstate N.Y. I agree with Cathy--the easterners have plenty of nice places to go. Also, people like going out of state--you feel like you're getting away more than staying in state. However, for the right tourist, heading west has rewards you can't find along the coast or in N. H.--one of them is Tanglewood, another is the August racing season in Saratoga Springs, NY.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:22 AM
Location: Cape Cod
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Something else I just though of: My daughter (alert: bragging on the way) was accepted to 9 colleges and universities. She chose Westfield because it was far enough away from home, yet had the "feel" of home. She really liked the environment and the "comfort" factor.
East girl goes West!!!! But I think she'll always be a Cape Coddah. This is a girl who travels with a swimsuit and a beach towel in her purse.....just in case.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:09 AM
2,403 posts, read 4,712,794 times
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Originally Posted by Madaly View Post
I have lived in the South Shore all my life and I will admit it, I know next to nothing about parts North or West of Boston. We are a teeny tiny state, yet I have not really traveled any further than West of Worcester, or North of Boston. And to be quite honest, I don't really care to. It just doesn't interest me. Sometimes, I forget that there are other parts of MA. lol

The Western part of Ma is soooo different than where I am from, it is like a totally different state. I know people from out there and I have found the people that I know from there to be a little snobbier than the people I know here. I think that people who live that far west are a little more well off financially than where I am from, and same for most towns up North. So you just see different classes, I guess. I don't know how to explain it.
Not uncommon, for such a small state I find that many people barely travel outside their local little area, especially in New England. Then you live in Texas and people are forced to drive 3 hours to every city and so people drive all over.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:58 AM
Location: Newburyport, MA
3,454 posts, read 1,311,605 times
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For what it's worth, I see similar tensions in NH - seacoast and southern NH vs mid-state and northern NH, and in ME - seacoast and Portland ME vs interior and northern ME. It seems to have many dimensions - right versus left, more rural versus more urban/suburban, more prosperous versus less, more educated versus less. At least on CityData, there is a lot of distrust, disrespect and outright animosity from people in the more rural areas of NH and ME for the people in the other areas of even their own states. I don't really understand it, but the nearest I can think is simply that this reflects the broader divides in the nation these days, which are certainly big and growing bigger.
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