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Old 06-01-2007, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
644 posts, read 3,247,482 times
Reputation: 338

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I'm still trying to get info on North Adams. I've heard a few people say it is the next Northampton. North Adams has been written up as an up and coming art town with the opening of MASS MoCA in 1999. It was also one of the "100 Best Art Towns." Does anyone have any thoughts/experience on this?

Artie
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:41 PM
 
154 posts, read 686,421 times
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my best friend goes to college there (MCLA), so i've been up to visit a few times. it's definitely artsy, but it's not so much bleeding into the streets as you would find in northampton. the region as a whole (the berkshires), from south to pittsfield and west to williamstown, is pretty artsy and eclectic, but not on a large scale. bascially, north adams MAY be the next northampton, but not for another 25-50 years. it all depends. it's a cool little town though, the downtown area is a lot larger and more interesting than i had thought it was going to be, and the easy access (no highways around though, unfortunately) to vermont & new york, each about 10 minutes away, is very cool.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
644 posts, read 3,247,482 times
Reputation: 338
I guess nobody's been to North Adams. I was hoping to get more of a response.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Burlington, VT
484 posts, read 1,891,405 times
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Default Not quite

I spent 4 years at MCLA. If there is one thing the locals hate, it's change. There was uproar when NASC changed its name to MCLA, even though the locals hate the college. The mayor is in his 9th or 10th term, and when he only got 55% of the vote 7 years ago, some people panicked.

For North Adams to become the next Northampton, things have to change. I wouldn't count on that happening any time soon.
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 26,333,475 times
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All things change, some for the best, some for the worse--Northampton has fallen from grace imo. But inasmuch as I am just outside the Pioneer Valley this weekend and plan to stay for a few days, I may drive up and check out North Adams (because of talk here and elsewhere) and if I do I'll post my reactions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by artichoke63 View Post
I guess nobody's been to North Adams. I was hoping to get more of a response.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
644 posts, read 3,247,482 times
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Cool. I'd love to hear your thoughts. I lived in Northampton for several years. I can't believe how costly apartments are now.
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Old 06-03-2007, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 26,333,475 times
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Well, artichoke63, this may have not been the best day for a drive through the Berkshires on back roads. I wound up in 3 soup-fogs, one of which kept me off the road for nearly an hour, but I made it to North Adams at late mid-day. I drove from Brattleboro on 91, to rte 2 into town--treacherous on rte 2 especially when that teeming rain hit and the fog followed. (approx. 65m; more than 2 hrs) I came back on even smaller roads, MA8 to VT100 to VT 9 and faced two more soupy kitchens (about the same time but felt shorter).

And this is what I discovered after talking to several people in town: the bookstore owner; the waitress at the closest open eatery: a pizza joint; and the owner of a second hand store who is originally from NYC.

The town has promise but it may take years to prove itself. More than half the store-fronts on the street I drove onto (entry into town) were vacant with huge "for rent" signs. The in town movie theatre is closed, but another newer one has opened. The bookstore has successfully been in business for 10 years and the owner is originally from CT.

The pizza joint has some really good food and varied, but basically Italio-Turkish (the owners are from Turkey). I talked for the longest time to the waitress here and she would really love to leave North Adams; she is the mother of two young children and only has one year of college under her belt. No jobs in North Adams.

What the town does have is easy access to Williamstown and all it has to offer; beautiful downtown even though it is depressed. It is actually more beautiful architecturally than Northampton, wider Main Street, many steeples and just a general sense of small town New England.

It also has many mills that are ready for conversion or have been converted for the daring artists who seem to be heading to the town. I didn't meet any and as I knew I had to get back to Brattleboro before dark if the storm continued I didn't explore the art venues (although most of the town is closed on Sundays).

The town has both apartments to rent and houses to buy (I checked craigslist before I left).

If North Adams becomes the next Northampton I hope you are young because it doesn't look as if it can turn around quickly. However, I did Soho (NYC) turn around and Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY) in what later seemed like record breaking time. I may be too old to add it to my own list of relocation places.

This is my mini-report. If you have any questions, ask away!

Quote:
Originally Posted by artichoke63 View Post
Cool. I'd love to hear your thoughts. I lived in Northampton for several years. I can't believe how costly apartments are now.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
644 posts, read 3,247,482 times
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Hello Otherroad,

Well, doesn't sound like North Adams is too exciting. What about Mass MoCA? Did you have a chance to go there? Williamstown sounds really nice. Do you think I can buy a home there for around $150K?

How do you like living in Brattleboro?

I'm currently in Los Angeles. Moved out of my apartment and put everything into storage. Here I sit trying to decide where to move... feeling frustrated as everything is so expensive. Rents and homes in Northampton have gotten silly. Maybe I'll move to Kansas. I don't know... but I miss New England.

Artie
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 26,333,475 times
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I really don't know anything current about Williamstown, but I believe most of the well-known towns have gotten very expensive. However, in and around the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley--which runs all the way along the Mohawk Trail (route 2), are some smaller towns that are probably still affordable.

I don't live in Brattleboro; I'm just here looking at places to live myself, that's why I trekked over to North Adams. If I were 30 years younger, and a committed artist I'd probably give it a shot, but I am a dabbler and retired.

If you want to come back to New England, you may have to do what I'm going: check the towns out personally.

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by artichoke63 View Post
Hello Otherroad,

Well, doesn't sound like North Adams is too exciting. What about Mass MoCA? Did you have a chance to go there? Williamstown sounds really nice. Do you think I can buy a home there for around $150K?

How do you like living in Brattleboro?

I'm currently in Los Angeles. Moved out of my apartment and put everything into storage. Here I sit trying to decide where to move... feeling frustrated as everything is so expensive. Rents and homes in Northampton have gotten silly. Maybe I'll move to Kansas. I don't know... but I miss New England.

Artie
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Colchester Vermont
50 posts, read 181,774 times
Reputation: 21
I'm just jumping in but thanks for the input on North Adams. My husband actually has a job interview there on Wednesday and I'm trying to learn more about the area.

Thanks,
Julie
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