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Old 03-01-2007, 05:01 PM
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 2,071,860 times
Reputation: 199


I have a potential job prospect in Norwich and I was wondering what the town was like. Are there a lot of things to do outdoors such as camping? Noticed a couple of small state parks in the area, what are those like?

The wife relocating to upstate from Fort Collins, CO. The wife is from Old Forge and we'd like to get closer to her family. I know Norwich is much smaller and more isolated. What is the downtown like? Most importantly, is there good food and GOOD BEER available?


Last edited by Rumblebelly; 03-01-2007 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:23 PM
306 posts, read 1,525,650 times
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This is only an impression since I've only been there once, looking around generally and at some specific houses, for about half a day, two years ago.

I thought that the place had a lot of character and offered VERY affordable housing, with some very fine older homes amid, unfortunately, a fairly run-down housing stock, it seemed to me. In other words, it also seemed fairly gloomy, especially compared to some other places in the region.

For example, the small town of Gilberstville, to the east, was serene and, for the most part, stately.

Also, Oneonta, though you do have to be careful not to live among the college students, was livelier and a more cheerful place, with better food and, likely, better beer (I was driving so I didn't sample the local offerings). It's also about twice as big as Norwich.

Also, consider three other fairly nearby towns you might like.

Earlville is very small--but very quaint and friendly, very peaceful. Kids leaving their bikes on the sidewalks in front of their friends' houses, old folks strolling to the post-office and talking gardening with one neighbor after another on the way--a very sweet place. Feels like a good nap's good dream.

Hamilton is another college town. Richer and a bit snootier than Oneonta, but also very handsome, with some fine restaurants and taverns.

Somewhat further north is Clinton; remarks about Hamilton apply here, too.

So in terms of food & drink, I'd say Oneonta, Clinton, and Hamilton are your better bets, given the presence of the colleges and, in Oneonta's case, its relative size.

But in terms of really-hard-to-find-these-days quaintness and quietness, I'd suggest Gilberstville and Earlville.

None of these places are, by my standards, stuck in Appalachia as I am for the time being, a very far commute from Norwich (though some upstaters, who are used to that wonderful upstate proximity of things, might disagree).

All of that being said, not only is it very possible that Norwich has much more to recommend it than I saw, it does have real character, the way virtually all the older upstate NY towns and cities do. You know where you are--it's light-years from that anonymous "Where am I?" feeling that so much of "developing" America gives these days. It's got texture and an at least gritty charm. If you don't have kids and thus can relocate easily, certainly living there a year or so to see if you like it would make sense. (It does, however, seem to have a relatively high-ish level of crime for this kind of city in this area. Nothing horrific, but if you look at the crime stats on city-data, these are considerably higher than those in surrounding towns. Whether that's a measure of an overall gloominess, I can't say, but I have my suspicions.)

And like all these places, beautiful natural settings--and a great variety of them--are very close. The whole area is a beautiful balance of waterways, generally very lovely farms, forests, wetlands, fields, rolling hills, rolling sky. We just skimmed through the nearby parks and thought they were very good, with trails, streams, lots of peace and quiet. The area is very balanced in this way. You can fish for a while on your way into work, stop for a swim after work, and, if you're in Clinton, Hamilton, or Oneonta, take in a free outdoor concert or festival (people make their summers count up there!) before you do some fine tavern-touring.

And if you like a hearty beer and know how to read and/or enjoy music/old movies, you'll endure the winters just fine. Nothing like that room-warmed Stout after a walk in the snow, either!

Wish I could be more specific. Hope you'll post your choice & experiences!
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:02 AM
Location: Ocala, Florida
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Default Norwich, NY

Have to agree with "homeward bounds" excellent post.

Norwich is recognizing it's need to improve it's infrastructure and it has taken many steps toward a postive direction. Previously, many of it's residents had to travel to Oneonta, Cortland, or Binghamton for a wider variety of shopping. Now, Lowe's has opened a new store and a WalMart SuperStore has opened as well. New pharmacies have opened to serve the residents of Norwich. Norwich has many fine restaurants and many more are within easy drive from there.

While the local hospital is capable of serving most of the medical needs of area residents, for more complex care, Norwich residents still have to travel to Binghamton, Syracuse, or Cooperstown.

Norwich and the areas highlighted by "homeward bound" are fine, safe areas and are all highly recommended so long as you can accept a "small town" feel.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:05 AM
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 2,071,860 times
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Thanks for all of the wonderful replies. Our biggest concern about Norwich is finding work for my wife who does bookkeeping. It seems pretty isolated from other larger cities. Is the pharmaceutical company the main employer for that area?
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:56 PM
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Default Norwich

There are some decent restaurants here, nothing I would call fantastic. A few new places have opened recently, all but one perished immediately.

According to the locals, do not use Chenango Memorial Hospital. Everyone here travels to Binghamton, Cooperstown, and Hamilton for their medical needs and emergencies. There are a few dentists, no periodontist closer than Oneonta/Binghamton.

Jobs are few and far between, decent jobs are quite rare. Pay is low for nonprofessionals, benefits are rarely offered. I'm in the predicament of having finally found a job that pays a mite more than the norm and having to stay with it despite complete dissatisfaction and lack of benefits, because there just aren't many around that pay enough to live on. Be sure to have lots of cash reserves to carry you through the long search period. It took me six months. Not that I minded the time off...

The people here are for the most part friendly and pleasant to be around. It's not as conservative as you may have heard, there's a fairly lively political scene. As far as crime, it's low, though Norwich experienced its first murder in a decade a few weeks ago, and an attempted murder a few days later. Quite unusual, though. Most of the crime seems to center on DWIs, domestic disputes, bar fights, and more DWIs.

I actually live in Oxford, a VERY small town 7 miles south of Norwich on Route 12. A lovely little village, with a couple of places to eat, bank, and library branch. I don't regret moving here at all. It's a lovely place when the snow and rain and floods let up (and even when they don't, it's still quite pretty). I just wish there was more economic opportunity, but that's life.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:08 AM
2 posts, read 8,644 times
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Default I grew up in Norwich, NY

It was a great place to be a kid but the job market wasn't the greatest even then ((1970-1982). My father took a job offer outside of Washington DC. Life was completely different. I didn't know anyone that wasn't white, or Catholic, existed! I've often thanked my Dad letting grow up in such a innocent world and then exposing us to the real world.

I now live in a small town in Virginia that reminds me of Norwich. I've even met a couple from Norwich. If only we had Nina's Pizza!
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