Interesting old industrial city in Western Massachusetts.
Holyoke is often referred to as the “arson capitol of the world” for the number of vacant, abandoned and burned out buildings that littered its landscape. Once an industrial capitol, the “Paper City,” known for its manufacturing of paper and textiles, ran on river power and an innovative and extensive canal system that harnessed water power. Nearly a hundred years later, Holyoke became a city of boarded up five- and six-story brick blocks and abandoned, burned out factories frequently used by drug dealers as squats, lookouts, and places for their nefarious business. Holyoke after the 1960s was a city of empty, rubble-filled lots, the remains of dozens of fires that destroyed many of these buildings. Piles of charred debris were left behind. It is densely populated with large brick tenements. For lots of reasons it has the appearance of much larger inner-city areas of the late 70's early 80's. So when you go into neighborhoods and see the kinds of disinvestments that people are familiar with in sections of Roxbury in Boston and in sections of the South Bronx you feel like you're in familiar territory.
Holyoke is in the process of revitalizing downtown as well as a "slum clearance" to rebuild some of the worst ghettos in the Northeast. The city is also attracting high-tech jobs due to its access to green hydropower.
Moving to Holyoke: "Get a security system, CCTV, secure 'buzz-in' entry system, firearms permits, auto-alarms and a pit-bull just so you fit in. Most people leave their cars unlocked so they don't have to replace the glass too often - just let them rifle through your Subaru without having to actually break in. Get one of those removable CD FM units you can take with you. Never leave your GPS out. When your guest arrive have them call 1st so you and your gun and your un-neutered pit bull can meet them out in the street and escort them in. Do the reverse when they leave. You may need to buy some weed or crack from the locals every so often just so they smile and wave at you and ask you "'sup?" instead of simply beating you to a pulp for your cash."
"There are only three cities in the world, Holyoke, Paris and New York”
Brockton is a nice city south of Boston with a suburban look. It is Not ghetto and its crime rate is slightly higher than the national average but not even close to other Massachusetts cities such as Springfield or Holyoke. Its poverty rate is slightly above the Massachusetts average but its not run down and boarded up like other communities. Brockton does not have an urbanish look like other cities its size in Massachusetts (ex Lowell, Chelsea) and is the twenty-seventh most densely populated . Few sketchy neighborhoods but most are nice family oriented. The last post tries to compare Brockton to Detroit. Detroit has 418 murders to 8 in Brockton. Detroit has 8000 robberies to 200 in Brockton.
Brockton was named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in the United States in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
Nice and pleasant small city 40 miles south of Boston. Contrary to other posts Taunton is an extremely safe city with a low crime rate. Its overall crime rate is well below the national average in every category. In fact crime is lower than cities its size such as Barnstable(Cape Cod) and Haverhill among other Massachusetts cities. No Ghettos!! These people need to drive 90 miles to Springfield or Holyoke to see "ghettos". This is Not an impoverished city like Holyoke or Lawrence. Convenience stores don't have bullet proof glass and No bulletproof drive-throughs at fast food joints. It might be a crappy place to some in comparison to the surrounding rural towns but to most its an above average small city.
Taunton area Ranked #4 Most Romantic Cities for Boomers