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Old Fart
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's some pics I took in Springfield, Mass in oct of '04. It was rather overcast, but what the heck.

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Hope you enjoyed :)
 

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It does look like a pretty nice city. I know that it looks bigger than it really is. It's only about the size of Syraucuse but looks bigger.
 

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Been there a few times, not to shabby. Granted the first time was to drive down there from Concord (a 2-2.5 hour drive) to pick a friend from NYC up at the train station at 11pm (and the train was late), only to then turn back around for Concord. Could've just driven to NYC and it would've been faster. But I digress...

It is one of those cities that appears much larger than it actually is. In terms of size and density, it does remind me alot of Rochester, actually.

Home to the Basketball HOF (not that I care) and a decent theme park in nearby Agawam. Also the home of the first Friendly's restaurant.
 

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Springfield has 150,000 people with a metro of just under 700,000, but downtown Springfield and downtown Hartford are only 22 miles apart. The city itself is in financial ruin; it went into Massachusetts state receivership last year, meaning the state congress is now responsible for managing the entire city budget.

From Wikipedia: In July 2004, the Massachusetts General Court created, in response to the city's request for additional aid, a state-run Finance Control Board (FCB) to resolve an escalating financial crisis. The fiscal problems had already resulted in wage freezes, cuts in city services, fee increases, and layoffs. The FCB consisted of the mayor (Charles Ryan), the City Council president, and three appointees of Governor Mitt Romney under the overall direction of state Secretary of Finance and Administration Eric Kriss. The FCB legislation included a state loan of $52 million to be paid back with future city tax receipts. A grant for $20 million was included originally, but former House Speaker Thomas Finneran killed that section, fearing it would invite fiscal irresponsibility among other municipalities. Initial estimates placed the city's operating deficit at over $40 million annually.

Northampton and Amherst are part of the metro and are only 20 minutes up I-91.
 

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Old Fart
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info Shawn. I too thought it didn't look too bad, and had more of a downtown than I expected. I've also heard (or read somewhere) that the crime rate is quite high.
 

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Springfield gets a bad rep for crime, and it's partially deserved. However, property crimes occur at a much higher rate than violent crimes do, by nearly a 6:1 ration. The city saw 15 murders in 2005 - 3 less than Providence's 18 - and yet no one ever claims Providence is a dangerous place. Due to the high levels of property crime, Springfield is technically Mass's most dangerous city, but everyone from Mass knows that places like neighboring Holyoke or Brockton are more dangerous in terms of one's chances of being a victim of violent crime.
 

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Old Fart
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
^ Thanks for the clarification Shawn. btw, I just put up a Brockton thread, and a Holyoke (Yikes) thread will be on the way.
 

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Very true, Springfield is the third city in Massachusetts after Boston & Worcester. And it’s quite different, much slower paced, as compared with eastern Mass. In the Connecticut Valley, Springfield’s overshadowed by Hartford, which has a larger metro & more formidable economic base. Both cities share an international airport. Like Hartford, Springfield grew as a firearms/munitions & insurance center. Both cities lost ground as those sectors contacted in the early 1990s. As the pictures show, Springfield has a well-kept although not bustling downtown. Seems that Hartford has rebounded quite well & hopefully so too will Springfield.
 
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