My husband is hopefully being transferred to the Keene area soon and we have started looking for apartments to rent around there. We're coming from just south of Boston. I like Brattleboro a lot and we're looking there right now. I do like Keene a lot too. Are there areas to avoid in either town? We have 2 boys; an almost 12 year old going into 7th grade and a 4 month old. We only have 1 car so I like to be able to walk places. Any other cool (not too too rural) towns I should check out? We're driving up tomorrow for a day trip. TIA!
Looking to move to the Keene area need advice!
Hey there...so I am considering relocating to Keene fron Long Island to finish my Master's at Antioch New England Graduate School. I actually was in the program in 2004-2005, sans kids, and did not really "feel" the whole vibe back then and withdrew from my program. 6 years later, I am revisiting the idea of going back and believe Keene may have some good things to offer my family that Long Island certainly does not: a more outdorrsy culture, environmental ethics and a Waldorf School. So at this point, I am really hoping to meet up with some other mamas with similar lifestyle and parenting approaches up in Keene. I will hopefully be there by Spring 2012. Let me know how your journey goes! I have a 4 year old and 14 month old sons...:-)
We aren't there yet wither. Still deciding between Keene and the seacoast of NH as that is closer to where my husband will work. I will be attending school in Keene though. Haven't been in over 6 years! I never truly explored Brattleboro but it is very close to Keene and I have heard good things....:-)
My husband just finished up the graduate program at Antioch in Keene (Environmental). We relocated from Philadelphia about 2.5 years ago so he could attend (and had been wanting to move to new england anyway).
After spending a bit of time searching in Keene, we found we could not find anything in our price range that was acceptable (both rental and buying-wise)...it's a college town, so a lot of affordable rentals reflect that fact...and when we meant with a realtor, we found that buying was out of reach due to the high property taxes in Keene.
Someone suggested we check out Brattleboro...and we fell in love. We started out renting a place right in town, which was perfect...it was the necessary stepping stone we needed coming from an urban area (and also being a one car family). I was able to walk with the kids for coffee, park, groceries, etc... Downtown Brattleboro has suffered in the past year...a fire last April took out a chunk of downtown and then the flood in August hurt many more businesses...but it is back on the up-swing. The family atmosphere is awesome...I feel much more "at home" in my mothering choices here than I ever did in the city...lots of attachment parenting families...lots of homeschoolers.
Parts of town can be hit or miss, I would recommend coming to stay for a few days and really explore.
We actually recently moved from Brattleboro to the next town north, Putney- which is amazing (but much much smaller- very eclectic, very hippie)- b/c we found an old farmhouse with acreage to make homesteading dreams come true.
There are lots of activities to do with kids in town and in the surrounding areas...and if you're not afraid to drive once in awhile- there are some amazing museums in the 1 hour radius (Western Mass, Central VT, S NH)
Some highlights that we particularly enjoy...nature- everywhere. Every season is gorgeous (even mud season!)...really, it's breathtaking. The libraries in Keene and Brattleboro are both awesome (we pay to be members at Keene b/c it's so great). Friendly small-town atmosphere, but access to cultural events...orchestras, plays, art museums, musicals, puppet festivals, literary festivals...the "cow parade" ;) There are some children's play places and I heard they're opening one in Keene this month too.
Anyway, hope this helps a bit...feel free to ask me more questions...I'm just flying off the top of my head right now, but if you have specific questions, I'd be happy to try and answer...
Good luck everyone if/when you move!
Thank you, Mommy Amber, for the helpful advice! We are still determining whether a move is feasible or not but the tentative plan is for this fall as I will be attending Antioch as well! I guess I need to spend more time in Brattleboro to decide between the two towns. I lived in Keene years ago and found it too small and lacking in diversity but I did not have children back then so my perspectives have changed a lot. It has great things to offer outdoorsy, natural-minded ", "mothering" type families for sure! Although I am coming from the NY metro area so we are apprehensive about things being too "slow." I guess I am really looking for a good mix. What are your thoughts on Brattleboro? What did you like/dislike and how is the commute to Keene? Also, can you share a bit more about Putney and its distance from Keene and what it has to offer? I have two small sons, ages 5 and 2, and I am looking for forest kindergartens/place-based schools and a really strong community of progressive-minded folks who are open to good food, music, culture, diversity amongst other things. We are a multicultural family who loves the outdoors and international travel. We would also love to be near a Buddhist center or sangha. I'd love to hear your experience and advice!