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mlrohde 09-13-2007 07:25 PM

I am considering a move from New York State to Pittsfield, Ma, but I am having a difficult time getting information about neighborhoods and the like. I am hoping to take a walking around visit in October and I was wondering if people could tell me something about the neighborhoods. I have small children so if some areas are more child friendly than others that is good info.

Thanks in advance!

DaughterOfKali 09-13-2007 08:02 PM

May I ask why Pittsfield?

mlrohde 09-13-2007 08:19 PM


i would like to be in massachusetts- i am looking for more urban than rural, closer to the capital district and as i understand it is still pretty rough around the edges and so maybe i could afford it?

do you have a better idea?

DaughterOfKali 09-13-2007 11:33 PM

No offense to the people who live in Pittsfield but I think it looked very run down when I've driven through there.

Do you want to live that far west of Boston? You could do Framingham or Natick.

If you give me more info on what you are looking for (lifestyle, renting/buying, etc) I may be able to give you a better idea of a place more suited to your needs.

mlrohde 09-14-2007 06:51 AM

i am a professional licensed in the state of new york. changing my lic is a bigger undertaking than i am up for right now. i may have found a job in castleton (just south and west of albany) and when i discovered how close it is to pittsfield, i thought i would check it out. i am interested in a more progressive community that is kid friendly, where maybe we could be a bit less reliant on the car which we need now to go anywhere.

my understanding of pittsfield (which is admittedly very little) is that it is coming up, which means that it is getting better, but it might still be in my price range.

DaughterOfKali 09-14-2007 09:24 AM

I wish someone from Pittsfield or nearby would chime in. I haven't been by that way in a few years so perhaps it is progressing.

Rico'sAlice 09-14-2007 09:48 AM

I live 20-some minutes South of Pittsfield. I personally would not want to move there. Most other towns here are little villages with rural surroundings. Where Pittsfield is a small city with outlying suburban housing developments. However, if you want something urban, that is pretty much your only choice.
And I would agree that efforts are underway to improve it, increase in theatre, trying to revive downtown night life, restaurants, etc. My understanding is that real estate has continued to see up there, despite a wider slow down. And it is a "little rough" but not near comprable to the "rough" areas of a City like Houston, LA, Chicago, etc.

I have no clue about neighborhoods. Do you want a house? I'm not sure about walking around. I'm not sure about the availability of housing in the main street area and to get elsewehere you probably need to drive around. Do you do public school?

mlrohde 09-14-2007 08:46 PM

thanks for the info. we do not do public school- we are in a progressive private school here and would look for something similar.

kev_belle 09-15-2007 03:34 PM

I'm not from pittsfield but my dh is and so i have been up there a lot of times. i lived with my mil for 10 months when dh was deployed the first time in 2005. i like the colder weather and the scenery a lot. i found it a bit expensive to live there, but since you live in new york that may not be an issue for you. also i had a hard time finding things to do for my kids. at the time they were 3 and under 1 years old. i do like the towns a round pittsfield a lot, like lenox or great barrington. i hope that helps a little.

DaughterOfKali 09-16-2007 10:02 AM

Great Barrington is absolutely beautiful but quite expensive.

DaughterOfKali 09-16-2007 10:04 AM

In case you're curious:

countrymom 09-22-2007 11:47 AM

I live in the country @ 25 minutes from Pittsfield --often I drive to Pittsfield to grocery shop & do errands.
It is up & coming---worth investing in. A lot of people think UGH pittsfield, but that's because of it's past. When GE downsized in 80's a lot of jobs were lost & Pittsfield went into recession. But it is up & coming now.
Spice opened on North street--a great resturant---with millions put into it. Galleys are opening--artists are moving in which is always a good sign---loft apartments are being built & sold right on North [email protected] $135k , I think. Rents are from $400- $800 for apartments. You can look online at the Berkshire Eagle newspaper site or I can give you info.

There are definitely some areas you don't want to live in---drugs, danger etc.

but there are many more nice neighborhoods than not.

I'm happy to offer more info to questions if you have any.

cherrymary 09-22-2007 07:21 PM

I just peeked at this thread because I used to go to school in Lenox for second and third grade, many years ago - Berkshire Country Day. All I can remember is that it was gorgeous and a happy place... not sure how it is now, but worth checking out! Also don't know how progressive it was, since I wasn't conscious of these things back then, but I remember nature walks for science class, mandatory French classes starting in kindergarten, stained glass art in shop class, ice skating on the pond at recess, excellent personalized attention to gifted kids in math and other subjects, after school skiing and soccer programs... good times. I do remember Pittsfield being not the nicest place, but again that was a while ago. Good luck whatever you decide!

CorbinsMama 09-23-2007 12:40 PM

and there's this:


savienu 09-30-2007 09:37 AM

I live in North Adams, MA, which is only about 20 minutes from some parts of Pittsfield. It is true that it is the only urban area around, although North Adams is getting more "urban." I'm not too familiar with kid friendly neighborhoods around there, but my husband works in Pittsfield so he may have a better idea. I can ask him when he gets home. Feel free to PM me to chat.

ben'smama 10-12-2007 04:56 PM

Cherry mary- I went to BCD too, many years ago...I think it is a great school, but I, too, don't know how "alternative" it is...

For what you seem to be looking for, I think Pittsfield fits the bill. I haven't lived there for many years, but my grandparents lived on Holmes Road (and we lived with them for several years), down the road from a private girls' school, and on the bus line which goes from Pittsfield to Great Barrington (actually, it may even go up to North Adams...). We weren't in walking distance to the city part (North Street) but I think there are plenty of areas around that are cozy and cute. Yes, it may have parts "rough around the edges" still, but it is rural and there is cultural stuff, and if Pittsfield proper isn't family friendly/progressive (and I am not saying it isn't, just that I don't know)there are plenty of family friendly places a little farther south county. It has a fabulous library with a great children's room (and I think libraries say a lopt about a town...)and nice parks, and audubon reservation...there's more but I can't think right now. I think there is a real stigma about Pittsfield that it doesn't deserve (like Albany, perhaps) from those that only concentrate on the aesthetics of an area. Is Lenox or Great barrington more picturesque? No doubt about it...but I think Pittsfield is a place that NEEDS young families who care, that is what will make it succeed in its strive to grow out of its reputation as a GE -forlorn city. I think it is well worth a look around to see if it is for you.
There's my soap box rant.

savienu 10-12-2007 05:02 PM

Just to chime in, the busline does go up to North Adams and Williamstown, even.

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