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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Does anyone live in Storrs or know about it? Dh is looking at a job there and I am a west coaster- turned temporary Texan dizzy: Thanks
 

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I currently live outside of Hartford (about 25 minutes from Storrs). Although we're moving next month up to western mass I know a tons about the area. If you're looking to buy, look at places like Coventry - a bit more rural and a bit cheaper. Stay away from plaecs like Willimantic. Although, Willimantic does have thier own co-op, but you can join even if you don't live in the city. The area is very much a college area. Not being a mom (yet!) I'm not sure what the situation is like for kids, but as a high school teacher I do know that the Coventry high school system is a good one.
What types of things were you interested in knowing specifically about the area?
 

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I love that area. We lived for five years in Pomfret, which is about 45 minutes east of Storrs, but went to church in Storrs. It is beautiful, if you like bucolic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!
I just want a feel for how people are there, is it good for raising a family, are there things to do with kids. I am not super crunchy but seek liberal-minded people who are open to crunchiness if that makes sense! I am from Seattle and I miss the community. People here in Texas are super friendly but many (especially where I live) are also wierded-out by things I find to be very sane - like not circumcizing, trying for natural labor, not wearing your religious beliefs on your sleeves, not spanking!


N Conn sounds very beautiful and that is a plus! Anyway.....trying to get a feel for Conn!
 

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Mansfield-Storrs is a great place to live. They have a natural food store right off the main road. And the Willimantic Coop is EXCELLENT.

DH grew up there and my MIL still lives there. The library is fantastic. There's an toddler playground there and just up the road from the library is an elementary school with an even bigger and BETTER playground for those beyond toddler age.

The schools were excellent when DH attended - I'm not sure about now - the highschool has merged with some neighboring communities and I'm not sure if they loss some of the budget.

It's about a 30? minute drive to Buckland Hills in Manchester (just outside Hartford)where you'll find all the retail shopping you'll ever need. There's a Big Y and a Grand Union within driving distance from the center and a Stop and Shop in Willimantic which has a nice whole foods selection.

I would definitely raise a family there in a heart beat. It is a pretty rural area other than the college. But the college campus is beautiful and honestly doesn't generate too much traffic.

What else do you want to know? Basically it is a college town and the town was built around the college. Ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok More questions!
So, it sounds like if I want to get to places nearby, the Y, things to do would I need to drive about 30 min?

Does Storrs have much of a central town?

Are there similar towns nearby or is it pretty isolated?

What is the weather like?

How would you describe the culture. Conservative, liberal, a mix?

Are housing prices going up?

Thanks!
 

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Storrs doesn't really have a central town. There are some stores but no big shopping areas. There are some grocery stores though within driving distance.
It is about 30 minutes to get to Manchester where there is what i call the "mall mecca" - any store in the world you can think of is there. You can pop over to Willimantic which has the co-op in about 15-20 minutes depending on where you are.
I wouldn't say Storrs is isolated, but you do need to travel a tad to get to major cities like Hartford or New Haven, but Storrs is also located right next to a major highway (rt 84) and it's only an hour and change to Boston and an hour to Providence, RI for nice day/weekend trips.
Personally, I like the town of Coventry which is about 10 minutes from Storrs. It's also 15-20 minutes from the more bustling areas of Manchester and Hartford (esp if you live off 44/384). It has the beautiful Coventry lake which I've swam in numerous times, a small town center with some pizza places and little stores. These are quaint, new england towns for sure.

Weather - well, that is one thing I love about new england - you get 4 seasons! This summer it's been HOT!! 80s and 90s and humid with a few thunderstorms peppered in here or there. The fall is gorgeous with temps being anywhere from the 70s to the 50s, but sunny with amazing colorful leaves. Winter gets cold and snowy. We had tons of snow this winter, so be prepared to drive in it, shovel it, deal with it!!! Spring is a bit rainy but it warms up and is lovely out.

Housing prices are going up everywhere! But, with interest rates going up as well, it's but a bit of a hold on the market and I think within the year you'll see it going back to a buyer's market. but that's just my total unprofessional opinion!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe we could look into places like Coventry which are close but have more of a town feel! It sounds beautiful. Since moving from a city of 1 mil to a city of 100,000 I have started to like the smaller communities. I know Storrs is teeny tiny - maybe Coventry is somewhere in between.

Thanks for all the info! Hmmmmmmm, a lot to think about!
-Jani
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Avi,
I just reread your message. You said you were moving to Western Mass? Can you tell me about Amherst, MA. I have read some stuff on this site about it. How would you compare the Storrs area to Pioneer Valley (is that the right place?)- Thanks Much!
 

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UCONN/Storrs is a very crunchy area. You will bump into a mama breastfeeding or wearing a sling everywhere you go. This is a liberal area we're talking about. With a university here, you can imagine that most folks are more to the left than right! Schools are great (my DH teaches in the public schools there). It's a beautiful area, beautiful schools, great library. There is also a new Community Center with pool, gym, various classes, childcare on site, etc.

Grocery stores: one Super Big Y 8 miles to the north, and one 6 miles to the south of campus. The food coop in Willimantic is great, too, that's about 15 min. away. There is also a farmer's market every Sat. afternoon, and another in Willimantic in the morning.

But the great news is that there is a huge downtown redevelopment happening in Storrs. The current downtown is really nothing but a couple of strip malls. It's being totally redesigned with a town green, shops, restaurants, and housing for various income levels. The thrust is toward sustainibility, pedestrian-friendly businesses and building a town center. It's going to be awesome. If you are planning to buy here, do it fast because prices will likely skyrocket once this project is complete.

See: http://mansfieldct.org/ for info. Click on "Downtown Partnership" to find out more about the redevelopment. Good luck with your decision!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jani
Avi,
I just reread your message. You said you were moving to Western Mass? Can you tell me about Amherst, MA. I have read some stuff on this site about it. How would you compare the Storrs area to Pioneer Valley (is that the right place?)- Thanks Much!

IMO, The Pioneer Valley is a million times better than Storrs. But, that is just my opinion. We're moving to Northampton next month after having lived in CT for 4 years (and actually, both DH and myself grew up in CT). We both went to school in Amherst and know the area well, which is why we want to move back.

There is a lot more going on in the PV area as far as liberal, crunchy, left leaning folks. There is a lot of activity, community, and access to wholistic healthcare, a variety of schooling options, tons of various eating options (from insanely delish restaurants to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, a more localized health store called Cornucopia to CSAs). It is a diverse population which I have to admit I feel is somewhat lacking in pockets of CT - and most definitely in the Storrs area. There is some diversity amongst UCONN students, but not so much in surrounding areas except for perhaps Willimantic. (oh, and for the record, Coventry is def smaller "town wise" than Storrs...it's a very spread out, rural area).
With Western Mass, you have your option of living in some great communities (Amherst, Northampton, etc...) which are quite the bustling towns (not cities tho) or in more rural areas (Sunderland, Deerfield, Whatley, Montague, etc...) that are just 10-20 minutes from these areas. Plus, you're right on the 91 corridor, making a quick trip up to VT or down to CT easy plus you're a 40 minute drive to the Berkshires!
Have I sold you yet?
 

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I don't want to turn this into a Mass. vs. CT debate, because both areas have their strengths. I agree, Northhampton is beautiful. I have visited there many times.

I would say that if you want a more small-town atmosphere and somewhat more bucolic setting, Storrs would deliver on that. The Northhampton area has a great history, the colleges there offer lots of course, there are more options for shopping and eating out etc. It's busier and somewhat more crowded but still very lovely.

I think it all depends on what you are looking for. Personally, I love this area and wouldn't ever want to leave. The view of Horsebarn Hill alone is priceless as far as I am concerned (that's the agricultural school at UCONN which has rolling fields for the cows and horses, plus a large hill that folks sled on in the wintertime. The animals are a big draw for families and we visit the farms frequently. Plus there is a dairy bar that serves delicious ice cream made by the university!)

I disagree that there is not much diversity here. I see plenty of it and encounter children and families of all colors at the library, playground, etc. Willimantic has a bad rep thanks to Dan Rather, but it really offers quite a bit, has a thriving Hispanic population and it's own neat quirks (the Frog Bridge, Third Thursday Street Festivals, etc.) Plus the coop as the PP mentioned is excellent. Eastern CT State University is located in the heart of the city. The schools lack money, that is the main drawback to Willimantic IMO.

There are many quaint small towns around Storrs although personally Coventry is not my own favorite (though it has its quaintness too), I would look more to Chaplin, Hampton, even Tolland.

It would be great if you could visit both places and see what you like best. IMO you wouldn't lose either way though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all of the info.
Like you said A person should visit to see for themselves! It sounds like both Amherst and Storrs are well worth visiting and have merrits of their own. And thanks for telling me about the revitilization of Storrs - that makes a difference. Do you think that housing prices in rural CT are generally on the rise? I know that parts of the state are just out of site expensive.
:

Thanks Everyone!
-Jani
 
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