moving to western MA

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by gallagb, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. gallagb macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2004
    hey-so i live in Middle of no-where IL currently- just south of chicago about an hour
    and on monday i'm moving to western MA

    this move has been well planned out
    i'm going to be house sitting in Shutsbury for a bit before hopefully landing near North Amherst, Sunderland, Leverett...etc-- somewhere near Umass but not 'in' umass...etc

    anyhow- i'm curious if any users here are from that area or live in that area...etc

    basically boiling down to:
    i'm looking for a good bank!
    preferably something w/ somewhat national coverage- but- really something that is good -- specifically in that area- so a branch in NoHo, Amherst + a great user interface online...etc would be great

    also curious about cell service
    i've traveled out there a bunch- and i'm a Verizon customer
    which i notice is decent- but not excellent
    will it get better in the next 2 years?-
    i'm up for contract renewal in Feb so this is on my mind
    what do you use & how well does it work? etc

    i'm not 2 worried about the weather...etc
    i know how to behave in snow (naked snow-angels right?)
    i'm fine w/ the mud seasons...etc

    very excited to be free to go hiking & the likes on hills as opposed to the flats of corn/soy fields

    also quite interested in just little neat things in the area
    any great stores/shops/grocers...etc bakers, meat people...etc
    cyber cafe's
    things i should know about--

    all this to say i'm a mac user looking for mac friends to help me settle in a new area!
  2. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    enjoy i live on the eastern coast of MA and i love this state. Hell i live a half mile from the ocean :p so your only about 3 hours away from me. Hope you enjoy it in MA ^_^.

    I have Bank of America for one and Eastern Bank for another account.

    DO NOT GET EASTERN BANK they absolutely are the worst bank i have ever dealt with. And my mother knows a lot about banks and she told me to get with Fleet before they were bought out by Bank of America. i like BoA personally.

    No idea about cell service but i can try and ask a friend that lives at UMASS
  3. masterapple04 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2004
    Massachusetts, USA
    From my (I'll admit, somewhat) limited experience, Verizon is your best bet in MA. Cingular is a joke, TMobile isn't any better, and I'm not sure about Sprint/Nextel.

    I live right on the corner between MA/CT/RI, so I can't offer any other advice. Enjoy the Commonwealth!
  4. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    Well I live in the city so I'm probably not too much help for the really local stuff.

    I use Bank of America. Sure I've had my problems like any other bank, but there is something to be said for going with a big chain.

    I also use verizon and I have friends with all of the other major carriers. The general consensus is around Boston, Verizon's got the best coverage hands down. As for their phone selection....

    As for hiking, some of the best weekend hikes in the country are in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, only about 2 hours from where I live. Some pretty good skiing, too.
  5. CompUser Guest

    I live in north central CT and my dad works in worcester.

    Verizon has the best service in New England. T-mobile like someone said before is a joke, they have very small coverage. My uncle has sprint/nextel and he says its just ok. No one around here has cingular because they don't have that great of service. I would stick with verizion.
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    Hey they finally got the razr :rolleyes:
    I too have verizon and its good. I've been to the western part once and i didn't have any complaints about it...
  7. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    Just to let you know, there is a large homosexual community in Northhampton.
    Or so I've heard.
  8. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    and..................point of the post being what?
  9. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Cell service is spotty most places in Western MA. I live in Southwest NH and have the same issues. It really depends where exactly you are going to end up living and doing most of your cell calling. Here in NH if you drive 15 minutes west to Brattleboro VT you would want a totally different carrier. I have US Cellular and like it for the roads I travel. With all the mountains and hills and such you have to decide where exactly you are going to stay for a while and also what routes you will drive and then talk to local residents that may travel those routes.

    I have a friend who is from Western MA and now lives near me- he runs a US Cellular store and would give you an honest answer of who is best depending on where you live and travel down there. Send me a message when you get settled and I will get in touch with him and find out the best carrier. He actually has two cell phones- one with his company for his travels in NH and another for his travels in Western MA.

    Good luck with the move- I know exactly what it is like relocating that far- I was from KC and moved to northern MA about 7 years ago. Love it now and have finally found a town and settled my family down for a while.
    We have lots of snow already here in NH- we got 18 inches two days ago.

    Good for skiiing!
  10. Gwendolyn macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2005
    I lived in Sunderland for three years before moving to south-central Mass, and currently I'm commuting back there three days a week.

    I've been very happy with Florence Savings Bank. There are branches in Belchertown, Hadley, and Noho, and at least an ATM in Amherst if not a full branch. A lot of smaller New England banks have banded together on the SUM network, meaning you can use any ATMs in this network without paying any ATM fees (to either your bank or their branch). It's not national coverage, but we haven't had too much trouble finding SUM branches in various parts of New England. I haven't used their online banking service, though I do know they offer one. If you are set on a national bank, Bank of America (formerly Fleet Bank in this area) might be your best bet around there.

    I use Verizon, too. It's not bad at all--I've been really pleased with the coverage. Even the Holyoke mall has decent reception throughout, except maybe for one or two department stores. There's a huge gap in South Deerfield, though, where you won't get much coverage, or if you do, it will be on the extended network with the analog signal. Personally, I haven't noticed any gaps in any of the other communities or on campus.

    Hennion's and the Black Sheep in Amherst are both very popular bakeries. Donatello's in Amherst is an especially affordable Italian bakery. I am a huge fan of Herrell's ice cream in Northampton; it's pricey, but fantastic. If you like burritos, then Bueno y Sano in Amherst has affordable prices too, for a large quantity of food. Regarding shopping markets, a lot of people in the area belong to farm shares, whereby you buy a share in a farm and receive a particular quota of whatever the seasonal produce is each week to go pick up. Some of these farm shares also sell meat. If you're looking at Sunderland, the Millstone Market sells meat there (it's the same meat that they serve at the Amherst Brewing Company). Trader Joe's and Bread and Circus in Hadley are relatively popular chain stores for organic food.

    As far as the weather goes, you seem to be pretty familiar with it. In that area, the best roads to be on in inclement weather are the freeways, Rt. 9, and Rt. 116. The smaller state highways that head out past Belchertown into Palmer (181 and 202) tend to be awful in snowy weather--they don't plow them well enough, so in poor weather I take the freeways in. Even though the route is longer, it is a shorter time commitment in bad weather thanks to the condition of the roads out in Palmer & Bondstown.

    Whoops--didn't realize my post was getting so lengthy. Better wrap it up... hope this helps!
  11. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    Hmm funny coincidence i live on the corner of MA/CT/RI. But in CT.

    For the person moving. I haven't had many issues with Cingular. Id try to go Bank of America or Wachovia if you can. As they are both pretty national.
  12. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2003
    New England
    Strange, I am also in the tri-state area (MA-CT-RI) just off of 395 in MA. I did not know there was anyone else here.

    I have cingular (personal) and Nextel (work). Cingular is the better service out here. I have very little Nextel signal strength. I had Verizon and their coverage was great, but I dropped them because their customer service and billing was horrible.

    For banking I use Digital Credit Union. They are great if you are eligible for membership. Most people I know use either BofA or Citizen's Bank. I have not used either.

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