Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, August 09, 2008
The NYTimes has a nice article on the river towns of Vermont. It touches on their embrace of the creative economy and the departure of industry from the region. To a certain extent it could have been written about North Adams.

There was one sentence in the article that stood out to my particular eye:
Unlike other parts of New England, where “people from away” never really become equals, newcomers here are woven into the fabric
Could there be something to this embrace of outsiders in the transformation of a local economy?

We already know what one city councilor thinks.[link is bloggered so here is the councilor's quote from comments]
Farmer's Market on Eagle Street?? BAD IDEA------And what ideas of newbies and Ruddisitas have not been accepted--ask Tom Krens and Joe Thompson(MoCA)--- ask Eric Rudd and beach party - downtown installations-- and the Eclipse Mill----the other ideas have no practical value---but oh yeah-- you are so much smarter than the local yokels---because you're "cultured"---have a bunch of college degrees--- or are artists with creativeness---if you are so much into condemnation of North Adams---MOVE THE HELL OUT---I don't think anyone paid you to come here----and North Adams does not want to be made into the edenic ideal of the windmills of your mind.
What thoughts do the rest of you have?
I didn't catch the author, was it Norman Rockwell?
Wait. Seriously? A city councilor actually told you to "MOVE THE HELL OUT" of town in a comment? Wow.

Sounds like someone could use a hug.
Did I mention that Councilor Clark Billings is the City Council liaison to Mass MoCA?

Clark has been telling newbies (especially me) to leave North Adams for many moons. That comment was actually pretty mild compared to some of his off-the-deep-end rants.
There are bright people on both sides of the local-newbies equation, as well as lesser lights. There seem to be those who want to build up a wall between the two, and they are doing the city a disservice.

As long as North Adams is focused on the "us" vs. "them" model, the solution to its problems will be very slow in coming. A head in the sand is no better than one in the clouds.
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