September: Goodbye Holyoke
For the past nine months, the entirety of my time in Massachusetts, I have rented rooms from a lovely couple in Holyoke. Holyoke has been a great place to start my time in the Pioneer Valley. It is between Springfield and Northampton, allowing for easy commuting access and jobs, and has a diverse Latin community and a budding art community. But, it has a few drawbacks as well. While it is one of the more affordable cities in the area, it has very few attractions in the town, it possesses its share of drugs, and is not a place people encourage walking around in the evenings. Holyoke has been a good starting point as I introduce myself to the Valley and learn the area. Now, it is time for the next place.
October: Hello Greenfield!
Holyoke is on the southern half of the Valley. Greenfield is near the northern edge. I see Greenfield, in many ways, as the Holyoke of the north. It is the cheapest city in its direct area, it is still developing in many ways, and it still has some issues to grow through . Moving past that, it is developing faster than Holyoke and already has a small downtown with some restaurants and a cafe. It is very near smaller towns with art communities, and it is much closer to hiking and skiing areas. It also shaves 30 minutes off my three hour ride to my parents' place in New Hampshire.
Concessions and Growth
My move to Greenfield does include a few concessions, but only one major one: my studio space. I was fortunate enough to have a small studio of my own in Holyoke, but now I will need to fit all my mess into my living area. As you may imagine, this will be messy, crowded, and involve more self discipline in work ethic and cleanliness. Someday I hope to rent a studio outside of my apartment, but for now, I think the potential growth outweighs this drawback.
By moving to Greenfield (at the cost of a slightly longer commute, rent cost, and studio loss) I am gaining independence. This will be my first time living without roommates in six years. I cannot state how ready I am for this step. So, a little give and a little take. Hopefully I will love my time in Greenfield!
December: Holiday Prep
I've now been in my new home for a couple of months and I love it! I enjoy Greenfield- I've found a favorite bar, cafe, and joined the local YMCA. Halsey (cat) loves the space, though he misses his old friends. And I cannot imagine going back to sharing an apartment. I love living on my own.
The expected concession of studio space is a challenge. I put off work if I've cleaned recently, or if I don't clean up well after every work session the apartment looks a mess, but overall this as been a positive move. I can't wait to be here in the spring and summer when I can actually use my yard!
I've included some photos of my personal holiday cards in work for a bit of holiday cheer. Until the next year!
Be well! :)