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Author Topic: A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please  (Read 4077 times)

alanrweiss78726

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A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« on: April 28, 2004, 12:39:47 pm »

I have a buddy who lives just outside Portsmouth, but he is actually on the Maine side of the border.  He was a former Austinite (for a long time) - before that, he lived in New Jersey.  Observations that "well, he's not actually *in* NH" aren't going to be very helpful, cause he goes to Portsmouth and NH all the time ... but if there IS a big difference between his area and, say, Manchester or Concord or Dover or ?  then that would be helpful.

As background, he's basically very liberal-with-libertarian leanings (he's seen socialist Mass. and he's disgusted by it, in other words).

I'd love to get some feedback on what he wrote about where he lives.  Warning:  he *hates* it there.

------- from a local near Kittery, MA -------

I'll warn you up front that I have not been happy here, either
with the place or in the place.  So my report will be slanted heavily
to the negative side.  I'll endeavor to be objective but frankly I think
this place sucks.

Well, first of all the climate is terrible.  It gets cold early and
stays cold late, and the winter is effectively 6 months long, from October
to May.  The weather is not the sparkling cold of the Western mountains,
either, but a damp grey icyness that most of the time even lacks
sufficient snow to make winter sports possible.  Spring is a 6 week long
affair of mud and daffodils, and summer is cool and over in August.  The
Autumns are indeed grand though, with crisp but still warm days and the
famous fall colors.  As an illustration of how cool it is we are not frost
free until June 1 (May 15 in Boston) and peas can be grown all summer.
Strawberries come in around the 4th of July.

Secondly, places that are desireable to live in for culture (near
Boston) or setting (near the beach) are difficult to find and as pricey
as any in California.  You can find very nice houses and land out in
the country, but you dont have to move far from the cities to become truly
rural.  That's not bad if it's what you want, but again as an example, my
house is 10 minutes from Portsmouth right outside the town of Kittery and
is considered lucky to have city water.  We maintain our own road to
the state highway and a greywater system in addition to septic.  Services,
medical services in particular, are typical of rural settings.  You asked
specifically about Newington and Exter:  Newington is mostly malls and
office complexes, with a few pockets of wealthy living around the waterfront
and older established areas.  It's bisected by a freeway.  Exeter however
is a very quaint and mostly upper class small town surronded by farms
and forests.  It has a charming shopping district and is only 30 minutes from
Portsmouth and perhaps 70 from Boston.  You might also want to look at
North Hampton and Rye , two towns right along the seacoast to the south
of Portsmouth.  Very nice places for reasonable money can be found north
in Maine (Seacost or near-seacoast property is more reasonable) but you
will suffer the indiginity of a state income tax and a geographical distance
from anything much save lobster pounds and bed-and-breakfast inns.  I settled
in Maine because I had a job in Portsmouth and got much more of a house for
the money than I would have just across the river.


Culture?  Drive to Boston, and frankly, Boston is NOT New York
City or even Washington.  It seems to have less culture than Dallas,
and I find it both depressing and boring as well as somewhat full of itself.
Portsmouth is cute and homey but 3rd string in that respect, and there's
nothing much else around.  Most of the friends I've made here hunt, fish,
and snowmobile for entertainment.  There's a sizeable population of old
hippies but of the "I stock vegetables in the health food store and my
old lady reads the Tarot" variety rather than the "I used to follow the
Dead but now I work  for Apple" type.  Some nice locally brewed beers
including one brewpub in Portsmouth.  Art is mostly restricted to "A
genuine Pilgrim made this pot/quilt/painting"; the Van Gogh exhibition
did not stop in Portland.  Or even Boston.  Mostly name brand acts in
the stadiums and the same local names every week for music.

Politics?  I'm not much of a political animal, but my observation
is that Live Free or Die really means Be Free to Live in Ways We Approve of
or Die.  For instance, the place is 99% white, and I've seen some absolutely
blatantly expressed racism (of the Sure glad we aint got niggers in this
state aint that right Joe? type)  that you'd never see in Texas.  There's
also a very high degree of intolerance of newcomers: New England and Texas
being the only two places I've ever actually had someone say You aint from
around here are you boy.  People in this area tend to have been born and
grown up here, for instance, I don't tell people I live on Jewett Lane.  I
tell them I live next door to Jeff McKenzie, and the reply is usually along
the lines of Yeah, how is Jeff?  We went to 4th grade over at the old Frisbee
School together...  Politically, this means that no one ever contests the
mayoral race, or even the school board seats.  It also means that businesses
come and go based very much on who they know:  there's a genuine whorehouse
down the street that's tacitly permitted, but a guy from Boston tried to open
a topless joint on the highway and they pulled his liqour license because
"the music was too loud".  

The vaunted no New Hampshire Income Tax simply means that the state
raises money through property taxes (and rates are always higher on new
construction, so if you live in the family farmhouse your taxes are MUCH
lower than if you move in from say.... Texas and build a place...).  The
state also controls liqour sales (only in state stores, like Pennsylvania).
These taxes are high enough that despite Maine's 8% income tax I paid less
by moving here than by buying across the river.  New Hampshire has
sensible gun laws but almost NO public ranges.  Maine has few public
facilities but many semi-private "membership only" places; if I want to
shoot in New Hampshire I need to drive an hour to Manchester but there
are 2 clubs within a few miles of my place in Maine I belong to and can use.
Maine prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants, both states have seatbelt
laws, and dont even think about driving a bulldozer near anything that's
wet or has a frog in it.  New Hampshire has no sales tax, leading people
in the neighboring states to take advantage of that.  Maine not only has
sales tax but essentially "luxury taxes" when cars and boats are registered.

Economy?  Forget it.  Bring your own work or bring your own
fortune.  Much of the area is seasonal and simply shuts down in the
winter.  (Which lasts 6 months, remember)  Electricity for my modest 2000
square foot house costs $300/month (!) and all heat is oil or wood.  Traffic
in the summer is horrible as the population of Boston et al moves en masse
to New Hampshire and Maine every weekend.  The mountains (Green and White)
are picturesque rather than grand, and almost all second growth as there is
only a minsicule portion of the area that hasn't been logged 2 or even 3 times
this century.  Northern Maine and New Hampshire have good hunting including
bear if that's your thing; I stick to paper and clay myself.  The closest
clothing optional beach would be Fire Island or Sandy Hook, the Ledges having
been shut down.  

The Boston metro area has a well developed if antiquated
mass transit system.  It stops 15 miles before the Nh border; many people
live in NH because of the lower cost of housing and commute to Boston
and are forced to use their car because of this.  There's a single
Amtrak line to Southern NH and Maine; the train to Boston runs infrequently
but when the service was started real estate in towns like Dover (old
mill town, decent enough place but nothing special and inconveniently
located for the most part) that had Amtrak stations on the Boston run
skyrocketed because people will do ANYTHING not to live in Mass. but
almost always need to find work there.  Mass is indeed the festering sore of
liberal socialism gone bad it's rumored to be, disgusting even to a
dyed in the wool liberal socialist such as I once was, and should be
avoided at all costs.

The beaches here are small rocky crowded and sometimes limited
to local resident's use, and the water is too cold to swim in.  However
the rural qualities of the area are evident in freely roaming wildlife
including turkey, fox, porcupine, coyote, deer, and yes, moose, all of
which I've had in my own yard.  There are "wilderness" areas within two
hours driving time, but they're more "hard to get to places that we don't
log anymore" rather than the true wilderness of say Big Bend. Canada is
four hours north, about the same distance as Laredo is from Austin.
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lloydbob1

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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2004, 02:52:20 pm »

They got Porcupines, good!
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2004, 03:19:39 pm »

WHile there are quite a few inaccuracies in this, I'll save responding for another time, outside of:

a) we don't need a lot of public ranges, because, so long as you are not in a towns urban compact zone, or within x many feet of someone else's occupied dwelling, you can shoot wherever you want. Most people use their town sand pit if they are too cheap to spring for a membership in their local shooting club.

b) farm house owners only pay low property taxes on land ouside their house lot. The rest, beyond about 2.5 acres, can be put in current use and pay very low taxes.

c) there are more than just electricity, oil, and wood. We use propane for heat here, and at my family's hunting cabin, we use it for heat, refrigeration, cooking, and lighting. Some people also use coal. A few use solar.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2004, 03:24:54 pm by Mike Lorrey »
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Dave Mincin

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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2004, 03:19:57 pm »

Sorry Alan...I fear your friend has a major case of the negatives!

He talks of "Big Bend," and wilderness, well hey I spent some time there, fact is ran a car off a cliff there...Oops... :o  It's mostly wilderness all right, mountains, cacti, and scrub grass!  Beautiful none the less, but no water! :D  NH has water! :)   Follow the park to the border and you can walk across the Rio, or take a burro across, as I did. ;)

He talks of Dover..."Old Mill Town, nothing special!"  Well hell, I now live in Dover!  Mostly everything in NH is old and I find that as something very special!  Beautiful old buildings, culture, and a spirit of Freedom!

He talks of the unfriendly folks, would suggest you invite him over to one of your meetings!  Sea Coast Porcupines, third Saturday of every month.  I have found quite the opposite of what he says.  Perhaps he is looking in all the wrong places?

Talks of cold weather, all that does is make the spring all that more welcome! :)
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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2004, 04:42:15 pm »



------- from a local near Kittery, MA -------

Well, first of all the climate is terrible.  It gets cold early and
stays cold late, and the winter is effectively 6 months long, from October
to May.  The weather is not the sparkling cold of the Western mountains,
either, but a damp grey icyness that most of the time even lacks
sufficient snow to make winter sports possible.
This is very true of the Seacoast, however, once you get inland twenty miles or so, you have more snow, and more sun.
Quote
Spring is a 6 week long
affair of mud and daffodils, and summer is cool and over in August.  The
Autumns are indeed grand though, with crisp but still warm days and the
famous fall colors.
If you have lived in NH, as I have all my life, it is the Autumn that keeps you here. Beautiful foliage, crisp sunny fall days that my family always refers to as Apple days, because it is shortly after the apples are picked and available at local stands that these days occur. When my father and mother retired to Florida, they missed the Autumns in NH.

Quote
As an illustration of how cool it is we are not frost
free until June 1 (May 15 in Boston) and peas can be grown all summer.
Strawberries come in around the 4th of July.

Secondly, places that are desireable to live in for culture (near
Boston) or setting (near the beach) are difficult to find and as pricey
as any in California.  You can find very nice houses and land out in
the country, but you dont have to move far from the cities to become truly
rural.  That's not bad if it's what you want, but again as an example, my
house is 10 minutes from Portsmouth right outside the town of Kittery and
is considered lucky to have city water.  We maintain our own road to
the state highway and a greywater system in addition to septic.  Services,
medical services in particular, are typical of rural settings.  You asked
specifically about Newington and Exter:  Newington is mostly malls and
office complexes, with a few pockets of wealthy living around the waterfront
and older established areas.  It's bisected by a freeway.  Exeter however
is a very quaint and mostly upper class small town surronded by farms
and forests.  It has a charming shopping district and is only 30 minutes from
Portsmouth and perhaps 70 from Boston.

I was born and brought up in Exeter. Still live there. It is home to Phillips Exeter Academy. If anyone has questions about Exeter, let me know.
Quote
You might also want to look at
North Hampton and Rye , two towns right along the seacoast to the south
of Portsmouth.  Very nice places for reasonable money can be found north
in Maine (Seacost or near-seacoast property is more reasonable) but you
will suffer the indiginity of a state income tax and a geographical distance
from anything much save lobster pounds and bed-and-breakfast inns.  I settled
in Maine because I had a job in Portsmouth and got much more of a house for
the money than I would have just across the river.


Culture?  Drive to Boston, and frankly, Boston is NOT New York
City or even Washington.  It seems to have less culture than Dallas,
and I find it both depressing and boring as well as somewhat full of itself.
Portsmouth is cute and homey but 3rd string in that respect, and there's
nothing much else around.  Most of the friends I've made here hunt, fish,
and snowmobile for entertainment.  There's a sizeable population of old
hippies but of the "I stock vegetables in the health food store and my
old lady reads the Tarot" variety rather than the "I used to follow the
Dead but now I work  for Apple" type.  Some nice locally brewed beers
including one brewpub in Portsmouth.  Art is mostly restricted to "A
genuine Pilgrim made this pot/quilt/painting"; the Van Gogh exhibition
did not stop in Portland.  Or even Boston.  Mostly name brand acts in
the stadiums and the same local names every week for music.

Politics?  I'm not much of a political animal, but my observation
is that Live Free or Die really means Be Free to Live in Ways We Approve of
or Die.  For instance, the place is 99% white, and I've seen some absolutely
blatantly expressed racism (of the Sure glad we aint got niggers in this
state aint that right Joe? type)  that you'd never see in Texas.  
There may be a few racists, but most people are tolerant of all races, nationalities, etc. We have had a large influx of refugees into NH from Southeast Asia. There is a housing complex in Newmarket that is refered to as Laotian Village because of the large number of Laotians living there.
Quote
There's
also a very high degree of intolerance of newcomers: New England and Texas
being the only two places I've ever actually had someone say You aint from
around here are you boy.
I tend to disagree with this statement. Visitors and newcomers always say to me how friendly people are in NH/
 
Quote
People in this area tend to have been born and
grown up here, for instance, I don't tell people I live on Jewett Lane.  I
tell them I live next door to Jeff McKenzie, and the reply is usually along
the lines of Yeah, how is Jeff?  We went to 4th grade over at the old Frisbee
School together...  Politically, this means that no one ever contests the
mayoral race, or even the school board seats.  It also means that businesses
come and go based very much on who they know:  there's a genuine whorehouse
down the street that's tacitly permitted, but a guy from Boston tried to open
a topless joint on the highway and they pulled his liqour license because
"the music was too loud".  

The vaunted no New Hampshire Income Tax simply means that the state
raises money through property taxes (and rates are always higher on new
construction, so if you live in the family farmhouse your taxes are MUCH
lower than if you move in from say.... Texas and build a place...).  The
state also controls liqour sales (only in state stores, like Pennsylvania).
These taxes are high enough that despite Maine's 8% income tax I paid less
by moving here than by buying across the river.  New Hampshire has
sensible gun laws but almost NO public ranges.  Maine has few public
facilities but many semi-private "membership only" places; if I want to
shoot in New Hampshire I need to drive an hour to Manchester but there
are 2 clubs within a few miles of my place in Maine I belong to and can use.
Maine prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants, both states have seatbelt
laws, and dont even think about driving a bulldozer near anything that's
wet or has a frog in it.  New Hampshire has no sales tax, leading people
in the neighboring states to take advantage of that.  Maine not only has
sales tax but essentially "luxury taxes" when cars and boats are registered.

Economy?  Forget it.  Bring your own work or bring your own
fortune.  
The southern part of NH has lots and lots of industry. High tech is big in Nashua, up to Manchester, and eastward to Portsmouth.
Quote
Much of the area is seasonal and simply shuts down in the
winter.  (Which lasts 6 months, remember)  Electricity for my modest 2000
square foot house costs $300/month (!) and all heat is oil or wood.  Traffic
in the summer is horrible as the population of Boston et al moves en masse
to New Hampshire and Maine every weekend.  The mountains (Green and White)
are picturesque rather than grand, and almost all second growth as there is
only a minsicule portion of the area that hasn't been logged 2 or even 3 times
this century.  Northern Maine and New Hampshire have good hunting including
bear if that's your thing; I stick to paper and clay myself.  The closest
clothing optional beach would be Fire Island or Sandy Hook, the Ledges having
been shut down.  

The Boston metro area has a well developed if antiquated
mass transit system.  It stops 15 miles before the Nh border; many people
live in NH because of the lower cost of housing and commute to Boston
and are forced to use their car because of this.  There's a single
Amtrak line to Southern NH and Maine; the train to Boston runs infrequently
but when the service was started real estate in towns like Dover (old
mill town, decent enough place but nothing special and inconveniently
located for the most part) that had Amtrak stations on the Boston run
skyrocketed because people will do ANYTHING not to live in Mass. but
almost always need to find work there.  Mass is indeed the festering sore of
liberal socialism gone bad it's rumored to be, disgusting even to a
dyed in the wool liberal socialist such as I once was, and should be
avoided at all costs.

The beaches here are small rocky crowded and sometimes limited
to local resident's use, and the water is too cold to swim in.  However
the rural qualities of the area are evident in freely roaming wildlife
including turkey, fox, porcupine, coyote, deer, and yes, moose, all of
which I've had in my own yard.  There are "wilderness" areas within two
hours driving time, but they're more "hard to get to places that we don't
log anymore" rather than the true wilderness of say Big Bend. Canada is
four hours north, about the same distance as Laredo is from Austin.

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DC

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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2004, 05:14:43 pm »

I flew into Portland Maine and went up to the farmington area last weak. I watched a political show in Farmington for about an area and talked to the people . The liberty minded republicans and independants were all disgusted with the state government and the socialist thinking of the people there. I told them about the free state project and talked about New Hampshire with them. The critisism they had was that you had to pay alot to license your dog , four wheeler, and snow mobile. They also talked about the high property taxes. If we could do something about those things they talked like they would make the move to New Hampshire.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2004, 05:15:20 pm by DC »
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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2004, 03:05:10 am »

Bedford is the #1 place to live in NH and the seacoast being so close is awesome.

NYC is only a day's drive away if you really need that.

Kittery is in Maine and coastal so yes it's seasonal.....
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Re:A Local (well, Kittery) Speaks - Feedback wanted, please
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2004, 04:47:55 am »

Bedford is the #1 place to live in NH and the seacoast being so close is awesome.

NYC is only a day's drive away if you really need that.

Kittery is in Maine and coastal so yes it's seasonal.....

NYC is actually only about 4hrs away from Bedford not driving too fast, at night anyway.
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