Worcester, Massachusetts

Woo-Town

I am told that there have been over the years a number of experiments taking place in places like Massachusetts Institute of Technology that have been entirely based on concepts raised by Star Trek. -Patrick Stewart

The Best Thing About Worcester?

Revitalized

Worcester was a textile and manufacturing center of the region until the 1950’s. It went into a steep decline after that and took 50+ years to get a recovery started. A series of fortunate and unfortunate circumstances kept Worcester tantalizing close to full-scale recovery but just a bit out of reach. Growth in biotech, continued health of the dozen or so colleges and universities in the area, and the ways in which smaller “second-tier” cities across the country are growing due to an explosion in costs for major cities is driving businesses and people to Worcester. It’s a city on the rise and within easy reach of the other northeastern hubs but without their costs.

Here's a simple summary of Worcester from a local:
Worcester is the latest “it” city. The transformation in a few short years is astounding. Worcesterites have always had an inferiority complex due to its proximity to Boston and Providence, but the last several years has caused even the most cynical Worcester native to strut just a bit. Years of decay have completely reversed itself as developers from Boston and elsewhere have recognized the potential and comparatively low cost . Barely a day goes by without an announcement that a new development is in the works or an underused factory area is going to be retrofitted for the latest in technology.

For more reviews of what living in Worcester is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Worcester?

No Exit

Worcester missed some of the earlier booms in New England in part due to its location just a bit too far from Boston. The fact the Mass Turnpike avoids Worcester meant the city never had the late 20th century economic boom other cities with direct exits received. It also meant the commute into Boston was just long enough to prevent locals from feeling like the city was a reasonable option. That idea of being just a bit too far out of reach also extended to Worcester’s reputation. Always known as a working class city it was never treated as a first-class option for those living in the suburbs and cities west of Boston.

Here's a local's point of view on an issue living here:
Walkability and the 'connectedness' of the city has been a major gripe for me… so many spots where sidewalks just end and it just seems like this place is pedestrian-hostile. Like drivers are shocked that people would actually be out walking in the city.

Lifestyle of Worcester

Worcester is a mix of blue-collar families and rising professional and middle and upper class families. The dozen schools in the area give it youthful energy and plenty of bars and cheap eats for inexpensive nights out. The downtown area, particularly the Canal District has been completely rebuilt after decades of failed efforts to do so and it now has a good selection of excellent restaurants, upscale gastropubs and tons of bars and live music. There are other bigger music and event venues including The Palladium and the DCU Arena. Worcester is also the Gateway to western Massachusetts and surrounded by stunning state parks and freshwater recreation opportunities.

If you want to see what locals do for fun and culture in Worcester check out the calendar of events: https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ma--worcester/events/

Worklife of Worcester

Worcester has an interesting mix of biotech, health, tech, education and entrepreneurial businesses all in growth mode. The U Mass Medical School drives excellent health industry jobs and the dozen schools in the area mean there are always 35,000+ students here buying food, spirits and tickets to shows. In spite of the collapse the education backbone of the city always provided security to investments and businesses that took advantage of the in-school and graduating populations. While Boston is only 45 or so miles away the economy here is more self-contained than you’d think and people tend to work in the area not commute into the bigger city.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

The Latest "It" City

Cities like Worcester, in the 200k range population range, are booming due to lower costs, business incentives, and better community vibes than many major cities provide. In Worcester you also get to be centrally located between all the northeastern majors: Boston is an hour away, Providence is 45 minutes, Springfield is less than an hour and NYC is only 3 hours away. You really can’t beat it for convenience in this area of the country. You also skip a lot of the traffic chaos of the other biggies.