I’m now pretty much settled in at my new home in Springfield, Mass. Working from home, living the high life. Haven’t had too much of a chance to get out and really explore the surrounding areas (except for looking for game stores and toy stores), though Mrs. Mancer and I did see John and John, the Twin Quasars of rock (a/k/a They Might Be Giants) walking down the street in Northampton. I didn’t say hi, though, since I was probably the only person in the world to be intimidated by TMBG.
We do miss some things about Illinois, though. We can’t find a decent video rental place close by. I hate Blockbuster and Holly wood and pretty much any place that charges you for 5 days of rental when you only need 1. Our old place charged a buck for all rentals, but you had to have them back the next day, which was primo.
We also miss a good independent bookstore. Sure, there’s a Big Ass Books (Barnes and Noble) in Holyoke and in Enfield, but coming from a place with a great indy bookstore (Pages For All Ages) it just doesn’t compare. We went to a place here that was lauded as the best indy bookstore in town, and it was no better than your average airport bookstore. On the other extreme, there’s plenty of bookstores in Northampton, so long as you don’t mind cats, incense, and are looking for a good book on aligning your chakras through aromatherapy and hemp.
Most of all, I miss gaming! I’m finally ready to start RPGing again, and can’t seem to find a group to hook up with. Everyone here, it seems, is more interested in Warhammer and its ilk, which I am only slightly less interested in than, say, being hit with a stick. I’ve posted ads at game stores throughout the pioneer valler, but haven’t had a good nibble yet. So if there’s any dopers near me who are looking for a good game, check out my gaming resume.
Anyway, work’s been busy, so I don’t have a lot of doping time, but just wanted to check in and say hi. Greetings from the Commonwealth!
Welcome to Massachusetts, and my sympathy’s about not finding everything you’re looking for. I’ve been here almost 4 years now and still haven’t found a great overnight video rental place. I live a bit to the east of you, in Worcester, but there’s a great RPG place here. Here’s a link to a site for people who are searching for RPG games that might help you out. http://www.wickedclean.com/rpgpl/states/massachusetts.asp
Welcome to Massachusetts. I live north of Boston, but work in central Mass, so I can appreciate your comments about bookstores. I have to drive 30 minutes from my workplace to find one. Look up the Independent Booksellers association of New England on the web – there are a lot of small stores around. Amherst has a bunch of them, for instance. There are also a lot of out-of-the-way bookstotes where you wouldn’t expect them, especially the used bookshops. Get out to Boston when you can (although, to be fair, even Boston has lost a lot of bookstores in the past decade or so. I still mourn the passing of Boston-area Waterstone’s).
Can’t help ya on RPGs – haven’t played in ages, myself.
HA! Sucker! I just escaped Western MA (Greenfield area) a couple months ago and hope never again to return (not for more than a week, anyway). The Amherst/Northampton area is absolutely seething with gamers due largely to the high concentration of college students in the area. How to hook up with them is another question altogether, though - ya got me. Poke around a bit at the UMass Amherst campus (try the bulletin boards in the Campus Center building) and you might have some luck.
Lurk on the EN Boards: every few months, an administrator named Piratecat opens up his Boston home to local gamers for a weekend of gaming madness. Piratecat has several times won the Gencon Judge award; I can attest from one incredible game of Spycraft at last weekend’s Gencon that he’s every bit as good as people say he is.
I know Springfield is a couple hours from Boston, but it might be a fun weekend trip. And there’s a whole buttload of D&D players on those boards, and you might be able to hook up with other gamers there.
Nope, pretty much all the independents in this region have been Blockbuster’ed. Some of the smaller towns have a “mom&pop”, but not many. NetFlix is indeed a good idea.
Ah, you found Beyond Words, didn’t you? You’ll probably be happier at Raven Used Books (basically underneath Thorne’s Marketplace) or at Modern Myths on Bridge Street. In Amherst there’s Jeffery Amherst and Valley Books, both on Pleasant St (the main drag through Amherst). There’s also Albion Books on Main St
(which is not really the main road).
Ther are a lot of college RPGers in the Happy Valley, but there are also some older ones. I know some guys in Noho who are computer game developers, and there is a definite community there.
Is it time for a Pioneer Valley/CT and W MA micro-fest?
Welcome, Legomancer! I remember when you said you were moving up here.
Beat me to it. One way to hook up with them is through the gaming stores. There used to be a couple up that way.
Those are also outstanding book towns, again due to the colleges, I presume. Springfield, not so much.
And, Amberlei, if you’re still hanging out in this thread, due check out the Boston Dopefest. Worcester is only 45 minutes away, unlike Springfield. You’re welcome, too, though, Legomancer, if you’re willing to make the hour and a half drive. You other western Mass. folks are welcome, also, of course. I didn’t realize there were so many. Click here for info.
You moved to Western Mass? Good God man, who told you that was a good idea??!!
Seriously, welcome. I can’t help you with your RPG question, though. To the extent that I even understand it, your gaming resume may as well be written in Korean! All completely over my head.