A quick word about my current town. Maynard, Massachusetts is one of those towns a lot of us thought we’d never live in when we grew up. It was always one of those areas some would describe as a “mill town” – very blue collar, maybe a little rough around the edges. Lots of pizza shops and liquor stores. However, during the ’70’s and ’80s, Maynard saw the rise of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), one of the largest computer companies in the world at the time. Headquartered right in the heart of downtown at the mill with the well-known clock tower, DEC’s occupation brought Maynard metaphorically into the gawky teenager phase – a shift in identity. While still a blue-collar town through and through, DEC’s rocket ride introduced some white collar ideals: more upscale restaurants opened, downtown opened new shops, local property values inched upward. But business, as always, was the driving force. When Compaq stepped in and acquired DEC in the early ’90s, it wasn’t long for Maynard. The mill went empty until the dot.com boom. Now Monster.com is the anchor tenant in the old mill building, now almost at capacity again with a variety of small businesses.
Anyway, fast forward to 2005. They tell us in the newspaper that property values in Maynard have increased almost 20% since we bought our place. All well and good, it’s not necessarily the reason we moved here. We moved here because they have a downtown. Shops, movies and some great food options can all be had within a half-mile walk of our house. Davis Square it ain’t, but the fact that a three-screen movie theatre, Thai food, Korean, Indian, barbeque, seafood and pizza are all within our arms length is really nice to have. They’ve recently opened a Brazilian bakery here, too, and the early word is a thumbs up. I had the flan on Wednesday and it was delicious.
It remains to be seen if we’ll stay in Maynard, it could go either way. Ideally we’d love to get back closer to the city, but I guess my point is that we should never rule out the things we used to turn from.
More later, but the new Spoon album Gimme Fiction is really kicking my ass right now. I wasn’t sure they could top Kill The Moonlight, but they’ve got me thinking…..