One half of Tofu Curtain is a homesick Bostonian. The other half goes to Boston almost every weekend, if only to avoid ex-girlfriends at Tunnel Bar. Point is, we know New England. So after we came across this article, recently recycled on Twitter by NoHo’s own Take Magazine, it led to a huge argument: is Northampton really part of New England, or is it something else entirely? After hours of debate we did what all lazy editors do: we made a list. Here then are the Top Ten reasons why Northampton really is part of New England (Pro), and the Top Ten reasons it ain’t (Con):
Pro: An entire restaurant that revolves around clam chowder.
Con: Main Street Dunkin’ Donuts first closure in chain history.
Pro: Lots of New Englanders attended UMASS.
Con: “You live in Northampton now? How cute. I haven’t been back there since college. Is Faces still around?”
Pro: The community’s love of ethnic and racial minorities is enhanced by zoning laws that ensure a safe distance.
Con: Gotta cross the Tofu Curtain just to get a decent empanada.
Pro: NoHo’s own Take Magazine is billed as “New England’s New Culture.”
Con: A handful of trust-funded craftspeople in Bennington doesn’t constitute a “new culture.”
Pro: Everyone’s a Democrat.
Con: Voted for higher property taxes. Twice.
Pro: Wealthy people who cultivate the ‘I’m on public assistance’ look.
Con: Luxury automobiles with Ivy League stickers rare (except on Parents’ Weekends).
Pro: It’s in Massachusetts, on the way to Vermont.
Con: It’s west of Rte. 495, and therefore only relevant on non-beach long weekends. And Vermont…that’s really more like Northeast New York, no?
Pro: Dozens of downtown hair salons produce a single look, the “Practical Mom.”
Con: Is that a Yankees cap on your head, son? Must be from Brooklyn, huh?
Pro: So enviro-friendy that a worker-owned cooperative picks up your trash by bicycle, reflecting deeply-held community values.
Con: No self-respecting New Englander would ever do this.
Pro: Residents possess a deep love of place, despite crappy weather.
Con: Nobody has an accent.