Saturday, October 11, 2008

VERMONT: not just coffee houses and communes

Nestled between New York and New Hampshire is a place where Subarus are plentiful and the radios never leave NPR.  A place where entire towns economies are based on quaintness and will lose a sizable amount of the population when Phish goes back on tour.  From covered bridges to food co-ops... this is Vermont
The towns are a mix of quaint and trendy with oddball shops, locally brewed beers, and a market saturation of bookstores.  In these towns you find a surprising number of twenty-somethings who divide their time between the plentiful bookstores and the overabundance off coffee shops.  God forbid anyone actually works for a living.  
I had to meet with building inspectors in 6 rural offices surrounding Brattleboro.  To keep with the image of quaint small living, these offices keep antiquated hours they rarely agree to stick to.  Open 10-2 except for Wednesday when its 7-9, except during maple syrup season when its by appointment only keeping in mind they're closed on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and that hours can get adjusted for apple cider pressing season.  
This mess kept me driving around for two days of data collection and cursing to myself.  This was followed by a day of trying to find new constructions hidden in the rolling hills of Windham County.  This is honestly a beautiful place, but its damn near impossible to accomplish anything in a hurry. Especially when you're in a state where beard growing and bench sitting are local pastimes.  
My hotel was a restored 1930s Art Deco building with old movie theater and microbrewery attached.  It was really nice except for the shitty wifi and the death trap elevator.  If I unexpectedly had to lay low for a while to avoid serious jail time, I'd put Vermont top on my list.  

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