Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for the ‘Medway’ Category

Medway, Massachusetts

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

“Medway, Massachusetts? Never heard of it.” This is the most typical response after informing a new acquaintance about where I grew up. Medway, also referred to as “Cow-town,” has a small population of merely 13,000 inhabitants. Up until recently, the area consisted of mostly farmland and a few local shops. We have two intersections in town and the number of stoplights in the area could be counted on one hand.

Growing up in such a diminutive neighborhood, everybody in the community knows everyone’s business. One small school system, one police station, one library, and one fire department are established in the district. Entertainment is lacking and the majority of fun activities require at least a 15 minute car drive to the next town over. Cars are necessity to living in this suburban town since there is no form of public transportation besides school buses, of course. The most historical structure in town stands across from old fire department. Medway Village Church is an old white stone building with a steeple. Stone churches were common in small New England areas because stone was widely available from when Indians built stonewalls. Large mills line the central street that connects Medway to other towns. The Charles River flows behind these mills and used to serve as a source of energy and provide work for the locals.

Choate Park is a small recreational area including a pond, a few tennis courts, and grassland. During the winter , there is a small Christmas parade featuring local organizations and fireworks. Within the last few years the two biggest cow fields in town have been transformed into strip malls filled with chain stores such as Starbucks, Shaw’s Supermarket, McDonalds, and a CVS. This was possibly the most exciting thing that ever happened to the little town of Medway. Not for me. I spent most of my time taking jogs around town, working at a local coffee shop, and taking weekend trips into Boston. I was tired of the being around the same people and places. I essentially discovered everything there was to do in the area, and frankly I was ready for a change.

If there was one thing I did love about Medway, it was my house and my job. I lived in a comfortable, peaceful, and clean neighborhood. The coffee shop I worked at was the one out of two coffee shop in town. The customers were friendly for the most part, and I loved my co-workers. The same people would come daily in and order the usua l. This small coffee shop meant more to them then just getting their daily cup of coffee. It was the important social and restful experience that became part of their everyday custom. I enjoyed taking long runs around the area that were not interrupted by walk signs or speeding cars. The street signs were recently updated and painted blue and white, for the town colors, and the sidewalks newly paved. There was a sense of closeness in the community that was both good and bad. It was nice to see a familiar face every once and a while, but that can get uninteresting fast.

The close-minded outlook some people have is unfortunate, the town is mainly white-Catholic and family generations have been living there all their lives. As I began to consider where I wanted to move away to for college, I soon realized I wanted the complete opposite experience from what I had been living. Boston is only a 40-minute drive away and offers a wide variety of colleges to attend. But Boston is a small city, and I had already thoroughly explored it through my years in high school. New York City seemed like the perfect solution.

Sent by Chelsea from Medway, Massachusetts