Pittsfield Named Most ‘Boring’ City in MA; Gaping Holes in Report
In July 2010, I decided to move to the Berkshires' after living in highly populated, big city areas for most of my life. I lived in the City of Pittsfield for most of my seven year run; a run that included meeting my beautiful wife, becoming a Dad, meeting wonderful people and seeing true passion for community. Which is why a report I saw on Tuesday made me a little bit skeptical.
Apparently, Pittsfield is the "most boring city" in the state of Massachusetts. This according to a study from Business Insider. How did they come up with such a thing?
"We took counts of the number of establishments for 66 different types of businesses — like breweries, art dealers, and museums — that can make a city more "interesting." We sourced data from the Census Bureau's 2015 County Business Patterns program and picked the metro areas with the highest and lowest count of these businesses for our interesting and boring cities," says the report from writers Abby Jackson and Andy Kiersz of Business Insider.
Obviously, we can find holes in absolutely anything. The New England Patriots, for many years now, have been the gold standard in the NFL, and quite frankly, professional sports in general. However, anytime you bring the Patriots up to someone who is not a fan, you get the typical answers; "They're cheaters, their defense is awful, Brady's getting old," and the list goes on.
In this report, the first glaring thing that you see in relation to Massachusetts, is the most exciting cities. They include Boston, obviously, Cambridge, Newton and then, New Hampshire. I immediately thought, "Wow, I was just in New Hampshire a couple of days ago and I'm pretty sure that is not a city in Massachusetts." After re-reading the introduction to the article, they did say that they may combine multiple states into one. Fine.
Then they went to the boring city, which, to them, is Pittsfield. However, they list the population of the city as 127,671. That seems awfully high doesn't it? That's because it is. According to the U.S. Census Bereau, as of July 2016, the population of Pittsfield was 42,846. The number the report from Business Insider used was nearly three times higher than the U.S Census Bureau. I'm not a rocket scientist, but that is just incorrect information.
Not every place is perfect, and although I work in, and have lived in Pittsfield for several years, there are things that need to be improved. What place doesn't? Here's the thing about Pittsfield, and the Berkshires for that matter, that you will never find in any study; nobody cares about community more than this area does. When the chips are down, people rally together like no place I have ever seen. If funds need to be raised, they get raised. When someone is going through something difficult, whether it is themselves, or their family members, we rally together and make things happen. That is something to be proud of.
Instead of talking about the negative things wrong with Pittsfield, it is time to look at the incredible amounts of positives in it. Locally owned businesses, great restaurants, the tree lighting every year, the Pittsfield Suns, the 4th of July Parade, Live on the Lake, the Pittsfield Police Department, who continuously go out in our city and try to make it a better place, Third Thursday, Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, the popularity of running and participating in races, and I am certainly missing several other things.
In conclusion, I moved to Pittsfield in 2010 and it was the best decision I have ever made. My life has changed in a multitude of ways since making my way out in the area. I have a family, I get to entertain people on a regular basis, I get to meet and chat with some of the best people on the planet on a daily basis. I became a husband and a father, which are the two greatest things that have ever happened to me. That happened because I moved to Pittsfield in 2010. There isn't a study, a report, a census, or any bit of negativity that will ever change that feeling.
Be proud Pittsfield - the big, fancy business website may call you boring, but we know the deeper truth about what makes this city so special.