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surrounding environment

ChiSquareChiSquare Registered User Posts: 746 Member
edited June 2008 in Colby College
Could someone describe the surrounding environment of the town? I understand the campus itself is very attractive - but what about the town? Is it charm or industrial drab?
Post edited by ChiSquare on

Replies to: surrounding environment

  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,073 Senior Member
    Pure charm. Very, very remote pure charm. On a lovely lake, with pine forest everywhere.

    Where do you get these "industrial drab" questions? There aren't too many tiny New England college towns that are "industrial drab". And the colleges that are in somewhat challenged communities -- e.g., Vassar -- that's hardly a secret.
  • ChiSquareChiSquare Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    Where do I get industrial drab questions? The midwest. I've never been to the area of the country that Colby is in, and trying to get a sense from afar. Flights are pretty expensive these days....
  • ChiSquareChiSquare Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    JHS, your comment has me thinking back to a funny story (and perhaps source of my original question).

    I used to live in Germany. The German equivalent of People magazine had this charming story of how an elderly couple had saved their whole lives to visit San Francisco. Somehow, with their lack of English, they accidentally disembarked in Bangor, Maine, by mistake, and got into a taxi to find their hotel.

    Somehow their mishap turned into a human interest story in Bangor, and the city (and especially German speaking citizens of the city) rallied around them to show them a good time in Bangor. They were wined and dined, and escorted around the city. The airline eventually chipped in with a flight to their original destination of San Francisco.

    When returning to Germany, they were asked how they liked San Francisco. Their reaction was something like "San Francisco was nice - but Bangor Maine was WONDERFUL!"
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,073 Senior Member
    Here's a nifty little website, although it doesn't have everything you are interested in: Aerial Photography of the United States and Caribbean by Aerials Only featuring Colleges

    The pictures of Colby in the fall surprised me because there are so many maples. I've only been there in the spring and summer; obviously, I wasn't paying enough attention.

    How many midwestern small college towns are drab and industrial? I've never actually seen a midwestern small college town, but I've never heard places like Northfield MN, Kenyon OH, Oberlin OH, Grinnell IA, etc., described that way.

    Actually, with the Maine colleges, sometimes Lewiston (where Bates is located) is described as less-than-nice. Both Bates and Bowdoin are in former industrial "cities". (Lewiston is apparently the second-largest city in Maine, with about as many residents as my neighborhood.) Bowdoin is in the somewhat chi-chi Portland area, but Bates isn't. I've never seen Bates, though, so I really shouldn't comment.

    Waterville, where Colby is, could not ever have been much of anything.
  • daiea08daiea08 Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    Waterville is kind of lame. CON. It is the truth. There are some cute shops/restaurants if you know where to look. Pro. The townspeople are really nice, though are some strange fellows to the say the least. ProCon. There IS a Dunkin Donuts within walking distance from Colby. PRO.
  • MarathonMan88MarathonMan88 Registered User Posts: 1,321 Senior Member
    Colby's campus is bordered by forest (an 800 acre nature preserve) for most of its circumference. On one side is a neighborhood that's best described as upper-middle class and looks like suburbia anywhere in the US. The other main access from town runs along a pretty stream and leads by a hospital, park, and another suburban-style neighborhood. There are two Waterville exits off I-95 lined with strip malls and scores of shops (including a Super-Walmart, Home Depot, Starbucks, Penny's, K-Mart, Movie Gallery, Radio Shack, Olympia Sports; a couple dozen restaurants and fast food places; and at least five hotel/motels. If your image is getting off the highway, being in the middle of nowhere, and seeing a moose . . . banish it. The two roads off the interstate eventually converge in a downtown area about a mile from I-95 that has some quaint shops and good restaurants; there are also 1 or 2 closed store fronts on the fringes. There are areas of Waterville that are solidly working class, with some run down properties that some students might see as "seedy," but they're not close to campus. (Think Rick Russo's Empire Falls, which is surely based largely on Waterville, where he lived while he taught at Colby.)

    Colby students are engaged in a variety of volunteer projects, particularly with children, in the North and South ends, the more economically depressed areas of the city. I think that many Colby students come to see the socio-economic diversity of Waterville as an educational asset in the long run: a film class made a moving documentary about the French-Canadian women who worked in the factories a generation ago, economics students have analyzed many aspects of the local economy, and students from many disciplines volunteer in the local schools. With a drive of just over an hour, you can get to the coast, to mountain hiking and great skiing, to the North Woods, or to Portland, a charming city. Waterville itself is nestled in a lake region and Colby owns 2 properties on nearby lakes that students can use for recreation. I wouldn't sweat the surroundings unless you're looking for an urban environment.
  • CBBBlinkerCBBBlinker Registered User Posts: 3,439 Senior Member
    On a lovely lake, with pine forest everywhere.
    What lake? Are you talking about Johnson Pond? It's a very pretty pond surrounded by willow trees, but not even in someone's wildest imagination could it be called a lake.
This discussion has been closed.