Remembering Montpelier, Vermont

I only lived for several weeks in Montpelier, the state capitol of the Green Mountain State. Easily one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in Vermont, I enjoyed my stay for the most part. If I had found a rental in time, I would have stayed. However, the downside of Montpelier is the limited local bus service and the steep hills. The city is shaped like a bowl and most of the residents lived on top of the hills that surrounded the city.

The pros of Montpelier are the abundance of delicious farm fresh food served in the cafes and restaurants around the city. Montpelier also boasts its share of intriguing architecture ranging from cathedrals to municipal buildings as well as, Victorian brick businesses and post modern as well as, Victorian and Colonial houses. The city also has a large farmers market for part of the year and a good-size food cooperative (which is a bit of a walk from the town’s center). For people who enjoy fine and performing arts, the city has that too. The parks aren’t as impressive as I would have liked, but I enjoyed all the bridges that crossed the Winsooki River. I was reminded of Venice in a way or of Paris.

The cons of Montpelier are that the city is overpriced from food to lodging and everything in between. Montpelier is an expensive city to live and to visit. Some of the Vermonters who live in the capitol city acting like snobs but I don’t know if those people were true Vermonters or transplants from other northeastern states like New York and Massachusetts.

While the streets were mostly litter-free, this changed the further I walked towards Barre Street. The bus system needs improvement. When I was in Montpelier, the public transit used half-size buses as a default taxi service but were short drivers because five bus drivers had retired and another bus driver told me he was retiring soon too. As far as taxi services, there was one taxi service for in-town but the driver was a flake. The long-distance car service is much better but doesn’t give local rides.

And the biggest con of all, which you’ll experience throughout Vermont, is that most of the housing stock is either too expensive to rent (due to demand) or has been converted into vacation or short-term rentals which is more lucrative for the owners. This means that homelessness and insecure housing are issues. But as far as crime, there wasn’t a lot of crime in Montpelier except people partaking in illegal drug activities (but that’s everywhere in the US now).

I also visited Montpelier during the late summer months (end of August to the end of September) so I missed the bad weather and harsh traveling conditions. Montpelier receives (on an average year) 96 inches of snow per year. But it’s at least worth staying until the autumn leaves have finished their performance of brilliant colors.

I’ll leave you with a photo essay of Montpelier, VT.

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