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Now that the town of Colrain has decided to declare war on Turtleboy since we pointed out that their town is a dump, we decided to start a Turtleboy zip trip, in which we will visit 5-10 towns and rank them from nicest to dumpiest. Today was our first bone ride and we decided to check out the Northwestern part of Worcester County that straddles the Route 2 corridor. We hit up nine towns: Westminster, Gardner, Ashburnham, Winchendon, Royalston, Athol, Orange, Phillipston, and Templeton. Here’s how they rank out from nicest to crappiest:
All nine of these towns are old looking. That’s the best way I can describe them. Old and beat up by life. Westminster is the only one of the nine towns that Turtleboy would ever consider living in. At least it’s close to the highway and civilization, plus it’s got chain restaurants:
A country variety store:
And all the crackers you could ever want:
There is a small element of this going on:
But I suppose every town is gonna have a handful of local boobs who treat their lawn like it’s the Summer Nationals graveyard.
And the price of gas in Westminster is OUTRAGEOUS:
The downtown is lovely though:
And there’s no traffic:
So I can understand why people who live in Westminster swear by it.
Ashburnham is a quiet and quaint little town on the New Hampshires border. We looked all over and couldn’t really find any good grime. Just pleasant looking, average homes:
It’s got a great prep school called Cushing Academy in the middle of town, but more than likely if you read Turtleboy Sports on the regular, it mean you’re too poor to send your kids there:
It might seem like the ass crack of nowhere, but it’s actually a bustling community. They even have their own barbershop!!
Watch out for Asian tourists with cameras standing in the middle of the road though, because Ashburnham is a hotbed for tourism:
The big downside of Asburnham is that you’re nowhere near civilization (AKA Walmart) or a highway, and the price of gas is almost as bad as Westminster:
Turtleboy has no desire to live in Phillipston because there’s nothing there:
This is the bustling scene you find downtown:
Hot!!! But I guess some people prefer the simpler life. Not Turtleboy though. The Turtleboy family needs action!! We need Chucky Cheese and Worcester Bling Bling. But then again who needs that stuff when you’ve got the all-in-one Phillipston Liquor and Variety store instead:
Oh yea, and Phillipston has the best deal on oil changes in Worcester County:
Other than that I’d probably stay out of Philipston unless I was looking to start an insurrection against the government:
A lot of people swear by Templeton, but I don’t see what’s so special about it. I can tell 99% of what I need to know about a town by looking at your high school’s MCAS scores. And Narragansett’s aren’t much better than Worcester’s which seems to defeat the purpose of moving so far away from civilization. Don’t get me wrong, we found plenty of normal looking parts of Templeton:
And I get the appeal of having your own little plot of land far away from it all:
But for every normal looking abode, you found a little slice of Webster along the way:
Here’s another thing about places like Northbridge and Templeton – you only get one town name. Pick one. People who live in Northbridge love to tell you that they live in Whitinsville. But Whitinsville ins’t a town, and neither is “Baldwinville.” And quite frankly downtown Templeton:
Is a lot more pleasant looking than downtown Baldwinville:
I will say this about Baldwinville though. This place makes a mean sub sandwich if you’re ever in the area:
Templeton is a metropolis compared to Phillipston, but at the end of the day the Turtleboy family can’t live in a place where the economy revolves around furniture:
But they are creating jobs in Templeton at least:
I was expecting much dumpier. Don’t get me wrong, I could easily see how living in Orange would drive someone to suicide:
And there’s plenty of dumpy looking trailers for rent:
And nothing says “I live in a classy town” more than the guy on the Main Street with a trampoline in his yard:
But for the most part Orange seems like a normal residential community:
And the downtown actually has some stuff in it:
The problem of course is that you’re in Orange, which is in the asshole of nowhere. But hey, at least you got a Walmart!!
Gardner is the “chair city” and they’re not hesitant to remind you of that five million times as you drive through it:
The problem is that no one buys wooden chairs in 2016 so a lot of Gardner looks like this:
And when you get too much of that, it’s basically an invitation for the muffs in all-day pajamas to start rolling in:
Which really helps small businesses:
Then the neighborhoods start turning into this:
And this is never a good thing:
Next thing you know you’ve got people walking down the railroad tracks at all hours of the day:
But at least gas is cheap:
Just watch out for this intersection because it’s basically free for all:
I dunno, Gardner isn’t that bad. It’s just kind of….old looking?
Gardner is a judgement free zone though:
And it’s got lots of culture and museums, such as the world famous Gardner Museum:
Going into this trip I figured Athol would be ranked last, but at least it has a semblance of civilization to it.
Plus it’s on Route 2. I can’t imagine living in a town that doesn’t have a grocery store or access to a road with lights on it. At least Athol has a McDonald’s:
Other than that Athol is basically just a rundown post industrial cesspool of broken dreams:
Plus this guy still lives in Athol and he’s killing the property value:
Winchendon is a great place to move to if you want your daughter to be the next star of Teen Mom. Because getting pregnant is pretty much the only thing for teenagers in “Toy Town” to do. But at least gas is cheap:
I’d probably get pregnant too if this is what downtown looked like:
You know how sometimes you have that one guy in the neighborhood who lets his house go to shit and the neighborhood tries to find out a way to get the town to clean his lawn up? Yea, that’s like half the town of Winchendon:
And stuff like this is a nice touch:
On the plus side there are some somewhat normal looking neighborhoods:
There is a McDonald’s
There’s a lovely rail trail
And there’s plenty of fine dining
And swanky hotels
I’d rather be dead than live in Royalston. First of all, I’m pretty sure people in Royalston don’t want any outsiders there at all. It’s why their roads look like Bosnia after a NATO air strike:
You will never see shittier roads anywhere in Massachusetts than the one’s in Royalston. As soon as you cross into Athol you immediately see the difference:
Royalston is also in the ass middle of nowhere along the New Hampshire border. Downtown gets a little out of control at times:
And they have a world class hospital:
There’s also an undeclared and ongoing contest in Royalston do see who can throw the most shit on their front lawn:
And to make matters worse there’s these “No Pipeline” signs everywhere:
And those signs can only mean one thing – HIPPIES!!! Shitty roads, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do, AND hippies. Turtleboy would highly recommend never going to Royalston unless you’re hiding out from the Leicester Police.
Where should we go next? Want us to profile your community and the surrounding towns? Let us know in the comments why your village is worthy and if you’re good this year then Turtleboy will be coming to town.
We urge you to support the Turtleboy Sponsors by doing business with them. Without them none of this is possible. Click on any of them to check out their sites or Facebook pages.