Worcester Has a Lot to Love

The famous smily face was invented in Worcester Mass. Max Hartshorne photos
The famous smiley face was invented in Worcester Mass. Max Hartshorne photos
Joe's Record Shop, downtown Worcester, Mass.
Joe’s Record Shop, downtown Worcester, Mass.

I saw a news story about somebody opening up an indoor winery, in Worcester, Mass. It piqued my curiosity, and so I dug in. I found many exciting developments happening down in that central Massachusetts city.

Worcester is the home of Table Talk Pies, where they produce more than 7 million pies a year.
Worcester is the home of Table Talk Pies, where they produce more than 7 million pies a year.

So I set up a trip and last weekend we spent two days and a night in the state’s second largest metropolis, Worcester, with about 181,000 residents.

I can’t stop raving about how much fun we had and how cool Worcester is. We had an delicious kind of exotic Korean-inspired lunch at Simjang Korean restaurant, starting with a platter assorted New England oysters on the half shell.

At nearby Wormtown Brewing, we sampled the beers, including one with hops and grain from Massachusetts called Mass Whole,  while people enjoyed beers in the sunny beer garden patio.

We strolled the city admiring the many huge murals and street art on every corner and breezed through the park to see the city’s famous “Turtle Boy” statue.  Everywhere we went, thirty-somethings raved about their city.  How they had moved here from Boston. How they loved it, and which bars were their favorites. They all love The Dive Bar with its courtyard New Orleans food truck out back.

The famous "I Love You Marry Me" street art downtown. The city is famous for its street art.
The famous “I Love You Marry Me” street art downtown. The city is famous for its street art.

The city is full of street art, and in several places, you could see that there are big improvements in the streetscapes coming up.  Granite slabs were stacked up where they would soon grace a new area for pedestrians only, right next to the lovely Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts,  as well as the regal Victorian Mechanic’s Hall, where Bob Dylan and thousands of other famous artists have performed.

Mechanic's Hall, a gorgeous theater and events space, in Worcester.
Mechanic’s Hall, a gorgeous theater and events space, in Worcester.

A star of the city is certainly its architecture, much of which goes back to the Industrial Revolution when the city’s location and the Blackstone Canal made it a powerhouse.

During the 1980s, the city fathers had a bad idea to create a 1,000,000 square foot mall, right in the middle of the city.

Thirty years later the mall had lost most of its tenants and the better idea to break it up and put back the cross streets made the city much more walkable.

Our weekend in Worcester rolled on, with a delicious dinner at a fabulous downtown restaurant called Deadhorse Hill.

We let our waiter order for us, and his choices included oysters, foie gras and house-made gnocchi.  First rate, all around!

Union Station in Worcester, with hourly trains to Boston.
Union Station in Worcester, with hourly trains to Boston.

Then we enjoyed the comedy of three different comedians at the Woohaha Comedy Club.  Every performer was funny, original and we were glad to be there.

With train service by commuter rail to Boston, it’s easy to live in Worcester and take advantage of lower rents and work in the Hub.

What a night!  What a weekend!  WOW, Worcester!

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