Catherine Ratte' and her daughter Meera moved from Northampton, MA to Springfield in 2011. Catherine works for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and wanted to be able to walk or bike to work, and she also wanted to be closer to her daughters' school in Windsor CT. Meera is a boarding student at the Loomis Chaffee school and she wanted to be closer to home and the AAU girls basketball team, the Ballers, that she's played on throughout high school. Catherine and Meera's first apartment at the MacIntosh building in Springfield was affected by the 2012 gas explosion. They then bought a condo at Classical Condominiums and, while they still miss the ama\zing MacIntosh building and all the terrific people there, they love it at Classical. Catherine is still able to bike to her job downtown and Meera is able to get to several basketball courts and visit her friends. They love the neighborhood and being able to walk to all the downtown attractions like Symphony Hall, the Central Library and the great restaurants adn shops like Chef Wayne's Big Mamou, Punjabi Tadka, and Red Rose, and AC Produce and La Fiorentina. Catherine loves the work that Develop Springfield is doing to help blighted properties and they both appreciate the wonderful architecture, the parks, the sculpture garden at the Springfield Museums, and all the trees and natural elements in the heart of the city. What surprised Catherine the most about Springfield was how quickly she felt at home, how much every one in the neighborhood loves and appreciates her dog, Beautox (a Sharpei), and how inexpensive it was to purchase their lovely home. What surprised Meera the most was the gas explosion. What would they say to someone thinking of moving here? Choose downtown! "I don't know why everyone doesn't live in downtown Springfield," says Catherine. "The people are so friendly, everything is so convenient, and the architecture is strikingly beautiful."
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