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©John R. Turner

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Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont

Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont, has been listed in national surveys over the past several years as one of the best places in America to live. I go the Burlington often and I like it to a degree, yet I share a certain bias against it which afflicts all of Vermont outside Chittenden County. We feel, perhaps unreasonably, that Burlington is not really Vermont and what's worse, that Burlington is so much like the rest of the country that it's becoming a cancer to Vermont life. It is, after all, a behemoth. Now, you have to take that statement by Vermont standards. Anywhere else, Burlington would be considered a distinctly small city. But for us, it's gigantic. I know some people who won't go there because they say it's overwhelming. But I don't think bigness is the main issue. It's more one of tone. There's a Banana Republic right on Church Street, for gosh sakes! Whenever I get back to Montpelier from Burlington I feel like I've escaped. But, here, we're fearful. If there's a Banana Republic in Burlington, can Montpelier be more than a hundred years behind?