The Boonies… Not!

It’s become apparent during conversations over the past few months that I have inadequately described the area where I now reside. My “compound” is in Madbury, New Hampshire.

  • About 1 hour 20 minutes north of Boston.
  • About 50 minutes ENE of Manchester, NH.
  • About 1 hour 15 minutes SW of Portland, ME.

The above cities comprise the reasonable airport options. OK, but clearly not great. I keep hoping the Portsmouth International Airport (PSM, 26 minutes SE) will begin offering more flights.

The town of Madbury, NH (the only Madbury on Earth)  is something of an oddity in the area. It was originally a farming and lumbering community, and has transitioned into a bedroom community with no real consumer commercial activity or town center. There are no grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc. But Madbury is a thin wedge sandwiched between Dover (reasonable city, about 30,000 people) and Durham (University of NH). So history and geography allow Madbury to be the bedroom community that it is.

Grocery store, bank, gas station, and a few restaurants are all less than 10 minutes away. Uptown Dover/Somersworth (about 15 minutes) has reasonable, but firmly middlebrow, restaurants and shopping. Portsmouth/Newington (20-30 minutes)  offers higher end shopping and restaurants, with Portsmouth satisfying the liberal, yuppie, artsy city requirements for the region.

So, all in all, it’s not a bad situation for me. I get to have my 90+ acre backyard with open fields, wooded trails, and river, while also being within reasonable driving distance from just about anything I’d need. Mail order shopping makes up for the rest. Well, except good exotic restaurants. New Hampshire’s 97% white population has yet to truly embrace good international cuisine. I can get Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Indian, and Indonesian food here now, but none of it is really up to the standards of the better SF Bay Area places. And I’m not sure anything resembling actual Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Ethiopian food is available at all. The so-called Chinese restaurants here are their own food group, but they’re nothing like any of the good regional (Sichuan, Hunan, Cantonese, etc.) Chinese restaurants that I really miss from the Bay Area.

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3 Responses to “The Boonies… Not!”

  1. Dave Filice Says:

    The third world has come a long way, it seems. 🙂

  2. PaulR Says:

    Unfortunately, the nearest decent dim sum place is an hour and twenty minutes away in Boston. Though there is a place in Manchester that’s not too bad.

  3. debbiew Says:

    It may not be the Boonies but it appears that NO one is home!

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