From Boston, it took me four hours on a Peter Pan bus, then a local bus to get to downtown Holyoke, MA.Holyoke is an old paper mill town. Like a lot of smaller US cities, the heart has been ripped out of the downtown. Holyoke Mall is located a fair way out of the centre of the city, off the interstate. So people are moving out of the downtown and driving to the mall for everything they need.
Downtown Holyoke is beautiful, but strangely deserted. There are two canals running through the centre of town. Seems like it's only a matter of time till folks catch on to the cheap red brick buildings and Holyoke will be on the road to gentrification.