You might be from Worcester if…

You might be from Worcester if…

Okay, here’s one to help you get in touch with your inner Worcesterite.  You might be from Worcester if:

You might be from Worcester if...

  • You know that they had to fill the Polar Soda Polar Bear with foam because Worcesterites had gone “Catniss” on him on more than one occasion.
  • You know that the Polar Soda bear is named “Orson”.
  • You know that Worcester has 7 hills like Rome, and has 9 colleges within it’s boundaries.
  • You can name the 7 hills of Worcester. (Hancock, Bancroft, Newton, Green, Chandler, Union or Sagatabscot and Mt. St. James, Pakachoag or College Hill. – although Airport Hill ought to also be on the list…)
    Via Wikipedia…

    Worcester is one of many cities claimed, like Rome, to be found on seven hills: Airport Hill, Bancroft Hill, Belmont Hill (Bell Hill), Grafton Hill, Green Hill, Pakachoag Hill and Vernon Hill. However, Worcester has more than seven hills including Indian Hill, Newton Hill, Poet’s Hill, and Wigwam Hill.

  • You can name the 9 colleges of Worcester (WPI, Clark, Worcester State, Becker, Mass College of Pharmacy, Holy Cross, Quinsig, UMASS Med School, Assumption College – Anna Marie is in Paxton, and doesn’t count – sorry…)
  • You remember shopping at the Worcester Center Galleria.
  • You don’t need the Food Network or Guy Fieri to tell you where to get the the best hot dogs in the world.
  • The mere mention of “best hot dog” elicits strong emotions in you as you know the discussion will soon turn into holy war between disciples of George’s Coney Island Hot Dog or Hot Dog Annie’s (but a shout out here to upstart tube steak artisan The Dogfather).  I will settle this here and now by reminding everyone that Annie’s is in Leicester, hence not technically in Wormtown and that The Dogfather is on wheels.
  • Back in the day, you made a run to Clinton and paid exorbitant prices for beer on a Sunday.
    You might be from Worcester if...Foley Stadium
  • If you’re from the West Side, you remember going to the Tatnuck Friendlies after a football game at Foley Stadium.
  • You know that all buses go to City Hall.  Or at least they used to…
  • You have eaten at one or all of the following after 2 am.
    • The Parkway
    • The Midhaven or The Acapulco
  • You’ve seen a movie at one of the following:
    • Showcase Cinema, Main St. (now the Hanover)
    • White City Cinema (where Bugaboo Creek Steak House was)
    • Webster Square Cinema (right next to the Mobil Station)
  • You ate at the El Morrocco and know that it was Rodney Dangerfield’s favorite restaurant in the Boston area.
  • You know that Abbie Hoffman was from Worcester.
  • You remember Ralph’s Chadwick Square when it was just the lower floor and had more than one barber’s chair.
  • You saw (or claim to have seen) The Rolling Stones at Sir Morgan’s Cove, know known as the Lucky Dog Saloon.
  • You remember The Metro, and that it started out featuring Roller Disco.
  • You remember when Lietrim’s was just s small neighborhood bar, occupying only what is now their backroom.
  • Y9ou might be from Worcester know Harvey Ball invented the smiley faceYou know that the smiley face was invented by Harvey Ball in Worcester.  (via Matt Brodeur)
  • You know that NASA space suits were made at David Clark Company in Worcester.  (via Matt Brodeur)
  • You have been to the Higgins Armory Museum and know that it has (soon to be past tense, sob) the largest collection of Medieval arms and armor outside of Europe.
  • You know that Worcester is the second largest city in New England, no matter what the folks from Providence say.  Put that in your waterfire and burn it!
  • You know that as much as the Worcester Tourism Board may call Worcester “the Heart of the Commonwealth” it’ll always be Wormtown to you.
  • You know that the real start of the American Revolution was in Worcester fully 6 months before Lexington and Concord.
  • You might be from Worcester if…you know Elm Park was the first park in the nation.

    You know that Elm Park is the oldest public park in the United States and that the current design was created by Fredrick Law Olmstead in 1890.

  • You’ve been to Bancroft Tower, and you know the reason no one is allowed inside anymore.
  • You know why there aren’t any Maple Trees in North Worcester anymore.
  • You know who to blame for there not being any maple trees in North Worcester anymore.
  • Spag’s Supply Shrewsbury, MA

    You remember Spag’s and you know it had no bags…and going there on a Saturday was fun event even if it was just to people watch.

  • You also know that Spag’s only took cash.
  • You know that Spag’s gave away tomato plant seedlings in the Spring and your family grew them more than once in the garden.
  • You know that the Worcester Lunch Car Company made all most of the diner cars you see around the country.
  • You know that no one makes seltzer like Polar Soda makes seltzer…and for extra points you’ve had their Tom Collins mixer…with vodka.
  • You know that the first oral contraceptive, aka “the pill” was developed in Worcester. (Actually, the comments say it’s from Shrewsbury, so a tip of the hat to all the commenters that got it right, as well as to the town on the long lake…)

Got more items that should be on the list?  Use the comments section below.

62 thoughts on “You might be from Worcester if…

    1. Does anyone remember rollerskating at Mechanics Hall on Saturday afternoons? Seriously – & it was pretty fun too!

  1. You know that you could smell table talk bakery baking pies nearly all over down town Worcester all the way from Kelly square early morning

  2. You could find any alblum or record you wanted no matter how old at Arnolds music on main street

  3. You know you could find any alblum or record you wanted no matter how old at Arnolds music on main street

  4. The Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology isn’t/was’t in Worcester, its in Shrewsbury on Main St.

  5. Just a heads up that’s not a Harvey Ball smiley face. His has 2 different sized eyes. Learned that from worcester Historical Museum. 🙂

  6. Why is there nothing about the Centrum?
    I KNOW I’m from worcester because i walked from Grafton hill to the old centrum to watch some WWF monday night raw.

  7. You’re from Worcester if you remember that Mechanics Hall was a fantastic place to roller skate.

  8. White City theatre was over the bridge. What about the Galleria near Bergsons and The Dream Machine. Also Lincoln Plaza theatre/ Lincoln Lanes. Double Freedom Rockets From the Woo!!

  9. You also went to the movies at “Lincoln Plaza Cinema” & ate at the Ground Round or Abdows after

    You remember the Huge Santa Claus on top of the galleries at Christmastime

    You shopped at RH Whites in Lincoln Plaza

    You remember Caldor and Zayres/Ames being across the street from each other on Lincoln St..


  10. You also know who Maurice The Pants Man is and know no one sells better Levi’s then him!

    Also remember when Kelly square didnt have stop signs and u just “went” & it always worked out!!

    You remember Iandoli’s aka” the food village” on gold star Blvd (now price rite) & having a donut in their coffee shop

  11. Modern rocketry was developed in Worcester by Robert Goddard, who lived in Auburn.

    Cole Porter studied music at Assumption.

    Worcester was the only American city visited by Sigmund Freud, who toured the old Worcester Sanitarium (currently Worcester State Hospital)

    Barbed wire and Valentines originated in Worcester.

  12. History of the WFD | City of Worcester, MA › … › Departments & Divisions › Fire
    The first recorded fire in Worcester’s history occurred on December 2, 1675, … The first brass sliding pole used in the country was in the city of Worcester in 1880.

  13. You’ve been a fan of the endless farm teams that have come and gone over the years i.e. Baystate Bombadiers, Worcester Ice Cats, Worcester Sharks. And you have a VERY strong opinion about where to get the best Grinder.

  14. New York beat us on olde park…
    You forgot Boulevard Diner for after 2:00 .
    Before it was the Metro it was Desjardin which was the roller skating bar.
    The pill was invented on Maple Ave Shrewsbury @ the foundation
    You forgot Lincoln Plaza and Paris Cinema movie .
    You forgot The Ivy café for eggs on Sunday and a six pack to avoid going to Cinton

  15. You know that barbed wire was invented in Worcester and that it was credited with taming the west.

  16. The pill was invented at the Worcester Foundation of Experimental Biology, but it was located in Shrewsbury, not Worcester.

  17. AHEM!! The PILL was invented in SHREWSBURY: also the location of SPAGS…. Neither are “woo” history!

  18. The birth control pill was developed at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology which is in Shrewsbury.

  19. The contraceptive pill was developed at ten Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, not Worcester.

    1. Jolly Giant! They had an awesome lobster sub…making me hungry just thinking about it. We used to get Jason’s Pizza all the time too, when Jason was still running the place. Nothing like a Worcester Greek style grease wheel!

  20. This is half Bullshit…..
    …read ” The weird facts of Worcester Ma. and find out shit that blow your mind………. Good job though about Ralph’s

  21. You went to the Playoff Arcade and got your ass handed to you playing Mortal Komat w an Asian kid.

    1. Yup. Man that was the worst and it felt like you could save your chore money and practice, , but that damn Asian would still win! I loved that place, trying to find old pictures online

  22. Another Hill in Worcester is Winter Hill. Chester Street runs over it into holden. in the same area on Winter hill drive Between Parkton ave and Lansing Ave in Worc, there was a weather station called the Winter Hill Weather obs.
    My brother read in a book about Worcester history that Robert Goddard lived as a child on Chester Street in a now torn down home in the area between the pumping station on the corner of Chester St and Parkton ave and St.Peter Marian H.S.

  23. Veal Parm Sandwich w/chocolate milk at the Parkway Diner
    The nice breeze over at White City
    The stone bus stop/stone wall in front of old Worcester State Hospital
    Holy Cross football
    Sledding at Green Hill Park
    The Galleria

  24. Winter Hill in North Worc was across the street from my house as was the North Worc. weather observatory operated by Cliff Davis.

    Capitol Theater on Franklin St.
    Leow’s Poli Theatre at Federal Sq.
    The Funhouse on Maine – magic, jokes, and gags. Itching powder, fake vomit etc.
    Ice rink at Webster Sq.
    There was also a rink on Mechanic St.
    Central Pool Hall on Central

  25. It was actually called Winter Hill Observatory. Excuse me. Don’t know how I forgot that because he had a small weather house with equipment right outside his house and I spent time with him looking at maps and the instruments. I was most interested by the radiometers he had in the window of his house.

  26. Walking on Main St to The Mart without fear . Restrooms under the common behind City Hall. Post office in the building now housing Federal Court on Main Street. The stores Grants, JJ Newburys ,Woolworth ,Denholms Makay and many more .

  27. I see Maurice the Pants Man on here….where we got most of our “back to school” clothes…but i also remember getting my very first ‘camouflage’ outfit at CHARLIES SURPLUS right down the street from Maurice’s…Charlie used to make housecalls to some of his favorite customers in his highly stocked van! I also remember how excited we would get when our grandparents would get all is kids together for a picnic up at GREENHILL PARK! The giant slide! Cinderella’s magic pumpkin to play on!
    I also remember going to CAPITAL TOY!! Right across from where Foley stadium is!! First thing you saw when walking in the front door….the above ground swimming pool filled with water! I could go on, and on, and on with all this stuff! But I’ll leave room for the great memories of other people! OH!!! And I just need to get this in!! The best hotdogs??? HOT DOG ANNIE’S OF COURSE! 2 BAR-B-QUE and a CHOCOLATE MILK PLEASE!!

  28. I’m Charlie (“CHARLIE’S SURPLUS”) Epstein’s son Mark or as dad liked calling me “Pathfinder”. I live in Charleston SC now but how I still love my Worcester roots. Vernon Hill Park as a little boy, then Tatnuck and Newton Square playing every sport imaginable with my brother Bobby and our buddy Steve Hummel. May Street School – my favorite all time teacher Carol Konopka Enman, Chandler Jr High, Playing basketball for Jack “The Shot Foley” at Boys Trade with my mentor and Trade A D Don Lemenager living right next door to me driving me every day, Worcester State College playing basketball with Jim McGovern and Malcolm “Big-Dog” Person. Spending summers with Dee Rowe and Buster Sheary at Worcester Academy Camp with my boy Joel Greenberg. All the while having Water St as my roots. – Yes, I remember the trolley tracks and the cobble stones . So proud of what dad accomplished with Charlie’s Surplus. How I loved spending my summer nights at Crompton Park for great basketball. The 100’s of Red Sox and Celtics games I went to because of my dad’s hard work and generosity buying season tickets. Yup, still got my $2.00 ticket stub from game 2 – ’67 World Series vs The Cards. All the people I met, like Boston Marathon Champions, Johnny Kelly, Bill Rodgers and Geoff Smith and befriended thru organizing CHARLIES 10 MILE ROAD RACE. Driving around in the Central Mass countryside with dad helping him carry his boxes into the homes of his “farmer friends”. Words can’t explain how proud I am to have grown up in “W-Town”!! And, I almost forgot my adopted Uncle, “BUTCH R” that’s what I’ve called Arnie Ravelson the owner of MAURICE THE PANTS MAN on Millbury St my whole life, who along with PAUL X TIVNAN and TOMMY HADDAD- from TOMS MEAT MART were my dad’s (Charlie Epstein) three best friends. The most important lesson I learned from dad was, America is the greatest country, work hard and everyone can live the AMERICAN DREAM. To quote my dad CHARLIE EPSTEIN- “GOD BLESS AMERICA”

    1. Thanks for sharing Mark! A whole lot of great info in that one little comment. I had the privilege of interviewing your dad back in 1984 for The T&G about the CS Road Race. A great guy who impacted a whole generation of Worcester youths. I lived in my Chuck Taylors for the first 2 decades of my life!

  29. Anderson Little, Ware Pratt and Benoits….Filene’s, Grants and Kresge’s…stores open only on Wednesday night till 9:00…the Warner Theatre…all the branch libraries…Fitton Field…Basketball at the Auditorium…Crompton park basketball on Sunday nights with Nissen’s filling the air with fresh baked bread…Kemp’s, Howdy’s, Big Boy’s…1963 my first McDonald’s hamburg on Main Street (10 cents)…Metro Bowl, Auburn Ten Pin, T-Bird (46 lanes), Colonial, Town and Country, Mt Carmel bowling (8 lanes)… the 1960’s —the best of Worcester…

  30. What was the name of the clothing store of Park Ave , Webster Square across from what was the roller rink (was big chinese restaurant too)?

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