It’s a question that’s puzzled Bay Staters for years: Where does Western Massachusetts begin?
Worcester? Lee? Cape Cod?
Those were some of the answers floated when WBZ NewsRadio reporter Matt Shearer took to the streets of Boston to ask passersby the age-old question. In a video that’s since gone viral on Twitter and TikTok, the many sides of the debate played out.
“West of Worcester” was a common response, as was the city of Worcester itself.
“That’s not central Mass.?” Shearer fired back in one interview (because geographically it is).
“One side’s western, the other side’s eastern, you don’t have to find a central,” the person responded.
Others simply had absolutely no idea, offering answers like Marlborough, Taunton, even the Cape.
Some couldn’t be bothered:
“I have no interest in being out there,” one person said.
“I’m not really familiar. I’ve never really cared about Western Mass.” another replied.
“Western Mass.? I don’t even understand it as a concept,” one respondent said. “I assume it’s very western ... cowboys maybe.”
By Thursday, the video had been viewed more than 160,000 times on Twitter and TikTok, and sparked a bit of a debate in the comments.
“Worcester is 1/3 of the way from the coast. Definitely not the start of Western MA. Maybe the start of central MA,” someone noted.
“And by the way,” another said. “[Route] 495 divides Eastern and Central Mass. Then anything west of Worcester County is Western Mass, think Ware and Palmer as the start.”
One user said anything west of Route 95 “is western mass to me.”
“This is easy,” another person weighed in. “East of 495 is Eastern Mass with Boston as the hub, West of 495 into Worcester and Worcester County is Central Mass, and then Springfield and West into the Berkshires is Western Mass.”
One person shared “a map of the world, according to a Masshole.” It calls Boston the “center of the universe” and refers to the Cape and Islands as “Florida and The Tropics,” and Central Mass. as “The Midwest.”
And Western Mass?
“Here be dragons,” the map reads.
Where do you think Western Mass. begins? Let us know in the comments.