When I first began to explore Montpelier as a possible location to settle down in, I was immediately struck by the vibrancy of cultural influences here which mainly manifested themselves in an active street scene. There were people of obviously varied backgrounds simply ‘hanging out’ at the outdoor tables of the various coffee shops. A person would come along and see someone that they knew, sit and converse for a bit, and then resume their previous errand. There was a bustle and a mood which bespoke an active and rich social life for those that chose to pursue it. In addition, there were buskers at various locations about the small downtown district, and they added a pleasing musical ambiance to the area with their acoustic and vocal offerings. One could also see artists sprinkled here and there working on either rendering the lovely architecture of the downtown area or working on more personal pieces.
The intimacy produced by these artistic endeavors and social groupings, although perhaps common for small-town life, seemed more remarkable and pleasant for taking place in a state capital. Although Montpelier is small by national standards, having a population only slightly greater than seven thousand, nevertheless, the full machinery of government is found here. The functionaries of the state government mingle freely and easily with the local populace, and except for a slight formalism in attire, it is difficult to differentiate between the two groups. In an era of big business and vested interests and a growing dislike for the self-serving interests of government policy, it is both rewarding and instructive to see that close ties can exist between the citizen and the state.