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Everything posted by JayHass

  1. Because the Courant sucks and the HBJ is on their game! LOL Where's the Hartford Times when you need it...
  2. I'm really glad to see that H.B. Nitkin Group is still on the table. He's done some wonderful projects in Stamford and other areas which includes the Shops at Somerset Square in Glastonbury and said he really fell for Hartford after spending some time there and is now a city proponent which IMHO is hard to come by from FFC residents at times. It's not a site plan but here's an article from the Hartford business Journal about Nitkin's thoughts on the site and city. http://hbnitkin.com/news/pdf/HartBizJournalJul_05.pdf Still, he says, he was “curious,” and came to the city to inspect the site. “And as soon as I looked at what was happening in downtown Hartford, I had an epiphany. I called my officeand said, ‘This is really exciting. Let’s get the copy of the RFP from the State of Connecticut and let’s go after this project.’ And I threw myself into it.”
  3. LOL I saw that and was like "I wonder how many people are clicking 'no' when they really mean 'yes'". It's worded a bit tricky.
  4. The good Dr who chairs the UCONN center is a fat cat from Boston feeding his own appetite. They have a blank check from our state government and this project does not need state congressional approval! Must be nice to just "want" a new house and just do what you want and get it going and have others pay for it with some lousy excuse like "it's for better education". Hey it's only (our) money right? Oh and yes, it's faily new and not in need of anything. This is pork barrel politics at it's finest.
  5. Sorry for the delayed reply, I sometimes get scooped up with work and can't focus on anything outside of it. As for the Gville scene vs. O-town, that's good to hear from someone who lived there also so I know it's not "just me". Yes that is the French Restaurant I was talking about...kind of sad we can figure it out that easy eh? LOL As for Disney, the problem for me was that I was employed by them at the time so going "out" was like going to work. Glad to hear about all the great restaurants in Greenville...makes me even more curious about the city. Well that and it was 2 degrees this morning here in CT.
  6. I have to say I love the pictures you guys are posting...believe me, many people are looking and you are presenting your city with pride. Great work!
  7. THANKS! That's what I was hoping someone would say. Living in Orlando kind of soured me on Southern cuisine as every other place was a chain...I could only find one good French restaurant privately owned and it would be substandard for my current area by far - well unless I wanted to go out to dinner at "Disney" that is. Then again some of the best meals I've had were in Atlanta. (Well in this country anyway. ) All of those places sound great, I'm glad to hear it and can't wait to visit.
  8. I agree, it's all in the initial planning and aside from the handful of American cities that were quite large during the birth of our country most modern cities have been poorly planned. I watched a documentary on the birth and design of NYC - Manhattan specifically and it was genius for the most part the way it was done and how it was engineered. To this day I have to say that Westchester county NY and Fairfield county CT are two NYC suburban areas that work with rail service and they work well. All the small towns and cities have stations that run regular service to Grand Central. I actually lived in Darien for a short time and had a short walk to the train station and commuted to 42nd street in the Helmsley building or 230 Park Ave and it was totally livable and a pleasure to use. Problem is a 1 bedroom apartment was about $1800 per month and the average home price is $711,000. I simply couldn't afford to live there but I did love it for the time I was there. Here is a map of the Metro North rail line where you can see what I mean. http://mta.info/mnr/html/mnrmap.htm The main point I was getting at with all this is Fairfield County is very rural in feel with large homes on multi-acre lots and not a grid by any stretch of the imagination. Population density is about 3300 people per square mile but you feel like you are in typical "New England" so a suburban area CAN commute with train service to a city center, but what I see different is there is over a 100 years of infrastructure in place to support said rail lines. If you live in the "corporate woods" (What they call Fairfield County) - you ride the train. Period. No one drives into the city...okay maybe 2% of the population. It would be a long hard road for a city like Greenville to put the infrastructure in place to have a viable and livable alternative for automobile commuters. I think it CAN be done but get ready for a major tax hike to pay for it and as Metro mentioned they better plan NOW before further development not centered on a plan like that makes it even harder to accomplish. Atlanta IMHO is an example for Greenville NOT to follow. That city just had unfettered growth wherever and whenever and not much was coordinated. Rail in a city/suburb environment CAN work as proven by many Northeastern cities but it's going to take a lot of money and a lot of work to do so in this day and age vs when NYC and Boston put these things in place. Is it worth it? RT, we actually had two smart cars at a friends fabrication shop a few years ago as he was contracted by Daimler Benz to modify the Smart car to achieve federal recognition. They didn't and were shipped back to Europe but we got to cruise around with them for half a year and turn heads. The cars can not pass federal crash "standards" even with major modifications which makes me wonder why we don't see all these dead Europeans everywhere since they are such death traps. I've heard rumors that DB is working on doing some redesigns to get them US approved. I would buy one in a heart beat and I'm a knuckle dragging car guy that builds some insane exotics for some very rich people so you may think I would not be interested in them. No way. They are fuel efficient, comfortable, and flat out "cool". They even have a smart roadster available. I'll still have my "toy" in the garage for "those days" though. Good discussion all the way around.
  9. That's a tough one... Is it that very political system that is making Greenville what it is or is it "dumb luck". One thing I always noticed about people from the Northeast moving South is they want to "change" the area they move too to be more like where they came from. My attitude in that regard has alway been "why would you want to make it like the place you left!" LOL I'm not saying you are wishing that, just making an observation and opening discussion as to is that really what Greenville need to be better or would it make things worse.
  10. Totally agreed. The commuter trains from NYC run all the way up to New Haven CT which takes 1:15 minutes to 1:45 minutes depending on the line. (Distance is about 80 miles) As a side note one of my favorite places is Grand Central with all the shops and whatnot...nevermind the gorgeous surroundings. All along that route what happens is people commute 20 minutes to the train stations, park their cars and then take the train for an hour to NYC. You can go by the New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford stations and see mall sized parking lots and garages with cars stacked up all day long. Some people have a spouse that drops them off but most park and ride. The other option is to buy a small 1.5 million dollar home close the the small train stops along the route in places like Darien, or New Canaan. LOL One of my favorite cities to ride the train is Montreal as all the stops coincide with the "underground city" they have. (I'm sure due to the climate! ) Their trains are on rubber tires which makes them wisper quiet and when they leave their stop they have this really cool three note melody that plays (The notes carry middle - low - high like "dah dah daaaaaaah)) as the train pulls away and kind of drags the sound with it into the tunnel. They also have on the walls of all the stations. It's really an experience. Metro: Keep in mind, most European cities were dense and poplulated long before any form of transportation outside of your feet or a horse were established. Some even walled for protection. Most of the density and/or land use was established thousands of years ago in most cases. The reason you don't see a walmart or strip malls is they simply wouldn't work based on the established population base and cultural lifestyle. It would be like putting a European style train center in the middle of our suburbs...it just wouldn't work. I was recently in Livorno Tuscany on business - Livorno is more of an industrial port city. I don't think I saw one free standing single family home in the entire city and most were built over 200 years ago which set the standard for that city and future development. If you get out into the countryside then there are more single standing homes and farms etc but even in small rural towns the city centers are very dense and older than just about anything build in the US. I was totally shocked at how many vehicles were used in Livorno. Just about everyone owned a car or a scooter and it was the preffered method of travel. Then again, the cars look more like this than what we know as "cars": Yea that's me in the picture having some fun. That was my associates second car. It's a 3 cylinder diesel that gets about 75 miles per gallon and is actually quite comfortable. It's called a Smart Car and and I wish we could get them here. His other car is a sports car that sits in a garage most days.
  11. I am looking forward to this thread. One of my "issues" in the past living in the South has always been lack of or not as many different varieties of private owned restaurants. Sometimes I like to go out for Indian...sometimes Thai, sometimes Italian, sometimes a steak, sometimes Japanese...most times I'm not at a chain for that. Show this Hartfordite whatcha got there in Greenville.
  12. Coming from someone that used to live in Charlotte and do business in Atlanta, that proposal to me would seem the be the most logical and what would get the most use especially for business travelers during the week and those wanting to day trip on the weekend. I would have used that rail line just about everytime I had to make the trip to Atlanta. I'd rather work on my laptop for 3 hours than stare at my windshield. Being in the Northeast between Boston and NY in a city with similar dilema's regarding light rail my opinion is this. Until you have the infrastructure in place with bus lines, taxis, shuttles etc a point to point rail system for commuters IMO simply will not get used. Think about it. Say I live in GV and have an office in Spartanburg. Who is going to get me to the train station in GV and who is going to get me to my office on the other end when I get off? Do I now keep two cars at either end to commute to the train station? Even most bus systems are horribly inneficient for point to point travel. What would take 15-20 minutes by car with no drama has now turned into an hour ordeal - it's no surprise that people would get sick of using said system if that was the case. Look at MARTA in Atlanta - while some use it, most don't and frankly I think it's for the very reasons I gave. The city is simply to sprawled out and it's a PITA to get around without a car. In a city like Boston or NY, you can jump a subway and/or the density is so great you only have to walk a few blocks. I would like to address the taxes comment for a minute. One of the very reasons I am considering a relocation to Gville is the taxation here in the great state of Connectitax. Think I'm just being a money hungry grubby business owner looking for higher profits? The business believe it or not takes a second seat to PERSONAL taxation here. Try this on. Home taxes: On an average home, $350-650 PER MONTH Vehicle taxes: On Average $600-900 per year per car. Gas taxes: Over 42 cents a gallon. Income tax sales tax utilities tax is outrageous on and on. I am all for paying taxes for the needed services of a city but what has happened here is our budget has grown into such a monster the cost of living is simply out of the park. A report came out recently that showed a person in this state has to earn $19.00 per hour just to afford a basic two bedroom apartment and a family has to make $80K to afford a decent home and just SURVIVE. Most of that expense has come from goverment spending and legislation. (Meaning tedious regulations on business which drove costs up etc) Healthcare, insurance, utlilities cost etc etc is insane. Remember this, once a tax is on the books it hardly ever comes off. Spend wisely and use great restraint before giving the government additional access to your pocketbook as it's a slippery slope once you do. How many toll roads in Florida were supposed to have their "tolls lifted" after the expressway was paid for and are still there "to pay for other new projects now". East-West Expressway anyone? (RT, I'm sure you remember that one. I was there when it was built and it was said "now now settle down people, we only going to charge tolls till it's paid for - scouts honor" Yea right!)
  13. Very intresting - thanks for sharing. I think Bradley has huge potential as an alternative to Logan and JFK/Newark not to mention becoming a "hub" to central New England. Good for them, good for Hartford. Now if they would just stop saying "welcome to Hartford/Springfield" when you land unless MA wants to kick in some cash subsidy.
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