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beerbeer

There is no "problem" with Hartford

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I travel. I've been to most of America's state capitals. I've lived in Chicago, Atlanta and New York City. I find the hand wringing about Hartford amazing. I was recently in St. Louis and beyond the sports teams, Hartford compares very favorably.

The depth of culture and the businesses located in Hartford are first class. The overall wealth and education of the regional are also top drawer.

The more one travels, the more you realize the general pessimism of New Englanders. Combine this with the provincialism of the towns and cities and you get a silly kind of self-loathing that really isn't deserved.

Even the city fathers are guilty. Everytime they talk about "revitalizing" the city, they are implying the city is dead. This has to be one of the stupidist strategies for a city in history.

So please -THINK - before you start the next "can Hartford succeed" thread. This is a fun little city with the ammenities of a much large metro area. Of course it can be made better. But there is no unsolvable "problem" only a world of opportunites.

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I think there are a couple of reasons for the particular brand of New England pessimism...

1 - Most of our cities (especially their downtowns) have seen better days. There were times when Hartford, New Haven, Providence, etc were the Atlantas, Charlottes, and Jacksonville's of their day... Growing, flush with cash, looking to the future, etc... All of these cities have taken significant steps back in almost every regard in the last 50-100 years, some in even the last 20-30 years.

So while you may be seeing snapshots of them at a point in time and asking, "What's everyone so down about? This is great!" longtimers remember a different destiny for their city.

The same thing happens with me when I visit St. Louis, Cleveland, or Philadelphia. I love those cities, but locals are frustrated with where their cities are compared to where they thought or wished they would be...

2 - There is a significant Boston-NYC pull on this region. These two metros always seem to draw a disproportionate share of attention, resources, etc. There is some frustration with the stereotype that while these metros soar, the smaller municipalities tread water...

3 - The suburb effect is strong as well. I think it's been hard for die-hard urbanites in small cities like Providence, Fishkill, Yonkers, and New London to watch their cities struggle, while newer surrounding suburbs seem to have more malls, money, and corporate parks than they seem to know what to do with...

But all of your points beerbeer are good, and we should always be reminded to look at the upside of what is and not be fixated on what could or should be... You are right that each talk of "rejuvenation" or "renaissance" suggests that a metro is otherwise lacking already... Not good marketing. There was small city in Minnesota, I forget which one, which actually had as its public slogan, "Getting Better Every Day!" Whoa! Getting better than what?

- Garris

Providence, RI

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I've always thought that Hartford compared favorably with St. Louis as well. St. Louis is a tier ahead of Hartford, but there are quite a few similarities currently.

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Thank you for this post. Can everyone please stop dwelling on the negative aspects of our city/region and see it for the growing, thriving, strong, and diverse community that it truly is.

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I used to live outside Denver. Great city, larger than Hartford, but the kids were just as bored, the adults were just as sick of the whole urban/suburban struggle, the cityhad it's drug problems, crime problems, KKK rally at the capitol problems (that was a funny news night), etc. My point being, the grass is always greener, people beotch about where they are, where they live, but most cities are similar, when you get there, it isn't much different. Hartford is doing just fine, the sky is not falling, as I have become accustomed to saying. It does have it's problems, but it's moving ahead at a good clip, which is better than it was doing in the 90's....

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But there's still work to be done. The city is in a better position to succeed now than it was 10, certainly 15 years ago. I certainly think Hartford 21 can be a big success, as well as the other residetial projects. But Hartford has to work on its reputation, improve its public school system and market the city as a great place to work and live. Get the word out, that what has to be done.

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But there's still work to be done.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Certainly. I have no problem with someone talking about Hartford's problems, its the people who have no clue what has been going on in the city post 2000 that aggravate me.

No doubt we have quite a few problems that still need to be addressed, but as Vlad says, "the sky is not falling." :)

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^I like the attitude above...

I agree that problems are ok to mention, but the focus should always be on the direction the community is headed and clearly Hartford is moving forward > (Like Toyota).

When I look at Hartford I don't see a city with too many problems... you're infrastructure looks great, your skyline is nearly picture perfect. This is the type of city all of us are trying to have for ourselves, its not overkill like alot of cities who think taller, and more is the answer to everything, Hartford is just right... and you all should be proud to call it your home.

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In my opinion Hartford is doing fine and is aiming to do even better then fine. The city is working extremly hard to market itself for one thing but the State of CT also needs to give more money to market there cities but what they receive does not compare to what other cities in the country receives which makes it harder for them to market such a great city.

Public schools in urban areas usually need improvment and work is being done and in this mornings paper an article about the first day of school at a brand new magnet school was in the city was on the front page of the town news section.

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In my opinion Hartford is doing fine and is aiming to do even better then fine. The city is working extremly hard to market itself for one thing but the State of CT also needs to give more money to market there cities but what they receive does not compare to what other cities in the country receives which makes it harder for them to market such a great city.

Public schools in urban areas usually need improvment and work is being done and in this mornings paper an article about the first day of school at a brand new magnet school was in the city was on the front page of the town news section.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Where do I begin here?Well, I live in Providence..born and raised...In the late 90's , I was a gypsie and lived all over New England including Hartford. Hartford is a great city from a passing-thru perspective.I haven't visited in 2 years or so.the last time was @ Nick's ( Broad St.?) to dance salsa with my "people". I haven't been back there so I really can't comment on anything that has happened recently. What I do know is that these arguments over which city is better or more appealing is fruitless. Every single angel love city in the Northeast has seen their glory days pass decades ago.(Hartford, Providence, Springfield,etc.) The common demoninator with all the cities is to create residential activity Downtown to spur other areas of economic growth. ..and with each city comes different issues..Hartford will never ever get a major league sports franchise again..Neither will Providence! Hartford will never ever create a Newbury St. or 5th Avenue shopping District!..Neither will Providence! We are both tiny cities in a "forgotten" area of the country with beautiful architecture, world-class colleges, and an IQ and talent pool equal to all the Southern States + Texas.That's what we should build on..The city of Hartford has a lot of work to do. From what I hear, the tides have changed in recent years. I know people that still live there and it still is not a livablle city. The city of Providence is under a Boston gentrification wave.They are trying to create a SOHO on Westminster. Although I feel that Prov. is a much more livable city in terms of variety, safety, and level of comfort, the relative business climate sucks! Both cities are experiencing an energetic wave of new economic activity. Both have the same needs (Downtown residential) and both suffer from their own unique problems. Both should focus on creating an area where locals and visitors alike will make it a destination..Some of you people that post on this site sound like roughneck lesbian biker chicks arguing who gets the last Budweiser! Give me a fu#@@kin break!!Don't get it twisted..We don't need to only populate our respective cities with empty-nester couples with no children.We should focus on making these cities and surrounding areas livable, vibrant, and attracting locals to a destination. We should look to New Haven as an example.

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"...and an IQ and talent pool equal to all the Southern States + Texas."

There was no need for that. We've had a moderator from Tallahasse, Florida, complement Hartford. Let's return the favor and show some respect for his region. Plus you have no concrete evidence to back up that statement.

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"...and an IQ and talent pool equal to all the Southern States + Texas."

There was no need for that. We've had a moderator from Tallahasse, Florida complement Hartford. Show some respect for his region. Plus you have no concrete evidence to back up that statement.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Let me first off start by saying that I agree with everything TaureanJ said.

Second, let me remind you of Cotuit's Warning.

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I totally agree with what TaureanJ said about Hartford too. What I did not like was the cheap shot taken at the South in the post that I quoted. There is no need to do that, but I feel like a lot of New Englanders seem to feel there is. I myself would love to take a trip down South. I have only passed through Virginia, NC, SC and Georgia on the way to Florida with my parents and had a six-hour layover at New Orleans' airport. I was a kid both times, so I was too young to remember or appreciate them. I have never been anywhere else in the South but I would love to go.

Anyway, I don't want this thread to go off on a tangeant, so that's all I will say on this. Getting back to the topic. I defintely think Hartford is a place with plenty of potential and that is now working toward that potential. It is making a lot of good moves. Keep up the good work.

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I totally agree with what TaureanJ said about Hartford too. What I did not like was the cheap shot taken at the South in the post that I quoted. There is no need to do that, but I feel like a lot of New Englanders seem to feel there is. I myself would love to take a trip down South. I have only passed through Virginia, NC, SC and Georgia on the way to Florida with my parents, and I was a kid at the time, so I was too young to remember or appreciate it. I would love to go back.

Anyway, I don't want this thread to go off on a tangeant, so that's all I will say on this. Getting back to the topic. I defintely think Hartford is a place with plenty of potential and that is now working toward that potential. It is making a lot of good moves. Keep up the good work.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wasn't aiming that at you, it was indeed at that cheap shot. I just quoted you because you mentioned TaureanJ's compliment and had the insult in your post, too.

Hartford is a beautiful city with a lot of potential, few will doubt that. It certainly should keep heading in the direction it going in.

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"...and an IQ and talent pool equal to all the Southern States + Texas."

There was no need for that. We've had a moderator from Tallahasse, Florida complement Hartford. Show some respect for his region. Plus you have no concrete evidence to back up that statement.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've been in the mortage industry for the last 10 years ( licensed in 44 states) The majority of the educated people in this country live in the Boston-Baltimore area and the extreme Pacific coast from Washington to California with pockets in between. (Colorado, Minnesota) Ironically, these states all happen to be majority "blue" states. I'm an independent anyway, but I obviously can't speak for everyone. It seems the "Bible Belt" and places where the economy centers around Wal-Mart don't have much to offer as destinations. That was my point moron!It wasn't to offend anyone, but rather to point out that we ( Providence, Hartford,and N.E. cities) have resources, institutions, and places that set us aside from the rest of the country. If you live in Tallahassee, Hartford is exciting because it's different and it has a lot to offer culturally that many places in this country . Providence is exciting to someone who lives in strip-mall city in Texas.That is the course that I would like to see these cities take as marketing themselves as fun, vibrant, livable cities rather than focusing their attention on high-end development. Balance is neede here.Tax stabilization( tax breaks for Downtown businesses), extended nightclub curfew, better signage, credit or tax break for Downtown workers that live Downcity are some of the things that I would recommend. As in N.Y.C.,many of these buildings could be converted to co-ops. That would give more people the opportunity to buy and be vested in downtown without attracting more social service agencies. ( Big problem in Hartford! In Providence, we just move them to the South Side)It also would balance out the respective areas (high-end, middle-class)and attract businesses that would cater to the different demographics! P.S....Don't be so immature Mike! I'm beginning to think you're from Tennessee! LOL

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I've been in the mortage industry for the last 10 years ( licensed in 44 states) The majority of the educated people in this country live in the Boston-Baltimore area and the extreme Pacific coast from Washington to California with pockets in between. (Colorado, Minnesota) Ironically, these states all happen to be majority "blue" states. I'm an independent anyway, but I obviously can't speak for everyone. It seems the "Bible Belt" and places where the economy centers around Wal-Mart don't have much to offer as destinations. That was my point moron!It wasn't to offend anyone, but rather to point out that we ( Providence, Hartford,and N.E. cities) have resources, institutions, and places that set us aside from the rest of the country. If you live in Tallahassee, Hartford is exciting because it's different and it has a lot to offer culturally that many places in this country . Providence is exciting to someone who lives in strip-mall city in Texas.That is the course that I would like to see these cities take as marketing themselves as fun, vibrant, livable cities rather than focusing their attention on high-end development. Balance is neede here.Tax stabilization( tax breaks for Downtown businesses), extended nightclub curfew, better signage, credit or tax break for Downtown workers that live Downcity are some of the things that I would recommend. As in N.Y.C.,many of these buildings could be converted to co-ops. That would give more people the opportunity to

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I've been in the mortage industry for the last 10 years ( licensed in 44 states) The majority of the educated people in this country live in the Boston-Baltimore area and the extreme Pacific coast from Washington to California with pockets in between. (Colorado, Minnesota) Ironically, these states all happen to be majority "blue" states. I'm an independent anyway, but I obviously can't speak for everyone. It seems the "Bible Belt" and places where the economy centers around Wal-Mart don't have much to offer as destinations.

P.S....Don't be so immature Mike! I'm beginning to think you're from Tennessee! LOL

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We could just take this down to the Southern USA forum if you want to discuss this becasue there are a lot of things that can be said for North vs. South.

Or to this thread: North vs. South

But let's try to keep the South out of this topic. I'll discuss it further with you if you go there.

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What I do know is that these arguments over which city is better or more appealing is fruitless.

Agreed.

Every single angel love city in the Northeast has seen their glory days pass decades ago.(Hartford, Providence, Springfield,etc.) The common demoninator with all the cities is to create residential activity Downtown to spur other areas of economic growth. ..

Also agreed. None of these cities will likely ever again experience the growth they once did, or the growth happening in the South and SW. I think old "donut" model for smaller Northeastern cites ("big business" on the inside, bedroom communities on the outside) is no longer viable, and that our cities are going to have to "Europeanize" themselves, becoming mixtures of culture, business, residential, and educational, with services and retail focused on its residents.

In essense, they're going to have to become "college towns" for their own residents... Ironically, I think the increase in gas prices can be a stimulant for this residential development in the core for our old cities...

Hartford will never ever get a major league sports franchise again..Neither will Providence!

Neither will Providence? I wasn't aware we ever even had one!

Hartford will never ever create a Newbury St. or 5th Avenue shopping District!..Neither will Providence!

We'll continue to disagre with this on the Providence board, but my opinion if that if New Haven can maintain a hip and diverse Chapel St. in the heart of its downtown (and that area was vibrant even in the down days), then certainly Hartford and Providence can as well. Call it whatever you want (we've been throwing around the term Newbury St... use one that works for you), but I think that kind of New Haven-ish development is possible in at least one area of both Hartford and Providence...

...and an IQ and talent pool equal to all the Southern States + Texas.That's what we should build on..

Funny, you've been slammed for this line, but I originally interpreted it as a complement to those areas, which are often praised for their emerging highly educated workforces.

Unfortunately, the workforce is highly mobile and the cost of living here is forcing our brainpower to move there. I have a former co-worker who just moved to practice in Colorado with his wife. While his wife being from that area helped, his being able to do his work with, "a higher salary in that region that would buy me more than double the house on double the land" helped make his decision a lot easier. I've heard this quite a bit... Someone a lot smarter than me has to be able to figure out an economic equilizer for the energy costs, taxes, etc that kill this region costwise...

I think the New England Cities are at a fork in the road. If we succeed at reviving our downtowns and stemming our economic losses, we could be the next Annapolis, Charleston, Portland, etc - cities that turned the corner and are super-attractive places to live for its residents... On the flipside, if the residential and economic slides continue, we could become the next Buffalos, Rochesters, Syracuses, etc... Beautiful, historic, deeply suffering cities filled with great colleges, smart people, absolutely zero economic prospects, and big problems...

- Garris

Providence, RI

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Agreed.

Also agreed.  None of these cities will likely ever again experience the growth they once did, or the growth happening in the South and SW.  I think old "donut" model for smaller Northeastern cites ("big business" on the inside, bedroom communities on the outside) is no longer viable, and that our cities are going to have to "Europeanize" themselves, becoming mixtures of culture, business, residential, and educational, with services and retail focused on its residents. 

In essense, they're going to have to become "college towns" for their own residents...  Ironically, I think the increase in gas prices can be a stimulant for this residential development in the core for our old cities... 

Neither will Providence?  I wasn't aware we ever even had one!

We'll continue to disagre with this on the Providence board, but my opinion if that if New Haven can maintain a hip and diverse Chapel St. in the heart of its downtown (and that area was vibrant even in the down days), then certainly Hartford and Providence can as well.  Call it whatever you want (we've been throwing around the term Newbury St... use one that works for you), but I think that kind of New Haven-ish development is possible in at least one area of both Hartford and Providence...

Funny, you've been slammed for this line, but I originally interpreted it as a complement to those areas, which are often praised for their emerging highly educated workforces. 

Unfortunately, the workforce is highly mobile and the cost of living here is forcing our brainpower to move there.  I have a former co-worker who just moved to practice in Colorado with his wife.  While his wife being from that area helped, his being able to do his work with, "a higher salary in that region that would buy me more than double the house on double the land" helped make his decision a lot easier.  I've heard this quite a bit...  Someone a lot smarter than me has to be able to figure out an economic equilizer for the energy costs, taxes, etc that kill this region costwise...

I think the New England Cities are at a fork in the road.  If we succeed at reviving our downtowns and stemming our economic losses, we could be the next Annapolis, Charleston, Portland, etc - cities that turned the corner and are super-attractive places to live for its residents...  On the flipside, if the residential and economic slides continue, we could become the next Buffalos, Rochesters, Syracuses, etc...  Beautiful, historic, deeply suffering cities filled with great colleges, smart people, absolutely zero economic prospects, and big problems...

- Garris

Providence, RI

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It was a complement!... :rofl:

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vigor20 -- your remarks are offensive. I've lived in Atlanta I currently lve in Washington, DC. To imply that Baltimore is the southern boundry of IQ points is just severe bias. You serious are proposing that Providence has more smart folks than Washinton, DC.

Take your tiny-minded provincial attitude somewhere else.

I would be thankful if a moderator erased this entire portion of the thread.

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vigor20  -- your remarks are offensive.  I've lived in Atlanta I currently lve in Washington, DC.  To imply that Baltimore is the southern boundry of IQ points is just severe bias.  You serious are proposing that Providence has more smart folks than Washinton, DC. 

Take your tiny-minded provincial attitude somewhere else. 

I would be thankful if a moderator erased this entire portion of the thread.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I didn't imply anything of the sort if you ever passed reading comprehension! I didn't compare Providence to anything ..I complemented the entire Northeast region on the benefits that we should promote as a region...Your overly-dramatic comments about some comparison that you think I'm trying to make are ridiculous! I am one of the most outspoken reality based posters on the Providence forum....How many Ivy league schools are in the South or Midwest? What's the densest city in the South or Midwest? (4K per sq. mile) People move to these places because of a cheaper cost of living.....and now who's complaining about gas prices? ...answer...Northeastern white suburban commuters who buid homes far away from where they work (Prov.and Htfd.)and people from low and miidle income families that live in the sprawled out South....and eventually you'll here the ex- New Yorkers who moved to Atlanta complaining because they spent 10K in gas this year to get to work..No matter where you live in this country, it's all relative. There is always a balance. I just posted something in the Prov. forum stating that this is what we need to build on as an area. We,as an area, have a much more educated workforce as a whole. There is a talent pool that is generated here that could compare to no other....if only we could convince them to stay here and not go to Atlanta? :blink: Maybe, just maybe, we , as an area, should focus our attention on transportaion and convenience factors while marketing this as an alternative to higher gas prices and longer commutes.This could be the catalyst that creates our dilapidated cities into DESTINATIONS. As far as being overt and/or negative, this is an opinion blog.The positive and negative aspects need to be heard for a successful debate on how to move forward as a region. I refuse to portray Providence and Hartford as 2 cities that escaped the Bubonic Plague to emerge as royal Renaissance cities alone. We are moving in the right direction collectively and need to contine to do so in the future with smart decisions...I know I may piss people off from both forums, but I feel that debate is HEALTHY. ...I love New England cities..(Lowell, Lawrence, and New Bedford too) I would like us as aregion to be more open minded with our decisions and collectively create a "vibe" throughout the U.S. as a destination much like Portland, OR and Minneapolis has done. The whole states of Mass., Conn., and R.I. are smaller than te Florida Panhandle.This would involve transportation to be #1 priority and have efforts collectively funded and divided among 3 states......

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