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Lowerdeck

Outsiders thoughts of Hartford

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I decided to create this topic because most of the Connecticut section posters here are from the Hartford area. So to someone on the outside, of the city or the regional MSA, aren't you Hartfordites curious as to what we think?

And what do you Hartfordites think of other parts of this state as well?

Now me, having made several generalized and dumb statements about Hartford ... making it painfully obvious I know jack about the place. I've been through on many occasions in my 22 years, been around on plenty occassions, but never in Hartford itself much. No more than half a dozen times, never longer than a couple hours. Most of my dealings in the Hartford area were in Newington and in Manchester ... and even then, it was few and far between, just for a couple hours in a day to do whatever business was on tap. I really ought to explore Hartford more for myself - see what it's like, what's there and going on - for something different. Especially since I intend on staying in Connecticut.

The vibe of Hartford out here, or from what I've picked up over the years, aside from the fact it's too far away for most to care here (Thompson... 25 miles straight shot to Worcester, 50 miles mostly through woods and on two lane roads to Hartford) is that there's a lot of violence making the city unsafe and that the state taxes too much from the outside and dumps it in Hartford to waste. Being in a rural working class area, it's the anti-Hartford ... which keeps people like my folks turned off of the place.

Just kind of wanted to air out those last couple paragraphs for a while, get you all some better understanding on my (outsider) views and get me some better understanding of the Hartford area as well.

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I decided to create this topic because most of the Connecticut section posters here are from the Hartford area. So to someone on the outside, of the city or the regional MSA, aren't you Hartfordites curious as to what we think?

And what do you Hartfordites think of other parts of this state as well?

Now me, having made several generalized and dumb statements about Hartford ... making it painfully obvious I know jack about the place. I've been through on many occasions in my 22 years, been around on plenty occassions, but never in Hartford itself much. No more than half a dozen times, never longer than a couple hours. Most of my dealings in the Hartford area were in Newington and in Manchester ... and even then, it was few and far between, just for a couple hours in a day to do whatever business was on tap. I really ought to explore Hartford more for myself - see what it's like, what's there and going on - for something different. Especially since I intend on staying in Connecticut.

The vibe of Hartford out here, or from what I've picked up over the years, aside from the fact it's too far away for most to care here (Thompson... 25 miles straight shot to Worcester, 50 miles mostly through woods and on two lane roads to Hartford) is that there's a lot of violence making the city unsafe and that the state taxes too much from the outside and dumps it in Hartford to waste. Being in a rural working class area, it's the anti-Hartford ... which keeps people like my folks turned off of the place.

Just kind of wanted to air out those last couple paragraphs for a while, get you all some better understanding on my (outsider) views and get me some better understanding of the Hartford area as well.

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I am, or was an outsider when I first started reading this forum. I actually used this and countless other resources to learn more about my adopted home.

I live in Manchester, and yes I like Main St. Manchester, but I have little use for Manchester as whole.

I have done my best to understand the city I work in, and as best as i can tell its a very confused place.

I have worked in the true heart of downtown for 1 year now. It is a safe place by any defination of the word. I am confused how people could ever think otherwise. I like probably 15,000 other people leave work after 6 every night, and I cary a laptop with me because my company makes me. I have felt on edge maybe a hand full of times, but not because I thought I was in danger of being shot. Just because there are sketchy people everywhere in this world and if you do not make yourself aware of them you put yourself at risk of having a run in with one of them. As a side note it is my experiene that there are far more crazy freaks in rural America than urban America.

That being said I walk female co-workers to their cars if I can because perception is more powerful than truth.

My first impression was wow, this is almost the perfect sized city. The more I know about it the more I wish it were the size of providence in MSA terms, and had a more active population downtown. Say 5-10,000 rather than 2,000. The main reason I feel this way is the flat parking lot scars in the city that give it its negative perception would likely be developed if it were that size. Those scars on the city make me nervous, and they are the reason there is no retail downtown. The other reason I wish Hartford was slightly larger is mass transit. It would definately work between Springfield and hartford if you added another 300k and made downtown worth visiting for the casual suburbanite.

My co-workers that have recently moved here agree that its just WACK to see empty spots where you would expect a department store or even a deli.

so yeah I and my co-workers are disapointed.

but we have hope since we dont have long histories like most of you with the incompetence of the CT government.

We see H-21 as hope. just build 5 more. We see the new Arena proposal as a huge piece of hope, but build something next to it. No one I work with knows anything about Adriens landing. dont care even if front street is built they likely wont care. If a new arena were built and the retail along Pratt/Allyn picked up considerably they would care. If A condo was built near this new revitalized retail street they would care. If the condo on Pearl were built they would barely care because its for rich people. If it were all to happen they would notice as would other people thinking about moving here.

my words my oipinions

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Some of the perceptions of Hartford are absurd, especially in regards to crime, rarely does anything happen to the innocent. The level of poverty while bad is severely overstated by outsiders, they think just about everyone here is poor. My perception of other towns depends on the town. West Hartford surprisingly economic diverse town- but pretty bland and culture less for such a dense place. Avon, Simsbury, Farmington, prototype middle class towns with good schools. Bloomfield and Windsor I see as extensions of Hartford for the most part, as a youth most of the middle class families in my area moved to one or the other. Manchester and East Hartford I see as strongly blue collar in culture, Harley's in abundance I can imagine things like Nascar being popular there, I think it could do much for their culture if they capitalized off that sort of thing. I also think they are both in dangerous positions if the do not act decisively as they have rocketing poverty rates and seemingly troubled school systems. New Haven I am envious of their downtown and bookstores, I like their food also but overall Hartford wins in my opinion. Fairfield county I'm finding is too spread out and has a lot of traffic at all times on the major roads/streets. But FC is a straight shot to both New Haven and NYC. Recently I spent 6 days at a rented house in Falmouth Cape Cod and realize how great CT the urban experience is. I loved crabbing and fishing, the beach and the general friendliness of the neighbors, but 7 days straight was perfect anymore would have tainted the place for me, I was aching to get back. I'm definitely a city guy, hopefully Hartford develops more safe, viable urban spaces.

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I think Hartford need to do more to attract youths in the city from other places, instead some moving out to NYC, Chicago, Miami and so on... I really enjoy going through Hartford every morning and still think it's a beautiful city... I don't care what negative things that people say about Hartford, they just hating. rolleyes.gif

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