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Old 02-05-2013, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Ubique
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Some parts of Eastern WH have spillover of "Hartford element", poor, relatively higher crime. Interestingly, WH goodness has also "spilled over" to Hartford's West End. That area around Uconn's Law School is one of the nicest historical sections of the entire state.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
While my comparison of Hartford with Boston holds on other criteria, elinyc is certainly right that the two city centers aren't much alike because, in Hartford, there's no tradition among the affluent of living in town. Boston had a big decline too, and in the 40s and 50s, the only nice intown neighborhoods left were Beacon Hill and Back Bay. Now the South End, the North End, the West End (thanks to an ugly urban renewal project), the waterfront, and Charlestown have all become desirable central neighborhoods. I suspect Hartford never had elegant central residential areas to revive, the way larger cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia have. Doesn't mean it couldn't start something. But the pattern in the northeast, at least, seems to be for the biggest cities to be favored by investment of all kinds and for the smaller cities to languish. Especially small cities that were basically manufacturing towns, like Bridgeport, Waterbury, Lowell, and Pawtucket. Hartford could be more like Providence, but for some reason it isn't. Even though the Hartford metro is much wealthier and has a much bigger economy. Another thing I've noticed-- smaller cities overall aren't doing very well, including Hartford, but small waterfront cities have done much better, including Providence but also Portland Me, Portsmouth NH, Newburyport and Salem, Mass, and even Burlington, Vt (on the lake). Go figure.
I am sorry but I do not agree with you on Hartford. The cities you mention are primarily tourist destinations which does not mean they are any better off than Hartford. Hartford is a serious working city with several major employment categories that any of the cities you mention would love to have. There are more than 105,000 people working in Hartford each day making it one of the largest employment centers in New England. And as far as I know the crime rates in the towns adjacent to Hartford have not seen any significant increases. Jay
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
I am sorry but I do not agree with you on Hartford. The cities you mention are primarily tourist destinations which does not mean they are any better off than Hartford. Hartford is a serious working city with several major employment categories that any of the cities you mention would love to have. There are more than 105,000 people working in Hartford each day making it one of the largest employment centers in New England. And as far as I know the crime rates in the towns adjacent to Hartford have not seen any significant increases. Jay
Yes, Hartford is a major employer, but so are Boston and NYC. What those cities have that Hartford doesn't have, however, are a manageable crime level and a normal (on par with other big US cities) poverty level. Hartford performs significantly worse in both of these very important categories. I am not questioning that it is a major employer, but that doesn't compensate for the other huge issues that Hartford is plagued by.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:05 AM
 
Location: W Hartford, CT
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Originally Posted by Henry10 View Post
Some parts of Eastern WH have spillover of "Hartford element", poor, relatively higher crime. Interestingly, WH goodness has also "spilled over" to Hartford's West End. That area around Uconn's Law School is one of the nicest historical sections of the entire state.
Spillover is mostly limited to the far southeastern part of town, east of the railroad tracks. Here, it's hard to really distinguish where the suburb ends and the city begins and neither side is all that nice. Otherwise, it's minimal. Same thing with the southernmost parts of Bloomfield and Windsor that abut Hartford: these towns are mostly nice, but if you head south of Route 218 it changes dramatically and has some of the characteristics of the city: boarded up buildings, chain-link fence that surround houses, bodegas with graffiti scrawled across - and these are still the suburbs. You see this on Blue Hills Avenue, which actually has some nice strips once you cross into Hartford and get closer to Mount Saini Hospital, but then when you get closer to Albany Avenue it gets dicey again.

All of the inner suburbs do have some spillover, but for the most part they've held up pretty well. Even the ones that have schools that aren't well-regarded (like Bloomfield) still have fairly low crime rates.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Ubique
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Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
Yes, Hartford is a major employer, but so are Boston and NYC. What those cities have that Hartford doesn't have, however, are a manageable crime level and a normal (on par with other big US cities) poverty level. Hartford performs significantly worse in both of these very important categories. I am not questioning that it is a major employer, but that doesn't compensate for the other huge issues that Hartford is plagued by.
Hartford's peers aren't really NYC or Boston. Its peers would be Trenton or Harrisburg, or even Providence. These are capitals of their own states, high poverty, high crime. Trenton and Harrisburg might score even lower than Hartford in QOL. Insurance vertical is still a large employer, which hasn't allowed Hartford to drop into the pits, like Trenton for example. Harrisburg is not recovering yet from manufacturing flight. In fact, I think it is still in bankruptcy courts.

So as bad as Hartford might sound to many of us, considering CT's own manufacturing and defense flight-- Hartford is still fairing better than some of its peers.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:19 PM
 
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Providence is more like New Haven than Hartford. Both are port cities, have world class universities, have vibrant restaurant scenes, have significant Italian enclaves within the city, and are (somewhat) commutable to larger cities. Most importantly, both have had the "strong" mayor form of government, as opposed to Hartford which had the city manager system until only recently. Unfortunately for Hartford, the switch to the mayoral system coincided with the election of Eddie Perez.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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New Haven really is like a slightly smaller Providence. Hartford doesn't have enough street level activity.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Florida and New England
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Originally Posted by midcenturyman View Post
You may be right about the employment, but I know a LOT of people who work in hartford, BUT, live in Colchester, Marlbourough, Glastonbury, Portland, Columbia, Andover, Hebron, etc. Many Northamptonites live and work right in town, walk to work, bicycle to work, etc. I do not see that with Hartford. People work there and then "flee" to the safe, clean rural suburbs when sun goes down. Maybe West hartford is like that, but too close to capitol for me.
The north end of Hartford is largely black and Caribbean (formerly Jewish). The south end of Hartford is largely Puerto Rican (formerly Italian). There is no east end (the Connecticut River is the east boundary). To the west of Hartford you will find the wealthy people. Some live over the mountain in Avon, Simsbury, Canton. The wealthiest people in the area however are concentrated in two places (1) around the Hartford Golf Club district on the northern boundary of the Hartford/ West Hartford line and (2) old town Farmington. These are among the richest census tracts in the US.

Hartford is the number 1 MSA in the _world_ in terms of gross output per capita (productivity), by the way. Number 2 is Oslo, Norway. (Brookings Institute analysis 2011) When ranked by personal income, Hartford is number 8. Yes, the wealth is highly concentrated, but it is hardly a metropolitan area where people "flee" to distant rural areas at night. West Hartford and the west end of Hartford are not rural suburbs, they are "street car" suburbs. They are safe and clean.

The towns you mention are distant and largely east of the river. They are not an integral part of the Hartford area (excepting Glastonbury). While walking from a residential suburb to downtown Hartford is not a great option (it takes me 30 minutes to walk from my offices on Asylum Hill to the old state house, for example -- basically across downtown), there are plenty of people who bike. And there are buses every five minutes down Farmington Avenue as well as the other avenues headed west. Most people have cars.

Northampton is not comparable -- totally different kind of area -- a town of 29,000 in a largely rural area. Hartford MSA is over one million. Northampton is also more than an hour from downtown Hartford and not applicable to the OP. I am not sure I would even want to commute from Northampton to Springfield.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:42 AM
 
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Good post westender, but I think the merits of the MSA calculation have already been disputed. Particularly since the analysis includes revenue not generated within the Metro. Not to split hairs, but I could find studies which rank Hartford as high as 12th for personal income. The city-data income also doesn't support the Hartford/WH and old town Farmington as being excessively wealthy.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,813 posts, read 22,112,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Good post westender, but I think the merits of the MSA calculation have already been disputed. Particularly since the analysis includes revenue not generated within the Metro. Not to split hairs, but I could find studies which rank Hartford as high as 12th for personal income. The city-data income also doesn't support the Hartford/WH and old town Farmington as being excessively wealthy.
I generally agree as the Hartford area has a large demographic of upper middle class and affluent families. It's not Fairfield County wealth - but it's still certainly one of the wealthiest metros in the northeast and the country.
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