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Old 01-14-2013, 08:07 AM
751 posts, read 1,511,803 times
Reputation: 360


Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
In fairness, this thread was a buzzkill from the start. I'll never understand the "I can't find anything good about living here" threads, when we have some of the best restaurants in some of the most beautiful suburbs in the country. If crazy nightlife is what one desires, the Jersey shore is 2.5-3 hours away.
I agree. It sounds like OP is having difficulty with the notion of relocating. The job change was forced upon OP, rather than OP voluntarily wanting to move to CT, and OP has to leave the friends, family, and overall comfortable lifestyle that was being led in Dallas.

Unfortunately, humans do not psychologically acclimate to change very well. I once read that it takes around an average of 6 months to adjust to one "major life change" (e.g. job change). Too many simultaneous major life changes can lead to other issues like Anxiety or Depression.

I point this out because I grew up in the New Haven area, but moved down to Stamford for a job right after college about 6 years ago. I had a sweet apartment in Stamford, but found myself hating where I lived. I blamed Stamford's sucktastic nature on lack of restaurants, nightlife (), museums, educational/cultural vibe, etc. I basically said the same things OP is saying about Connecticut, that it's "missing" something.

After moving back to the Greater New Haven area after a few years in Stamford, I finally realized that I hated Stamford for illogical and erroneous reasons. The true reason was that I simply missed my New Haven lifestyle. Of course, it didn't help that I would spend a lot of my time commuting up to New Haven to spend time with friends, so I could truly never appreciate Stamford with clear eyes.

Not to bore you further with my story, but I wanted to point out the notion of living to work, not working to live. If I were in OP's shoes, I would personally look for another job in the Dallas area, unless the current one was the absolute dream job. Also, aren't Texans privy to no income tax? Even if the salary in CT post-relocation is higher, your final take-home is still lower due to taxation.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:54 AM
Location: Stamford, CT
59 posts, read 111,878 times
Reputation: 87
This was mentioned numerous times in your other post, but have you spent any time in Stamford? There is a strong concentration of young 20-somethings in Stamford due to RBS and UBS having branches there. Spend time on Bedford or Summer Street. Both are lined with bars and restaurants.

The commute should take you about an hour and a half. Personally, I would not want to spend 3 hours a day commuting, but it may be worth it to you.

Regardless of where you end up, I would recommend joining a softball/dodgeball/kickball league. Blackbear (a local chain bar in CT) runs leagues for both which are ostensibly about sports but really about socializing. For what it's worth, blackbear also has locations in Hartford or New Haven, and is your typical sports bar. (cheap bear, burgers, wings) You shouldn't have a problem sitting at the bar there, watching the game and striking up conversation. (even on a weeknight)

Big League Dodgeball
Home • Black Bear Saloon • Hartford
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:05 AM
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,742 posts, read 22,004,068 times
Reputation: 5277
Originally Posted by megcm1 View Post
This was mentioned numerous times in your other post, but have you spent any time in Stamford? There is a strong concentration of young 20-somethings in Stamford due to RBS and UBS having branches there. Spend time on Bedford or Summer Street. Both are lined with bars and restaurants.
If the OP checked out New Haven and didn't appreciate the nightlife there, he will definitely not enjoy Stamford IMO.

Also, the commute will be 90 minutes on a GOOD day. On a Friday afternoon, it will be stop and go the entire way. Throw in a rain drop and it will take 2.5 hours.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:19 AM
Location: Central, CT
841 posts, read 1,652,748 times
Reputation: 322
"Congratulations, no one wanted to go to ct so you've just been promoted and transferred!"

All joking aside, if you live in CT you learn to travel, once you live here you'll pick the town nearest to your fav restaurants.

My brother had a smiliar issue...not happy with west hartford, no interest in commute to nyc metro. Maybe you would like to consider the Vernon area for housing (lots of new townhouse rentals), chain dining & shopping with addl growth expected, proximity to Hartford/west Hartford. Rightly placed for weekend trips to Boston. Hour to Worcester, 1.5 to Boston...better than a 1.5 hour commute everyday.

Another option would be Windsor which is between Hartford and Springfield and has lots of community events. You can be in Northampton (in about 45 mins) which has lots of bars and shops. Has been taken over by the growth of umass Amherst.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:21 AM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,724 posts, read 17,955,593 times
Reputation: 3333
You have to temper your expectations with the fact that West Hartford is a very small city. It does offer a lot of dining, but it's nowhere near the population of cities you're mentioning. Between West Hartford, downtown Hartford and some surrounding towns, there's plenty to do. I think you need to give it a chance.

As far as New Haven, 1. it's too far for a job in the Hartford area anyway and 2. your assessment of it sounds like you don't know the city. Most people that drive through New Haven quickly have the same opinion. You really have to explore and get to know the city to know how many great areas there are. Coming from Syracuse, it's not much different. Between downtown, Yale, East Rock, Westville, and Wooster Square - the city offers a ton for its size.

And to answer your question, New Haven and Stamford have the most vibrant social scenes in CT.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:52 AM
Location: Connecticut
24,594 posts, read 40,159,475 times
Reputation: 6951
Originally Posted by random83274 View Post
What kept me sane (or actually enjoy it) was Syracuse had Armory Square, and it was simple to find many good places to eat in general in the city. Even all of its suburbs has a couple nice restaurants and bars. It has concerts all the time (including a fair amount of big-named artists), and a different festival every week. Dewitt was really nice, and there were a bunch of new developments with homes that were relatively new. Yes, it has a fair share of old and run down places, but it wasn't difficult to find things at all. The difference between the attitude of the residents alone is big - people I met who grew up in Syracuse didn't mind it and in fact had a lot of pride and loved it. Many had no plans of leaving if they didn't have to. Most 20-somethings I've met in Hartford/Central CT count down the days until they can get out of here.

When I'm relocating to new cities, I pretty take a weekend or so and drive around and check out everywhere. I did that this weekend, and I really couldn't find anything besides wine bars in the nice areas. I tried to resort to Yelp, and everything kept bringing me to areas that looked rather sketchy.

I have lived in many cities around the country, including extended (1-2 week stays) in many more for business. I have rarely come across a time when I couldn't drive around after work and find something good/local to go to (and safely alone). I have been here a week, and I drive around for a little bit after work but ultimately keep ending up in West Hartford at the Irish bar by Blue Black.

So how about this: instead of everyone just saying, "West Hartford", how about name off the bars, restaurants, and things people do for fun here. I want to love living here, and I'm trying hard. It's just very difficult when it seems the only social thing I will do will be looking forward to the weekend to visit friends in NYC.

I know there are people on this forum who do love living here. I won't deny that. But I find a large amount of people who live here or who have lived here and I constantly need to preface asking for suggestions with- "Please don't recommend to not move here, because it's depressing me alot". And they all typically give a look of something like they're thinking how hard it'll be to not by negative.

I'm in town a few more days, and I'll be able to do a little more exploring hopefully to find something to change my mind and not be as discouraged. Any help/suggestions are welcome (besides "find a different job"). I don't expect Dallas or a major city... just something enjoyable that I don't have to already know people to enjoy.
I have to tell you, my office has several 20 somethings that tranferred from out of state and they do not share the opinion of the ones you mention. I have asked them specifically because this comes up on this forum occasionally. These are people who are coming from Phoenix, Seattle, San Diego, Las Vegas, Boston and New York. They came here realizing that this was a smaller city and was not looking for EVERYTHING to be the same. One told me that West Hartford/Hartford and New Haven rivals anything they had for concentration and variety of restaurants. There may be more in other cities but most are bland cookie cutter chains that had no interest. They noted that out west the cities are so large you could travel a half hour to an hour to get from one end to the other which is the same as driving from Hartford down to New Haven. They also like being so close to New York and Boston for nightlife.

All this said, my point is that living in Connecticut (just like anywhere else) is going to be what you make of it. Accept it and try to find things that interest you. Jay
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:33 PM
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,646,355 times
Reputation: 20198
To extend Jay's thoughts on the subject, let's do a comparison for the OP.

According to wikipedia, Dallas is approximately 385.85 square miles, of which 340.5 are land. It has a population of 1,197,816 as of the 2010 census.

In contrast, the entire Hartford County (not the city - the whole county) comprises 735.44 land acres, and has 894,014 people in it, as of 2010.

What this means, is you're dealing with a city that takes up more than half of an entire Connecticut county in size, and has almost three times as many people living in it.

Summary: you *cannot* compare Dallas to any city in Connecticut. You can only contrast. So stop trying to compare them, and enjoy Connecticut for what it HAS, rather than what it doesn't have. Or, go back to Dallas. Or, stay here and be miserable.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:05 PM
10 posts, read 21,835 times
Reputation: 10
I'm not looking for Dallas. As I said, I've lived around the country and traveled to various middle-of-nowhere towns that had simple varieties of food with very little effort, including a typical rustbelt city of Syracuse which has a booming nightlife, especially in Armory Square, not just the college scene around campus or when school is in session. There has to be an equivalent of an urban strip like that in Hartford. Blue Black and the surrounding shops seems like the only thing in West Hartford unless I'm missing something, and I only found one Irish pub that seems like the only laid back bar/pub that isn't in the middle of what seems like a bad area.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:15 PM
Location: Connecticut
1,044 posts, read 1,291,797 times
Reputation: 1123
I think you might need to define what you mean by "nightlife". Hartford and West Hartford have just about any type of cuisine you could ever hope for at hundreds of great restaurants. Hartford has quite a few bars downtown as well.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:16 PM
Location: Manchester
4 posts, read 4,040 times
Reputation: 10
Hey OP.. are you already here from Dallas?

D-town Hartford on Allyn street is about as live as it's going to get around here. There are a dozen or so good places to go there, then you can branch out into the burbs and hit places in West Hartford, Glastonbury, Middletown, etc. Many ppl 21-30 frequent the casinos for the night life as well. You can go into Springfield to switch things up as well.

Frequent NYC and Boston trips... the beaches in the summer... idk just trying to help out here
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