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Old 01-20-2013, 10:48 AM
45 posts, read 46,408 times
Reputation: 61


Hi Again Everyone!

Its been a long time since I have posted anything and it has now been approximately six months since my wife and I moved from Seattle. I figured I would give a little bit of an update on our observations, opinions, and life since this place helped us so much with the initial move. Not only that, but maybe we will be able to help someone else thinking of moving here.

• Job market is still really good. My wife and I are still receiving emails once in a while from companies we gave our resumes back in July when we first moved here. Last time I said that it was good, some people got a little testy, so let me qualify the statement this time: If you have any kind of Bachelor’s degree, a quality resume, realistic expectations (around 40K Starting out), and a willingness to commute, then you will be able to be gainfully employed.

• Driving: Its different here than anywhere else. People tail gate nonstop here, people drive on lane lines, and there are hundreds of highways and tons of ways to get anywhere in this state. There are rumors of traffic, but I have yet to see it anywhere except maybe a little slowdown during rush hour (if you come from a true metro-area you will snicker at the complains, however I don’t spend any time in FFC so it could be bad down there because of NYC).

• Public transportation: Is unusable. Don’t even think about taking the bus somewhere unless you are staying in your town. It will take forever and it is relatively expensive for the service you receive. I hear the commuter trains are good ways to get to NYC, but we just drive in for cheaper.

• Food: Is freakin awesome here. No doubt about it. We are so happy with every restaurant experience we have had, except some bad Asian places once in a while. Italian, Spanish, seafood, all of it is good. Stunning lack of cart/truck/etc culture though, but its supplemented by the restaurants. Although, pizza/grinder places can be somewhat spotty.

• People: Connecticutters for the most part seem to be nice. I think the rumor is that they are a bit rude or stuck up but that has not been my experience. A lot of people do seem very much stuck in their ways (steady habit state maybe?), taking the same routes everyday to work, going to the same bakery for cakes as their parents, eating at the same restaurants, etc. Not used to that, but that isn’t a critique, just an observation.

• Rents/Apartments/Locations: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Holy geeze this place is spottier than anywhere I have ever been. One street will be beautiful and safe, then the next will be abandoned old colonials with people wandering around at 1 pm on a Wednesday. You cannot just ‘pick a town’ and live there, it doesn’t work, and the best deals cannot be found on Craigslist. The best thing to do is decided a place you like to be and then drive around looking for signs, old school. We just moved into a great place in Collinsville from the 1800’s that we love. Prices are comparable to west coast cities, if you want something nice 1 bedroom you’ll be spending 700-1000.

• Location: Connecticut is great if you love to travel around. It is a beautiful state and gives you access to some of the most fantastic places I’ve ever been to. Vermont is awesome and an hour and a half away (although some CTers say its like 3 hours), Maine is beautiful, Boston, RI, New York, D.C., Philly, QUEBEC (I love Quebec City so much), I mean damn, you can go anywhere from here and its all driveable.

• Costs of Utilities and Such: All expensive. Winter sucks. We have heating oil for the first time in our life and we freakin hate it. Electric isn’t that much better. But it is doable. Taxes are kind of high, but I really don’t mind them. I was in the military and taxes paid my salary, I don’t mind giving into it.

• Seasons: Are so amazing here. Four real seasons (although I have yet to experience the spring, I am very excited. Fall is so damned beautiful and theres so much to do. Winter is pretty, and its nice to be cold for a changer, Summer is beach time if you’re into that and seafood time if you’re into that (I am). It’s the best and people here really know how to set the mood with decorations and events. I have never seen so much community present in a state, it is great.

• Lastly, US!! Well, we have basically gone everywhere in an 8 hour radius. The only thing we haven’t gotten to do that is on our list is spend a day in Philly (however we did get Cheessteaks!) and go all the way out to Provincetown, OH and catch some live irish music (personal passion). As I said we have moved into a new place in Collinsville. Since we moved here with basically nothing but a computer, kitchen supplies, two cats, and some clothes, we are basically living like hobos in the 18th century! Instead of buying our furnishings and such we are trying to build them from recycled materials but it is slow going. We got a couch for the living room, along with an air mattress to sleep on, so it is pretty cool. Next week we’re going to buy all the tools we need to start crafting everything else, so it is very exciting. If anyone has two old sawhorses or wrought iron fencing that they’re not using, or just some old wood type stuff, then we would totally be willing to buy it! Other than that, we are just living life, making good food, and loving ourselves some Connecticut.

This was very rambly, I apologize, but I am lying on an air mattress staring at my computer screen. I hope it was interesting or insightful!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:13 AM
Location: NC
720 posts, read 1,434,953 times
Reputation: 1067
So great to hear your follow-up and that you're enjoying it here. Spring is so beautiful---the trees will be fully leafed out by Mother's day-----agree that we are spoiled by the variety and quality of restaurants here. Have you been to New Haven? Lots of history and good food!
Join freecycle for free stuff-----I've gotten rid of stuff that's too good to trash, and gotten a few things also.
Live Irish music---The Old Corner Cafe in Naugatuck used to have it, also there's an Irish Dance Studio in Naugatuck that performs around the area here. St. Patrick's Day in CT will knock your socks off, it's so over the top--no parades (that I know of) but everyone celebrates it.
Keep having fun!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:19 AM
Location: Central, CT
841 posts, read 1,653,217 times
Reputation: 322
That's a nice write up it really covers a lot of the things we frequently get threads about. As a long term connecticuter who lived in a true metro for a while I agree with your bullet on traffic/driving. Also as someone who recently looked for work, there are a lot of opportunities it just takes time to sift through them and wait on the interviews, etc.

Glad you're enjoying yourself here, try to find a rent/home with propane/natural gas and blown hot its a lot more economical and I find it heats quicker and more evenly (altho baseboard/oil heat feels like it lasts longer).
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:27 AM
45 posts, read 46,408 times
Reputation: 61
Never heard of freecycle, I will definitely check it out. We spent a little bit of time around New Haven, near Yale, it was beautiful with lots to do. If it wasnt so far from our jobs we would consider moving down there. I might even apply to Yale's grad in English program, it might be a long shot, but all those long nights in the library might have made it possible.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:17 PM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,730 posts, read 17,965,128 times
Reputation: 3334
There are a ton of carts and food trucks in New Haven, mostly serving the hospital and Yale.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:07 PM
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,662,112 times
Reputation: 20198
For live Irish music, don't miss the Feis in North Haven, this coming June (and every year). 2013 schedule I think puts it at the 23rd. You'll be able to enjoy the finalists competing in the national stepdancing competitions, of course - there's pipers, Irish bands, Céilí dances for watching or participating, scones and tea, a sectioned-off area where adults can buy and consume beer, an Irish pride tent with historic information about the Irish immigration to the US following the Famine, harp performances, and hurling competitions.

I go every year - mostly because I live only a block from the fairgrounds, heh. But if it wasn't such a fun experience I wouldn't go at all.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:02 PM
Location: Coastal Northeast
15,742 posts, read 22,011,066 times
Reputation: 5279
Thanks for the update!

And re traffic: most of the bad traffic in CT is in the southern part of the state, between New Haven and NYC. It rivals LA daily.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:28 PM
Location: Connecticut shoreline
69 posts, read 217,945 times
Reputation: 30
Loved reading your 6-month report! Very generous in detail and spirit.

Welcome to the land of grinders, too. Wonder if you ever called them that anywhere else you lived.

As for oil, I cringe when the oil truck pulls in and see the bill he leaves behind. It's science fictional!

Thanks for posting!
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:58 PM
Location: Connecticut
24,603 posts, read 40,176,096 times
Reputation: 6966
Thanks for the update. It is nice to hear how you are doing and it sounds like you are enjoying Connecticut. I also want to mention that the Irish American Home in Glastonbury has a large Irish Festival every summer. You should definitely check it out. Jay
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:27 AM
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,730 posts, read 17,965,128 times
Reputation: 3334
That Irish festival is pretty serious. Milford has a nice one too in the late summer, and a St. Patrick's Day celebration that's pretty well attended.

Gotta go to Anna Liffey's in New Haven, CT's ultimate Irish bar.
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