U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-12-2014, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,678 posts, read 8,233,211 times
Reputation: 2898

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think Connecticut's cities are kinda underwhelming, but I think this is an overstatement.

Downtown New Haven keeps getting better and better. There are two grocery stores in downtown now, and tons of different restaurant options. Plus East Rock and Wooster Square are both safe, stable neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown. Add to this the bevy of activity going on in the downtown fringes, and you have a pretty good walkable core established. New Haven does of course have the highest crime now in Connecticut, but in my experience there as long as you have street smarts and keep out of the really bad neighborhoods it doesn't affect you.

Stamford has done wonders reinventing itself as well, although for my own tastes everything's too new, as the city largely destroyed its old urban infrastructure during the urban renewal period. Norwalk has done fairly well creating a walkable area in South Norwalk which is appealing to young professionals as well, and has more of the historic, New England coastal vibe going on which Stamford and New Haven missed out on.

Hartford is a pit of course. You have a downtown no one lives in, cut off by urban renewal from a north side which is almost exclusively black, and a south side which is almost exclusively Latino. Sections of the West End have remained desirable, but that's about it.

Bridgeport is better in some ways, worse in others. The crime there is these days significantly lower than Hartford or even New Haven. But as a city goes, it just fails miserably. The downtown was horrendously urban renewed, full of parking lots, and doesn't really have any significant employers any longer like Hartford and New Haven. The population will never decline if only because there's tons of lower-income service workers in the region who have to live somewhere, but I don't see any realistic way it can become an economic engine for the region once again.

I notice alot of low income New Yorkers from The Bronx, Brooklyn move to Bridgeport basically it city for lower middle class and the poor but taxes are very high there it goes up every year. Downtown is trying re-gain it self but it still not virbant though half of it abandoned and vacant alot of pahandlers


Hartford is starting to built ton of apartments downtown, recently few companies move there offices in Downtown hartford.

Stamford is fastest growing city in CT and probably New England region it seem there construction everyday in Stamford. There is major housing boom due to close location to Manhattan and better train service on Metro North Line, desent paying jobs.


New Haven is growing fast not far behind stamford rate New Haven has highest crime because it has higher daytime population
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-13-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,475 posts, read 11,975,150 times
Reputation: 10577
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPt111 View Post
I notice alot of low income New Yorkers from The Bronx, Brooklyn move to Bridgeport basically it city for lower middle class and the poor but taxes are very high there it goes up every year. Downtown is trying re-gain it self but it still not virbant though half of it abandoned and vacant a lot of panhandlers
If Bridgeport still has more housing like this standing, I think it could do a better job of revitalizing itself. The lack of historic residential architecture near downtown is really jarring.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-13-2014, 08:38 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,456 posts, read 18,386,007 times
Reputation: 11929
New London is the one city in Connecticut that has an authentic New England historic seaport feel, albeit a more gritty version than Newport or Portsmouth. There are old late 18th and early 19th century sea captains homes, a scenic and busy harbor, and a pleasant and fairly busy downtown that's not overly gentrified. There are actually some fun dive bars in New London as well, and the city has somewhat of a vintage feel.

I went to a greasy spoon diner in downtown New London for breakfast there where the waitresses' name was "Cookie" and she had a beehive hairdo. Seriously who wouldn't love that? There is just something about a Connecticut diner that gives you the best most well rounded and affordable menu for breakfast and lunch counter experience. After breakfast I went out on the ferry for a day out on Block Island and it was an incredibly scenic ferry ride with three states in view among several islands and peninsulas where Long Island Sound meets the Atlantic.

Southeastern Connecticut is my favorite part of the state because it starts to feel more like New England in that part. Northwestern Connecticut is also nice with the quaint and bucolic towns in the Litchfield Hills. That area is idyllic October with the spectacular fall colors and old school charm, pumpkin fields, and covered bridges.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-13-2014, 12:35 PM
 
56,865 posts, read 81,192,796 times
Reputation: 12570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
New London is the one city in Connecticut that has an authentic New England historic seaport feel, albeit a more gritty version than Newport or Portsmouth. There are old late 18th and early 19th century sea captains homes, a scenic and busy harbor, and a pleasant and fairly busy downtown that's not overly gentrified. There are actually some fun dive bars in New London as well, and the city has somewhat of a vintage feel.

I went to a greasy spoon diner in downtown New London for breakfast there where the waitresses' name was "Cookie" and she had a beehive hairdo. Seriously who wouldn't love that? There is just something about a Connecticut diner that gives you the best most well rounded and affordable menu for breakfast and lunch counter experience. After breakfast I went out on the ferry for a day out on Block Island and it was an incredibly scenic ferry ride with three states in view among several islands and peninsulas where Long Island Sound meets the Atlantic.

Southeastern Connecticut is my favorite part of the state because it starts to feel more like New England in that part. Northwestern Connecticut is also nice with the quaint and bucolic towns in the Litchfield Hills. That area is idyllic October with the spectacular fall colors and old school charm, pumpkin fields, and covered bridges.
I was going to ask about New London, Norwich and Groton, as well as cities like Danbury, New Britain, Bristol, Torrington and Middletown. What is the interest in those cities in regards to urban living?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-13-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,678 posts, read 8,233,211 times
Reputation: 2898
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I was going to ask about New London, Norwich and Groton, as well as cities like Danbury, New Britain, Bristol, Torrington and Middletown. What is the interest in those cities in regards to urban living?

Danbury is nice it has one fastest growing hotel rate in CT and alot of apartments begin built there.

Bristol is home of ESPN

Middletown is nice little city northeast of I-91 23 mins from Hartford and 20-25 mins from New Haven it got walkable downtown area


Gorton is it is a small to midsized town with little action and pretty mild traffic that is mostly limited to major routes like I-95 it next to city of New London in the eastern part of state it is close to Rhode Island Border(15-20 mins) 50 mins from New Haven and 1 hour from Providence, RI. Gorton is one the shoreline some nice beaches closeby.


New Britain is a post industrial city population about 78,000 and another of CT's older, factory cities whose heyday has long gone. There are, of course, a couple of nice areas and a stable section of the city with people of primarily Polish descent. New Britain has more than it's fair share of poverty & social problems, but they pale in comparison to the larger cities like Hartford. However, the schools is not good. The city is in the process of revitalization. There a college there call Central Connecticut University very good reputation and an especially strong education program.

New London is small city of 30,000 in eastern part of the state It like a Old Mill seaport town but schools there does'nt meet state standards, there parts of New London that is sketchy.

Eastern part of CT is Home to Two Casinos Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun which plenty of restaurants/night life 15-20 mins from New London area.

I don't really known Torrington but it kinda but part of it despressed there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-13-2014, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,473 posts, read 7,543,211 times
Reputation: 4367
Firstly, my overall impression of cities in Connecticut is that they have impressive "bones," beautiful/historic housing stock and clearly pack a punch for their size (which is true of Northeastern cities generally). That being said, they definitely lack in fulfilling their potential.

The fact of the matters is, for a state that is home to a significant amount of per capita wealth (the scenario is very similar to New Jersey), you'd definitely expect its cities to be much better off.

It's honestly a sad reflection on America as a whole. Even in areas that are pretty affluent, urban cores often still struggle immensely. It just goes to show that, outside of the handful of large, pre-eminent urban cores of the country (which of course speaks to the need for a critical mass), we still have a LONG way to go in terms of revitalizing post-industrial mid-sized and smaller cities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2014, 12:03 AM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,056,610 times
Reputation: 2543
Below is a recent post of mine on the Connecticut sub-forum that describes the state in a nutshell, more or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters
The OP's complaints are, for the most part, not unjustified. CT *is* colder and drearier than many other parts of the US. I agree with his finding that people in much of CT are complacent and sluggish. Outside of the affluent suburban communities of Greater Hartford and Fairfield County, there does not seem to be much of a competitive ethos or entrepreneurial spirit among CT residents. It is, by no means, a place for movers and shakers, artsy and creative-minded individuals, young urban professionals, et al. There is a very sedentary attitude among people there, as evidenced by the OP's claim that his parents rarely, if ever, visit their own parents in FL--many don't travel much, don't stray too far from home, and--if the OP is of any example--show limited interest in upward social mobility. Taxes *are* incredibly high, and there is a lack of awareness or sensitivity to the economic competitive disadvantage this poses to the state. The roads are largely substandard, and the bridges are even worse--simply appalling. The cost of living *is* higher than just about every other part of the US, save, perhaps, other areas of Greater NYC (i.e., Long Island, Westchester, Northeast NJ) and maybe California. Housing in particular is old, small, and outrageously expensive. The economy is very mature and population growth is nil, and this makes job growth very slow. Subsequently, many young, educated, career-oriented, upwardly-mobile professionals are driven out of the state for professional opportunities; bigger, newer, cheaper housing to raise their families; or to both own a home *and* build a nest egg simultaneously.

But I will disagree with the OP on a few points. The reason why housing in so cheap in states like Texas and Oklahoma is because of the availability of developable land, general lack of deed restrictions and eminent domain laws/reform, and people's lack of apprehension to commuting long distance. What they don't tell you is that because developable land is so widely available and, in turn, so inexpensive, homes really don't appreciate much at all. Texas in particular has notoriously high property taxes, as the state collects most of its revenue through property and sales taxes due to the lack of a state income tax. If you moved to Texas to live in that big, cheap new home, be prepared for a much bigger property tax bill, too. Also, what it costs to cool *and* heat as well as maintain that big Texas home is absolutely outrageous. As an aside, Texas is both hot *and* cold for long periods of time, unlike other Sun Belt states like Arizona and Florida, which are mostly just hot. You'd think that after dishing out all that money in property taxes, utilities, and upkeep, that at least you'd catch a break on your homeowners insurance--WRONG! There are lots of things that can *destroy* your home in Texas, up to and including tornadoes, hail, and high winds. However, I understand the disconnect that's occurring--I grew up in RI and have lived all over the Sun Belt during my adult life (FL, GA, SoCal, TX, and now AZ).

Back to CT, though. So why do people live there? Well, for the good points some posters have asserted. Most people are honest and decent, even if they seem incredibly cold and aloof at first meeting. Except in troubled urban ghettos, crime is extremely low. Public K-12 schools are, bar none, the best in the country. Community ties are exceptionally strong, and there are some downright lovely towns and suburbs scattered throughout the state. It is a relatively diverse state, especially compared to its New England peers. Some cities like Stamford are very attractive. The airport, BDL, while a slight trek for some residents, has pretty decent airline service, and the NYC metro airports are only short drive away for many CT residents. For a mostly suburban state, CT has a pretty good public transportation infrastructure network--trains and buses are widely available. Lots of good restaurants, too, especially if you enjoy Italian food. But the piece de la resistance is the scenery, from the Litchfield Hills to the Stonington salt marshes to the white-steeple churches rising amidst hills covered in brilliant fall foliage scattered throughout the state--picture-postcard scenery abounds. Natives take it for granted, but newcomers and visitors, especially in the summer and fall, will find scenery right out of a Norman Rockwell scene or Hollywood movie.
Young people are leaving CT in DROVES
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,475 posts, read 11,975,150 times
Reputation: 10577
New London is very nice within its core - much better than some of the larger cities. Starr Street is one of my favorite historic Connecticut residential streets.

Middletown has a above-average walkability due to Weslyan University being right downtown. Honestly Middletown is probably the only "college town" of note in Connecticut, although Downtown New Haven has a bit of a college town vibe because of Yale. UConn has one of the worst off campus "college towns" I've seen for any state flagship university in the country. Makes College Park, MD look vibrant in comparison. Most Connecticut colleges besides UConn and Yale are either fairly small private schools and/or have historically been mostly commuter colleges, which may be why they don't tend to actually give much vibrancy to downtowns, even when they're located reasonably nearby.

I honestly think the biggest issue Connecticut cities have is they are in Connecticut, or more precisely, in between Boston and New York. Where I went to school in Southwestern Connecticut, staying in Connecticut was something that was seen as only for low-ambition losers. Kids with ability/talent wanted to move to the city (which typically meant NYC, although sometimes Boston or places further afield.) Some kids outside of the honors or "weird kid" crowd wanted to move to the sunbelt after college. But basically staying in the state seemed to imply you were a mama's boy, or a basement dweller, fearful of change. Why move to one of the local cities and be a gentrifier when you could live 2-3 hours away in a much more interesting place and do the same thing? Particularly because unless you lived in a total ghetto neighborhood in a Connecticut city, you really aren't going to save that much money versus living in NYC or Boston.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2014, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,678 posts, read 8,233,211 times
Reputation: 2898
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
New London is very nice within its core - much better than some of the larger cities. Starr Street is one of my favorite historic Connecticut residential streets.

Middletown has a above-average walkability due to Weslyan University being right downtown. Honestly Middletown is probably the only "college town" of note in Connecticut, although Downtown New Haven has a bit of a college town vibe because of Yale. UConn has one of the worst off campus "college towns" I've seen for any state flagship university in the country. Makes College Park, MD look vibrant in comparison. Most Connecticut colleges besides UConn and Yale are either fairly small private schools and/or have historically been mostly commuter colleges, which may be why they don't tend to actually give much vibrancy to downtowns, even when they're located reasonably nearby.

I honestly think the biggest issue Connecticut cities have is they are in Connecticut, or more precisely, in between Boston and New York. Where I went to school in Southwestern Connecticut, staying in Connecticut was something that was seen as only for low-ambition losers. Kids with ability/talent wanted to move to the city (which typically meant NYC, although sometimes Boston or places further afield.) Some kids outside of the honors or "weird kid" crowd wanted to move to the sunbelt after college. But basically staying in the state seemed to imply you were a mama's boy, or a basement dweller, fearful of change. Why move to one of the local cities and be a gentrifier when you could live 2-3 hours away in a much more interesting place and do the same thing? Particularly because unless you lived in a total ghetto neighborhood in a Connecticut city, you really aren't going to save that much money versus living in NYC or Boston.

What about Providence in Rhode Island it has nice downtown sadly nicer than CT.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-14-2014, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,475 posts, read 11,975,150 times
Reputation: 10577
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPt111 View Post
What about Providence in Rhode Island it has nice downtown sadly nicer than CT.
Providence is a bit more dynamic than any Connecticut cities, but I think it's more a matter of scale, as well as the presence of state government, than anything. Downtown has seen some impressive population growth. While their populations shrunk overall, Federal Hill, Smith Hill, and Mount Hope all had either an absolute or relative growth in the white population, which could be seen as signs of gentrification of the area. Still, the the still stable East side seems to be in slight decline, and the remainder of the city shows no real signs of rebirth. Honestly I think besides being 40% larger than New Haven there isn't that much of a difference between the two. Both are northeastern cities with fairly good downtowns, major universities, and stable middle class neighborhoods remaining next to downtown. That doesn't mean they have a chance in hell of being the next Portland or Austin or anything.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top