26-year Connecticut resident here… and I admit our state kind of sucks. It’s better than it gets credit for though. I’d rather live here than Kansas or West Virginia, but we aren’t as cool as Tennessee or Texas. We are good at some things. Our location is mint. We have New York on our southeast boarder and Boston on the northeast. You could drive three hours and be in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island. I don’t even want to know how many billions of dollars get trucked through our state as a result (that we don’t get a dime from.) It’s also lowkey beautiful here. We have the ocean to our south, and the mountains to the north/northeast (ok hills to most but mountains to me.) We have New England charm in the east, and New York money all over the west. It’s the 6th richest state in the country, with a good quality of life.
So, what are the two things that hurt Connecticut and make it forgettable? In my opinion it’s the low state pride leading to a bad image, and lack of identity. Our government is often majority lib, so a lot of stupid decisions made. Everyone thinks we are stuck-up rich assholes, but really that’s the shoreline and New York boarder. Thats a very small part of our state. A lot of Connecticut folks are blue collar hard workers. Just because the state government only cares about helping the insurance industry and not its own residents, doesn’t mean we aren’t good people. A few years ago, we lost a bunch of our biggest companies like General Electric to Boston because they offered massive tax breaks we refused to match. Connecticut shoots itself in the foot a lot, but we still somehow keep going. With that being said, I have a plan to change the way the entire country views the state.
Beer. Why is Nashville so popular? Broadway. Why would anyone go to New Orleans? Bourbon Street. What can you get at both? Beer. Hartford needs to rejuvenate its downtown area to make it a party center. Its already well setup. The XL Center (hockey/basketball), Dunkin Donuts Park (baseball), and Xfinity Theater (concerts) are all within a few miles of each other. We already have Pratt St. our little bar and club center. It’s a cute little start, but we need to make those a lot better. We need to make downtown Hartford so wild that people traveling to New York or Boston decide they need to make the hour trip to see it themselves. We need to make it so good that people coming up to Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine to ski or hike want to make Hartford a part of the side trip. It’s possible, it has to be good.
Let’s take it one step further. Let’s make Hartford the Northern Redneck city. First off, lets legalize anything. ConnVegas baby. Second, let’s get some Broadway type bars open up. Give me bars that have multiple levels and front windows that open up to the streets. Let’s get some live music going. It doesn’t have to be all country, but that would be the best. Lets get some other entertainment going. The Connecticut river runs right near the area I’m talking about, let’s get some party boats or river tours running. We have a convention center right near the bars, let’s bring in hunting and fishing expos more often. Let’s get cool investors to get in, why not have the “No Shoes Nation” bar by Kenny Chesney? He loves New England. Let’s have a Seth MacFarlane comedy bar. Why not get John Mayer to throw his name on a bar? A WWE bar? I mean there headquarters are located in CT. Aaron Lewis, The “Northern Redneck” bar? Fuck, Dana White is from CT, he would blow the city up. It would be wild and give CT a lot of identity for the first time.
Hartford is sandwiched between two of the biggest cities in the world, and it’s a sad, bankrupt, embarrassment of a city. It’s the gateway to New England. It should be absolutely flourishing. People come up here to ski, be outside, and recreate. Nashville was a dive of a city 20 years ago. Charlotte was a dive of a city 20 years ago. Hartford doesn’t need to be the dive that it is, it has a hell of a lot more to offer than those cities did back then. Rednecks need a haven, not everyone can afford to fly to Nashville. Let’s make that place Hartford. Let’s give Connecticut the identity it needs. Let’s make it so that I want to drive 30 minutes downtown and get a hotel and party on the strip. Will it ever happen? Absolutely not. But if Beats Beer Bonfires has anything to do with it, we will have a county bar sandwiched between two other celebrity bars.