Who out there knows Hartford, CT?

Old Nov 13th, 2003, 07:31 PM
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Who out there knows Hartford, CT?

My son is hoping to transfer spring semster from a college in Santa Fe (beautiful town, but crummy college town) to Hartford. We live in Oakland, CA and know nothing of the area. Anyone out there who loves it, hates it or just has some information? Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
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Old Nov 13th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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Old Nov 13th, 2003, 08:00 PM
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Thanks, but I'd like some personal info. Anyone?
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Old Nov 13th, 2003, 09:38 PM
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One word comes to mind: boring.
No offense to locals, but Hartford is just plain dull. To its east is Rhode Island with the shores, Providence, Newport; to its south is the Sound and the many and varied coastal towns, and to the west are the beautiful areas in Litchfield and Fairfield counties.
Hartford hasn't much going for it except the state government and some major businesses. Just my experience.
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Old Nov 13th, 2003, 10:19 PM
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If you'd like to see what Hartford looks like, visit this thread on the urban issues forum at www.skyscrapercity.com


Lots of great pics of Hartford!
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 05:08 AM
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What kind of information are you looking for? It's not much of a "college town", New Haven to the south would fit that bill and it's not close enough to UCONN to really foster that environment. It's an insurance town and very 9-5ish. It's sorta stuck in the middle of nowhere as a stopping ground between NYC and Boston. Has some decent neighborhoods and some bad neighborhoods, very affluent on the outskirts, political strife between the haves and havenots. If your son is transferring because Santa Fe is not lively enough having grown up in the Bay Area, he'll probably hate Hartford.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 05:33 AM
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Hartford is one of the largest cities in New England, but it's claim to fame is a lot of insurance companies. As the others have mentioned, not the most exciting city, although it looks beautiful from the interstate. On the plus side, it's just a few hours from New York, from Cape Cod, and from some great ski areas.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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well, my sister lives near the Vt/Mass border north of there, so I've been through it several times as it's the closest airport. It does have some pretty homes and country on the outskirts of town going north. The town itself looks like nothing and is boring. I know they've had a lot of social/low income/crime problems there.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to go to college there, except a local to save money. I don't know why Santa Fe would be a crummy college town, but can't imagine why Hartford would be better. I'd much rather be in Santa Fe.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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I went there with some regularity, but for only one reason--Bradley International serviced the area I grew up, so it was a place I flew in and out of. That was it.

My brother worked there..Fleet Bank investment banker, (akin to what others are mentioning regarding the work force) but he lived in MA then moved to Stonington (Mystic) and commutes back to Hartford--no desire to live closer, not that his interests and your son's would meld! lol

I cannot imagine going to school in Santa Fe and not caring for it then moving to Hartford and enjoying that!! Am not even sure what college is there other than Trinity so doubt it is much of a college town either.
Old Nov 14th, 2003, 03:30 PM
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I appreciate the help and replies. I realize it seems "odd'. I think so too. I choose to live in California! I thought Santa Fe sounded great but it's really in the middle of nowhere for an urban kid. At least Hartford is relatively accessible to large cities. He tells me the U of Hartford has a good music tech department- far more affordable than his first choice, NYU. Keep the advice coming!!
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 04:58 PM
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Black Eyed Sally's in D'town Hartford has some of the best BBQ I've ever tasted.
Beautiful countryside. Stayed in Simsbury one trip. Pretty.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 06:40 PM
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Not much going on in downtown Hartford, even in the middle of the day. There's business there, but it still seems like a ghost town. The Civic Center mall is almost deserted. After 5 pm, the area is dead. Outlying areas are run of the mill suburbs.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 08:15 PM
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While the above descriptions of Hartford are relatively accurate, something no one seems to have noticed is that the University of Hartford is not there. It's in WEST Hartford, which is a completely different place, one of the most affluent communities in the state.

That said, if your son finds Santa Fe to be a "crummy college town," I can't imagine what he'll think of West Hartford.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 08:32 PM
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I think the problem with Santa Fe is the lack of inexpensive places to eat, things to do (wonderful galleries are not of great interest to 18 year old boys), music venues- there isn't even a decent transit system. The college is small and almost 50% drops out after the first year. I'd like to encourage him to stay on the west coast but he's determined. Anyone out there with a college age kid probably knows what I'm up against. But I'd love it if this worked. It wouldn't for me. I lived in Florida for many years but wouldn't leave CA.
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Old Nov 14th, 2003, 11:30 PM
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Hmmmmm. For an "urban kid" Santa fe was an odd choice. Santa Fe is a very small town (barely 70K people) and is indeed a LONG way from anywhere. Albuquerque is the state's population center and it's hardly a 'happening' town, though it does have the U-NM.
I can see why he'd want out of SF. I would have been bored silly there in college.
I would also be bored silly in Hartford. Yes, it's accessible to Boston and NYC, but it's not actually convenient for a college kid, either.

Northwestern University in Chicago has a music tech program. The Evanston campus is beautiful and the school is outstanding. No shortage of things to do in Chicago for college kids.

Northeastern Univ in Boston would also be an option, and again, for a college experience it's tough to beat Boston.
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Old Nov 15th, 2003, 04:08 AM
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Let's see...a kid from Oakland going to school in Santa Fe...probably used to spending lots of time outdoors. Let me remind you about winter. Good for skiing trips but that's about all. Nov. thru April can be pretty boring for those used to on-demand outdoor activity.
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Old Nov 15th, 2003, 03:35 PM
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I truly appreciate this. It pretty much is what I expected. Giving my son perspectives that aren't his parents' could be useful (oh please!!). Keep it coming. I'm forwarding all the information to him- only editing out my comments!
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Old Nov 16th, 2003, 03:25 AM
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Welch, you're probably going to want to edit this out, but lots of kids choose colleges far away from home to get away from meddling parents, maybe Santa Fe wasn't far enough.

As an almost lifelong resident of CT, I think that this actually might be a very appropriate decision. He seems to be focusing on his course of studies and financial issues rather that social life.

For a kid at college in suburban Harford, there aren't many distractions during the week. so he can focus on his studies. On weekends there are lots of things going on within a 50 mile radius.
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Old Nov 16th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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I don't disagree with the getting away from home part - his initial decision was based on that, as it is for many kids. Now an ex-girlfriend he's hoping will become his girlfriend once again is part of his motivation for moving to the east coast rather than back to the west coast (which he's discovered isn't so bad after all!) . I'd love to be out of the equation! This kid calls me multiple times daily!! I don't want to know. That's why I want him some place he enjoys so he can stop calling me.
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Old Dec 14th, 2003, 08:41 AM
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TRy collegeconfidential.com for a great discussion.
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