When most people think of Connecticut, they think “bedroom communities for New York City” Yup, we got that. But that’s not all--we’re also a suburb of Boston. Hartford is in the center of the state and it’s a two hour drive to Boston and two to New York. This reveals another fact about Connecticut: there isn’t a lot of state here. We might be huge compared to Rhode Island, but that’s not saying much.
|Property currently for sale in Greenwich CT for 32million dollars. (No, I am not kidding—it’s not even the most expensive I’ve found. )|
I was also guilty of thinking Connecticut meant rich people who take the train to New York every morning. When I first moved here almost fifteen years ago, I was surprised by how much of the state has cows and farmland. Even at the southern part of the state there are parts of Connecticut that isn’t crowded with houses or suburbs. We might not be Vermont when it comes to trees and country, but we have a nice selection of rolling hills, lovely small towns, and places that feel uncluttered by people, especially in the western part of the state. E.B. White and other New York writers loved Litchfield County. Oh and don’t forget, when you head east, we have the ocean. I think we deserve ten extra state points for grabbing a stretch of the Atlantic coastline.
The contrasts in the state are startling. Fairfield County is one of the wealthiest areas in the country, but Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven are cities with huge financial woes and many poverty stricken citizens.
In some parts of the state, you can find urban blight, multi-million dollar homes and idyllic farmland in a twenty-minute drive. Some of the contrasts are hard to see unless you’re a resident. Hartford public schools are struggling. A few years ago, they nearly lost their accreditation. Go a few blocks--and with no significant change to alert you to the fact you’ve crossed a border--you’re suddenly in West Hartford, which is known for having some of the best schools in the country. West Hartford (called WeHa by hipsters) also has more upscale restaurants than is completely necessary.
Hey, in some ways, we are just like the rest of the country. I’ve noticed people in other states—I’m looking at you, Illinois--bragging about their money-grabbing politicians who end up in jail and I’m proud (?) to say we have just as many corrupt politicians around here as anywhere else. Although we tend to specialize in corrupt mayors, our former governor Rowland spent ten months in federal prison.
|Mystic River in Mystic.|
I would never have guessed I’d end up in Connecticut. Grumbling and whining, I followed my spouse when he got a job here. More than a decade later, it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. I feel possessive of our wonderful destinations like the Mark Twain House and Mystic. And yeah, I might be mocking my state, but I grow defensive when any outsiders sneer about it.
I grew up D.C. and lived in Boston and Maryland before settling in Connecticut.
I’ve written many romances, featuring all sorts of sub-genres, under my own name and as Summer Devon. You can find both of us all over the internet
Please stop by both websites (pick one—they’re connected) and browse the many novels available and, read some pretty humorous bits from Kate and Summer.
I have one book that’s very loosely based on life here in Connecticut. It’s also a romance that has every romantic trope I could think of: sexy billionaire, amnesia, mistaken identity, secret baby. I’d like to give Unnatural Calamities away to a lucky visitor who comments.
In the 1880's, the New York Police department acted as a money-making arm of the city's corrupt government. Patrolmen collected graft from brothels, bar halls and gamblers. The police pocketed some of the loot, but most of the money made its way into Tammany Hall's coffers. Systematic corruption encompassed nearly every aspect of life in the department: cops had to buy their promotions. If they didn't have ready cash, Tammany politicians would lend them the amount, and charge interest, of course. The promotions weren't cheap - a captain's position went for as much as $15,000.
The press occasionally demanded that the city to clean up the police force but the era of the flagrant kickbacks and corruption declined only until 1894, when a new police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, began a dramatic and well-publicized clean up of the department.
(photos provided by author)
(photos provided by author)