Not long ago, Franklin Avenue was one of the true gems of Hartford. In the summer, the entire street would be shut down for festivals and amazing restaurants flourished in the city's South End. Today the neighborhood has drastically changed. House break-in's happen on a regular basis. The Hartford Police Department, armed with all of three burglary detectives, have little to no chance of ever solving a burglary.
In fact, if your house is broken into, it will get only a cursory response from the police department. Most of the residents who lived in the neighborhood during its halcyon days have long ago fled to the surrounding suburbs. Thugs race cars up and down crowded residential streets with no regard for the safety of anyone in the area. Too many of the residents are apathetic and refuse to co-operate with the police. Too many show no respect for their neighbors or their neighborhood. Trash litters the streets. I recently lived on an inclined street in the South End where during rainstorms I could sit on my front porch and literally watch the trash sail by floating down the hill in the rainwater. Sunday saw a shooting at 8:06 PM on Franklin Ave that amazingly had no witnesses. It is in this neighborhood that we find one of the most decrepit and saddest of Hartford's abandoned houses. Sitting smack on Franklin Ave is this beauty for all passerby's to see. It is a sad metaphor for the once admirable neighborhood. Yet amongst all the gloom, there is hope for the neighborhood. Many homeowners live in the multi-family homes that populate the neighborhood; they are easy to spot - just drive around and look at the yards. Good restaurants and sandwich shops can are all over the area still. Growing Dominican and Bosnian populations have started local markets offered up products not found in suburban areas. One of the best values in haircuts can be found at MC's Barbershop on Franklin Ave. Right now the inmates have control of the asylum, someone needs to find a way to wrestle it back.