With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dead City, Proud City

Uh oh. It looks like the City of Hartford has made another one of "those" lists. You know, the type of list where people act offended and say, "How could they? We are such a lively and vibrant metropolis that just has a minor case of urban decay. These charges completely overblown. Allow me to cite some head-in-the-sand facts to obfuscate the truth."

Face it, Hartford, 24/7 Wall Street is simply calling a spade a spade. The website, beloved by unemployed day traders living in their parents' basement, is stating a fact that we all know is true: we are New England's Rising Black Hole. 

We are the insurance capitol of the world and everyone drives around without it. Our population  continues to shrink. The school system is a mess. Crime is a serious problem. Our last mayor is hopefully heading for the hoosegow. Jobs continue to evaporate at an alarming rate. It's hard to get a decent sandwich in Downtown on a weekend afternoon.

And quite frankly, we here at Sad City Hartford embrace these facts. They are the truth. They are part of who we are. For better and for I-can't-frigging-believe-they-compared-us-to-Buffalo-worse.

Have you ever met a short, bald guy who wore lifts and had a toupee? You probably laughed at him in a way that you would never laugh at a guy who was simply short and bald, right? You laughed at him because he wasn't comfortable with who he was and he went through comical lengths to deny the facts. The collective whining that occurred when the Wall Street 24/7 list came out last week felt like we were trying. Our low self-esteem shined through.

Ever since we started this web site in June, we have received some flack for calling ourselves "Sad City." People have accused us of kicking a town when it was down. They snapping a digital towel at a naked fat kid in the locker room. But our intentions have always been quite the opposite. We love this city. And we love the fact this city is the classic underdog. 

Why can't we collectively embrace our underdog status? Given the facts, there is no sense in trying to pretend to be an alpha dog. And it's a lot more fun than being a crybaby beta dog.

Living in and loving the City of Hartford is not for the faint of heart. It takes a certain resolve and constitution. It's easy to be proud of living in New York or Boston or Washington, DC. But Hartford pride? That's something unique and special.

Stand tall, people of Hartford. Be proud of who we are. Together, let's build this "dead" city back up. You know, 125 years ago we were a pretty cool to live. We can get back to that place again. But we are not going to do it by whining.


  1. It can be done, we just need more "Urban Pioneers!"


  2. They're doing it in Detroit, too.


  3. Hartford will never be 1/2 the city Buffalo is!!!! Buffalo for LIFE!

  4. Max Bibo's makes a decent sandwich, with good bread. Also, buffalo chicken is kickin' at the Cornerstone Deli on Thursdays.

  5. Brian - Yeah, but you want a sandwich at 2pm Saturday anywhere downtown and 8/10 times you are SOL.

  6. The new Savin Rock Roasting makes some of the best sandwiches I have ever had! But yeah... the city sux on a saturday afternoon

  7. Your only real good option in a Saturday is to hop in the car and go down to Maple Giant Grinder in the South End. The grinders are so big there that you can save the other half for Sunday afternoon.

    - J

  8. Once somebody downtown asked me where to get a newspaper on a Saturday afternoon. That was a sad city moment. :(

  9. If you think Saturday is bad for lunch, even West Hartford Center is almost entirely closed down until dinner on Sundays, apparently no one in central Connecticut eats lunch on weekends.

  10. hartford is a dead city.

  11. If government and real estate investors and agents work together, then foreclosed properties can be more quickly placed back into productive use. Neighborhood blight can be reversed.

  12. do realize how boring Hartford is? nothing can ever bring it back unless they start getting rid of Section 8, you'll see them flock to New Haven or Bridgeport or something. just bring back Gentrification already. I'm Latino and I'm saying this, damn. Hartford has a bunch of lazy people and we need to just get rid of them, period. if we don't do it, then Hartford will keep sinking. the money comes from people who have jobs, good paying job, not jobs at Dunkin Donuts. they're going to support the stuff in Downtown. I heard Park Street was full of activity...yeah it is because everybody over there is on Welfare and Section 8, they're not really contributing anything. The money's just being shifted around. The City's not gaining anything by taking back the money they ALREADY gave to their "Social Safety Net" AKA WELFARE. This activity goes on because there are alot of people employed Social Service program agencies...they are only out for themselves. Who could blame them, but damn. it's hurting Hartford badly. I can't wait to get the fuck out of Hartford when I graduate it's not even funny. I'm from Boston, so I'm no used to this small town bullshit

  13. If you believe Weekend is not good for supper, even Western Hartford Center is almost fully closed down till dinner on Sundays, apparently no-one inside core Connecticut eats lunchtime upon weekends.
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