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.