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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sad City Presents: The O-Quilt


(Originally published by Hakaan on June 15, 2011, people today are still bickering about transportation issues throughout and around the city. Instead of bickering, we just came up with our own solution.)


Yesterday to much fanfare the long awaited iQuilt was unveiled.  Notwithstanding the silly name, the plan called for sensible and rationale improvements to the downtown. What iQuilt proposes to do is make downtown more walkable by extending Bushnell Park to Main Street in an effort to make shift the downtown area's focus away from accommodating automobiles and make area more pedestrian friendly.  Basically what iQuilt proposes to do is what the Big Dig in Boston did connecting the North End to Faneuil Hall, minus of course burying the interstate.


This is a great idea.  Having lived in cities in which we didn't have to have a car, we can report that it is a wonderful existence.  The more accesible the city is by foot the better.  Going months without having to get into a car is a great way to live.  iQuilt is right in step with the modern trends of making cities greener while making them more foot-friendly. While all that is great and well, we here at Sad City like to think outside the box.  Or in this case, inside the oval.

Sad City would like to put forth the O-Quilt.  Now we know what your thinking, "that's not a racetrack is it?" Why yes, yes it is.  We propose that Hartford distinguish itself from all other cities in the world be constructing a world class superspeedway around downtown.  Now before all you overeducated snark masters in the blogosphere start looking down your nose at something like car racing, you should remember that NASCAR is the number one spectator sport in North America and it involves seriously high levels of engineering and math competency that is way over our heads.  Not to mention changing four tires and fueling in 14 seconds.  It would take us at least 14 seconds to even remember where our tire jack is.

While this idea may seem outlandish, it does meet many of the qualifications that Hartford is lacking.  People complain Hartford doesn't have an identity, well this will no doubt give Hartford an identity. Many bemoan that since the Whalers left town, Hartford has been seen as a minor league city. Again there can be no doubt this will put an end to any of that talk. Job creation?  Think of the spectators this this will draw to the city.  It will be like the St. Patty's Day Parade every race day!

Finally one thing we have noticed from monitoring the Courant's Hartford section comments over the past year is that most people who live in the areas surrounding Hartford seem to think that Hartford's greatest problem is that it is overrun by minorities and because of this, these commenters refuse to come into the city (yet still find time and feel obliged to negatively comment on stories about the city).  Well this plan should also met their approval and make the city suitable for them to come visit again.  I mean seriously, how many minorities do you see at a stock car race?

11 comments:

  1. Your last paragraph is one of the funniest things I've ever read

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  2. Better idea, why don't we just use the existing roads in the city as a racetrack? Just like the Monaco GP. Think of the foot traffic that will generate! (Not to mention the thrill of race cars trying to speed through the Soldiers and Sailors arch at 150+ mph.)

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  3. re: "Better idea"

    ...or dodging jaywalkers on Park Street!

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  4. Without doubt the best idea for the city in the last hundred years!

    City leadership continues propose their stupid little plans for greenways, children's museums, waterfront attractions, and other silly schemes, but this NASCAR connection has substance and legs. Raze the ghettos, north and south, and put up permanent grandstands. Hire displaced deadbeats and criminals to clean and maintain them. Let downtown businesses rent luxury viewing suites on their upper floors. Two races a week and big festivals in the summer. Huge revenue producing parking lots, fast food joints, and souvenir stands will fill the city's coffers. Hartford will become a destination between New York and Boston and not a traffic jam.

    PROMOTE THIS IDEA!!!

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  5. I agree - you should promote this idea. Hartford could finally have the unique identifying feature lacking from its identity.

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  6. I saw the plan"unfolded" on WFSB on Sunday and can't help but be a bit jaded as I have seen renewal plans since the late 1970's; a myriad of schemes developed & vanquished by the "money people" of Hartford, only to fill their pockets and leave the city pock marked and more hopeless. It appears the idea man behind this big concept lives in California, in Santa Monica, so he is clearly invested in your future. As the Mayor spoke of this great plan, he spoke as if he had a gun pointed at his temple. The other two were clearly bit players from any David Mamet play you have ever seen. I don't doubt the potential of this beautiful city, only the political dogs who make the decisions for it.

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  7. I've been a race car driver for over 20 years now. As a race car driver and racing fan I always support the building of a new track. Hell I've been racing through the streets of Hartford since I was 16. Mostly because of fear that I will be shot or carjacked!
    This would deffinatly get me to come to Hartford. I only live 10 miles from downtown Hartford and I haven't gone there in years. This race track would be a good enough reason for me to make the trip.

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  8. NASCAR is useless. If you want to build a racetrack make sure it is a Formula1 track. That's where the money and glamour is.

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  9. Think of it! Snowplow racing in the winter!

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  10. It seems like there are so many "improvements" planned for Dowtown Hartford, but what about the rest of the city?

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