Tuesday, September 6, 2011
How to Defend Hartford in an Argument
You Will Need
1. An undying love for Hartford
2. A thorough understanding of Hartford's strengths and weaknesses and the social, political, demographic and economic forces that drive them
3. A crowbar (we'll explain that part later in the post)
Step 1: Be realistic
Look, we all know Hartford has it's weaknesses. If you try to defend Hartford head on against a criticism like "Hartford sucks compared to New York/Boston/Philadelphia/Washington DC/New Orleans/Austin/Chicago/Denver/San Francisco/Los Angeles/San Diego/Seattle/Decatur", you're going about it the wrong way. Hartford is a small city and it has it's own unique set of advantges and charms, but it can't compare to the wonders that come from a major American city. When someone tries to compare Hartford to a big city, tell them they are trying to compare Mike Tyson (circa 1987) to Floyd Mayweather (circa 2002). Pivot the comparison to somewhere closer to our weight class. Like Worcester. Everyone loves to beat up on Worcester.
Step 2: Don't fall into the "everything is just two hours away" trap
While one of the cool things about Hartford is that virtually anything you could want to do (hiking, skiing, beach, Boston, New York, Providence) is a two hour (or less) drive, do not use it as a proof point for why Hartford is cool. It's flawed logic to argue that one of the best qualities of the place that you love living makes it easy to leave and go elsewhere.
Step 3: Use judo when they bring up the crime issue
When people bag on Hartford, they often bring up the issue of crime. Let's face it, parts of Hartford are a wee bit dangerous. After about a decade living within city limits, we've had four different car stereos stolen (evolving from tape deck, to CD, to MP3 along the way). But as all of our Sad City Hartford readers know, it's not that bad. When someone brings up the crime issue, use some argument judo and turn it back around on them. Explain to them that a diverse, economically challenged city with a drug problem wll have it's fair share of crime issues. Explain to them that it's their suburban, white picket fence lifestyle that created a city that lacks any sort of economic diversity or upward mobility. If that doesn't work, wave your crowbar at them and demand their wallet.
Step 4: Explain to them that this is your town
You can't ever live in New York and say that it's your city. There's too many people and too much going on. The best you can hope to be is a large fish swimming in an ocean. Hartford is a great town because it's the underdog city that can you can make your own. People living in Hartford today have the unique opportunity to be part of something that's makes this place better than it is today. Nobody ever moves to New York and says, "I'm now here in New York. I want to try to make this a better, more livable city." It's impossible to do that there. In Hartford it's very possible. So go out there and defend our city!
Do you have additional tips or ideas on how to defend Hartford in an argument? Post them in the comments down below and we'll feature the best and worst of them in an upcoming post.