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5 Things That Make West Hartford Great, July Edition

Posted by whforums on July 23, 2008

So. West Hartford. Maybe it’s the rain and the darkness of the day, but I’m disheartened.

As a community right now, we’re fractured. We’re divided on the budget and we’re divided on test scores. We love Blue Back Square and we think Blue Back Square will be the ultimate undoing of our town. We’re old money who resents new money, new money who’s baffled by old money, we’re paying off the raised ranch and we’re making the rent by a dime (and sometimes we’re not making the rent at all). We could be a symphony of talk if only our ears were attuned.

So, enough with the negativity. Today I “celebrate West Hartford” with a constellation of gratitude — not because I think you care, but because it makes me feel better, and it relieves this blog, at least for a day, from the negativity that threatens to engulf it.

So here, in hope, I say, West Hartford: Whatever divides us is less matter than our fastening gravity.

5 Things to be Grateful For in West Hartford, July Edition

√ I’m grateful that Max’s Oyster Bar (one of my favorite restaurants, alongside a couple in Ithaca, NY — Maxies Supper Club and Just a Taste) serves Unibroe beer. One night I was there with my wife and I even scored some Maudite (one of my favorites, and a hard find around here). Max’s — you rock. And you will continue to rock as long as you keep serving brews from Unibroe.

√ The animals at Westmoor Park. When you pull into Westmoor Park there’s a “No Dog” sign (a circled dog head with a line through it). And usually that would piss me off. But, at the same time, I know that, if I let my dog out of the car, she would eat the chickens. In fact, it’s likely that my dog would try to eat all of the other animals, too (we’re not starving her and she’s a sweet dog — but she’s a dog). That I can look at that sign and not be irritated — knowing that we have a place like Westmoor for our kids (and our adults) — how great is that?

√ We may all be pissed off at each other, but we’re very civic minded about our dogs. When I walk my dog (who is old and no so dog-friendly anymore,) 9 out of 10 people I encounter have their dog leashed. You rock, dog leashing folks of West Hartford.

√ I’m grateful for the house coffee at 59ers in the Center. I could live on this stuff. Dunno what you’re brewing, but you’re brewing the best cup of coffee this side of anywhere. You folks also rock (in a “daily bread” sort of way).

√ We occupy space with the full force of our violence. And yet, presupposing our weight, each of us, in so many moments, gives way, not socially or in material, but of our minds, as though discreetly alerted to a passing occupation. We just won’t admit it.

Such that:

I make way and you fasten yourself to that emptiness.


See what I mean? I’m just a bit … dragged out by it all.

So, make the 60,000 of us whole and tell us what you’re grateful for this July, West Hartford.

(And if you mention the budget in this thread, you’re going in the spam filter with the rest of the porn …)

7 Responses to “5 Things That Make West Hartford Great, July Edition”

  1. Taxed said

    I’m grateful for Pfau’s…in the world of Lowe’s and Home Depot it’s fabulous to walk into a store and be greeted almost immediately with “Is there something I can help you with?”…priceless.

  2. Happy to be here said

    I am thankful for being able to use a variety of pools and parks on these hot days! My children have flourished in swimming lessons at Fern at a great price! The Wolcott Spray park is a great idea, different from the wading pools.

    It also speaks to the value of the town that in my neighborhood alone, six people I graduated with from Hall have relocated to West Hartford with their families to have a similar experience.

  3. Good to be Green said

    I’m thankful for sidewalks and shops integrated with residential areas! So much of our town is “walkable” and so many of us take advantage of that. Great for the environment, great for our health, and a great way to stay connected with our neighbors as we see people we know out and about. I wouldn’t want to live in a town with no sidewalks where the houses were far apart and I needed to drive and plan ahead just to see people.

  4. whforums said

    I really like that — the idea that we can blend an urban identity with a small-town identity. Or, better, that we’re actually doing it.

    It reminds me of when they moved the setting of Murder, She Wrote to New York …

  5. Noah Webstar said

    Pfau’s is great. And the walkable, tree-lined neighborhoods. How about the numerous fine pizza establishments, making us a sort of New Haven north? I’ll also toss in the number of extracurricular sports leagues for our kids, and the volunteers who are so generous with their time. We may need more fields, but the programs and the people are fantastic.

  6. Greg said

    Walkability is the first thing that comes to my mind, too. Living here, I don’t feel like my world is composed of strip malls and disconnected neighborhoods. I love the fact that I can go an entire weekend without even thinking about my car.

  7. Truman's Mom said

    Center-living…having great and friendly neighbors, dog walking pals, Pfaus (those guys there know EVERYTHING…really…even helped me with my garage door opening problem and they don’t sell garage door openers), the Library with free passes to museums and interesting writing groups that meet there, the meditation circle, Three Dog Bakery, sparrows (for the dog), pools, and despite the ongoing BOE conversations – we’ve had GREAT teachers and wonderful elementary school experiences.

    It’s a great town!

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