We’re getting some equipment installed at work. That means a support tech in from Madison, WI and lots of extra time on-the-job (for both of us). Tonight he and I and Gil Simmons took a walk from the TV station to get dinner.
I’ve been meaning to say this, because I’ve been noticing it a lot more, but New Haven is becoming a happening place, especially downtown. I’ve been here 23 years and the changes are amazing.
As we walked past the Green and down Temple Street there was plenty of activity at outdoor cafes. I’m going to have to take Gil’s word, but the bar scene is happening. More importantly, there are now dozens of nice places to eat downtown.
People are also moving into the downtown area with some very pricey condo conversions. An old girdle factory, phone company building, and other office space have become apartments and condos. When people live in a city, it will thrive.
Make no mistake, New Haven has plenty of problems. You can’t watch my station or read the New Haven Register for long without reading about a shooting – often gang related. And, New Haven is still a very poor city, with lots of unemployed or underemployed people.
Gentrification often displaces people of more limited incomes who are priced out of the neighborhood. At the moment that’s less likely to happen here because there were few living downtown.
Out-of-towner’s think of Connecticut and visualize lower Fairfield County. New Haven is not Greenwich! This part of the state has little in common with the Gold Coast, beginning with income and housing prices.
I don’t think there was a tipping point – a magic moment when everything began to change for New Haven. It just happened organically. Now the pace is picking up.
Like I said, after 23 years here it’s a very welcome change.