There are two Connecticuts. There is Lower Fairfield County and there is everything else. Lower Fairfield County is what most out-of-staters think of when they think of Connecticut. Why not, it’s fabulous.
Saturday afternoon Helaine and I traveled to New Canaan, in the heart of Lower Fairfield County. The trip took less than an hour, but it’s a whole different world.
Yeah, it’s all that. We saw some tidy homes along the main road into town. They’d fit in any community, except here they are impeccably maintained with beautiful lawns and mature plantings. It reminds me of “The Flats” neighborhood in Beverly Hills.
It’s tough to walk through New Canaan with high end sedans and SUVs diagonally parked in the center of town and not feel a little intimidated. I suspect Downtown New Canaan today is similar to what it was like 30-40 years ago. I spotted some of the original customers mixed in with newer money residents.
There are tidy stores selling expensive merchandise downtown. Some national chains have taken over where local merchants once operated. The local savings bank is now a Chase branch. The are no garish signs. In New Canaan understatement rules.
Helaine pointed to a store that sold baby clothes and pondered how people could spend hundreds of dollars for an outfit that would fit a child for a month or two.
I wonder how this area will be affected if Lehman Brothers or other huge financial institutions go under or shrink? A lot of Wall Street power commutes from this outpost at the end of its own branch of the Metro-North Railroad.