What comes to mind when you hear the word Connecticut? Fashionable suburbs filled with train-commuting, briefcase-toting executives? A summer's night at your shoreline retreat with soft breezes wafting from Long Island Sound? Or maybe the verdant hills of Litchfield as a four-season weekend getaway? Whatever your vision, it might be time for a change.
I started thinking about a different perception of our state after recent news accounts about the death of Jane Jacobs, the tireless urban defender and the author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. In response to the massive urban renewal projects of the 1960s and '70s, she argued for a return to the small-scale city she found in Greenwich Village. As the long days of summer stretch out before us, now is the time to look to parts of the state you might not have considered before.
Today, Connecticut's cities are on the verge of a renaissance. And when I looked back over a week's worth of activities in my own planner, I think Jacobs would have been proud. I attended a benefit in the lobby of the beautifully restored Palace Theatre in Stamford, went to the opening—complete with Vanessa Williams!—of a hip furniture store in SoNo, and was interviewed on a radio show in Middletown.