February 22, 2003

Connecticut

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Connecticut - "The Constitution State"

Connecticut is a mystic place, a home to Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and tons of beautiful sights.

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Posted by Lester on February 22, 2003 04:06 AM
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Connecticut deserves a few notes, so here goes:

I remember a trip to Devils Hopyard State Park, with my beagle pup running freely through the campground (no leash laws back then!). We lived in New London, at the time the home of the Naval Underwater Sound Lab at Fort Trumbull. The Navy launched many of its early nuclear submarines across the river in Groton, and I was lucky enough to see either Skipjack or Skate come down the ways for its respective shakedown cruise. Quite a treat for a 7 or 8 year old!

Posted by: Linkmeister on February 23, 2003 05:37 PM

hmm....i've lived here for 20 years just about...although i am not a huge fan of winter and snow, i moved back to CT after 2 years in florida. beautiful state. fun stuff to do, beautiful parks and trails, if you know where to find them. maritime aquarium, kent falls, devil's den nature preserve, if i think of more, i'll post them here. :)

Posted by: nicole on February 24, 2003 08:53 PM

Hmm, what I like about Connecticut... well on a smaller level, the stone walls that intertwine throughout the neighborhoods and towns that dot along the SE countryside where I live. These stone walls were built as property lines by farmers long ago and they're still standing. I see them being repaired once in a while, by modern machinery and a small army of town-workers. It amazes me that despite the occasional repair job, these stone walls are still here and one of the many things that make Connecticut unique and beautiful.

Posted by: liz on February 25, 2003 05:38 PM

new haven's east rock park. rugged running trails leading up to a beautiful view of the city.

Posted by: vj on February 28, 2003 04:42 PM

Connecticut has always gotten a bad rap.

First, Connecticut is just hard to spell!

But the negative image goes back to the 19th century, when Connecticut got the nickname the "Nutmeg State". No nutmegs were actually grown in Connecticut. Perfidious "yankee peddlers" would carve fake nutmegs out of wood, hit the road, and sell them to gullible farmers in the midwest and the south. So, our image has been going downhill from there...

Today, when people who aren't from the Nutmeg State hear her name, they think upper class, aristocratic bedroom community for New York City.

(And this is true....Connecticut lost many at the WTC on 9/11.)

That said, Connecticut is more than a New York suburb.

Beyond the wealth of Fairfield County (the area near New York City), Connecticut is home to a diverse mix of peoples and backgrounds. In both the Eastern and Western foothills, Connecticut sprouted dozens of small milltowns and farming communities - these turned to small factory towns in the 20th century - and all of Connecitcut's towns retain a mixture of working class and middle class to this day - immigration added to the mix.

Religiously, Connecticut is split fairly evenly between Protestants and Catholics, and there's a sizeable Jewish population, too. With all this diversity, Connecticutters aren't in your face with their faith or with their politics. Connecticutters adopt a pose of "live and let live", and self-reliance is highly valued.

Each of Connecticut's 169 towns is incorporated unto itself. There is no county government. So, Connecticutters feel a real connection to their towns - they are loyal AND often very critical, but the connection is there, and it makes local government very real and alive.

Historically, Connecticut can claim its share of rogues (Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr), but also some real patriots (Nathan Hale, Ethan Allen, and Israel Putnam "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes"), and cultural icons (P.T. Barnum and Central Park-designer Frederick Law Olmstead).

Connecticut's colonial "Fundamental Orders" are considered by many historians to be the first written constitution in the world (hence, "Constitution State" on CT's license plates).

Living between two of the greatest cities on the planet - New York and Boston - Connecitcutters have something of an inferiority complex. Young, bright Connecticutters tend to flee the state for these metropolises. And one has to decide whether to root for New York or Boston teams. The University of Connecticut's sports teams (esp. women's and men's basketball) tend to be a source of unity and pride.

Connecticut's landscape is pleasant, but unspectacular. Gently rolling hills in the east, the broad, flat central valley, steeper hills in the west, getting rougher up into Litchfield County. If you want to be overwhelmed, head up north to Maine, or south to the Blue Ridge or Great Smokies, or out West. Natural beauty comes in small doses in Connecticut.

And the landsacpe mirrors the people. Connecticutters are not boisterous or extreme. They are quiet, tolerant, industrious, and proud. It is, as another motto says, the "Land of Steady Habits."

Posted by: leonard on March 8, 2003 12:51 PM

Whoops!

My bad. Aaron Burr was only indirectly from the Nutmeg State. He's the grandson of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards ("Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"), who WAS from Connectictut - East Windsor. Apologies, NJ.

Posted by: Leonard on March 8, 2003 01:01 PM