After trying New York, Jersey and Connecticut, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the Nutmeg State


I grew up on Long Island, raised my family in New Jersey, and since 2010 have lived in Connecticut’s Farmington Valley. If nothing else, I’m a member of a select group of people – a true tri-stater – who can weigh in on the state that provided the best overall quality of life. From my perspective as a walker, writer, and hater of bad weather, I would say Connecticut.

Let’s be clear: it wasn’t always a picnic. It was here that I experienced the worst national real estate transaction in recorded history. It was there that I was assured of three corporate communications jobs that never saw the light of day — assurances that prompted the move in the first place. This is where I unintentionally merged with I-84 three times when I really didn’t want to. This is where I’m ashamed to drive visitors on Berlin’s toll highway because of all the hourly rate motels.

But it’s also beautiful, user-friendly and relatively safe.

On the one hand, the amount of untouched natural landscapes is encouraging. That wasn’t always the case on Long Island, where malls are as common as traffic lights, or in New Jersey, the nation’s most densely populated state. My wife and I never cease to be delighted by the woods, trees, waterfalls, streams, birds, waterfowl, cliffs and trails in all the parks and reservoirs. This speaks to the broad nature of our legislative priorities, regardless of the party in power. We are compassionate in open space.

Inspirations bloom. I’m sure people say that in every state of the union. But I can climb to the top of the Heublein tower, with a panoramic view for tens of kilometers, and easily find ideas for short stories. I can walk past Mark Twain’s house and relish the fact that I live in the shadow of a literary giant. I can visit charming hamlets in the hills of Litchfield or play on the beach at Milford. Texas may be 49 times bigger than Connecticut, but you can experience more types of sights by traveling just an hour in the Nutmeg State than by traveling 1½ days in the Lone Star State .

Curiosity abounds. There’s this restaurant on I-84 in Union where you’re surrounded by hundreds of books. There are these 12,500 year old archaeological artifacts discovered during the reconstruction of a bridge in Avon. There’s that little 60-second stretch of Connecticut that you cross on I-684 in Westchester County in New York. There are all these signs on the roads warning us of a $219 fine for anyone caught littering. An even $200? No. Nor $225. Strictly $219. How can these little curiosities and countless others not put a smile on your face?

And then there is the weather. Yes, my basement floods from torrential rain, I sometimes slip on a thin layer of ice covering my driveway, and the local pool closed several times when I jumped in the water because of a completely unexpected thunder. As Twain once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England right now, wait a few minutes.” But overall, we live in one of the most temperate weather regions in the world. You don’t travel to Connecticut for tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or landslides. I appreciate the peace of mind that offers me in this unpredictable world.

Finally, we are an easy-going lot, overall. Sociable. Passers-by invariably smile and say hello. Almost everyone is accommodating to me when I ask questions about things that make me put on my journalist hat. Like the long-haired, bushy-bearded man I met playing the wooden flute while walking through the woods of a West Hartford reservoir. Or the couple who stopped and stared intently for several minutes at an unusual-looking insect on the Nepaug Dam walking trail in New Hartford. (There was also this guy I saw running up Talcott Mountain without shoes or socks, but I refrained from asking him anything because I’m sure he wouldn’t stop.)

On the other hand, during my hellish real estate transaction, no one told me that my new town had no garbage collection, nor did anyone mention the municipal landfill. So, for several weeks, I had to surreptitiously bring my trash into commercial dumpsters late at night and hope not to get caught. It certainly wasn’t an ideal way to start my new life in Connecticut. But at least I saved $219.

Avon author and journalist Joel Samberg moved to Connecticut in 2010 in what he describes as “the most nerve-wracking, nerve-wracking, heartbreaking relocation experience ever.” known to mankind”. Yet he still smiles and writes every day. Her new novel, Almost like prayingis available on Amazon.


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