Friday, October 25, 2013

Nutmeg Poisoning

New thing: Nutmeg Poisoning, a little Friday round-up of Connecticut-related tidbits I think should be shared. Though this state provides more than enough material for me to post about a different place three times a week, I don't always have the time to get to them. So instead of posting only twice, I decided to fill this space on those days with various nutmeggy findings that interest me. And hopefully will interest you.

-Connecticut Magazine's Rating the Towns issue is always a must-read for me, even if I always end up wanting to throw it against a wall. (Let's just say my favorite towns and cities always rank near or at the bottom.) This year the magazine categorized places differently, using median home prices instead of population totals. At a moment when I'm helping my mom get ready to sell her house in Westport (#7 in the "$300,000 and up" category) the ratings are both rage-inducing and relevant.

Also in the issue is a great piece by Susan Bigelow on the endlessly fascinating 169 independent-to-the-point-of-silliness towns question.

-My friend Elizabeth, who writes the blog Connecticut Day Trips, has a new (hopefully regular) feature that's simply a long list of things to do in CT. I love this because it's not a calendar of special, one-time events - which lots of sites do well already - but suggestions for activities you can do all the time. Or at least all season.

-Since I just moved to the West End of Hartford, I had to comment on Kerri's last West End installment of the In Your Neighborhood series on Real Hartford. The whole series is worth browsing.

-There's a piece about Naugahyde in the Forward, and I didn't write it! (If I had, I would have mentioned Naugatuck.) If you've never heard the story of the Naugy, read it here and ponder the fact that people once really believed this.

-Connecticut's State Archeologist Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni (who is so nice, by the way; I interviewed him once for an article that I hope will see the light of day eventually because it's about a wonderful CT discovery) told the fabulously icky story of eastern Connecticut "vampires" at the Old State House. Michael Bell spoke further about New England's creepy 19th century folk practices on Fieldstone Common.

-Catching up on a stack of old New Yorkers, I found this article about Za'atari, a village/camp of Syrian refugees in Jordan. "When Za’atari opened, in July of 2012, its population numbered in the hundreds. By late August, it had fifteen thousand residents. Now that number is a hundred and twenty thousand—the population of Hartford, Connecticut..."

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