JUST A GUITAR STORE. BECAUSE IT'S KENT.
The Size of Connecticut is about, as the header says, local destinations off the beaten path. This post is not about that. In fact, out of all the Town Center Strolls I've posted so far, Kent (along with Mystic) is possibly the most traveled. But sometimes one finds oneself in extremely popular destinations, and I couldn't let the opportunity for a blog post pass me by.
Kent used to intimidate me. The town, with a population of under 3,000, felt sophisticated yet rustic, blending the exclusivity of an upper-class suburb with the insularity of a small village. It always seemed that the sign at the town line reading "Kent Welcomes You" was not really directed at me.
These days I am not at all intimidated by Kent. It's a bit like the way objects which seem huge when you are small are revealed to be disappointingly medium-sized when you grow taller. The welcome sign is probably not for me, and I don't mind.
The thing is, Kent mostly just got lucky. It has a lot going for it: the preservation of Bulls Bridge, one of just a few covered bridges left in Connecticut; a stunning natural setting, full of steep hills and lush greenery; and a reputation for some of the best fall foliage in New England. It's home to two state parks, Kent Falls and Macedonia Brook. And the Appalachian Trail runs through it, meaning scruffy backpack-laden people who look like they just crawled out of the woods (because they just crawled out of the woods) co-exist, occasionally uneasily, with locals and New Yorkers weekending in the one part of the Connecticut countryside where they won't have to encounter people who don't care about New York. It also has self-consciously casual restaurants and oh-so-curated shops and numerous galleries, and there is art everywhere.
But as we all know, the lucky one is not always the best one, or the most deserving, or even the prettiest. Still, there's nothing you can do. You will go to Kent, because you can't not go there. Everyone goes there.
Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Kent. I'm just suggesting that if you go there, don't let anyone tell you this is all northern Litchfield County has to offer. Take the opportunity to visit some of the less-traveled towns and villages of this beautiful area. The Secret Corner site is excellent if you want to plan what to do, and I have some ideas in my Litchfield County section as well. (Oh, and a word of warning to any drivers or cyclists who don't want to be surrounded by motorcycles on the lovely country roads: go during the week if at all possible.)
JUST A CPA'S OFFICE. BECAUSE IT'S KENT.
THE NEXT TRAIN WILL ARRIVE AT...OH YES, NEVER.
ART IS EVERYWHERE IN KENT. (THIS IS BY PETER WOYTUK.)
THE LIBRARY WAS HOLDING A TEMPTING BOOK SALE WHEN I TOOK THESE PICTURES.
THE SWIFT HOUSE DATES FROM THE 1780s.
THESE GUYS COULD PROBABLY BUY AND SELL YOU.
JUST A GARDEN DESIGN BUSINESS. BECAUSE IT"S KENT.
IN THE KENT VILLAGE BARNS SHOPPING CENTER.
FOREIGN CARGO ("A FASCINATING JOURNEY IN SHOPPING")
THE PRIMITIVE HOME
J.J. GROGAN'S ("PURVEYORS OF FINE THINGS")
WHERE RAILROAD STREET ENDS.
So snarky and such beautiful pictures.ReplyDelete
I'm 25 and have lived in Kent since I was 2 (apart from college). I don't think it's perfect, despite your insinuation that's what its natives perceive. Kent functions the way many small-town communities do. The people are humble and friendly; my friends in particular are down-to-Earth, open-minded, and kind. Yes, there are private schools. But you might be surprised that most graduates of our public elementary school go on to a regional high school 25 miles away in Falls Village—not the three private high schools. Those schools are filled with boarding students. Perhaps it's their visiting families you perceive could "buy and sell you." Perhaps they are stuck-up. But guess what? Those families fuel our businesses—businesses that may seem extravagant to some but that are run by locals who can thus raise healthy and happy children. Kent is a great town because we all work together; we get along. So, next time you visit, look a little bit closer. We do welcome everyone, except those who judge.ReplyDelete