When I started as a paramedic in Hartford, many of my coworkers referred to the city as a shit hole. They said this as they put on or took off their bullet proof vests at our base and swapped stories about the populace they encountered in the inner city, drunks and deadbeats, and addicts and criminals. For someone from the suburbs, being thrown into an inner city of crumbling public housing complexes and high crime rates can be startling. Your eye is drawn to the outlandish and it takes awhile for you to see the normal — the hardworking, the family loving, the dreaming –who make up the bulk of the city that I have come to love.
Hartford has done a great job over the years, tearing down the crumbling public housing complexes and replacing them with new beautified developments with yards, flower beds and while in 2021 the city is facing one of its highest murder rates in years, the city seems to me to be in renaissance. From the new Parkville Market, where many of the city’s local restaurants have food stalls offering a multiplicity of ethnic cuisine specialties to the ever growing number of murals appearing throughout the city, I feel a sense of rebirth.
I particularly love the murals. When I drive by them, they fill me with joy, with color, with hope.
This is the newest one just painted along the 1-84 exit ramp leading down to Asylum street by the city bus/train station.
These are some of my favorites:
To the mural artists of Hartford and their benefactors, to keep right on doing what your doing. It’s great!