I had this idea recently, and like most of my ideas, it isn’t very good, and yet I feel compelled to do it anyway.

So let’s re-district New Haven according to my bizarre vision. Oh, sure, there was a time where you could get by using archaic terms like Westville and Downtown, but where’s the fun in that?

So, I’ve done everyone a favor and re-imagined some new neighborhoods in New Haven so you don’t have to. You should save your energy for the Bachelorette. You know, the important stuff.

I’ll just go ahead and apologize now to anybody I’m going to insult. It’s intentional, but not malicious.

The Whastelands

The Whastelands

How many dollar stores does one neighbornood need? Six, apparently.

Imagine you’re some wide-eyed Yalie, just arrived in New Haven. You’re walking by the warm, comforting glow of the Apple store, past the aromatic smells from Thali Too, past endless waves of multicolored Yale gear at the book store.

You keep walking and, hm, is that a Popeye’s? Oh, that’s… fun.

Oh, weird, there’s a giant… windowless… armory. I can’t help but notice that there’s a suddenly broken glass littered all over the ground.

Broken GlassWelcome to the the Whastelands. (Cause of Whalley. Get it? Sorry.)

Yes, it exists. There’s stuff here. A Papa John’s you’ll deny ever ordering from (but that garlic sauce c’mon). A futon store because it’s definitely 1997. A U-Haul you’ll begrudgingly use because what choice do you have.

Rubber Match window

If these neon signs don’t convince you, what will?

But you don’t want to be here. Sure, it’s not the most dangerous part of New Haven. It’s not even like… the third most dangerous part of New Haven.

And yet… you drive a little bit faster when you go through here. Because you don’t know what Minore’s Market is. And you don’t want to know.

Blackout Alley

Irish Pub District

I definitely didn’t write this from an Irish pub because that’s ridiculous.

Sure, New Haven is covered in bars. You can get drunk anywhere.

But the proper drunks are doing it at Irish pubs. Watching soccer and rugby, probably.

And you know what, they’re bored of Christy’s, so they’re gonna walk to Trinity and get drunk there, goddamnit. You know what? This bar sucks. Let’s go to Liffey’s.

Do they all need to be within walking distance of each other?

Based on my experience dealing with people who like to get sad drunk at the bar? Yes, yes they do. You don’t want us driving.

Them. I meant them.

Anna Liffey's

I also put a question mark on Kelly’s because:

  1. I’m pretty surprised it’s still open.
  2. Irish pub is sort of a generous term.

Edit: Turns out, Kelly’s IS closed now. Well, that took slightly longer than I thought.

The Brunch District

Brunch District

Dunkin Donuts? Really, Google? Brunch enough?

Also known as “ugh, really, we’re driving out to Westville? ON PURPOSE?”

Sure, nobody wants to drive around in their car like some kind of idiot. But what’re you gonna do, go stand in line at The Pantry? Try to eat something DOWNTOWN?

Come on. You’re not insane.

You’re going to suck it up and drive to Westville and see how bad the line is as Bella’s and give up and settle for Lena’s, which is probably about as good and huge and also you can drink coffee while you wait which is all you need to really feel alive. And maybe sometimes you’ll switch it up and hit up Manjares, and get some Spanish flavor, and it’ll still be better than almost anywhere else.

Manjares

Plus it’s ADORABLE.

Sure, you have to drive through The Whastelands to get here, but sometimes, it’s worth it.

New Hasian

New Hasia

No one really knows where New Hasian came from. Was it a coordinated effort or just an accident? Is there a common origin country or did they all just come from the Naugatuck Valley? (That’d be something.)

Sure, I could’ve investigated, but this isn’t a news site. It’s a blog, and I already took my pants off.

But if you need interesting Asian spices, or want to eat at a probably-not-that-dangerous Asian buffet, or get a massage in the back of a nature food store, this is the spot to do it.

Hong Kong Grocery

You’ll need to provide your own scooter, though.

It makes sense if you think about it. If you came to a new country and/or city, you’d probably feel more at home with people who share your culture and language.

I mean, I did explain why I hang out at Irish pubs, right?

The Swole District

Fitness District

Disclaimer: You won’t get your swole on just by reading this.

Sure, you might call it “downtown.” But that’s soooo 20th century.

Now that Shift Cycling and “mpwr House Fitness Boutique” (seriously I did not make that up) are here, they’ve joined with the Elm City YMCA and approximately 1,000 yoga studios to create the Fitness District.

Does downtown need 1,000 yoga studios? I don’t know. Apparently. Cause they aren’t closing.

Do you think the yogis from competing studios form gangs and get into dance fights?

Beat It Fight

I hope so.

Fast Casualandia

Fast Casualandia

Just kidding. It’s everywhere.

Okay, this isn’t really a district. Cause it’s fucking everywhere. You can’t throw a rock without shattering windows from at least three “fresh” locations of fast casual cuisine.

There’s Tikkaway and Pitaziki and Chipotle and Shake Shack and New Haven Salad Shop that weird Brazilian place nobody’s ever been to and Subway and Junzi and Tomatillo and that new Halal Guys place and probably while you were reading this three more just appeared from the dark recesses of capitalism.

And you know what? It’s fine. I like having options. Except Shake Shack. I mean. For that kind of money, I can go to Prime 16. Or Five Guys and their peanut butter-oil fries. Get it together, Shake Shack.