In case you haven’t heard, the CTrail Hartford Line is coming to New Haven, providing direct rail service to Hartford and Springfield, MA. (And some other towns you probably don’t care about.) And it’s only gonna cost 8 bucks to get to Hartford. Not bad.

“But Josh, why would anyone ever want to go to Hartford?”

Okay, first of all, I don’t like the tone of your voice. Second of all, why wouldn’t you want to take a train that goes 110 mph?! You’re pretty much traveling into the future at that point.

Bullet Train

Pictured: A much, much nicer train than we’ll be riding.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Second of all, I get it. We’re New Haven. We’re Connecticut’s cool city. We don’t need stupid Hartford and its stupid Yard Goats, right?

Oh, how wrong you are.

Let me explain to you why the Hartford Line is gonna be awesome for New Haven, and for you, Dear Reader.

Let’s Rock.

You know who played the XL Center this week? Guns n’ f’n Roses. Like, the real Guns n’ Roses. With Slash and everything.

Guns_n´Roses_Palacio_de_los_Deportes_30-11-2016_(31366316670)

You know, I actually expected them to look much worse.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

With all due respect to the amazing growth of College Street Music Hall, Toad’s Place, and the Outer Space in Hamden… but if you want to see a huge band or hip hop artist in Connecticut, you have two options: The XL Center in Hartford or Mohegan Sun Arena, in scenic… Uncasville.

Are you taking Shoreline East to Mohegan? No, of course not, cause it’s a pain and stops running before your grandmother’s bedtime.

2008-11-20_Golden_Corral_in_Durham

Gotta get up early and beat the rush, y’know?
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Hartford Line, on the other hand, with 17 daily round trips, will (I hope) provide service to and from Hartford.

So when Guns n’ Roses (or my girl Cardi B) comes to town, you just hop on the train, have a nice train beer or three, and bam, it’s time to rock out.

Hartford Has Culture, Too.

New Haven is Connecticut’s cultural center, certainly. But Hartford has plenty of great culture as well.

The Bushnell Theater gets a ton of great shows and often is one of the first runs for post-Broadway tours (they had Book of Mormon well before the Shubert). The Wadsworth Athaneum always has cool events going on.

How about the Hartford Science Center, and more importantly, its Liquid Lounge? Who doesn’t want to drink cocktails while standing near science?!

If you like comedy, Hartford has a few options as well! The Sea Tea Improv theater regularly has improv shows, and City Steam Brewery has the Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club in its basement. Both are a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night.

(Come on, guys, you know you wanna book me.)

Go UConn/Yard Goats/Wolf Pack?

Listen, I get it. Some of you are Yale fans. For some reason. (Gross.)

Some of you come from far-flung places and root for teams from other states. You’re wrong, but that’s okay.

UConn is Connecticut’s team. Especially since the Whalers left town.

No, YOU’RE crying! Source: Wikimedia Commons

But if you want to go to a UConn game at XL Center, you have to drive and park like some kind of idiot. And who wants to be the designated driver for that? Nobody, that’s who.

But taking a post-work train up to Hartford, grabbing a few beers, screaming at the terrible team and then taking the Sad Train home? That’s the dream.

Sad guy near train tracks

“Really? They lost to Providence? Geez.”
Source: Pixabay

If UConn isn’t your style (what’s your problem, anyway?), how about the Hartford Yard Goats? Dunkin Donuts Park is beautiful and the games are a good time. Then, you can wander around downtown and check out some of the local restaurants.

If you’re looking for a recommendation, Firebox, Salute, and Bear’s BBQ are all awesome. You’re welcome.

Flying Away

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but flying out of New Haven isn’t the easiest thing in the world. In theory, you can use Tweed to go to.. Philadelphia? Otherwise, it’s off to New York.

Getting to LaGuardia isn’t too bad, but forget it if you have to go to JFK. Especially by public transportation.

“Hmmm, maybe instead of going to California, we should just never go anywhere ever again?”
Source: Wikimedia Commons

While the new train line won’t provide direct service to Bradley International (yet?), there will be a shuttle from the Windsor station. And honestly, for the $10 to get to Windsor, that’s not bad at all.

Hartford is more expensive, but what you pay in money, you make up for in short security lines and possibly the most boring airport on the eastern seaboard. Surely that’s.. worth something.

Wallingford is Actually Kinda Cool, Too.

Okay, bear with me.

Believe it or not, Wallingford actually has some pretty dope stuff going on.

Knuckleheads is a cool bar with awesome beer. Redscroll Records is an awesome indie record store that caters to punk rock. And Cherry Street Station has all kinds of obscure punk and metal shows going on.

(You should go to at least one Nuclear Unicorn show before you die, right?)

Knuckleheads Burger

Just cause I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. You should.

Plus, if Gouveia is smart, they’ll setup some kind of shuttle to their immensely popular Vineyard. Worst case, you can Uber from the train station for a few bucks.

But we have to wait until May

Boo. The project has been delayed quite a few times, but I am hoping this is the last one. We’re still waiting on real schedules, but they should be released sometime this fall.

So I’ll see you next May for some good times in the Hart Beat. Or maybe.. Windsor… CT.

In the meantime…

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