Listen. I’m not gonna lie to you. We live in strange times.
2016 hasn’t been the best year, to say the least. A bunch of people died. Maybe even people you liked.
Donald Trump is going to be President of the United States and probably some of you are even like, “Awesome.”
But forget all that. Now is the time to forget the sins of the past and remember all the good things we do have. So here is a list, in the order from which they spring into my brain, of all the things to be thankful for in New Haven.
The welcome additions of House of Naan and Mechanoodle.
There can never be enough good Indian places. And Mecha-Noodle is the first non-pizza place I’ve ever seen people wait in the cold for. Impressive.
They’re also both killing it on Yelp so that’s probably good, right?
The new Q-Bridge.
You gotta admit, it’s pretty nice when they use the pretty colors.
It even won a the America’s Transportation Awards competition, which, as you know, is extremely glamorous.
New Haven’s commitment to bike lanes
The new cycle-track connecting Westville Downtown is gonna be pretty rad. The safer it is to bike, the more people will make it a part of their lifestyle, the more people will do it, the less cars on the road, the more I’ll be the only car left, just smashing into bicyclists anytime I please.
The delicious beers at Barcade and Beer Collective
Good beer, like good Indian food, is something to be treasured. And if you can play Daytona USA or Terminator 2 or enjoy your fancy beer in a fancy beer glass, then all the better.
Plus, at Beer Collective, they can educate you on the style of beers. And I can educate them on how many beers someone suffering from Post-Election Depression can drink.
(Spoiler: it’s a lot.)
We still have pretty much the best pizza… and it’s only getting better.
Old classics like Pepe’s, Sally’s, and Modern have been joined by newer places like DaLegna, Ah-Beetz (that name still makes me groan) and One 6 Three (am I doing that right?). More options = less time waiting in lines.
Yale Art Gallery & Yale Center for British Art
The Yale Center for British Art finished their gorgeous renovations this summer, and of course, the Yale Art Gallery is still one of the best things you can do in New Haven. Especially FOR NO MONEY.
Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of some beauty in this world that hasn’t been ruined by people in red hats.
Only One More Year-Ish for New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Service
No more will you have to drive home from UConn games, sober and dejected, wondering what you’re doing with your life. No, instead, you’ll be able to sit on a train, drunk and dejected, wondering what you’re doing with this tuna melt and how, exactly, it got here.
Or, you know, going to the Bushnell for all your cultured types.
Left Turn on Red
Wait, is that not a legal thing? Are you sure? Cause I see people do it all the time. I even saw a Yale Security van do it once. Way to lead by example.
Everything Awesome on the Green
Whether it’s the awesome Arts & Ideas Festival during the summer, or the New Haven Grand Prix/Pizza Fest in the fall, or horse-drawn carriages in the winter, the Green is the centerpiece of New Haven. It is a place to gather and spend time with friends, to enjoy the grass and the sun on your face.
And of course, the sweet jams of Debbie Gibson and En Vogue.
The Metro North
There’s just something wonderful about knowing you’re never more than a train ride from New York. Whether you’re catching a show or just shopping or catching a game, it’s wonderful to avoid the traffic and enjoy a nice, relaxing, hopefully-not-that-smelly ride on the Metro North.
Oh, and the bar car is coming back. Oh yes.
Just like last year, the thing that really makes New Haven is the people. The community. The characters.
I can’t tell you how many amazing people I’ve met here, even just in the last year. Just when I think I must know every single person in New Haven, a whole new group opens up to me.
Whether you’re learning about The Hill at the Bradley Street Bicycle Co-Op or going to a community meeting about transportation hosted by Doug Hausladen or just having a beer at your favorite local watering hole (Trinity), there are familiar faces everywhere.
No matter how insane this world gets, it’s good to know that you’ve got good people.