Plenty to be Thankful For in New Haven

This is a time of year to reflect upon all of the things we often take for granted. To take stock in everything we’re so lucky to have.

And of course, to ingest so much food we get the meat sweats.

Thanksgiving Feast
“This year, I’m thankful for additional belt holes.”

For me, it is a time to reflect upon this city. Over five years ago, I moved to New Haven in order to save money by finding roommates. I was going to buy a house. In the suburbs, probably. (Ha.)

Instead, I slowly fell in love with this city and all of its ups and downs. Its good and bad neighborhoods. The many cultures, beliefs, ethnicities, backgrounds, and demographics of New Haven.

Basically, New Haven is the stuffing. Nobody really knows what’s in it, but it’s delicious.

Thankful for Community

If there’s one thing about New Haven that really sticks out at me, it’s the sense of community. It’s a small enough city that you can really feel like you belong.

Harvard students
Except these assholes.

I’ve already been to three Friendsgivings and it’s not even proper Thanksgiving yet. I’m not sure how much more turkey I can eat. (Lies. I can eat so, so much more turkey.)

Just recently, I was at a very special Potluck with about 50 or so of my closest-ish friends, and I was just amazed by the way people supported each other. People from all walks of life and all backgrounds, connected in a moment of gratitude.

And wine.

This isn’t some exclusive party, either. This particular potluck is open to anybody who has ever heard of it. And I don’t think it’s the only one, either.

Our culture is changing, and a large number of people are waiting longer to have kids, if at all, but these young residents still crave that sense of community, and connectedness.

It is unbelievable to me how often I’m just walking around town and I see Chris Randall snapping photos or Doug Hausladen shaking hands (I have yet to see him kiss any babies, perhaps he hates them?!).

Doug Hausladen
He’s everywhere! We cannot escape him!

Thankful for Culture

One of things that separates New Haven from other, similarly-sized cities is the sense of culture available. Whether it’s the astonishing architecture of Yale’s spires or the countless art galleries, both Yale-affiliated and wildly local and transgressive.

The music scene, meanwhile, continues to flourish, as Pacific Standard Tavern joins Stella Blues, Cafe Nine, and Bar with another venue for people to enjoy live music in an intimate setting.

Meanwhile, College Street Music Hall has opened to great acclaim, bringing in larger artists and comics that may not otherwise stop in New Haven. Of course, there’s always Toad’s Place, for when you absolutely must get vomit on your shoes.

College Street Music Hall

You can’t even throw a rock without hitting a theater (or theater student). Whether it’s the experimental art at Yale Cabaret or the up-and-coming shows at Yale Rep, or the wildly successful Book of Mormon tour at the Shubert, we’ve got you covered.

And I’ll always be thankful for $6 Tuesdays at Criterion. It’s almost enough to make a guy want to put pants on and leave the house. Almost!

Thankful for Growth

New Haven is transforming before our very eyes and it’s unbelievable. Apartments are shooting up like weeds. Developers are actually trying to build biotech buildings in The Hill.

Sure, some people fear gentrification, though a recent article in Slate denied that gentrification really exists, pointing out that low income families tend to move a lot for a variety of reasons, regardless of property values in the surrounding areas, which makes a lot of sense and makes me feel a bit better.

Yale is building a mammoth new residential college which I’m sure will be beautiful and remind you that no, you did not get into Yale, and yes, that gate is to keep people like you out. But it’ll be so pretty!

Alexion Pharmaceuticals will finally move into 100 College St. while Church St South will eventually be turned into something less terrifying for people coming off the train. LiveLearnWorkPlay will… probably… be built… eventually… ?

LiveWorkLearnPlay rendering
It’s so beautiful everybody just abandoned the buildings nearby.

And of course… at long last… we’ll get our Barcade.

Thankful for You

Finally, I am thankful to you, Dear Reader, for spending your precious time and using your precious eyeballs to consume these words. For supporting Between Two Rocks, I am eternally grateful.

As you can imagine, this site doesn’t exactly rake in dough. It’s a passion project. Something I do out of love of New Haven and hearing my own voice.

Without you, it’d just be weird.

So thank you, and have a lovely Thanksgiving!


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