For far too long, New Haven has been the Forgotten Child of New England. Surrounded by your Bostons, your New Yorks, heck even your Hartfords, with your fancy State Capitols and your XL Centers.
New Haven itself — the city proper — has a population around 130,000 or so. Which makes it… technically a city.
Our peers are… Cedar Rapids, Iowa and… ugh, Stamford, Connecticut.
Yet New Haven has a density of about 7,000 people per square mile. Which puts us around the same level as Anaheim, California! Yet nobody is making Angels in Edgewood for New Haven.
The Greater New Haven Metro area has a population of 860,000 or so, which puts us in the same category as Albuquerque, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas!
Don’t you want that El Paso RESPECT. Of course you do.
It begins today. By reclaiming what is rightfully ours.
Hamden is New Haven
Stop me if this has ever happened to you:
Me: Anyway where do you live?
Person: New Haven!
Me: Cool which part
Person: Oh, well Hamden actually
See, even they think they live in New Haven.
Originally settled by Puritans as part of the town of New Haven, Hamden was purchased by William Christopher Reilly and the Reverend John Davenport in 1638 from the local Quinnipiack Native American tribe. It remained a part of New Haven until 1786 when 1,400 local residents incorporated the area as a separate town, naming it after the English statesman John Hampden.
You see what? Back in 1786, 1400 people decided they were too good for New Haven. And those people were wrong.
Do we live by old timey ways? No! Do I wear pantaloons and high wigs?! Not that you know of!
So why are we still letting 18th century (probably racist) jerks decide who is and isn’t part of New Haven.
Now, obviously, I expect a little resistance to this. But what good is all this wanton gun violence if we can’t use it to annex nearby cities? Hm?
I’d argue it’s no good at all.
(Sorry, I know gun violence in New Haven is low-hanging fruit but I’m not that good of a person.)
But why, Josh? Why are we doing this? We already have great pizza and culture and bars and parks!
Yes, we do. But do we have…
Places to Buy Business Pants
We do not. You gonna go buy a pair of $180 dollar chinos at Raggs? I sure as hell won’t.
Hamden as Kohlses and Old Navies as far as the eye can see, all available via a short car, bike, or bus ride down Dixwell Avenue!
Why should Hamden get all the credit for that while we’re stuck with whatever Yale 3rd Generation Legacy can afford. I want Marshall’s!
I didn’t go to Yale! I went to a state school! I need state school pants prices!
Some Other Cool Places
Come on, Best Video is practically New Haven at its core. A video-rental-place-turned-weird-art-cafe? that’s the most New Haven thing there is! They’re practically begging to be annexed! They might as well be waving the New Haven flag around.
In fact, they could be flying our flag and I would have no idea because I don’t know what the flag even looks like.
Okay this is definitely getting a little out there but y’know what it’s awesome. Not to take anything away from East Rock or West Rock, but Sleeping Giant is rad as hell, has great views, bouldering, a tower. Everything you want in a hike.
You already set all your drunk students loose downtown every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Let’s just make it official.
Let’s go steady.
More Humans = More Respect
By adding 60,000 people to New Haven’s population, we’re suddenly at 190,000. See ya, Fort Lauderdale. Peace out, Worcester. Nice try, Chattanooga.
Suddenly instead of this:
Person: Where are you from?
Me: New Haven, CT
Me: *sighing deeply* ….. Yale.
Person: Ohhhhh cool
We’ll get this:
Person: Where are you from?
Me: *beaming* New Haven, CT
Person: Wow fuck Chattanooga huh
See? This is the kind of visionary leadership that Justin Elicker is looking for, if only he had the courage to read this blog.
(I have no idea if he reads this blog. I both hope he does and doesn’t.)
So How Is this Going to Work?
Okay, so here’s the plan. The state can decide what the boundaries are for cities in CT. So we tell Governor Lamont that we’ll support tolls if he gives us Hamden.
But here’s the catch: We don’t even drive cars! We ride bikes and the bus! But he probably doesn’t know that cause he’s from Greenwich and drives a German car or whatever.
By the time he figures it out, we’ll be laughing our way to Best Video, our arms overflowing with chinos and affordable polo shirts.
Step 1 of the Long-Term Plan
Of course, Hamden is just the beginning. The Stavens should start worrying soon. Sorry, West Haven, your boardwalk is cool and all but your beaches are smelly and also that ramen place really belongs in New Haven, don’t you think?
And East Haven? Really? East Haven? Come on. We’re doing you a favor here. But we’ll get to you in due time.