Posts Tagged ‘New Haven’


Friends in CT

4 April 2008

So I was lucky enough to get a nice flame comment on my blog… which is pretty funny, considering it’s, well, my blog. Where I don’t have to respond or even post their comment. But in the interests of education and good will, why the hell not?

The comment was on this post from January, about my experience visiting the nursing school at Yale. The most important thing to note, which my dear flame-thrower did not, was that nowhere in my blog did I say that I felt unsafe in New Haven. The whole point of my post was that I was TOLD that I should feel unsafe there by Yale-affiliated-folk. The staff and students I met were clear: No walking around the nursing school, call for the shuttle if you’re going anywhere after dark, etc.  And what about my good friend in New Haven, who for eight years lived in one of the less-gentrified areas of Cambridge (where, I clearly recall, he had no problem letting me wander around intoxicated at night)? Well, he DROVE me to YSN and back and asked me to take a cab the two blocks to the train station. 

Those were the things that gave me pause, dear readers.

I am perfectly willing to consider that this may be alarmist behavior on behalf of Yale and/or the individuals I met and not a real reflection of the state of New Haven affairs, but I think it’s totally reasonable that I was a little, um, disconcerted.  I’ve felt comfortable being on my own in major metropolitan areas since I was a teenager — to be told by adult men that they don’t walk around at night alone in a place I might live was a bit hard to swallow.  And then discovering that the going rents in New Haven were more than I’m paying to live in a very safe and walkable/T-accessible area in Boston — well, the whole thing was a bit surreal.

That said, I’m not a hater. I’m excited to move there and am looking for apartments. I’ve been back for a visit, had some apizza, drove and walked around some parts of town. So simmer down, flamer. But I’ll reply to the best bits of the comment because it was so random, and delayed, and hell, the blog’s been pretty slow….

Read the rest of this entry ?


The wrong side of the tracks

23 January 2008

I’ve been known to talk a little trash about New Haven in the past. I remember reading “Campus Lightbulb Jokes” when I was a 15-year old high school student and I’ve never forgotten Yale’s version: 

How many Yale students does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. New Haven looks better in the dark.

Har, har! But for all the times I’ve called it ‘a pit’, I have been hoping recently that now my jokes are way out-of-date or that I’m being overly snobbish. Times must have changed, I haven’t been there in years, what do I know? Chris has been at Yale for two years and seems to have survived without much complaint, says there are some good bars and restaurants downtown.  They have a nice big Ikea, and the train station’s reasonably clean, right? Right.

So I went to New Haven. Visited the nursing school, talked with students, faculty, had my interview and made a ton of small talk. Everyone I met at Yale was friendly and welcoming. Unfortunately, everyone I met at Yale was also very quick to make sure that I wasn’t out walking around New Haven by myself. In fact, at 230 in the afternoon, when I was ready to leave the nursing school (which is across the highway from downtown/the rest of campus and surrounded by a very tall iron fence) to walk the quarter-mile to the aforementioned train station, the friendly security guard told me that I would be okay as long as I stayed on “this side” of the street.

I’ve lived in Boston for close to seven years, where I have been the victim of one mugging downtown and one act of larceny at my place of work. I lived west of Tenth Avenue in midtown Manhattan for a summer, in a neighborhood affectionately referred to as “Hell’s Kitchen”, and I had one very unpleasant experience on a crowded 1-9 train headed uptown. But I don’t think that I can say that I’ve ever lived in a place where I didn’t feel comfortable walking around at night.

Yale’s a great school with a great reputation. I really like their nursing school and I could definitely see myself enjoying being a student there. But I’ve spent the last two years in this beautiful town of Brookline, Mass., where the mailman can leave a package on my doorstep and it will still be there 12 hours later.  So I really need someone to explain to me why it’s going to cost me MORE to rent a studio in New Haven… especially if I can’t leave it after dark without a car or a call to the campus shuttle.