What is the Point of This?

I was recently asked by someone about the focus of my blog. Although I have attempted to explain that in the “about” section, I guess I should place it out here.

It’s easier for me to explain what I am not attempting to do. As this blog has one author who has other employment, I do not have the time to comprehensively cover all news items in Hartford. But, with a few exceptions, I am only interested in blogging about news in Hartford. I make no attempt to go after items from areas of the city where I do not live, work, or hang out. Maybe I can do that someday. Right now, I feel strongly that I should write about what I know. I do not know, for example, Garden Street. Spending a week on one street would not make me qualified to know it. I mostly spend my time in Downtown, Frog Hollow, Parkville, and the West End.

Because writing exclusively about figureheads (Eddie Perez, Jodi Rell, Barack Obama) would bore me, and because they are just easy targets anyway, I try to steer clear. Honestly, even though Perez is the mayor and I am not a fan, I do not find him or his alleged criminal activity to be noteworthy as a whole. There are others who are willing to subject themselves to (what I consider to be) the drudgery of court appearances and he said/she said drama. Unless it’s major or majorly funny/wrong, it’s not on my radar. To me, policy is more interesting. For example, the charter revision, which barely registered mention in the newspapers, seemed to be something with more of a potential effect than anything I had to say about the mayor’s mugshot. Likewise, the city council’s recent attempts to act as checks/balances to the mayor seem more interesting than Rell’s incessant vetoes.

Moreso, it’s the activities of the minor players and community members that are far more intriguing to me. I’m not denying the role that leaders have in setting budgets and determining laws. But on a day-to-day basis I have more contact with the kid who makes my coffee, the parking attendant at the corner restaurant, various friendly people in my neighborhood, and folks doing things at the grassroots. It should be amply clear that I support most grassroots organizations, but am not going to hesitate to call them out when they don’t live up to their potential. At the same time, I teach research and critical thinking/writing/reading, so I make an extra attempt to verify all information; if something sounds like an unsubstantiated rumor, I ignore it.

I feel like this blog is evolving. Since starting it, I moved from South Green to the West End (but I’m really spitting distance from Parkville). In full disclosure, I am currently looking to become a homeowner and am only looking within city limits. Despite my criticisms, I feel very much at home in Hartford and want to pay even more in property taxes so that I can complain that much more. Okay, maybe wanting to pay more money is a lie.

I began this blog a few years ago and feel like I really became committed to it about a year and some odd months ago when there was this surge in Hartford hate due to rumors surrounding the Park Street hit-and-run and various other crimes. I wanted this to be another perspective (not the sole perspective, and there’s a difference) about Connecticut’s capitol city. There’s more here than violence. There’s more to local politics than scandal. There’s everyday people doing everyday things, sometimes succeeding and sometimes coming up short. I’m attempting to capture some of that because the mainstream media does not do this adequately. Again, this is one limited perspective and there are other (see blogroll) perspectives out there.

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