Hartford is for young people now. Certainly, many in Hartford would have you believe that it is, or that it should be, to the seeming exclusion of everyone else.
I hope more young people move to Hartford, but only because I hope more people move to Hartford, period. I think it could use more people, and I know more people would appreciate it if they took the time. It's certainly not the perfect city; I could complain about various aspects of it for days, and I have. (I have also complained for days about various aspects of my eyebrows, or the weather. So.)
It seems there are only three ways to talk about Hartford these days. There's the incredulous positive statement ("I went to Hartford once and surprisingly I didn't die and there was even a good restaurant!"), the ignorant put-down ("Hartford's been a pit since the 60s, kill it with fire!"), and the insider defense ("But! Mark Twain!"). That conversation is fine, I guess. At least it's predictable. (I always root for the insiders and their defenses.) But there's perhaps a more interesting conversation that could be had. I'm often too tired to have it with words, so I only contribute pictures of brick buildings.
But I hope if you read this post and haven't been to Hartford in a while, you'll come see it, and maybe tell other people about it. You can complain, but please try to complain about what you really encounter, not about what someone told you they encountered twenty years ago. And you might find, if you're not mapping Hartford onto an imaginary New York or Boston in your head, some things you really like, or at least find interesting. Because there's something here for everyone. Whether you're young or not.
(BTW: The title of this post comes from a brilliant Bronze Radio Return song.)