Hartford is the capital of the state of Connecticut, which has earned the nickname of the “Insurance Capital of the World.” It is over 400 years old, which means it has beautiful architecture and it also has a very large pro-active gay community. It has a population of 124,775 people ~ the city experiences very warm humid summers with a lot of thunderstorms and very cold, snowy winters.
The “gayborhood” is mainly comprised of two of the city’s neighborhoods: the southern part of the city known as the West End and Parkville. Both neighborhoods are known for their beautiful turn-of-the-century architecture and both are adjacent to the city’s downtown.
Parkville is located at the junction of the North and South Branches of the Park River. Aside from being very LGBT-friendly it is also quite diversified with many of the original French Canadian, Scandinavian and German businesses mixed in with Brazilian, Vietnamese and Portuguese residents. This makes for an amazing array of shops and ethnic restaurants in the area.
The West End neighborhood which runs west along Park River has many beautiful two and three story homes. It is home to many professors and students who attend the nearby University of Connecticut School of Law, Watkinson School and the Hartford Seminary.
Another gay-friendly neighborhood is North Meadows which is just north along the downtown and the CT River, which is home to a lot of adult and strip clubs but also to a lot of art galleries and theaters. This is an artist’s area that is always in development and that is considered to have great investment potential.
If you love really old architecture then you might be able to find a gem in Frog Hollow, which is out of the neighborhood. Lafayette Street, established in 1640 is one of Connecticut’s oldest streets and it is currently being restored opt it’s pre-civil war beauty. It has also been home to the African American community in Hartford since before the Civil War. The area is also very diverse with Danish, German, Greek and Puerto Rican influences. It is known for its amazing ethnic restaurants and historic cobblestone streets.
The economic center of the city is in a neighborhood known as Asylum Hill which is home to several insurance companies and the historic homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Culturally the city offers many unusual attractions including the Aetna Headquarters which is the world’s largest colonial revival buildings, the Ancient Burying Ground, which is one of the oldest cemeteries in the United states and the Colt Armory which is a former gun manufacturing plant turned into gleaming condos.
To find the home or property investment that is right for you it is a great idea to consult with a Hartford gay realtor who knows the area well. For more information about Hartford consult the city’s local Chamber of Commerce at www.hartfordchamber.org.