Welcome to Hartford (I think)

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A week ago, prompted by an email from the NSNC that concluded (woundedly) “maybe Hartford doesn’t want us after all,” I dashed off this all-hands-on-deck blog post. 

I am pleased to report that a lot of people stepped up. Hartford officials. Convention and Visitors Bureau officials. MetroHartford Alliance. City leaders. The president of the city council personally volunteered his services, and the mayor offered a welcoming reception at City Hall. Meanwhile, the Twain House, Billings Forge and Salute have already gotten on board with the NSNC in a really good way.

It turns out we’re getting better at this stuff.

UPDATE: I have decided to delete one grumpy observation here. Apparently there’s a lot about how these things are arranged that I just don’t understand. Anyway, I hope that will mollify the commenters. What’s important is that the NSNC has a great experience in Hartford. A lot of the pieces are in place for that.

I have newfound respect for tourism officials who put on a brave, smiling face and make things work for visiting groups. I suppose I won’t be able to make fun of them as much in the future. I hate that.

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to Hartford (I think)

  1. peter brush

    I’m confused. When you first brought up the matter your concern was that Hartford wasn’t doing enough to be hospitable. Now you go out of your way to complain about the guests. I may be missing something, but it seems this might have been a good time to have said nada, at least publicly.
    Hi, All! I’m a past president of the NSNC and will be in Hartford this June. I lived in CT for two years and have nothing but great things to say about your state. We’re looking forward to being in Hartford in June. I want to report to you that the welcome and the help I’ve personally received from the Mark Twain Museum, Salute Restaurant, Daatco Transportation and Billings Forge has been amazing and they’ve put the heart in Hartford. The NSNC comes with an open heart and mind as well, and I’m sure our time in Hartford will be amazing.
    Suzette Martinez Standring, past president, NSNC

    1. Suzette Standring

      I’m taken aback and personally hurt that you cast the NSNC in such a rude light. I acknowledge that one of our members offended you, but that doesn’t mean the entire columnists’ association is guilty. The NSNC would like to feel that Hartford welcomes us in the same spirit as the NSNC is delighted to be there in June. These blog digs are not helpful, and as an organization, we don’t deserve to have to defend ourselves before we’ve even set foot in your city. I’m sorry for any personal offense you’ve suffered. Please stop making it sound like Hartford will be nice to us, even though we don’t deserve it. Frankly, I know Hartford is way bigger than that because I’ve experienced it’s hospitality and graciousness. Peace!
      Suzette Martinez Standring
      Past President, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
      Email: suzmar@comcast.net

  2. Richard

    Nothing worse than working for a dying industry. Tough to keep the chin up.

    Its much easier working for today’s hot commodity.

  3. Kerry

    Colin, may be relevant to post a link to a favorite column you once did about Hartford (something like how gratifying it is to be in Hartford, given how grateful they are if you show up…for New Haven, well you may have to be hip to be counted, but Hartford? you count more, we need you to show up)

  4. Bill

    I would be happy to give group tours of the Hog River through the tunnels to the Connecticut River. I used to swim in it…well, more like falling in to the murky wet muck but I could unwind a few tales.

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