My hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, affectionately known by locals as the “Elm City” has ultimately defined my personal style and who I am as a person. You see, my fair city and I share many of the same traits. We can both be described as: preppy, eclectic, flamboyant and urban… all at the same time. It’s who I am, who we are. However beyond the surface, my city and I both hold a spirit of perseverance, diligence, love, creativity, and community. I’m proud to be from New Haven. Focus squarely on our exteriors alone, you’d likely approach with apprehension; yet, dig deeper and you’ll see our beauty and all it has to offer.
I promise, you’ll fall in love.
New Haven is a hodgepodge of race, ethnicity, creed, grit, and aspirations. It rests beside the Long Island Sound, the gilded halls of Yale University, and the majestic Elm trees that line the city. Once a manufacturing powerhouse, the cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney led the Industrial Revolution and brought New Haven to prosperity. Later the Winchester Repeating Arms factory and Pratt & Whitney plant helped provide upward mobility for families looking for a better life.
New Haven represented independence. It was the American Dream. Then its infrastructure began to crumble, and the industrial well dried up, locals turned to alternative and often times illegal sources of income. Our neighborhoods became “hoods” rather than communities. This was the late 1980’s through early-to-mid 90’s; my most formative years. I felt the change, I cried, I fought it, I admired its risky cache. But I knew it wasn’t me and it wasn’t New Haven. We were both too good for this behavior.
Rooted in sweat, tears and struggle, we are a city of survivors. And now I no longer see a city in distress, in need of repair….I see hope. I see empowerment. I see dreams. I see the future. I see entrepreneurship. I see creative growth. I see change. So this blog is dedicated to the designers, artists and proactive thinkers that have come out of my dear elm city.
New York City may be where I currently reside, but New Haven will always be home. And will forever be my endless love.