In defense of New Haven

By on January 28, 2015

Before I even became a member of the Quinnipiac community, I was inundated with a number of caveats about New Haven and the time I would inevitably spend there. These came in the form of lectures from my parents and family, as well as emails from the university. I was extremely overwhelmed and nervous about New Haven and spent very little time there during my freshman year. While some of this concern is warranted, I can’t help but feel that New Haven has been given a bad reputation and that many Quinnipiac students are wary of extending their visits there beyond Saturday night trips to Toads.

In 2014, New Haven was voted the Most Dangerous City in Connecticut by Movoto Real Estate. The company took into account FBI data regarding rates of crime and factored their findings into making their decision. Drive by shootings, murder and assault are among some of the most commonly committed crimes in New Haven.

However what these lists fail to consider are all the positive things that New Haven can offer. It has a bounty of coffee shops and book stores where my roommates and I have found ourselves time after time studying and talking. The Book Trader café, for example, offers a good study environment as well as a change of pace from places in Hamden that Quinnipiac students typically frequent. With literature -themed sandwiches and a cool collection of books for sale, it provides the kind of originality that Hamden fails to offer.

Beyond just food, the shopping in New Haven also far surpasses that of the Quinnipiac community. Small, quirky shops, like Group W Bench and a number of interesting boutiques line the city’s side streets and are filled with one-of-a-kind products.

It would also be remiss not to acknowledge that New Haven is home to some of the best hospitals and one of the best universities in the country. That kind of prestige comes with a culture of intelligence and scholarly resources that can be found in abundance in New Haven. The people of New Haven have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge, personality and experience and connections with its residents can open a number of doors for one’s future. New Haven is, after all, a college city.

I am a person who is admittedly not very good at navigating cities. I preferred to spend my time at home hanging out in the suburbs, so the idea of spending the day in New Haven’s urban streets didn’t appeal to me when I first got to Quinnipiac.

However, the city is more than a Saturday night out. It is rich in culture and commerce and is a worthwhile trip for anyone looking for something new to do. Be safe, be smart and stay with your friends, but I can attest to all the positive experiences that New Haven has to offer. The city, despite all its bad press, is very quirky and interesting.

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