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Hartford
  • $800   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $854   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1391   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

96% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
insurance capital of the world
museums, bicycle trails 6
you grew up playing ball here, this park be lit, rich white people in their 30s, private school nestled between hoods, even more rich soccer moms, old people live here, and people exercising are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Hartford roommate rundown:

Hartford is one of the oldest cities in the United States.

Hartford also wants you to know it still hosts the oldest public art museum, oldest continuously published newspaper, oldest public farmers' market, oldest public rose garden, and the oldest publicly funded park in the entire country.

In addition to all the oldest listed above, Hartford also hosted the first coin-operated payphone. It was installed in a bank. However, that corner now hosts only a small blue plaque commemorating its location as "World's First Pay Telephone, Invented by William Gray and developed by George A. Long, was installed on this corner in 1889."

And a lot of Hartford is exactly that historical vibe.

But everything older in Hartford is celebrated by many well-educated younger, with the University of Connecticut, the University of Hartford, and Trinity College all nearby.

So you'd think something listed up above would have taken responsibility for Hartford's dominant nickname, right? But no.

As the headquarters for many insurance companies and the historic international center of the industry, Hartford has often been referred to as "Insurance Capital of the World" and "America's Filing Cabinet."

While that is a lot of paperwork, the city's motto still seems more profound, in Latin, "Post Nubila Phoebus" or "After the clouds, the sun." Seemingly appropriate for Hartford on a number of levels, not just the weather?

While Hartford gets a lot of clouds and a lot of sun (literally, all 4 seasons are a lot) . . . some metaphorical clouds are happening too.

Before the pandemic, downtown Hartford was mostly about the insurance offices and the insurance office employees, during the day. And not much else. As several companies relinquished their office space as their employees opted for remote work, downtown depopulated quite a bit. Ultimately, unfortunately, the pandemic didn't do downtown Hartford any favors.

But city planners have revival ideas for the future! Downtown plans that are less dependent on the office, including residential, including new units.

Plus live music and other events planned for weekends.

The rest of the Hartford roommate lowdown:

  • Connecticut's capital, on the Connecticut River, 40 miles north of the Long Island Sound, 110 miles northeast of New York City
  • Hartford's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean leads to strong northeast winds - very cold in winter and very warm in summer - periodic snow in winter - summer thundershowers
  • about 125,000 residents
  • home to Charter Oak State College, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Hartford Graduate Center, Trinity College, Saint Joseph College, University of Connecticut, University of Connecticut School of Law, University of Hartford, and Wesleyan University
  • Hartford is served by Amtrak, a number of buses (CTtransit), and the Hartford Line (commuter rail connecting Hartford with New Haven and Springfield). "CTrail" trains provide service along this corridor. There's also a free bus circulating downtown, the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH).
  • Hartford has a bicycle route running right through the middle including Bushnell Park, which is part of the East Coast Greenway, a 3000 mile route from the Florida Keys up to Maine. Some of the bicycle lanes are designated. You and your roommates can check with the city for same day bicycling updates.
  • Hartford is known for its Italian cuisine, particularly its giant grinder shops, many in the South End.
  • Many citizens of Hartford experience an intense rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the NY Yankees, even though (you are noticing, right?) both of those teams are not from Hartford? So you can't know who you'll offend with that one. You could play it safe and express enthusiasm for the UConn Huskies. No one will fault you for focusing your fandom on Hartford's local Huskies instead, especially their championship-winning men and women's basketball teams.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Hartford's:

  • Bushnell Park: Near the state capital, designed by the same architect who designed Central Park in NYC, and the first publicly funded park in the country. Features historic sculpture, fountains, and a carousel.
  • Elizabeth Park: Over 100 acres of green including more formal gardens, walking trails, a cafe, and the oldest public rose garden (also the 3rd largest rose garden in the country)
  • Wadsworth Atheneum: Since 1842, America's first and now oldest public art museum, with more than 45,000 pieces in its permanent collection. Free for you and your roommates if you visit between 4 and 5 p.m.
  • Connecticut Science Center: 9-story, architecturally significant, $165-million-dollar museum on the riverfront
  • Dunkin' Donuts Park: Baseball field inaugurated in 2017, now hosting the Hartford Yard Goats
  • Old State House Farmers' Market: Since 1643, the oldest public farmers' market in Connecticut, with fresh produce and local crafts summer through fall.
  • Real Art Ways: Non-profit art space since 1975. Known for visual art, independent cinema, live music, and literary community events.


Here's the city of Hartford's official .gov for residents, with info on public libraries, trash, public safety, and transportation.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.