Not being one to rush into anything, I finally visited West Hartford’s Blue Back Square over the weekend. I hadn’t been boycotting it, I just hadn’t had the occasion to visit.
It seems to be a delightful place. The Dearly Beloved and I enjoyed a lovely meal at Rizzuto’s, which happens to be owned by a Mets fan. (We talked. He’s a New York guy, but even his surname couldn’t make him a Yankees fan.) As we left the restaurant, it was encouraging to see all the people shuffling from one place to another, enjoying their evening. (Unlike, say, downtown Hartford.)
But what most struck me about Blue Back Square is that they went out and built a brand new “downtown” to give people a place to live, work, recreate, dine, shop and entertain themselves. Just like the old downtowns. Except this one’s kind of like a movie set.
In the late sixties and early seventies, downtowns died at the hands of the malls, which brought “downtown” to the ‘burbs, under one roof.
Now we’re back outside. There really are no new ideas, are there?