Going/Steady, Ep. 8: Summertime, and the Tourists are Everywhere!

In which we discuss:

  • Our summer plans.
  • “Best Towns” lists and where we’d live if we didn’t live where we live now.
  • The new Hartford Line.
  • How to avoid crowds while traveling in busy seasons.

 

Summary

In this episode, Johnna and Kerri chat about summer goals, give the side-eye to lists that rank Connecticut towns, and ponder where we’d live if we didn’t live where we live now. Other topics of discussion: Kerri’s experience riding the new Hartford Line, and how to be a tourist in the summer without having to deal with, you know, all those other tourists.

Special Moments

See if your town made one of the lists mentioned in this episode:

Movoto: 10 Best Places to Live in Connecticut

RoadSnacks: 10 Worst Places to Live in Connecticut for 2018

Connecticut Magazine: Rating the Towns 2015

Connecticut Magazine: Terrific Towns 2017

And if you live in Manchester:

Money: This Is the Best Place to Live in Every State

Kerri mentioned that Manchester has some great parks. Not mentioned specifically was Johnna’s favorite – she even wrote a blog post about it four years ago –  Wickham Park, which Money should have cited instead of that board game thing. Walkscore also came up as a better way to evaluate a potential new home.

Kerri sampled the new Hartford Line on its free, opening weekend and provides an early review of the train experience, along with her impressions of transit-oriented development and wayfinding around the three main stations. An improvement, sure, but there’s room for service expansion.

We think it’d be wise for the towns and cities with rail stations to promote the Hartford Line on their municipal or tourism websites. How are they doing now when it comes to promoting a variety of ways for people to reach these municipalities? Springfield does not provide any travel directions, and curiously, the Basketball Hall of Fame only offers directions for those arriving by car. Hartford’s tourism page sort of mentions the Hartford Line. If the Windsor Locks town page has any directions on it, we couldn’t find them. The town of Windsor’s site froze on a giant, pulsing teal star when our Internet went crazy; on a second attempt we saw that their site features a video of ducks. After some struggle, we found that Windsor does provide multimodal directions, though the site has not been updated to include CTrail.  It took some digging to find Berlin’s directions, and those were car only. Meriden’s town page only mentions driving directions and parking in downtown; one of the lots is for commuter rail, so that seems to be how one learns about train service in this town. Wallingford’s directions were easy to locate, but alas, only offered instructions for drivers. Though it does not name CTrail specifically, New Haven wins for having the most comprehensive travel instructions, which happen to be published in the center of the home page.

 

Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco

 

Going/Steady, Ep. 7: Bad (Planning) Decisions, NYC, and How to Pick a Destination

In which we discuss:

  • We’re not the only ones to make bad decisions — Connecticut’s urban planners have made their fair share of poor choices, with impacts lasting for decades.
  • Exploring NYC: what to do, what not do do, and why it’s good to be a flaneur.
  • If selecting a travel destination leaves you feeling lost, Johnna has some tips for you.


Summary

In this episode, Kerri and Johnna ramble on about several questionable urban (and not-so-urban) planning decisions in Connecticut, share thoughts and tips about visiting NYC, and break down how to pick a vacation destination when you have no idea where to go.

Special Moments

Go to the official I-84 Hartford Project site to see what stage of undoing bad decisions we are currently in. Unimpressed by the Circle of Death (Pulaski Circle?) and therefore, all roundabouts? See what a true roundabout should look like. Check out what Riverfront Recapture has done to improve Hartford’s riverfront. Learn more about the history of I-95 and Hodges Square in New London. If you want to visit the Old Town Mill, the address is 8 Mill Street, New London CT, 06320.

If this was your first time hearing about the fight over Washington Square Park, go read up! 6 ½ Avenue in Manhattan is a semi-secret pedestrian-only street. If you share Johnna’s love for pocket parks, Untapped Cities is a good place to discover new ones. The New York Transit Museum, even though it’s in a borough, managed to make its way into the conversation. (If you’re stuck in Manhattan, the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store is another option.) We also mention the Merchant’s House Museum, the High Line, the High BridgeCaffe Reggio, Big Gay Ice CreamLa Lanterna di Vittorio, Fishs Eddy, Chloe’s Fruit, NYC Street Fairs, and the benefits of taking the subway and the bus.

Note: This podcast contains occasional, relatively lightweight curse-words. Use the earbuds at work or around the kiddos.

 
Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco

Going/Steady, Ep. 6: Rainy Days, Haunted Places, and Travel Horoscopes

In which we discuss:

  • How can we survive spring in Connecticut?
  • Do legends and lore drive us to explore regional destinations?
  • Should we let our travel choices be guided by the stars?

 

Summary

In this episode, Kerri and Johnna talk about how to get through the grey and drizzly days of spring, why we seek out haunted (or “haunted”) New England places, and what we think about travel horoscopes.

Special Moments

Check out Johnna’s Tucson pictures on Instagram. Learn more about the Meriden Daffodil Festival and the Litchfield Daffodils. Read about Wooster Square and their cherry blossoms, and check out Johnna’s wintery Wooster Square Park blog bost. Plan a trip to the West Hartford Reservoir (bike optional) and see the Cosmic Omelet menu Kerri has been obsessing over.

Get directions to Dogtown in MA and read what Johnna wrote about her visit last year. (If you’d like to read more about the area’s history, check out the book Dogtown by Elyssa East.) Read Johnna’s post about New Castle, NH (which she erroneously calls Castle Island here, because its original name was Great Island and she can’t really think properly in spring) and Richard Chamberlayne’s Lithobolia. (For more, read the book The Devil of Great Island by Emerson W. Baker.) Plan a visit to Devil’s Hopyard State Park, Gay City State Park, or Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area. Listen to the episodes of SYSK and Lore about the Jewett City Vampires. See Damned Connecticut for more information about allegedly haunted places in the state, plus, the Fisher. See what Johnna saw in Centralia, PA.

Test our theory: Myers-Briggs vs. astrological signs. Read the Travel & Leisure articles about Zodiac-based travel advice and where your sign should go this spring.

 

Note: This podcast contains occasional, relatively lightweight curse-words. Use the earbuds at work or around the kiddos.

Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco

 

Going/Steady, Ep. 5: The Bad Decisions Episode – A Little Worried about Turtles (w/ special guest, Tony Cherolis)

In which we discuss:

What is a bad decision? If there are no consequences, was it a bad decision after all? And, if you recognize you are making one, do you reassess or double down?

 

Summary

In this episode, Johnna, Kerri, and special guest Tony talk about the questionable places we have lived, our philosophies on trespassing, and how moments of poor judgment inform our future adventures.

Special Moments

Johnna wrote about Seaside Sanitorium and we chat about that, forgetting to mention that it’s haunted.

We also discuss the Connecticut geotag on Instagram (below), along with how trespassing is connected with privilege.

Geotag_CT

Kerri refers to a near-altercation. You can read about that here. Kerri also talks about an episode in which she was not trespassing in Willimantic, but has realized that the very last part of that story does, in fact, involve trespassing. But that happened several decades ago, so let’s leave it alone.

To learn more about how the Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world, check out this website.

After recording, we did confirm that an episode of The Office explored the problem with GPS.

In the episode, Johnna mentions the time Kerri got crop-dusted in a tobacco field. We recorded this segment, but then cut it. In short, Kerri thought it would be a good idea to wander around, barefoot, in a tobacco field in Connecticut.

Here’s the essay Kerri wrote about being a latchkey kid and here’s the one about railroad safety and another about fear.

While talking about bicycle touring, Tony shouted out Warm Showers. This is a free way for cyclists to get shelter and a shower while touring.

Finally, it was as if the Twitterverse was listening:

Bad_Decisions

Tony_Cherolis

Tony Cherolis used to be an engineer, but always will be an engineer.  Currently, he is working at the Center for Latino Progress as the Transport Hartford Coordinator.  Transport Hartford works on mobility, jobs access, education, and community organizing around multimodal transportation, transit, rail, biking, and walking.  Between projects, Tony likes to go on silly adventures, cross country bike tours, and generally makes bad / different decisions. You are likely to find him around Hartford on foot or a bike, and sometimes sleeping in local parks. [photo credit: Chion Wolf]

Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco