Going/Steady Ep. 11: All Ohio, All The Time

In which we discuss:

  • Our fondness for the Midwest, and how it compares to New England.
  • Our travel resolutions for 2019.

 

Summary

In this episode, Kerri and Johnna talk about traveling in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin – aka the Midwest. We highlight a few favorite cities, towns, and routes, and ponder what New England could learn from the Midwest and vice versa. The discussion then turns to travel-related New Year’s resolutions, from our (realistic) dream destinations to forming better travel habits.

Links

First, a note about the audio: we recorded this in Johnna’s dining room; we promise she does not live in a truck stop, it just sounds like it for some reason. However, you should be able to hear us over the noise of the traffic, and we hope you’re not too annoyed!

We talk about the weird, coast-to-coast Connecticut envisioned by the Royal Charter of 1662 and the Connecticut Western Reserve, aka the Western Reserve region of Ohio, which Johnna wrote about a few years ago.

Detroit places mentioned include Cadillac SquareRainbow City, and Eastern Market.

Indianapolis places mentioned include Broad Ripple and the Monon Trail. The swanky Barnes & Noble in an old bank building was, in fact, a swanky Borders in an old bank building, and it has since closed. (It was pretty fancy though.)

We talk about US-50 and the Great River Road.

Middletown OH, where Hillbilly Elegy was set, has multiple drive-thru package stores. Toledo has its own very accurate song.

Cincinnati and St. Louis have many neighborhoods.

Kansas City has a fancy open-air shopping mall.

Modern Love is the vegan restaurant in Omaha that Kerri was talking about (though it turns out there are others) and it is not in the area Johnna was thinking of, which is Old Market.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is in Kansas and Badlands National Park is in South Dakota.

The new Instagram account for The Size of Connecticut is @thesizeofct.

The World Before Your Feet includes an awkward street photography scene and is worth seeing for those who like looking at cities up close.

 

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

Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco

 

 

 

Going/Steady Ep. 10: Connecticut Art, New England Travel, and Workcation

In which we discuss:

  • Ways to see art in Connecticut.
  • Why tourists come to New England, and what they’re encouraged to see.
  • How to actually get work done while traveling.

 

Summary

This month, Johnna and Kerri talk about various ways to get some art into your life in the Nutmeg State, from mural walks to open studios to the obvious: museums. Also, how do guidebooks and tourism websites rank New England places and activities? (Hint: it’s all about Boston and lobster, and we rant about that.) Plus, the digital nomad life looks glamorous, but often it’s not; we’ve accumulated some practical ways to get your work done when you’re on the road.

Special Moments

First, an audio warning: in this episode, Johnna says “like” a lot and has a scratchy voice, while Kerri sounds like she’s very far away – maybe she’s channeling some exciting travel experience? And there are wind chimes.

We recommend some top towns for mural-spotting (it’s the leaf-peeping of the other seasons, OK?) Places mentioned: Pawcatuck/Westerly, New London, and Willimantic. Plus, a mysterious mural project in Winsted and how to find New Deal murals. We also mention the Connecticut Art Trail and plug the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich and the New Britain Museum of American Art. There are too many open studios events to link to them all here, but to find one near you, search online for “Connecticut open studios.”

The websites Kerri read were Visit New England (that’s the one with the marijuana reference) and Discover New England. We also talk about the New England highlights of four guidebooks. If you still want to buy one of them after this discussion, Johnna’s snarky reviews of them contain links to the books: Fodor’s; Insight Guides; Rough Guide; Lonely Planet.

We also talk about Autumnwatch New England on PBS.

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

Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco

 

Going/Steady, Ep. 9: Qui Transtulit Sustinet

In which we discuss:

  • Our experiences on the Connecticut Wine Trail.
  • The joys of living in CT in the fall.
  • Some fun, questionable, and slightly terrifying ferry rides in the region.
  • How technology affects travel, for good and for ill.

 

Summary

Kerri and Johnna are back after an unplanned summer vacation from Going/Steady, and we start this episode off talking about local wineries and vineyards. (Are they the same thing? Who knows.) We also talk fall activities in the Nutmeg State, getting around in the Northeast by ferry, and how technology and social media have changed what’s it’s like to travel now.

Special Moments

Before recording this episode, we took a little field trip to Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington. We also talk about Hopkins Vineyard in Warren, Lost Acres Vineyard in Granby, Holmberg Orchards in Gales Ferry, and Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford. For information about the Wine Trail and links to individual wineries, visit the website of the CT Wine Trail. We also talked about the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the Geological Society of Connecticut.

If you’re interested in the autumnal activities we mentioned, check out Night Fall and the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford. Also check out the Connecticut Office of Tourism event calendar, as well as their list of Connecticut country fairs. For a good foliage walk, try Windsor Locks Canal Trail State Park, the Farmington Canal Trail, or the West Hartford Reservoirs.

If you’re intrigued by the history of Connecticut River ferries, read about them at the Connecticut Department of Transportation website.

We might seem a little obsessed with Instagram in our last segment. That’s because we’re on it a lot. Follow Johnna @johnnakaplan and @oldschoolct, and Kerri @realhartford and @kerrianaprovost.

 

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. 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