As a lifelong resident of East Hartford, CT, I'm used to a slower pace of life than you would find in a bustling metropolis such as New York or Los Angeles. That isn't to say East Hartford isn't a one stoplight town. For a place with a population of around 50,000 it is fairly large and diverse, with many different neighborhoods and modern development underway. The best way to put it is that East Hartford is a large community with a small-town feel.
East Hartford is one of those towns that is supported by industry. Generations of residents have found careers at the Pratt & Whitney. This manufacturing plant takes up a good-sized portion of East Hartford and at one time employed tens of thousands of people. These days the number of employees has dwindled to around 5000, but between Pratt & Whitney and the Coca Cola bottling plant on Main Street, many residents still work in industry. That isn't to say the town is without progress. Various office complexes and other, newer industrial plants can be found throughout East Hartford.
There is also extensive development near the Connecticut River. Shopping plazas, medical offices, dealerships and other retail development. And as for education, Goodwin College has a new campus on River Drive. All of this newness is in stark contrast to the old world charm of Main Street and downtown East Hartford.
Just strolling through downtown East Hartford one gets the sense of what it must have looked like in the 1800s. Many of the buildings even date back to this time period. But there are a number of modern restaurants and shops which are always fun to frequent on the weekends. The farmer's market takes place in downtown East Hartford as well, and it is truly something that is not to be missed for those who enjoy fresh produce.
All in all East Hartford is a meeting place of the old and the new. Tradition and heritage are ingrained into the consciousness of the town but it is also ever expanding and opening up to modernity. East Hartford is truly a diverse place.