1. We have Wally Lamb. That’s right, you Maine elitists, you can keep your Stephen King, because we have the author of She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True. Wally Lamb will pop up on the Connecticut landscape when you least expect it—an appearance at the Franklin library here, watching the movie filming of one of his books in downtown Norwich there. And every single resident in my beloved state will claim to have once had Mr. Lamb as an English teacher. Apparently, Connecticut also has a lot of liars.
2. We have the WWE. Yup, the WWE is based right here in Stamford. Standing as a beacon to John Cena fans worldwide, it’s impossible not to spot the World Wrestling Entertainment logo atop its shiny gray/black headquarters off Interstate 95, and I guess we’re proud. As Connecticut residents, we have a love/hate relationship with the country’s top wrasslin’ organization. We love the money Vince McMahon spends on taxes, and the jobs he provides for residents. But we hate voting his wife into public office, which we’ve failed to do twice now. Why? Because Connecticut is chock-full of tunnel-visioned Democrats, and we refuse to let Republicans succeed. (This might not be entirely the Democrats’ fault, however. Our former governor keeps getting indicted for accepting bribes and perpetrating fraud, and as luck would have it, he’s a Republican.)
3. If wrestling is too lowbrow for you, we also have ESPN. Yup, you “too good for wrestling” snob, we also have the biggest sports network in the world. If you’ve loved sports your whole life and want a career immersed in all things sporty, you’ll have to move to Connecticut to do it. And maybe we don’t want you here. See, Connecticut is also full of snobs.
4. We specialize in good food. Check your pantry right now. I mean it. Right now. I’ll wait. Bring me back some chips or something, will you?
Half of the stuff in your pantry came from Connecticut, if my skewed calculation of fractions is correct. That’s right. We’re home to Newman’s Own (Westport), Nestlé Pure Life (Stamford), Lender’s Bagels (New Haven), Mystic Pizza (Mystic), Munson’s Chocolates (Bolton), Bear Naked, Inc. (Norwalk), Stew Leonard’s (also Norwalk), Pepperidge Farms (apparently, Norwalk is really in to food) and Subway (Bridgeport). If there’s one thing we like to do in Connecticut, apparently, it’s eat.
5. We’ve got the largest casino in the country, and another fancy one right down the road. If you’re a gambler with money to burn, you already know this and maybe already live here. But not only do we have Foxwoods, which, in addition to six casinos on site also has hotels, spas, restaurants, concert halls, golf courses, and a museum, but if you get bored, you can go to Mohegan Sun, ten minutes away. Mohegan Sun has three casinos, hotels, spas, restaurants, concert halls, and golf courses, but no museum. (Wait . . . is there a museum? Maybe there is. I don’t go there for the culture, folks. Like a true Nutmegger, I go there to eat.)
There you have it. I managed to find five good things about my state, and I didn’t even have to use the obvious ones, like Mystic Aquarium, or how the UCONN women’s basketball team is the better than yours, or the Mark Twain House, or how we only have the third highest cost of living in the nation, according to CNBC.
Now, if you want to visit our little corner of the nation and meet Wally Lamb, watch some wrestling, tour the ESPN building, eat a ton of food, and gamble, I would recommend you come do it soon. Winter’s just around the corner, and nobody in Connecticut leaves the house in the winter. Because—and I cannot reiterate this enough—it is cold.