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Tell me about Bridgeport, CT...

Nahmeanz

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I'm from Boston but I have a job offer that will have me based out of Bridgeport. The job requires a lot of traveling both domestic and overseas, so while I'm based in Bridgeport I won't be there a lot. I'm 25 and single so moving isn't much of a problem for me. I have a lot of friends in NYC and of course family and friends in Boston, will being in Bridgeport mean I'm right in between the two? Am I going from Red Sox Nation to Jankee Nation? Just someone tell me about Bridgeport, all I know about it is that I see it if I take 95 down to NYC from Boston.
 

Duveen

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Bridgeport used to be a major manufacturing center, but has fallen on hard times lately. It is in Southern CT not far from NYC, and is right next to Fairfield, one of the commuter suburbs for NYC. You'd be able to get to NYC in about 1:20 minutes or so taking the Metro North into Grand Central, so seeing friends in NYC would be easy. Don't know any secrets about getting to Boston. Parts are nice, I am sure, but unless a lot has changed since I was last there (and it has been a little more than 5 years), you probably won't be digging the singles scene. Seems like it still has a pretty high crime rate, which is what I remember about it (http://bridgeport.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm). Significantly higher murder rate than the nat'l average, and likely higher than NYC and Boston. I'll let others weigh in with more detail.
 

otc

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My roommate had an internship in Stamford this past summer and I think he ended up living in Norwalk (which looks to be the same distance from Stamford and Bridgeport).

Not a bad place overall but I get the feeling that it was not a very exciting place for a young person to live. He was fairly price conscious on his summer living arrangements so you may be able to find somewhere a little more lively in that area but beware that a lot of stuff in that area is heavily NYC commuter (though I still don't understand the desire to have that long a commute in exchange for a few more sq. ft)

He made it to the city for fun a lot I think but definately not to boston. It's still a pretty long trip up there (our Boston friends would come down to visit him in NYC, he never went up there)
 

Nahmeanz

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Doesn't sound good. Being close to NYC seems nice but an hour and a half really isn't that close. Living in a city that "used to be" anything is pretty depressing. The residents always seem to talk about the hey day, mope about the present, and dream about the very distant future. I have to see if this job will have me more out of Bridgeport rather than being in Bridgeport. I'm not too worried about crime, more worried about boredom.
 

coachvu

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As others have said, Bridgeport is a rough place these days. Many years ago, it was nice, and P.T. Barnum had his mansion there. These days, it doesn't have much except for a Yale-affiliated hospital. There isn't a nice downtown or anything like that. New Haven would be your best nearby area for a singles scene, and you can get there in 25 minutes if there's no traffic. Being one hour and twenty minutes from New York on the train is a lot better than you think. It's less than $30 round trip and it puts you in the middle of Manhattan. Bridgeport probably has the cheapest cost of living of any of the cities along the Metro North line into Manhattan. You will have to drive to Boston (over two hours), unless you want to take Amtrak from New Haven. You could always live in New Haven or live somewhere like West Haven, which is between New Haven and Bridgeport. For its size, New Haven has one of the best arts scenes in the country, and there are plenty of great bars, restaurants, and shops.
 

MetroStyles

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I grew up in Fairfield and my parents still live there. Bridgeport sucks. But the good news is: most towns surrounding it aren't so bad. If you get a place on the border with Fairfield, or even live in Fairfield, the issue of working in Bridgeport will not be a big deal at all. For work it's fine.
 

visionology

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I used to work in Stratford on the Bridgeport line for 4 years and just happened to drive past it today on the way to Westchester.

Here is my take.

1) Don't live there. It has the highest tax mill rate in the state, due mostly to it's poor population. Surrounding towns, while more money are leagues ahead. Nearby Fairfield, Milford, and Trumbull your best bets under $500,000 for a decent house.

If you are dead set on living in Bridgeport, the Black Rock area near fairfield is actually pretty nice, as is the very top of bridgeport near trumbull and stratford. Nearby stratford is also a dump except near the top portions along route 15. If you are just renting then perhaps it may work with cheaper rents than surrounding cities, I would just stick to the good areas in that case.

2) Another major point is their school systems are awful which just kill resale value for families.

3) Fairfield county is typically Yankee territory however you do see a mix in CT all over. They won't stone you to death or anything like if you wore a Yankees hat in Boston.

4) While 95 is convenient, route 15 IMO is often the better choice. While both are congested and 15 only has 2 lanes, often 95 is a zoo. 15 goes all the way to NY and cuts up to 91 without having to hit the awful 95/91 interchange in New Haven.

5) As coachvu pointed out if the metro north is something you will take frequently then you want to stay somewhat near the line unless you are near a substation. I would take a look at Milford, to me it's a safer option than downtown Norwalk or Stamford and cheaper than Fairfield or Westport.
 

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