The most frequent question I get when I say I live in Hartford, is “Why?”

My parents immigrated to Hartford in the late ’60’s with most of their family. I was born and raised in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood (where the Portuguese community congregated). Parkville was a fun place to grow up as it was a tightly knit community and was close enough to other areas of the city. It has always had an interesting cultural diversity and it still feels like home years later. Even though I’ve moved across town to Asylum Hill, I still return to Parkville to see my family, eat at some of my favorite restaurants (O’Camelo, King & I Thai, Wood’n’Tap), and cultural centers like Real Art Ways and Cinestudio (ok, that one is technically on Trinity College Campus).

It was the community that inspired me to return to Hartford after college when most of my peers were moving to New York, Boston, or out west. One of the great opportunities I received was a job at Hartford Public Access Television, working with the City of Hartford. Not only did it provide me with a job to develop my video production skills, it allowed me to meet and work with many of the people and organizations that make this city a great place to be. All of these elements inspired me to stay and create my own video production company, Rabbit Ears Video, to help document what makes Hartford creative. With arts and cinema institutions like Real Art Ways and Wadsworth Atheneum, a rich history of innovation and creative minds, a rich cultural diversity, and fun local spots and events, the city and the people I meet have inspired me.

I’ve been to plenty of cities, and am love with places like Paris, Lisbon, New Orleans, and Seattle. But there’s something about Hartford that keeps me here and keeps me working at trying to make it better. A lot of it has to do with a great community of talented people that puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional family. Hartford is family to me.