Walk Across Connecticut 2018 — Day 2

Only 14 miles today! I spent most of the day in Hartford, before making my way through Wethersfield and Newington and New Britain.
I get started bright and early at the University of Hartford but the sky is already looking ominous. Not a good sign. I set out and make my way toward Albany Ave, one of the main streets in the North End of Hartford.
Mayor Bronin and Rep. Brandon McGee meet me for breakfast at Scotts’ Jamaican Bakery, which has been serving the North End for more than 35 years. While I eat my spinach and cheese patty we meet Nigel, who talks with us about the importance of mentorship programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“I’ve never lost at ping pong,” says one of the students giving me the tour. I challenge him to a quick game. Unsurprisingly, he wins — but I do manage to take a point off him!
The meeting with students is the highlight of my day. We talk about public schools, trying to afford college, urban trauma and feeling safe at school (they’re overwhelmingly against arming teachers but agree we need to find ways to make schools safer.) We talk about the challenges they’re facing, but they also tell me about the dreams they have for themselves. One girl wants to be a physician’s assistant. One is planning to be an OB/GYN. I leave with the feeling that our future is in good hands.
Lots of people in the North End tell me and the Mayor that they’re working harder than ever but it’s hard to meet ends meet when jobs don’t pay well.
I get a tip that Capital Ice Cream is having their grand opening party tomorrow. I’ll be walking, but I stop by to say hi to the owners and congratulate them on their new business.
After a quick lunch at Sol de Borinquen on Park Street I stop into El Mercado. Many of the people I talk to in the South End are upset about Trump’s immigration policies — especially family separation.
Before leaving Hartford I had to stop into my favorite pizza spot in the city, First and Last. And I ran into good friend and Hartford celebrity, Marilyn Rossetti!
A great surprise when I hit my street — my brother Ben and wife are in town and he and his twin boys run up the street to meet me! I catch up with them for a little bit before hitting the road for the last leg of the day.
I head into Hard Hittin’ New Britain for the last couple miles of my day.
My last stop is Taste of Jamaica on Arch Street in New Britain. The owner Miss George said the jerk chicken would be too spicy for me so she sends me on my way with some curried chicken to enjoy for dinner.

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