If you’re American, you think Border State and the American Civil War. Well this is a Civil War of another sort; a tale of two cities, er regions. New England and New York, Boston and New York City. This isn’t what Charles Dickens had in mind, when he wrote A Tale of Two Cities.
Of course baseball fans now know what I am talking about: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees. (I once wore a Mets cap and Red Sox shirt to a game at Yankee Stadium. It works like a charm. Even the cops were afraid of me. Probably thought I was a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal but it worked, who cares)?
Sorry, off on a tangent. Let’s discuss history a little. Boston and New York as cities were rivals long before there was any such thing as baseball. During the colonial era, Boston and Philadelphia were the main East Coast ports. Boston was already miserable because they lost Ben Franklin to Philadelphia. (Let’s call a spade a spade, he ran away from an apprenticeship under his brother. Something also tells me his dalliances with the ladies would have been banned in Puritan Boston. Luckily he was born after the Salem Witch Trials). Was ol’ Ben a Boston predecessor to some guy named Babe Ruth?
New York and Boston had very different origins. New York (where I grew up as a Dutch colony to make money: Boston as a safe haven for Englishmen and Englishwomen, who were in trouble with the established Church of England and therefore the King). The American Revolution began with Paul Revere’s ride Lexington and Concord in Boston, New York City (then the lower tip of Manhattan was heavily loyal to the Crown).
Then in 1825 Boston was hit over the head and never caught up again. New York State built Clinton’s Folly (Governor De Witt Clinton). The Erie Canal. New York City had easy access to the new Midwestern states and became the main East Coast port. Boston lost the race. Something that would be repeated when baseball was invented.
So where does Connecticut fit into this? What’s between them? If you drive from Boston to Manhattan, what is two hours in the middle? If you take the Chinatown Bus there is a rest stop in a place called West Haven. Yes, Virginia there is a Connecticut. Most of your trip will be through this border state.
Connecticut is officially a New England state. It’s Southwestern County, Fairfield County looks to New York City, not New England. People in Fairfield County take commuter trains into New York. The parts of Connecticut closer to Boston are more rural; one of the few parts of the East Coast, that are not lit up at night.
Aren’t you glad baseball wasn’t invented during colonial times? You might have guys with three corner hats and muskets shooting at each other from behind trees and stone farm walls.
The Connecticut River, which cuts the state in two would have to act as the border. A bar in Norwalk plays a softball game with a bar in Old Saybrook. It can get heated. The Norwalk bar has Yankees regalia, the Old Saybrook bar, Red Sox regalia.
And this is why Connecticut is a border state. I am a Mets fan, what do I know? I also root for the Sox as I am one half of a mixed marriage. You need to see another essay for that.