A few years ago, Carey Shea took a month off, leaving her brownstone in Harlem to care for her sick mother in Bloomfield. While in Connecticut, she saw an adorable abandoned house in Hartford while helping her friend find a new home. Located in the Frog Hollow neighborhood, the English-style townhouse with its brick and clapboard exterior and charming wooden porch spoke to them both, despite needing restoration. So when her friend finally decided against taking on the rehab project, Carey and her husband, Calvin Parker, did, leaving the Big Apple behind for smaller-scale city living.
“One of the first things I noticed when I came back to Hartford was that people were walking their dogs and living downtown,” Carey recalls. “I grew up in Bloomfield, studied at Albano Ballet and was in and out of Hartford all the time. I used to go to Hartford Stage Company, visit Constitution Plaza to see lighting trees and shopping at the G. Fox department store with my grandmother, who worked there. I thought of downtown as a place of commerce, never a residential place, so it was good to see.