I notice that there are new design specs for Front Street, which is an odd coincidence, because I'm back in San Francisco, thinking a lot about what can done with an area like that. We're staying right next to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. The Ferry Building is a fairly recent rehabbing of an old structure to create a warren of mostly small stores selling local foodstuffs and wines and scented eyepillows stuffed with locally grown herbs and special coffees and ..well it goes on and on. On Saturday mornings it effectively quadruples in size with a farmer's market that rivals anything I have seen anywhere inlcuding Seattle's (more permanent) Pike Street.
I have been thinking for a long while that there are some opportunities to do a more modest version at Front Street. The problem with all these new developments -- including Blue Back -- is that they ultimately don't reflect the flavor of Connecticut. A Front Street that borrowed on the ideas of the Ferry Builidng or New York City's Chelsea Market, with smaller versions of a few the area's most famous restaurant's and maybe a renaissance of Hartford's reknowned Honiss Oyster House and then a lot of stalls selling Connecticut wines, honey, fish, Enfield butter, local cheeses, free range eggs, maple syrup, flowers, beef, pork, lamb and produce would attract both foodies -- the "locavores" seeking anything in season -- and tourists, looking for a specialty item to bring home. Throw in a few ethnic delicacies, like Geor ge Scott's famous meat pies from the Jamaican bakery and about a dozen things I haven't even thought of yet. List your suggestions here. We have a great, aggressive Department of Agriculture that's ready, I think, to work on a project like this.