From the Hartford Courant
In 2020, ‘nice’ has a new definition. Reader’s Digest recently announced its 50 Nicest Places to Live, with a winner in each state. But the criteria isn’t the usual amenities — school caliber, recreation, traffic. Instead, the magazine looks at how, in this year of endless challenges, residents are stepping up to help each other through the twin pandemics of coronavirus and racism. The Town of Bloomfield is Connecticut’s winner.
It began with a nomination. In Connecticut, the story is that of Sophia Shepherd, who says her neighbors went above her expectations to help her. With her freezer full of meat during the early days of the pandemic, it broke down, according to Reader’s Digest. Shepherd had her mother text a neighbor to see if she had space to keep Shepherd’s meat. The neighbor’s freezer was full, but she offered instead a full-size refrigerator, which they were able to bring to her home.
“I will forever be indebted to our neighbor for the kindness they showed us in our time of need without even charging us a dime,” Shepherd tells Reader’s Digest.
The article also heralds the town as the most diverse in Connecticut — 57% Black — and for its communitywide response to the killing of George Floyd.
Reader’s Digest celebrates the town’s response to an incident of racial harassment on June 9, when Michael Fannon, a 56-year-old white man, pulled a gun on a Black man who had pulled is car over to the side of the road. After police charged Fannon with disorderly conduct, more than 100 protesters marched to Fannon’s home, pressing for the addition of a hate crime charge. A charge of intimidation due to bias was later added.
Dozens of comments from Bloomfield residents share what they love about the town, including its mayor, Suzette DeBeatham-Brown, the town’s diversity and its friendly citizens.
To see the full list, visit rd.com/nicest.