I've been in Washington, D.C. and Boston recently, and both are hard to recognize from days past. There are cranes everywhere, and new neighborhoods are springing up, while the old ones are either gentrifying, or just increasing in price. It's amazing to see, in the case of Boston, what a difference 100 miles can make!
Both of those cities have been enjoying boom times, and Boston has been an outlier on the upper end of the growth curve in New England for some time. It has been successful in recruiting biotech companies with high-paying jobs, despite high housing prices, in part because it has reached critical mass in that field. Two-career families can both find employment, and there are lots of research universities around to feed the fire.
Could New Haven become a mini-Boston? In some ways, it already is. Cultural opportunities and the percentage of academics in the population surely rival Boston. Proximity to NYC is important, and we have that. What do we still need? More business and job growth--when Boston, in what's long been called Taxachusetts, seems better from a tax point of view, you know you're in trouble. Better transportation--investment in roads and railroads, plus expansion of Tweed's airline service. And, of course, a more positive reputation--are you listening in Hartford?