Daily Life in the Greater Hartford Area

Finding a Place to Live

Finding a place to live can sometimes be a difficult and exhausting experience, but the following ideas should help you in your search to find a place to live in the Greater Hartford area.

UConn Health does not have on-campus housing, so you will need to find housing off campus. Very often students at UConn Health post advertisements for roommates or apartment rentals on information boards located throughout the building.

There is also a student housing group online at http://studentaffairs.uchc.edu/housing/index.html that lists some of the available housing options as well as posts from  students seeking roommates from the Graduate, Medical and Dental Schools.

Additionally, a list of some of the local apartment complexes (PDF) has been compiled to get you started in your search.

If you aren’t able to locate a place through either of these resources, or if you’re not interested in rooming with a fellow student, other choices for finding a suitable place to live would include the classified ads in both the New Britain Herald and the Hartford Courant, and free weekly newspapers such as Tradewinds and the Rare Reminder (each available at convenience stores in West Hartford and Hartford) are a good source for local apartments (usually those in two and three family homes).

Additionally, some websites that many students have found helpful include:

Scanning the classified ads can be time consuming though. An alternative to the classified ads is to use the Apartment Guide. This guide can be obtained in lobbies of banks and some grocery stores or at the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. Virtually all the apartments advertised in the Apartment Guide are in large complexes located throughout the Greater Hartford area.

As a last resort, check with a local realtor, but keep in mind that the apartments that they have listed are often expensive.

Wherever you find a place to live, keep in mind that usually a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent is required and sometimes a credit check (at your cost) will be conducted. However, many apartment complexes will offer specials throughout the year, especially in the summer, so be sure to ask if they have any deals!

Public Transportation

Many apartments in Farmington and nearby cities are on the local bus line, which has UConn Health as one of its stops. Local buses also run to West Farms Mall on the Farmington/West Hartford town line and Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, among other locations. Details on the local bus system (known as CTTransit), including bus fares, where to purchase bus passes, where local bus routes run, and what their schedules are can be found on their website at www.cttransit.com. The UConn Health stop can be found on both the New Britain Farmington Avenue line (F line) and the Hartford Farmington Avenue line (66F, 66H and 66T).

For regional and cross country travel by train or bus, you can travel out of the Hartford Terminal at 1 Union Place in downtown Hartford. For train information, check out www.amtrak.com. National/regional bus companies that run out of the Hartford terminal include Greyhound and Peter Pan.

For air travel, plan on flying into/out of Bradley International Airport located in Windsor Locks, CT, which is about 40 minutes from the Greater Hartford area (when purchasing tickets, Bradley International (airport code BDL) will often show the city as Hartford/Springfield/Windsor Locks; this is the correct airport). Major airlines including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United, and US Airways all fly into/out of BDL. For more information on the airport itself, go to www.bradleyairport.com.

Local Banks

There are a vast number of branches of local banks in close proximity to UConn Health. Most of the products offered are the same but keep in mind that several banks offer free checking (no monthly service charge, no minimum balance requirement, and no fee to write checks) as long as you have direct deposit to your account. Peoples Bank (several locations on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford) offers such an account and it comes with a special savings account which pays a nominal interest rate. They have an extremely convenient ATM at the hospital entrance to UConn Health, as well as inside local Stop & Shop grocery stores. On the other hand, Fleet Bank requires a minimum balance in your checking account to avoid fees.

To sign up for direct deposit, the bank will either provide you with the forms needed or instruct you to obtain them at UConn Health (you can get them from Human Resources in the ASB). In any case, remember to shop around to avoid losing precious dollars by paying unnecessary bank service charges. Be sure to ask if they have a student checking account and if so, what the benefits are. Your stipend only goes so far!

Here’s a list of some of the banks you’ll find close to UConn Health. Also, check the Yellow Pages of the phone directory for a location closer to you.

  • Bank of America, 781 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, 800-841-4000
  • Farmington Savings Bank, 32 Main Street, Farmington, 860-679-4600; also located in West Farms Mall
  • Fleet Bank, 1447 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, 1-800-833-6623
  • Peoples Bank, 1013 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, 860-233-6201
  • Sovereign Bank, 1010 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, 1-877-SOV-BANK
  • TD Banknorth, 143 South Main Street, West Hartford, 860-561-7335

Where to Find Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are abundant in the Greater Hartford area. You can easily find chain stores (Super Stop & Shop, Big Y, Shaw’s, etc.), regional markets, great mom and pop stores, and specialty stores featuring ethnic cuisine. Most of the larger stores are located in more populated areas and on busy streets. You can probably locate one close to you simply by driving around. The closest grocery store to UConn Health is the Stop & Shop at 1235 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford. Also convenient to where many students live is the Super Stop & Shop at 44 Fenn Road (just off Route 9) in Newington. Reliable mom and pop stores can probably be found in the neighborhood you choose to live, although prices tend to be higher than at the large retail chains. To find those specialty shops or markets special in ethnic groceries check the Yellow Pages of the phone directory. You can also find links to grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. athartford.citysearch.com.

Car Mechanics

A good place to have your oil changed is Jiffy Lube. They offer a 14 point service check-up for approximately $40.00. You are in and out of there in about 20 minutes. Jiffy Lube can be found in virtually every town and there is one located directly across from the West Farms Mall in the Sears Automotive building.

Midas, Firestone, Meineke, and Monro are good places to have brake and muffler repairs. Midas is impressive in that they offer “car life-time warrantees” on most of their services. Also, these services can be found in most towns.

A word of caution. Local garages may seem appealing when they offer lower prices for repairs compared to dealerships or national automobile repair companies. However, their work can be poor, unreliable, and not guaranteed, so be sure to ask around!

Local Haircut Places

Salons and barber shops are abundant in the Greater Hartford area. Most of the salons in Farmington and West Hartford however are quite expensive. Depending on how fussy you are, try a salon which does not offer the frills (fancy appearance and other services such as nails, waxing, facials, tanning) and you will probably get a decent cut at a reasonable price ($15.00 to $20.00). Also, keep in mind that if you do not let them style your hair (blow dry and curl) you may pay less. You can also save money by requesting that they do not wash you hair first, but simply wet it. Remember to ask before they begin to see if any student discounts or rates apply.

Hair salons are listed under Beauty Salons in the Yellow Pages and Barber shops under Barbers. Some that we suggest are: Cost Cutters in Bristol and Master Cuts in West Farms Mall and Buckland Hills Mall (in Manchester).

Local Libraries and Bookstores

Your local library is a valuable community resource to be used. Usually you have to show ID (passport, driver’s license), and proof of residence in that town. Often libraries will bend this rule for out-of-state students living within their community and attending college. The West Hartford Public Library system offers such a program. In addition, most public libraries in Connecticut allow you to borrow materials free of charge with what’s called a “ConnecticaRoad” When you borrow materials out of town, just be sure to follow the lending rules of the library you visit. Materials may be returned to the nearest participating library. Remember, libraries can be great places to study.

The Town of West Hartford has three public libraries:

  • Main Library, 20 South Main Street, 860-523-3277
  • Faxon Branch, 173 New Britain Avenue, 860-523-5545
  • Bishop’s Corner Branch, 15 Starkel Road, 860-236-5445

In Farmington there are two public libraries:

  • Farmington Library, Farmington Avenue, 860-673-6791
  • Village Library, Main Street, 860-677-6866

There are several large scale bookstores that are in close proximity to UConn Health. These bookstores are Borders Books and Music and Barnes and Noble. Each are located on New Britain Avenue (close to the West Farms Mall and Corbins Corner). Each offer a wide selection of books and music and also boast great cafes. There are also several book stores in the local malls, and used book shops in the area.

Post Offices

No matter which city or town you choose to live in, you should find a post office nearby. To locate the nearest one to you see “The Government & Municipal Guide” in the Blue Pages of your phone book under United States Government/United States Postal Service or visit the U.S. Postal Service website. The closest Post Office to UConn Health is located in West Hartford Center on 102 LaSalle Road, 860-231-2865.

You can buy stamps at the Bookstore and Connucopia Gift Shop in the hospital lobby. There is a mailbox just outside the Academic Entrance where you can drop letters to be mailed; daily pickup is currently 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday (there is no mail delivery on Sundays).

Places of Worship

The Greater Hartford area is home to numerous religious organizations. You can find those closest to you in the Yellow pages under ‘Churches,’ but here are a few options in the Greater Hartford area.

Baptist

  • Farmington Avenue Baptist Church, 149 Mountain Road, West Hartford, 860-521-8380
  • Chinese Baptist Church, 90 North Main Street, West Hartford, 860-521-4763
  • Saint James Baptist Church, 20 Dix Avenue, New Britain, 860-224-7736
  • Emmanuel Baptist Church, 296 New Britain Avenue, Newington, 860-666-1055
  • First Baptist Church of West Hartford, 90 North Main Street, West Hartford, 860-521-9460

Buddhist

  • Buddhist Pagoda, 255 Cherry Street, New Britain, 860-612-0077

Catholic

  • Saint Patrick’s Church, 110 Main Street, Farmington, 860-677-2639
  • Saint Brigid Church, 1088 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, 860-236-5965
  • Holy Cross Church, 31 Biruta Street, New Britain, 860-229-2011
  • Church of the Holy Spirit, 183 Church Street, Newington, 860-666-5671

Church of Christ

  • Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 19 Franklin Square, New Britain, 860-832-9091
  • Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 595 Franklin Avenue, Hartford, 860-243-0502
  • Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 750 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike, Southington, 860-6285-0617

Congregational

  • Covenant Congregational Church, 1 Westminster Drive, West Hartford, 860-521-2269
  • Church-Christ Congregational, 1075 Main Street, Newington, 860-666-4689
  • South Congregational Church, 90 Main Street, New Britain, 860-223-3691

Episcopal

  • Saint James Episcopal Church, 3 Mountain Road, Farmington, 860-677-1564
  • Grace Episcopal Church, 124 Maple Hill Avenue, Newington, 860-666-3331
  • Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 679 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, 860-523-5201
  • Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, 147 West Main Street, New Britain, 860-826-8049

Hindu

  • Connecticut Valley Hindu Temple, 18 Hickory Hill Road, Simsbury, 860-651-0343

Islam

  • Muhammad Mosque of Islam, 135 Barbour Street, Hartford, 860-525-2862

Jehovah’s Witness

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses, 232 Slater Road, New Britain, 860-223-9117

Jewish

  • Temple Sinai, 41 West Hartford Road, Newington, 860-561-1055
  • Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, 860-233-9696
  • Temple B’Nai Israel, 265 West Main Street, New Britain, 860-244-0479

Korean

  • Greater Hartford Korean United, 711 New Britain Avenue, Hartford, 860-953-0141
  • First Korean Presbyterian, 300 Chapel Road, Manchester, 860-645-1416

Lutheran

  • Bethany Lutheran Church, 1655 Boulevard, West Hartford, 860-521-5076
  • Grace Lutheran Church, 222 Farmington Avenue, Plainville, 860-747-5191
  • Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 1655 Main Street, Newington, 860-667-2291
  • First Lutheran Church, 77 Franklin Square, New Britain, 860-224-2475

Methodist

  • West Hartford United Methodist, 1358 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, 860-521-7766
  • United Methodist Church, 401 New Britain Avenue, Newington, 860-666-3479
  • Asbury United Methodist Church, 90 Church Avenue, Bristol, 860-584-0529

Non-Denominational

Presbyterian

  • Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, 860-521-6240
  • First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capital Avenue, Hartford, 860-246-2224
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church, 124 Old Farms Road, Simsbury, 860-658-9772
  • First Korean Presbyterian, 300 Chapel Road, Manchester, 860-645-1416

Unitarian

  • Unitarian Universalist Church, 830 Corbin Avenue, New Britain, 860-828-6141
  • Unitarian Meeting House, 50 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford, 860-233-9897