Recently, I invited Congressman Chris Murphy and the mayor of New Britain for lunch. With a law office located in a section of New Britain designated as "Little Poland,” I wanted to introduce the pair to members of the Polonia Business Association. If you live in Connecticut, Little Poland is worth a visit. Visitors can actually conduct an entire day's business completely in Polish. That includes legal consultations with yours truly. The local post office has "POCZTA" written on the window (Polish for Post) and local Police officers are bilingual. The street is full of Polish restaurants, bakeries, delis and a variety of professional services. As a Polish-speaking attorney, it was perfect for me.
After chatting with the Congressman over some Polish delicacies, I learned we had many things in common. He attended Wethersfield High. I attended Rocky Hill High School. (Go Terriers!) We both had Polish mothers. We both went to law school. He went to UCONN Law, while I attended Pace. We both started our legal careers practicing in Hartford. He interned with Senator Chris Dodd. I worked for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. We were both about the same age. Somewhere along the way, we took different paths. Murphy went on to become a Congressman and is now running for the United States Senate. I defend sticky fingered grandmothers and trust fund kids. I was recently ordered by a judge to take custody of a cat in a divorce dispute. Where did our paths separate? I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
Our lunch was held at the Belvedere Restaurant located in the heart of "Little Poland." Once the site of a down and out strip club, the space has been part of the neighborhood's tremendous revitalization effort. Today it is an elegant restaurant that serves Salmon with Mango Salsa, lobster ravioli and roast duck. During our luncheon they even provided caviar. With a capacity crowd that included several Rocky Hill business owners, the Polonia Business Association presented the congressman with a Key to Little Poland honoring his efforts in promoting business growth and his support of the Visa Waiver Program for Poland. The key should open every door in Little Poland. The Congressman just needs to make sure to jiggle it a little.
I also invited Timothy O'Brien, the mayor of New Britain, to introduce him to the various business owners from our group. Attendees included a hodge podge of business people including aerospace manufacturers, attorneys, deli owners, photographers, and insurance agents. I presented the mayor with a top hat from the group. Why? Because every mayor should have a top hat. We also gave him a pair of cufflinks from the 1960 democratic national convention. It was the one that chose JFK as the party's nominee. He seemed genuinely touched.
I extend my warmest thanks to the Mayor and the Congressman for their support. Now if they could only tell me where I took that wrong turn.