Meet Your City: Wildlife Viewing

Hartford has more than pigeons and squirrels when it comes to wildlife, a fact that should not be surprising to anyone who has so much as looked at a map and seen that there are rivers and wooded areas in the city. (more…)

Rally Against White Supremacy at Capitol

With little notice, a few hundred people came together on Thursday morning to unequivocally oppose white supremacy following last week’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hartford’s Mayor Luke Bronin started the rally by saying that “It’s become difficult over the last year and a half to be shocked by the man who now sits in the Oval Office. But this past week was shocking.

A number of elected politicians followed with speeches on the north side of the Connecticut State Capitol. The rally was peaceful and without incident.

Besides this rally, at least eight vigils were held in Connecticut since Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville while speaking out against the racism. (more…)

Meet Your City: Parades of Yore

Connecticut Veterans Parade, 2011

Today, everything is expected on demand — from ordering groceries online to binge-watching television shows to whatever Tinder is. So, why should it come as a surprise that few want to wait for the entertainment to make its way to them?  Parades can be frustratingly slow and unpredictable in pacing, often taking place during uncomfortable weather.

And anyway, cities are about change, not stagnation. Right? Interests change. Demographics change. Someone finally gets smart and decides it is no longer appropriate to subsidize parades with tax dollars.

Those that had been struggling to draw any crowd of note in recent years would do well to take a time out and reassess if this the current incarnation of the event is worth the time, trouble, and money. (more…)

Meet Your City: Creepy Hartford

Silent Wishes, Unconscious Prayers and Dreams…Fulfilled

This is not about normal creepy or anything on the level of unfathomable disaster.

Normal creepy is what you’d expect from cemeteries in general, the curbside memorials that pop up following car wrecks and murders, hospitals, jails, orphan asylums of yore, and the like. This is more of the “I came here for Monet’s Water Lilies and ended up staring at furniture made from human bones” variety of creepy.

Zion Hill Cemetery

One day I opened an email from my friend Johnna who lives on the Connecticut shoreline. To my delight, she was asking if I would be up for waking up early and wandering through a graveyard with her. There are a few people on the planet who understand me, and she is one of them.

Johnna was researching an article about the oldest person to be executed in the state of Connecticut, a man apparently buried a few blocks from my home. Our outing would mean scouring Zion Hill Cemetery — an unevenly maintained cemetery like most in Hartford — for the grave of Gershom Marx. She had some indication of where his stone might be, but if you have ever visited older cemeteries that sort of have other cemeteries crammed in them, the lines are not always as clear as they could be, not to mention that there is the practice of fencing off and locking sections. (more…)

Meet Your City: Ice Cream

People are passionate about ice cream. I’m among them. Yet, when the question of where to find the dessert (or breakfast) in Hartford gets asked, and responses almost exclusively point to West Hartford Center, I get a little irritated. Not that there’s anything wrong with that other town, but if I’m here and want to make an easy walk to get my frozen dairy fix, why should I hear about what’s at least an hour walk from home?

Besides the treats you can get from just about any convenience store/bodega, supermarket, ice cream truck, or cart, there are more than a few options, so long as you don’t require that it be scooped into a cone, though that can be had within city limits too. Quality varies, as does price. I’ve included items that are technically not ice cream, but can fill in for it as needed. Descriptions are frequently straight from the menu except when the restaurant’s version seemed confusing. (more…)