Meet Your City: 48 Hours in Hartford, Winter Edition

It happens all the time. Someone from a faraway land writes on a message board that he will be in Hartford for just one day or two, and asks what he should do in that time. Where should he have dinner? What should he see?

And the responses typically range from Continue reading “Meet Your City: 48 Hours in Hartford, Winter Edition”


Meet Your City: Create, Stand, Laugh (Feb 2018)

Tainted Inc recently launched its Creative Studio, providing a space for workshops and other events separate from the Beauty Studio housed in the same building at 56 Arbor Street in Parkville. Shimmies & Shakes: Intro to Burlesque is offered for beginners. For those unfamiliar with burlesque, it’s not exactly striptease. Think more creatively. It’s striptease — usually involving a range of body types and sizes — with an often nerdy punchline. No, you will not need to take off your clothes to participate in this class. Tainted Inc says to: “Wear something you love, bring a prop to dance with, or borrow a boa from us! This workshop is fun and flirty.” There is a $45 fee, which you can pay when you register online for this workshop: February 10th, 3-4:30 pm.

Imagine losing everything, winding up in transitional housing over a thousand miles away from what was home — in a place significantly colder and culturally different — only to have the federal government cut assistance sooner than planned because somehow, the house you left behind, was determined to be livable despite having windows missing from it. Nothing about that scenario is desirable, and it seems that the impacts of Hurricane Maria could have been reduced in severity had there not been a long history of political neglect. It bears repeating: Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Rally and Lobby Day for Puerto Rican Families: February 28th, 1-4 pm at the Connecticut State Capitol.

Talking about movies tends to bore me, which is why I was surprised to find myself enjoying an entire radio show about just that. What’s the secret? The hosts of Culture Dogs, Sam and Kevin, are hilarious. I used to host a rock show scheduled after Kevin’s late night show, and he was funny then too. I don’t find many things funny at 2:30 am, which is when I was rolling into the studio. Sam and Kevin are the featured guests of Chatterbox — a show where improv meets storytelling — on February 9th, 7pm at Sea Tea Comedy Theater. $10.


February 2018 Events in Hartford


To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by February 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published, no exceptions.

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of my knowledge. Events are sometimes cancelled or postponed. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises or want to know what the plan is for inclement weather.

This calendar is curated — it’s not a free-for-all. If an event is not in Hartford or kinda expensive or sketchy or unclear, it’s not going on this calendar without major convincing that it belongs here.

Cedar Hill Cemetery

February 1

  • James C. Scott, in his lunchtime lecture at Trinity College, will explore “why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the ‘barbarians,’ who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.” This is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be provided. This will take place in Wean Terrace Rooms B&C of Mather Hall, 12:15-1:30 pm.


  • Widener Gallery in Austin Arts Center (Trinity College) will be hosting an artist talk by and opening reception for Deborah Buck, whose show “features works on paper that combine Japanese sumi ink with densely layered compositions of acrylic, pastel, and chalk.” 4:30-6:30 pm. Free.


  • Art After Dark: Visit the museum, watch ice sculpture and fire eating demonstrations, watch dance, and more at the Wadsworth Atheneum, 5-8 pm. Stay for a screening of The Big Sick at 8. Admission is $10 general, $5 members, and free for college students with ID.


  • Opening reception for “Passing It On: Traditional Arts Apprenticeships” at Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library (1 Elizabeth Street), 5:30-7:30 pm. See demonstration and performances of Mexican mariachi music, Lebanese singing, Portuguese accordion playing, Somali Bantu basket making, and decorative woodcarving.  They say: “Over twenty years the Southern New England Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program has supported 142 accomplished artists to teach a folk or traditional art form to qualified students through the classic apprenticeship model of regular, informal but intensive one-on- one learning over several months, even years. This long-term learning reflects the time it takes to master the often difficult techniques of these deeply rooted art forms. The process encourages close interaction with the master teaching artist, who transmits not only the artistic skills but also the stories, background, values, and cultural uses of the tradition. A total of 464 artists, both master teachers and apprentices, have participated.” Free, but please rsvp@chs.org


  • Laugh for the Health of It: engage in deep breathing, laughter exercises, and guided meditation in this one-hour class, beginning at 6 pm. Laura Le is the instructor. There is a $5-15 suggested donation. This is at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue).


  • Nails and Wagging Tails: Bring your dog to Naturally Dogs and Cats (10 Trumbull Street), 6-8 pm, for a nail trim. $5.


  • Author Mark Dressler will be giving a talk about his book Dead and Gone at Barnes & Noble (18 Front Street), 6 pm. Book signing follows. Free.


  • Twang Thursday: The National Reserve gives a free performance at Hog River Brewing Company (1429 Park Street), 7-9 pm.


  • The POSSM performs at The Republic (10 Capitol Avenue), 8:30-11 pm. No cover charge.


February 2

  • Take a free “Contracting 101” workshop through University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center. This seminar will cover: “registration requirements for doing business with the State of Connecticut and the federal government; websites for locating federal bids over $25,000; and Connecticut’s bid portal, which includes state & municipal bids and state & federal set-aside programs.” Register online. This is from 9:30 am – 12 pm at the Babcock House (260 Girard Avenue).


  • Angela Davis — The Angela Davis — will be talking at University of Hartford, 11 am – 1 pm, in Lincoln Theater. She has been invited to “discuss her life, career, and social justice issues.” This is free and open to the public.


  • A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka has been adapted by SinkingShip Productions; the one-man show will be performed by Jonathan Levin at HartBeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Avenue), 7:30 pm. This performance will include use of “puppetry, Victorian miniatures and audience participation.” Tickets are $25, with some discounts available.


February 3

  • Stop by ArtWalk Gallery (third floor of Hartford Public Library) to listen to an art talk by Robert Charles Hudson, whose work is currently featured in the space. This free event begins at 11 am.


  • Hartford History Center (third floor of Hartford Public Library) is hosting United Tastes: The Making of the First American Cookbook with Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald. They say: “The ‘first American cookbook,’ American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons, was published initially in Hartford in 1796, then in a revised edition a few months later in Albany. In recent years, it has received a great deal of attention. The Library of Congress has designated it one of the eighty-eight ‘Books That Shaped America,’ and writers about food, both journalists and historians, talk frequently and enthusiastically about it. Yet in all of this current discussion, there has been no attempt to reconstruct the social circumstances and culinary traditions that shaped this book that helped shape America. United Tastes fills this gap, showing how American Cookery—an inexpensive collection of mainly British recipes, interspersed with a few American favorites—was part of an effort to promote a particular version of American national identity, the one favored by the leading citizens of the place it was first published, Connecticut. In making this argument, United Tastes describes in compelling detail the social structure, the homes, the farms, and the foods of Early National Connecticut and the Connecticut River Valley.” 1-3 pm, free.


  • Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story screens at Wadsworth Atheneum at 2. They describe the film: “Hedy Lamarr was a “glamour icon” whose ravishing face was the inspiration for Snow White, and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system used to throw Nazi torpedoes off course. This documentary weaves interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking about her remarkable, yet troubled, life.” Costumes worn by Lamarr will be on view at the theater. Admission is $9, with discounts for seniors, students with ID, and members.



  • Drop by Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue), 6:30-8:30 pm, for a community drum and dance circle. No prior experience is needed. Bring your own percussion instrument or borrow one. There is a suggested $5-15 donation for this event.


Continue reading “February 2018 Events in Hartford”


Thousands at Second Annual Women’s March in Hartford Denounce Hateful Behavior

Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez told the crowd to turn around and look at the building across from the Connecticut State Capitol, just on the other side of Bushnell Park. This hotel is where several dozen families from Puerto Rico relocated following the September 2017 hurricane. They have been there through FEMA’s Transitional Shelter Assistance program. Continue reading “Thousands at Second Annual Women’s March in Hartford Denounce Hateful Behavior”

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