Mardi Gras happened last week.
That did not stop people from catching the Beat City Beauties sinning away at the Arch Street Tavern on Sunday night.
The Beat City Beauties are Hartford’s burlesque troupe. This weekend, the performance featured an emcee on stilts (the tall ones, and for the entire show), a salute to Say Anything, beads being pulled from places beads ought not be found, and, it needs to be said, a lot of ladies in the audience.
With a slightly elevated stage at this venue, people in the back of the room actually had a shot at seeing shoes tossed and feather boas thrown.
The next show is on April 6th at the Arch Street Tavern.
Photos below the fold are generally safe for work and do not include final reveals. Continue reading 'Beauties and the Beads'»
Connecticut’s public agencies tasked with managing public transportation services are currently planning the future of transportation for the state. The state Department of Transportation is in the midst of a widespread campaign called Transform CT to solicit public input on its 50 year transportation plan. The Capitol Region Council of Governments will soon begin a comprehensive evaluation of bus lines in the Hartford region.
Both of these efforts touch the city of Hartford’s bus network. So what we do want? What kinds of things should we be asking for? When it comes to improving the bus system, this can be a complex and confusing question even for those of us who ride the bus daily. Many of us feel frustrated with the bus service in Hartford and can cite a litany of complaints—too many connections, no crosstown routes, lack of bus shelters, slow travel speeds and lengthy trips, poor service in the evenings. It’s a big list.
And yet every day (more so on weekdays) all these buses are out driving around the city, often filled with passengers, every single one of them either heading toward or away from downtown.
To get past this vague but overwhelming sense that we could use a better bus system here, we can take some cues from Jarrett Walker’s book Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives. Walker suggests that we can start with two factors that affect the performance of a transit system—frequency and span.
Walker is a transportation planner and consultant, but he comes to transportation planning with a background in studying human cultures and languages rather than engineering or management. His is a book that pays close attention to language—for instance, Walker points out the problems with transit planners’ use of the term “captive” to describe people who are forced to use public transportation because they do not own a car. In another instance he argues that referring to transit “connections” is better than calling them “transfers” when one has to switch to a second bus on a given journey because the former sounds more positive.
Walker is known for being a champion for frequency—for more buses to run more often on a given line as the way to serve and attract more riders. (Other transit planners believe that the comfort and aesthetics of transportation vehicles is equally, if not more, important.) Frequency has become Walker’s rallying cry. “Frequency is freedom,” he exclaims. Walker’s argument is that the more often a bus comes to your bus stop matters even more than the average speed that your bus travels once you get going. This seems counter-intuitive, even irrelevant, for trips made with a car. With a personal automobile frequency is never an issue. The car is always there and ready to depart when you are. For bus travel, it’s the waiting that can really kill your sense of mobility. Continue reading 'When’s the Next Bus? The Future of Hartford’s Transit System'»
Nobody figured out last week’s mystery place, which is in Downtown…somewhere.
This week’s should be easier. If you know where this one is, leave a comment.
Still of a short video by Allison Schulnik
The way I experienced the latest MATRIX installation was to just show up, only having seen the banner. If you like the feel of putting together a puzzle, skip this article and just go see the exhibit.
For the rest of you, read on.
Here’s your homework: go watch Return to Oz (yes, again) and pay special attention to Nome King’s “Ornaments Room.” This is one of the creepiest “family” movies ever. When done, go to the Wadsworth Atheneum and enter Allison Schulnik‘s MATRIX 168. Continue reading 'Allison Schulnik’s MATRIX 168'»
The Capitol Avenue I-84 W entrance ramp is scheduled to be temporarily closed again.
On the evenings of March 10 and March 11 ramp access will be cut off. It will re-open again the following mornings at 5.
There are other nearby entrance ramps including on Asylum Street and Sisson Avenue.
A message from the DOT says that “the closures are necessary for pile-driving operations required for the construction of CTfastrak.”
According to the CT DOT, this work will not have any impact on pedestrians.
Instead of waiting on permits or asking for City Hall’s blessing, the people decided to go parade. The Hartford Hot Several put out a call on Facebook for participants, whether they play instruments, throw beads, wear costumes, carry puppets, or just walk (or roll) along. The idea was to bring Mardi Gras fun to those at bus stops during evening rush hour.
Being New England, these festivities included features that would not be found in New Orleans, like multiple giant snow banks from which the horn section could play. Continue reading 'No Permits, No Worries: The People Make Their Own Mardi Gras Parade'»
At the end of last month the Wadsworth Atheneum quietly closed galleries in its Goodwin, Morgan Memorial, and Wadsworth buildings…for the time being. Susan Talbott, Director and CEO, said the museum remains partially open this year as it begins “winding up” renovations, a process she said is “necessary to protect” the museum’s artwork.
In a presentation to members and donors Monday night, Wadsworth Atheneum staff gave an overview of completed and planned changes, from waterproofing and other exterior renovations, to the development of a high security storage system to creation of its own heating-and-cooling plant. Though discussed, the museum would not be physically expanding its footprint, nor adding parking — there are multiple parking garages within two blocks of the museum, along with on-street parking.
Much of the work remaining was described as what the museum “hopes” to see, with realization contingent on funding. Continue reading 'Wadsworth Begins Final Phase of Major Renovation'»
Do you know where in Hartford this is? Leave a descriptive comment.
Disappointed that this was not a map guiding people to the skate park.
Hartford hosted zoning and transportation meetings this week as one agency launches a new plan and the other moves toward refining regulations.
DOT gives quick explanation of TransformCT at the Lyceum
The Zoning 101 event was presented by Hartford 2000 — the coalition of Neighborhood Revitalization Zones — and the City of Hartford’s Department of Development Services. Actors Cindy Martinez and Taneisha Duggan from HartBeat Ensemble were in the audience at the Hartford Public Library, adding drama to liven up what is often, but does not have to be, presented as a dull topic. All seemed to agree that HartBeat’s involvement was the strong point of the evening.
As the presentation moved along, there was frustration when City of Hartford employees were not answering resident questions. This was intentional at first, as someone’s questions were deferred from middle to the end of the planned presentation. Later, it seemed that people were talking past each other.
Local activist Hyacinth Yennie asked “What about the enforcement? … that’s the most critical of all.” The City employees agreed, but gave no hard answer about how zoning regulations would be enforced.
Mary Ricker Pelletier wanted to know who is on the team that is making the zoning changes. She received no response.
Ricker Pelletier commented that residents are often asked for input at meeting after meeting, but are not involved or informed when compromises are made. She asked, “What is the compromise process?” She was told that people could go to the new zoning website to see how people could be involved. Continue reading 'Engaging the Public on Transportation and Zoning'»