Events at the Hartford Public Library

With all the news about people getting it on in the library bathroom, late installation of porn filters on computers, and patrons having difficulty simply getting into the building, it’s easy to forget that this place has interesting (in a PG way) programs offered to the public. There are many programs for kids, including some that appeal to me, like watching clips from Labyrinth and The Sound of Music (6/21 and 6/26 at Barbour Branch, 2pm) and deciding if those would make good books. Some upcoming programs for adults:

June 10: Homebuyer education seminar – Main Branch in the 3rd floor program room from 6-8pm

June 12: Starting a nonprofit: myths and realities – Main Branch in the 3rd floor program room from 10am-12noon.

June 19: film screening of Africa Unite: A Celebration of Bob Marley’s Vision
. This is part of the Caribbean American Heritage Month celebration. This is in the Program Room at the Main Branch from 6:30-8pm.

June 26: Building and Sustaining Your Nonprofit- 9am-noon in the program room at the Main Branch.

Equal Access to HPL

Queers Without Borders reports that

Seven months ago Claude Holcomb of ADAPT of Connecticut began this effort to get the main doors of the Hartford Public Library accessible for all. Seven months later we bring this unsolved problem to the steps of City Hall. The work hasn’t been started and for seven months we have been given the run-a-round by employee’s in Constituent Services, Public Works and by the Director of Hartford Public Libraries. We have been told by these same people to “go around to the back door.”

This Friday at noon, ADAPT, Queers Without Borders, and other activists will gather at City Hall to protest the lack of access power buttons at the main entrance of the Hartford Public Library. They are demanding that work on installing the buttons begin by July 1, 2008, and that they receive proof that progress toward that end is being made.

On Foot

capandbroadgas.jpgYesterday I walked ten miles. I walked to work, the garden, and later to see a movie. Part of why I have been walking more is environmental, but part of it is that I prefer not to work four jobs simply to pay for gas. I took this photo today at the gas station on the corner of Broad and Capitol. I was cutting through the lot on my way to the farmers’ market, and not actually stopping there to buy gas.

The Other Opening Day

billingsforge.jpgToday is the first day for the season that the Farmers’ Market at Billings Forge will be open. Last year they only ran one day each week, but now they will be open on Mondays and Thursdays from 11am-2pm. Last year I found some tomatillos and great bread there. Billings Forge is on Broad Street in Frog Hollow, close to Capitol Avenue (near the Fire Box restaurant). Besides cash, they accept Visa, Mastercard, EBT, and WIC for payment.

edited to add: There are two bread vendors, dressing, pies, asparagus, salad greens, tomato and pepper plants, herbs, granola, rhubarb, maple candy, goat cheese, and things I’m surely forgetting.

New Farmers’ Markets
Although not open yet, there will also be two new markets at different locations in the city.

There will be a market run at the Alchemy Juice Bar from May 31st-September on Fridays from 3-7pm and Saturdays from 10am-noon. There will also be an indoor winter market running in the old G.Fox building (960 Main) from November 6, 2008 through April 30, 2009 on Thursdays from 9am-3pm. Currently, vendors set up tables on Thursdays from about 10-2 (some earlier, some later) in that space, selling jewelry, sunglasses, bags, random junk and crafts.


Here’s your choice for Sunday reading:

Jude has written about and posted photos of changes along New Britain Avenue. Sad-looking areas have gotten makeovers and new businesses are popping up.


You can read the Courant‘s breaking news that people are masturbating in the Hartford Public Library. Seriously, folks, are we going to pretend that this is news? People engage in “lewd behavior” in libraries. It’s even been documented in pop culture. It might not be pleasant to think of this happening, but trust me, it’s not a problem unique to Hartford. When I was growing up, I witnessed teenagers smoking pot behind the library; people would sneak off to do things in the back aisles where fewer patrons went. That was in a small, mostly wealthy, suburban town– years ago! I’d be more interested in knowing how many more residents have gotten library cards since the HPL’s re-opening.

Creative Cocktail Hour: Random Art

balloons.jpgI’m trying to figure out if the three works on display by three artists have anything in common. Sam Gibbons’ work was cartoonish art that I still contend looks like stoner art that one would find at Spencer’s Gifts or a head shop. It didn’t do much for me. A friend said it was trippy, as opposed to being stoner art. I don’t know what the distinction is, but clearly could not appreciate it as much as he could. There are supposed to be hidden images of sex and violence. I could see these, but I was not sure what the message was. (more…)

Housing: Crisis and Rebates

Perez released this yesterday:

Hartford Rent Rebate Program to start on May 15, 2008
The Department of Health & Human Services will begin processing applications for the
Elderly/Disabled Tax Rebate Program on May 15, 2008 thru September 15, 2008. The
department’s Senior Services Division, which processed a record number of over 4000
applications last year, anticipates an increase for this year.

Good News = Not News

I had to dig a little to find anything on Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the South Branch Trail in the Behind the Rocks neighborhood. Of course, news of heroin convictions and other crimes are posted as headlines for the city. Eventually, the trail should connect up to Bushnell Park and Pope Park, if the funding does not disappear.

Tangentially related, there will be a plant sale over the Memorial Day weekend (that’s May 23 and 24th, for those of you who are oblivious to such holidays) at 75 Laurel Street (Knox Parks Foundation). There will be flowers, herbs, and vegetable plants for sale. This is a fundraiser for the Knox Green Crew.