Artful Addictions

Erik BowenGlassine bags are grease, air, and water resistant bags with a variety of uses, but the ones that you might find on the ground most likely contained marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. What was most surprising to me during Tom Fruin‘s talk last night at Real Art Ways was how many people in the audience either did not know what glassine bags are commonly used for or had not seen them littering the sidewalks in Hartford. This was particularly surprising to me because Connecticut has “ranked first in the nation for the rate of heroin-related treatment admissions per 100,000 population,” and Hartford has had the most admissions of cities in Connecticut. Whenever I walk anywhere, I see glassine bags, and it does not matter whether I’m in a “bad area” or in a nicer one. Fruin had collected bags along his walk to the gallery, and the number he had again made me a bit confused as to how people from around here could never have noticed these littering the ground. The picture to the left shows bags he found while in Hartford yesterday.
Continue reading “Artful Addictions”

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The Morning After

If the drama and constant chattering about the upcoming election has not made you hide from your neighbors yet, you might be interesting in talking about it even more the day after the vote.

Professor Derek Maxfield will be leading a discussion on the results of the elections and their significance on November 5th from noon until 1 in the Centinel Hill Hall at Capital Community College. The discussion is titled “Election Postmortem.” Like all of the lunchtime lecture series, this is free and open to the public.

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Know Your Rights

If you remember back to the 2004 and 2000 elections, there was a bit of madness reported as having ensued on Election Day—-tampering with equipment; voter intimidation, fraud, and suppression. Actually, that happened in last year’s mayoral election right here in Hartford.

On Wednesday, October 29th, there will be a free community event: “On Election Day: Knowing Your History, Knowing Your Rights.”

The panels will be moderated by N’Zinga Shäni who is the Executive Director of OneWorld Progressive Institute. There are three panels: Voting Rights History and Issues, Voters’ Politics and Political Issues, and Voters’ Rights and Awareness.

Panelists scheduled to appear:
Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean
Dr. Evelyn Simien
Dr. Charles Venator
Dr. Stefanie Chambers
Dr. Kaaryn Gustafson
Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar
Andy Sauer

Unlike the racially homogeneous pundits and panelists on the major news stations, these panelists represent much more diversity.

The program runs from 6-7:45pm, with light refreshments available starting at 5:30pm. This is at the Main Branch of the Hartford Public Library.

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Being Broke Ain’t No Joke

I was told there’d be no clowns – nothing scarier than a clown. -Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City

Actually, there is one thing scarier than a clown, and that is two clowns simulating sex on stage.

Hartbeat Ensemble
‘s Rich Clown, Poor Clown, Beggar Clown, Thief is so good that you should get over any deeply embedded clown fears you may have in order to see it. I will admit to being uneasy for about the first five minutes because the slapstick antics and clown make-up creeped me out. As the show progressed, the idea grew on me.
For those who are, like myself, totally not into audience participation, I would advise seating yourself strategically where you may be behind others. With that said, it’s hilarious to watch others get roped into different interactions with the clowns, especially when food is involved.

The show acts as an historical reenactment of the War on Poverty. Gregory R. Tate performs as several bumbling U.S. presidents. I think his renditions of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were my favorites. The best part was that George W. Bush’s appearance was minimal, a mere blip.

This is why you should see the show: vamping, reference to the bailout, table drink service, juggling (it’s what gets juggled that’s funny), government cheese, jazz hands, diaper humor, and the Cabaret-style introductions. Though I found the Plays in the Parks to be a bit unpolished and heavy-handed, this show was the opposite. I think they prove that serious issues do not need to be treated with solemnity, as humor delivers the message as well, if not more effectively.
photo by erik bowen
It will be playing through November 1, 2008 at 233 Pearl Street. Showtimes are at 8pm on Thursday and Friday, and at 7pm and 9:30pm on Saturday. The doors open about 30 minutes before the show. The ticket price is suggested as $15, though they have a policy of not turning people away for lack of funds. You can preview the show on the Hartbeat Ensemble website.

P.S. This is an adult show. While there’s no nudity, I think many parents would feel uncomfortable with their children hearing/seeing the bawdy jokes.

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Hooker Day Parade

Thanks to the Hooker Day Parade–a celebration of Rev. Thomas Hooker, the founder of Hartford–I am now the proud owner of about a dozen Mardi Gras-style necklaces and a few packets of flower seeds. Here are some shots of the parade:
Cone Street representin’ Continue reading “Hooker Day Parade”

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Lamont Who?

As part of the ongoing Lunchtime Lecture series, Capital Community College will be bringing Ned Lamont to its Main Street campus on Tuesday from 1-2pm in the Community Room. He will be there to discuss his own future plans, the presidential campaign, and politics in Connecticut. These series are free and open to the public.

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Happy Hazardous Waste Collection Day!

hazardouswaste.jpgTomorrow, you too can get rid of the hundreds of pesky moth balls that have been taking up residence in your living room since May. But it won’t be easy. You’ll have to schlep yourself and your hazardous waste down to the Hartford Water Pollution Control Facility at 240 Brainard Road between 8am and 1pm. The announcement on the City of Hartford website requests that the waste be placed in their original containers and transported by box; the MDC’s website is a bit more specific with their guidelines:

• Bring your waste in their original containers whenever possible. Please make sure all containers are closed. It is dangerous to transport open containers.
• Do not mix different products.
• Collect your waste containers in disposable boxes or bins, which should be transported in your
trunk. Do not put your Household HazWaste in the backseat with your children or pets.
• NO SMOKING IN YOUR CAR! Most wastes are flammable.
• Bring something to read, the wait is usually 5-15 minutes, but can be up to 30 minutes
(and at the very large collections sometimes longer).
• If possible, leave children and animals at home.

Continue reading “Happy Hazardous Waste Collection Day!”

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City Council Agenda

Excuse me, the Court of Common Council (how British sounding!) will be meeting on Monday to secure the righteous excellence of Hartford. Here are selected items for your previewing pleasure:

2. MAYOR PEREZ, with accompanying resolution de Authorization to accept the COPS 2008 Secure Our Schools (SOS) Grant Program from the United State Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for state of the art surveillance and communications equipment.

Because surveillance is always the answer.
Continue reading “City Council Agenda”

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Clown Cabaret

Hartbeat Ensemble
Hartbeat Ensemble’s latest production–Rich Clown, Poor Clown, Beggar Clown, Thief–can be caught at 233 Pearl Street. It’s described as an “adult clown cabaret” with lots of physicality. The show is concerned with poverty, and like most of Hartbeat Ensemble’s works, has a distinct Hartford flavor to it.

You can catch it until November 1st. It begins at 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7 & 9:30 on Saturdays. For ticket information, call 548-9144.

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Monday-Monday is a weekly gathering/party hosted by the Pearl Street League at TheaterWorks (233 Pearl Street), mainly for downtown residents, though they haven’t thrown me out yet. It’s free, as is the wine and cheese provided by Bin 228. Each week they focus attention on a few individuals who might be doing something in Hartford. Last night was a bloggers night.
photo by Erik Bowen
As pictured, Helder Mira, Sam McKinniss, Kerri Provost (me), and Amy Bergquist were asked a few questions. Continue reading “Pearls”

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