I really do not make resolutions, but I’ll humor those of you who do. First, you are already fabulous and beautiful, so I am going to assume that any “I need to exercise” resolution is related to your health and not to meeting some ridiculous narrowly-conceived standard of beauty.
Phit Pilates: This studio located at 56 Arbor Street offers only one class per week, but does allow for private sessions to be arranged (at a high cost, of course). The website shows an equipped and well-lit studio.
Fuller Movement Center: For pole dancing, yoga, pilates, Zumba, and Capoeira, classes are available at 1477 Park Street (at Bartholomew Ave). Right now, their schedule only lists yoga, pilates, and pole dancing. They offer some free beginner’s classes.
Hartford Public Library: as previously noted, the main branch of the library will be hosting free Tai Chi classes.
Pole Control Studios: If you are looking for something different, there is a pole dance studio on Pratt Street. The idea of this does not creep me out, but their website does, from the email address right on down to the lack of posted schedule. They do state that they are involved in some kind of “philanthropic effort” with a few causes– breast cancer and domestic violence. Something about the website seems unprofessional, from the lack of spell checking to the design. The storefront on Pratt didn’t seem inviting either.
YMCA: The YMCA on Trumbull Street offers memberships on a sliding scale to make it more accessible to those with lower incomes. The downside is that the pool is located at the Learning Corridor on Vernon Street, two miles away– not terribly convenient. The website says that the Trumbull Street location has “a full Nautilus circuit, Techno Gym circuit, free weight area, and 51 pieces of cardiovascular equipment.” Not being into work outs, this doesn’t mean anything to me, so you will have to be the judge of whether or not this is worth the trouble. They also have a steam room, sauna, meditation center, library, and massage.
Uechi Karate Academy:The karate academy is at 92 Brown Street. They have classes for adults and children; the academy holds classes Monday-Thursday and Saturday.
W.F.C. Martial Arts & Fitness: Located at 750 Wethersfield Avenue, they will be having an open house on January 3rd. They have Zumba, kickboxing, and strangely, Haganah: “The Haganah self-defense system is a complete Israeli Combative methodology based on both Israeli martial arts and Israeli military tactics used by Israeli Special Forces operatives in extremely hostile situations.” Another class that they offer which I think is worth mentioning: ITF/Knife Fighting. There are classes for adults and children.
Saturday Hoopsters: This is a Saturday morning basketball clinic for 8-10 year olds. There is an opportunity to help coach if you feel the need to run around a bit. There’s an inexpensive registration fee of $5.
Free and No Paperwork or Reservations Required: Bike! Walk! Visit the city parks for basketball, tennis, or running aimlessly. Pope Park has an indoor pool. Goodwin Park has a fitness course. Riverside Park has a rock climbing wall as part of the adventure challenge course. Besides all the expected athletic fields, Keney Park has a cricket field.
City of Hartford Parks & Recreation Department: Now, if you want to find out about what organized recreational sports and activities are being offered by the City of Hartford, you have to jump through hoops. I guess you get some exercise from the start. In many towns, the Rec & Parks Department will send out a printed schedule that lists upcoming classes, activities, etc. Others will place this information clearly on their websites. For instance, my hometown–which is not what I would ever describe as being on the cutting edge of anything–does both. I understand that funding can be a concern, so in my mind, I would expect to see a downloadable form on a website, and then programs left only in strategic places like the library, city hall, and in rec centers, and then made available by request. The City of Hartford does not have a Rec & Parks Department. They have a Department of Health and Human Services, in which there is a division for Recreation. Upon looking at their website, I was instantly annoyed. There were no downloadable programs, or even a list of what types of programs are offered. The information was all old, and as I came to learn, also outdated. (While I’m kvetching about this, I think the City of Hartford needs to get their act together with making the websites useful. Information about lead paint does not belong on a recreation page. If you are not going to bother to be normal and have an actual Parks & Rec Department like most other towns and cities, at least keep information relevant and updated. I understand how recreation can fall into the health department, but not all health topics fit in the recreation category. )I attempted to contact the Division Manager, who did not respond to my email query. Next, I noticed that there is a “Recreation Hotline.” I was not looking forward to sitting through a long pre-recorded message, furiously taking down notes on all of the offerings. Turns out, I never had to. I dialed 543-8877, the number listed on the website. I was then redirected to 543-8876. Why this information was not posted on the site in the first place, I don’t know. The woman who answered the phone was polite and tried to be helpful, but she sounded bewildered, as if I was the first person to ever ask for a full listing of programs. She offered to put together information for me. When I asked if there was any place where I could just readily get this information, she said “no,” and suggested that I call another number– 543-8677. It seems that if you have something in mind, then it would be helpful to call them up with a question like “Do you have any tumbling classes that my four-year-old daughter could take?” But, if you just want to know what the options in general are, you are either at a loss, or going to force someone to throw together pages of information specifically for you. And we wonder why people run the streets and hang out on front stoops? Who wants to go on a wild goose chase to see what her other options are?
Maybe we can resolve in the New Year that our first new action be to demand that the City of Hartford drag itself into the 21st century with its methods of disseminating information. If they provide updated and easy to find information, maybe we can compromise and let them keep the ridiculous scrolling marquis on the city’s main website.