Beer Pong is Essential to the Health of Downtown…Not

Recently, the Courant reported that both Mad Dawg’s and Room 960 have been shut down for liquor license violations (i.e. serving minors and not having a license, respectively), but it seems they have stripped their website of all evidence that this article was ever published. It’s enough to make one wonder if this story was real, or just some shady, splotchy pseudo memory accompanying a bad hangover. Neither of the two bars have any mention of an hour change or temporary closing on their websites.

This demands the question of why.

Was the story incorrect or inaccurate? If so, providing corrections would have been more helpful and professional than simply removing the information from the newspaper’s online presence, as if pretending like it never happened would resolve the situation. I understand the practice of removing older publications, but when something is still fresh news, it seems more logical to update the information. Having just checked, I do not see any reference to the article in the Corrections section of the site.

Certain stories on the newspaper’s site allow comments and others do not. Sometimes, an article begins one way and is later changed. Do articles disappear for the same reason — pressure?

If anyone at the Courant has an answer regarding why entire stories disappear from their site, I would love to hear from them.

Tamarind Grill vs. Restaurant Week

Breaking a long drought of not dining out, I decided to satisfy my curiosity about Tamarind Grill during Taste of Hartford Restaurant Week, an event I would find more enjoyable if there were more vegetarian options and/or if the $20.10 price felt worthwhile for the existing veggie options. Since meat-free meals are generally less expensive, restaurant week usually means getting less of a bargain. It’s not that these restaurants have nothing vegetarian on their menus — they do. But if the goal is to get new customers via the restaurant week, they should have no problem catering to what is a sizable portion of the population. If a self-described steakhouse does not want to do this, there’s no love lost, but most restaurants do not fall into this category. A small salad, pasta, and dessert cost far less than $20 to prepare. If most of the participating restaurants added a glass or wine or a hearty appetizer to the vegetarian option, I would call it fair. (more…)

Benefit for Immaculate Conception Shelter

On Saturday, January 23rd, a performance of Handel’s Messiah (part I and the Hallelujah chorus) will take place at Our Lady of Sorrows on New Park Avenue at 6pm. This concert is a benefit for the Immaculate Conception Shelter, which operates two no-freeze shelters — one on Park Street and one on Lafayette Street.

Admission is free, but they welcome donations, including the non-monetary kind: men’s winter coats and clothing, blankets, men’s toiletries, and food.

Taste of Hartford 2010

I think I’m going to have to sit this one out because of the timing.

Places I’ve been to on the list: Agave, bin 228, Carbone’s, City Steam, Feng, The Half Door, La Fonda, O’Porto, Tisane, USS Chowder Pot, and Wood-n-Tap. Of those, I think the one that offers the best bargain for restaurant week (as far as vegetarian fare is concerned) is Carbone’s.

Of the participating restaurants that I have not been to, the ones I’d most like to try: J Restaurant Bar and Vivo.

Monday at the Museum

Free events that feature family activities make the Wadsworth Atheneum buzz with life. The museum was a good kind of busy. It was not silent like it usually is when I go mid-week. That’s uncomfortable, to be the only person on a floor, to have five security guards able to follow me at any given time. It was also not as busy as the larger museums in New York City that make the experience deafening and stressful. I don’t mind waiting for a few people to observe a painting and then move on, but I never want to wait in a line to catch a glimpse of something. Today’s WAMA population was a happy medium.

For the kids, there were hands-on art projects, like postcard creation. Maybe my timing was perfect, but while I was there, I was not forced to endure the screaming or crying of any kids (or their parents). The children seemed amused by the museum and the activities.

After checking out the Digging Deeper exhibit for the billionth time, I wandered off to explore the rest of the museum. I noticed that the mummy was moved. Not only was he removed, but his exhibit left some small holes in the floor. I was disappointed, mostly because it’s a tradition of mine to visit him and marvel at how the henna dye in his hair lasted thousands of years, but if I go to the salon and dye my hair, it disappears in weeks.


MLK Day Events

If you’re looking for something free and inspiring to do on MLK Day, here are a few options:

The University of Hartford will host the “Keeping the Dream Alive” one-hour program at 11 a.m. in Lincoln Theater. CT State Treasurer Denise Nappier will be the keynote speaker. There will be musical performances by students from the Hartt School, University of Hartford Magnet School, and the Martin Luther King Elementary School.

The Wadsworth Atheneum will be hosting the MLK Community Day from 10-5. There will be hands-on art, discussions about the Digging Deeper exhibit, music by a gospel choir, storybook time, and a screening of the film The Quilts of Gee’s Bend.

For those who would like to volunteer on their day off from work or school, there are also a few organized activities. There will be an MLK Day Painting Service Project at Peter’s Retreat from 12:30-4:30. Painting supplies will be provided. For more information on this, call Danielle at (860) 728-3201 x2012. OPP (Our Piece of the Pie) Hartford AmeriCorps will be having a Peace Walk beginning at 20-28 Sargeant Street. They say:

MLK Day is a day on not a day off. This is a time when we serve our community and make a different one person at a time! On this day we will be focusing on “PEACE”. We will have many quest speakers including Ed Nixon Jr. (Nick LaTour acting name) from Los Angeles, CA. His father Ed Nixon Sr. was the founder of MIA movement in Alabama and he played a vaulable role in the the release of Rosa Parks.

The anti-violence march will follow the guest speakers. This event goes from 9:30-2pm.

If you know of other MLK-themed happenings planned for Monday, January 18th, please let me know.

Best Of

It’s time to vote again in the Advocate Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll.

There’s a best blog category again. Last year, I believe the blog voted best was not a local one. No matter who wins, nothing would make me happier than to see locals voting for locals…and there are plenty of local blogs.  There’s no need to select a NY or Boston-based blog when we have many excellent ones right here in Connecticut. Just check the blogroll.

My real agenda, though, is to get people to vote for Maria Rodriguez in the category of Best Local Hero. She is the crossing guard who, while pushing two children to safety, was struck by a car. Maria received bruises, but the children who attend the Noah Webster school in the West End were not harmed. I can think of no one more deserving than Maria to win Best Local Hero this year.

There’s no category for best sangria or best mojito. You can vote for those here in the comments.

Voting ends February 10.