Very fancy restaurants tend to make me feel uncomfortable and provoke bad behavior in me, like imitating that scene from the Blues Brothers. Dish did not bring this out of me. When I showed up wearing jeans and a decidedly not fancy shirt, the restaurant staff were just as welcoming as if I arrived in an evening gown.

Months ago I read some review that said the decor was reminiscent of bondage.That was not really my impression, though it definitely felt industrial inside. There are chains hanging from the ceiling. There’s a water feature. Near the time we were getting ready to leave it sounded like karaoke had started on the other side of the restaurant. I don’t see karaoke listed on their website, so it may have just been a cover band.

To drink, I had sangria. You can not tell from the photo, but it was essentially a keg-sized glass. (more…)

Animated Shorts at Real Art Ways

After the Red Carpet segment, I have always just shut the television off because the award portion of the Oscars felt pointless. The types of films I see in the theatre tend not to be the blockbusters that everyone talks about or nominates for awards. This year, I could have reason to pay attention to at least one category.

On Saturday I got to see the animated short films that have been either nominated or given praise. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen the Real Art Ways theatre this full. Having kids in the audience (quite the change from the typical demographic there) was fun. During Matter of Loaf and Death there is a reference to Ghost, which everyone was laughing at, but the child behind me blurted out, loudly, ‘What is so funny? Why’s everyone laughin’?” which provoked more laughter, since there were amazingly people on the planet whose brains were not wired to associate a pottery wheel and “Unchained Melody” with anything. Only one of the films, the last, was dubbed to be not child-friendly, and I feel for the loss of the parents who missed out on the experience due to having to shuffle their innocent progeny out the door before obscenity could rain upon the little ones’ ears. (more…)

Proposed Land Use for Hartford’s Neighborhoods

The final community listening session for the Planning & Zoning Commission will be Tuesday evening at Rawson School. So far, there have been sessions at the Pope Park Rec Center, United Methodist Church, and Metzner Rec Center. Each session has focused on proposed land use for nearby neighborhoods.

more photos of frog hollow

This shows some of the produce available in El Mercado, a marketplace and food court on the corner of Park and Babcock. Admittedly, there are a number of items in the market that I can not identify, but as anyone can see, they have the fixings for homemade guacamole. Aside from the eggplant (not pictured), everything appeared fresh.

The small markets in Hartford get a bad rap for not carrying nutritious foods. Much of the time, this reputation is deserved; however, El Mercado’s shelves and bins were stocked with plenty of nutritious choices. Sure, the food court area is predictably meat-centric, but I did not see greasy hamburgers and fries among options. (more…)

Ghana Village Benefit

The fifth annual Bright Star Vision Ghana Village Benefit will take place at ArtSpace Gallery from 6:30-10pm on Saturday, February 20th. There will be appetizers, drumming, shopping,  a spoken word performance, and other family friendly activities.

Bright Star Vision has been helping the village of Dalive in Ghana. They have built water filters, a library, and a kindergarten. Additionally, they have donated books, clothing, and medical supplies.


Culturally, I am cupcake malnourished. I have yet to visit Magnolia, the famous cupcakery in NYC. Last year, when the Cupcake Truck came to Bushnell Park, I missed it entirely. But that does not mean that I try. My kitchen has several cupcake trays and I own one cupcake-specific cookbook. When it comes to baking, I have not learned the patience necessary to properly frost and decorate baked goods. By default, I’ve been on the mission to find the perfect cupcake. Much like my mission to find the perfect sangria and mojito, the process is more important than the actual outcome. (more…)

On Any Thursday

With Valentine’s Day approaching, and with a close friend going on a top secret date which led to discussion about what makes for a great or horrible date, and with an acquaintance asking me last night what I like about Hartford, I write this report on what I think makes for a (nearly) perfect night out.

Before riding my bicycle to the Wadsworth Atheneum, I began by having an impromptu conversation with my neighbor and was then joined by another resident on the block. There was a fire in a nearby house early Thursday morning, so we were all updating each other and feeling grateful that nobody was injured.

Upon arriving at the museum, I had my choice of parking spots: an entirely empty bike rack that meant my walk from parking spot-to-front door was under thirty seconds. After stashing my helmet and jacket inside one of the museum’s lockers, I grazed from the snack table and listened to the dj. When he was there a few months ago, I did not care much for his musical choices, but he had selections from an entirely different genre this time. Friends and friends-of-friends trickled in; among them included Jude, who writes about the MATRIX exhibit far better than I could. When I first began visiting the museum in the 1990s, the MATRIX was among my favorite sections of the Wadsworth. (more…)