December Holiday Entertainment

Upcoming Live Holiday Performances

A Christmas Carol is being performed at Hartford Stage through December 31st.

Ebeneeza opens on December 3rd. It will be performed at Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts on 12/3 and 12/4, West Indian Social Club on 12/9 and 12/10, and at the Mark Twain House & Museum on 12/17, 12/18, and 12/19. There are also four separate out-of-town performances this year in Manchester and West Hartford.

The Nutcracker Suite will be performed in Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford on 12/18 and 12/19.

There is no shortage of festive performances at the Bushnell. The Travelers Chorale 86th Annual Holiday Concert (12/9), Handel’s Messiah (12/10 and 12/11), Hartford POPS! Spectacular (12/18), and   The Nutcracker (12/18 and 12/19).

Charter Oak Cultural Center will be hosting a Kwanzaa celebration on December 26th.

Upcoming Holiday Films

The Wadsworth Atheneum will be be hosting several films and live events.

The Star Wars Holiday Special will be screened at La Paloma Sabanera on December 14th.

At Cinestudio, Baraka will be running from December 15-18th and It’s a Wonderful Life will play from December 19th through December 23rd.

White Christmas will be showing at Real Art Ways on December 20th.

Is there anything I’ve missed?

A Site for Center Without Walls

With the intention of  “spark[ing] the creation, production and exhibition of the performing and visual arts throughout the city of Hartford free of the limitations, both physical and financial of a home space,” the Center Without Walls has already brought several artists to Connecticut’s capital city. Now, Center Without Walls has a virtual home space, where you can read about past events and check out a calendar of performances and exhibits to come.

Casa Linda: November 30, 2010

This week’s Casa Linda photos are of a residence in the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood, which is just outside of Downtown. The house is not far from where the legendary Charter Oak tree stood (now Charter Oak Memorial Park). It is also near what was Connecticut’s first synagogue; that structure is now the Charter Oak Cultural Center. According to the City of Hartford website, this neighborhood is the “site of the original colonial settlement in 1623 as a Dutch trading post,” making Sheldon/Charter Oak Hartford’s oldest neighborhood. (more…)

Place this Place

Because it’s not enough to bring you photos of nice houses or weird things found on the sidewalks (and sometimes in the gutters), I am starting another photo series. “Place this Place” will run every Monday. Readers will have the chance to guess where each photo was taken and winners will receive the right to be smug about their knowledge for a full 24 hours.

This series is inspired by Tolland Patch‘s  Photo of the Day feature.  Like those photos, some shots will be of (I think) fairly recognizable locations to residents and regular visitors, while others are (hopefully) going to be more challenging.

Today is the first round of Place this Place. Your mission is to guess where in Hartford this photograph was taken.

So, where is this?

Freedom and Free Coffee

Rape, eviction, death due to complications in childbirth, capital punishment, violence against women, and unlawful detention are some of the human rights abuses being focused on in this year’s Amnesty International Write for Rights Day. During the time around International Human Rights Day (December 10th) thousands of people around the globe write letters “to demand that the rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled.” The organization states that “in doing so, we show solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses and work to bring about real change in people’s lives.”

If you are not confident in your letter writing abilities, no worries. Amnesty International has compiled tips for you. For the cynics, here is a list of results from past letter writing campaigns.

As of publication, La Paloma Sabanera is hosting the only public 2010 Write-a-thon in the Greater Hartford area. The coffeehouse will be open on December 8th from 7am-8pm and those who take part in the letter writing event will receive a free cup of coffee as thanks for participating. La Paloma Sabanera Coffeehouse is located at 405 Capitol Avenue.

Festival of Floodlights and Dark

Tonight I overheard several visitors in Bushnell Park complaining about the lack of lights. The Festival of Light in the park was meant to expand on what was already going on at Constitutional Plaza, not replace it entirely. Somehow, few people got that message.

It is puzzling how people just are not able to receive information, even when it has been spelled out for them. When I checked my blog statistics today, I noticed a few interesting things: (1) for a non-work day, the traffic was very heavy (2) almost all of the readers were here for information about the festival (3) only three located the page on where to park their cars. When I arrived at the park, some incompetent driver was attempting to parallel park her car to block a curb cut and cross walk.

Back to the lights: truthfully, it was a bit disappointing to see one tree lit up, some glowing pathways, and floodlights, but no real trees decorated to their potential. I checked in with Sarah Barr, the City Director of Communications. She said that the light display is “evolving” and that more would be up when the skating rink opens on December 10th.

Nelton Court is Coming Down

For background and context of housing projects, check out Tom Condon’s column “The Projects, From Promise To Curse: Hartford Closing The Book On Ill-Fated 1940s Public Housing.” Jeff Cohen’s report “Nelton Court Slated For Demolition: It’s The City’s Last Federally-Financed Housing Project” provides another perspective.

37th Festival of Trees and Traditions

On the first Thursday of each month, an assortment of venues hold art openings, theatrical and special cultural events in a seemingly successful effort to lure people Downtown.

On December 2nd, the Wadsworth Atheneum will open its Festival of Trees and Traditions exhibit for its 37th season. Trees, gingerbread houses, wreaths, and menorahs — decorated or created by artists and others from the community — will be on display through December 12th.

During the opening — from 5-9pm on December 2nd — Judith Ivie, author of Drowning in Christmas, will be at the museum to sign copies of her book. The film for the evening will be Love Actually, a romantic comedy set during the holiday season.

Among other festivities, the museum will be screening The Polar Express at 3pm on December 5th and The Miracle on 34th Street, also at 3pm, on December 12th .

Reducing the Impact of Government

You might have noticed the ugly orange plastic wrapped around the State Capitol for the past few months. Those who use the State Capitol grounds as part of their morning commute have found sidewalks suddenly blocked. Turns out, this inconvenience is actually not a business-as-usual bout of repairs.

The pervious paving found in the redone walkways and parking areas is intended to reduce stormwater runoff and filter pollutants for biodegredation. The installation of permeable pavers (not pictured) has a similar intent, while also allowing for infiltration in the space between blocks. Sidewalks downhill from the State Capitol typically become impassible in sections during and after rain storms, so these efforts to manage stormwater are welcome. (more…)

Storefront Filled on Pratt Street

Where can you get an umbrella, apron, vegetation identification guide, Hartford t-shirt, and hockey puck? The Hartford Holiday Store, which opened last week on Pratt Street, carries all of those items and more. They are looking to expand and vary the merchandise, possibly including apparel from Trinity College and the University of Hartford.

The store at 45 Pratt is open from 10-6, Tuesday through Saturday. I was informed that there may be a possibility of them remaining open beyond the holiday season.