Pope Commons: Evolution of an Eyesore

By , December 30, 2010 10:38 am

Looking south, you see a pond, wooded area, sports fields, and perfect six homes bordering the park. There might be a carnival set up or a youth baseball game in action. There are pedestrians and cyclists. If you turn to face north, you see a dodgy strip mall surrounded by a weedy parking lot wedged next to the interstate. The lot looks mostly abandoned. It seems distant for pedestrians, as there is no inviting pathway from Park Street. The most lively aspect of this side of the street is the hot dog vendor in the lot.


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This used to be the Bradlees-Stop & Shop plaza. Bradlees filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2000, and that was the end of that story. Stop & Shop, which had been in the plaza since 1968, left Frog Hollow for Parkville, right on the border of Elmwood, in 1994. At the time much was made of the fact that a larger grocery store was added to the city, though it was barely within city limits. Now, there is a Save-A-Lot in the plaza, which generally does not have the same appeal as a run-of-the-mill Stop & Shop, let aloe the snob appeal of Whole Foods. Some residents are turned off by the lack of brand variety and others have questioned the cleanliness of the store. Yet, others like it because of the prices and the ability to bag one’s own groceries. The lack of frills makes it more attractive to some nearby residents. There is also El Mercado and a C-Town on Park Street, both smaller than Save-A-Lot, but offering healthier options than convenience stores. Continue reading 'Pope Commons: Evolution of an Eyesore'»

New Year’s Eve

By , December 29, 2010 4:44 pm

My favorite part of New Year’s Eve is pure schadenfreude: watching people dressed for Hawaii stumbling about New England in the dead of winter. I’m talking about people asking for hypothermia and embarrassing spills– ladies donning stilettos (many of whom have never worn real heels before) and micro-mini dresses and men leaving their coats behind. For those who are not so easily entertained by people-watching, there are plenty of other ways to spend your New Year’s Eve.

A free “trolley” and double-decker bus will be running from Old Wethersfield to Bushnell Park, stopping at Lucky Lou’s (in Wethersfield), Carbone’s, Costa del Sol, J Restaurant Bar, and the park. The Carbone’s website lists New Year’s Eve specials. If nothing else, this could be free transportation into Downtown for those living near any of the stops.

O’Porto and Francesco’s Ristorante are just a few other restaurants outside of Downtown that are offering New Year’s Eve menu specials. Continue reading 'New Year’s Eve'»

Sunday Jazz at the Library

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By , December 28, 2010 10:35 am

It is possible to have a very full social calendar without ever spending more than pocket change. The Hartford Public Library figures into this ability with its art gallery, cultural events, and free jazz series.

Casa Linda: December 28, 2010

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The last casa linda of 2010 is a cute bungalow in the South West part of the city.

In 1896 there was a proposal to build reformatory buildings on about sixty acres in this area. Do not be mistaken– NIMBYism is not a recent phenomenon. A Hartford Courant article from the time stated that many “prominent citizens of Hartford” opposed the plan.

A Safer Place to Raise Children

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By , December 27, 2010 3:18 pm

An article on The Grist claims that cities are safer places for parents to raise children. In summary, the author writes that children are much more at risk of injury and death by way of automobile accidents than by “stranger danger” or being caught in crossfire. In fact, according to the CDC, “Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S.”

Thanks to Julie of Live in Hartford for making me aware of this article.

Snow Day!

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The reflection is of the civic center steps.

Above: “Stone Field” sculpture by Carl Andre Continue reading 'Snow Day!'»

Place this Place

Where was this photograph taken?

Level 2 Parking Ban

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By , December 26, 2010 11:15 am

The following notice was released by the City of Hartford:

PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR, FIRE CHIEF AND POLICE CHIEF OF THE CITY OF HARTFORD ANNOUNCE THAT DUE TO THE FORECASTED WEATHER CONDITIONS A

LEVEL 2 PARKING BAN IS DECLARED IN THE CITY OF HARTFORD STARTING SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2010 AT 12 PM (NOON) ENDING TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2010 AT 1:00 AM

Depending on the circumstances, the parking ban may be extended. During a LEVEL 2 parking ban ALL PARKING on City streets is banned. Any vehicle parked on a city street is subject to tag and tow.

City of Hartford residents may park their cars during this parking ban in any Board of Education, Public School parking lot. You are requested to park in a group away from the school building. Motorist parking in public school lots are responsible for the removal of their vehicle at the termination of the parking ban. This is necessary in order to clear the school lots.

Property owners and occupants: please be reminded to shovel the sidewalk and walkways— including curb cuts— for pedestrian safety. Please do not shovel or plow the snow back into the street from your driveway or sidewalk.

Park on the street and you’ll get towed.

Top Stories of 2010

Here are the top twelve items of interest on Real Hartford, judging by which posts were read the most and over the longest period of time. Sometimes there are short spikes in blog traffic, but I am more interested in what is on people’s minds for more than a week at a time. These are not ranked exactly in order of popularity: Continue reading 'Top Stories of 2010'»

Happy Holidays

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By , December 24, 2010 1:21 pm

Oh, Harriet! All gussied up like this– people will talk!

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