Ways to Show Love for Real Hartford

I don’t usually write self-promotional posts because the material here can speak for itself. But, with the increase in readership over the last few years, I’ve decided it’s time to give a refresher on ways to interact with what is here and how you can get the word to others.

  1. Comment on the blog: Others may disagree, but I find it valuable for readers to engage right here. Conversation elsewhere, like on Facebook and Twitter, is also appreciated, but doing so naturally excludes readers who do not use those forums.
  2. Email: if you find an article that a friend, relative, neighbor, or enemy should read, then send him/her that specific link, and please, provide some context. We all want to know what we are going to click on when we are at work. To link to a specific article, click on the title of the post and then copy and paste the URL.
  3. Follow my blog with Bloglovin or on Google Reader, or other similar sites if you are inclined to use them. Sometimes the formatting gets lost, but you can always click on posts that interest you, taking you back to the actual blog. (You can “+1” something on Google+, but this seems redundant with what Google Reader already offers.)
  4. Follow us on Networked Blogs or become a fan on Facebook. On Facebook, there are sometimes previews of what will be coming up in the next week or so. You are also invited to share links to articles using your personal Facebook account, or with groups you belong to there. LinkedIn offers similar sharing possibilities.
  5. You can follow Real Hartford on Twitter or tweet the link to a post you think others should read. To do the latter, just click on “comments.” Right above the comment box you will see a row of icons, including one for tweeting. This is also where you can “stumble” a post, adding it to Stumbleupon, as well as add it to Digg.
  6. Link to Real Hartford from your own site or blog. The blogroll on this site indicates a lot of what I read.
  7. Bookmark it. You know when you are killing time waiting for dinner to finish cooking and you want to show your date something hilarious/wrong that you read/watched on YouTube during the day, but you can not remember what it was now that you have an audience? Avoid that through the magic of bookmarking.
  8. Word of mouth. If you know someone who has a local-to-Hartford story or event, have him/her contact me.
  9. Join our mailing list
  10. Don’t steal our stuff — text, photos, or otherwise! Ask permission first!

Thanks to those who are already doing any of these things, and a thanks in advance to readers who may begin to do so.

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Hartford: Don’t Blink!

No matter how Hartford attempts to market itself, there will be naysayers; we know that hating Connecticut’s capital city is a pastime for both those who live in places where the only thing to do on any given night is turn on the television, as well as for those who live within city limits and accept the inferiority complex.

The “New England’s Rising Star” slogan was mocked, not because Hartford marketed itself in future tense, but because some found the violence issue humorous– replacing “rising” with “shooting.”

Any of the new images revealed by the Cundari Group this morning will likely be mocked by the same haters, because it is easier to do that than to work to solve the problems they view Hartford as having.

Unlike past campaigns, where slogans were chosen by a small group and then launched, the Hartford Messaging Project is actually seeking constructive feedback now, so that they can work out the kinks. When I spoke with Mary Newman, the Executive Vice President of the Cundari Group, and hinted that one of the images looked a little like a hospital sign, she welcomed that input; not all public information sessions are this receptive. There will be another meeting this evening at the Hartford Public Library, and for those who can not make that, comments can be forwarded to them in other ways. Continue reading “Hartford: Don’t Blink!”

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August Happenings

This is not an all-inclusive list of August events. It just includes the ones that grabbed our attention:

August 1st and 8th

Monday Night Jazz: this free series in Bushnell Park began in July and wraps up on August 8th. The music goes from about 6-10pm. Picnic dinners are allowed. If it rains, go to Asylum Hill Congregational Church. Seating is more limited, but the sound is great!

August 1 – 14

Taste of Hartford: When an event goes for fourteen days, we just can’t call it “restaurant week” anymore. Restaurant fortnight might be more accurate. The price jumped a little this time, but might still be a good deal at the pricier restaurants. Some participants include: Agave, bin 228, Black-Eyed Sally’s, Carbone’s, City Steam, Costa del Sol, Coyote Flaco, Dish, Feng, Firebox, Francesco’s, The Half Door, Hot Tomato’s, J Restaurant, La Fonda, Max Downtown, Murasaki Cafe, Nutshell Cafe, O’Porto, Peppercorn’s, Salute, Tisane, Trumbull Kitchen, USS Chowderpot IV, Vaughan’s, Wood-N-Tap, and Zula. Check back at the website to see menus and if any new restaurants join in.

August 2nd

Introduction to the Pardon Process: The Connecticut Pardon Team will be providing information for those seeking to erase past convictions. No reservations are required for this. This programs runs from 5-7:30pm in the X-Room of the Hartford Public Library, located at 500 Main Street.

National Night Out: this yearly event seeks to build a relationship between police and the community. It will include a softball game, games for children, music, info tables, raffle prizes, and barbecue. This is free and will take place from 5-8pm in Pope Park.

August 3-9

The Man Who Fell to Earth: David Bowie. The 35th Anniversary uncut restoration of this film is showing at Cinestudio.

August 4th

Beat City Beauties will be performing at Black-Eyed Sallys
Beat City Beauties will be performing at Black-Eyed Sally's

Cirque du Wadsworth: the first Thursday event at the Wadsworth Atheneum begins at 5pm and ends whenever the film Desert Flower is over. While billed as a “cocktail party,” it’s casual and some people bring their children.

Gary Jacobs’ Art Opening: Gary Jacobs, an artist who lives in Hartford, will have his work on display at the Pump House Gallery in Bushnell Park. The opening is from 5-8pm, but the gallery will be open other times as well: Monday–Wednesday, 11 am–2 pm, Thursday, 11 am–4 pm and Saturday by appointment. The City of Hartford’s Office of Cultural Affairs runs the gallery. You should know that Jacobs has designed skateboards for Worship.

Catie Talarski’s Radio Adventure Theater: Campfires from 7-10pm at The Studio at Billings Forge. This is described as “old-fashion variety show meets This American Life; Listening session meets jam session.”

Beat City Beauties Burlesque at Black-Eyed Sally’s from 8-11pm. There is a $7 cover charge for this. Continue reading “August Happenings”

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Hot Mess: Disasters of the Natural Variety

Boring is not always bad. This is especially true when speaking of weather. In that way, Connecticut is usually dull as dirt.

While some people relocate purely based on job opportunities, plenty of us take into serious consideration what types of weather conditions we can tolerate. Severe hurricanes? That rules out the southeastern part of the United States. Trauma caused from watching The Wizard of Oz one too many times? No Kansas, thank you. Not cool with collapsing buildings? That rules out California.

But if earthquakes are a concern, that should also exclude Alaska from the mix, as that state experiences the most quakes in the United States.


But we never hear about them because of how Alaska is so sparsely populated. In 1964, Anchorage was devastated by the Good Friday Earthquake — the second largest in history — measuring in with a magnitude of 9.2. A tsunami followed and approximately 130 people died. Buildings collapsed and others were damaged across nearly 30 blocks. About fifteen other towns experienced damage too, as the epicenter, in Prince William Sound, was near one of Alaska’s more populous regions.

Being fascinated by natural disasters and being willing to live where they happen frequently are two separate things; though firsthand experience teaches best, I thought in this case, it would be preferable to settle for second best: a trip to the Connecticut Science Center, where there is an exhibit all about destructive forces.

Spoiler: heat ruins everything. Continue reading “Hot Mess: Disasters of the Natural Variety”

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Is this what Democracy Looks Like?

Because the Hartford Democratic Town Committee convention did not start on time, there was opportunity to check out the fashions. Continue reading “Is this what Democracy Looks Like?”

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Behind the Scenes at the Hartford Democratic Town Committee Convention

A large room crammed full of powerful people (and those aiming to be) dressed in red, white, and blue, with buttons and signs galore. The party casts its votes, maybe some numbers don’t match up and a recount is needed, but the endorsements get made and the evening moves on. Reporters pushing their way through to get to the newly endorsed or to those left behind. That’s the image that comes to mind, and to an extent, that is what happens. But for those who have never been to a convention and who are not politically connected, it might be eye-opening to learn that the behind the scenes “back room deals” are not so secretive after all.

The Hartford Democratic Town Committee’s convention was scheduled to begin at 5:30 on Thursday evening in Bulkeley High School’s air conditioned auditorium. We assumed that this was the fake time, which is told so that events kick off on time about thirty minutes later. Segarra’s supporters were gathered around the building’s entrance with signs and stickers at 4:30 pm. By all accounts, I thought I would be home by ten, latest.

Upon entering, we had our choice of seats. Nothing was roped off. Nobody was serving as an usher. I sat with Emily of Live in Hartford, and near reporters from The Hartford Guardian and The Hartford News, two small, local newspapers that work hard to get the story, like journalists from days of yore. We were in the second row, center, and nobody seemed to mind.

Waiting for the event to begin, we noted who was conversing with whom. Julio Concepcion, an HDTC member, stopped over and we chatted about the waves he made when he publicly questioned the 2-2-2 strategy days prior. In the audience was a young man, a teenager about to enter Hartford Public High School after attending Bellizzi. He began the evening as the embodiment of idealism. We never saw if he looked the same, or disenchanted, when he slipped out later.

At 6pm, we thought the event was going to begin when the committee announced that the little people had to move our seats:

The rationale made sense. Leave room so that HDTC members can easily access the microphone and be heard; one wonders why this was not announced earlier. One also wonders why this was even attempted, as the members were scattered throughout the auditorium, some griping that they could not hear, all the while not moving their seats, despite the vacant ones now reserved for them. Continue reading “Behind the Scenes at the Hartford Democratic Town Committee Convention”

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Hartford Democratic Town Committee Convention: Numbers Game

2-2-2 Continue reading “Hartford Democratic Town Committee Convention: Numbers Game”

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