Hartford Pew Review: Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford

Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford

The month leading up to the tenth anniversary of the September 11th tragedies felt like a mental pummeling as the media reminded us incessantly that we should be remembering something that would take severe measures for anyone to actually forget. Most of the “coverage” was successfully ignored, not read, and not watched, but one item I felt compelled to read was a revisionist piece claiming that there was no increase in anti-Islam sentiments after 9/11. (more…)

28 Immigrants Take Oath of Allegiance

“Isn’t this the happiest day?”

Nancy Wyman, the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, enthusiastically posed that question to the crowd at Tuesday’s naturalization ceremony, held in the atrium of the Hartford Public Library.

The 28 new Americans came from 18 different countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, and Saint Lucia; the largest number of new Americans came from Poland. (more…)

October Events

Walt Whitman's Tomb ©Patti Smith

If you feel a little overwhelmed by the number of activities in October, you are not alone. Here are the Real Hartford picks for next month.

October 1st

Steampunk Bizarre Exhibit: The Mark Twain House is housing the work of eighteen artists through January 15, 2012. If you do not know what steampunk is, check out a photo from a previous exhibit in Hartford.  The opening is free from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

In 2 TemposAntonio Caban Vale and Fernandito Ferrer: This evening performance will be at the Learning Corridor Theater (359 Washington Street). Call (860) 757-6388 for tickets.

October 3rd

The Philadelphia Story: matinee screening at 1:30pm at Real Art Ways. Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart.

Madres Unidas — Researching for Change: this is an opportunity to view the documentary and to meet Andrea Dyrness, its author and producer. This event runs from 5:30-7:30pm at the Park Street Branch of the Hartford Public Library (Babcock and Park). Free.

Conozcan a Andrea Dyrness, autora y directora de Madres Unidas: Parents Researching for Change, y vean este documental que cuenta la experiencia de 5 madres inmigrantes que se envolvieron en la lucha de comenzar una nueva escuela pequeña para sus hijos y en el proceso, se convirtieron en videografas e investigadoras para documentar su camino.

October 4th

Real Board (Games): from 5:30-8:30 in the evening you can gather with friends at Real Art Ways and play games, for free, of course. Why? Because bar trivia has jumped the shark. (more…)

Freedom to Read Celebration

“Our materials are for the whole community,” Henry Dutcher, the Director of the Enfield Public Library, announced on Monday evening.

Last January, an Enfield resident complained about how the town library was planning to screen Sicko. Instead of simply opting to not view the film, he took the complaint to a council meeting. With unprecedented speed, politicians pressured the library to cancel. After gaining a reputation for being backwards, Sicko was permitted to be shown in Enfield last February. Dutcher reminded the crowd at the Hartford Public Library that the materials in public libraries are not just for “one, two, or a dozen individuals”; they are for everyone.

During Monday’s “Beware of the Book” program, five people read passages from banned books, one commented on the frequently banned (and censored) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Dutcher spoke at length about the choice to show Sicko. This event was moderated by Colin McEnroe and was introduced by Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut.

Councilperson Luis Cotto read a passage from Bless Me, Ultima, a coming-of-age story that many have found controversial for religious reasons. Susan Schoenberger, author of A Watershed Year, read from Ulysses. Schoenberger said that as a writer, she admires Joyce’s unwillingness to self-censor. For those familiar with Joyce, the attempt to ban his work might seem unnecessary, as it is so inaccessible to most readers that the majority would give up before even being able to decipher to “objectionable” passages. Dennis House read from The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, which he described as “crass” and filled with bad spelling; a grandmother in California pushed to have the potty-humor book pulled from her local public library. (more…)

Scenes from the Sidewalk: Installment 29

Photo by Christopher Brown

Here, we return to the theme of discarded pieces of clothing. The footwear harvest has been especially plentiful recently. I’ve seen two pairs of sandals left on my street (which have since migrated around the block) and some busted up sneakers near the train tracks. These boots are on the same block as a previous Scenes from the Sidewalk garment. (more…)

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