Storm Alfred: Wreckage and Beauty

Although many areas in the state have experienced complete devastation, other sections were relatively untouched. A walk from Frog Hollow to the Connecticut River involved no fallen power lines, a few down trees, and many branches strewn about.

All businesses appeared to be open.

Roads were clogged — particularly around gas stations — with impatient and careless drivers. Late last night, the lines at the pumps were only two or three cars deep. East of the Connecticut River, only a few gas stations were open because of the power outage.

Damage could be seen on the State Capitol grounds, in parks, and in residential areas alike. (more…)

November Events

Here is your monthly list of hand-picked events. There may be others, but those did not make the cut:

November 1st

Hartford Candidates Forum: Candidates from all parties and running for all offices this year have been invited to participate in a forum hosted by the Greater Hartford NAACP. This will be held in the Northend Senior Center at 80 Coventry Street, from 6 to 9 in the evening. The local NAACP’s president, Muhammad Ansari, says “this forum will provide an opportunity for residents in North Hartford who may not have been able to attend events in other parts of the city.” UPDATE: forum cancelled due to Storm Alfred. It will not be rescheduled.

November 1 (through next year)

New Life for Connecticut Trees: Furniture by City Bench exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society Museum. Objects made from trees otherwise destined for the landfill.

November 2nd

Get HYPEd at ON20. The casual networking event, open to members and non-members of HYPE, will feature a free raffle. The prize? A tasting dinner for two at ON20. This event runs from 5:30-8:30pm.

November 4th

Women’s Oppression and Liberation Forum: three of the six panelists will include Nellie Bailey, the host of weekly radio program “Inside Housing” on WHCR; Monami Maulik, founder and executive director of Desis Rising Up and Moving; and a representative from Hartford Vecinos Unidos. The event begins at 7:30pm and will be held at La Paloma Sabanera.

November 4th and 5th

Killadelphia is a 75-minute show by Sean Christopher Lewis, presented by HartBeat Ensemble, in the Hollander Building. It presents perspectives on crime in Philly. Click here to get ticket info for this performance. (more…)

Emergency Shelters and Parking Information

The Pope Park Rec Center (in Pope Park) and Parker Memorial Community Center (2126 Main Street) are both open and serving as emergency shelters for those who have lost power in Hartford. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is also a shelter following Storm Alfred. The church is at 500 Woodland Street, between Albany Avenue and Greenfield Street.

The City of Hartford provides this information:

Mayor Segarra also noted that both Parker Memorial and Pope Park Recreation Centers remain open and operational.  He did caution that while cots are being provided, visitors are reminded to bring a blanket, pillow, towel and their own personal bathing supplies.  Fire houses are also available for residents that wish to shower and charge cell phones, laptops and tablet computers.

Additionally, the City of Hartford has announced that “Seniors and residents with special needs who need transportation to the City’s emergency shelters can call 311.  Food is provided but residents need to bring toiletries, medications, etc.”

No parking ban has been issued.

UPDATE [4 Nov 2011]: The Seventh Day Adventist Church shelter is now closed.

UPDATE [7 Nov 2011]: The shelters in Hartford are now closed, but if you still require assistance, call 211 or 311.

The Deception of a Pretty Map

Map from CL&P

Map from CL&P

Looking at this map from CL&P, the instant interpretation is that the areas in black are the hardest hit, with 81-100% of customers losing power. And if you are among those without power, my condolences.

But, all we learn from this is how the town as a whole is affected.

Wait for the super-obvious: not all towns and cities have the same population. (more…)

How to Live in New England: Autumn Edition

Panic is bothersome. Preparation is smart. Whenever the slightest possibility of some weather event has been sensed, the commercial, mainstream media goes overboard, sensationalizing stories. The audience, instead of feeling empowered to make informed choices, often moves toward being overwhelmed with anxiety. We can not stop natural forces, but we can choose how we respond.

Those who are new to Southern New England, or who just forget how to live here every year, here are some of the things you can expect in the next few months while living in Hartford, and how you might deal with them: (more…)

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Capewell Townhouses

“These make us look like the Village People,” Mayor Segarra commented while he and other officials donned construction helmets before digging with their ceremonial shovels at Friday afternoon’s groundbreaking for the “Capewell Townhomes.”

Future site of the Capewell Townhomes

Although plans had been announced months ago for the development of townhouses on the vacant parcel of land between Wyllys Street and Popieluszco Court, some details have changed. (more…)

Winning Hearts and Minds with Amigo

John Sayles speaking at Cinestudio

If you missed the talk with Amigo‘s director John Sayles, you can still see the film at Cinestudio, but what you will not be able to get is the refresher Imperialism 101 lecture that he provided for the audience on Wednesday evening. Having this context in which to view the film is not necessary, but does add depth. It’s historical fiction, based on no singular figure or battle, but made from many truths. While this story focuses on the Philippines, it should not be forgotten that this was the same era when Guam and Puerto Rico were also annexed as territories of the United States.

In History classes, this period is typically represented as an eyeblink between the Industrial Revolution and World War I. Not much has been done cinematically with the Philippine-American War either. According to Sayles, Amigo is only the third American-made film about this subject.

A criticism of the film has been that it serves as a metaphor for the War in Iraq, which would be apt if the language and appearance of occupation had been invented in the last ten years. (more…)