Hartford Should Have It: Wishes for 2018

Cats-In-Residence at Real Art Ways

It’s been a few minutes since a Suggestion Box item was published here, so you get three for one.

  • Rage Rooms: By now everyone has heard of escape rooms. If you enjoy solving puzzles and don’t have┬ámassive anxiety about being stuck in a place you can’t get out of, then I suppose that could be a nice way to spend a Friday night with friends.

Rage rooms are undeniably better. For one, there is the venting function — having a socially acceptable and harmless avenue for alleviating violent impulses that bubble up from stressors. Have holiday-induced angst? What if that holiday isn’t Thanksgiving or Christmas but Valentine’s Day? A pivotal birthday? For the latter, I see a room filled with all the trappings of whatever society messages us to believe we should possess and have achieved by that age. Don’t have or want babies? Didn’t make the 40 Under 40 list? Prefer avocado toast to a mortgage? Whatever. Smash it out. Could this be an alternative for those of us who aren’t feeling the “ugly sweater” bar crawl trend?

  • Craft Brewery: I don’t much care about beer and don’t know what makes something “craft.” (That, by the way, is not an invitation for every brewery’s marketing team to inundate my email with infomercials.) What I do know is that there should be more spaces for people to make arts and crafts while drinking beverages of their choosing — hard cider, Cabernet, ginger ale, or even, actual ale. This is not a suggestion for one of those “paint night” places where everyone creates the same thing. Totally cool if that’s your thing, but for those of us who are more free range…this idea is one of moderately organized crafting chaos. What I’m visualizing is a brewery (or run-of-the-mill bar — whichever) where yarn, glitter, and paint projects are encouraged and where sportsball on the giant screens happens only by patron request. Otherwise, there are episodes of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party looped. No need to be surrounded by darts and pool tables. No need to be shamed for wanting to do needlepoint instead of body shots.


  • Cat Cafes: We were so, so close a few years ago when Real Art Ways hosted the Cats-in-Residence program. That was a temporary art installment that helped cats find homes. But what if our need for petting cats is not temporary? I don’t usually prop up New Haven as a gauge of anything, but damn if New Haven didn’t just open a cat cafe before Hartford. It’s on!

What would you like to see developed in Hartford in 2018?


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