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Beyond Hartford: Providence

You probably don’t remember the Beyond Hartford series because the last one of these happened in 2013. Beyond Hartford provides some day trip options for people on a budget. We will be bringing back this series, sporadically. If you have suggestions for places to check out within 200 miles, send an email.

Elsewhere, I’ve written about how it may not be easy to get to Providence from Hartford, but once you’re there, it’s fairly accessible without a car. A trip automatically becomes more enjoyable when getting from place-to-place is not a pain in the ass. This fits the bill. It’s a place where you can do research and plan everything out, or just show up and wander, finding treasures without direction or intention. (more…)

Pratt Street Opened for People

Go ahead and walk right down the middle of Pratt Street. Bring your lunch and sit at a table. For a few hours, every weekday through November 1, 2017, this one block street in Downtown will be opened for people. Instead of being a place to park cars, Pratt Street becomes a park. On Fridays, there will be music at lunchtime.  (more…)

May 2017 Events in Hartford

Latin Grammy-award-winning artists Gilvan de Oliveira, right, and Ivan Correa da Costa will perform at Samba Fest 2017 on May 6, 2017

Latin Grammy-award-winning artists Gilvan de Oliveira, right, and Ivan Correa da Costa will perform at Samba Fest 2017 on May 6, 2017

 

May 1

  • It’s industry night at Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue), but those not in the food business can show up too. All night happy hour, DJ, and more. 6 pm – 1 am. No cover.
  • Spring Dance Fest: See a performance featuring the choreography of Trinity College students. This will be at The Performance Lab, Trinity Commons (240 New Britain Avenue). 7:30 pm.
  • Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs on Mondays at Arch Street Tavern at 8 pm. Free.

May 2

  • Bike Commuting 101: Take a free class to learn tips and get advice from Sandy Fry, Hartford’s Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator and a Certified Cycling Instructor. This is from 12-1 pm at the iQuilt Innovation Center (22 Central Row). Contact Sandy.Fry@hartford.gov with questions.
  • Stop by the Hartford History Center (located inside of the Hartford Public Library) from 5:30-7 pm for an Author Talk featuring military historian and author, Andrew Carroll, founder of The Center for American War Letters. Carroll will talk about his new book My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. Free.
  • Free screening of Gen Silent, a documentary about an aging LGBTA community. This is at the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective (1841 Broad Street), 6:30-8:30 pm. RSVP to Dan Millett at (860) 278-4163 x118 or danm@hglhc.org as a light dinner will be provided.
  • Michael Palin’s Other Orchestra, an 18-piece band, jams every Tuesday night at Back-Eyed Sally’s (350 Asylum Street), starting at 8 pm. Free.

(more…)

Former Hartford ACO Teaches Self-Defense

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Sherry DeGenova of Kenway’s Cause and Bob Marshall of Naturally Dogs and Cats

In March, two loose Pit Bulls attacked a Labradoodle being walked by Kate Molloy, one of the Downtown dog-walkers. With this happening in Bushnell Park at a time when food was being distributed to those in need, the incident had dozens of witnesses, several of whom stepped in to separate the animals and call 911. The owner of the pit bulls, during the attack, yelled at his dogs but according to witnesses, “did nothing.” The unleashed dogs — one male, one female —  were unlicensed and unregistered; their owner claimed to have had them in his possession for only a few days. He was issued a $606 infraction and allowed to take the dogs home.

The victim in this had to go to an emergency vet — not an inexpensive endeavor — but was lucky to make it out of the experience alive. A smaller dog, or a child, would not have.

Just a few days later, a different person was knocked over in Bushnell Park by a loose dog; her own dog got nipped. She contacted the police, but they did failed to enforce the law. (more…)

Learning Curb: Dukes of Hazzard Edition

Photo credit: Rich H.

Photo credit: Rich H.

We love when readers send in pics, especially when they are of a thing we passed an hour previous while it was pouring rain and we did not want to wreck our camera to get the photo.

Rich sent in this photo of a ridiculously parked car with these comments: “For your use in the Parking Geniuses series or whatever. Pedestrians either have to enter Capitol Ave or do a cool Dukes of Hazzard hood-slide to get to the narrow snow cutout.

Not to mention that cars coming to a stop on the visible stop line probably can’t see well around the corner.”
That covers it.

April 2017 Events in Hartford, CT

April 6-9, 2017

April 6-9, 2017

April 1

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance provides free tax help at Jumoke Academy’s middle school (339 Blue Hills Ave.), 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for people who earned less than $54,000 in 2016. Book an appointment through 211.
  • Free First Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street). Free admission to all museum galleries, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will be “traditional Finnish kid-friendly crafts” from 10-1.
  • Spring Greenhouse Sale: Purchase plants from the greenhouse at Elizabeth Park, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cash or check only. Bring your own trays to carry out your purchases.
  • Qigong and Tea Ceremony: The qigong starts at 9:30 a.m.; tea and conversation at 10:30. They say: “Qigong is a 2,000-year-old practice from China which helps your body to heal itself naturally. Qigong can provide relief from anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. It can also improve balance and endurance. The practice involves gentle movement, breathing techniques, and focused intention. According to Chinese medicine, tea clears the mind and circulates the energy of the body. Scientists have found that tea strengthens the immune system.” Deron Drumm will be the instructor for this. They say that he, “has reshaped his life by incorporating intentional living practices. After years of struggling, he found peace and health when he stopped seeing himself as a victim and started to take ownership of his past and present actions. Qigong, yoga, meditation, healthy relationships, positive habits, and nutritious foods have allowed him to live his life free of the destructive behaviors he once engaged in.” This is at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue). There is a suggested $5 donation. Nobody is turned away for lack of funds.
  • Next to Normal: If you are a student with a valid ID, get free admission today to the 2:30 p.m. performance at TheaterWorks (233 Pearl St.). They describe this play as: “The dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens. The Goodmans appear to be a typical American family, yet their lives are anything but normal. This brave and breathtaking contemporary musical takes an unflinching look at a family’s struggle with mental illness. Winner of three Tony Awards including Best Musical Score.” Call the box office to secure your seat!
  • Rally to Support Trans Youth: Gather at the Connecticut Supreme Court (231 Capitol Avenue) for this youth-led effort to protect and support transgender, gender-nonconforming, and queer youth. There are a number of organizations serving as host for this event: ACLU-CT, CT TransAdvocacy Coalition, GLSEN Connecticut, New Haven Pride Center, Norwich Free Academy GSA, OutCT, PFLAG Hartford, Triangle Community Center, and True Colors, Inc. This is from 2:30-4 p.m. If you have questions, contact connecticut@chapters.glsen.org 
  • Fools Fall in Love: A Musical Cabaret in Support of Nightfall 2017 — If you were wondering how to do a fundraiser, this is it. One performance after another, featuring: Greg & Julia Ludovici Pistell, Lindsey Fyfe, Keila Myles, Chion Wolf, John Gale, Tangsauce, Joey Batts, Daryl Sullivan, Kate Callahan, Mac Cherny, Gabrielle Witt & The Grace Girls, Greg Garcia, Robin Zaleski, and Matt Fleury. Tickets start at $40. This is at Christ Church Cathedral (45 Church Street), 7:30-10 p.m.
  • April Fools Day Massacre Show: Hanging Hills (150 Ledyard St.) will host The Island of Doubt and The Miths. $5 at the door. 8-11 p.m.

(more…)

Suggestion Box: Plan Outside the Conference Room Box

Ample space for a bike lane and other street improvements on Bartholomew Avenue

Ample space for a bike lane and other street improvements on Bartholomew Avenue. Pics in this article were all taken in the middle of a regular workday.

 

If you’ve been to one planning workshop, you’ve been to nearly them all. Typically, these are held in a meeting room with no windows. To an extent, we get why this happens. We live in a sedentary society that bristles at even temporary discomfort. That, and everyone always wants to use Powerpoint.

But is this the best way to solicit input from those who are using the streets, parks, and buildings under discussion for redesign? Barring weather extremes where participants might get heat stroke or frostbite, could we reconsider at least some of these venues? (more…)

Suggestion Box: More Comprehensive Drivers’ Education

If you spend any amount of time commuting in Greater Hartford by way of anything other than single-occupancy vehicle, you know there is a stigma to it. More than the stigma, there are countless safety issues — motorists turning right on red without stopping to look in all directions first; drivers who use no judgement about whether or not they can completely move through an intersection, who end up blocking crosswalks; bus stops that are not shoveled, forcing people to board by standing in snowbanks or the streets; motorists who choose to not remove copious amounts of snow from their vehicles before getting on the highway. (more…)

Streetscape Improvements in the Future for Bartholomew Avenue

Around this time next year, expect to see some streetscape improvements under construction along Bartholomew Avenue in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.

The Bartholomew Avenue Streetscape and stormwater improvement project is primarily funded by a State of Connecticut OPM TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) and Responsible Growth Incentive Fund grant of $2 million, and $1.6 million from MDC for streetscape design and construction combined with stormwater-sanitary infrastructure. The City of Hartford has kicked in $25,000 for CDM Smith — consultants with an office in East Hartford — to get the project going.

On Wednesday, the first public workshop was held at the Parkville NRZ’s monthly meeting. There were a few residents in attendance, but most participants represented nearby businesses and organizations. CDM Smith did not come in with designs, but set up the meeting to gain insight about what ideas might be desired by locals as they turn their attention to sidewalk enhancements on Hamilton Street near the signalized crossing, lighting improvements under the “Parkville” bridge, and various other changes along Bartholomew Avenue between Park Street and Hamilton Street. (more…)

Suggestion Box: Big Community Baking Events

Young children, elderly, and all ages in between participated in the Mega Challah Bake at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford last weekend. Imagine: 250 girls and women, in one giant room, making bread together — many for the first time. Participants were provided with all ingredients, tools, aprons, and even bags for taking home their bread.

The event opened with a few words and an open buffet. Directions were provided in print, on an overhead projector, and over the sound system. While everyone mixed and kneaded ingredients, lively music played. More experienced bakers helped out the newbies at their tables. The challah buffet re-opened and a guest speaker took to the stage while everyone waited for their dough to rise. Challah was braided, covered in egg, and given a few extras — rainbow sprinkles were a popular topping with the younger participants. (more…)