September 2016 Hartford Events

September 1

Shop one of Hartford’s farmers’ markets. This pic taken at the West End Farmers’ Market.

  • Farmers’ Market at Billings Forge: this market operates every Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the green on Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street.
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday Nights on the Plaza: happy hour, 4-8 p.m. on the Riverfront Plaza. Live music, food, and beer. No cover charge.
  • Connections + Collaborations: opening reception for art reception at 100 Pearl Street Gallery, 5-7 p.m. This free event will feature work from artists involved in the Art Connection Studio.
  • Yoga in the City: Free yoga in Elizabeth Park (meet on Rose Garden Lawn) begins at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat/towel and water.
  • Listen to The POSSM and Now For Ages play live at Peppercorns (357 Main Street), 8:30-10 p.m. No cover.

September 2

  • Bear’s is sponsoring a free outdoor screening of The Martian in Riverside Park. The movie will begin at sunset.
  • Ken Morgan’s digital abstracts go up at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl Street) until September 28, 2016.

September 3

  • Everything I Am Youth Summit: They say that this free event is “designed to enhance, engage and empower youth towards a future of achievement, fulfillment and happiness. Our programs cater to African American, Hispanic and Bi-Racial youth ages 12-19.” There is only room for eight girls, so register. This will be held at Carmen’s Events & Beauty Showroom (942 Main Street) from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Goodwin Park Clean-up: Here’s a chance to give back. Bring your own gloves and bags. Refreshments will be provided. 10 a.m. – 12 noon.
  • Yoga in the City: Free yoga in Pope Park (meet on lawn near pond) begins at 11 a.m. This will be taught in English and Spanish. Bring your own mat/towel and water.


Ladies Rising

Photo courtesy of Wildaliz Bermudez

Hartford’s Democratic Town Committee endorsed exactly zero women in 2011. That Cynthia Jennings served on City Council beginning in 2012 was thanks to her affiliation with the Working Families Party.

The last four years must have sent a message. This time around, the Democrats, Working Families, and Republicans each endorsed two women on their respective slates; ultimately, voters opted for two newcomers,Wildaliz Bermudez and Glendowlyn Thames, along with incumbent Cynthia Jennings and rJo Winch, who previously served on City Council, but not during the current term.

Of the four women, Ms. Bermudez is also coming in as the first Latina member of City Council since the previous was elected in 1999.

Though new to this position, Bermudez is not new to Hartford or City Hall. She was moved to run out of “frustration” with “fighting things from the periphery,” namely, the baseball stadium that is currently being erected in Downtown. (more…)

August 2015 Events

August 1

  • Tour the Annual Garden at Elizabeth Park. Meet at the Annual Garden for the 10 a.m. tour. Free.
  • Ninah’s Dowry screens free at the Hartford Public Library as part of the Global Lens Film Series, 1 p.m.
  • Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival: Music, food, and family activities by the Connecticut River, 1-11 p.m. Free admission, but food and beverages will cost you. If you’d prefer to bring your own picnic, you can, but no alcohol. But why would you? Isn’t getting food here the whole point?! There are multiple entrances to the Riverfront. You can park for free at Charter Oak Landing and Riverside Park and walk along the path.
  • Church by the Pond: Christ Church Cathedral provides a 2 p.m. service every Saturday by the pond in Bushnell Park. Bagged lunches are provided following the service.
  • HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Beyond the Picket Fence. They say: “3 best friends watch their parents struggle with issues of justice in the workplace- and are forced to make some hard choices of their own.”  Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $5. This is at the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue. (more…)

10+ Years In

In 2003, to oppose the United States’ invasion of Iraq meant setting oneself up for anything from ridicule to threats. Having been called a traitor in no uncertain terms, I know this firsthand. Seeing the biased coverage of the anti-war movement was what compelled me to participate in Indymedia, as there was (and is) a great need for reporting on social justice from the perspective — or at least, with empathy — of those not in the dominant culture.

Too often, the stories are still told from those in positions of power. We can see this in the narratives created about the protests of police brutality in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Most mainstream news outlets attached the word “riot” to what had been happening, despite citizen journalists’ video footage showing that the majority of the protests were peaceful, if not in language, at least in action.

A press release does not a story make. (more…)

Still Revolutionary, Real Hartford-Style

Connecticut is not boring. It is revolutionary. Still.

But tourism websites and ad agencies never capture this for a multitude of reasons, giving the masses yet another branding campaign to mock.

One reason these don’t work: they are too slick. We know someone is trying to sell us on a trip here or there. The realness is removed through photography and videography that is just too polished. There’s no human voice there.

Contrast that with two homegrown sites that exist primarily for the authors’ own amusement. Connecticut Museum Quest, authored by Stephen Wood, comes with its own mission statement: “destroying the myth that there is nothing to do here.”  Wood, often with his family in tow, travels around the state exploring museums, trails, food, and specializing in the quirky. This is how I learned there is something called “peak-bagging,” which is not what it sounds like. If all you know about Connecticut is Mystic Seaport, Mark Twain, and Mohegan Sun, this is the site to visit. He’ll show you everything on and off the beaten path, make you laugh while doing it, and tell the truth about which places have employees with nasty attitudes or venues with inconsistent hours. Even if you have lived in Connecticut your entire life, this site will introduce you to at least one thing you did not know existed.

The Size of Connecticut is a blog about the author’s “attempt to discover (and live in and travel around and photograph) these 4,845 sq. miles.” Johnna Kaplan was raised in Westport, where she understandably developed a skewed sense of what the rest of Connecticut was like; now, in New London, she travels the state learning about life outside of Fairfield County. This is where to find out about synagogues randomly in the middle of nowhere, replica schoolhouses, and what might attract young(ish) people (back) to Connecticut. Yes, she writes about Nathan Hale, but her portrayal has flavor.

There is nothing touristy about these sites, yet they are compelling in ways that the well-funded official sites are not.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism’s website is not without merit. There is information. It does make Connecticut appear attractive. But there are gaps. Look at the “Creative in Connecticut” list, for example. Someone unfamiliar with our state may glance at it and believe that we lack in creativity; we simply lack in people willing to put together comprehensive lists about creative offerings. To be fair, the “This Weekend” lists are better than the “Getaways.”

The other major failing of the “Still Revolutionary” official propaganda is that it wholly ignores activism in Connecticut today. Governor Malloy should get credit for acknowledging Connecticut’s role in the sexual revolution, but he speaks of it in the wrong verb tense. (more…)