Category: design


By , November 24, 2015 6:13 am

If you were wondering which bench in the city is the best, here it is. Continue reading 'Sit'»

Hartford Fashion Week

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By , October 5, 2015 8:32 am

The first ever Hartford Fashion Week put Union Station’s woefully underutilized Great Hall into use this weekend, temporarily converting dead space into a showcase for local designers. Continue reading 'Hartford Fashion Week'»

PARK(ing) Day 2015

By , September 18, 2015 2:53 pm

Thirteen spots usually used for on-street parking were reclaimed as tiny parks in Downtown on Friday as part of PARK(ing) Day. Continue reading 'PARK(ing) Day 2015'»

CTFastrak: A Seat-of-the-Pants Review

By , March 30, 2015 8:43 pm

Part One: Frog Hollow to Firefly Hollow

Photo by Christopher Brown

A friend had suggested a Sunday morning meet-up at the downtown New Britain CTFastrak terminal for a leisurely bike ride to Bristol’s Firefly Hollow Brewing Company. I rode my bike to the Sigourney Street Fastrak station in Asylum Hill to catch a free ride to Hard Hittin’ New Britain. A woman in a bright vest offered a decal and advice about the best entrance to use when loading a bike on the bus. (Tip: there’s a bike pictogram by the rearmost door—go in that way) Continue reading 'CTFastrak: A Seat-of-the-Pants Review'»

Heaven’s Open

By , July 13, 2014 1:54 pm

Photo courtesy of Andy Hart

Continue reading 'Heaven’s Open'»

Hartford Has Style: Another Weekend, Another Fashion Show

By , May 20, 2014 8:03 am

Following hor d’oeuvres and open bar, a few dozen people who haven’t experienced fashion show fatigue yet took their seats along the 100 foot runway installed on Pratt Street Saturday for the Hartford Has Style event.

NIRO and That Flavour Boutique, both of Pratt Street, presented clothing and shoes. Other designers and stores represented included House of Ettienne, Tanijah Gamble, I’m Possible Club, Yanique Mattice, Carmen Veal Swimwear, Zubair, and the Hartford Denim Company. Minimal information was provided about these designers.

Garments were modeled by a mix of models and “role models.” Logan Byrnes, Yvonne Davis, Jennifer DiBella, Oz Griebel, Jerry Long, Hector Rivera, Donna Sodipo, Tara Spain, Sharon Dichand, and Michael Williams were listed as the role models.

There were multiple singing performances and an “Instagram Intermission” during the event; it seemed more chairs opened up after each pause, with spectators leaving as the temperatures dropped and Pratt Street became a wind tunnel — a condition not compatible with strapless gowns.

Let’s look at how this latest show compares with the other recent ones: Kate Couture and Trashion Fashion.



Continue reading 'Hartford Has Style: Another Weekend, Another Fashion Show'»

Final Downtown North Design Meeting

By , December 12, 2013 5:13 pm

Artwork on structure walls at Heaven. It was proposed that these structures be removed or reduced in size. There were objections to the removal of this public art.

“This is about preparing an area for development,” said Thomas Deller, City of Hartford’s Director of Development Services. “Everything that’s here is being proposed as the maximum.”

The Downtown North Park Plan is funded, Deller said, by a sustainable community grant to “determine how we develop” the area “for growth and sustainability.”

As with the previous two public meetings, there were questions about who these proposed changes are for, even as the standing room only crowd was told that a steering committee included community members.

But all along, it has been evident that whole segments of the population have not been included in the planning process. At the previous meeting in October, very few residents not employed by the City were in attendance, and no regular users of New Ross, County Wexford Park were involved, even though this small park has its own Friends group. At that meeting, when I informed Tim Love, the Principal of Utile, Inc., that the park is currently used by skaters and others, and that a formal skate park was about the break ground, I was told that if this park was deemed not in the interest of economic development, the skate park could be moved.
I suggested that the parties involved in redevelopment reach out to the community.

That does not seem to have happened in the time since, but park users — including those who skate, do parkour, and use the space as a canvas for their art — caught wind of the plans to change a space without seeking their input. So, they showed up at last night’s final meeting, and they showed up in large numbers.

Regular users of Wexford, New Ross County Park — Heaven — showed up to the meeting where the park was given two minutes of discussion tacked on at the end just before the library closed.

Predictably, information about the skate park was presented last, for mere minutes, and then followed by the rushed Q&A segment. Continue reading 'Final Downtown North Design Meeting'»

“N” is for No: Community Speaks Against Closure of Clark School

By , November 7, 2013 1:34 pm

Photo by Christopher Brown

“You have used the most powerful word in the English language,” Steve Harris, member of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee said, “and that word is ‘no.'”

“No” is what the parents, families, teachers, staff, and community have been saying to the proposal that the public John C. Clark  School be phased out and replaced by Achievement First, a charter school.

Photo by Christopher Brown

After this proposal was sprung on the Clark School last month, parents have stood up to say they are not interested in having their children’s school closed.

Before the Board of Education workshop on Wednesday night, nineteen people lined up to speak against this proposal in the cafeteria of the former Milner School on Vine Street in the city’s North East neighborhood, blocks away from the school in jeopardy.

Imam Muhammad Ansari, the President of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the NAACP, said “this issue is a civil rights issue when the parents’ rights are being taken away.” Continue reading '“N” is for No: Community Speaks Against Closure of Clark School'»

Public Comment Futile on Downtown North Park Design?

By , October 23, 2013 7:50 am

A question routinely asked by Hartford residents is if attending the endless number of public meetings serves any purpose. People feel their voices are not heard. Sometimes nothing comes from these conversations. Some suspect that these feedback sessions are held just so various entities can check “public engagement” off their lists before moving on to the next stage.

Last week’s Downtown North Park meeting did little to improve confidence in such things. Continue reading 'Public Comment Futile on Downtown North Park Design?'»


By , September 20, 2013 4:24 pm

Green carpets were rolled out this morning for people, boggling the minds of those who had never heard of PARK(ing) Day before. Though anybody can participate in this worldwide event by simply taking over metered parking spaces, Hartford’s first ever PARK(ing) Day was organized.

We were told that the sod, brought in by KNOX, would be re-used in some way during EnvisionFest this weekend. Because of the limited hours we were unable to see everything, but here’s a glimpse at some ways Downtown’s streets and a parking lot transformed earlier on Friday:

Pratt Street

Robyn Valente on Pratt Street

Continue reading 'PARK(ed)'»

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