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Meet Your City: Create, Stand, Laugh (Jan 2018)

CREATE
MakeHartford, a makerspace at 30 Arbor Street, is offering an Intro to Screenprinting class. Learn the basics of setting up the screen, creating a design on it, and then painting that design on patches, t-shirts, and cards. If you’ve never done this, it’s fun and kind of messy — dress for the occasion. There is a $20 fee, which if you know anything about prices for workshops/classes, is on the low side. Bring something (a t-shirt) to print on. Register online to take this class on January 22. If snow/ice happens, the class may be rescheduled for February 5, 2018.

STAND
In 2018 renew your commitment to social justice by showing up to Bushnell Park and the Connecticut State Capitol grounds on January 20, 2018 for the second annual Women’s March. Event organizers say: “We march to support each other and remind ourselves that we are not alone. We march to send a clear message that the Trump administration has no mandate. We march to organize and pledge to continue to work for a better future. It will also be part of a national voter registration and mobilization tour targeting swing states to register new voters, engage impacted communities, harness our collective energy to advocate for policies and candidates that reflect our values and collaborate with our partners to elect more women and progressives candidates to office.” Start brainstorming ideas for your DIY signs (or capes), or dig out the poster board from last year. Gather at Corning Fountain at 12:30 pm if you feel like marching, or go right to the Capitol at 1 pm. In the market for a pussy hat? Check out the discussion section of the event page on Facebook.

LAUGH
Kate Huffman
will be coming to Sea Tea Comedy Theater on January 4-6, 2018 to perform her solo show I’m Too Fat for This Show, providing an “opportunity for all people with obsessions, neuroticism, or negative self-talk to laugh at themselves.” Julia Pistell, the Managing Director of Sea Tea Comedy Theater, calls this “an award-winning, absolutely excellent one-woman comedy show about mental health, body image, eating disorders, and feminism.”  Tickets are $20.

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January 2018 Events in Hartford

January 1

  • Free ice skating in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm. You could start the new year off at the gym, but why? This is free, outdoors, and not surrounded by screens.
  • Tonight is the last chance this season to see Holiday Light Fantasia in Goodwin Park. 5-9 pm. $15 per car.

January 2

  • Go twirl on them haters at the rink downtown. Free ice skating in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm.

January 3

  • Free ice skating in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm.
  • Get HYPEd: the monthly casual networking event for young professionals will be at Hooker Brewery (140 Huyshope Ave.), 5:30-8:30 pm. Where is that? Look for the Colt Dome (see pic above). Bring your business cards. Free.
  • Mindfulness Meditation After Work: Free meditation class at Hartford Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Avenue, ground floor), 6:15-7:45 pm. They say this “class is open to people who are at all levels of meditation practice, whether you’ve never meditated or have years of experience. Join us for this fun and uplifting class Wednesday evening. Meet others who are looking for more clarity and peace through mindfulness. Experience the myriad benefits of mindfulness meditation, including lower stress and anxiety, a clear, more focused mind and better sleep. Beginners are more than welcome and will enjoy this supportive environment.
  • MakeHartford Open House: check out the space, meet other makers, ask questions, and learn about upcoming classes & events. Free at MakeHartford (30 Arbor Street, #B7), 6:30-8:30 pm.
  • X-Files season 11 is scheduled to air tonight at 8 on FOX. Find a bar that’ll give you a channel change.

Continue reading “January 2018 Events in Hartford”

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Five More Urban Walks

Riverside Park

December began with a suggestion for Five Urban Walks one could take if bored, seeking more experiential learning opportunities, or wanting something like exercise. Here are another five suggested routes, with more to come in the future.

Riverside Park
Keney Park

Keney Park North: At nearly 700 acres, Keney Park is ginormous. If you have not been before, it can be easy to get lost, particularly if you don’t have a strong sense of direction or the ability to pay attention long enough to remember which entrance you used. The best option for beginners prone to getting lost might be taking the Windsor Avenue entrance and then following the park road until you see a sign for the Leadership Trail on the left. It’s a not terribly long wooded path that empties into a part of the park that looks abandoned. It seems to connect with the Beech Grove Trail. I don’t recall seeing much labeled, but the path was clear enough to follow, as in, you know that you are on a path and not simply making your own trail through the woods. From there, look to pick up a path and head toward Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School. (If you miss this, you’ll just end up a bit down on Tower Avenue) You can take Rosemont Street, then any of the north-south side streets to get to Tower Avenue, and follow that east. This means going through a residential neighborhood. As long as you’re not snooping around, there’s nothing wrong with that. In this neighborhood, the norm is for residents to maintain their homes and yards. At Main Street, go north until you return to Keney Park, walking along the park road. Be sure to shake your fist at the highway structure that cuts through the park. This loop is an estimated 2.5 miles and not super adventurous except for the part that requires hopping across Meadow Brook. If you want more fun and to extend the walk, go to the northwestern side of the golf course and from there walk west, then south through the woods. Some of this is Windsor, technically, but there are no “Welcome to Windsor” signs in the woods so we’ll ignore that detail for a moment. There are also no clear paths and lots of rusty things out here. Make sure you are current with your tetanus shots and don’t blame me if you get very lost. Look for dunes. Continue reading “Five More Urban Walks”

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Meet Your City: History 101

Hey nerds! Growing up in Connecticut does not guarantee that you ever learned Hartford history. How do you start to patch those knowledge holes if you’re beyond formal schooling?

Indoors

  • Hartford History Center: Use books, maps, city records, photographs, and more to learn about anything from who was living on your street before it was officially a street, to who signed petitions to get bridges replaced — bridges that predated the burial of the Park River. There is a fee for scanning or making photocopies, but otherwise, this is a free service. They offer free online research tools.

    “Party Dog”, on display in the “That’s Weird” exhibit at Connecticut Historical Society
  • Connecticut Historical Society: There are a few different things happening in this space. The museum has Connecticut-specific exhibits. “That’s Weird” is the current exhibit through April 2018. Secrets of the Veeder House tours are offered sporadically. Free admission to the museum is offered on the first Saturday of each month. The Waterman Research Center is housed at CHS and requires a fee, so if you’re going to go, it’s with a mission and not just because you’re killing time (unless you’re made of money, in which case, How you doin’?). There are online research tools available at no charge.
  • Connecticut State Library: It’s a library, so basic services are free for Connecticut residents. Online research tools are available. The Museum of Connecticut History is housed here; entry is free.
  • Connecticut State Capitol: Self-guided and free guided tours are available. Gum chewing is not permitted during tours.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum: One of the weirdest juxtapositions I’ve experienced has been looking at the Colt gun collection while listening to Christmas music permeating the museum during The Festival of Trees and Traditions. It’s a little like falling inside of a Tarantino movie. So, there are the guns and the many things (allegedly) made out of The Charter Oak. Then, there is the series of paintings depicting Hartford in four directions. Free admission for Hartford residents.
  • Connecticut Old State House: Most of my visits here are simply to visit the Oddities, but the HIstory is All Around Us exhibit on the bottom level is an interactive way to see how suburban sprawl negatively impacted Hartford during the later part of the 20th century. You can tour the actual old State House rooms, if that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat. Adult admission is $6.
  • Butler-McCook House & Garden: This is the yellow house at Capitol Avenue and Main Street. There are tours available for a fee.
  • Mark Twain House & Museum: It’s $6 to visit the museum; $20 for the museum and a tour of the Twain house.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center: This includes the Stowe House and Katharine Seymour Day House, along with a research center focused mostly on Stowe, but extending to others who lived in the vicinity (“Nook Farm neighborhood”). Free admission for Hartford residents.

Continue reading “Meet Your City: History 101”

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Meet Your City: How to Winter

It’s colder. It’s snowier. Winter does not officially begin for a few more days, but it’s time for a little how-to for people who are either new to the area or have been here their whole lives but had not lived independently until now. Continue reading “Meet Your City: How to Winter”

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December 2017 Events

December 1

  • Free ice skating and skate rentals at the rink in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm.
  • Frenchie Friday: from 5-7 pm at Naturally Dogs & Cats (10 Trumbull Street). They say: “Ho ho ho! Santa Paws is coming to town on December 1st and he’ll be hanging out at Naturally Dogs and Cats LLC! Since we know there are no such things as naughty Frenchies, I’m sure he’ll have some special treats for all the nice pups that come to visit. All dogs are welcome, and we’ll be taking donations for the French Bulldog Rescue Network, so come hang out!
  • St. Lucia Festival: Emanuel Lutheran Church (311 Capitol Avenue) will be hosting its 104th St. Lucia Festival. Tickets are $5 adults and $3 children, available at the door. 5 and 8 pm.
  • Winged Eyes, Thick Thighs: Free workshop for women at Tainted, Inc. (56 Arbor Street, Suite 310A), 6-7 pm. They say: “It’s time to feel empowered and sexy in your body. Self-expression is a way to create your own identity. On the path to self-love, one of the first steps is to walk in your power and feel comfortable in every move that you make. You don’t need to be a dancer to gain the benefits of movement. This body-positive dance class will help you feel powerful in every inch of your skin. Let us help you connect to your body and create art by using movement.”
  • Full Moon Meditation: Free mediation at Hartford Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Avenue), 6:30-7:30 pm.
  • World AIDS Day: Commemorate World AIDS Day with a concert by the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus at Wadsworth Atheneum. Reception at 6:30 pm; performance at 7:30 pm. Free.
  • David Stoltz & Friends give a free jazz performance at The Flying Monkey (20 Lindbergh Drive), 7-10 pm.
  • Fall Dance, Embodied Voices: Honoring Judy Dworin — a free and public dance production at Trinity College beginning at 7:30 pm. This will be in the Austin Arts Center. They say: “This fall dance performance honors Trinity College Professor of Theater and Dance Emerita Judy Dworin, a 1970 alumna of Trinity. Dworin established the Dance Program, co-founded the Trinity/La MaMa Performing Arts Semester in New York City, and chaired the Department of Theater and Dance at Trinity for many years. The Trinity student dancers in this performance are Katie Haynes ’21, Rachel Fox ’21, Claire Quigley ’18, and Samantha McAward ’21. Admission to the performance is free, though tickets are required. For tickets and more information, please call the Austin Arts Center Box Office at (860) 297-2199.”
  • Hip Hop for the Homeless: show starts at Chango Rosa (Union Place), 8 pm. Bring clothing and canned food to donate.

December 2

  • Through Their Eyes Conference: This workshop will include discussion of “conversion therapy” and equality for LGBTQIA+ people in places of worship. To be held at Center Church (60 Gold Street), 9 am – 12 pm. Free.
  • Get some trees and wreaths without leaving Hartford. Go see what the Chrysalis Center (255 Homestead Avenue) has in stock, 9 am – 2 pm.
  • Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street) museum galleries, 9 am – 5 pm.
  • Free ice skating lessons, 10-11 am, at the rink in Bushnell Park.
  • Last chance to see “The Memories Between, Women of Nobility” at the ArtWalk Gallery inside of Hartford Public Library.
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals at the rink in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm.
  • State Visit to Hartford by Marcus and Amy Garvey: 12 pm at Trinity College Downtown Campus (10 Constitution Plaza — enter at State Street between Market Street and and Columbus Blvd.). They say: “The Marcus Garvey Popular Theatre Project is coming from the Caribbean to Hartford—home to one of the largest West Indian and Caribbean populations in the United States—to perform a State Visit to Hartford by Marcus and Amy Garvey. The theatrical and educational project is designed to help people explore and reflect on the history and legacy of Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey (1887–1940), who initiated a movement dedicated to black racial pride and economic self-sufficiency.” This is a free, public event that includes meal and discussion.
  • Civic Ambassadors Summit: Hartford Public Library is hosting this free event (lunch included), 12-4:30 pm. They say: “Get the tools you need to create positive change in your community! Become part of the movement that is engaging residents across the state. Every voice counts– we need yours! Civic action leads to real socioeconomic benefits– this summit can get you started, or help you be even more effective on the road to change.” Registration required.
  • Hartford Bluegrass Pickin’ Party: Come play, come listen. 3-5 pm at Real Art Ways (56 Arbor Street). Free admission. While you’re there, check out the tag sale.

December 3

  • The Chrysalis Center (255 Homestead Avenue) will be selling wreaths and trees, 9 am – 2 pm.
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals at the rink in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm.
  • BPM: a discussion with Shawn Lang follows the screening of BPM at Real Art Ways (56 Arbor Streets), 1 pm. Admission: $11, with some discounts.
  • The Auburn Mode performs at Hog River Brewing Company (1429 Park Street), 4-7 pm. Free admission.
  • Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols: If you’ve never been inside the Trinity College Chapel, you owe it to yourself to check it out, regardless of religious belief or affiliation. They say: “The service includes music of the season offered by the Chapel Singers – the oldest continuing student group on campus – the Trinity College Gospel Choir, and the Trinity African Choir. The music this year is directed for the first time by Christopher Houlihan ’09, newly appointed College Organist and Director of Chapel Music. A brass quintet and timpani joins the choirs, and Vaughn Mauren ’07 accompanies on organ. Trinity College warmly invites the public to attend the free event. A freewill offering will be taken.” You have two chances to listen: 4 and 7 pm.
  • Sea Tea Improv’s Family Show: This is at 15 Asylum Street, 5 pm. They say: “Our improv comedy show is interactive, with chances for kids and adults alike to shout out suggestions and even opportunities to volunteer to play some improv games with us on stage! The comedy is all-ages — kids and adults will have a lot to laugh about.
    Kids age 12 and under are just $5!
    ” Adults: $10.
  • Syllable: The reading series continues at Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue), 6:30-8:30 pm. Free admission.
  • Cinestudio (300 Summit Street) is screening 2001: A Space Odyssey, projected in 70mm film. They say: “Order your tickets early for a rare chance to see one of critics’ Top Ten films, that set the standard for any futuristic movie that followed. Only Kubrick had the audacity to begin and end his movie with 20 dialogue-free minutes – as hominids discover a mysterious monolith, and as the sole surviving astronaut on a mission to Jupiter (Keir Dullea) takes a journey to the infinite. The genius of 2001 is everywhere: its use of classical music, its amazing (non CGI) FX, its sentient computer operating system (HAL), and its ability to make space as absolutely terrifying as it is beautiful.” 7:30 pm. General admission: $10.

December 4

  • Free ice skating and skate rentals at the rink in Bushnell Park, 11 am – 8 pm.
  • Asylum Hill Congregational Church (814 Asylum Avenue) will be offering a Service of Remembrance and Healing, 7-8 pm.
  • Cinestudio (300 Summit Street) is screening 2001: A Space Odyssey, projected in 70mm film. They say: “Order your tickets early for a rare chance to see one of critics’ Top Ten films, that set the standard for any futuristic movie that followed. Only Kubrick had the audacity to begin and end his movie with 20 dialogue-free minutes – as hominids discover a mysterious monolith, and as the sole surviving astronaut on a mission to Jupiter (Keir Dullea) takes a journey to the infinite. The genius of 2001 is everywhere: its use of classical music, its amazing (non CGI) FX, its sentient computer operating system (HAL), and its ability to make space as absolutely terrifying as it is beautiful.” 7:30 pm. General admission: $10.
  • Stand-Up Comedy Open Mic: There’s a $5 cover to watch or perform; performers get a drink ticket. Sign up at 7:30. Show begins at 8 pm.

Continue reading “December 2017 Events”

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November 2017 Events in Hartford, CT

November 1

  • Get HYPEd: Networking opportunity for young professionals at Spectra Wired Cafe (5 Constitution Plaza), 5:30-8:30 pm. Free to attend.
  • Stop by The Tavern at Keney Park on Wednesday nights for trivia, 6:30-9 pm. The restaurant is located next to the golf course inside the park.
  • Take a tour of MakeHartford (30 Arbor Street, North basement corridor), Hartford’s makerspace. 6:30-9 pm. Free.
  • Brooks Strause, Extravision, and Chad Browne-Springer give free performances at 11 Regent Street, 7-9 pm.
  • Last chance to see Kedi at Cinestudio, 7:30 pm. General admission: $10.

November 2

  • The Hartford Police Department (253 High Street) will be holding a public Comstat meeting at 5:30 pm. They say: “We feel strongly about sharing our information with our community. We are opening our doors for you to see what current crime trends our city is experiencing, along with our predictive and preventative efforts. Our Comstat program is a dynamic and informative presentation and discussion. Your ideas, questions and energy are welcomed. Community conversations are encouraged.”
  • Fall LGBTQ Evening Out: This is at The Flying Monkey Grill Bar (20 Lindbergh Drive), 6-9 pm.
  • Take the Hartford Bike Plan survey
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Training: Learn how to identify and reverse an overdose at the Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition (1229 Albany Avenue, Lower Level); participants will receive a Naloxone kit. This is free, but registration is required.
  • Attend a concert to benefit those in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Orice Jenkins, Sarah Morin, Daniel Salazar, and Sea Tea Improv will be performing at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Avenue), 7-8:30 pm. Suggested donation: $15.
  • Twang Thursdays: Jeff Przech performs at Hog River Brewing, Co. (1429 Park Street), 7-9 pm. No cover.
  • The POSSM and friends perform at Peppercorn’s Grill (357 Main Street) for the first time since the fire. 8:30-11 pm. No cover.

November 3

  • Salsa Workshop: A beginner class begins at 3 pm; intermediate at 4. Classes are $10 each. This is at Hartford Ballroom (56 Arbor Street, 4th floor). Use code 2005* to get in. Call (860) 922-1550 if you have questions.
  • Hartford Jazz Society Fall Concert: The Eric Alexander Quartet will be headlining this show at the Polish National Home (60 Charter Oak Avenue), 7-10 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, with some discounts available.

November 4

  • Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street) galleries, 9 am – 5 pm.
  • National Read-a-Thon: A costumed “Samuel Clemens” will read The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine at this free, all ages event. This is at the Mark Twain House & Museum (351 Farmington Avenue), 11 am – 12 pm.
  • Wallace Stevens Birthday Bash: guest speaker, wine, hors d’oeuvres, book signing, cake, and champagne. Suggested donation of $10; nobody turned away for lack of funds. Hartford Public Library, 2-4 pm.
  • Community Drum & Dance Circle: All ages and abilities welcome. Bring your own percussion or use one provided. 6-8 pm at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue). $5 suggested donation.
  • Rearrange Me: At Real Art Ways (56 Arbor Street), 7:30 pm. They say: “An evening of musical contrasts and creative surprises as eight Connecticut artists play songs by each other, rearranged in their own characteristic performance styles. Each of the eight Rearrange Me artists will be secretly assigned one of the other artists. They will then choose a song and perform it as though it was their own. This means that a folk artist, if assigned a hip-hop artist, will rearrange and perform a song by the hip-hop artist in folk style… and so forth. Each artist will only know their own Rearrange Me assignment, so the audience and the other performers will hear the pieces for the first time together.Tickets are $10.
  • Day of the Dead / Día de Muertos Party: Live Mexican music by Mariachi Mexico Antiguo, dancing, Mexican food, art opening, and cash bar. 8:30 pm – 12:30 am at The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew Avenue). Tickets: $15

Continue reading “November 2017 Events in Hartford, CT”

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October 2017 Events in Hartford

At a loss? Go take a walk. This is the best time of year for that kind of thing.

October 1

  • Head of the Riverfront Regatta: It costs nothing to watch rowing at Riverside Park, 8:30 am – 5 pm.
  • CT Rally for Racial Justice: This meets in front of City Hall at 2 pm. Participants will march from there to Vernon and Broad Streets.
  • Syllable: Starting at 7 pm, listen to readings from Amity Gaige, Jamil Ragland, Julie Choffel, Kathy Czepiel, and Alycia Jenkins. This is at Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue). No cover.

October 2

  • Industry Night returns to Little River Restoratives (405 Capitol Avenue), starting at 6 pm. All are welcome. There will be a DJ and all day happy hour.
  • The Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs at Arch Street Tavern, 8-9 pm. Free.

Continue reading “October 2017 Events in Hartford”

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Meet Your City: Books

Borrow

What’s the deal with these weird birdhouses?
Little Free Libraries allow anyone — no ID or face-to-face interaction required — to borrow books indefinitely. They are always open. You do not even need to sign out the book you take. When you return it, you can drop the book off at any of the little library locations. Book donations are welcome too. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Books”

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Meet Your City: (Almost) Free Love

A friend recently cited expense as a reason to refrain from dating; there are many legitimate reasons for this choice — unwillingness to compromise, lack of interest in other people, enjoying one’s own company — but money is not one of them. Not when with some creativity, people can go out without having to empty their wallets.

Free — Always or Sometimes Continue reading “Meet Your City: (Almost) Free Love”

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