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Meet Your City: Five Urban Walks

Elizabeth Park

 

If you are looking to wander without tight time limits or attachment to outcome, here are a few suggested paths.
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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.

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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

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Meet Your City: Instead of Brunch

Venue for a dance party and happy hour

It’s an unpopular opinion, I know. But everything — from the overpriced meals that could be easily made at home, to the stomach-turning portmanteau itself — is irksome.

This isn’t really about brunch, but what this activity shares with various others: a trendy experience that typically tries too hard to be polished while failing to deliver half the fun that could be had if everyone allowed for more rough edges.

So, instead of fretting over whether or not the kids-these-days will be entertained without rows of nightclubs downtown or bi-weekly parades, we could look at what Hartford does have. Namely: (more…)

Meet Your City: It’s Autumn. What Now?

Why live in New England if you aren’t even going to try to do some seasonal things? That does not mean getting “dressed like a fashion blogger” and creating staged moments for Instagram. Here are a few suggestions:

Night Fall
This is a free, annual outdoor performance that marks the change in seasons. It rotates to a different Hartford park each year and is one of those true community events where the hours before the show are as much about socializing with friends and neighbors as they are about buying snacks and claiming your blanket space. I’m going to go right ahead and take a guess that after the horrors in Vegas over the weekend, we can all benefit from more time connecting with others. There is dancing and giant puppets. It may look like an event for children on the surface, but I would not go so far as to categorize it that way. If you are an adult showing up without kids, you won’t be looked at as a creeper. Night Fall is in Bushnell Park on October 7 this year.

Elizabeth Park

Get a chaider
Kick those basic seasonal beverages to the curb. (more…)

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.

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Meet Your City: Small Parks

Charter Oak Landing

Why should Hartford’s large parks get all the glory? We have numerous playscapes and green areas with places to sit down.

Columbus Park: On Franklin Avenue between Bolton and Victoria Streets, there are tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a space for soccer games. Playground, water playground, and a rec center, plus, the Italian flag. (more…)