MJM

Meet Your City: Our Sharing Economy

Artwork by Miguel Jose Matos

 

Call it what you want — sharing, gifting, being neighborly — increasingly Hartford residents are showing interest in no-strings-attached giving, the kind you might not be able to write off on your taxes.

There are at least seven Little Free Libraries throughout the city that facilitate the giving and taking of books without time limits, late fees, or proof of identification. On Laurel Street (a few houses north of the intersection with Hawthorne Street) there’s a food pantry that operates similarly; anyone can donate food items and anyone can pick up, day or night, without any kind of hassle. It’s becoming less rare to find knit scarves and mittens tied to trees and fences downtown with messages encouraging people to go ahead and take them. Keep Hartford Warm collects and distributes winter clothing items to those in need.

Now, residents of some Hartford neighborhoods have another way to give and receive. The Buy Nothing Project, with its new group currently open to those living in Downtown, Frog Hollow, South Green, and the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhoods, provides the opportunity for people to ask with no obligation to give. Jane Macy-Painter, the admin of this hyper-local group, says she learned about the Buy Nothing Project’s larger network “and realized there wasn’t one local to the city.”

On the surface it may seem like the group has a million rules, but what it comes down to is be local, be an adult, and give without expectation of anything in return — whether that means money or barter. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Our Sharing Economy”

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MJM

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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MJM

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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MJM

Meet Your City: Instead of Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Brunch may come up short every time, but the idea of casually eating breakfast away from the kitchen table is just fine. Even finer, is not taking that coffee and muffin directly to your office desk. There is a world out there. Go see it. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Instead of Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

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MJM

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. Continue reading “Meet Your City: It’s Autumn. What Now?”

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Meet Your City: Mullets of Hartford

Spectra Wired

Business in the front, party in the back

Sarah’s Coffee House/Night Owl Pub
Chai lattes and egg sandwiches throughout the day at Sarah’s. The tiny bar that is Night Owl Pub is connected and sees some action from downtown workers on lunch breaks. At night, you can bring drinks over to the coffee side where sometimes there is live entertainment.

Tisane Euro Asian Cafe
You can get tea, a martini, or a cocktail with tea in it. If you’ve ever walked off a job and wondered where to go next, Tisane is a sure bet.

Spectra Wired
One of the newest additions to downtown, this sprawling space at Columbus Boulevard and Kinsley Street serves beer and wine on the lower level.

Mozzicato Caffé
There might not actually be a divide between booze and hot chocolate here.

What else should be on this list?

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MJM

Meet Your City: Ingredients

People ask me weird questions when I tell them that I live in Hartford. Particularly strange is the idea that I somehow have no access to food. Without even getting on a bus or calling up Lyft, actually, there are a few options — none of which involve bodegas, though those are on every other block if needed. The quality of produce varies; for bridging the gap on this, the value of farmers’ markets cannot be overstated.

The Farmers’ Market at the Regional Market
If you can manage to drag yourself out of bed this early, the retail sales are 6-9 am on Saturdays and Sundays. This is located at 101 Reserve Road in the South Meadows. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Ingredients”

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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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September 2017 Events in Hartford

Peace, Love & Music Together

DISCLAIMERS

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of my knowledge. Events are sometimes cancelled or postponed. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises or want to know what the plan is for inclement weather.

To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by September 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

This calendar is curated — it’s not a free-for-all. If an event is not in Hartford, kinda expensive, sketchy, or unclear, it’s not going on this calendar without major convincing that it belongs here.

September 1

  • Enjoy free live music on Pratt Street, 12-1:30 pm.
  • Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) offers Zumba classes on Fridays from 4-5 pm. This is free, but a $5 donation is welcome.
  • A one-hour Tai Chi class follows at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) at 5:30 pm. Suggested $5 donation.
  • The Beguiled screens at Cinestudio. They say: “Sofia Coppola’s new film brilliantly flips the 1971 film about an injured Union Army deserter (Clint Eastwood in the original) who hides out in a Southern girls school. Originally a tale of male titillation, it is turned to one exploring the ‘female gaze,’ still rare on the big screen. In non-film-school talk, this time it’s all about the female students (Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence), teachers (including Kirsten Dunst) and headmistress (a magnificent Nicole Kidman), and their barely concealed erotic fascination with the charmer in their midst.” This begins at 7:30 pm. General admission: $10. Some discounts available.
  • The Penniless Wild plays Arch Street Tavern at 10 pm. This show is 21+. $7 advance/$10 door.

September 2

  • Free First Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street), 9 am – 5 pm. Free admission to the museum galleries all day.
  • Coltsville Walking Tour: Free walking tours begins at 10 am and 2 pm by the Colt monument inside the Wethersfield Avenue entrance to Colt Park. No tours are given during bad weather.
  • Full Moon Meditation: The Hartford Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Avenue, ground floor) is hosting this free event from 3-4 pm.
  • Tee Tee Soul performs at Night Owl Pub (130 Ann Street), 8-10 pm. Free.

Continue reading “September 2017 Events in Hartford”

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