Cinema, Cocktails, and Creative Cuisine

In November, the Capitol Cinema Collective will be bringing independent short and feature-length films to the city in its Hartford International Film Festival. This Wednesday (10/22) there will be a fundraiser for the Hartford International Film Festival at Barça Restaurant and Tapas Bar in Parkville at 7pm.

I have had the chance to preview some of the films to be shown in November and will be going on Wednesday to support this. Barça is in the Design Center at 1429 Park Street.

Last Chance!

food.jpgThe West End Farmers’ Market will be shutting down for the season this Friday. This means that Tuesday and Friday between 4 and 7pm are your last chances to stop by the market at the corner of South Whitney and Farmington until Spring 2009.
These other Hartford farmers’ markets are scheduled to remain open until the following dates:

Capitol Avenue (next to Bushnell) – October 27
Park Street (Park & Washington) – October 27

Billings Forge (Broad) – October 30

Northend Farmers’ Market (Coventry St.) – November 5

Downtown Farmers’ Market – Thanksgiving

Cultural Events at the Riverfront

Mark September 20th, 21st, and 27th on your calendars. These events are free and open to the public. There are nearby bus stops and parking lots.

September 20: Dragon Boat Races and Asian Festival : There will be dancing, drumming, and martial arts. All of these events promise food.

Septemeber 21: Incredible India Festival and Walk : music and entertainment

September 27: Pipes in the Valley Celtic Festival : Highland games, whisky tasting, Red Hot Chili Pipers, bagpipes, drumming, kilt-wearing, and kids’ activities

News from Around Town

I’ve been on a semi-vacation for the past week, which means I’ve been taking a lot of daytrips and trying to stay out of my own way. There will be photos. Actually, the new image header at the top of the page (leave the reader and see website) is among them, taken of Hartford from Heublein Tower on a day that didn’t seem hazy until I climbed up Talcott Mountain.

Amy Bergquist has information about the sidewalks in the West End, which seem to have a life of their own and for which homeowners are responsible for maintain. In case anyone was curious about what bloggers talk about when we get together for coffee, it’s sidewalks.

Jude, who has been paying attention to the development along New Britain Avenue, writes about new restaurants that should be opening in Elmwood any day now. I know that I remember someone dubbing Elmwood as “honorary Hartford,” so it fits here. Maybe we can start a movement to annex Elmwood?

Meriden is also honorary Hartford, but is too far away for that to work; however, the new Springfield-to-New Haven commuter rail will be closing such distances. Helder Mira has information about a fundraiser for this project (the railway, not my fantasy of annexing Meriden).

If it’s important for you to have control over your transportation, there are two events coming up that might be of interest. First, the monthly Bike-To-Work event will be happening on August 29th. Some of you might already bike or walk to work regularly, but during this event, you can get breakfast. Even though very elderly riders put me to shame last year, I suppose I should mention that the Discover Hartford Bicycle and Walking Tour is scheduled for September 13th. It’s not a race, but I recommend training if you are deficient in muscles as I was for the tour last year.

Okay, back to my pseudo-vacation.

Downtown Farmers’ Market

osh_fm1.jpgAlthough the Hartford Courant had reported last week that the farmers’ market had been canceled, it was up and running yesterday. There were three or four tables set up with locally grown produce. I will try to find out if the market has been canceled, or if that was a misprint, as they say.

How to Build Community (Against All Odds): Part One

The Syracuse Cultural Workers created a poster which I’m sure many readers have seen before, but which I feel compelled to discuss regardless. The items in bold are on their list of ways to build community, and my comments are in a regular font.

Think of no one as “them”: Creating categories based on difference allows individuals to more easily justify the unjustifiable, to excuse the inexcusable. The result? When some kind of crime or wrongdoing occurs in an certain area or to a person who belongs to a different group (race, class, sexuality, ability, gender, religion, political affiliation, you name it…), it is not thought of as something that might concern all in society. Thus, it’s remains to be addressed in a productive way. The “answer” goes something like this: “avoid Hartford,” “bulldoze it and start over,” “more prisons,” “send criminals/undesirables to Springfield.” Those sentiments are not productive by any stretch of the imagination.

Don’t confuse your comfort with your safety: In my walks to work, I have felt discomfort. In my old neighborhood, I would pass a homeless shelter and park where people who were basically up to no good, or had no other place to go, would congregate. Even with the verbal street harassment which made the trip sometimes irritating, I never felt unsafe. (more…)