Between lists written by those who can’t see beyond the major institutions and shoddily researched, outdated articles authored by someone who spent little time in Hartford and has since moved elsewhere, it seemed appropriate to revisit just a few of the things we have going on here. As we have said before, we have to ♥ Mark Twain because when you move into Hartford you take an oath swearing as much, but we know that Twain and his legacy are not the only game in town:
One bike decorated for the Real Ride
- The Real Ride: during times of year when snow is not on the ground, cyclists of varying ability decorate their bikes with lights, streamers, giant puppets, beads, and more, and take a ten-mile slow ride around the city, at night. The group — in the hundreds — leaves from the Real Art Ways parking lot, taking a different route each time. On one ride, a cyclist towed a trailer on which an entire drum kit was set up and played during the ride. Other rides have featured a shopping cart bike with a giant dragon head mounted on it. This is free and all ages, beginning around nightfall and ending several hours later, as the group makes stops to view fireworks, participate in a drumming circle, or watch improv. What makes this significant? The ride gets people on the streets of Hartford after dark, doing more than just running off to their cars.
- Cedar Hill Cemetery: this is a place of peace and quiet, a place to see deer grazing around dusk, and a place to quietly recreate. That’s encouraged. They have hosted films, bird walks, and tours of the cemetery’s notable residents. Around Halloween, actors portray some of those residents in a lantern tour. Art, history, and nature collide here.
One contestant in the Art Sled Derby, 2014
- Art Sled Derby: For two years in a row, people have gathered at the hill in Elizabeth Park with sleds, some simple, and some seeming to challenge the idea of “sled.” There are no waivers, no fees. And there shouldn’t be. This is one of the regular sledding hills…but there is not usually the possibility of winning a bizarre trophy made of doll parts or competing against someone riding a bed down the slope. Unlike art galleries where work is curated, all entries are viewable. Even the creations that fall apart within seconds earn cheers from onlookers.
Continue reading 'Top Ten Non-Twain Things to Do in Hartford'»
Anne Cubberly’s creations — the fish and bird — could be seen in Downtown on Saturday. Cubberly is a 2013 Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant recipient for her production Night Fall, coming in October. Her giant puppets make appearances at cultural events throughout the year, including recently at the Latin World Rhythms Festival. Continue reading '(Almost) Free Saturday'»
Being unable to entertain oneself for time between meetings or other activities seems like a curse, one which most would benefit from breaking themselves of. The complaint that there is “nothing to do” in downtown, besides being false, speaks most loudly about the person waging it. This guide is not for them. It is for those who do not need constant stimulation — just a place to sit where they will not be hassled¹.
Heaven and New Ross, County Wexford Park
Above the I-84 tunnel, you will find a park that embraces loitering, skateboarding, and painting. Some people have said it looks like an eyesore, but creative expression is no less attractive than the plethora of fast food billboards, electronic signs, or the stark, gray slabs of concrete.
The area between Trumbull, Main, and Morgan Street contains many benches and a few tables. There is not much in the way of vegetation; the scenery here consists of regularly changing artwork and skaters. Continue reading 'Guide to Dawdling Downtown'»
In the name of science, we pressed the button four or five times. It doesn’t say where the octopus will be released. You’ve been warned.
The review site Yelp has compiled a Greater Hartford Bucket List for 2013, using suggestions submitted by its members. Over 60 of the 100 items listed are in Hartford proper. Here are just a few items to add to your to-do list:
- Annual Dragon Boat and Asian Festival
- ArtWalk Gallery opening at the Hartford Public Library
- Beat City Beauties Burlesque show
- Beef patties from Scott’s Jamaican Bakery
- Beer and Duckpin Bowling at Ducks on the Ave
- Bluegrass in the tavern at Firebox
- Chase down the NoRa Cupcake Truck
- Devour an Italian grinder at D&D Market
- Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour
- Latin American eats at El Mercado
- Night Fall performance in Pope Park
- See the two-headed calf in the Old State House
To see the full list, go to the Yelp site.
For those just tuning in, every month Real Hartford creates a calendar of events happening in the city. This is not intended to be all-inclusive– you’ll note the absence of “Ladies Nite” events. Continue reading 'February 2013 Events'»