Category: Asylum Hill

Silence on Saving the Salvation Shelter

By , August 28, 2014 7:28 am

Keeping homeless shelters open is not a new struggle in Hartford, but this time, the some $100,000 that was expected for the Salvation Army Marshall House vanished between the recommended budget and the adopted budget. A mere five-minute walk from what will be the CTfastrak Sigourney Street Station, the Marshall House has provided shelter for single women and families since 1974.

The adopted budget for the “Senior and Community Services Program” is $2.13M, down from the $2.2M in the recommended budget. This is where budgeting for the Marshall House, which serves as a no-freeze shelter for families, can be found in the City document. The 2013-2014 budget was $2.36M and reasons for the decrease in funding have been vague; the spending difference is explained only for the Health and Human Services budget as a whole. Continue reading 'Silence on Saving the Salvation Shelter'»

September 2014 Events

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By , August 26, 2014 9:46 am

September 1

  • Shop the Park Street Farmers’ Market (161 Washington) from 9am-1pm.
  • The First Presbyterian Church (136 Capitol) will be holding its farmers’ market from 10am-1pm today.
  • Chabad Chevra is holding a Labor Day Kosher BBQ to welcome new and returning students. Free food, t-shirts, and Israeli music. They say, “stop by to get a mezuzah for your dorm room.” This event will take place at Alumni Plaza (residential side of University of Hartford campus next to University Commons. 5-6:30pm.
  • Free jazz at Black-eyed Sally’s, 350 Asylum Street. 8-11pm. There’s no cover, but don’t be stingy — if you want to hear local music, you need to keep the venues running.

September 2

  • The farmers’ market at the Old State House (800 Main) runs from 10am-1pm.
  • The West End Farmers’ Market is open on Tuesdays from 4-7pm on the Clemens Green on Farmington Avenue.
  • There is no public hearing at the Board of Education workshop meetings, but if you like to stay informed on the state of public education, it may be worth your time. This meeting will be held in the Achievement First Hartford Academy, 305 Greenfield Street, from 5-7pm.
  • For those who like to compete, tonight is Real Bored (Games) at Real Art Ways. They provide the games, but you can also bring your own. 6-10pm. Free. 56 Arbor Street. Continue reading 'September 2014 Events'»

August 2014 Events

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By , July 28, 2014 8:23 am

Instructions: Skim list. Jot down items of interest on own personal calendar. Enjoy.

August 1

  • Dave Costa will perform at noon on the terrace of the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Free.
  • The Wadsworth Atheneum continues its Movies & Music Under the Stars series with Bombshell, starring Jean Harlow. Music by Criollo Clasico begins at 5:30pm in Gengras Court. Dinner available for purchase. The film begins at 8:15 (dark). Members receive free admission and one free drink. Regular admission prices apply for non-members.
  • BECK & CALL: The Servants Tour of the Mark Twain House, directed by Steven Raider-Ginsburg, starts at 7 tonight. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for youth. Reservations are required.
  • HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Change In Your Pocket, a play about food justice. The Youth Play Institute is a project that helps young people to brainstorm topics, develop a play, create the set, act it out, and more. Each play is on a different topic, with past ones exploring issues like violence and harsh punishments in schools. You can catch this three times– today at 7:30pm, on August 2nd at 7:30pm, and August 3rd at 2pm. Tickets are $5. Performances will be in the Carriage House Theater at 360 Farmington Avenue. Park for free in the Mark Twain Museum visitor lot (right across the street from the theater) or on street in legal spots.
  • There will be a free screening of Karate Kid in Goodwin Park at sundown. Bring a blanket or chairs and snacks.

    Goodwin Park

August 2

  • Stop into MakeHartford, MakerSpace to make a blinking light bracelet out of LEDs and duct tape. This is an all-ages workshop. $12. This space is located at 30 Arbor Street. 10-11am. Bring your own safety glasses.
  • The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival returns to the Riverfront from 1-10pm. Live music, children’s activities, food, and more. Raindate: August 3.
  • The backlash against the monster SUVs, McMansions, and other forms of conspicuous consumption is firmly here. Tiny: A Story About Living Small screens at Real Art Ways at 2pm. This documentary examines the movement to live in houses smaller than the average parking space. $10 general, $5 members. They say they are only showing this film once, so today is the day.
  • Watch the film Powered by Dreams, a documentary about the founder of the Dream Support Network and his steps to recovery after a near-death experience with kidney disease. This is hosted by The 224 (224 Farmington Avenue) at 3pm. Suggested donation $5.
  • Reception for artist Victor Pacheco at Real Art Ways, 6-8pm.
  • The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew) presents Deep Blue Rendezvous, a summer party and art show. Expect rooms decorated to match the theme, along with underwater trash art, video projects, and DJs. It’s suggested that attendees dress for the theme: pirates, mermaids, jellyfish, etc. This is an 18+ event. Advance tickets are $10; at door, $15. 9pm-1am. Continue reading 'August 2014 Events'»

NewWorks/NewWORLD: A Latino PlayFEST Opens Wednesday

By , June 24, 2014 2:25 pm

HartBeat Ensemble –  in collaboration with NoPassport Theater Alliance and support from the City of Hartford and the Greater Hartford Arts Council — presents a four day celebration of Latino/a artists in theater, film, and visual art.

On June 25-27, 11:30-2 and 4-6:30, stop by the Carriage House Theater (360 Farmington Avenue) to view art curated by Nina Salazar of Studio N111 and to pick up tickets for other events.

Members of the Hartford/Ocotal Sister City Project will give a free reading of The Güegüense, a farcical theatrical work dating back to 17th century Nicaragua. This will take place at 7pm on June 25. Continue reading 'NewWorks/NewWORLD: A Latino PlayFEST Opens Wednesday'»

Discussion on History and Art at Twain House

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By , June 6, 2014 9:17 am

Jeff Zinn,, Nicolas Lampert, Marc Favreau, and Will K. Wilkins

This week the Mark Twain House and Museum hosted a symposium on Howard Zinn’s  A People’s History of the United States, first published in 1980. Jeff Zinn, the author’s son, spoke about how conventional many parts of the household was growing up, with father as breadwinner and mother as “housewife.” Continue reading 'Discussion on History and Art at Twain House'»

DOT Mitigation for Closure of Flower Street: Ain’t Nothing New Under the Sun

By , May 13, 2014 10:26 am

This is what the east-west mitigation path (Flower Street to Broad Street) looked like at 10:30 last night. At the meeting, two representatives from the Hartford Courant said that building a bridge would be “extravagant” and that they think the DOT did a “good job” with this pathway.

Fighting with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to lock down safe and reasonable pedestrian and cyclist access is a long process, so it’s unsurprising that those attending the latest round were small in number– a mix of those who understand the project better than some of those presenting on it, and those who were uninformed about how we came to be in a room discussing a multimillion dollar project that nobody wants.

Background for those just tuning in: The DOT barricaded one of Hartford’s city streets last year. Pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, even emergency vehicles, are unable to go from Capitol Avenue to Farmington Avenue on this street.

Neighborhood groups opposed this for obvious reasons, like losing north-south access between Frog Hollow and Asylum Hill. Area small businesses opposed this out of fear of losing significant foot traffic; later, those stores along Capitol Avenue would experience the loss in revenue predicted. The City of Hartford initially opposed this, but then backed off. Aetna had been ready to provide legal support to fight this, but they eventually cowered. Christopher Brown, a resident of Frog Hollow and board member of Bike Walk CT, sought a writ of mandamus — for us plain folk, that means he sued the DOT, not to get any money, but to force them to keep Flower Street open for cyclists and pedestrians. In Superior Court, as in these public neighborhood meetings, the argument for keeping the street open got twisted; instead of the case being about safety, it was interpreted as being about convenience — something that has never been the emphasis for vocal residents and business owners. What came out of that time in court was that the DOT is now on record as being committed to building a bridge that would actually move pedestrians and cyclists in the north-south direction.

Still no word on how this would be funded

At Monday’s meeting intended to update the community on the DOT’s plans for this Flower Street up-and-over, the attention once again was placed on convenience over safety. Though the method for obtaining these numbers was never disclosed, we were told that taking the Broad Multi-Use Path would take 6.3 minutes, the Skywalk, 5.5 minutes, and the elevator, 5.6 minutes. During this process, the community has asked the DOT for data on pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and injuries at at-grade crossings versus at busy intersections and at Interstate ramp crossings. To date, the public has not received this information.

At the meeting, Brown raised the point that according to the DOT’s own internal emails obtained through a FOIA request, there is a simple solution that would not require millions of dollars or minutes of detour: go from a double lane of busway to single for a small portion of the New Britain-to-Hartford path. According to the DOT Continue reading 'DOT Mitigation for Closure of Flower Street: Ain’t Nothing New Under the Sun'»

Proposed Changes to Sigourney and Capitol Area Focus of Public Meeting

By , May 7, 2014 10:08 pm

Part of the proposed changes to Sigourney Street area

Most interesting about the public meeting attended by a dozen people tonight was the total omission of Senator Fonfara’s bold move to re-open Flower Street. His provision, which was voted through by State Senate and House on Tuesday night as part of a bond package, states that the north-south street which runs parallel to Sigourney and Broad, must remain open to vehicular traffic for a minimum of twenty hours each day. Currently, the street is barricaded in the middle, not allowing even emergency vehicles through.

The public meeting focused on the initial design phase of streetscaping around what will be the Sigourney Street New Britain-to-Hartford Busway station, with changes mostly planned for areas at and south of that platform. The presentation and conversation covered potential changes elsewhere in Frog Hollow, including along Capitol Avenue and Broad Street.

City of Hartford, TPA Design Group, Greater Hartford Transit District, and CTfastrak/CT DOT were all at the table, with GHTD and TPA leading most of the presentation. As hopeful as anyone wants to be about change to what currently showcases poor design and maintenance, the cynicism that comes with years of seeing people fall through on promises was evident in public discussion. For some, it seemed like after the DOT presented designs, the City came forward with designs for the same areas. Are we spending money on duplicate services? Who takes the lead? What falls to the side? In this case, we learned that the DOT has no money marked for Capitol Avenue streetscape improvements; the City is leading all of that. Continue reading 'Proposed Changes to Sigourney and Capitol Area Focus of Public Meeting'»

Scenes from the Sidewalk: Blue Mass

By , May 4, 2014 1:09 pm

Cathedral of Saint Joseph–  May 4, 2014

Continue reading 'Scenes from the Sidewalk: Blue Mass'»

Dental and Other Services Moving from Blue Hills to Asylum Hill

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By , May 2, 2014 5:15 pm

Screenshot of partial bus system map / Map created by CT Transit

Saint Francis has confirmed the rumor: the adult dental services that had been provided at the Burgdorf/Bank of America Clinic on Coventry Street will no longer be available in that Blue Hills neighborhood location. Instead, those relying on these services will need to schlep to the Saint Francis Dental Center, 1000 Asylum Avenue in Asylum Hill.

Though described by St. Francis as a mere two miles apart, the concern coming from residents is that those most in need of the services — the uninsured and underinsured — often rely on public transportation, which in Hartford, has room for improvement. Community members worry that those who need these services most will not continue to receive them due to the inconvenience of travel.

Our questions posed earlier this week about this move were responded to today, Friday. Monday is when the transfer of adult dental services will occur. The OB-GYN services will also be “transitioned” to the main St. Francis campus. Continue reading 'Dental and Other Services Moving from Blue Hills to Asylum Hill'»

Weekend on the Ave

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By , April 29, 2014 8:16 am

View of Farmington Avenue from the Mark Twain House & Museum compound

It’s the sense of duty that tugs you from the bed on a Saturday morning, later than you had intended, but with this constant gray mist and a headache that won’t subside, earlier than you would prefer. The rain boots and umbrella are surprisingly where they should be; the only thing making you later is yourself.

Farmington Avenue has become trickier to navigate, quite a feat that. The sidewalk is barricaded on one side for construction. Maybe barricaded is not the right word. It takes no real skill to cross the boundary, but playing by the rules means a zigzagging walk that is more irritation than inconvenience. (On the way home, those rules will be abandoned. In the concrete, names and deep footprints are seen.)

At the Carriage House Theater, a man stands in the parking lot beside a grill. It has mostly stopped raining, but this seems overly hopeful. Continue reading 'Weekend on the Ave'»

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