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”

Please follow and like:
MJM

Scenes from the Sidewalk: It’s This Kind of Place

Spotted on some walls in downtown Hartford

Continue reading “Scenes from the Sidewalk: It’s This Kind of Place”

Please follow and like:
MJM

Meet Your City: Create, Stand, Laugh (Jan 2018)

CREATE
MakeHartford, a makerspace at 30 Arbor Street, is offering an Intro to Screenprinting class. Learn the basics of setting up the screen, creating a design on it, and then painting that design on patches, t-shirts, and cards. If you’ve never done this, it’s fun and kind of messy — dress for the occasion. There is a $20 fee, which if you know anything about prices for workshops/classes, is on the low side. Bring something (a t-shirt) to print on. Register online to take this class on January 22. If snow/ice happens, the class may be rescheduled for February 5, 2018.

STAND
In 2018 renew your commitment to social justice by showing up to Bushnell Park and the Connecticut State Capitol grounds on January 20, 2018 for the second annual Women’s March. Event organizers say: “We march to support each other and remind ourselves that we are not alone. We march to send a clear message that the Trump administration has no mandate. We march to organize and pledge to continue to work for a better future. It will also be part of a national voter registration and mobilization tour targeting swing states to register new voters, engage impacted communities, harness our collective energy to advocate for policies and candidates that reflect our values and collaborate with our partners to elect more women and progressives candidates to office.” Start brainstorming ideas for your DIY signs (or capes), or dig out the poster board from last year. Gather at Corning Fountain at 12:30 pm if you feel like marching, or go right to the Capitol at 1 pm. In the market for a pussy hat? Check out the discussion section of the event page on Facebook.

LAUGH
Kate Huffman
will be coming to Sea Tea Comedy Theater on January 4-6, 2018 to perform her solo show I’m Too Fat for This Show, providing an “opportunity for all people with obsessions, neuroticism, or negative self-talk to laugh at themselves.” Julia Pistell, the Managing Director of Sea Tea Comedy Theater, calls this “an award-winning, absolutely excellent one-woman comedy show about mental health, body image, eating disorders, and feminism.”  Tickets are $20.

Please follow and like:
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”

Please follow and like:
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”

Please follow and like:
MJM

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.
Continue reading “Meet Your City: Five Urban Walks”

Please follow and like:
MJM

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.

Continue reading “October 2017 Events in Hartford”

Please follow and like:
MJM

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?

Please follow and like:
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”

Please follow and like:
MJM

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. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Small Parks”

Please follow and like: