When the Friends of Heaven Skatepark recently told members of City Council that they wanted assurance that the Downtown North development, including the stadium, would not infringe on the existing park, they received no promises. When the artistic rendering eliminating the skatepark was called into question by the group, someone from the City implied the group was fussing for no reason, that this was merely an artistic rendering and that elected and appointed officials are not looking for ways to sanitize this space in hopes of sparking development. Continue reading 'Heaven Week: Commitment'»
A reminder when the wind is gusting and rain is going sideways that not everything in sight has to be drab Continue reading 'Heaven Week: Dull Days, Bright Colors'»
Painting by Olof Aspelin, an artist from Stafford Springs // Photo by Kerri Provost
When the Beautiful Blight Project was conceived its goal had been to install painted plywood over missing windows in a neglected building while tidying up the yard. Team leaders had been working with the City of Hartford to make this happen, but the first choice of a structure on Garden Street was said to have entered the sale process, so that was nixed. Continue reading 'Beautiful Blight Project Unveils Murals'»
Photo courtesy of Andy Hart/Hartford News. The Hartford News can be picked up at City Hall, the Hartford Public Library, and other locations around the city.
You could have arrived with the expectation of spectating, only to get talked into marching, throwing candy, and wearing accessories that you did not bring. Continue reading 'Hooker Day Parade 2014'»
In an area of Downtown, beyond the parking garages and towers, is a park that sits atop the I-84 tunnel. Two of its three segments — east of Main Street and west of Trumbull Street — are nothing more than vegetation and rarely used benches. The central piece, known as Heaven, has evolved from hosting underutilized four square and basketball courts, to attracting skateboarders, graffiti artists, and others. It has been featured in skateboarding videos and magazines.
As the controversial Downtown North proposal goes to vote on Tuesday, there are still dozens of questions remaining unanswered, not to mention an outstanding FOIA request placed initially to Thomas Deller and Wayne Benjamin, and now to Maribel La Luz. Two camps seem to have emerged on this issue, and it’s not pro-stadium/anti-stadium. It’s those who find it reasonable to ask questions and expect thorough, detailed answers, and those who find critical thinking cringe-worthy.
We have been compiling reader questions since June. Here is what people still want to know about this project. Some reader questions were edited to add clarity:
- What details exist on the retail space and potential tenants?
- The City would be contributing land for the the construction of a brewery. Is it acceptable to use public funds to facilitate the production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol?
- What would the rent be for the housing? Would this fulfill the demand for the type of housing that exists in Hartford?
- How exactly would a stadium drive development? Give details. How has this occurred in cities that are comparable to Hartford in terms of population and wealth?
- Why isn’t there a proposal without a stadium?
Author Jonathan Safran Foer spoke about writing and religious identity as process on Sunday evening at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford‘s Celebrate the New Year Together event at the Marriott. He made it seem effortless to keep the attention of the over 300 people in attendance.
Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals explained that the book began as an exploration of his decision to become (and remain) a vegetarian, more than it was any attempt to convert others’ culinary habits. Likewise, when asked about his Jewish identity, he responded in a way that was self-described as “convoluted,” but touched on the complexity of personal versus community identity. Where at one time more people were vegetarian than would admit to it, now the numbers have grown so much as to suggest that there are those who claim to not eat meat, but who actually do. He wondered if this is the same with Judaism, if some of these identities are more aspirational than actual.
Those in attendance considered to be young (under 45) had the opportunity to participate in a quick meet-and-greet with Safran Foer after the formal program ended, proving that one can write a number of solid books (including co-production of the New American Haggadah) and find the time for a trip to Hartford, and speak with those who might still only be aspirational in any number of their identities.