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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”

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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”

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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”

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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”

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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”

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Meet Your City: (Almost) Free Love

A friend recently cited expense as a reason to refrain from dating; there are many legitimate reasons for this choice — unwillingness to compromise, lack of interest in other people, enjoying one’s own company — but money is not one of them. Not when with some creativity, people can go out without having to empty their wallets.

Free — Always or Sometimes Continue reading “Meet Your City: (Almost) Free Love”

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September 2017 Events in Hartford

Peace, Love & Music Together

DISCLAIMERS

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of my knowledge. Events are sometimes cancelled or postponed. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises or want to know what the plan is for inclement weather.

To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by September 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

This calendar is curated — it’s not a free-for-all. If an event is not in Hartford, kinda expensive, sketchy, or unclear, it’s not going on this calendar without major convincing that it belongs here.

September 1

  • Enjoy free live music on Pratt Street, 12-1:30 pm.
  • Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) offers Zumba classes on Fridays from 4-5 pm. This is free, but a $5 donation is welcome.
  • A one-hour Tai Chi class follows at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) at 5:30 pm. Suggested $5 donation.
  • The Beguiled screens at Cinestudio. They say: “Sofia Coppola’s new film brilliantly flips the 1971 film about an injured Union Army deserter (Clint Eastwood in the original) who hides out in a Southern girls school. Originally a tale of male titillation, it is turned to one exploring the ‘female gaze,’ still rare on the big screen. In non-film-school talk, this time it’s all about the female students (Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence), teachers (including Kirsten Dunst) and headmistress (a magnificent Nicole Kidman), and their barely concealed erotic fascination with the charmer in their midst.” This begins at 7:30 pm. General admission: $10. Some discounts available.
  • The Penniless Wild plays Arch Street Tavern at 10 pm. This show is 21+. $7 advance/$10 door.

September 2

  • Free First Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street), 9 am – 5 pm. Free admission to the museum galleries all day.
  • Coltsville Walking Tour: Free walking tours begins at 10 am and 2 pm by the Colt monument inside the Wethersfield Avenue entrance to Colt Park. No tours are given during bad weather.
  • Full Moon Meditation: The Hartford Mindfulness Center (645 Farmington Avenue, ground floor) is hosting this free event from 3-4 pm.
  • Tee Tee Soul performs at Night Owl Pub (130 Ann Street), 8-10 pm. Free.

Continue reading “September 2017 Events in Hartford”

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Meet Your City: Creepy Hartford

Silent Wishes, Unconscious Prayers and Dreams…Fulfilled

This is not about normal creepy or anything on the level of unfathomable disaster.

Normal creepy is what you’d expect from cemeteries in general, the curbside memorials that pop up following car wrecks and murders, hospitals, jails, orphan asylums of yore, and the like. This is more of the “I came here for Monet’s Water Lilies and ended up staring at furniture made from human bones” variety of creepy.

Zion Hill Cemetery

One day I opened an email from my friend Johnna who lives on the Connecticut shoreline. To my delight, she was asking if I would be up for waking up early and wandering through a graveyard with her. There are a few people on the planet who understand me, and she is one of them.

Johnna was researching an article about the oldest person to be executed in the state of Connecticut, a man apparently buried a few blocks from my home. Our outing would mean scouring Zion Hill Cemetery — an unevenly maintained cemetery like most in Hartford — for the grave of Gershom Marx. She had some indication of where his stone might be, but if you have ever visited older cemeteries that sort of have other cemeteries crammed in them, the lines are not always as clear as they could be, not to mention that there is the practice of fencing off and locking sections. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Creepy Hartford”

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August 2017 Events in Hartford

Daymark performs at Connecticut Historical Society on August 17, 2017

DISCLAIMERS

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of our knowledge. Keep in mind that events are sometimes cancelled or postponed, and that incorrect details are at times given to us. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises or want to know what the plan is for inclement weather.

To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by August 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

This calendar is curated — it’s not a free-for-all. If an event is not in Hartford, wicked expensive, sketchy, or unclear, it’s not going on this calendar without major convincing that it belongs here.

August 1

  • People under age 18 are invited to the Parker Memorial Community Center (2621 Main Street), 10 am -1 pm, for free lunch and Track & Field activities. No paperwork or preregistration needed.
  • Get your grocery shopping done at the West End Farmers’ Market on Clemens Green (385 Farmington Avenue) every Tuesday, 4-7 pm. SNAP/EBT is accepted and doubled.
  • National Night Out: Child-centered event with games and food at Cronin Playground (490 Granby Street), 4-7:30 pm. Free.
  • Members of the Hartford Public Library’s senior leadership team — including Greg Davis (Board President), Bridget Quinn-Carey (CEO), and Andrea Comer (Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee) — will be available to speak with the community about the plan to close the Ropkins, Blue Hills, and Goodwin branches, and conversion of the Mark Twain branch to a mobile library. This begins at 6 pm at the Blue Hills branch (649 Blue Hills Avenue).
  • WIP Into Shape: Free bootcamp-style fitness class at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 6-7 pm. The class is described as being accessible to all levels.

August 2

  • Asylum Hill Walking Tours: check out the latest NINA project at 94-96 Ashley Street. 12 pm. Free.
  • Midday Meditation: Experience a half hour of free guided meditation at the Riverfront, 12:30 pm. This is on the lower level near the Amie sculpture.
  • Potter on the Plaza: Listen as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is read aloud on Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 12:30-1:30 pm. Free.
  • Get HYPEd: The casual monthly networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs will be at Chango Rosa (1 Union Place) from 5:30-8:30 pm. No registration necessary. This is free. Bring your business cards and money for drinks.
  • Members of the Hartford Public Library’s senior leadership team — including Greg Davis (Board President), Bridget Quinn-Carey (CEO), and Andrea Comer (Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee) — will be available to speak with the community about the plan to close the Ropkins, Blue Hills, and Goodwin branches, and conversion of the Mark Twain branch to a mobile library. This begins at 6 pm at the Goodwin branch (460 New Britain Avenue).
  • Yoga Flow on the River: A free “accessible to all bodies” yoga class meets at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 6-7 pm. Bring your own yoga mat or towel.
  • Enjoy a free concert by Mass-Conn-Fusion in Elizabeth Park, 6:30-8 pm. This will be on the Rose Garden Lawn. If there’s bad weather, the concert will be reschedule for August 3rd.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy will be screened outdoors at the stadium, 7-9 pm. This is free.

August 3

  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch Tours: take a free tour any time between 12-1:30 pm. Climbing steep stairs is involved. This is the arch in Bushnell Park.
  • Thursday Nights on the Plaza: POSSM will be playing originals and covers at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza. The Brasato food truck is schedule to be there. 4-8 pm. Free.
  • Art After Dark: The Wadsworth Atheneum is hosting their traditional Caribbean Block Party on the museum lawn, 5-8 pm. Expect steel drums, stilt walking, dominoes, art activities, docent-guided tours, and dancing. There is some complimentary food, but drinks are extra. At 8 pm, Hidden Figures screens indoors. $10 general; $5 for museum members.
  • Neighborhood Studios Film Festival: Free public screening of students’ film projects. Director Q&A and pizza reception follows the screening. 5:30-7 pm at Real Art Ways (56 Arbor Street).
  • Members of the Hartford Public Library’s senior leadership team — including Greg Davis (Board President), Bridget Quinn-Carey (CEO), and Andrea Comer (Chairperson of the Strategic Planning Committee) — will be available to speak with the community about the plan to close the Ropkins, Blue Hills, and Goodwin branches, and conversion of the Mark Twain branch to a mobile library. This begins at 6 pm at the Mark Twain branch (927 Asylum Avenue).
  • Stowe Prize Book Club: Read (in advance) and discuss March: Book One, 6-7:30 at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (77 Forest Street). This is free, but the Stowe Center likes reservations to be made.
  • Parkville Studios: Homebound — opening reception for the works of multiple Parkville artists. This free reception is at Charter Oak Cultural Center (21 Charter Oak Ave.), 6-8 pm.
  • Breakdancing Shakespeare: As You Like It — Watch students give a modern hip hop treatment to Shakespeare’s play. Admission is $10. This begins at 7 pm at Hartford Stage (50 Church Street).

Continue reading “August 2017 Events in Hartford”

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Meet Your City: Outdoors Walking Tours

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch

 

What’s included: Informational tours that take place outside on a recurring basis and involve walking as the primary mode of movement.

What’s not: Tours that have you sitting on a bus, boat, or bicycle; tours that are (probably or definitely) on hiatus; tours that are only self-guided; general walks; private tours that require your membership for participation; campus tours intended to attract students. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Outdoors Walking Tours”

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