West End

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. (more…)

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).

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Meet Your City: Indoors Walking Tours

Stowe Center

 

Connecticut Historical Society

At the intersection of Elizabeth Street and Asylum Avenue, this building houses a museum and research library.  Regular exhibit tours are offered, plus the occasional Secrets of the Veeder House Tour and Behind-The-Scenes Tour to see items not currently on display, such as a mitten belonging to Leatherman. (more…)

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. (more…)

Meet Your City: Flower Gardens

Constitution Plaza

 

Constitution Plaza around the Boat Building

When the Festival of Lights almost completely vanished from Constitution Plaza, it was hard for me to see why anyone was too upset by what I considered to be an act of putting lipstick on a pig. That is, if the pig were made of concrete and had a far less charming personality.

Then, in 2013, signs of life returned to a significant section of the plaza around the Phoenix building. Large sections of underused space on the plaza’s hardscape/the Phoenix building’s first floor roof were swapped for a mosaic of vegetation.

Besides looking pretty, an added benefit is that the gardens make this part of the plaza seem less lonely. (more…)

Meet Your City: Peace & Quiet

from along the North Branch Park River

 

Everything is relative, but even in places like Alaska, you can catch the sounds of construction in the dead of the night. Unless you’ve soundproofed a room, you’re never going to get silence in Hartford. There are some places that are quieter than others, where the sounds present are primarily natural. (more…)

July 2017 Events in Hartford

Negrura Peruana performs at Connecticut Historical Society on July 20th

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 July 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.

July 1

  • Free First Saturday at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street), 9 am – 5 pm. Free admission to museum galleries.
  • Last chance to see Pablo Delano’s Hartford Views exhibit at ArtWalk in the Hartford Public Library.
  • Free Coltsville Walking Tour: Meet the park ranger at the Colt monument in Colt Park (near Wethersfield Avenue entrance) for a tour at 10 am or 2 pm. No tours are given in bad weather. Call (717) 856-9629 for more information.
  • Want to practice your French? Come to Mozzicato‘s (329 Franklin Avenue) from 10:30 am – 12 pm for French conversation with folks from Alliance Française. All levels of fluency welcome. Free to participate, but bring own money for all the delicious things you could possibly want.
  • Watch a free ballgame! See a fast pitch softball game in Goodwin Park, approximately 1 pm. Bring a picnic lunch.
  • Opening of Charles Schuster‘s Exobotany: Plants from Other Planets, at The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew Avenue), 5-9 pm. There will be food, a Latin jazz performance, and an unveiling of Chinnyere McPherson‘s newest ready-to-wear fashions. The dress code is all white. Tickets are $25.
  • Dog Star Rescue will have adoptable dogs at the stadium from 6:30 pm on. Tickets to the game are $10 and a portion of the proceeds go toward Dog Star Rescue. Contact wendy@dogstarrescue.org for more information.
  • Riverfront Swing Night: Come to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza for free music by Simply Swing, 6:30-8:15 pm.

July 2

  • Free Coltsville Walking Tour: Meet the park ranger at the Colt monument in Colt Park (near Wethersfield Avenue entrance) for a tour at 10 am or 2 pm. No tours are given in bad weather. Call (717) 856-9629 for more information.
  • Bushnell Park Qi Gong: Christian Sean Yong will be leading Qi Gong classes in Bushnell Park on Sundays, 1-2 pm. Meet in front of the carousel. Requested $5-10 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds.
  • Hartford residents get free admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum every day!
  • Sea Tea Improv’s All-Ages Show: All-ages comedy for kids, teens, and adults. This is interactive. $5 for kids 12 and under; $10 if you’re older. This is at Sea Tea Comedy Theater (15 Asylum Street), 5-6:30 pm.

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Meet Your City: Square Pegs

This week, we are going to take a look at some of the off-kilter things that help give Hartford character. If anything has been overlooked, let us know about it in the comment section (read comment policy before posting).

Little Free Libraries

A brand new library on Oxford Street

Hartford has a number of brick-and-mortar libraries, between Hartford Public Library’s main building and branches, and those inside of the universities and colleges. We also have a bunch of Little Free Library boxes, with a new one opening on Oxford Street within the last week. In areas where there are no library branches, these honor system libraries can fill a gap. We’ve seen three in person — Oxford Street, Charter Oak Cultural Center, and TrinfoCafe — and have heard rumor of at least four others within city limits. On Laurel Street, there is a Little Free Pantry. (more…)

June 2017 Events in Hartford

June 1

  • Everyone knows it stinks when events are canceled because of funding problems. Instead of complaining, why not get creative and look at another way to fund events? Attend an information session for the new Hartford Community Access Grants program. They say: “These grants, which are designed to improve access to the arts for all citizens of Hartford, fund small, public events including concerts, celebrations and performances by local organizations with operating budgets of $100,000 or less.” Today’s session is 10-11 am at the Greater Hartford Arts Council (100 Pearl Street, 2nd floor). Register for the free event.
  • Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) offers affordable yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11 am. They say: “Heartfelt and explorative classes. Students will experience fluid vinyasas combined with longer holdings to build strength, flexibility and improve balance. These Hatha style classes also incorporate meditation, centering and breath work. Every student is encouraged to find their own expression of each pose.” There’s a suggested $5 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds.
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park, 12-1:30 pm. The tours are flexible, so drop by any time. This involves climbing 96 steps. Bad weather cancels.
  • Eat, Drink & Donate: Fundraiser at The Flying Monkey Grill & Bar (20 Lindbergh Dr.) to benefit Friends of Keney Park. Food and cash bar. Live music provided by Live Music will be provided by Alvin Carter and Friends. 5-8 pm. Requested minimum donation is $10 per person. Contact Ms. Lyons at 860-729-2444 or friends_of_keney_park@yahoo.com for more info and/or to confirm your attendance.
  • Art After Dark: Mood Room. This Wadsworth Atheneum (600 Main Street) event celebrates the opening of Mika Tajima’s MATRIX 177 installation “After Life.” Music, activities, free snacks. Cash bar. Free admission for Hartford residents enrolled in the Wadsworth Welcome program. Not signed up yet? You can do that on-site. For everyone else, admission is $10 general or $5 for members. 5-8 pm. This also gets you admission to the film Mood Indigo which screens at 8 pm.
  • Greek Festival: live music, homemade Greek food, imports, authentic Greek dancing and guided church tours. 5-10 pm at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (433 Fairfield Avenue). Free admission.
  • Why Preserve? Digitizing Stories: CT Latinos in WWI — This free event is from 6-7:30 pm in the Hartford History Center, located inside of Hartford Public Library. They say: “Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera of Bloomfield College, New Jersey, will discuss opportunities for CT-based Latino WWI veterans and/or their families to bring memorabilia, photographs, and their oral stories to be collected, digitized, and interviews recorded at the Hartford History Center for incorporation into the Connecticut State Library’s digital collection. He will discuss why it is important to preserve this information and offer suggestions of what to bring to the digitization day that will take place at the Hartford History Center of Saturday, June 10. This program will be bilingual (English & Spanish).
  • Nails and Wagging Tails: $5 nail trim for dogs at Naturally Dogs and Cats (10 Trumbull Street), 6-8 pm.

June 2

  • Greek Festival: live music, homemade Greek food, imports, authentic Greek dancing and guided church tours. 11 am – 11 pm at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (433 Fairfield Avenue). Free admission.
  • Art on the Streets is back for a few weeks at lunchtime in downtown. From 11:30-1:30, check out interactive and artistic experiences. Go to State House Square on Tuesdays and Pratt Street on Thursdays. Free.
  • Welcome New American Citizens: at 1 pm the Polish National Home (60 Charter Oak Avenue) is hosting US Federal Citizenship & Immigration Services for a naturalization ceremony for 60 new Americans. A buffet ($26.95 per person) follows the ceremony. Make reservations Call: (860) 247-1784 or email: asha@hartfordpnh.com
  • The 30th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival starts today! Center of My World screens at 7:30; opening gala reception at Trinity College follows the film. This is at Cinestudio (300 Summit Street). Admission is $20, with discounts available. A festival pass is $75.
  • CT Cage Match Finals: two improv teams — KnucklePuck and Winnipeg — compete. The audience votes to decide the winner. 8-9:30 pm at Sea Tea Comedy Theater (15 Asylum Street). Tickets: $10.

June 3

  • Free admission to Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth Street), 9-5. Today’s family program is the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo. Try out different musical instruments! Those sessions are at 10:30, 11, and 11:45.
  • Tree Walk: John Kehoe leads this walk through Cedar Hill Cemetery to feature its notable trees. 10 am- 12 pm. Free. Meet by the bridge along the entrance driveway. This is a Connecticut Trails Day event.
  • On the other side of Hartford, join walks in Keney Park for Connecticut Trails Day, 10 am – 12 pm. They say: “We will travel along the Leadership Trail through the Hemlock Gorge on former sheep paths and carriage roads, which lead to remote scenic features. See landscapes preserved since 1898 within this urban forest. Sights will include remnants of the Sylvan Court and fernery in Ten Mile Woods, sand dunes, wildlife and bird habitat. Sponsoring group leaders will share historic and contemporary images and maps to encourage discussion on the past, present and future of this extraordinary 694-acre historic park. The Project is actively working with community volunteers to restore trails. Please be prepared to walk on and off trail. Our adventure will conclude with fresh garden vegetables snacks at the greenhouse constructed by Keney Park Sustainability Project.” It can’t be said enough — this is a very wooded area, so dress appropriately to avoid bringing home ticks, etc. Rain will postpone the event. Meet up at the Keney Park House (use “183 Windsor Ave. Windsor, CT” as address for location). This is free, but call or email to pre-register– 860-333-8711 or keneyparksustainability@gmail.com.
  • The National Park Service offers free Coltsville Walking Tours at 10 am and 2 pm. Meet up with the park ranger at the monument in Colt Park inside the Wethersfield Avenue entrance. Tours do not happen if the weather is bad. Call (717) 856-9629 to have your questions answered.
  • Hartford Deportation Defense Boot Camp: This is a free event, with donations accepted. 10 am – 3 pm at 77 Huyshope Avenue. They say: “Come join neighbors in the Greater Hartford area to learn about defending our communities against deportations. Join a network of immigrants and allies working to make our communities safe for all. Information about Know Your Rights, the Hartford Rapid Response Network, accompaniment, and ways that folks can get involved in work happening locally to fight deportations. All are welcome to attend the event, immigrants and non-immigrants. Interpretation into Spanish will be provided for the event. Light lunch will be served!”
  • CPR/AED and First Aid Training: Learn to potentially save lives! This one-day training course will grant or renew certifications through the American Red Cross. Register, as there is limited space. The $65 registration fee also covers lunch. 10 am – 4:30 pm at MakeHartford (30 Arbor Street).
  • Greek Festival: live music, homemade Greek food, imports, authentic Greek dancing and guided church tours. 11 am – midnight at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (433 Fairfield Avenue). Free admission.
  • One World Market hosts “family day.” They say that OWM is “multi ethnic food court at the CTfastrak Parkville Station.” We say that this is a fun, authentic, and non-hipster event. Taste food from Brazil, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Laos and Thailand. Today’s market features face-painting, Nepalese dancing, soccer & tennis coaching, and a bouncy-house. 12-4 pm. Free. This is at 24 Francis Avenue.
  • The Connecticut LGBT Film Festival continues today with A Million Happy Nows, A Date for Mad Mary, and Handsome Devil. Ticket prices vary. This is at Cinestudio (300 Summit St.).

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