not Hartford

Suggestion Box: Ask More of the Chain Stores

There are six CVS stores in Hartford. Only one is in a building with any architectural flair, and that downtown location is set to move into another space in the near future. (The one on Washington Street built in place of an historical building that was torn down instead of reused does not count as having character.) Otherwise, the ubiquitous pharmacy with a penchant for dull, box construction — with an easy-to-reverse-your-car-through façade —  presents opportunity for visual improvement. This is equally true of other chain stores found in Hartford, from gas stations to doughnut shops.

A CVS on the corner of Thayer and Cushing Street in Providence shows that another reality is possible. CVS paid RISD students to create the mural. It has not been without some controversy, partly because everything just has to be controversial these days, but regardless: Artists were paid. (more…)

July 2016 Events in Hartford

July 1

  • An event? You tell me. There will be a DUI Enforcement Checkpoint in the vicinity of 90 Brainard Road starting at 5 p.m. today. It is funded through a grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation DUI Enforcement Program, so don’t waste your time blaming Obama or Bronin. Also, if you lived here, you could just walk home and never need to concern yourself with DUIs.
  • Albanian Festival: dance, music, and food at the Albanian Community Center, 161 Franklin Avenue. 6-11 p.m.

Boom Box Parade, Willimantic

July 2

  • Free Yoga in Pope Park at 11 a.m. Bring your own mat and water; dress for exercise. Instruction will be in Spanish and English. Meet by the pond.
  • Albanian Festival: dance, music, and food at the Albanian Community Center, 161 Franklin Avenue. 4-11 p.m.
  • There will be a dual video release party for Tang Sauce and Zulynette Morales at the Studio at Billings Forge (539 Broad Street), 5-9 p.m. The evening will also include live music, poetry, and visual art. $10 at the door.

July 3

  • Free yoga in Colt Park at 11 a.m. Bring your own mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn near the Wethersfield Avenue entrance.
  • There will be free walking tours of Coltsville National Historical Park at 2 p.m. Meet by the Colt monument near the Wethersfield Avenue entrance to Colt Park.

July 4

  • If you’d like to celebrate Independence Day in a true community fashion, where the entertainment showcases local creativity, leave Hartford for the day and go to Willimantic’s W.I.L.I. Boom Box Parade. Bring your own boom box and lawn chairs. Parade starts at Jillson Square at 11 a.m. and heads down Main Street. It’s free, wacky, spirited, and not being paid for by Hartford residents’ tax dollars.

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May 2016 Hartford Events

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during April. There is no intent to include all events — it’s curated, with preference given to what the widest range of Hartford residents can afford (free or low cost) and what sounds most interesting to us.

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.

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

May 20 is National Bike to Work Day

May 1

  • Secret Garden Tea Party: Tainted Inc. (56 Arbor St., Suite 310A) is holding a “sip & shop tea party” at its studio from 4-6 p.m. Field to Face Organic Beauty and Age into Beauty will have pop-up shops at the location. $10.
  • Open Mic Night at Infinity Bistro (32 Front St.). Performers sign up at 7 p.m.; music at 7:30. Free.

May 2

  • Stop by the Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.) for a half hour of free meditation starting at 9 a.m. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Venom Vintage (365 Capitol Ave.) is hosting Tea Through Time, a free evening of art and tea. Lavender Molly is the featured artist for the month. Kristyn Leamon will provide violin music. Visitors are encouraged to wear their “finest threads through time, be it Renaissance, Victorian, 20’s Flapper or 70’s Hippie.” This begins at 7 p.m.
  • Arch Street Tavern hosts the Hartford Jazz Orchestra every Monday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.

May 3

  • Morning Bike Ride: Meet at the corner of Boulevard and Prospect (parking lot) at 6 a.m. and head out for a ride to Keney Park, Cigna, West Hartford Reservoir, or Wood Pond. The ride takes about one hour. Helmets are required. Bad weather cancels. Contact jgale@lawlordsofhartford.com or 860-232-9019 for more info.
  • Free Zumba at Toivo Center (399 Franklin Ave.), 6 p.m. ($5 suggested donation)
  • Try an all levels aerial yoga class at The LivingWell Centre at The 224 EcoSpace (224 Farmington Ave.). The hour-long class begins at 6:15 p.m. This is $24. Register online.

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December 2015 Events

December 1

  • Free ice skating in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Free skate rentals are available until 7:15. Youth under sixteen must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Real Art Ways hosts its monthly board game night starting at 6. Free.
  • Natural Hair Happy Hour at M Lounge, 942 Main Street. They say: “Come mix and mingle with other beautiful naturals! This event is perfect for catching up with family and friends, meeting new naturals and learning more about the Brown Skin Women network.” 6-8:30 p.m. Free.
  • Happy, Healthy Holiday Party: This is a healthy potluck with music by the Sacred Sorrow Singers. For the potluck, include a list of all ingredients for the dish you bring. Also, bring your own plate, utensils, and cup so that the event creates minimal waste. There is a suggested $5 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds. 7-9 p.m. at Toivo.

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Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour Returns

Joey Batts. Photo courtesy of 86hour photo

This December the Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour returns for its second year. Over 40 local musicians and DJs will participate in the six shows, with two of those venues being open to all ages.

Joey Batts, a public high school teacher in Hartford, wanted to raise awareness after working with youth who were experiencing homelessness. The teacher-by-day, musician-by-night plans to collect canned goods, personal hygiene products, and clothing at each of the venues on the tour, where the audience can hear live music by Ceschi Ramos, Joey Batts & Them, Chumzilla, Jose Oyola, and others. (more…)