Category: suburbia

August 2014 Events

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By , July 28, 2014 8:23 am

Instructions: Skim list. Jot down items of interest on own personal calendar. Enjoy.

August 1

  • Dave Costa will perform at noon on the terrace of the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Free.
  • The Wadsworth Atheneum continues its Movies & Music Under the Stars series with Bombshell, starring Jean Harlow. Music by Criollo Clasico begins at 5:30pm in Gengras Court. Dinner available for purchase. The film begins at 8:15 (dark). Members receive free admission and one free drink. Regular admission prices apply for non-members.
  • BECK & CALL: The Servants Tour of the Mark Twain House, directed by Steven Raider-Ginsburg, starts at 7 tonight. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for youth. Reservations are required.
  • HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Change In Your Pocket, a play about food justice. The Youth Play Institute is a project that helps young people to brainstorm topics, develop a play, create the set, act it out, and more. Each play is on a different topic, with past ones exploring issues like violence and harsh punishments in schools. You can catch this three times– today at 7:30pm, on August 2nd at 7:30pm, and August 3rd at 2pm. Tickets are $5. Performances will be in the Carriage House Theater at 360 Farmington Avenue. Park for free in the Mark Twain Museum visitor lot (right across the street from the theater) or on street in legal spots.
  • There will be a free screening of Karate Kid in Goodwin Park at sundown. Bring a blanket or chairs and snacks.

    Goodwin Park

August 2

  • Stop into MakeHartford, MakerSpace to make a blinking light bracelet out of LEDs and duct tape. This is an all-ages workshop. $12. This space is located at 30 Arbor Street. 10-11am. Bring your own safety glasses.
  • The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival returns to the Riverfront from 1-10pm. Live music, children’s activities, food, and more. Raindate: August 3.
  • The backlash against the monster SUVs, McMansions, and other forms of conspicuous consumption is firmly here. Tiny: A Story About Living Small screens at Real Art Ways at 2pm. This documentary examines the movement to live in houses smaller than the average parking space. $10 general, $5 members. They say they are only showing this film once, so today is the day.
  • Watch the film Powered by Dreams, a documentary about the founder of the Dream Support Network and his steps to recovery after a near-death experience with kidney disease. This is hosted by The 224 (224 Farmington Avenue) at 3pm. Suggested donation $5.
  • Reception for artist Victor Pacheco at Real Art Ways, 6-8pm.
  • The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew) presents Deep Blue Rendezvous, a summer party and art show. Expect rooms decorated to match the theme, along with underwater trash art, video projects, and DJs. It’s suggested that attendees dress for the theme: pirates, mermaids, jellyfish, etc. This is an 18+ event. Advance tickets are $10; at door, $15. 9pm-1am. Continue reading 'August 2014 Events'»

Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour 2013

By , September 24, 2013 1:35 pm

The Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour — they dropped the “and Walking” — visited Hartford’s parks and neighborhoods last weekend. Continue reading 'Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour 2013'»

Changing Standards, Assessments in Public Schools

By , August 12, 2013 10:22 am

Weeks before school resumes, nobody seems to know what assessment will be used in the upcoming year –the CMT/CAPT or new Smarter Balanced. Continue reading 'Changing Standards, Assessments in Public Schools'»

Hartford Pew Review: Congregation Beth Israel

By , March 27, 2013 10:09 am

Part of a coloring/activity book made available to Seder participants. Bad coloring technique, all mine.

One block over the line in West Hartford, Congregation Beth Israel’s presence announces itself much like the Unitarian Society of Hartford and the Cathedral of Saint Joseph do. There’s no quietly blending in with the neighborhood; no way to pass without noticing.

Before the synagogue was here, it was in Hartford. The structure did not move, just the congregation. The original Congregation Beth Israel congregation worshiped at the former North Baptist Church, located at 942 Main Street. After twenty years in that spot, the community moved into a building constructed as a synagogue — Connecticut’s oldest one, actually — and remained there on 21 Charter Oak Avenue until 1936.

As Hartford’s Jewish community moved to the suburbs, the synagogues, one-by-one, followed.

Now, Congregation Beth Israel is the second notable establishment on Farmington Avenue (first, Tangiers) to greet folks as they venture into West Hartford.

Our two most recent visits fall into the category of “special events” rather than that of “routine service,” but no matter. Over the years we have been to CBI for regular services, special events, and going farther back, Music Together.

Many places of worship in this area seem to have embraced the obnoxious trend of bolting front doors, having everyone enter through a door closest to the parking lot. Thankfully, CBI breaks from this by admitting visitors through both the parking lot door and that which faces of main avenue. If the door is locked, ring the bell. “Security measures” seem drastic, but antisemitism is a thing. I’ve personally never had any trouble getting buzzed in.

This is possibly the least flattering view of Congregation Beth Israel, but it’s what you see if entering from the parking lot. The better view is from Farmington Avenue.

Inside, there is a long hall with plenty of doors to choose from. Services have been held in the sanctuary, chapel, and a courtyard outside. For special events, it might not be immediately obvious where to go, since there’s likely lots of activity including children zooming around. Look for a sign or ask.

The restrooms are near the large coatroom.

Visiting a new place can create some anxieties for those who don’t want to stand out as the person doing everything wrong. So, here goes:

CBI asks people to dress respectfully, but I have seen every variation on an outfit show up, from suits to micro mini skirts with Uggs. The latter will get you talked about, but not thrown out. One step up from jeans is always a safe bet.

Nobody is forced to wear a yarmulke. For services, most men do wear them, but this is a Reform synagogue. In other words, there is a lot of tolerance about personal choices. A basket of kippot are near the entrance for anyone — male or female — who chooses to participate in this custom.

Men and women sit together, in case you were wondering.

So, back in February, on one of those cold days that came with a bonus side of drizzle, we headed to CBI for the annual Purim Schpiel. The serious message of Purim is to embrace one’s (Jewish) identity, but mostly, it’s a day for costumes, drinking, eating Hamantaschen, and in this case, watching a campy play.

Friends had been raving about the “new rabbi.” After some prodding I learned that for some this meant the Senior Rabbi, and for others, the Assistant Rabbi. Both are on the younger side. The Assistant Rabbi is a woman.

There have definitely been changes. Continue reading 'Hartford Pew Review: Congregation Beth Israel'»

March 2013 Events

By , February 27, 2013 8:55 pm

March 1

  • Dr. Mary Washington will be giving a lecture on Intersectionality and the Reconstruction of Identity and Social Action at the University of Hartford. This will take place at 1:30pm in Regents Commons, located within the Shaw Center of Hillyer. This is free and open to the public. Continue reading 'March 2013 Events'»

“The New, Not-So-Quiet Majority”

By , February 14, 2013 5:49 pm

March for Change at the State Capitol

Hartford is no stranger to actions opposing violence, whether that violence is found in Iraq, a suburban town along the New York border, our streets, or in our homes.

Still, the different causes do not typically spill into one another as seamlessly as they did today, with the March for Change directly preceding One Billion Rising.

March for Change in Hartford, Connecticut

The March for Change marked two months since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Among those calling for safer gun laws was actor Christine Baranski, who told the 5,500 activists, “even if you have a gun to defend your home or for sport, thanks for supporting commonsense changes.”

Christine Baranski

Continue reading '“The New, Not-So-Quiet Majority”'»

February 2013 Events

By , January 28, 2013 4:00 pm

For those just tuning in, every month Real Hartford creates a calendar of events happening in the city. This is not intended to be all-inclusive– you’ll note the absence of “Ladies Nite” events. Continue reading 'February 2013 Events'»

Hartford Mourns with Newtown

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By , December 16, 2012 5:23 pm

Candles remaining from Friday evening's vigil in Bushnell Park.

Continue reading 'Hartford Mourns with Newtown'»

Can’t Get There From Here: Hartford Marathon street closures

By , October 11, 2012 8:25 am

One street is already closed, with many others to join it on Saturday. The Hartford Police Department’s Traffic Division has released a full listing of all planned closures in Hartford and surrounding towns, along with detour and access routes. Bus routes will also be impacted.

Stealing Simsbury’s Thunder?

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By , May 21, 2012 12:17 pm
Bike to Work 2012

Bike to Work 2012

Simsbury has had no trouble branding itself: village charm and bicycles. They have infrastructure to support cyclists. Most notable is the visibility of teenage girls on bikes; this is usually the time of life when many females stop participating in physical activities. All of this is great for Simsbury, but recent developments in Hartford may give the little town some competition for the title of the only Bicycle Friendly Community in Connecticut– maybe not this year or next, but soon.

Improvements to bike infrastructure were written into One City, One Plan — Hartford’s Plan of Conservation and Development. These improvements include providing of parking facilities; connection of neigbhorhoods to parks, shopping, and employment; and investment in “bike lanes, wide shoulders, wide outside lanes, and multi-use trails.” The POCD through 2020 also focuses on complete streets and reducing the dependency on single occupancy vehicles.

Next to the $5 million appropriated for the iQuilt plan in the fiscal year 2012-13 budget, $300,000 for citywide bike lanes is nothing. For FY 2011-2012, $50,000 had been appropriated for lanes. Continue reading 'Stealing Simsbury’s Thunder?'»

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