MJM

Hartford Should Have It: Wishes for 2018

Cats-In-Residence at Real Art Ways

It’s been a few minutes since a Suggestion Box item was published here, so you get three for one.

  • Rage Rooms: By now everyone has heard of escape rooms. If you enjoy solving puzzles and don’t have¬†massive anxiety about being stuck in a place you can’t get out of, then I suppose that could be a nice way to spend a Friday night with friends.

Rage rooms are undeniably better. Continue reading “Hartford Should Have It: Wishes for 2018”

MJM

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”

MJM

Best Most Awesome Superlatives 2017

It’s a new era. This calls for new categories and a new format.

Here it is: 2017, judged.

Killing It

 

The Resistance: When life hands you a shitshow, make lemonade?

On a national and local level, we have witnessed people affirming humanity in a time when behaving badly is rewarded. There have been numerous rallies and marches calling for inclusivity and speaking against fascism. Hartford stood by immigrants in our community. People even gathered in airports to support immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. The Connecticut State Capitol lawn overflowed with an estimated 10,000 activists supporting women’s rights. A smaller contingent marched and rallied for reproductive rights on a much colder day. The community called out the Trump administration’s backlash against science by gathering in the rain, holding signs that read “Science. Because you can’t just make shit up!” In April, when people might have preferred to mark the tax deadline by hitting the bar, folks showed up to demand Trump release his tax returns.

In all of this, we have seen displays of creativity,¬†resilience, and hope. Continue reading “Best Most Awesome Superlatives 2017”

MJM

Five More Urban Walks

Riverside Park

December began with a suggestion for Five Urban Walks one could take if bored, seeking more experiential learning opportunities, or wanting something like exercise. Here are another five suggested routes, with more to come in the future.

Riverside Park
Keney Park

Keney Park North: At nearly 700 acres, Keney Park is ginormous. If you have not been before, it can be easy to get lost, particularly if you don’t have a strong sense of direction or the ability to pay attention long enough to remember which entrance you used. The best option for beginners prone to getting lost might be taking the Windsor Avenue entrance and then following the park road until you see a sign for the Leadership Trail on the left. It’s a not terribly long wooded path that empties into a part of the park that looks abandoned. It seems to connect with the Beech Grove Trail. I don’t recall seeing much labeled, but the path was clear enough to follow, as in, you know that you are on a path and not simply making your own trail through the woods. From there, look to pick up a path and head toward Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School. (If you miss this, you’ll just end up a bit down on Tower Avenue) You can take Rosemont Street, then any of the north-south side streets to get to Tower Avenue, and follow that east. This means going through a residential neighborhood. As long as you’re not snooping around, there’s nothing wrong with that. In this neighborhood, the norm is for residents to maintain their homes and yards. At Main Street, go north until you return to Keney Park, walking along the park road. Be sure to shake your fist at the highway structure that cuts through the park. This loop is an estimated 2.5 miles and not super adventurous except for the part that requires hopping across Meadow Brook. If you want more fun and to extend the walk, go to the northwestern side of the golf course and from there walk west, then south through the woods. Some of this is Windsor, technically, but there are no “Welcome to Windsor” signs in the woods so we’ll ignore that detail for a moment. There are also no clear paths and lots of rusty things out here. Make sure you are current with your tetanus shots and don’t blame me if you get very lost. Look for dunes. Continue reading “Five More Urban Walks”

MJM

Meet Your City: History 101

Hey nerds! Growing up in Connecticut does not guarantee that you ever learned Hartford history. How do you start to patch those knowledge holes if you’re beyond formal schooling?

Indoors

  • Hartford History Center: Use books, maps, city records, photographs, and more to learn about anything from who was living on your street before it was officially a street, to who signed petitions to get bridges replaced — bridges that predated the burial of the Park River. There is a fee for scanning or making photocopies, but otherwise, this is a free service. They offer free online research tools.

    “Party Dog”, on display in the “That’s Weird” exhibit at Connecticut Historical Society
  • Connecticut Historical Society: There are a few different things happening in this space. The museum has Connecticut-specific exhibits. “That’s Weird” is the current exhibit through April 2018. Secrets of the Veeder House tours are offered sporadically. Free admission to the museum is offered on the first Saturday of each month. The Waterman Research Center is housed at CHS and requires a fee, so if you’re going to go, it’s with a mission and not just because you’re killing time (unless you’re made of money, in which case, How you doin’?). There are online research tools available at no charge.
  • Connecticut State Library: It’s a library, so basic services are free for Connecticut residents. Online research tools are available. The Museum of Connecticut History is housed here; entry is free.
  • Connecticut State Capitol: Self-guided and free guided tours are available. Gum chewing is not permitted during tours.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum: One of the weirdest juxtapositions I’ve experienced has been looking at the Colt gun collection while listening to Christmas music permeating the museum during The Festival of Trees and Traditions. It’s a little like falling inside of a Tarantino movie. So, there are the guns and the many things (allegedly) made out of The Charter Oak. Then, there is the series of paintings depicting Hartford in four directions. Free admission for Hartford residents.
  • Connecticut Old State House: Most of my visits here are simply to visit the Oddities, but the HIstory is All Around Us exhibit on the bottom level is an interactive way to see how suburban sprawl negatively impacted Hartford during the later part of the 20th century. You can tour the actual old State House rooms, if that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat. Adult admission is $6.
  • Butler-McCook House & Garden: This is the yellow house at Capitol Avenue and Main Street. There are tours available for a fee.
  • Mark Twain House & Museum: It’s $6 to visit the museum; $20 for the museum and a tour of the Twain house.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center: This includes the Stowe House and Katharine Seymour Day House, along with a research center focused mostly on Stowe, but extending to others who lived in the vicinity (“Nook Farm neighborhood”). Free admission for Hartford residents.

Continue reading “Meet Your City: History 101”

MJM

Meet Your City: How to Winter

It’s colder. It’s snowier. Winter does not officially begin for a few more days, but it’s time for a little how-to for people who are either new to the area or have been here their whole lives but had not lived independently until now. Continue reading “Meet Your City: How to Winter”