Meet Your City: Parades of Yore

Connecticut Veterans Parade, 2011

Today, everything is expected on demand — from ordering groceries online to binge-watching television shows to whatever Tinder is. So, why should it come as a surprise that few want to wait for the entertainment to make its way to them?  Parades can be frustratingly slow and unpredictable in pacing, often taking place during uncomfortable weather.

And anyway, cities are about change, not stagnation. Right? Interests change. Demographics change. Someone finally gets smart and decides it is no longer appropriate to subsidize parades with tax dollars.

Those that had been struggling to draw any crowd of note in recent years would do well to take a time out and reassess if this the current incarnation of the event is worth the time, trouble, and money. (more…)

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…)

Meet Your City: Ice Cream

People are passionate about ice cream. I’m among them. Yet, when the question of where to find the dessert (or breakfast) in Hartford gets asked, and responses almost exclusively point to West Hartford Center, I get a little irritated. Not that there’s anything wrong with that other town, but if I’m here and want to make an easy walk to get my frozen dairy fix, why should I hear about what’s at least an hour walk from home?

Besides the treats you can get from just about any convenience store/bodega, supermarket, ice cream truck, or cart, there are more than a few options, so long as you don’t require that it be scooped into a cone, though that can be had within city limits too. Quality varies, as does price. I’ve included items that are technically not ice cream, but can fill in for it as needed. Descriptions are frequently straight from the menu except when the restaurant’s version seemed confusing. (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).

(more…)

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…)