With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Want to Financially Support a Thief?

Attorney General/Senatorial Candidate Richard Blumenthal, busy dodging steel chairs from Linda McMahon, still has time to perform his AG duties and announced he will go after convicted Ex-Mayor Eddie Perez's pension. Blumenthal will try to revoke/reduce the pension under a new law enacted after the conviction of also disgraced politician, former Governer John Rowland.

Proof of the Meatloaf Guy's Existence

Last week’s comic about the Butterfly’s legendary Meatloaf guy seemed to strike a chord with all twelve of our readers. And while several of you mentioned that you too have encountered the Meatloaf guy in his natural habitat, there were a surprising number of you who questioned both the authenticity of the story and the actual existence of the Meatloaf guy as if he were some sort of mythical, adult-contemporary singing Yeti.

Today, we are here to present to you irrefutable proof that the Meatloaf guy does, in fact, exist.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Maple Giant Grinder and Pizza

While we often spend a lot of time ragging on the city, Hartford does have its fair share of hidden gems that make it a really cool place to live. One such place is Maple Giant Grinder and Pizza in the South End.

Located on the corner of Maple and Adelaide, Maple Giant Grinder is one of the last holdovers of what was once Hartford's version of Little Italy, but now is much more accurately described as Little Latin America. (SIDE NOTE: There are some seriously cool things about Little Latin America, but that's a whole separate post.)

Hartford's Abandoneds

Here is an abandoned right next to Sad City favorite Sigourney Square Park. While the Asylum Hill neighborhood has promise and has seen many properties improved by charities such as NINA, there are still blighted properties to be found. A bonus if you want to fix this property up; a very pious neighbor who displays their faith through painted rocks in their yard.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hartford On My Mind

To steal copy from a billboard beer ad that is currently running Downtown, sometimes Saturday is better on a Tuesday. That goes double for when you think about the people who come out for your average Saturday night in Hartford.

One of the most fascinating things about Hartford is the stark contrasts that exist in, and around, its city limits. The mansions of Scarborough Street are less than five blocks away from some of the poorest parts of Upper Albany. While Connecticut is the second wealthiest state in the U.S., Hartford is the second poorest city in the country.

At least the buskers are good.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hot Town, Garbage in the City

Nothing says "summer" quite like kids playing in a park sprinkler.

But is there anything that can be done about all of the trash? Today, we took a walk through our favorite patch of Asylum Hill greenery, Sigourney Square Park, and the place was covered in trash. We know that the city is faced with a slew of problems and greater priorities, but this starting to be a serious broken window.

Friday, June 25, 2010

CONTEST WINNER: How to Fill Front Street? Hamsterdam!

Last week, we challenged Sad City Hartford readers to come up with an alternative use for Front Street, Hartford's years-in-the-making retail development that is nearly complete yet completely vacant for the forseable future. So without further ado, here they are.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hartford Shooters Step It Up

Not content with some garden variety gun play, three gunman stepped it up a notch by shooting a man 13 times outside the Essence of Beauty Salon (pictured; no really) on 301 Farmington Ave at about 7:30 Wednesday night.

In good news, the Taco Bell next door was still open late.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

COMIC: The Ballad of the Meatloaf Guy

Any good Hartfordite knows the glory of karaoke of the Butterfly. But do you know the legend of the Meatloaf guy? While currently inactive, he has been known to rock one of the most rocking impressions of Meatloaf ever known to man.  It's just a shame that being the best Meatloaf impersonator at a karaoke bar is kind of like being the world's tallest midget.

Want to know more about the Meatloaf guy?  Read the latest Sad City Hartford comic to get the story behind the pre-recorded music.

Mayor Falls, Building Still Stands

If you've been to Hartford in the last twenty years or so, you've likely seen this long abandoned building that has loomed over the city for years. It's become a Hartford landmark of sorts and internet searches for the Butt-ugly building pulls up articles reporting its imminent demise all the way back to 2005. Still the building stands. The long vacant eyesore outlasted disgraced Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and even played a roll in his downfall.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One of These Men Farted in the Elevator

SCENE:  Wannabe Governors Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy ride the elevator together prior to their televised death match debate in West Hartford.

Ned: Did you fart?
Dan: No. 
Dan: Did you fart?
Ned: No.
Dan: Well, one of us is lying because there is an awful farty smell in here.

Now the Tourists Will Have to Flock to Canal Street

Have you noticed Park Street has been really quiet lately? Ok, well maybe not all that quiet. Still one can't help to notice the lack of street vendors that can usually be found trading their wares on Park Street's sidewalks. Monday, Hartford Vice and Narcotics officers, along with an expert in counterfeit merchandise inspection, arrested a Park Street vendor for possession of untaxed cigarettes with intent to sell.

Cinema City to Close; Chowder Pot Somehow Continues to Operate

Cinema City, tucked into one of the furthest corners of Hartford on beautiful Brainard Road will close it door on July 22 and re-open the next day as part of the Bow Tie Cinemas on New Park Ave. The property will be used as part of an expansion of the Water Pollution Control plant. We recommend checking it out before it shutters. It's nothing fancy, but rather an old school type theater that you just can't find these days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy Evangelist Lady Rants on Park Street

People around the world have long observed spiritual and religious celebration during the Summer Solstice.  While prior to this afternoon, we weren't quite sure if God really existed.  After meeting this lady, we now understand the power of Jesus.  Three cheers for street evangelism! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sad City Hartford Tribute: Manute Bol

We were saddened today to learn that former University of Bridgeport star and West Hartford resident Manute Bol passed away at 47. Bol was not only spectacular to watch play basketball and a wonder to look at, he really was one of the better human beings you could hope to find. To read up on some of Bol's great deeds check here or here. For a good laugh watch the YouTube clip.

An Illustrated Guide to the Eddie Perez Scandal

Confused by what exactly Eddie Perez did wrong? Are you having trouble placing this event in the greater scheme of political scandals in Connecticut?  What does this mean for Hartford?  Let Sad City Hartford's illustrated guide give you the scoop on our fair state's latest scandal.

Chuckles on the Levels of Prison

Our favorite Hartford resident, Chuckles, explains the levels of prison and gives some tips on how not to get raped. Eddie Perez should take note.

We'll have an important update on Chuckles next week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What exactly is "it" that we can do?

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez was found guilty on 5 of 6 charges and faces a maximum of 55 years at sentencing on September 10. Following his defenses lead of making inexplicable, preposterous statements, when asked if he had anything to say Perez replied "Yes we can" in Spanish. Nothing like pandering for some sympathy by flatly ripping off the slogan from one of the more successful political campaigns in recent memory.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Filling Up Front Street - Sad City Hartford Contest

Have you heard?  Front Street, the years-in-the-making retail development that was intended to round out the new Adrien's Landing district on the east-side of Hartford, is nearly complete. 

Hey Kids...Cigarette Machine Found in Hartford!

Everyone knows 80's Retro is in right now. Bret Michaels recently won Celebrity Apprentice and graces the cover of gossip magazines. (Though I'm still not sure who those four girls are on the Poison album cover.) A re-make of The Karate Kid is currently in theaters. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mug Shots on the Courant Home Page

Recently, the Hartford Courant web site started featuring mug shots on its home page.  Whenever there is a front page story that features some poor schmuck who has been arrested for some sort of noteworthy or amusing crime, POW, there up there in the headlines.  At first, we were not fans of this practice.  Hey, these people have not necessarily been convicted of a crime, there is not necessarily a fairness or consistency in how it's decided on who is featured and, seriously, the the guy who was arrested for looking for sex off of Craigslist really does not need the web impressions - you can probably already find him on ChatRoulette.

But today, we stand corrected.  We now appreciate the foresight that went into developing this feature.  Behold, the awesomeness of outlaw bikers on the Courant home page.

Perez Lawyer Ignores History As Defense Rests

Mayor Eddie Perez's Defense lawyer Hubert Santos topped the dyslexia defense with a statement that's almost too good to be true. "What's the bottom line - is Mayor Eddie Perez a crook? No. There's not too many crooks showing up every day at city hall, working for the betterment of the people of the city of Hartford." Let's focus on that "there's not too many crooks showing up every day at city hall" portion. Surely Santos is aware of him, him, him (three in a row for Waterbury!), him, him, her, him, him, or perhaps him to just name a few. I know everyone is entitled to vigorous representation but making such statements makes everything look like a farce. It's no wonder the public has such animosity towards defense attorneys. But hey, maybe I'm taking the statement out of context and Eddie has much better city hall attendance than other Mayoral crooks?

Legalize Heaven

While we are very excited about the potential repeal of the skateboarding ban, our favorite part of this story is when Jordan Polon trots out the "get off our lawn" quote.

If they had only done this when we were a teen, we might not have spent so much time hanging out at parking lots in Manchester.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moronic reality TV show Ghost Hunters will air its second episode shot at the Mark Twain House on Wednesday on the SyFy Network (Comcast channel 52, 217HD in Hartford). For those who want to go out and watch the episode there will be a viewing party at Woody's Hot Dog & Fish Tank at 915 Main St. The episode will be spin-off show "Ghost Hunter Academy" in which aspiring paranormal investigators are sent home one by one. This show, like The Bachelorette, is one of those reality shows where you would prefer to find yourself on because your a fame whore rather than believing in the premise of the show. That said, I REALLY hope someone reads my post!

Some real ghost hunting:

West End Brown Bunnies

Hartford has a robust and thriving population of natural wild life existing within its city limits. Pigeons and squirrels are common and can be seen in all parts of the city. Rats, while unwelcome, can also be found in the city. In fact, one specific rat can be seen regularly at city hall.

While somewhat less known, the West End Brown Bunny is also an important part of the Hartford ecosystem. Subsisting primarily on grass, garbage and the discarded marijuana seeds of resident UHa students, these majestic lupine creatures can often be found scampering through backyards in the West End and shaking small children down for their lunch money.
What should you do when you discover a West End Brown Bunny? An old Hartford wives tale suggests that every time a bunny is photographed or videotaped, its soul is stolen. So get your cell phone cameras out and send us your bunny pics.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chuckles on Basketball

Sad City Hartford's favorite resident, Chuckles, recounts the joy of prison basketball. It kind of reminds us of the time that we were eleven and played rec league ball.

Unions and Gangs at Foxwoods?

Foxwoods is not in Hartford. It's not really all that close to Hartford, but in the last decade and a half Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have grown to be amongst the world's largest casinos. Monday brought news from Foxwoods Casino that the bartenders are attempting to form a union under US laws, after failing under tribal laws. Not surprisingly Foxwoods opposes unionization due to the, "higher costs a negotiated labor contract would probably bring." 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

iQuilt: Great Plan if You Ignore the Name

Over the past year, a highly strategic development project has been underway in the city of Hartford.  The project focuses on linking the entire downtown business grid and creating a marvelous patchwork of green space, cultural landmarks and pedestrian walkways.  The plan would re-connect the city's many downtown pieces parts that where annexed when I-84 was constructed in the 1960s and make Hartford a more walkable city.

Chuckles Teaches Us About Somers Prison

Sometimes Hartford residents get arrested. Sometimes they are then sentenced to prison. Many of these will do their bid at Somers Prison located just up I-91. Here Chuckles, Hartford resident and friend of Sad City Hartford, tells us about a recent stretch in Somers prison.

The Mother Load?

Most familiar with the Hartford area are well aware of the abundance of mattresses that seems to be prevalent throughout the city. The seemingly vast surplus of mattresses leads city residents to often discard older ones on city sidewalks. So while there is nothing exceptional about a discarded mattress in the city, we feel we may have found the mother load of mattress deposits on Prospect Avenue. Most impressive, Prospect Ave!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Woman Freaks Out on Clumsy Neighbor

Hartford has a wealth of lovely multi-family homes that were built in the early twentieth century. While these building are architecturally attractive and highly functional, the sound proofing between the units is not always the best. This clip captures a hysterical altercation between a self-proclaimed "clumsy" man and his neighbor, who we can only assume looks exactly like Will Smith's mom from the opening credits of the Fresh Prince of Bell Air.

"They mess with you for nothing, man."

The police in Hartford needlessly harass its citizens, according to the man loitering in the near vacant city park in the middle of winter. The highlight of this clip is at about 2:30, when we get a glimpse of a man who may or may not be in need of a twelve step program.

Eddie Perez: I Never Learned to Read

The ongoing corruption case against Mayor Eddie Perez has taken a turn for the stupid.  Earlier this week, Perez resorted to the "I wasn't aware of that demand for $100,000 to vacate city-owned land that was made in exchange for political support in the North End" defense.

"For the second straight day, a top mayoral staffer testified that because Perez has great difficulty reading, his e-mails were screened, and the most important ones were given to him in the form of printouts, with staffers ready to assist him in quickly digesting the contents."

When hockey coach Jacques Demers admitted to not being able to read, we all found the story a bit incredible, but plausible.  The fact that a sitting mayor in major American city is unable to read his own emails is freaking ridiculous.

This whole thing reminds us of that scene in Wayne's World.  Too bad the only version of the clip that is available is in French.



With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city.  Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.