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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sad City Looks At Old North Cemetery Clean Up

Not too long ago we visited the Old North Cemetery and saw the deplorable conditions. This week Mayor Segarra promised that the cemetery and the parks would be targeted for clean up. Well today we visited the cemetery and let's just say one thing; Petey isn't wasting any time! We were very pleased to see workers busy mowing and weed wacking the large cemetery that resembled a forest just days ago. Bravo to the Mayor on cleaning up this disgrace! Pics after the jump.

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #4

There are few, if any, more despicable businesses to be in than the tow-truck industry. Leeching off of citizens and visitors of the area, these operators can be found on weekends circling the West End like buzzards, looking for any opportunity to hook an unsuspecting car owner up and charge exorbitant fees for latching onto another's property.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is Mayor Segarra a Sad City Fan?

Yesterday was a busy media day for new Mayor Pedro Segarra as he was followed by the Hartford Courant's Cityline who Twittered throughout the day as Segarra set forth some new initiatives. A couple of these initiatives are the kinds of small and cost effective measures that Sad City Hartford endorses. Mayor Segarra announced that steps will be taken to clean up the city's parks and clean up the Old North Cemetery. Both are great ideas and fully endorsed by Sad City Hartford. Maybe he's been reading?

The Seven Visible-From-the-Highway Wonders of Hartford

Most people who have not spent any significant amount of time in Hartford will often will comment that they have, “driven through a couple of times on the highway.” And they always seem to notice the Seven Visible-From-the-Highway Wonders of Hartford. As much as anything else in our fair city, the Seven Visible-From-the-Highway Wonders are icons that ground us all, giving us a sense of place and, for better or worse, making Hartford feel like home.

Have you ever wondered what monuments actually make up the Seven Visible-From-the-Highway Wonders of Hartford? Let Sad City Hartford’s handy guide show you the way.

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #3

We have Pay Phone #3 in the Sad City Pay Phone contest. Phone #3 was found in the North End at the corner of Garden and Westland and may be the best find yet. Phone #3 is especially convenient as it offers a nice table to rest at between your phone calls. It is also convenient that this is phone #3 because if one looks closely, one can see that this phones street name is "S3NZ".

Don't forget to email me your entries!

Sad City Sleuthing

One of our many skills here at Sad City is solving crime and we think we may have cracked another case. Hilda Munoz of the Hartford Courant is reporting that a man posing as handicapped in a wheelchair and an accomplice robbed a cab driver on Canaan Street Friday night. Going through our extensive database of mostly useless knowledge we have come up with a prime suspect.

Crime solved after the jump!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Analyst Sums It Up Nicely In Office Building Deal

The Hartford Courant is reporting that the Connecticut River Plaza has been sold for what is described as a "bargain basement price." The building is nearly vacant after United Health Care has moved out and the last tenant, Traveler's following suit shorty. The new owners also own State House Square. John McCormick, an analyst for a Hartford commercial property firm is quoted in the Courant; "The good news is that it's a large block of space, the bad news is that it's a large block of space." We here at Sad City think that he pretty much just summed up how we all feel about the city sometimes.

Take Me Out To The Cricket Match?

One of the best things about living in a city is the cultural diversity that is found in cities. Hartford having significant Italian, Bosnian, Puerto Rican, and Jamaican residents is no exception. Even so we were still surprised to find an organized game of Cricket taking place at Riverside Park on Sunday. We don't know Cricket. We don't claim or particuarlly even want to know Cricket. Observations from confused onlookers (us);

Monday, July 26, 2010

Get "Free" Wacky Newspaper in Exchange for "Donation"

While we have truly reached the dog days of summer in Hartford, there isn't any slowing down for Sad City (we will wait for winter, when we will hole up in our apartments and play XBox all evening.) In just the last week we were on WCCC where we announced a weekly spot with good friend Craig The Porn Star. We also visited Bushnell Park for a party thrown by our friends at The Hartford Party Starter's Union, saw the return of Chuckles to the site and continued the great Pay Phone Search.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rocking Out in Bushnell Park: Our Top 6 Favorite Dancers

We went out to Hartford's 375th birthday concert in Bushnell Park last night. The festivities were planned by the Hartford Party Starters Union and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Despite the rain, it was a really good time. We really need more stuff like this, people.

We'll let other more qualified types review the evenings music. Our review will focus primarily on our six favorite dancers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #2

Introducing Hartford pay phone #2 in the Sad City Hartford Pay Phone Search. This pay phone is located in the parking lot of the R&D Food Market on the corner of Garden and Albany. To the left of #2 we can see his deceased brother pay phone. Presumably #2 out lived his brother by keeping hydrated with some refreshing Dasani.

Send me your pay phone pics!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cinema City's Last Night Tonight!

Tonight is the last night the Cinema City on Brainard Road will be in operation. Though the cinema will live on at the Bow Tie Cinema on New Park Ave., tonight is your last chance to visit this very cool, old-school no-frills theatre. Popcorn and sodas and shows are on the house on a first come first serve basis. In a span of about two weeks one winter I was able to see Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, and The Wrestler at Cinema City. Let's hope the new Cinema City keeps playing the quality flicks and avoids the horribleness that passes as blockbusters.

Chuckles Discusses His First Beer After A Prison Stretch

Sad City Hartford's favorite Hartford resident Chuckles discusses his first beer after a "State Vacation." If you aren't familiar with Chuckles it is well worth checking out his previous entries. A true Hartford legend. Video after the jump.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sad City Hartford on WCCC

Earlier tonight, Sad City Hartford's own Hakaan Loob was on WCCC with Craig the Porn Star (pictured). The guys discussed the origin of the site (we were bored and had lots of pictures) as well as what our goals and objectives are for the site (we still have no freaking clue).

Check out the appearance below. It will hopefully be the first of many.

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #1

We have our first pay phone in the Sad City Pay Phone Search. This particular phone is on the corner of Vine and Albany. It is reported that the phone is working but will not accept incoming calls. (Hmmmmmmm) I feel that Albany Ave will be a good source of more pay phone finds. Be sure to

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hartford Abandoned: Mather Street

Recently we visited Mather Street for the Anti-Violence Rally after a shooting of a Hartford police officer. While taking footage of the rally we couldn't help but notice a site far too familiar. Another abandoned house. Without going into why these are a blight on our city let's look at the positives of this property.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sad City Scam: Mr. Sparkle Car Wash on Kane

Summer is here and everyone wants to have their ride looking at it's very best under the hot sun. Sad City recently visited the Mr. Sparkle Car Wash on Kane St. and had a very unsatisfactory consumer experience.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anti-Violence Rally on Mather Street

Yesterday, we went to (and video recorded) the anti-violence rally on Mather Street. The event was organized by Mothers United Against Violence and hosted by the sweaty Rev. Henry Brown. The event also featured several other speakers including Pastor J. Stan “That Guy I Always See Talking Really Close to the Camera on Public Access TV” McCauley.

While the event was sparsely attended (at one point there were more reporters than citizens), it was a step in the right direction.

Ordinarily when a cop gets shot in the line of duty, it’s viewed as a sign off pervasive lawlessness within the community. Ever since Saturday night’s shooting there has been very little said about it within the community.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Men Stand at Urinals, Only One Looks Down

The Republican Gubernatorial debate took place last night. Look elsewhere for what went down and who made whom his rhetorical whipping boy in this evening's three-way festivities. But for your easy digestion, here's the quick Sad City Hartford run down.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sad City Field Trip: The State Library

Being the State Capitol, Hartford is home to some pretty cool Government buildings. Most of these buildings boast some pretty cool old-school style architecture. One of the best things about these places; they are free for you to check out if you have an afternoon in the city. Sad City recently took a trip to the Connecticut State Library on Capitol Avenue.

What Are You Doing Next Friday?

Don't forget, the Wadsworth Atheneum and The Hartford Party Starters Union will be throwing a big 375th birthday bash for the city on Friday, July 23 in Bushnell Park. 

It will be fun. People, dancing and bunch of bands that are way too cool for us know anything about but sound really good on the web site. Best of all, it's free. We'll be there to document the fun.

Come on down!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sad City History Lesson and Contest

If your like us (and you know you want to be) you probably spent a lot of time in your early teens hanging out in front of convenience stores. For those of us who grew up without cell phones (never mind a smart phone) convenience stores were a great hang out spot for a variety of reasons. The local convenience store offered a place where one could meet their friends, purchase Mountain Dew, burritos, cigarettes, and of utmost importance, communicate with friends through pay phones.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hartford Hot Spot: Alpine Cafe

The Alpine Cafe is located on the end of Franklin Ave not too far from where Franklin and Wethersfield Ave turn into Main St. If one is looking for somewhere different in touring Hartford, well, it's an option.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Guide to Hartford Supermarkets

One of the greatest things about living in Hartford is that we have a plethora of grocery shopping options within a very small radius. Whether you prefer shopping in the cozy confines of a neighborhood bodega or wandering through a yuppie organic food mecca, Hartford has it all.

So how do you make decision on where to go to buy your food stuff? Let the Sad City Hartford guide to Hartford supermarkets show you the way.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Proposal on How to End an Era

The Hartford Courant is reporting that the City is very close to buying the property widely known as the "butt-ugly" building and that the city's redevelopment agency could soon start working towards a demolition.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How to Beat the Heat in Hartford

It is crazy hot here in Hartford and it looks like it will continue to be that way for the upcoming days. How does one beat the heat in Hartford? Two words; Lemon Ice. It is hard to imagine a tastier treat and if one travels to the South End, there are many excellent lemon ice vendors. Two in particular stand out; Mozzicato's and Modern Pastry.

Honky Tonk Hartford?

This weekend saw a brawl erupt on Broad St in which a man used a machete and broke a guitar over a man's head. While police are searching for an at large suspect, we here at Sad City think they might have the wrong guy in mind. Reaching back into our memories from growing up in the 80's we recall a man with a propensity for these types of attacks. Even more damning is the fact that this suspect worked for the Connecticut company that current Senatorial candidate Linda McMahon was CEO of. Was this a political attack possibly co-ordinated by McMahon to intimidate an opponent? Or was the suspect acting alone and re-living the glory days of the 80's? Before you dismiss these theories be sure to view the circumstantial evidence in the video clip.

ESSAY: A Review of the Old North Cemetery

Like most Americans living in the twenty-first century, we aspire to be great. We aspire to be remembered. We want streets and schools named after us. We want monoliths erected in monument when we die.

And while it is nice to dream of these things, part of reaching middle age means you must come to terms with the fact that you may never achieve that true greatness you dreamed of as a kid. By the time you hit thirty, either you recognize that you're not writing the Great American Novel, you're not going to be the next Justin Bieber and Boston Red Sox are not interested in having you play third base.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Savior of My Own (Driving Around Hartford)

At Sad City Hartford, we spend a lot of time cruising around the city. This video attempts to capture the spirit of an afternoon drive through Hartford.

"A Savior of My Own"
Written by John Parker Northrup
Performed by John Parker Northrup

(EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this video was posted and then pulled down because it featured "People Get Ready" by The Impressions. While music rights forced us to re-cut the video, we actually think it works better with "A Savior of My Own" as the soundtrack. Enjoy!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hartford Abandoned Lot

The corner of Woodland Street and Albany Avenue is always busy. (Sad City gets extra kewl points by already being retro with the Eddie Perez sign.) It is so busy that it almost needs extra lanes to relieve the clogging at the light if you are coming up Woodland. In the immediate area there is a post office, a mini-strip mall with a pharmacy and grocery store, and a great Jamaican bakery. The University of Hartford is just a mile down the road. St. Josephs College and UConn Law aren't much that further away. So why isn't this site desirable?