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, October 29, 2010

Hakaan and Craig The Porn Star Discuss I-84, the Butt-Ugly Building, Malt Liquor and Flying Cars

Hakaan visited with good friend Craig The Porn Star on 106.9 WCCC to discuss some pressing issues. Craig continues to be angered by the traffic on I-84, Hakaan shares high school memories of the "Butt-Ugly" Building and both wonder why politicians haven't provided citizens with flying cars. Audio after the jump.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Craft Fair? Yay!

Sometimes we get pitches from people for stuff that we have absolutely no interest in - especially lazy PR people who do nothing but blind pitching. Other times we get home runs. We have no idea no idea how Daniel Witzniter, pictured on the left, knew we had a burning passion for local crafts and handy goods, but he really hit our sweet spot. The blind pitch email after the jump.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Demolition Begins On "Butt-Ugly" Building

The long awaited demolition of the "Butt-Ugly" started Wednesday at 4PM. Long an object of scorn and contention, the eyesore will finally be removed from the city landscape. Mayor Segarra and many news outlets were on hand for this long awaited occasion. Sad City will always remember the Butt-Ugly building as a landmark alerting that they were near the bodega that "people they knew" would journey to in order to purchase 40 oz. bottles of Olde English 800. Videos and pics after the jump.

Dating in Hartford

Dating is hot topic in cities, suburbs and rural areas around the globe. Hartford is no different. Men and women date. Men and men date. Women and women date. Single people date. Married people date. It seems everyone is dating. So what's going on with dating?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unseen Pictures of the Hartford Civic Center Roof Collapse

A massive event in Hartford history was the collapse of the Hartford Civic Center on January 18, 1978. That night the roof of what is now known as the XL Center  collapsed at about 4:15 AM. Amazingly no one was injured in the disaster. Only hours before about 5,000 people had attended a UConn basketball game at the Civic Center.

Built in 1975, the Civic Center's collapse has been attributed to a faulty, cost-cutting design in the roof. As seen in the pictures here, the snow that night wasn't particularly heavy, most reports have it at six inches.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Butt Ugly" Building in Early Stages of Demolition

Having stood vacant greeting greeting passer-bys of I-84 seemingly forever, it appears that the much discussed "Butt Ugly" building will finally be demolished. Sad City noticed what appears to be signs or preparation for a demolition and got a rare glance at the inside of the controversial building that was part of the Eddie Perez scandal.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hakaan and Craig The Porn Star Discuss The CT Whale and Mayor Segarra

Hakaan calls into WCCC to speak with Sad City friend Craig The Porn Star about the Hartford Wolfpack changing their name to the Connecticut Whale. They discuss the team's new logo and even get into whether Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is  possibly a Sad City fan. By the end of the call Craig, Hakaan and the Mayor are playing 3 on 3 hockey on the top of Mt. Trashmore.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #27

Hartford Pay Phone #27 is on Market Street not far from where we got spooked by an animal in a highway walkway. It is reported that when asked if the portable bathroom located on the parking lot of #27 could be used the parking lot attendant directed the person to the tire store right next door. This brings up a quandary that one can face when traveling. When entering a near empty store solely for the purpose of using the bathroom does one make a show of pretending they are interested in purchasing a product? In this case the answer was yes. A good 10 minutes of time was wasted for everyone pretending a tire purchase was going to be made in an effort not to appear rude. A good call?

Drill Baby Drill!

She's back! When we last encountered the little old lady in the VW bug wanting to drill for American oil, citizens and the media were getting way too excited about some oil spewing into the ocean down near Louisiana. A little oil never hurt anything right?

 In fact the stance seemed so unpopular at the time we theorized that maybe the bumper sticker had been put on her car as some type of prank. Surely this isn't the message she was intending to send? Well here we are two months later. We've forgotten about oil, (that's sooooo summer!) today we care about bullying and Chilean miners (but not for much longer with these miners). 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sad City Readers Come Through

Thanks to Sad City reader Nada P who sent us a tip on where to locate Hooker Watermelon Ale. Looks like we know what we will be sipping after the Hooker Day Parade on Saturday!

Local Business Profile: The Thomas Hooker Brewery

Sad City likes local businesses. When we decided that we should spotlight some local businesses the first choice was easy; The Thomas Hooker Brewery. Being the week of The Thomas Hooker Parade makes it an even better fit to be spotlighted this week. Located on 16 Tobey Rd in Bloomfield, Thomas Hooker isn't technically in Hartford; but it is literally right over the border and it gave us an excuse to go hang out at a brewery.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spooked By A Highway Walking Path

This highway walking path has long intrigued us. The long winding concrete structure topped with a steel cage seems unneccassary to say the least. No one ever seems to be using it. The parking lot it leads to is almost always empty. It seems weird that it is so long and winding  instead of straight as if so many people would be using it, it needed to be stretched out. Imagine our excitement when we found the gate to the empty dirt lot unlocked.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hartford Weekend Find

Is anything more overrated than getting up early on the weekend? Whenever we get up at 8 or so on a weekend day, we start by being proud of ourselves for rising so early and "seizing the day." Then by about 11 boredom kicks in and we have to try and get creative for some good (cheap) entertainment. That's what happened this Saturday morning so we set off to drive around and explore. Our journey lead us to Main Street in sister Sad City East Hartford. There we spotted something somewhat interesting, a large tag sale in front of a church.

Here Comes The Hooker Day Parade

Saturday, October 23 is the Hooker Day Parade in Downtown. The parade was started my Mayor Mike to celebrate Hartford founder Thomas Hooker and to bring a little wackiness to Downtown. The parade was stopped in 2001, but returned in 2008. We are eagerly anticipating the parade and a great Saturday in downtown.  In Hartford's version of Mardi Gras, parade goers dress in outrageous costumes and Sad City will be there looking for the most outrageous costumes. Are any Sad City readers planning to participate in the parade? Let's hear some costume ideas...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Opulent Launch Parties and Hartford; A Natural Fit

The great thing about the truth is that it is often stranger than fiction. Some things just can't be made up. The stories of the Chilean miners rescue, a pop star wearing a dress made of meat, the 2004 Red Sox, the popularity of American Idol; all would be dismissed as too far-flung if presented as fiction. So when we find a Hartford story in that vein we get very excited.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hartford Kewl Buildings: The Keney Memorial Clock Tower

Being an old and formerly wealthy New England city, Hartford has tons of kewl old buildings. Some are dilapidated, some are well maintained, they can be found in both the worst and best neighborhoods. In exploring Hartford we have seen a lot of these buildings and wondered how they got there and what the history behind some of these buildings. Thus is born our latest feature; Hartford Kewl Buildings. The inaugural edition features the Keney Memorial Clock Tower.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #26

Hartford Pay Phone #26 is located at the corner of Albany and Magnolia  outside of Ivana's Fashions. Phone #26 appears to have adopted some fashion sense from Ivana's as it is one of the more fashionable phones we have seen. The color scheme of the building, the phone, and the clothes drop box are very fashion forward. Phone #26 is housed in a black box,, more fashionable than the usual silver housing. Finally a splash of graffiti gives the area around #26 a contemporary feel. #26; where all the "in" people make their calls!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Two Groups Exercise Their Constitutional Rights in Hartford

From the last week or so of September through October we have noticed a group assembling with signs on a tiny traffic island near the South Green. What we found is a group called "40 Days For Life" who identified themselves as "good Christians" who would be praying in the area outside an abortion clinic from 6AM to 6PM for the next 40 days.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Hartford Stash House

Last week the Hartford Courant reported on a raid of a drug "stash house" on 121 Gilman Street in the South End. In the raid of the house Hartford Police found over a kilo of raw heroin and $22,000 being hidden in the house by Julio Ramos. With such an exciting development, there was no doubt that we immediatley would have to take a ride and see what a Hartford stash house looks like.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sad City Visits Anti-Violence Rally in North End (Again)

Reverend Brown held an anti-violence rally in the North End yesterday in response to recent shooting in the area. Earlier in the summer we attended a similar rally held my Reverend Brown on Mather Street. This rally had a similar theme and we recognized a lot of the people attending from the previous rally. Without the summer sun beating down the Reverend wasn't sweating as profusely as last time but he still delivered a fiery oratory expressing his outrage with violence in Hartford. Video after the jump.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hakaan and Craig The Porn Star Discuss Lunch In Hartford

Did you miss Sad City's regular 9:25 Wednesday spot on WCCC with Craig The Porn Star last night? Craig was at an event so we will be on tonight instead. A couple of weeks ago we were on and we discussed some of our favorite lunch spots from the Sad City Guide To Lunch in Hartford. Our favorites? Woody's Hot Dogs and Cuchilandia! Hear why we love them after the jump.

Headphones Gary and the Electric Chair

The big story in the state recently has been the Cheshire murder trial of Steven Hayes. Anyone following any local news or Helen Ubinas on Twitter is well aware of the trial proceedings. What's left to decide is whether Hayes will get the death penalty or not. Well of course at Sad City, we not only have Chuckles to tell us about the levels system at  Somers Prison; Sad City friend Headphones Gary not only claims to have seen the electric chair at Somers, he claims to have been in it! Hear the thrilling tale after the jump!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chuckles Gets Busted

Sad City Hartford's favorite ne'er-do-well, Chuckles, was recently arrested by the police and thrown back in the clink. Hear Pete Sopressata, our good friend and South End resident, tell the story in hysterical/sad detail after the jump.

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #25 - WNPR Edition!

Hartford Pay Phone #25 is located at the corner of Albany and Chestnut, one of our favorite areas of town. There is something very interesting about the this area. It's kind of like a Bermuda triangle of Hartford. It marks the end of downtown, the Albany and Main St split, and of course  the infamous "Butt-Ugly Building." Earlier today our little Pay Phone Contest got us invited to visit WNPR in-studio during The Colin McEnroe Show and we had a blast. If you missed it you can hear the whole show here.

Sad City Visits Colin McEnroe on WNPR today!

Sad City is happy to announce that Hakann Loob will be appearing on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show on Tuesday October 5 from the 1PM-2PM hour. The program can be heard on 90.5 on the FM dial in the Hartford area. Sad City will be in studio while The Colin McEnroe Show speaks with Ammon Shea about his new book, The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book Everyone Uses But No One Reads.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What Ever Happened To TX Critter?

In past postings, we have often speculated about the whereabouts of TX Critter, the lovable puppet host of the Kidstime program on WTXX during the 1980s and early 1990s. And we were not the only ones. Many others have speculated about TX's whereabouts. Sad City Hartford conducted some exhaustive research and the shocking truth will sadden you. Read all about in the latest Sad City Hartford comic after the jump.

Building a Better Mouse Trap

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sad City to Visit With Colin McEnroe on WNPR

Sad City is happy to announce that Hakann Loob will be appearing on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show on Tuesday October 5 from the 1PM-2PM hour. The program can be heard on 90.5 on the FM dial in the Hartford area. Sad City will be in studio while The Colin McEnroe Show speaks with Ammon Shea about his new book, The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book Everyone Uses But No One Reads.

"I Would Like To Purchase A Hartford Abandoned House"

In an earlier piece about Hartford's South End, one reader (a quite handy reader we will assume) expressed an interest in acquiring the pictured property on Franklin Ave and wondered how to go about it. For some reason we happen to know a little about the process and figured if one reader was curious, maybe two readers were curious. So it's time for another handy Sad City Guide.

Edit "On advice from our watchful readers, this post, nor anything on this website should be construed as legal advice. We are not lawyers, nor do we purport to be. While we hope this (and other) posts are informative and entertaining, you should always consult an attorney licensed to practice in the appropriate state before entering into any agreement to purchase real estate."