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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #24

Pay phone #24 is located at the corner of Webster and Barnard outside of Victoria's Market. #24 is actually a dual phone set up, but only one of the two phones is functional. It makes us wonder how long the non-functioning phones sit around. Are they of any value to the phone company? Is the phone company under any obligation to remove them?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Evidence That Mayor Segarra is a Sad City Fan?

We like Mayor Pedro Segarra. So far he has been a visible figure and made strides in improving Hartford. More and more we are becoming convinced that the Mayor likes Sad City. Never mind that he started the Parks Week initiave. Sad City was hardly alone in recognizing that Hartford parks were a little messy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blumenthal Uses New Corruption Statute Against Perez; Sad City Applauds.

Attorney General and Senatorial candidate Richard Blumenthal has filed suit to block convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez from receiving his pension. The suit is the first time the anti-corruption law has been invoked since it was passed after the corruption scandal of ex-Governor John Rowland. The Hartford Courant's Jenna Carlesso quotes Blumenthal

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ladies Night in Hartford

Grace Merritt of the Hartford Courant is reporting on an armed robbery at a convienence store in the North End over the weekend. The interesting things about this story are a) that the robberyoccured in the middle of the day, b) it appears that the clerk ran from behind the counter and chased one of the armed suspects around the store, c) while the other suspect left and then quickly returned, d) a witness interfered and wrestled one of armed the suspects, and e) both suspects and the wrestling witness were all female. Seriously, if that was on tv you wouldn't believe it right? We'd love to see the video of this armed robbery. We picture it as an all female version of Dumber & Dumber Goes Bad.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #23

Pay phone #23 is located at the corner of Albany & Bedford in the North End outside of the Wonder Package Store and the Super Deli. When we approached number #23 we asked the gentleman in the picture if he was going to use the phone. He responded that if he was going to use a pay phone, we would use the two around the corner, that are #15 & 16 in our search. We didn't think much of it, but after todays Hartford Courant story of wire taps and controlled drug buys in the North End, we wonder if maybe this guy knew something about something.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sad City's Guide To Lunch In Hartford

Many people who come into Hartford work in either Downtown or the Industrial Zone down by Brainard Airport. For these day-time Hartfordites  lunch will usually be at Trumbull Kitchen or a food truck on Bushnell Park for downtown folks or one of the many fast food restaurants on Airport Road for those near Brainard. After a while these options just get plain boring and one might want to venture out a bit. You've got some time, but don't feel like sitting down at a restaurant and dropping $20 on lunch. We've always found it so disappointing to waste a precious lunch hour on a crappy unknown place. Now with another handy Sad City Guide To Hartford Sandwiches you will never have that problem. Let's hit the Sad City lunch menu. (Max Rating is a six-pack)

Genius Of The Week

Hartford often gets a bad rap. Sad City has always contended that while Hartford has its share of problems, surrounding areas that suburbanites seem to prefer are in fact worse. Take Manchester for example. Not long ago a sleepy tobacco farm town, Manchester is a prime example of a nightmarish 21st century "city". Manchester has the crime and drugs that are negatives prevalent in most cities. What Manchester doesn't have it any sort of centralized area with bars and restaurants. Buckland Hills? We avoid it like the plague.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Connecticut Whale; It's A Trap!?!?

Sad City visited the XL Center for the official announcement that the Hartford Wolf Pack will be changing their name to the Connecticut Whale in the near future we couldn't help but get that weird familiar feeling when looking at the new mascot Pucky. Then we figured out Pucky's full name; Pucky Ackbar.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #22

Hartford Pay Phone #22 is located on Franklin Avenue in the heart of Hartford's South End. Franklin Ave is known for being home to great restaurants and bakeries, but as we can see in the photo, #22 resides outside the Santos Driving School. We are surprised to see Santos Driving School is in business, because it seems to us that no one in the South End has any sort of formal driving training.

The streets of the South End are just big enough and the area is just dense enough to be home to some of the most outrageous driving one can encounter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Help Helen Ubinas

This is Helen Ubinas. She's one of the best reporters/columnists in alll of Hartford. She's our friend. We like her a lot.

But Helen has a problem. She has AWFUL batteries. A very social media friendly journalist, Helen tweets and blogs up a storm, but her work is being severely impacted by her employer's inability to provide her with either better batteries or back up batteries. Her phone is always dying. Her laptop is always dying. She needs help!

The Ice Cream Man

The Hartford Courant is reporting that an ice cream vendor was robbed at gunpoint in the North End this week. While we don't know much about the North End ice cream truck, we do know about the South End ice cream truck. The South End ice cream truck runs ALL THE TIME.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hakaan and Craig The Porn Star Discuss 1980's Hartford Celebrities

Following up on the popular "Where Are They Now?" story, Hakaan called into WCCC and spoke with Sad City friend Craig The Porn Star about the era before cable television, when local new personalities ruled the airways. Hear them wax nostalgic about Hilton Kaderli, Al Terzi, Gerry Brooks, Gayle King and more after the jump.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sad City History: Hartford, The CRRA, and Enron

Last week we investigated the abundance of mattresses that populate Hartford sidewalks. We learned that mattresses were expensive to dispose of and that Hartford and many other towns waste disposal is handled by the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (“CRRA”). While doing some research we also learned some interesting stuff about the CRRA. 

The CRRA was established in 1973 as a quasi-public entity by Connecticut General Statute §22a-261.The goal of the CRRA was to modernize the system of town dumps with a commitment of trash-to-energy and recycling. Today the CRRA website defines its’ misison “is to work for, and in, the best interests of the 96 Connecticut towns and municipalities that it has contracts with.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eddie Perez Lawyers and Supporters Continue To Be Confused and Inaccurate

Sentencing for convicted criminal and disgraced former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez (pictured with fellow thief of tax payer dollars former State Rep. Abraham Giles) is set for today. The Eddie Perez trial (see the illustrated guide here) was wrapping up just as Sad City was starting and gave us something to write about when we didn't have a clue  (we still don't) what we were doing.

In hoping for leniency for this wonderful public servant, oft-confused  (see Perez lawyers fail history)Perez lawyers Hubert Santos and Hope Seeley have gathered letters of support and made some more comments as reported by the Hartford Courant. Mmm, this is going to be good......

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Milk was a Bad Choice

There's nothing quite like the feeling of reading the Sunday newspaper with breakfast, finding a three-day-old story about  a milk recall in your town and then realizing it is the exact same milk you are eating with you cereal.

Damn you, Christina Market.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jumper finally has Internet at his new place. That means more regular posting again.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hakaan and Craig The Porn Star Discuss Mattresses

Hakaan and Craig The Porn Star talked about the mattress problem in Hartford on WCCC. Hakaan even manages to work in a Raiders of The Lost Ark reference. Audio after the jump.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Headphones Gary Discusses The War

In this segment Headphones Gary discusses why he thinks the U.S. is involved in the current ongoing wars. Spoiler; he doesn't mention weapons of mass destruction.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hartford Mattress Surplus Solved!

Hartford residents are very familiar with the abundance of mattresses that can be found strewn about our City’s streets. We here at Sad City have a fascination with some of the larger mattress “colonies” that we have found congregated on the City’s sidewalks.

While amusing, one can’t help but wonder, where do these mattresses come from? We have certainly visited other cities and not seen this type of mattress surplus. Even sister Sad Cities like Bridgeport, Wallingford and East Hartford don’t seem to have such an abundance of mattresses. So what is going on with the mattress population in Hartford?

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #21

Hartford Pay Phone #21 is located at the corner of Main and Buckingham at a light that always seems to be red when we get to it. To us, the light seems to signal the crossing point between the South End and downtown. Like many other phone finds, this phone is located next to a bus stop. It is also located just outside the wavy glass exterior building which serves as a health clinic. If one is going into downtown, go through this light and the next couple blocks on the left offer good, under utilized parking spots. Tip to Farm Boy for this find.

 Email me your phone finds!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Leaning Tower of Mattress

Abandoned mattresses on Hartford streets are nothing atypical as the city obviously has a great surplus of mattresses. At Sad City we are interested in only the largest of mattress piles. Here we have the leaning tower of mattress located on the end of Wethersfield Ave right near the South Green. The leaning tower has been there for a few days so your time to view this man-made wonder could be short. Be sure to check it out. On a side note, Athemy, the bodega in the background is a new shop replacing the former Paradise Deli. With a new store front and signage, the bring colors are a welcome contrast to the grey building it is located in.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Look Back At A Sad City Summer

A couple of months ago a pair of morons were looking for a project. One night one of the morons mentioned that he should take all his Hartford pics collected from wandering the city and make a blog. The second moron liked the idea and designed a blog that night. Sad City Hartford was born. Sad City Hartford gave us many adventures; we explored, we laughed, we cried (ok, no one cried but we thought Jumper was close while kayaking the Park River.) With help from some of our earliest supporters like Helen Ubinas, Craig The Porn Star, and The Hartford Party Starters Union, and readers in our Pay Phone contest, it appears people actually like our blog. With Labor Day marking the end of Summer, we look back at some of our favorite Sad City memories.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jerk Of The Day

While driving down Prospect Avenue at approximately 4:40 PM EST, we noticed traffic to be moving even slower than usually. First we chalked it up to rush hour. Then we got behind a car at the light of Prospect and Boulevard. When the light turned green, the car didn't move. Flummoxed we honked the horn. Nothing.

Sad City Exceptionally Sad

Sad City was very sad to learn of the passing of State Police Trooper Kenneth Hall out of Troop H who was killed Thursday during a traffic stop when his cruiser was struck by a motorist. For coverage see the Hartford Courant. Sad City as always wishes safety to those who wear the uniform.

Hello and Hi! More From Headphones Gary

In these clips Headphones Gary sees his cousin, who doesn't seem to recognize him and tells us about his job he was at this morning. The only problem with that is he also told us earlier that he had been released from Somers earlier that day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hartford Pay Phone Contest: Pay Phone #20

Pay phone #20 is located on Capen St just feet from where a Smoker's Depot was held and an employee was shot up earlier this week. The store behind #20 could not possibly be more interesting. While billed as a variety store, the promise of hot dogs, sausages, soda billiards and video games make it sounds more like a teenage arcade heaven.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dead City, Proud City

Uh oh. It looks like the City of Hartford has made another one of "those" lists. You know, the type of list where people act offended and say, "How could they? We are such a lively and vibrant metropolis that just has a minor case of urban decay. These charges completely overblown. Allow me to cite some head-in-the-sand facts to obfuscate the truth."

Face it, Hartford, 24/7 Wall Street is simply calling a spade a spade. The website, beloved by unemployed day traders living in their parents' basement, is stating a fact that we all know is true: we are New England's Rising Black Hole. 

Where Do My Recyclables Go?

In any city, disposal of trash and recycling are major issues for city planners. In Hartford, everyone knows about Mount Trashmore, the mountain of garbage visible from I-91. Back in the good old days, Mount Trashmore was uncovered and piles of garbage and seagulls could be viewed as one drove in or out of town. Today we live in a different era and recycling is paramount. For those of us who take the time to recycle, we simply toss all our recyclables into a blue bin or trash can and off it goes.