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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Catching Up With The Hartford Denim Co.

We first visited the guys at the Hartford Denim Company back in November. Since then they have gotten a good deal of attention for their locally produced and guaranteed for life jeans. We couldn't be more pleased to have a group of young creative people creating a great and unique product right in town.

Apart from seeing the guys around town socially here and there we hadn't really had a chance to talk and see what's been going on over at the shop on Pratt Street. So we dropped them an email and got an update on the doings and let us tell you, these guys do not disappoint.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sad City Field Trip: The Hyde Manor

Every once in a while Sad City will venture out of the friendly confines of the Hartford city limits and see what the rest of the world has to offer. A recent trip found us deep in rural Vermont, channeling our inner Palin by snowmobiling. As we crossed the frozen tundra we came upon a large building in a state of near total collapse.

We learned later that we had found the Hyde Manor, a hotel constructed in 1862 that once housed 300 guests. We were able to find only one article on the manor; it closed in the 1970's and fell into the state a disrepair and imminent collapse.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hot In Hartford: Craig The Porn Star vs. Jenna Carlesso

The second round of Hot In Hartford kicks off with two Sad City friends clashing for the chance to advance to the final four. Hartford Courant and Cityline writer Jenna Carlesso advanced to the second round by defeating Twitter'er Cocaine Janie in a Valentine's Day clash. Jenna holds the distinction of being the last female in Hot In Hartford, and, being pretty hot, she could carry the female and young male vote to victory.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reader Pics Of The Whale Bowl

This weekend Rentschler Field in East Hartford hosted the Whalers Hockey Fest 2011. The all day outdoor event featured a Whalers Legends vs. Bruins Legends game and a CT Whale vs. Providence Bruins game. Bruce Berlet has a great recap of Connecticut legends Brian Leetch and Craig Janney's perspectives here.

Jumper and myself were both out of town for the weekend, but in all honesty the cold would've been too much for either of our fragile selves to bear. Lucky for us, Sad City readers are tougher than the writers and loyal reader Farm Boy provided us with pics from Whale Fest 2011.

Hot In Hartford Quarterfinals

The Hot In Hartford contest moves onto the second round after a first round that saw strong contenders Helen Ubinas, Scott Haney and Chuckles go down in defeat. For the quarterfinals the contestants have been seeded one through eight based on the number of votes they received in the first round. Second round voting starts later this week.

Preview the matches after the jump.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Target Market?

In a down economy store brands become more popular as shoppers try and squeeze every penny. Often these products are indistinguishable from national brands except for the lack of a major marketing campaign.

Products with multiple uses also appeal to cost conscious consumers. Here we have an example of a product that hits both these marks; Target brand aluminum foil.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hartford At Night

We love taking photos of the city. Sad City was actually born out of us wondering what we could do with all the pictures and videos we had taken of Hartford. Some of our favorites are uploaded on our Facebook page here. Sad City reader Michael Trojanowski sent us a trio of stunning Hartford at night pictures. Check them out after the jump.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hot in Hartford: Gerry Brooks vs. Ed Sawyer

For our final first round Hot in Hartford challenge, we have a very special match up. We pit longtime news celebrity and Schlitz-drinking Sad City Hartford reader, Gerry Brooks, against Ed Sawyer, the most fascinating man on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Police Academy VIII?

David Drury of the Hartford Courant is reporting that Wethersfield, our neighboring town where most Italians in the South End have fled to over the last two decades, is hosting a ten week Citizen's Police Academy for those interested in getting a look at police work. The program will be free of charge for those that live or work in Wethersfield. While not Hartford news, we can't help but think back to the zany Police Academy movies from the 1980's and hold out hope that Wethersfield will soon have a similar cast of characters patrolling the streets.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hot In Hartford Valentine's Day Edition: Jenna Carlesso v. COCAiNE JANiE

For our Valentine's Day edition of Hot In Hartford we bring you a battle of two of the contests femme fatales; Hartford Courant and Cityline writer Jenna Carlesso and prolific Twitter'er COCAiNE JANiE.

COCAiNE JANiE can be found on Twitter @COCAiNE JANiE. She Tweets often and her subject matter is wide and varied. Her favorite topics are music and her boyfriend Mr. Sneaker King.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hot In Hartford: Cotto v. Haney

We move onto the next round of Hot In Hartford with a match of City Councilman Luis Cotto taking on Channel 3 News anchor Scott Haney.

Cotto, the Council Minority Leader, is one of the most visible council members. Councilman Cotto is very active Council members and a very visible member of Hartford's Puerto Rican community.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What Do The Bodegas Think?

The battle lines have been drawn in the debate over whether Connecticut should allow alcohol sales on Sunday. On one side of the battle is the package stores who contend that allowing sales on Sunday will not increase sales (and therefore tax revenue) and Senate Republican leader John McKinney who contends that allowing Sunday sales would hurt small businesses. On the other side of the coin, the supermarkets and other proponents of Sunday sales say lifting the Sunday ban will increase sales and tax revenues.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hot In Hartford: Chuckles v. Reverend Brown

The Hot In Hartford contest moves to the second half of the first round. So far advancing to the quarterfinals are; Mayor Pedro Segarra, Colin McEnroe, Craig The Porn Star, and Howard Baldwin. Today's match pits two local combatants that were amongst the earliest to appear on Sad City's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Really Old Hartford Map

We've previously posted old Hartford maps we've come across, but nothing quite this old. Sent to us by Sad City friend Donald Poland, this map dates back to 1640, which, coincidentally, is the same year Jeff Jacobs started writing for the Hartford Courant.

Ahh, young Hartford in the innocence of youth, so much to gain, so much to lose, and so many ups and downs to get to where we are today. Large scale map after the jump.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hot In Hartford: Helen Ubinas v. Howard Baldwin

The "Hot In Hartford" contest continues with our fourth match featuring Helen Ubinas pitted against Howard Baldwin.

Helen Ubinas is a Hartford Courant reporter where she also has a blog "Notes From Hel."   Helen memorably "Tweeted" during the Cheshire murder trial during which she continually struggled with her terrible battery.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spiff Up Your Hartford Home

Well here is a kewl idea for Hartford home owners. We here at Sad City are believers in the "broken windows" theory and here we see a great example of the city doing something about it;

The City of Hartford’s PORCHES Program provides financing to homeowners who wish to improve the front facades of their one to six-family residential structures.  0% interest loans are available to perform repairs and improvements, including fencing, sidewalks, driveways, windows, landscaping, front doors, hand railings, front stairs, and of course, front porches.  Such repairs will improve the physical appearance of our homes, streets and neighborhoods.  These improvements help retain and enhance property values to the benefit of you and your neighbors. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Hot In Hartford" Hell In A Cell: Craig Vs. Pucky

The  third battle in the "Hot In Hartford" contest is the much anticipated steel cage brawl featuring Craig The Porn Star pitted against CT Whale mascot Pucky Ackbar. This match is not without controversy as Pucky was attacked during Saturday nights Whale game and some have speculated that a "Hot In Hartford" contestant like Craig may have sent the henchman in order to knock Pucky out of the running.

Who will join Colin McEnroe and Mayor Pedro Segarra in the quarterfinals of "Hot In Hartford?"

If you still are looking to exercise your voice and cast a ballot for Sad City Hartford for Best Local Blog, Best Twitter'er and Best Hyper Local News Site and WCCC for Best Radio Station in the Hartford Advocate "Best of 2011" poll.

Voting here ends 1159PM Thursday

Hot in Hartford Candidate Pucky Ackbar Attacked!

"Hot In Hartford" contestant Pucky Ackbar is in good condition after suffering an assault at a CT Whale game this weekend. No word if the assailant was sent by any other contestants of the "Hot In Hartford" contest, though some have rumored links to Craig The Porn Star.

Seriously, can you think of any better reason to tackle a mascot? Hat tip to a bright eyed Sad City fan for the story.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Killer Icicles

The crazy winter has brought lots of great sites this season but the sheer size of these South End icicles still stunned us. We would estimate the left icicle to be about 12 feet long. The top is estimated at about a foot across. Would this icicle fully bury itself in the ground if it fell? Would it split someone in two if it fell on someone? Would it be over a gallon water if melted? See some bigger pics after the jump along with a cool downtown ice shot spotted by a bright eyed fan.