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, March 31, 2011

Car Crashes Into Farmington Ave CVS

Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Woody's

We've written about our fondness for Woody's before in our Sad City Lunch Guide, but with baseball Opening Day (and a snowstorm) upon us we thought it would be appropriate to have the Hartford Food Guy give us a real in depth review of Hartford's favorite hot dog spot.

On another Opening Day note, Mr. Trophy, a Hartford business for 50 years has agreed to sponsor with two trophies the Sad City Fantasy Baseball Championship which features Councilman Cotto, Chion Wolf, CT Law Blogger's Ryan, J.Mac from HPSU, Jumper, and Hakaan playing against Sad City readers for the title.

With games slated to start at 1, Woody's might be a great place to grab a dog and see the first pitch today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beyond Thunderdome: The I-91 Overpass

Anyone who has drove I-91 has seen it; undoubtedly many have looked in wonderment at it.  The winding concrete structures connected by the caged walkway over Interstate 91 have surely bewildered many drivers over the years.  From the east the concrete rises from a walking area on the shores of the Connecticut River. From the west the concrete maze  rises from a desolate parking lot seemingly only used when Cirque du Soleil is in town. An empty concrete pedestrian walkway over I-91? Count Sad City in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hartford Business: La Fonda Restaurant

While cruising the South End and looking for an adventurous lunch spot a few we came upon and decided on La Fonda, a Colombian restaurant located at 269 Franklin Ave. Our criteria for picking La Fonda were simple; we hadn't been there and there was an open parking spot right outside. As soon as we walked inside we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the place was and how it was busy even though it was about 2PM on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cotto Wins Hot In Hartford

Councilman Luis Cotto defeated Colin McEnroe to complete his outstanding run and become champion of "Hot In Hartford."  Cotto's defeat of McEnroe capped an incredible run in which he defeated Scott Haney, Gerry Brooks, and Howard Baldwin on his way to the championship. "Growing up in Hartford the whole neighborhood would follow Hot In Hartford and we always discussed the results over dinner." Cotto reminisced, "to be in the contest was amazing, but to actually win it is hard to fathom."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

J. Stan McCauley and the Weird Video Clip

J. Stan McCauley is an interesting guy with a lot going on. He's a man of God, a video producer and mayoral candidate. We found an old video of Stan that adds another accolade to his curriculum vitae...avant garde video star.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chuckles Gets Robbed

Spring is here and you know what that means, right? CHUCKLES!!! Last time we left off with the ongoing saga of Chuckles, our favorite South End resident, he was just recently released from the hoosegow. Newly emancipated, Chuckles took some time to explain to us one of the often overlooked downsides to going to prison. (HINT: It's obviously not anal rape. Anal rape always seems to be the first downside that anyone mentions when it comes to going to prison.)

Tamarind Bar & Grill

The Hartford Food Guy returns with a review of Tamarind Bar & Grill

We are lucky to have more than one good Thai restaurant in the area from which we can choose. That said, and with no disrespect to the East West Grill on New Park Ave in Elmwood (which is really, really good), my wife and I are partial to Tamarind Grill on Pratt Street in Downtown. In fact, this review is long overdue because my wife and I go there a lot (and we also get delivery from there pretty regularly) and we have had many, many delicious meals.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot In Hartford Finale: McEnroe v. Cotto

It all comes down to this. Sixteen of Hartford's cultural elite were pitted in against each other and while all competitors battled valiantly only Colin McEnroe and Luis Cotto remaining standing. Now it's time for these two battle tested warriors to meet in one final clash to determine who will be crowned "Hot In Hartford."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Batman Stands in Front of Hispanic Laundry

The other day, we were cruising down Park Street and we spotted Batman standing outside of the Hispanic Laundry. We're not quite sure why he was there. It's not like he was fighting crime, handing out fliers or performing any other sort of Batman-esque activity. He was just kind of standing looking a bit paunchy and middle aged. When we stopped to question him, he sprinted off into the afternoon.

Can anyone explain what was going on here?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Great Time and A Good Cause

Sad City believes ice hockey is the best live sport by far. Friday you can get a chance to check out Howard Baldwin's (reeling from his recent defeat in "Hot In Hartford") CT Whale and support a good cause on Brian Aselton Night at the XL Center. Brian Aselton was an East Hartford police officer who was killed in the line of duty in January 1999. His name might be familiar to those who travel I-84, as the portion from the Connecticut River to the intersection of Route 15 is named the Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Highway. A scholarship for those seeking a career in law enforcement has been created in his name and ticket sales to the Friday Whale game will go to benefit the scholarship.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Park Street Snow Pile

Did anyone notice the gigantic snow pile that had built up over on the corner of Park Street and Main Street? The vacant lot had been one of the city's dumping locations for the snow that had been removed over the course of the winter. The snow is finally starting to melt. We caught up with some local residents to get their viewpoint on the situation.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hot In Hartford Semi-Finals: Luis Cotto v. Howard Baldwin

It's time for the second semi-finals match as the "Hot In Hartford" contest comes close to it's conclusion. The winner of this match up will face off against Colin McEnroe for the ultimate prize. Hartford Councilman Luis Cotto has been perhaps the biggest surprise of the contest so far as he has racked up impressive vote totals in the first two rounds. Cotto has defied the experts predictions by defeating popular weatherman Scott Haney in the first round and then handily defeating newsman Gerry Brooks, who was coming off a wildly popular Sad City interview. Can Luis keep the momentum and reach the finals?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sad City Gets A Haircut

This morning Sad City visited Hartford's best barber, MC's Barbershop, and we were pleasantly surprised to find our local business profile of MC's Barbershop prominently displayed in the window. Once again we were treated to an excellent haircut at an excellent price and MC even offered to spare us the straight blade.  Guys do yourself a favor, forget about Supercuts and take a trip to Franklin Ave and visit MC for a great cut.

The Polytechnic On20

The Hartford Food Guy returns with a review of a The Polytechnic On20; perhaps Hartford's fanciest restaurant.

We can't say we have been there and probably the only way we are going to be getting in the door is to apply for a dishwashing job (which at the rate things are going one of us might be doing in the near future) so we really can't throw our two cents in on this one. We'll let the Hartford Food Guy take it over from here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Celebrating One of CT's Most Famous Residents

While Mr. Beck resides way down in New Canaan, we found this fan of his right over the Hartford line in Wethersfield showing his support for one of Connecticut's most famous residents. Note how the sign painter used the patriotic red and blue against the white background just to show how patriotic he (she?) is.  While this pickup driving patriot may feel he should get to keep all that he earns, just think how poor Mr. Beck feels when he has to write that tax check out on the cool $23 million he earned in 2009.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hot In Hartford Semi-Finals: Colin McEnroe v. Jenna Carlesso

The "Hot In Hartford" contest reaches the semi-final round with a clash between two Sad City friends; WNPR's Colin McEnroe and the Hartford Courant's Jenna Carlesso. Jenna has advanced in the tournament by defeating local Twitter'er Cocaine Janie and WCCC's Craig The Porn Star. The only female to advance to the second round, Jenna has had an impressive showing so far but now faces a daunting task in challenging Colin McEnroe.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Area Under Surveillance (Obviously)

Recently we took a cruise over to Pope Park Highway #4, a bizarre little street with a bizarre name. We found an interesting pair of signs that warned of a $1,000 fine for dumping and one warning that the area was under surveillance. While it is unclear what sort of surveillance is going on short of some hidden cameras on New England Fire & Ice, this should certainly have a deterrence effect right?

Let's see what we found.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Edwin Vargas Chats with Sad City

Hartford Mayoral Candidate Edwin Vargas took some time and answered some of Sad City's questions.

1. You grew up in Brooklyn. Why and when did you come to Hartford. Where have you lived in Hartford?

I grew up in Brooklyn until I was eleven and then my family moved back to Puerto Rico.  I was recruited as a teacher by Hartford community leader Maria Sanchez back in 1972.  I have lived in the South Green neighborhood, Behind the Rocks, Parkville and since 1984 on Douglas Street which straddles Barry Square and the South End

2. Your candidacy will be a direct challenge to incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra; give us your assessment on Mayor Segarra’s job performance since being thrust into the role after the resignation of Eddie Perez.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baseball Anyone?

If any Sad City readers happen to be baseball fans and enjoy fantasy baseball Hakaan is planning on Tweeting fantasy baseball related Tweets during the season. This Twitter account will not be Hartford based and instead focused on Hakaan's fantasy baseball trials and tribulations.

If you like baseball follow Hakaan here. If not just continue to get your Hartford kicks at Sad City. If anyone is interested in a free Sad City Hartford fantasy baseball league on Yahoo leave a comment and hopefully we can get it together.

La Primavera Pub

La Primavera Pub is truly one of our favorite hidden gems in Hartford. It's actually quite a surprise to us that it took this long for it to get mentioned on Sad City. Either way it's finally here.

The Primavera Pub isn't the only debut today on Sad City, as we are introducing our first review from the Hartford Food Guy. The Hartford Food Guy ("HFG") writes detailed restaurant reviews and we hope to get a weekly review on a Hartford restaurant from him going forward.
Located at 271 Newington Ave.

For the record, we highly recommend the Primavera Mix.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Help A Good Cause and Craig The Porn Star

Sad City friend, WCCC radio host and Hot In Hartford contestant Craig The Porn Star will be serving as a cannonball judge at Brownstone Park for the Spring Plunge & Cannonball Competition on March 19.

The event will not only feature the cannonball competition, but a kids plunge, costume contest and a silent auction with all proceeds being raised donated to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. 

As it turns out Craig is one of those hard rocker types who really is a big softie and he wants raise the most money as possible for the kids.

Hot In Hartford: Mayor Segarra v. Howard Baldwin

The final battle of the Hot In Hartford quarterfinals is a clash between two of the early round favorites as Howard Baldwin and the Mayor Pedro Segarra square off to see who will advance to the semi-finals. 

The Mayor defeated Al Terzi in the first round, but did not receive as many votes as some of the other favorites. He finds himself squaring off against hockey legend Howard Baldwin, who narrowly won a hard fought first round battle with Hartford Courant columnist Helen Ubinas

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Park River Flood

There was flooding all around Connecticut yesterday even causing some schools to be closed. Hartford was  also hit by flooding after the heavy rain on Sunday as the forgotten Park River overflowed onto parts of Woodland St on Monday.

The pics of the overflow are from behind Woodland Medical Center where the river took up half the parking lot.

This certainly could lead to some extreme urban kayaking if anyone were to dare try and traverse Hartford's forgotten river while in this state. More pics and video after the jump

Monday, March 7, 2011

Guide To Mexican Restaurants

Mexican food is one of our all-time favorites at Sad City. Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, shredded meat, and margaritas are just a few amongst the many reasons to love Mexican cuisine. Luckily for us, there are  a handful of Mexican restaurants to choose from in our fine city. Knowing that Hartford needed a guide to Mexican places, we put ourselves up to the task of trying all we could.

Note: We did not include Spanish or Caribbean or other Latin restaurants in this experiment simply because we never would finish. Those are posts for another day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hot In Hartford: Luis Cotto v. Gerry Brooks

The quarterfinals of Hot In Hartford continues with a battle between two friends of Sad City, Councilman Luis Cotto pitted against newsman Gerry Brooks.

Councilman Cotto had an impressive showing in the first round handily defeating weatherman Scott Haney  and piling up the second most votes of all contenders. The Councilman first came to Sad City's attention when he noticed our stories on lactose powder being sold in local gas stations and took action to ban the practice.  Cotto is also an active Twitter user and can be followed @CouncilorCotto on Twitter.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Glawackus Corpse Found in Hartford

The Glawackus has always been one of the great Connecticut suburban legends. What is a Glawackus? The Glawackus was a mysterious that roamed the Glastonbury countryside attacking livestock, house pets and radio personality Bob Steele. Glawackus-mania swept Connecticut in 1939 and died down after World War II. While a Glawackus was never captured, the beast was described as a fierce combination of a dog, a cat and a bear.

Yesterday, an intrepid Sad City Hartford reader discovered a Glawackus corpse in SoDo. No further information has been provided, but hopefully other Sad City Hartford readers can speculate and spread rumors and this thing can become our fair city's version of the Montauk Monster.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gerry Brooks Chats With Sad City

Gerry Brooks has been a fixture on the Hartford news scene since 1974. We remember growing up watching Gerry and his segment "The Brooks File" on Channel 3. Today Gerry is still covering Connecticut news over at NBC and has his own blog.

We were very excited when Gerry became the first celebrity commenter on Sad City and since then he has become a multi-time commenter and Hot In Hartford contestant.

Gerry was nice enough to give us some time and answer some questions about career. Interview after the jump.

The Farmington Ave Trio

Just a little of ways over the magic line dividing us from our wealthy neighbors to the west, we have found a trio of excellent, relatively new businesses that we reviewed despite being in West Hartford and give each an enthusiastic Sad City recommendation. 

Operating all right next to each other on Farmington Ave. are; Tokyo Sushi, Black Bamboo Chinese, and Harvest Wine & Spirits. With these three all steps from each other, one could spend an entire day in the area and not go wanting.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hot In Hartford: Colin McEnroe v. Reverend Brown

The "Hot In Hartford" quarterfinals continue with a match that many experts are predicting will end in a landslide. The match pits Colin McEnroe, Sad City friend, champion blogger, and WNPR host against Reverend Brown; reverend and anti-violence rally organizer known for his sweaty t-shirts, megaphone, and fiery rhetoric.