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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Craig and Pucky Bury The Hatchet

It's a Sad City tale of the highs and lows of celebrity, deceit, jealousy, violence, and redemption.  It seems that after a long and checkered history Craig The Porn Star and Pucky Ackbar have, for the moment, let bygones be bygones and buried the hatchet.

This rivalry started this winter when Pucky was attacked at a CT Whale game.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Aladdin Halal

The Hartford Food Guy returns with his latest Thursday review of Hartford dining. 

Mrs. HFG has been even busier, so I've been on my own for dinner a lot lately. A few days ago I decided to hit an old favorite, Aladdin Halal on Allyn Street in Downtown. (As an aside, Aladdin calls itself a halal because its menu and preparations are in accordance with Islamic dietary law as set out in the Koran. Think kosher, and then translate from Judaism to Islam).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hartford College Students Invent New Slur

The Hartford Courant's Kathleen Megan reports from behind the iron gates of Trinity that students mobilized and rallied for a "zero-tolerance" policy on both racist and homophobic incidents on campus.  While the well meaning students didn't articulate what exactly a "zero-tolerance" policy would entail, the rally was prompted after a recent racist and homophobic incidents occurred on campus.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mattress Season Has Arrived

Now that the mountains of snow are finally gone and Spring has arrived that can only mean the arrival of another warm weather staple; the sidewalk mattress colonies.  Rising through the cracks on the sidewalk like dandelions, mattress colonies are one of Hartford's great natural wonders.  This particular colony, a combo mattress-love seat colony was seen on Prospect Ave.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hartford Houses Of Worship: Albany Ave

What day better than the day after Easter to debut Sad City's latest Hartford project, the Hartford Houses of Worship.  Places of worship come in all shapes and sizes and probably more so in an old New England city where some churches date back a hundred plus years.  Hartford is no exception, having what we would guess is a couple hundred houses of worship coming in all shapes and sizes. For our first edition we took a selection of houses of worship photographed on a sunny afternoon stroll down Albany Ave. This is in no way comprehensive, as there are just too many to expect to get them all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Bunny Looks To Improve Sad City

Look for improved blogging from Sad City Hartford as the Easter Bunny has sent the message to Jumper  and Hakaan to forego candy and instead get down to some serious reading to improve their blogging abilities. No Cadbury Creme Eggs or Peeps for Sad City.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hartford Embraces Literal Street Signs

McLean to the right.....
In an attempt to make life easier for illiterate people, the city has embraced literal street signs. Albany Ave signs will now feature the skyline of New York's capital city and Franklin Ave signs will now be printed on the hundred dollar bills that Eddie Perez claims the city owes him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eddie Perez Wants All Of Hartford's Blood

Disgraced former Mayor Eddie Perez continues to reach new lows as the Hartford Courant is reporting that the convict Perez is now asking the City of Hartford for payments for unused vacation or sick time.  At a time of economic crises, high unemployment, and in a poor city, the man already convicted on public corruption charges thinks it is appropriate that he collect pay for vacation time he didn't use while he was stealing from the taxpayers.

Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Pho Boston

No, I wasn't in Boston on business.Pho Boston is actually in West Hartford, in the plaza on New Britain Avenue that sits on the Hartford/West Hartford line (the address is actually on Shield Street). My Italian-American co-worker suggested it as a less-crowded alternative to Pho 501 in East Hartford and we went for lunch there on Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Midnight Video Game Release

When we got word of a midnight release for the new Mortal Kombat game at the local GameStop we thought we'd have to see what was going on and check it out. There has to be something interesting going on at a video game release party at midnight on a Monday evening right? Who on earth would be there and what could possibly be going on? Seemed like a good enough excuse to stay up late and investigate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hartford Business: Tastease

At this point we kind of assume we more or less know just about everything in Hartford. So imagine our surprise when Sad City readers Justin Pickman and Sarah Zucker started posting on the Sad City Facebook wall about Tastease on New Park and raving about "the best Cuban sandwich ever" and mini doughnuts. After reading some rave reviews online we were kind of dumbfounded; we had never heard of this place despite driving by it literally hundreds of times and despite that they are in fact selling mini-donuts and good Cuban sandwiches.  Plans were made to visit immediatley.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Cleaning

We recently visited both the Park Street snow pile and Pope Park Highway #4 and found them to be in less than ideal condition. While on a pleasant city cruise over the weekend we stopped by both spots and found action had been taken on both. A good job by all, though the Club Divi Divi patrons may miss the convenience of mattresses right outside the club. Some before and after pics after the jump.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

It's been a long, long winter for the inhabitants of the Sad City. First the stupendous snowfalls of early winter buried the city and whipped some into a frenzy over snow removal.   Then March and early April saw Old Man Winter was loathe to release his grip on us.

But now birds are chirping, baseball has arrived and what is rapidly becoming the spring tradition  in Hartford has arrived. With the inaugural 2011 purchase of Hooker Watermelon Ale Sad City is ready to declare winter as officially over!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Farewell To Arms?

The Colonial Arms building at the corner of Sisson and Farmington has recently been emptied and boarded up.  We are unsure of the occupancy rates in the Colonial Arms, but we do know that people were recently living there.  From our observations it was a fairly rough crowd and as can be seen by the trash strewn about in the photo the tenants didn't care too much about the premises.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Hartford Food Guy: Brazil Grill

Last Friday a friend took me to lunch at the Brazil Grill on Park Street (between Heath and Dorothy Streets on the north side of Park). It was not the first time I had been there (and it won’t be the last) and I had been looking forward to it all week, and not just because my friend was buying.

If you even causally follow this blog you know how much I love Portuguese food. I also love Brazilian food, but the two don't have all that much in common, notwithstanding the relationship between the two countries.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Promising Hartford Documentary

We found this promising preview for an upcoming documentary on Hartford, "The Sweetest Land."  The preview says it is slated to debut at the Wadsworth in the fall.  Early on and throughout the preview you can see and hear Reverend Brown, a man with multiple Sad City appearances.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Hartford Overpass Love Story

Everyone loves a good love story.  Whether in literary prose or told through a cinematic lens, little captures the hearts and minds of the public like a great love story.  Romeo and Juliet.  Ross and Rachel.    Luke Han and  Leia.  Noam Chomsky and U.S. foreign policy.  People just seems to have an insatiable appetite for a great romance.

That said, imagine our excitement when during our crossing of the sci-fi like overpass of I-91 we came across a Hartford love story told in the most unique way; the ubiquitous urban trademark of graffiti.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sad City is proud to a unique Hartford masterpiece, the story of Carmen and Danielle.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peta Hates KFC

On Sunday afternoon we noticed someone on the street with a sign, always an indication that we need to stop and find out what is going on.  The issue of the day was KFC, or more accurately, KFC's suppliers treatment of chickens.  During the brief chat with this animal activist we were given a couple brochures featuring celebrities as diverse as Pamela Anderson and Paul McCartney speaking out against KFC's suppliers treatment of chickens. In all honesty, we were just surprised to find out that KFC actually uses real chickens.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hip Hop in the West End

If you're in the neighborhood, come on down to the corner of Oxford and Farmington. There's a pretty solid Hartford Party Starters Union party going on in front of Four Five Six. (Yes, Hartford's own "official urban lifestyle" store Four Five Six.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hartford's Most Awkward Bathroom

Few need an introduction to The Half Door, the irish "gastro pub" (because in 2011 working the word "gastro" into your title makes you fancier) located on the corner of Sisson and Farmington.   The Half Door is known for good food, a great beer selection, uncomfortable booths, and insanely loud musical acts.  Now that the weather is finally starting to turn, The Half Door's outside porch will once again be hospitable  and a great place to have a beer and watch cars navigate the overly complicated Sisson/Farmington/Sherman intersection.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Hartford Food Guy: Salute

The Hartford Food Guy returns to review Salute, a fine restaurant located at 100 Trumbull St. in downtown. 

Salute is an unusual restaurant. It is neither an old-school Italian restaurant like Carbone's or Francesco's in the South End, nor is it a more modern Italian restaurantlike Spris or Peppercorn's Downtown. It certainly doesn't have the old-school feel, nor does it have on the menu most of the classic dishes you'd associate with traditional Italian-American cooking. It also doesn't have the ultra-chic vibe or the cutting-edge cuisine you'd associate with the newer breed of Italian restaurants.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hartford Business: The Flower Van

Nestled halfway up the Airport Road hill in the heart of South Hartford's industrial zone the Flower Van lends a welcome contrast to its surroundings.   In an area full of mechanics, repair shops, fast food restaurants, an airport, recycling plant, and a massive auto junkyard, the pop up tent filled with teddy bears and flowers stands out quite a bit.  The Flower Van is set up almost everyday and, as it has many times for Sad City, no doubt has been a lifesaver for those in need of a last minute gift.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

School's Out?

Tim Lincecum makes his Sad City debut

Here at Sad City we get a good deal of interesting emails that run a gamut of topics.  Tips, people who want to be contributors, ideas for posts, people wanting us to review/read stuff, invites to check out craft fairs, people with other blogs, people with Hartford stories, etc, etc, etc.  In time they all get read, and while we probably forget to reply sometimes, we do try. Once in a while we will get a really juicy tip that requires a follow up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jerry Glanville Chats With Sad City

Sad City did a collective double take when we saw the news that Jerry Glanville had been hired as coach and general manager of the UFL’s Hartford Colonials.  Glanville had been a high profile NFL coach in the late 1980’s and early 90’s and then did television work covering the NFL.  His hiring was especially notable to Hakaan, who became an Atlanta Falcons fan when Glanville was coaching the team.  Immediately we requested an interview and were excited when Mr. Glanville asked if we could call him and conduct a phone interview.
We learned that Mr. Glanville had never been to Hartford or even Connecticut for that matter but that he has worked in both New York and Boston.  While telling us that he had never been to Connecticut, Glanville said, “they have a saying in Texas; I wasn’t born there but I got here as soon as I could.”  Glanville also said he had become a UConn basketball fan since taking the Colonials job, something we can attest to from his Twitter.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunrise At The Gold Star Bridge

Sad City reader J Copper sent us this great photo of a sunrise on the New London side of the Gold Star bridge.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Old North Cemetery Tour Today

The Hartford Courant Cityline reports there is a tour of the Old North Cemetery today from 10 to 11am.

Sad City has done our own tours of the cemetery. Click here to see when the cemetery was in disgraceful condition and then click here to see when we revisited the cemetery while the city was cleaning it up.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New York Mets To Relocate To Hartford!

      In a shocking move New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon announced the team would relocate to Hartford, CT for the 2012 baseball season.  “After decades of bumbling around in New York, we’ve decided to bring our lack of talents to Hartford” proclaimed Wilpon.  “We finally realized that there is no purpose in us trying to compete in the New York market, we feel this move is a natural fit for New England’s Rising Star and New York’s eighth most important sports team.”

Car Crashes into Gold Building

It's been a really bad week to be a building in the city of Hartford. After yesterday's car vs. CVS confrontation, earlier this morning, a silver mini-van hopped a curb on Main Street. Now word on the condition of the driver or the circumstances that led up to the incident. We'll update as soon as we have more.