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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sad City And WCCC

It is a long standing tradition for Sad City to call into WCCC 106.9 on Wednesday nights and discuss Hartford happenings with on-air personality Craig The Porn Star.  These calls have been going on for almost a solid year as Craig was one of the first supporters of Sad City.  Since both Sad City creators are huge radio fans and huge fans of a certain radio host that long ago worked for WCCC, we love the chance to be on Connecticut's Greatest rock station, which also happens to be located right in town on Asylum Street.

After the jump catch up with these calls that usually air around 9:30 Wednesday nights.  Topics include; Hartford's most awkward bathroom, urban camping, Tastease, and springtime mattress invasions.   Tune into the WCCC to hear Craig weekdays from 7 to midnight and any time of day to hear Connecticut's best rock station.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Who The Heck Is Pulaski?

If you don't walk down Main Street you might not be aware of the statute of Pulaski  which is right next to the Federal Courthouse.  There isn't much in the area, a few feet of concrete, a couple benches, a line of trees, and of course the statute of Pulaski.  The rotary between Main St and Elm St next to Bushnell Park is named Pulaski Circle.  (is it politically correct to ponder on how Hartford's main rotary is named after a Polish hero?) That got us to wondering, who is Pulaski?  Like many other staute man, he has a moustache and rides a horse.  We first checked out the statute itself too see what information we could gather.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Peppercorn's

Last week was Mrs. HFG's birthday, so on Saturday we decided to celebrate by going to Peppercorn's Grill on Main Street, right at the edge of Downtown (just north of the intersection of Main and Buckingham Street). For those that don’t know, Peppercorn's has been around since 1989 and has won many local awards and has a very loyal following. Although Peppercorn’s is a good restaurant, the HFG just doesn't see how it can be ranked among the best in Hartford, let alone the area, or how it consistently wins so many local awards.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Hartford Houses Of Worship

We continue looking at Hartford Houses Of Worship today. We start with what might be our personal favorite, the Russian Orthodox Church located in the South End.  This one is hard to find as it is tucked away in a residential side street and the church itself isn't all that much taller than the houses around it.  Obviously the highlight is the golden domes on top evoking, the Kremlin,  and the Colt Factory. Those about the same age as us will remember when when the USSR was once our greatest rival scaring us with nuclear weapons and giving us other mysterious high-powered weapons like Pavel Bure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hartford Good Guy: Fire N Spice

The Hartford Food Guy reviews Fire N Spice

I had Friday off, but because Mrs. HFG had to work I was again on my own. Just because my wife is working, however, doesn’t mean she doesn’t provide me with a delicious meal. While that usually means her leaving something good in the refrigerator, yesterday it meant taking her advice and checking out Fire -n- Spice on Sisson Avenue in Hartford (a couple of doors south of the relatively well known Half Door pub).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feed & File

Benjamin Franklin famously said that nothing in life was certain except for death and taxes.  We all learned early in school that the necessities for survival are food, shelter, and water. Well at Caribe Restaurant on Park Street, you can get four of those five in one stop.  In a depressed economy businesses are getting more and more creative in finding different ways to generate revenue, but a tax preparation restaurant is a new one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Batman: Dark Knight Of Park Street

Last month we were able to get a shot of Batman standing outside of a Hispanic Laundry on Park Street.  While we wondered and many hypothesized what the Dark Knight might be doing on the streets of Hartford, Batman himself vanished back into the shadowy underworld from which he came. Until now.  Just a couple days go we again spotted the caped superhero, again roaming Park Street.  This time we were able to get a close up shot of the local hero in action.

Has Batman relocated from Gotham to Hartford? Is he only protecting Park Street? Where is Robin? Where will the Dark Knight be spotted next?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Francesco's

The Hartford Food Guy returns to reviews Francesco's, located on 318 Franklin Ave, right across from a former Sad City living spot.  We once tried to eat at Francesco's on a Monday but the place had just closed just before we arrived. We ended up instead at the closed bar with Francesco's staff and followed that up with a trip to Bowl-O-Rama. Who needs 24 hour bowling on a Monday night? Apparently Francesco's staff. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hartford Business: Sol De Borinquen Bakery

We have long meant to take a trip inside Sol De Borinquen Bakery on Park Street.   On our many journeys to El Mercado Grocer we noticed long lines in the bakery and figured it had to be worth checking out.  So when Pete Sopressata sent us a message saying he had found "the best sandwich in Hartford" at Sol De Borinquen, we decided it was time to finally make our way over there.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Keney Memorial Campground

The Keney Memorial Tower is one of Hartford's great forgotten landmarks.  Tucked away across from the Church and Ann Main, Albany and Ely intersection, an area we refer to as Hartford's Bermuda Triangle, the Keney Memorial Tower is right next to downtown, yet remains unnoticed by many.

With Spring now in bloom, the season for one of Hartford's natural phenomenons, mattress season, has arrived. Sad City reader Dave P. sent in this picture that captures not only Hartford's forgotten landmark, but a rare off sidewalk mattress sighting.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Enjoy Sprite Sign

When the Hartford Food Guy reviewed Trinity Restaurant last week, we noticed and were enamored with the retro Enjoy Sprite sign outside the restaurant. We weren't the only one who thought the sign was an awesome piece of nostalgia, the Hartford Courant's Steve Goode sent along the following info;

"The Trinity Restaurant was previously known as Timothy’s…and that sign really is from the 1970s when that place first opened."

Pretty Awesome. Sad City might rent the apartments above as offices just so we can try and claim the sign as our own. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sad City Classic: Hartford Pay Phone #29


It's been a long time since we visited our Hartford Pay Phone Contest, charting the remaining pay phones, but this one was too good to leave out.  We found this phone at the Wal-Mart on Flatbush Ave.  Since this Wal-Mart was built only about a decade ago, we are guessing this might be the most recent, and possibly last, pay phone that will be installed in Hartford.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Trinity Restaurant

The Hartford Food Guy reviews Trinity Restaurant, which by all accounts seems like a real Sad City type of place.  Super bonus points for the retro Enjoy Sprite sign.

When I blogged about Pho Boston, a reader suggested that I try the Trinity Restaurant on Zion Street. I put it on my HFG to do list, but I never got around to it, probably because Mrs. HFG and I left for London 3 weeks later and things got crazy when we got back.

A couple of weeks ago, however, a friend told me that he and his girlfriend had been there for dinner and loved it. No doubt seeking to latch on to the rising fame and fortune of the HFG (:p) he offered to go back with me so I could check it out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hartford Houses Of Worship: West End Behemoths

Hartford is home to some very large churches.  The stretch of Farmington and Asylum Ave running between downtown and the West End is home to some of the city's largest churches.   This particular church dominates the area skyline, it's steeple is visible from quite a distance.  Along with The Hartford building. easily the most recognizable structure in the area.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hot In Hartford: 1973

WCCC has been a Hartford staple for a long time. When it comes to rock radio in Hartford, WCCC has dominated the scene for years. Recently we stumbled on this most requested hits list on WCCC from May of 1973. It's an interesting little relic, at the time WCCC was billing itself as "Triple C" with the tag line that they "put the fun back into radio."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sad City Fantasy Baseball Update

One month into the baseball season and Hakaan has the early lead on the Sad City Championship.  Sad City readers occupy the second through fourth spots and WNPR's Chion Wolfe currently holds fifth place. The Hartford Courant's Steve Goode, co-manager with his daughter Isabelle have their team in 7th. Ryan from a CT Law Blogger is right behind them in 8th place.  Councilor Cotto is in 11th, while the Hartford Party Starter's Union team finds itself in last place.

Jumper, with his motley collection of flotsam and jetsam, holds the 10th spot.

Labor Rally In Bushnell Park

Sunday we came upon a large crowd gathered at Bushnell Park. Upon investigation we had stumbled upon a rally of union workers.  It was a pretty large crowd with energetic speakers. While most of the messages seemed pretty reasonable, asking for fair wages, health care, and paid sick time, there was one bizarre part where one speaker started ranting about how we needed to get yet another Kennedy elected to something, somewhere. Call it a generational thing but the fascination over one family is pretty bizarre; hero worship is not the answer to your problems. Plus the Kennedys really seem.....so 1960's.

Video from the rally after the jump.