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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paper Mania!

Anything look familiar about this argument?

Last weekend the XL Center hosted Paper Mania as the event returned to Hartford. We were disappointed to have missed the event the last time around. Not being the best publicized event to hit Hartford, we nearly missed it again this time, but got wind of it towards the end of the week. We visited early Saturday morning not knowing what to expect and hoping to find something cool for an apartment. We had no idea what we were getting into. Only a couple minutes after walking into Paper Mania we realized that it was much bigger in size and scope than we had imagined. 

 When we first entered we saw everything from a table full of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, a huge Ted Nugent poster, military and travel advertisements, more postcards than could be counted, and sports and music memorabilia of all kinds.

Early on we realized that our hopes of finding some incredible bargains were likely not going to come to fruition. While you could find almost anything on paper that you could imagine at, it was an event for collectors and dealers, not people looking for "something cool for their apartment." From what we can tell, Paper Mania seems to be one of the largest shows of its kind. That meant lots of pricey items.

That John Lennon Imagine promotional poster? "Best price $300." Old NHL pennants? "$40." Ouch. Ever see a $2000 vintage travel advertisement? We hadn't until Saturday. Now we've seen a handful of them. Even so, if we had visited and not purchased anything, just seeing all the stuff was a well worth the $8. The sheer volume and scope of items for sale at Paper Mania was mind-boggling and it really can't be explained without actually attending.    

Although most of the items we were interested in were wel out of our price range, we still did manage to nab a couple great items at a reasonable price. One vendor was selling prints of old political cartoons for $20. We bought an 1890 print criticizing Grover Cleveland for giving away American workers "lunch" to cheap immigrant laborers. Boy they really argued about some weird stuff back in the 1800's. Good thing we got all those problems sorted out.  

Postcards were very popular items at Paper Mania. There were tens, if not hundreds of thousands of postcards available. While not postcards collectors, we did pick up a trio of postcards, one (pictured above) featuring downtown Hartford and one that featured Brandon, Vermont, site of the last Sad City travels post.  

The point at the Brandon postcard that is hidden between the foremost and the next building on the right is where the washout under the building featured on the Sad City post was. Where the road wraps around the corner on the left is where the second pictured washout is. Mind you Brandon, Vermont is a very small town. Pretty incredible what you can find at Paper Mania.

 If you missed it we highly recommend checking it out next time around. We are very confident that you will find it well worth the price of admission. Hopefully the event will be well publicized and we can keep you posted on the next Paper Mania.    


  1. I'd like to go next time, I heard nothing about it being in Town.

  2. @BWP Papermania comes to Hartford twice a year, the next one will be in August.

  3. It's tough. Last time around it didn't even make it onto the XL Center's calendar. And it's AT the XL Center.