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 28, 2012

Whale Sweep Bridgeport, Face Tough Opponent Next

The Whale completely did the opposite of what I thought was going to happen.  By running through Bridgeport in three games the Whale made it to the second round of the AHL playoffs and now will face the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Norfolk Admirals.  

Even before we talk about that lets take a look at what just happened against Bridgeport.

Coach Gernander made a switch in net, by starting Cam Talbot his gamble paid off and the coach received almost seven periods of shut-out hockey. Talbot started his first playoff game,  captured his first playoff win, earned his first playoff shut out and he mirrored that performance in game two.  It's amazingly easy to pick out the series most valuable player.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hartford Photo Of The Week

This photo was taken by William H. Thompson and owned by the Connecticut State Library. Last week we looked at a few photos from this remarkable collection but did not include this particular beauty. Featured in this photo taken between 1903-1906 are the State Capitol, the Soldier's Memorial Arch and Bushnell Park, all easily recognizable by Hartfordites a century later.

The most noticeable difference from today is the Park River flowing under the Memorial Arch and through the park. While the iQuilt doesn't propose relinquish the Park River from its sub-terrain sentence, it does aim to unearth the bridge and install a faux river in the park.

A really great photo from the William H Thompson collection. Check the whole collection out here.

Do you have a photo that you think is worthy of Hartford Photo Of The Week? Email it in for consideration.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesdays With Braza

(Ed. Note: Please ignore the typos. It was likely written in frustration and certainly without the expectation it would get on an obnoxious blog and be read by at least 8 people)

Hartford is one of those places that outsiders are wary of. We can sit here and debate why, whether it's fair, whether it's reality, perception, race, poverty, or cattiness, but the fact remains, people are skeptical. That outsider opinion only accentuates our hope that when a friend or family member visits town, they have a great time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Boat Building

The Phoenix Building on Constitution Plaza is one the Hartford's most recognizable landmarks. Most often referred to as the "boat building" we've also heard it called the "football building" amongst other things. Completed in 1963, it is the the world's first two sided building. (No truth to the rumor that we will now be seeking out all two sided buildings in Hartford) The unique shape of the building and its windows can lead to some awesome views like this one captured on recent sunny day. The top floor of the Phoenix Building also provides a great view of downtown, but of course the main attraction of this building is walking directly to the spot where the two sides come together, it's really nothing mind-bending but there's almost no way you can not walk right towards it when you get the chance.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Whale Sweep, Advance To Round Two

The post series handshake

The CT Whale completed a surprising three game series sweep of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with a 4-3 overtime win on Sunday evening. The Whale become the first AHL team to advance to the second round and will now get some time to rest while they wait to find out who their next round opponent will be. Paul Doyle recaps the game here and video highlights after the jump.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Connecticut Whale Begin Playoffs With A Cam Do Attitude.

Wednesday night was the Whale's first playoff tilt of the 2011-2012 season.  The surprise of the night may not have been that Cam Talbot started in net over Chad Johnson but that Cam slammed the door shut on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers giving the Whale their first win in Bridgeport this year.   Cam's 42 save performance last night was the most in franchise history in a playoff shutout. 
Through the first two periods the Whale and Sound Tigers were knotted up with no score.  Talbot and Sound Tiger goalie Kevin Poulin had turned away every scoring attempt until early in the third period. 
Just over a minute into the third period the Whale's Seventh Man Award winner Kelsey Tessier proved why he deserved the award.  Tessier took a Tim Erixon pass and beat Poulin on a breakaway to put the Whale in front 1-0.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let The Games Begin! A Preview of Whale Playoff Hockey

Courtesy of theahl.com

(Ed. Note: The Whale started their playoff series with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last night with a 3-0 win in Bridgeport. Game two is Saturday night at 7 in Bridgeport. The Whale return to Hartford for game three on Sunday and 5PM. If necessary, game four will be Wednesday in Hartford at 7PM and if a game five is needed to decide the series, it will be played in Bridgeport Saturday, April 28.)

The Whale finished the 2011-2012 regular season with two losses. They lost their home finale to Manchester in a shoot out 5-4 and they lost the season finale 2-1 to Syracuse. They finished second in the Northeast Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League. The season started well and the Whale had what appeared to be a Calder Cup contending team. That team was dissolved when Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell and Stu Bickel were called up to the Rangers.  Hartford would never get them back as all ended up staying in the NHL with New York. 

William H Thompson Photographs

Main St.
A Sad City friend and reader (the same reader who navigated the Park River) sent us this awesome collection of Hartford photos from the CT State Library. The photos were all taken between 1903-1906 by William H Thompson. The CT Library's Flicker describes Thompson;

"William H. Thompson was a professional photo-engraver with the Hartford Engraving Company in Hartford from about 1901-1917. Thompson from 1903-1906 took photographs of street scenes, river scenes, architecture, statues, and parks of central Hartford. He took these photographs, according to a memo to State Librarian George Godard, because “he thought [they] would later be of historic interest.” In 1918 due to ill health he sold his photograph collection to the State Library."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Good Graffiti Spoiled

In the urban setting graffiti could be compared to golf in the suburbs. Both always seems to be prevalent and no one really knows why, both are costly, both mar what would otherwise be nice landscape, and both usually consists of men trying to prove, well whatever it is men try to prove when they are trying to prove stuff.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Golden Slumbers?

If there is one thing all Hartford residents love as much as reading about pay phones it's reading about discarded mattresses! A curious problem that Sad City has been investigating for a long time, discarded mattresses continue to litter our streets at an alarming pace.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekly Whale: Playoff Edition

The regular season has come to a close and the CT Whale have advanced to the playoffs where they will face I-95 rivals the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a series that will truly determine who is the victor of The Geico Cup. The Whale lead the Northeast Division for most of the first half of the season before Bridgeport got white hot and overtook them for the division title towards the end of the season.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Night Fun

Don't miss out on the burlesque sensation as Hot In Hartford runner-ups the Beat City Beauties perform at The Dirt Salon on 50 Bartholomew Ave. How can you see that flyer and not go?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hartford Answers Nigeria

Image courtesy of Koskim.wordpress.com

Recently we received an email from a Mr. Booker McCain that appeared to have been intended for a different recipient, but promised great wealth. Perhaps you have received a similar email.

"I have been waiting for you to pick up your Cashier Check of $2,811,041.00 USD (TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED AND ELEVEN THOUSAND FORTY-ONE US DOLLARS) before I leave the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but you did not show up as I did not hear from you. I am writing to inform you that I have deposited your cashier check with UNITED PARCEL SERVICE there in Nigeria.

Head West Young Man

Just remember to bring your sunglasses. Especially if you are heading down Farmington Ave around sunset. Sunsets are almost always wonderful to watch unless you happen to be driving into one in which case navigating roads like Farmington Ave become even more treacherous than usual.

It's curious that while literal sunsets are almost globally celebrated, metaphorical sunsets almost always reference a melancholy event. Especially if you're a top earner and the reference is to a sunset clause.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Longstanding NYC Envy

One of the biggest mistakes Hartfordites can make is to compare our fine city to New York City. It's like comparing Pedro Martinez to Kent Tekulve. Its not a rational nor useful comparison to make. Sadly, due primarily to geography, it is a comparison Hartford will continue to have to bear. You never hear anyone go "Oh St. Petersburg is ok, but its not NYC."

Well That's Disturbing

A very interesting truck ornament spotted in Frog Hollow off of Park Street. It rubs the lotion on its skin.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Weekly Whale

Last Sunday the Whale lost to the Bruins from Providence by a score of 3-2.  It was a good game, until the Whale suffered what must be one of their dozens of mental defensive breakdown in their own zone. Carter Camper took a loose puck in front of the Whale net and put it past Cam Talbot with 2.1 seconds left in over time.   It was just another late lost for the Whale something they have been accustomed to a bit more than usual this season.   

With the Whale only earning a point for an over time lost, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have moved ahead and taken first place.  They built a seven point lead very quickly before The Whale played the Monarchs last night.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chocolate's New Groove

Chocolate is delicious. Its curative powers are known to all of us who have suffered from break-ups, hangovers, hunger, and general malaise. But alas, it is an indulgence, a guilty pleasure...right? Well no longer!

Tomorrow, Saturday April 7th, chocolate expert Kerry Lucier will give an informative talk at Downtown Yoga (57 Pratt Street) about the benefits of raw cacao - a nutrient dense superfood! There will be samples aplenty to boot. Drop in or RSVP to 860.278.7088

Dinosaurs Terrorize Hartford

Apparently some eggheads at the Connecticut Science Center thought it would be a good idea to extract dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber. Don't they know how awful that went last time they tried that?


Baseball has returned and for the moment all is right with the world. To celebrate the return of our National Pastime, here is a post from one of our side projects, The 87 Topps Project, where we relive our childhood baseball card collecting days by collecting autographs of 1987 Topps cards. Today we have a look at Dave Dravecky, one of the more remarkable players in the 87 Topps set. Follow the 87 Topps Project on Twitter and Facebook for baseball nostalgia and commentary.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Times With Signs

Everyone loves the opportunity to rearrange a usually serious sign and change the message conveyed. For many of us with the sense of humor of a 14 year old, the rearrangement is best and most amusing when when some inappropriate language is peppered into the message, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Sad City reader Edward S. snapped a very humorous rearrangement of this sign on the Wal-Mart on Flatbush Ave.

The area is easily familiar by the plethora of healthy dining options (Taco Bell, Long John Silver's, and McDonald's) available in the shopping plaza. For a thorough tale of the tape analysis of our Wal-Mart as compared to our wealthier neighbors to the West, be sure to check out Sad City's Guide to Wal-Mart.

Of course the big question is what does the sign say? Be forewarned, it's probably not safe for work and if you're lacking a sense of humor or too "high brow" you might not enjoy such childish nonsense and may want to leave the site. (and likely not return) For everyone else, just click the jump.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hartford Pay Phone #38: Suspicious Package Edition

If there is one thing all Hartfordites can agree on, it's our love of everything pay phone! Pay Phone #38 is located on the corner of Hungerford and Park and is the first Pay Phone to be featured on Sad City in 2012. Newer readers might not be aware that we have been conducting a citywide search for Hartford Pay Phones since the summer of 2010 when we learned that the first pay phone in North America was located in Hartford.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A West End Tragedy

The crack Sad City news teams has uncovered this feathered tragedy, a tragedy that has been  been ignored by both local police and the lamestream mainstream media. On a cool early spring night the Sad City news team was traveling down Warrenton Ave when we came upon this scene that simply took our breath away. 

We didn't know the name of this young black bird but we summoned all of our powers in an attempt to revive the black bird through Jedi mind tricks. Alas, it was too late and our feathered friend had already passed into the netherworld. But what does it all mean? 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sad City Tries A Blood Sausage

Blood sausage is one of those foods that not only has a disgusting name, but it's also gross to look at. To further complicate matters, blood sausage is not only a disgusting title for food, it precisely describes what it is, and the idea of eating a sausage of blood is kind of a turn off. Also if, like us, you have seen the "how blood sausage is made" segment on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations you might be further turned off.

Despite the gross name and appearance, we've heard people rave about the blood sausage and with the Dominican place at El Mercado serving it up, we knew the time to try it had come.

Playoff Race Heating Up For Whale

There are only seven games left in the Connecticut Whale's first full season.  It's been a season where the team has struggled, like most AHL teams, with call ups, injuries and player signings that just didn't work out. After falling out of first place and dropping four straight games the Whale were once again in a free fall, not nearly as bad as their 13 game winless streak in January but still a slump is a slump.

The Weekly Whale

With only seven games left in the regular season, the Whale find themselves struggling to get on a hot streak and in danger of letting Bridgeport claim the Northeast Division. Friday evening saw the Whale fall behind 3-0 only 8 minutes into the game as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came out of the gate like gangbusters. It was an even match the rest of the way and Wilkes-Barre rode the early three goal barrage to a 3-0 victory.