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, July 31, 2012

Hartford Pay Phone #40: Baker's Cafe

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, all Hartfordites can exhale as Pay Phone #40 is unveiled in the greatest scavenger hunt to ever hit Hartford. While Sad City is determined to make pay phones Hartford landmarks, Pay Phone #40 itself is located in a Hartford landmark, the legendary Baker's Cafe on New Britain Ave.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sad City's Fractured Fan Base

Professional hockey has been in Hartford for 37 years.

 In that time there has only been two teams here from three different leagues but the fan base is not split, it's fractured. 

There are about half a dozen fan factions.

The New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association moved to Hartford from Boston for the 1974-75 season.  Hartford at the time was the head quarters of the WHA as well.

In 1979-80 season the WHA merged with the National Hockey League, joining the NHL was the newly named Hartford Whalers.  They played in Hartford until the 1996-97 season.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ice Cream!

On Thursday, July 26, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., neighbors from near and far can come to The Mark Twain House & Museum to enjoy lawn games, live music, hot dogs, discounted tours -- and, of course, a refreshing cup of ice cream donated by the UConn Dairy Bar, Shady Glenn, and Royal Ice Cream.

This is the fourth year for The Mark Twain House & Museum Ice Cream Social, which always draws a good crowd. After the social, at 7:00 p.m., there will be a preview screening of the ocumentary Linotype: The Film, a look at the unusual way printing technology changed in Mark Twain's day and after.

The Ice Cream Social this year benefits from a special grant for free programs fromThe First Niagara Bank Foundation.

The event includes:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Appettite: Now I Feel Old

Lifted from Deadspin.com
"You can taste the bright lights but you won't get them for free"

The seminal sports blog Deadspin is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Appetite For Destruction by having readers send in their stories of the first time they heard the best album of the decade. Appetite was released on July 21, 1987. Coincidentally, Sad City would start appearing on Craig The Porn Star's WCCC program exactly 23 years later. After a quarter century, it's hard to overstate just how good Appetite was/is. While other music of the era has faded into hipster novelty, Appetite powerfully delivers over and over and over and over and over again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Two Years Of Sad City & WCCC

Some might say that Sad City has become to Hartford blogs what WCCC is to Hartford rock stations. It's only naturally that we would team up at some point, what is surprising is how fast it happened. WCCC night jock Craig The Porn Star discovered Sad City on Facebook when we had "something like 30-35 fans." Craig suggested we should call in and that if it went well, maybe we could do it on a regular basis. Two year and close to 100 appearances later, Sad City can still be heard at about 9:20-9:30 Wednesday nights on Craig's show which airs Monday to Friday 7PM to midnight.

To celebrate our two years with Craig and WCCC, we present some of our more memorable appearances and in doing so, give you a great way to fritter away your work Monday. Let us know if the comments, which appearance is your favorite?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hartford Pic Of The Week

This pic does not do justice to just how awesome the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bike actually. Send us your Pic Of The Week contenders!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sad City Classic: An 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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RAW: Mixology

Tonight at The Russian Lady is, apparently, a massive art exhibit consisting of 20  RAW artists. The great thing about having a blog is that you get invited to a lot of cool stuff. The bad thing about having a blog is that you're more or less inherently anti-social and completely self-involved, so leaving Mom's basement sucks

 It always seems that there isn't a chair when they ask you to stay and sit anywhere.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hartford's Latest Marketing Slogan

Unlike the much maligned "New England's Rising Star," this new slogan is at least somewhat based on reality.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hartford Pic Of The Week

Why would there be a shopping cart full of random flotsam and jetsam unattended in the middle of Main Street at noon on a weekday? 

In Hartford the appropriate question is why wouldn't there be a shopping cart full of random flotsam and jetsam unattended in the middle of Main Street at noon on a weekday? 

Have a candidate for Pic Of The Week? Send it in!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fire on Prospect

Thursday afternoon fire at 383 Prospect in West Hartford. No injuries.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Carpet Giant Looms Large

The Carpet Giant shouldn't mean anything but he is impossible to not notice. Rising from the South Meadows like a half-resurrected phoenix from the 1980's, The Carpet Giant sign is at the same time unmistakable and yet largely forgettable, unlit and a sign of a bygone era.

When we see the massive unlit Carpet Giant sign, it reminds us of a place where our parents might have shopped at some point. Kind of like how our kids might ask us one day if we ever shopped at a Sam Goody.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Local Business: Hartford Bicycle

While there's nothing new about the bicycle, Hartford Bicycle offers a unique take on the century old mode of transportation. With rising concerns over fuel costs and carbon footprints, bicycles are experience a renaissance in U.S. cities. Hartford Bicycle, located downtown at 75 Pratt St, meshes bicycling, art, and craftsmanship in restoring and customizing bicycles. Headed by Patrick Connolly, the seed for Hartford Bicycle was planted when Connolly was living in Boston (as seemingly all interesting Hartfordites do in their early 20's) when he started customizing his own bikes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sad City Travels: Daytona Beach Florida

Stock car racing is not something that is on the radar of most Hartfordites. In Daytona Beach, Florida it is a lifestyle. The biggest week of the year in stock car racing is "Speed Week" in February which culminates with the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of stock car racing. 

Due to an unprecedented rainout, the Daytona 500 was pushed from Sunday afternoon to Monday night and we were not able to attend. We did get to go two races on the massive super speedway on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. There is no way to describe how big the track is, one barely even notices the lake in the track infield. It may not translate great to television, but watching dozens of cars going 190 MPH inches from each other is quite the spectacle. 

The Sprint Cup returns to Daytona International Speedway with the Pepsi 400 Saturday night on TNT. Below are some sights and sounds from the races in February. In closing Sad City would like to thank the fans, CT News Junkie, pay phones, the City of Hartford, Google, and everyone who makes the internet possible!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

It's the 4th of July, a day to bask in the sun, grill, eat macaroni salad and watermelon, drink a few cold ones, relax with family and friends and blast some low level explosives off (a tradition Hartfordites solemnly observe nightly from Memorial Day to Labor Day.) And while these days being in America might not be what it has been at times, it's still not all that bad of a proposition. Seriously, have you ever tried to keep up with a fantasy baseball league while living on Greenwich Mean Time?

Another great feature about being American is everyone is so sure that their political party has the only right ideas and that only their parties policies will be able to achieve those goals. Many are so sure of it and wrap their identity so deeply in it that any deviation of thought is met with venom. How many times have you seen self-identified "liberal people lovers" turn and spew visceral hate lest anyone question any part of their agenda.

Recently we were reading The Passage of Power, Volume IV in Robert E. Caro's stunning work on Lyndon Johnson. It's about as good and as thorough of a biography that's ever been written. In late 1963 Johnson, having just ascended to the Presidency after SPOILER ALERT.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Roger Waters Rocks XL Center

 Friday night the legendary Roger Waters came into Hartford to perform The Wall at the XL Center. At 68 years old, Waters performs as if he is twenty years younger and we doubt anyone in the filled to capacity XL Center would claim they didn't get their moneys worth.

The Wall, separating the audience from the band, is built during the first half of the show while Waters performs. An early highlight of the show came when local Hartford kids danced during "Another Brick In the Wall." After the song Waters explained that in each town a group of local kids were selected to perform and sent a tape of the dance. Waters went out of his way to praise the kids and let them know they should be proud. It was a really nice touch and no doubt a thrill for locals kids to perform on that stage.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baldwin's Grand Plans Appear Lost

Image courtesy of Whalerssports.com

Since Howard Baldwin came back to town and into the public eye a little over two years ago a lot has changed. He is still here now even though his marketing firm Whaler Sports and Entertainment will apparently not be.

We've seen him create a Whalers Fan Fest that brought out 4,800 people to revisit Hartford Whaler history.

We have seen him complete the re-brand of the Rangers top affiliate to make it more personal in an appeal to a broader Hartford hockey fan base.