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, January 31, 2012

Another Interesting Chart

We have to admit whenever some website has a chart or list of "Best Cities For..." we are always suckers to click through no matter how inane the topic. Usually we end up as disappointed as when we click the Yahoo! News headlines. Seriously, how great do those Yahoo! stories seem and then; click,boom, disappointment? It's almost like they have people constantly manipulating the headlines to come up with a formula that will result in the most clicks.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Weekly Whale

For the first time since Sad City started The Weekly Whale column, the Whale have fallen from first place. After once having a commanding lead in the Northeast Division, the Whale are still winless in 2012 and have fallen to second place being surpassed by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. While the Whale haven't managed a win in 11 games, the Sound Tigers have been white hot and have't lost in 11 games.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The 1936 Flood

Ever since we attended Paper Mania a few weeks ago we've found ourselves browsing around the web and looking at old postcards. If anyone has ever done any late night web surfing, you are probably aware that Ebay is the most dangerous of all late night web sites. Late night Ebaying is how you end up with a lot of 10 identical Whalers pennants. Seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Car Trends In East Hartford

We don't travel to our sister city East Hartford too often. Maybe about once a summer to have a beer on the river at 125 Riverside or once every couple years to an early season (i.e. warm weather) UConn football game. Besides that, we just don't find ourselves compelled to cross the river too often. What we've been missing out on is what appears to be a return on the "car pickup" hybrid, a style first introduced by the Chevrolet El Camino in 1959.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Strange Saga Of The El Mercado Jags Jersey

Fans of Sad City know that we love the El Mercado grocer and often frequent the various dining establishments within. Over the course of the last year and a half there has been one thing inside the El Mercado that has endlessly confounded us. One store in the market sells various non-food wares. The vendor sells t-shirts, cell phone cases, sunglasses, mini flags and religious paraphernalia. There is also a handful of futbol (soccer to us) team jerseys for sale. Makes sense, since soccer is, by a wide margin, the most popular sport just about everywhere in the world except the United States.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hot In Hartford: Dan Schwartz vs. John Dankosky

We reach the halfway marker of Hot In Hartford with a match up of intellect far beyond Sad City's capacity. Daniel Schwartz is a well respected attorney at Pullman & Comley, working cases in employment law, commercial litigation, and trade secret enforcement. Mr. Schwartz has been named in the "40 Under 40" by the Hartford Business Journal (July 2010) and has been named as a top lawyer by numerous publications. Mr. Schwartz is also the author of the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, one of the most widely read blogs of its kind and has been named as a Top 100 Blog produced by lawyers for three consecutive years.

Burgers Abound

Recently we found ourselves in conversation about grapefruits, a fruit we enjoy, but noted that the grapefruit doesn't seem to enjoy much popularity with the under 60 crowd and remarked that it was not an in fashion food. The discussion then shifted to what foods were in fashion. We came up with bacon, avocados, berries, and burgers. Burgers and hot dogs are often viewed as the quintessential American foods, and while the popularity of the burger has never really waned, the last couple years have seen a burger renaissance with successful restaurants serving up burgers as never before imagined.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Weekly Whale

2012 continues to vex the once high flying Whale as the team remains win less in the new year. The week started with a 4-2 road loss in Portland before the Whale returned home to the XL Center for the weekend. Friday saw the Whale host the St. John's IceCaps in a game in which the IceCaps goalie Edward Pasquale made one of the best saves anyone will ever see robbing Kris Newbury of a sure goal. The amazing save proved to be huge as the game went to overtime where St. John's scored only 16 seconds into extra time. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Civic Center Collapse

This week marked the 34th anniversary of the Hartford Civic Center roof collapse. As bad as the collapse was, it was very lucky that no one was killed in this mishap. Only hours before, the venue hosted a UConn-UMass basketball game. This was way before Marcus Camby, Cliff Robinson, and even Jim Calhoun.

We looked at these pictures of the roof collapse way, way back in the Sad City vault. Today, a generation has passed since the roof collapse and Hartford is facing a major decision on the future of a downtown entertainment. Many dream of an NHL return. The Civic Center collapse happened before Hartford even had an NHL team.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hot In Hartford: Chion Wolf vs Rick Green

We now return to our regularly scheduled "Hot In Hartford 2012" during this very abbreviated week with a match between WNPR's Chion Wolf and the Hartford Courant's Rick Green. So far the two Hot In Hartford matches have been lopsided as the XL Center and The Russian Lady advanced to the quarterfinals. This time a human advance to the next round as these Hartford heavy hitters make their "Hot In Hartford" debuts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Sad City Ballot

It's election time across the U.S. on Sad City, and in Harford as the Advocate Best Of voting is underway. Last year, our first in existence, we didn't win, place or show in the Best Local Blog category that was won by a cooking blog. Colin McEnroe's To Wit was the only Hartford blog represented finishing third after winning two years in a row. Sad City did finish second to CT News Junkie (of whose network we are now a member of, if you can't beat em....) in the Best Hyper Local News Site, a pretty good achievement for a six-month old blog that doesn't even try and bill itself as a news site. We thank you very much.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Weekly Whale

It's been a tough road trip for the Whale as the team is on a frustrating six game losing streak. Not long ago it looked like the Whale might run away with the Northeast Division but their current skid has shrunk the division lead down to two points and only five points separates first and last place in the division.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hot In Hartford: Craig TPS vs. The Russian Lady

The XL Center soundly defeated the Hartford-New Britain Busway in the first "Hot In Hartford 2012" matchup. The second match pits returning Hot In Hartford contestant Craig The Porn Star against returning Hartford bar The Russian Lady in what should be an exciting battle.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sad City Contest: Win Premium CT Whale Tickets!

There's been a lot of excitement about downtown development both at Sad City and across all of Hartford this week. Tuesday saw another presentation of iQuilt, the comprehensive plan to reinvigorate downtown by making it more pedestrian friendly increasing the connectivity of the downtown area. A very cool idea and the exact type of big thinking that we feel Hartford needs. Some people still find time to put the plan down, but there are always some people that are going to react negatively to anything that isn't exactly on their personal agenda, so really, what can you do?

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. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sad City Travels: Brandon, Vermont

Vermont is different. Last time we visited Vermont, we explored some rural blight. Depending on where one goes in the state, it can lead to very different views of Vermont. Some go for the inns, some go to ski, some go to Burlington, some are way up North, some are in the valley. For a sparsely populated state, Vermont has a ton of different viewpoints. One thing rings true though, Vermonters are almost universally a tougher breed than us from Connecticut. The summer storms are just more proof to that point.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hot In Hartford: XL Center vs. New Britain Busway

XL Center image courtesy of www.ctvisit.com Bus Image courtesy of www.environmentalheadlines.com
The first match up of "Hot In Hartford 2012" features the XL Center squaring off against the Hartford-New Britain Busway. The XL Center is the current home to the CT Whale, UConn basketball, and hosts many other events throughout the year. Formerly home to the Hartford Whalers and a slew of minor league sports teams, the XL Center is reaching a critical point in its existence as the current lease expires soon and renovations or a new arena must be considered in the upcoming years.

The Weekly Whale

It's been a rough start to 2012 for the Whale who have yet to make a check mark in the W column in the New Year. On Monday the Whale started the New Year by losing a shootout to the Portland Pirates. On Friday the road struggles continued as the Whale fell to the defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton Senators on the road.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sad City & WCCC Discuss Pizza

A couple of weeks ago we more or less unwittingly had a pizza week here at Sad City. First, we had the Sad City Guide To West Pizza and then that was followed up with a New Haven Edition of Sad City Travels. People sure do love and are passionate about their pizza.

 Listen above to Hakaan calling into WCCC to discuss pizza and the great pizza debates with Sad City friend and "Hot In Hartford 2012" contestant Craig The Porn Star.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hot In Hartford 2012

A New Year has arrived and that means it's time for those who made noise in 2011 to battle it out for the most prestigious of all local awards, Sad City's: Hot In Hartford! The first Hot In Hartford saw Councilman Luis Cotto score a surprising victory  to take the coveted title. The Councilman recently defended his Council seat and will now try to defend his Hot In Hartford title as the 2012 pool is announced.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

That's Totally Radical Dude

It's been a while since we featured a Hartford Houses Of Worship post. We saw that there are many Hartford Houses Of Worship that are really cool to look at from the outside, but staying in touch with our New England purtitanical roots, the great majority of them are very plain and ordinary looking. It also is very rare that it's the name of a House Of Worship that catches our attention, but his sign really stood out. Found in a generic office building on Farmington Ave, this seemed like an appropriate post the day after hardcore Christian Michelle Bachmann dropped out of the Presidential race.

"Snoop We Got News...."

Image courtesy of www.hiphop.popcrunch.com

"Your girl was trickin' while you was draped in your county blues." Wait, wait, wait a minute. Wrong Snoop. We meant to refer to America's third most famous Snoop, Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, famous as  a cold-blooded assassin from the greatest tv show ever made, The Wire. While this blog is primarily about Hartford, it was in no small part inspired by an attempt to write a Wire inspired script based on Hartford. In fact The Wire has probably been mentioned more than anything on this blog outside of pay phones and Mexican food.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Weekly Whale

First things first, congratulations to Whale star Kris Newbury for being named AHL Player Of The Week for the week ending January 1. The Whale leading scorer, Newbury was sensational last week with eight points in four games as the Whale continued their hot play and increased their Northeast Division lead to seven points over Adirondack.