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, February 29, 2012

Sad City Travels: Awkward Bathroom Edition

While the title for Hartford's Most Awkward Bathroom remains vacated since our good friends at the Half Door made significant improvements to their lavatory, we think we may have found a contender for most awkward bathroom in the United States. While any foray into a public restroom is never exactly a fun trip, (well ok, females seem to enjoy it so much it's a group activity, but we in no way, shape or form are going to attempt to analyze that) an awkwardly situated bathroom can turn a minor annoyance into a dreadful experience.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hot In Hartford: Schwartz vs. The XL Center

After a lengthy wait, Hot In Hartford returns for the second round of voting. Hey, if the damn Daytona 500 can get rained out for the first time in 54 years, a ridiculous poll can wait a few days. For the second round the candidates are seeded by the number of votes received in the first round. The top seed goes to lawyer/blogger Dan Schwartz who narrowly defeated John Dankosky in the most epic of all Hot In Hartford battles.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Succinct Synopsis

We all have the tendency to sometimes overlook the simpest and most prevalent things. Such is the case with this sign that gives a brief and succinct early history of Hartford. Located at the edge of The Ancient Burial Ground between the Center Church and the Gold Building, we walk by this sign all the time. Many readers probably also do and surely some have these facts memorized. We've read it before, but it has been a while and we would fail a pop quiz on this sign. It sure packs a lot of early Hertford history into six sentences. Very cool and if you haven't in a while, worth taking five minutes out of your day and giving it a read or two.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Gorged At Woody's

From left to right: The Reuben & The Southern Slaw Dog
Woody's is pretty awesome. Located at 915 Main, we first reviewed Woody's in our Guide To Lunch In Hartford and have been slowly (and we mean slowly) eating our way through the menu ever since. It's been a slow trip through the menu because let's face it, it's 2012 and we all are all aware that hot dogs slathered in toppings aren't the healthiest things in the world and furthermore, we aren't exactly 18 anymore and our waistline (and heart) can't take that type of abuse. That said, when you want to take a break from the turkey sandwiches, blueberries, and celery, Woody's should be right at the top of your list.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Very Odd Vending Machine

If we know one thing, it's that the older we get the more diminished our already minimal grasp on pop culture becomes. Who's a popular music artist these days? Beyond Lady Gaga, we really couldn't tell you. Twilight or Hunger Games? We've still never even seen American Idol. Beavis & Butthead? We remember when the original incarnation debuted. It just seems like one of those things, the older we get, the less we know about pop culture.

 Recently we stumbled upon another bizarre part of pop culture in this vending machine for Bok Choy Boy (series 2!) toys in El Mercado. All we know is that Bok Choy is some sort of Chinese vegetable. Kind of looks like a cross between Mega Man and Kenny from South Park to us. Is this the latest toy craze sweeping the country? A random one-off machine? It's all a mystery here at Sad City.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Whale

The Whale continue to put the nightmare January behind them having gone 7-2-1 over their last 10 games to keep a three point lead over the very hot Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The week started with a 6-3 win over Springfield Friday night in Hartford and then was followed up with a 3-1 win over Worchester before another great Saturday night crowd. Sunday the Whale traveled to Providence to face the Bruins and fell after a great effort in which they erased a two goal deficit in the third period.

This week the  Whale face the Portland Pirates in Hartford Friday night and then travel to Springfield Saturday night. Check out detailed game coverage from Paul Doyle at the Courant here. Video highlights after the jump.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Connecticut Connections


One of the things that we need to do collectively, both as a city and a state, is to stop getting so darn excited every time some sort national or international news story featured some sort of random connection to Connecticut. It just reeks of low self-esteem.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Black Baseball In Hartford

Mahlon Duckett courtesy of LeftField

The following history of Black Baseball In Hartford comes courtesy of LeftField.Homestead.com

African American and Hispanic players have always been an integral part of baseball in the U.S.  Until recently, their contributions had been dismissed and their stories largely ignored.  For more than one hundred years, Black and Latino ball players organized local teams and came to town to compete against white ball clubs in Hartford.  What follows is just a glimpse of some of their history:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hot In Hartford: Cotto vs. House

It's a good old Yankees vs. Red Sox battle in the final match of the first round as Councilman Cotto starts his defense of his Hot In Hartford title being pitted against Channel 3 news anchor and Face The State host Dennis House. No one can dispute that Mr. Cotto and Mr. House have become Hartford staples and credits to the city.

Councilman Cotto recently won his re-election bid for City Council as a member of the Working Families Party. An active Councilman and member of the community, Mr. Cotto is one of, if not the, most visible and outspoken Council members. Mr. Cotto is also a long standing friend to Sad City, and not only is he the defending Hot In Hartford champion, he has the unique distinction of being the only person interviewed twice by Sad City. Recently Councilman Cotto has been utilizing YouTube and uploading "Fireside Chats" to communicate with Hartford residents.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dating In Hartford II

Way back in 2010 we took a look at the dating scene in Hartford. Despite our best intentions and research, the search was fruitless and we were left to slink back alone to our Mom's basement and our blogging. Over a year later, and with Valentine's Day approaching, we were considering a venture outside to attempt to date again. When we got outside, we learned that February had apparently become a spring month and the brightly shining light was too much for our eyes. We quickly retreated back to the basement and to the laptop, deciding that it would be better to return to our old standby, the Craigslist Missed Connections section to see how people find a date.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Weekly Whale

Apparently it wasn't 2012, it was just January that was vexing the Whale. After a winless first month of the year, the Whale started February by not losing until the 12th, an overtime loss in Bridgeport. That ended a five game winning streak that gave the Whale a three point division lead over Bridgeport. The Whale return to the XL Center with games Friday and Saturday night and then play in Providence on Sunday.

Check out detailed game wrap ups and more Whale news at CTWhale.com and at the Courant's hockey page.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Introducing Hartford's Johnny Taylor

Johnny Taylor was one these pictured 1938 Negro League All-Star Game players

February is Black History Month. At Sad City one thing we waste about as much of our time on as Hartford is baseball. While baseball is an amazing sport and America's pastime, it shouldn't be forgotten that until 1947 baseball despicably operated under the even more despicably named "Gentleman's Agreement" in which owners only employed white players and African-Americans were forced to organize their own leagues. Seeing as how many of us are Red Sox fans, it would be remiss to not point out that the Red Sox were the last team to integrate due to well known racist policies (hey, it is Boston) a factor that certainly contributed to the teams mediocrity in the 1950's and early 1960's.

 So yeah, whenever anyone wants to argue that todays players don't match up with Ruth, Cobb, or Gehrig because of expansion, juiced balls or steroids, kindly point out that those pre-integration players weren't even competing with all of the best players in the United States.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

People Of Hartford: How Are You?

These days TV antennas have been rendered useless with the analog to digital tv conversion that took place in 2009. Those of us old enough can remember playing with the metal rabbit ears (or even classier, a metal coat hanger) as we struggled for reception. Nowadays one can purchase a one inch thick 3D television for under $1,000 and watch sports in high definition. Kids these days have it too easy.

Hot In Hartford: The Beat City Beauties vs. Howard Baldwin

Old is new and new is old and we're all here together.

This match pits a group of young women practicing an old art against a gentleman working to build ice hockey in Hartford as he once did as a younger man. The Beat City Beauties have taken Hartford by storm in short time with their throwback burlesque show. A dance troupe of young, athletic women have made a big splash on the Hartford scene in short time with their throwback shows that evoke another era. With an expert mix of sex, athleticism, humor, and nostalgia, the Beat City Beauties have rapidly become a must see act on the Hartford circuit.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Center Church Stained Glass

We don't get inside churches all too often. Yet last week, during one of those classic warm, pleasant New England February afternoons, we walked by the Center Church to find the doors wide open for those who wished to see the inside. With the February sun shining brightly, we couldn't pass by the chance to see the stained glass and decided to risk it and check it out. It turned out to be a very worthwhile trip as the Center Church has some great stained glass. If you get a chance to visit on a sunny day it's highly recommended. Above is Thomas Hooker, father to all Hartfordites. More after the jump.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hot In Hartford: McEnroe vs. The Mayor

The voting continues with a battle between Colin McEnroe, last years runner up and recipient of The Howard Stern Award for furthest advancing radio personality and Mayor Pedro Segarra who dominated the Hartford Mayoral election on his way to winning his first full Mayoral term. Mr. McEnroe is well known for hosting The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR. Mr. McEnroe also writes the "To Wit" blog, a two-time winner of the Advocate's Best Of in the blog category.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Weekly Whale

Finally. After a winless January the Whale were finally able to get their first victory of 2012 Friday night at the XL Center by defeating the Albany Devils 3-2. The long awaited victory was not without moments of trepidation as Albany closed to within one with a late goal and had a few close attempts to tie the game in the final seconds before the horn sounded ending the Whale's 2012 winless drought.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

XL Center Contest Winner

The following post is the winner of the XL Center essay contest written by Steve Jones, who also has a blog the Centrist Student. Steve has won himself a pair of center ice CT Whale tickets and we hope he enjoys the game! We would like to thank all entrants and congratulate Steve on his victory. His winning essay follows.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hot In Hartford: Jenna Carlesso vs. Johnny Spigot

After an absolutley epic battle between John Dankosky and Daniel Schwartz, we resume Hot In Hartford at the point where last year's semi-finalists again start their journeys towards a championship. While readers are well familiar with Hakaan's notoriously low quality photoshopping (Jumper's the go to for photoshop and editing video), this matchup is also notable for the kind of crappy quality photos of both contestants (sorry to both of you). Despite the quality of the photos, that doesn't diminish the quality of work each candidate brings to Hartford.