Category Archives: Neighborhoods

New iConnect Store To Open Feb. 27

by Categorized: Business, Development, Events, Neighborhoods Date:

The newest iConnect store, Naturally Dogs & Cats, is set to open Feb. 27. The store is located at 100 Trumbull St., near Salute.

A ribbon cutting will be held at 3:30 p.m. The store’s grand opening will also feature refreshments and door prizes.

NDC“There are no pet stores in Hartford,” Bob Marshall, the store’s co-owner, told the Courant in October. “I saw a great need for it with all of the dogs walking around in the park. This is a great opportunity for us to test drive it out and see how viable it is.”

Marshall, who runs the shop with business partner John Surmik, said city pet owners had to drive to the suburbs to get their pet supplies.

The grand opening will run from 3:30 to 8 p.m.

The goal of iConnect is to establish businesses for six-month trial periods, in hopes that they will be successful enough to remain open permanently. The store owners qualify for free or reduced rent, plus a subsidy for utility bills.

iConnect is funded in part by a $100,000 grant from a state program working to draw more people into cities and towns through arts and cultural activities. The city also contributed $65,000 toward the effort as part of its federal grant matching program.

Along with Naturally Dogs & Cats, city officials chose three other businesses from a pool of more than 40 applicants: Hartford Prints, a letterpress company; National Exhibitions and Archives, a pop-up museum and print-on-demand gallery; and WNPR, which has opened a pop-up studio for remote broadcasts.

City To Name Street After John Wardlaw

by Categorized: City Activities, Neighborhoods Date:

John Wardlaw, the late “mammoth of a man” who was credited with changing public housing in Hartford, will have a city street named after him.

The city and the Hartford Housing Authority will formally rename Overlook Terrace “John D. Wardlaw Way” in a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, according to an email today from Hartford 2000. Wardlaw’s friends and relatives are expected to attend.

The housing authority is located on Overlook Terrace. Wardlaw, who died in Nov. 2008 at age 71, had retired in 2005 after being the agency’s longtime executive director.

john wardlaw

John Wardlaw in 2001. Photo by Tony Bacewicz/The Hartford Courant.

Froghollow Coffee Shop Opens In Former La Paloma Space

by Categorized: Cultural Affairs, Neighborhoods, Parkville Date:


View Photos Of Froghollow Coffee Shop

By Jessica Moore |

Froghollow Coffee Shop opened Thursday in the same storefront that had been La Paloma Sabanera, a coffeehouse that was a staple in the neighborhood for years.

“[La Paloma] was more like Hartford’s living room, and we still want to have that vibe. The difference here, this is more of a neighborhood-friendly place,” said manager Angela Poteat.

Poteat worked as a barista at La Paloma.

“I’m still here and I’m telling customers to come in. If there’s something here, it’s good for the community,” said Poteat.

Owner Syed Anisi, who also owns Capitol Grocery two doors down, said his original plan was to expand his store in the larger space. The zoning department would not approve a convenience store at the location at 405 Capitol Avenue, he said. Anisi said at that point he had already signed the lease and decided to open a coffee shop.

“We have coffee, pastries, sandwiches, muffins. We use local breads and local pastries,” said Poteat,

Customers filled the restaurant around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, including state employee Ina Katkar. “This is different, they have a deli, so we said ‘let’s go patronage the new place,” said Katkar.

La Paloma closed in June. Former owner, Virgina Iacobucci, launched a petition drive against the building landlord over repairs and tenant selection.

The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and serves Omar Coffee, a coffee company based in Newington. Prices range from $1, $1.25, and $1.50 for small, medium and large coffee respectively. A foot-long sandwich will cost $5 and includes chips and water. For more information, call: 860-560-7726.


Quality Of Life Meetings Scheduled

by Categorized: City Activities, Events, Hartford Public Library, Neighborhoods, Parkville, Quality of Life Date:

The city in July announced a new quality of life initiative, urging residents to take action against litter, graffiti, noise and blight.

The initiative centers on community discussions and adherence to “neighborhood standards,” which include ensuring that residents pick up after their pets; mow their lawns and clear snow from sidewalks; and do not park vehicles on lawns; litter or write graffiti; dump trash outside of trash cans; drag race on city streets; or blast music. Residents should also make sure their children attend school.

The city held its first community conversation on Aug. 24, and two more are planned. They are as follows:

* On Sept. 7 (Saturday), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pope Park Recreation Center, 30 Pope Park Drive. Lunch will be provided. This meeting concerns the neighborhoods of Frog Hollow, South Green, Sheldon Charter Oak, South End, Barry Square, Parkville, Behind the Rocks, Southwest and South Meadows.

* On Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 46 Woodland St. This meeting concerns the West End, Asylum Hill, Downtown and South Downtown neighborhoods.

A community get-together for all participants in the conversations will be held Oct. 23, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the city’s public library, 500 Main St.

Vigil Sunday For Teens Who Died In Crash

by Categorized: City Activities, Faith-Based Community, Neighborhoods Date:

The Rev. Henry Brown and Mothers United Against Violence will hold a vigil Sunday for two Hartford teens who died in a car crash.

The crash happened Thursday at the intersection of Main and Uccello streets. Connell Chambers, 18, and Rubbie Laguerre, 15, both of the city’s North End, died when their speeding car slammed into a building and burst into flames.

The vigil will begin at 4 p.m. at the crash site (corner of Main & Uccello). All are welcome to attend.

The Kitchen At HPL Opens

by Categorized: Business, City Activities, Development, Hartford Public Library, Neighborhoods Date:

The nonprofit Billings Forge, which provides farm-to-table job training, farmer’s markets and housing for city residents in the Frog Hollow neighborhood, has expanded to Hartford’s downtown with a new cafe in the public library’s Main Street branch.

The Kitchen at Hartford Public Library

The Kitchen at Hartford Public Library.

The cafe will serve breakfast, lunch and pastries made from locally grown and sourced ingredients, organizers said.

With the addition of the cafe, about 16 to 20 people will be able to go through the nonprofit’s 12-week job training program per year, said Julie Carrion, the director of catering and education for Billings Forge. Participants learn everything from cooking and baking to sanitation and food safety.

Employees work the register at the new cafe.

Employees work the register at the new cafe.

Billings Forge started about seven years ago in Frog Hollow. The Kitchen at Billings Forge, set in an 1869 building that once housed the Billings and Spencer tool forge — which manufactured drop iron wrenches for bicycles, pliers and tongs — also sells locally sourced food.

The Billings Forge complex also includes market rate and subsidized apartments, the Firebox restaurant, a farmer’s market, community gardens and an art studio.


You can read more here.

Check out some video of the ribbon cutting:


Police Chief Cracking Down On Under-The-Radar ‘Offices’

by Categorized: City Activities, James Rovella, Neighborhoods, Pedro Segarra, Police Date:

Cityline (together with our colleague, Steven Goode) earlier this month began looking into rumors of under-the-radar police “offices” maintained across the city.

Police Chief James Rovella

Police Chief James Rovella

Shortly after we began asking questions, a memo went out from the city’s police chief to his deputies asking where the offices were. The chief has since pledged to create a system for monitoring these offices, and has already ordered one of them closed.

You can read our story here.

We’d love to know: Have you encountered these police offices? What do you think of the practice?

Community Art Downtown

by Categorized: City Activities, Cultural Affairs, Events, Neighborhoods Date:

If you walked by the Old State House on Wednesday, you may have noticed a lot of colorful activity going on.

Tao LaBossiere, of Hartford, painting a mural at the Old State House.

Tao LaBossiere, of Hartford, painting a mural at the Old State House.

Two local artists, Tao and Amy LaBossiere, painted a mural there and invited the community to take part in the project. Tao LaBossiere estimated that 75 to 100 people stopped by, some in business suits and high heels, to help paint the mural. The goal was to create a sense of community, the artists said. The mural also promoted a farmer’s market held at the Old State House.

The project is supported by the Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant, organizers said. Another mural will be painted there on Sept. 21. You can view more photos of the mural here.

Some video of the project can be seen below (shot with Vine):

New Hartford Athletic Fields On The Horizon

by Categorized: City Activities, Neighborhoods, Parks, Sports Date:

The city will construct three new athletic fields at Quirk West, Annie Fisher School and Columbus Park.

A preliminary design for the Columbus field was completed Aug. 2, city officials said. A design for Quirk West will be presented to the Hartford School Building Committee on Aug. 19 and for Annie Fisher on Sept. 5 during a Blue Hills neighborhood revitalization group meeting.

From the city:


Barry Square Community Day Is Sunday

by Categorized: City Activities, Events, Neighborhoods Date:

The Maple Avenue Revitalization Group is hosting a community day on Sunday.

The event will feature food, games, activities, giveaways, safety awareness education and more. It will run from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at 31 Webster St. (in the Webster Theater parking lot).

For more information, call Hyacinth Yennie ay 860-883-0383, or the Webster Theater at 860-246-8001 ext. 24.