Tag Archives: mark twain house

“Nellie Oleson” Coming To Hartford

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Alison as Nellie 1She was the kid everyone loved to hate. That was Nellie Oleson on the tv family show favorite, “Little House on the Prairie.”

Alison Arngrim played the role of the sassy and spoiled pioneer girl and is coming to Hartford on June 11 for a program at the Mark Twain House & Museum.

Still sassy, and never really spoiled, Arngrim was more than happy to share her story and what she is doing now as she “Spilled the Beans”  with Java here.

Mark Twain House AKA ‘Love Shack’

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sam1olivia1And the lists just keep on coming. On this Valentine’s Day, Hartford’s own Mark Twain House has been named to the “10 Most Romantic Old Home Lists’ in the world by This Old House at thisoldhouse.com

Criteria for the list included homes that housed some of the most “legendary lovers in history.”

This is what This Old House had to say about Hartford’s own love couple, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twaitwainhousen) and his wife Olivia Langdon Clemens,

‘Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain, instantly fell in love with Olivia Langdon in 1867 when her brother, a fellow passenger on his steamship tour of Europe, showed him a miniature painting of her. Upon his return to the U.S., Twain took up the invitation to dine at the Langdon family’s home, and on his second visit stayed more than 12 hours. Thus began a two-year courtship between Samuel and Olivia, preserved in the countless letters the two exchanged before their marriage in 1870.’

For the complete list go here.

Last Weekend Pre-Holidays Hartford, Start Your Celebration!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]twainhouseIt’s the last weekend of the year before Christmas and New Year’s arrive. so let’s get in the mood if you are not already there.

The weekend begins Thursday at Real Art Ways with its monthly Creative Cocktail soiree from 6 to 10 p.m. Hartford’s Markie Gee is the DJ for the night. The evening also includes a recap of  the very best YouTube had to offer in 2013. A new exhibit, The Shadow of the Palm is Deep by StepUp artist Austin Ballard will also be featured. Information: realartways.org

Thanks to The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., The Mark Twain House & Museum is offering free tours to Hartford residents Saturday. City residents only have to bring along proof of residency to take that long-planned tour of Mark Twain’s house, which is decorated for the holidays. The museum is open 9:30-5:30; last tour at 4:30. Information: mallmanarktwainhouse.org

Some celebrity in town performing this weekend, too. Devon Allman, son of famed rock/blues singer Gregg Allman, will be the featured talent at Black -eyed Sally’s Saturday at 9 p.m. $12 cover. Information: blackeyedsallys.com

Thinking about eating out? You might want to consider Hartford and enjoy a trolley ride.

Several restaurants are among the stops as part of this year’s holiday trolley that runs between Keeney Memorial Cultural Center in Olde Wethersfield and Bushnell Park in Hartford.

Trolleys provide the free, continuous back-and-forth rides on Friday and Saturdays from 4 to 11trolley p.m. with stops at Costa Del Sol, Carbone’s, Casa Mia and Andreas, Mozzicato’s and Francesco’s, J Restaurant/Bar and Bushnell Park where Winterfest is underway. On New Year’s Eve, transportation will be available from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. The route takes about 30 minutes.

Looking for some on-stage inspiration when it comes to Christmas? Take your pick. Hartford Stage is featuring its annual production of “A Chrisnutctmas Carol” (hartfordstage.org) through Dec. 28.

Or you can take in the CONNetic Dance’s Nutcracker Suite & Spicy production at The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford Friday  or Saturday at 8 p.m. or Sunday at 2 p.m.  This Hartford holiday tradition is a quirky and fun take on the holiday ballet classic and includes athletic dance forms including tap, jazz, and hip hop and seasoned with their signature sense of humor. Information:  860-251-9194 or www.conneticdance.com






It’s the Weekend Hartford! Celebrate With A Slew of Choices!

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A car show, some big thinkers, a cook-off and a little dose of Christmas are on hand for you thiscalendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1] weekend, the last before the holiday season officially begins.

Thursday, the CT Forum will host its “Big Thinkers” program at the Bushnell featuring best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell  and noted historian and author Douglas Brinkley . The two will offer their own insights on what happens when big thinkers flex their brains and how big ideas  are understandable and accessible.  Show starts mglad2at 8 p.m Information: ctforum.org

Are you more into politics? You might want to head over to theMark Russell Mark Twain House & Museum Thursday where political satirist Mark Russell will be giving his take on the absurd state of politics today at “Mark Russell: the Laughter of Politics.” Information: 860-280-3130.

Dreaming of new wheels? The Connecticut Auto Show opens at the Connecticut Convention Center Thursday. But on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. Cadillac will sponsor “Heels and Wheels,”  a special event for women who want to peruse the show while getting  the inside scoop on buying a car without a guy. 

WCT_Autoshow_Logo_3-Color[1]omen are invited to bring a gently used pair of shoes or heels that will be donated to Goodwill for women inruthie need. The donation translates into a $2 discount on the price of the show tickets and a free “pink beverage.”  There will be free make-up demonstrations. There will also be a jewelry boutique with proceed going to the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association’s Foundation which  donates to over 31 charities in the state)

Speaking of Thanksgiving, wouldn’t you love to be able to do most of your Thanksgiving shopping at one place, all while supporting CT farmers and vendors? Well, Hartford’s Farmers’ Markets have been working hard to make that wish come true by organizing the 3rd Annual Hartford Harvest Farmers’ Market on Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Knox Parks Greenhouse located at 75 Laurel St.

You’ll find all the traditional makings for Thanksgiving  dinner including potatoes, apples,turkeycute_rgb[1] pumpkins, carrots, greens, eggs, a variety of cheeses, coffee, pies, cupcakes, beans, and for the table, great craft items! There will be live music and kids activities. Don’t worry about the weather because this market will be indoors at the Knox Greenhouses.
 Information: hartfordfood.org

Speaking of food, also on Saturday, four remaining chefs will battle it out at Vito’s by the Park in Hartford  in the “So You Think You Can Cook 2″ competition. The battle began with nine  local chefs and after a series of cook-offs, four remain for the grand finale which will be filmed at the restaurant before a live audience.

 “We’re closing down Vito’s by the Park this Saturday from 11a.m. to 2p.m. for the filming of this great event,” said Chef/Owner Rob Maffucci.  A limited number of tickets are available for $25 each with proceeds being donated to Make-A-Wish CT. The winner of the cook-off receives  a privately catered, in-home dinner for a party of ten. information: vitosct.com

Ansondheim-298x300[1]d if you are looking for “A Little Night Music” and more, head over to the Bushnell where the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will perform the music of Pulitzer, Grammy and Tony award winner Steven Sondheim. Guest conductor is Tim Stella. Information: hartfordsymphony.org

And if you need a little Christmas during this Thanksgiving season, the lights go on this weekend at the Holiday Light Fantasia at Goodwin Park. The drive-through display, benefiting the Channel 3 Kids Camp, continues through Jan. 6.




Get Ready Hartford For a Great Summer Weekend

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calendar_clip_art-1_optFinally Mother Nature is giving us a break by delivering what appears to be the kind of balmy summer weekend we dreamed of when we were shoveling out of snowstorms last winter.

It’s a weekend of summer’s best;  ice cream, outdoor concerts, leisurely boat rides, wine, food, golf and more.

All that good stuff begins today at the Mark Twain House & Museum. The Hartford landmark will be hosting its annual “Ice Cream Social.” And it’s free!

Sice-cream-cone[1]taff will be scooping from 5 to 7 p.m . And there’s more than just ice cream and sundaes. There will also be dancers from West Hartford’s Ballet Theatre Company and barbershop quartet music courtesy of the group Bandstand.  Information: marktwainhouse.org.

Then you can head down to Goodspeed’s Norma Terris theatre in Chester for opening night of  its new musical “LMNOP.”   Billed as “chaos, one letter at a time,” the show begins at 8 p.m.  The show goes through Aug. 18. Information: goodspeed.org.

Beginning Friday, get your Irish on because the 30th annual Greater Hartford Irish Music Festival kicks off at the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury.

The three-day festival is a lively mix of Irish music, culture, food, ands beverages. Among the bands featured this year are The Kildares, the Bogside Rogues, Unforgettable Fire and the St. Patrick’s Pipe Band.  There is a “Festival Colleen” contest, a “Men in Kilts” contest , Irish bread baking demonstration, “Celtic Cids” activity zone for kids  and sheep herding demonstration.

Shamrock_07[1]The festival is open Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. information: irishmusicfest.com

Also on Friday, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will entertain with “The talcott2Rolling Stones Tribute: 50 years of Satisfaction” the final show in its Talcott Mountain Music Festival this season. It is held  at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows. Bring a picnic, blanket and a chair and enjoy. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the show at 7:30. Tickets begin at $5 for children and $25 for adult lawn tickets. Tables seats are also available. Information hartfordsymphony.org. 

On Saturday head to Bushnell Park and enjoy a free ride on the  historic carousel to celebrate its 99th birthday.

The Bushnell Park Carousel is one of less than 200 antique wooden carousels still operating in the United States. the New England Carousel Museum in the process of a “Countdown to 100″ restoration and entertainment effort to celebrate the 2014 100th anniversary of the ride.

The free rides this weekend will be offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Birthday cake and punch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. Information: thecarouselmuseum.org.

Also on Saturday, New London will celebrate its historic waterfront with its “Fish Tales, Tugs & Sails 2013″ party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.. The free nautically themed family festival  includes public viewing of tug boats and other boats including the Mystic Whaler, entertainment, contests and  food.

Twinebotshe fifth annual Connecticut Wine Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Goshen Fairgrounds. sponsored by the Connecticut Vineyard and Winery Association and presented by the CT Wine Trail, the festival features fine wines from a wide variety of local vintners, as well as artisanal crafts, foods, wine classes and entertainment. Admission is $30. Designated drivers can attend for $10. The festival is open Saturday from noon to 7 p.m and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Mike Love and the Beach Boys will kick off the annual Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic with a concert at Mohegan Sun. Proceeds this year benefit the REACH Foundation.

The golf tournament  begins Monday and among those playing in the tournament on Sunday and Mike Love HeadshotMonday are football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, NBA Champion Ron Harper, actor Richard Jenkins and UConn legends Donny Marshall and Scott Burrell.

And finally, don’t forget, Taste of Hartford continues through Aug. 6  and there are lots of great Hartford restaurants offering $20.13 fixed price dinners. Information tastehartford.com Enjoy!




Free Ice Cream At Twain House ‘Social’ This Month

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icream7It’s the season of warm weather and casual time and ice cream, of course, to help beat the summer heat.

Mark Twain House is offering a little of each on July 25.

That’s the day of its annual “Ice Cream Social.” Here are the details!

“I scream, you scream, line up for ice cream” as The Mark Twain House & Museum invites the neighbors in for its annual free Ice Cream Social on the patio from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 25. Enjoy free dish ice cream and sundaes whipped up by The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum. Dancers from West Hartford’s Ballet Theatre Company and Bandstand, the famed barbershop quartet from Manchester, will regale munchers with fine music and dance. The Ballet Theatre Company has even worked up a dance version of a short play by Mark Twain’s daughter Susy — “A Love Chase.” Enjoy a pleasant summer evening of free ice cream and music on the grounds of the historic Mark Twain House! The event is free.”

Hartford, The Weekend Is Almost Here!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Celebrities, parties, shows and of course, some Irish green mixed in thanks to Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, is what’s up this weekend Hartford.

On Thursday, March 14, former New York City mayor,  Rudy Giuliani, will deliver Central Connecticut State University’s Annual Robert C. Vance Distinguished Lecture at 7:30 p.m. at Welte Hall. Before his speech, Giuliani, also a former federal prosecutor and presidential hopeful,  is best known for his leadership following the horrific  9/11 terrorist attack in New York, will meet with students and attend a dinner in his honor. He now heads an international law firm that includes an office in Hartford.

giulThe annual Vance Lecture began in 1983 and has featured speakers including Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Lech Walesa, Ben Bradlee and Anderson Cooper.


Cindy Lovell, new executive director at the Mark Twain House & Museum, will be feted at a welcoming reception Thursday from 5 :30 to 7 :30 p.m. The reception coincides with the opening the Twain House’s latest exhibit “The Gilded Age of Hartford.”


maltacMalta House will be announcing its 2013 roster of “Wonder Women”  Thursday  at a VIP reception at the home of Atty. General and Mrs. George Jepsen. Each year, the a non-profit that provides primary medical care to those without insurance, celebrates a group of women selected for their public service and philanthropy.

The group will be officially honored at the  “Celebrating Wonder Women,” fundraiser at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, May 7, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

break1_opt It’s St. Patrick’s Day time and that means it also time for the annual Archbishops’s St. Patrick ‘s Day Breakfast, Friday at the Connecticut Convention Center at 7 :30 a.m. Guest speaker will be Mark Kennedy Shriver, nephew of the later President John F. Kennedy and son of Sargent and Eunice Shriver, the breakfast  benefits The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools.

int4And on Saturday, Interval House will host its annual “Step Up and Step Out” gala benefiting the state’s largest domestic violence program for women and children.

Honorary chair is Dr. William Petit, Jr. of the Petit Family Foundation.

The gala begins at 6 p.m .at The Society Room in Hartford and includes dinner and auction with tv personalities including NBC Connecticut’s  Brad Drazen, , WTIC sports Joe D’Ambrosio, Fox Ct’s  Joe Furey, and WFSB’s Kara Sundlun and Dennis House. Go to intervalhouse.org for ticket information.

Also on Saturday,

Julia Sweeney and Jill SobuleNeed a good laugh and some equally good music? You might want to head to the Mark Twain House & Museum Saturday for the “The Jill and Julia Show” with Julia Sweeney and Jill Sobule. Sweeney,  a mother married to scientist Michael Blum, is best known as a former member of the “Saturday Night Live” cast, the actress/comedian/author behind the perceived gender-neutral “Pat,” and the subsequent movie “It’s Pat.”

Sobule, best known for the top 20 hit “I Kissed a Girl,” is an accomplished musician whose work is personal and socially conscious.

Go to marktwainhouse.org for information.


S’now Problem Hartford! Lots To Do No Matter What’s on The Ground

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]MTH Exerior.28.25.04  Not even a little snow can stop Hartford when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day and beyond.

The party starts at noon today when hundreds of men and women will mark “Heart Health Month”  at the  American Heart Association’s “Hartford Go Red for Women Luncheon” at the Connecticut Convention Center.

Motivational speaker and heart transplant survivor Ginger Zimmerman will be the guest speaker at the fundraiser that will also feature Elizabeth C. Winsor, CEO, National Accounts for United Healthcare.

Information: heart.org.hartfordgoredluncheon.

It’s a day for couples of course but whether you have a significant other or not, it’s still a day to  celebrate love. And for those in the Hartford area, that would include the quintessential couple.  Adam and Eve.

That will be the topic at a Valentine’s Day party at the Mark Twain House & Museum when excerpts from the Twainian romance “Diaries of Adam and Eve” are read at the lovefest at the Farmington Avenue venue today beginning at 7 p.m. Characterized as the “very first battle of the sexes,” the hourlong reading will be followed by champagne and chocolate.

Information: marktwainhouse. org.

Speaking of the Twain House, National Geographic has named the place as one of the 10 Best Historic Homes in the world in its new travel guide,  “The 10 Best of Everything.”

cake And what’s a Valentine weekend without a  little something sweet. Head over to the annual CT Cake Competition Saturday and Sunday at the convention center.

The two-day event includes a wedding cake competition, classes, demonstrations and baking and decorating vendors as well as a “midnight madness” classes.

And speaking of cake…  Cheshire celebrity cake maker Ana Parzych and her cakes will be in the spotlight today . Two of her wedding cakes will be featured on a  special Valentine’s Day edition of Katie Couric’s  “Katie” show and another cake will be center stage ” The Knot Dream Wedding in Bryant Park in New York City.

heart_3[1]Romantic music anyone? But of course. Take advantage of a slew of holiday dining specials  in the area and then head over to the Bushnell where the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will perform at its  “Love is in the Air”  program, Thursday, Friday,  Saturday and Sunday. The concerts will also include readings of  famous love letters by selected guests.

Information: hartfordsymphony.org

And of course there should be dancing this holiday weekend of love. And students at UConn will be doing that as they host an 18- hour HuskyTHON Dance Marathon  this weekend benefiting the Connecicut Children’s Medical Center.

An estimated 1,700 students will participate in the dance-a-thon that is the culmination of a year-long fundraiser effort for the children’s hospital. the school has held the Huskython Dance marathon each year for the past 14 years, and in 2012 became one of the top ten dance marathons in the nation when it netted $304,000 for the Hartford hospital.

The dance-a-thon begins on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the university field house and continues through noon Sunday.

Information: huskython.org.




Mark Twain House A National Geographic Must See

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MTH Exerior.28.25.04Is seeing one of the 10 best historic houses in the world on your bucket list? Or even your weekend list?

Then lucky you. Head over to the Mark Twain House on Farmington Avenue in Hartford and check it off your list.

The home of the late,  iconic author Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) has been named one of the “10 Best Historic Homes”  in the world in  National Geographic’ s new book, ” The 10 Best of Everything: A Guide for Travelers.”

Twain’s Victorian Gothic Revival style mansion was chosen for the list that also includes Monet’s Giverny in France, Yasnaya in Russia, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Blenheim in England and Mount Vernon in Virginia.

The book also includes top 10 lists for topics ranging from “10 Best Islands” to “10 Best things To Do On Sundays” in the world’s best cities.

The Fab Beekman Boys Come To Hartford

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You could definitely tell who the farmers were at the Mark Twain House & Museum Thursday.

Well, actually you couldn’t except for the two that were the stars of the evening, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, better known as The Fabulous Beekman Boys.

“We buy them at Agway,” explained Ridge showing off his Wellie-type rubber boots that are de rigueur when it comes to farm fashion. “In the country you wear them on the farm because of all the crap on the ground,” he grinned. “And I am guessing it might be likely you could step in crap in the city, too.”

Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell, stars of Green Planet and Cooking Channel’s “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” and the authors of “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook!” presented a program on Fabulous Farming, but not before they worked a pre-party room.

And that included some serious tips for those who are into “growing their own.”

“The best way to get kids to eat vegetables and try different foods is to have a garden,” insisted Ridge, a physician and former executive with Martha Stewart Living. “Once they watch something grow and harvest it, they will be much more anxious to try it.”

There were some other farming guests, without boots, Paul Trubey and Mark Pearsall from Beltane Farm. And besides hob-knobbing with the Beekman Boys, the two seized the opportunity to pitch their farm’s upcoming seasonal samplings.

Beginning October 7, those who visit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. can not only sample the farm cheeses, but also meet the goats responsible for the sweet milk used in those cheeses.

“It’s great,” said Trubey, noting the Sunday sessions will also include local cider tastings.

Nearly 200 turned out to hear the Beekman Boys, including some who like them more for their tv persona rather than the farming they do.

“I just think Brent is so cute,” said Manchester resident Bobi Matthews who attended with two girlfriends. “I could care less what they farm, I just love watching him on tv.”