The old story saw that "there's nothing to do in Hartford" is so out of date that one feels pity for those that are so misinformed.
The cascade of activities is well reported on Hartford.com CAL (the weekly calendar in the Courant), in the Advocate and, of course, right here in the Hartford News. From Monday night Jazz in the Park and the the Arch Street Tavern (Big Band) to Black Eyed Sally's Jams, to movies in the Parks put on by the city, free entertainment is everywhere.
And, as Ken Kahn (former Arts Council head) says Hartford is an ongoing movie festival. Real Art Ways, the Wadsworth, Spotlight theatre, the Bowtie theatre, and, of course Cinestudio (Trinity College) offer up as much film as anyone would want.
Our favorite, of course, is the weekly Irish session every Wednesday night at McKinnon's, 114 Asylum Street. From 7:30 to 10 pm, one can experience Ireland right here in downtown Hartford. Players and singers drift in all night from many Connecticut towns, Western Mass., New York City and even occasionally Canada and Ireland. The other night players from eleven-years-old to pushing eighty gathered. Jeanne Freeman picked up the session mantel from our dear friend P.V. O'Donnell, and with her Irish music school in Wethersfield, she encourages fresh young talent to join in.
One of Hartford's pleasures is the variety of Happy Hour offerings. From Dish (on Main) to Vaughan's (on Pratt) to Vito's (on Trumbull), you can meet and greet, eat and drink every weekday afternoon.
So, all this bodes well for the new wave of apartments coming downtown. 777 Main will be exciting with its rooftop common area, and living on the edge of Adriaen's Landing will mean good meals at the Elks and lots of Infinity Hall entertainment. It does look like the next few years will see a real jump, all over downtown in both population, and activity. With the B.I.D. (Business Improvement District) keeping the area safe and clean, and C.R.D.A. (Capital Regional Development Authority) putting up the cash for development, the pieces are coming together, and those of us who have seen many peaks and valleys over the years may think our efforts finally justified.