are you there hartford? it’s judy blume

From “Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing” to “Starring Sally J. Friedman As Herself” to “Forever” to “Wifey”, there is no one like Judy Blume for “getting” the way kids and young adults (and adults!) really feel. The best-selling, award-winning author will be speaking at the University of Hartford on June 21 as a fundraiser for the Mark Twain House & Museum. She’ll be answering audience questions, signing books, and discussing her stories, writing habits, and her fight against censorship. The uber-talented Julia Pistell of Syllable Series and Literary Disco will be the host. Tickets are $25, $40, and if you’d like an up-close-and-personal experience with Judy, you can get premium seats and a pre-event reception with her for $85.

Judy Blume speaking at University of Hartford June 21

We’ll be the nerdy ones in the back with stacks of books for Judy to sign…

winterfest starts today

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Skating in Bushnell Park is back this year, kicking off today at 4pm with a brief procession from the carousel to the rink (twice the size of last year’s, and with a zamboni for better surface conditions), carols, a short professional skating show, twinkly lights, an appearance by the cast of HCT’s “Hairspray”, and of course free skating and skate rental. Billed as “iQuilt Presents Winterfest” (vs last year’s Festival of Lights Constitution Plaza vs Park PR mishap), the rink brings lots of folks Downtown (including City kids who might not otherwise ever try ice skating), provides a fun activity before or after local dining, and makes great use of our beautiful park, normally seen as only a warm-weather destination. Could the nearly-three months of skating and related wintry activities be the seeds for future festivities akin to Quebec’s Winter Carnival? We salivate at the thought.

Skating hours here.

the dirt on the dirt salon

the dirt salon logoThe Dirt Salon is a new creative venture in Parkville, billing itself as “Hartford’s first and only art salon”. The space that once housed the RLF Home Design Center now houses a collection of galleries, a cabaret and artists studios. On Friday night, hundreds of visitors streamed in and out of the turn-of-the-century foundry building as The Dirt Salon hosted a grand opening soiree, aptly titled The Dirt Flirt. The photos below don’t do justice to the space, so next time they host an event, we encourage you to check it out for yourself. “Like” them on Facebook for more dirt on The Dirt Salon.

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Paintings by Gabriela Galarza-Block grace one of the beautiful brick galleries.

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On the left, an installation by David Borawski.

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Artist Anne Cubberly and some of her sculptures can be found in one of the studios. The crown she is wearing will be used at this Friday’s CT Forum.

hartford halloween scene, the sequel

Festive and of-the-moment jack-o-lanterns on Capital Ave.

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A closer look:

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Last year’s display.  Hope everyone has shoveled out from our unseasonable OctSNOWber storm and has somewhere warm to be until their power is restored.

capital city cameo in new apple iphone 4s ad

Although there are “Hartford”s in states other than CT, we’d like to think that the woman in the ad below is asking the Siri app on her new iPhone 4s for our Hartford Hospital…

(HT to clif of socialhartford.com)

more great hartford talent

If you have never heard of String Theorie, let us introduce you:

They describe themselves as “an Instrumental World Fusion band from Central Connecticut that brings together fingerstyle acoustic guitar, extended modern bass technique, and a wide variety of world percussion instruments to forge a sound that can’t really be described in words.” We first heard them this spring at a Friday-night session in the bar at Firebox, but they play at venues all over the area. They’ll be back at Firebox again Friday, August 26, and they open for Sea Tea Improv at City Steam on Sunday, August 28. They’ll also open for Don Ross and Brooke Miller at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville on Thursday, October 6.  Try to catch them, you won’t be disappointed.

a royal event

We have so many talented people right here in our midst, one of whom is the fabulous Helder Mira of Mira Hartford and Rabbit Ears Media, who has combined his passions for writing, directing & comic books into the pilot for a web series: Royal Comics. It features Hartford actors you may have seen on stage with Sea Tea Improv, Hartford Children’s Theatre etc., and was filmed in Hartford. The screening is next Friday at La Paloma Sabonera, come and check it out!