How Much Do You Love Your Neighborhood?

I live in the West End of Hartford and really love my neighborhood. The houses are charming, unique, and have great history behind them. We can walk to excellent restaurants and downtown Hartford is just a short bike or bus ride away. The roses at Elizabeth Park are about to bloom and free evening concerts will be starting in June. There are so many reasons that I love where I live.

There is one group of neighbors though, that really celebrates their block and have a strong sense of community. The first block of Kenyon Street created a website that outlines the history of their block and all of the fantastic activities that they participate in throughout the year. It’s a unique occurrence these days to see neighbors so involved with each other, and I think they should be commended.

How do you go about building a sense of community in your neighborhood?

Asylum Hill Spring Walking Tour and Open House

If you love the historic architecture in Hartford, there is a great event for you to attend this weekend in the Asylum Hill district. The Hartford Preservation Alliance is hosting a guided walking tour through the Ashley Street historic neighborhood on Saturday May 19, starting at 12:00pm. On Sunday May 20, from 12:00pm-3:00pm, there will be an open house tour of vintage Victorian homes and gardens in the same area. You can also enjoy local cuisine and performances by the Hartford Children’s Theatre as they portray Victorian children from the 19th century.

Tickets are $10 for each day or $15 for both days. The events will happen rain or shine and the meeting spot will be Veeder Place at 20 Sargeant Street in Hartford. You can get more info by calling (860) 570-0331 or emailing info@hartfordpreservation.org.

Gardener? Check Out Hartford's Regional Market

If you have any interest in gardening, you might want to check out the Hartford Regional Market at 101 Reserve Road for fantastic deals on annuals, perennials, ornamental shrubs, and warm weather vegetable seedlings. The Spring season draws farmers and growers from the greater Hartford region each Saturday, starting at 4:00am. Yes, I did say 4:00am, you really need to be an early bird to participate in this event. But if you love gardening or need some shrubs for your yard, it’s a great place to choose from a wide variety, typically for 50% of the price you would pay at a local gardening center or Home Depot.

A few tips I’ve picked up over the years..

1. Arrive early, before 6:00am if possible. There are typically about 2,000 people that will come to shop, so you want to get there early so you can avoid traffic and choose from the best selection possible.

2. If you have a wagon, bring it. Because of the crowds, you’ll park away from the vendors. You’ll be buying flats of plants that aren’t easy to carry. So if you can put them in a wagon, your excursion will be more enjoyable.

3. No need to shower. No one else wants to get up at 5:00am on the weekend (or weekdays for that matter), so just put on a baseball cap, some sweatpants, and you’re good to go.

4. Directions. If you can avoid using Exit 27 off I-91, by all means, please do so. The traffic can be a pain. Here are some alternate routes that are suggested.