This Editorial piece by a Contact Reporter originally appeared in The Hartford Courant January 10, 2017.
Mayor Luke Bronin joked at the MetroHartford Alliance breakfast on Tuesday that he last briefed the chamber of commerce a year ago and “I haven’t had a boring day since.” It’s hard to be bored in Hartford, even if you’re not its besieged mayor. This city may have shortcomings, but entertainment is certainly not one of them. Take last week.
Hundreds of riders and fans traveled to Riverside Park from around the nation to take part in what The Courant’s Rick Green described in a tweet as “crazy people on bikes in Hartford in January. Yay!” The occasion was the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, called the steeplechase of bicycle racing.
Why Hartford? Partly because the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, a fast-growing group out of Middletown, worked hard to get it. And partly because USA Cycling likes to give cyclists different weather challenges. Weather they got.
That was just the start.
Masterpieces that the Met would probably love to have on its walls went on display at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art over the weekend. Two monumental Japanese paintings from an 18th-century master who influenced the European Impressionists, Kitagawa Utamaro, now hang there for the major exhibit “Utamaro and the Lure of Japan.”
Then there was college hockey—UConn vs. Yale—at the XL Center on Saturday (Yale won, 4-2). As their buses pulled away, in came the bus carrying the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the American Hockey League team that would play the Hartford Wolf Pack that night. The Pack got nipped, 2-1.
As if that weren’t enough, Tuesday night at Hartford’s XL Center, the UConn women’s basketball team made history—again—with its 90th win in a row, this time against South Florida. The Huskies tied their own record from 2010, when they surpassed the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden’s UCLA men’s basketball teams in the 1970s. What other city had that going on?
The next few weeks bring “Sunset Baby” to TheaterWorks, "The Comedy of Errors" to Hartford Stage, and both “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and the very funny John Cleese to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts for a screening of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” A quite different movie, “The Eagle Huntress,” is at Real Art Ways. RAW continues Film 101, its series for movie buffs, with “Paths of Glory” and a University of Hartford professor of film, Pedro Bermudez, on Thursday. There’s “Disney on Ice” at the XL Center.
Later this month, Beethoven and Ravel come to the Bushnell’s Belding Theater, thanks to Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
And that’s far from all.
Anyone who complains there’s nothing to do here just isn’t paying attention.