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AAA Racks Up Calls in 2014 Winter Storm


HARTFORD –  Although weather and road conditions are expected to improve Thursday, AAA expects its already heavy volume of emergency calls to increase with more drivers venturing out.

For those who take to the road, AAA  advises extra care to avoid adding to the more than 43,000 call it has received this winter.

On Wednesday, AAA’s Roadside Rescue Team received 572 calls for emergency road service by  late afternoon in Greater Hartford and eastern Connecticut. Many calls were for towing and to extricate vehicles who went off the road into the snow.

AAA Travel agents have also been busy assisting clients whose travel plans have been affected by the weather.

AAA offers the following tips to drivers who must venture out:

  • See and be seen. Clear any snow and ice from your vehicle and keep headlights on at all times.
  • Always wear your safety belt.
  • Avoid distractions. Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving.
  • Keep a safe distance. If you are driving in wet or snowy conditions, give yourself at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding, and use low gears to avoid losing traction. Gentle pressure on the accelerator when starting is the best way to retain traction and avoid skids.  If your wheels start to spin, let up on the accelerator until traction returns.
  • Avoid passing plows, unless necessary.
  • Use major routes that have been cleared and salted whenever possible.
  • Do not engage your vehicle’s cruise control. Using cruise control on slick roads can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you are involved in a crash, either stay in your vehicle, or get far away from traffic.

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Go Ahead. It’s the New Year So Indulge Yourself at Flemings


HARTFORD — You’ve worked hard all year in 2013. So if you’re looking for a way to indulge yourself  in the New Year, you might want to stop by Fleming’s Steak and Bar Restaurant to do just that. The dining experience is worth it.

The ambiance at Flemings is only part of the course. And this New Years day, it’s only fitting to celebrate you with the succulent steak and seafood from Fleming’s.

Nationally acclaimed Fleming’s offers the best in steakhouse dining – Prime meats and chops, fresh fish and poultry, generous salads and side orders — with a unique wine list known as the Fleming’s 100®, which features more than 100 wines served by the glass.

Recommended: The prime steak rib special for New Year’s Eve or the 8-0z filet mignon with King Crab meat and caviar—all a part of Fleming’s “Three Ways to Celebrate.” The enticing three-course New Year’s Eve menu is for $69.96 per person.

And it’s worth every penny for the foodie in you. Enjoy.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

44 S Main St, West Hartford, CT 06107

Phone:(860) 676-9463

Photo Courtesy of Fleming's

Photo Courtesy of Fleming’s

 

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Connecticut Silent on International Migrants Day, Needs Statewide Commission for Immigrant Rights


Apparently it was International Migrants Day on Dec. 18.

That day was designated in 1990 when the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in an effort to bring awareness to the plight of migrant workers, regardless of legal status.

But, alas, there was not a peep about it in Connecticut. Or if there were events that celebrated the tradition of a state—and country—that proudly boasts of its pilgrims who migrated to this soil, The Hartford Guardian missed that memo.

A creolization of the peoples who pupolated the North American continent before the twentieth century is only highlighted on Thanksgiving Day, albeit reluctantly by some, including Native Americans.

editorialbannerthumbIn fact, a cursory search on the Internet revealed an outdated website for the volunteer-run Connecticut Immigration and Refugee Coalition that is seemingly inactive. Or maybe some of us are just left out of the loop.

That’s why The Guardian is calling for a Governor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs. This proposed statewide entity would serve as a point of cultural exchange and economic global partnerships between this state and the host countries of two of the most marginalized migrant communities in the world. This Commission would also include Afro-Latinos, who are not as visible as their white counterparts nor protected by the Commissions already in place.

For the uninitiated, the African continent and the Caribbean region are poised for economic growth. Ghana now has one of the fastest gross domestic product in the world. And the Caribbean has demonstrated its talent and brain power.  China has no hang-ups with “the Dark Continent” and the Caribbean. And so they have taken notice. In this case, money and geopolitics trump foolishness.

If this state wants to really expand its economic base and produce more jobs, as it has professed, it would behoove Gov. Dannel Malloy to take heed and look to the Mother Continent and the Caribbean, just like he has looked to Israel and other European countries.

But in the meanwhile, we have a crisis on our hand. And it needs Malloy’s full attention.

Immigrants of African descent are facing a most vile form of persecution. Indeed, Africans are the most vulnerable population in the Americas, according to historical and contemporary reports.

Earlier this year, a boat with Ethiopians and Ghanaians capsized near Lampedusa, an island off the coast of Italy. The tragic event took the lives of about 500 people and conjured up images of ships sailing across the ocean with black bodies during the height of the Atlantic Slave Trade. But these Africans were searching for a better way out of neo-colonial and economic conditions, which makes their move an act of resistance.

Not long after, we learned about a boat full of Haitian men, women and children whose boat capsized in waters near the Bahamas Islands.

But the Dominican Republican went a bit further with its brand of evil. The government invalidated the birthright of f Dominicans of Haitian descent, stripping them of citizenship.

Afro-Latinos don’t fare well either. According to a recent report by the Center for Immigrant Rights, migrants in Veracruz, Mexico are fighting for fair work and fair wages.

In Connecticut, some immigrants say that the hostility can be felt by African and Caribbean immigrants and their children in school, work and church. The fights are largely ignored or treated as a nonissue.

The migrants of today may not face religious persecution. But they definitely face the same kind of intolerance that prompted it during the Reformation in Europe, which has taught us that hate breed hate.

And hate in any form or shade is corrosive to the soul. Across America, African and Caribbean immigrants are brutally attacked by native-born blacks.  This kind of nativism—historically seen in whites who formed the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1800s, is often dismissed as inconsequential and disturbingly justified with illogical and pernicious arguments. This ought to stop. Today’s immigrants should not be criminalized or serve as scapegoats for frustrated working-class Americans.

The UN’s resolution that guarantees migrant workers protection from abuses should be bandied about widely, especially to inform those who fear or oppose the presence of migrants. They should learn that migration is as old as civilization itself. And that their brand of hate cannot, and will not, stop migration. It never has, and it never will.

So perhaps it’s time to revisit the origins of America’s founding and its economic and social progress as a nation: forced and voluntary immigrants. If not, we should  join the Republican-led House of Representatives who left Congress without voting on immigration reform and consider plans to erase these words off the Statute of Liberty: “give me your tired and your poor.” And then we should deem ourselves hypocrites for not honoring the UN’s resolution to protect the rights of all migrants, especially as workers.

And here in Connecticut and across the nation, African and Caribbean migrants are most in need of that kind of protection.

Related:

Residents Say Beatings Fit Wide-spread Animosity Between Native-Born Immigrants and African Immigrants

African and Caribbean Immigrants Are Often Forgotten in the Debate in Washington

Israel Grapple With North African Immigrants

 

 

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Newport and Bristol Reveal Serene Beauty and Traces of the Past


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

NEWPORT, R.I. — Travel guru Arthur Frommer once observed that tourists don’t go to a city that has lost its soul. True soul, he said, is embodied in the older buildings that render a place unique. Moreover, it’s the architecture and ambiance of the locale that distinguish one city from the next. And in  Newport, R.I. that much is true.

On a crisp fall day, a trolley ride around this quaint city on the Narragansett Bay makes the area feel like someplace - and not just any place.  When you hop aboard the Viking Tours trolley parked at the Rhode Island Visitors Center depot, immediately, you start to discover the history and histrionics that laid the foundation of this place. Nearby is the first settlement in Rhode Island, which dates back to 1639. The settlement marks the beginning of a major 18th-century slave port city, and has the highest number of surviving colonial buildings in the United States.

Less than a mile away are several remarkable buildings surrounding the trapezoid town square. One of the most significant architectural gems is the Touro Synagogue, the oldest standing synagogue in the country. Its origin traces back to the philosophy of George Washington, who helped craft tenets in the U.S. Constitution. In his August 18, 1790 letter to the growing Jewish population, whose forefathers emigrated from Barbados in 1658, Washington planted the seed of religious tolerance and encouraged the Hebrews to luxuriate in their difference. This founding father wrote his letter after Rhode Island ratified the constitution that year, saying: “Everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree. And there should be none to make him afraid.”

Moreover, the founding father and the first president of the U.S. disavowed bigotry and persecution because of difference or otherness: He writes: “For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

After learning such rich history that gives meaning to the present, it’s easy for the bosom to heave with pride and love for country as the trolley makes its way around what is now called Washington Square, Newport’s first town center. And there you can stay for at least two hours to marvel at a place and its past. In fact, the George Washington Tavern is only a stone throw away from the synagogue. Now restored and painted burgundy with white trimmings, the tavern serves as a central meeting location for today’s politicos, business people and curious tourists.

Jennifer R Balch_4Also nearby is the first house of worship in Rhode Island, the Quaker Meeting House built in 1699. But the centerpiece of this tour is arguably the 18th century Newport Mansions. More than 300 years of America’s heritage – charming inns, a grand collection of great hotels, and iconic resorts, each with a treasured story to savor, celebrate, and share, including Jacqueline Bouvier’s residence at the Hammersmith Farm, a Victorian mansion on a hill that slopes toward the bay.

Some of the most impressive mansions include the Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, all historic Landmarks, which will be decorated with poinsettias and evergreens for Christmas at the Mansions now through Jan. 5, 2014.

Newport has long been a playground for the rich and famous with its gracious mansions lining the Cliff Walk overlooking Newport Beach. But for a relatively modest fee, visitors can stay at the Newport Beach Hotel. Built in 1940, the gracious gambrel-style inn overlooks Newport Beach. An indoor pool, whirlpool, roof-top hot tub, fire pit and spa services come with panoramic water views. Bordered by the famous Cliff Walk next to the crescent-shaped beach, the boutique hotel is close to the world-renowned mansions on one side and the beach cottages of the Esplanade on the other.

*****************

About 30 minutes from Newport is one of the most charming little cities in America: Bristol, R.I.

Bristol, the home the DeWolf Tavern, was one of the largest slave cities in New England. Like Newport, Bristol was a major stop along the Atlantic Slave Trade route. Ships sailed from that port to Africa and to the Caribbean and then back to New England, exchanging captured Africans or “black cargoes” for molasses, sugar and rum. In fact, Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, had about 30 rum distilleries, more than Newport which had 22 alone. During the 18th and 19th century, the DeWolfs traded more than 10,000 enslaved Africans.

Today, Bristol is an exquisite tourist attraction along the Narragansett Bay with traces of its past.  After a leisurely drive from Newport to Bristol, visitors will encounter red, blue and white medians in the narrow road that leads to the center of town. On the way is the first fine-dinning restaurant in the town, The Lobster Pot, where you can have an exquisite feast that is more than worth a stop to enjoy the double-barrel lobster, their Indian pudding or Jamaican coffee.

In search for a respite from the bustling cities, visitors can stay a night at the Bristol Harbor Inn, facingNarragansett Bay. The Harbor Inn is a boutique hotel near quaint shops and next to DeWolf’s Tavern, which serves a hearty English breakfast in the morning to visitors before they explore the shops along the bay.

For passing the time, sitting on the dock of the Bay brings serenity and can make anyone feel far removed from the site’s distant past, yet still reminiscent of its troubled history as boats glide along the bay toward the barn that once belonged to James DeWolf, head of the largest slave trading family in all of North America. That serene and hauntingly beautiful surrounding is now one of the most prized attractions in New England.

Knowing the region’s history and sensing its soul is only part of the joy that comes from a visit to America’s “most patriotic city.”

Photos by Jennifer R. Balch.

Visti DiscoverNewport.com for more information.

If you go,

STAY:

Bristol Harbor Inn

Newport Beach Hotel

EAT:

Lobster Pot

DeWolf Tavern

VISIT:

Blithewold Mansion

Coggeshall Farm Museum

DO:

Viking Tours of Newport

DiscoverNewport

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Newport International Boat Show Draws Thousands, Aims for New Customers


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

NEWPORT, RI — Want to go sailing?

While navigating the Newport International Boat Show in Rhode Island, you will often hear that question as boat enthusiasts inspect new products on the market or ferry over to Goat Island to purchase yachts ranging from $644,000 to  $3.5 million.

With its elegant mahogany hull and stateroom layout, a 70-ft Vicem Yacht named Truant is an exquisite eight-sleeper with separate crew quarters. For $1.9 million, you can cruise top speed at 28 knots—or 32 miles per hour. Afterward, Truant’s broker at Northrop & Johnson, Inc. will return it to a harbor somewhere in Connecticut.

This weekend, Newport Waterfront along America’s Cup Avenue to attend the 43rd annual boat show from Sept. 12-15, the largest boat show in New England and the “kick off” to the fall boat show season. The show, which features more than 600 boats in water, power and sail, is expected to draw about 40,000 people to the smallest state in the union. And it’s a 90-minute drive from any part of Connecticut, Boston and New York for a three to four-day stay in southeastern New England.

But there’s more to the boat show than checking out dinghies, kayaks and cruisers; Mantus’s boat anchors with aerodynamic technology; or serene settings close to the water.

The maritime industry is synonymous with New England’s history. Puritan settlers livelihood included. This tradition is passed down in many New England families, such as Tom Delotto, director of thee Newport Exhibition Group that owns and produces the Newport International Boat Show.

“It’s a good way to disconnect from land and enjoy the soothing effects of being on water,” Delotto says.

The Group also has educational programs for novices, including children. Scheduled program include Discover Boating’s Hands On Skills Training (HOST) series, which allow boaters to enhance existing skills or serve as an entry-level course for understanding weather forecasting.

There’s also “a big push” to penetrate the minority population.  Up to 10 percent of African Americans and Hispanics are boaters.

And Rhode Island has its reason to ensuring the show expands. That economic value of boating and recreation sales impact on the local economy is notable.  The total annual economic value is $121.2 billion, with direct sales at $646 billion. The industry employs 338,526 people. Like many industries during the recession, outdoor recreation decreased. Now, it’s on the rise industry experts say. And people are expanding and hiring.

Chris Perry works as a prep cook at Bello’s Cafe. On Friday, he was just sitting on the dock on Goat Island—on his day off—with his dog.

“I love it this time of year,” said Chris Perry, a Rhode Island native, stroking his cockerspanial, Pandoria. “I just like being down by the water.”

Well, the water is there all year. But, as Perry may have observed, the crisp air and mild sun caressing your skin while you’re sailing in the Bristol Harbor is enough to draw you down by the water this time of year.

ACTIVITIES:

43rd Newport International Boat Show

Newport, Rhode Island

Show Hours: Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

www.newportboatshow.com

1-800-582-7846

WHERE TO STAY:

Homewood Suites Newport-Middletown

119 Hope Street

Middletown, RI

Opened in June 2013

Complimentary hot breakfast 

 

Bristol Harbor Inn

259 Thames Street Landing

Bristol, RI

Eat breakfast at DeWolf Tavern

 

Newport Beach Hotel & Suites

One Wave Avenue

Middletown, RI

WHERE TO EAT:

The Lobster Pot

119 Hope St

Bristol, RI

The first fine dining restaurant that opened in 1929; it’s renowned for its seafood dishes

 For more information on lodging, dining, attractions, transportation and more, visit www.DiscoverNewport.org.  

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CT Oktoberfest Begins Thursday in New Britain


NEW BRITAIN —  Want to be a part of the state’s largest Chicken Dance? Or sample the best in German specialty foods from Frank ‘n Stein? Or listen to the sounds of Schactelgebriger Musikanten-even if you can’t pronounce this authentic German ban’s name?

Then pack a picnic basket this weekend and trek to downtown New Britain at the Connecticut Oktoberfest. Thousands are expected to take advantage of nonstop live entertainment, great food and German specialty beers in the center of the city Friday through Sunday, September 13-15.

Admission to Oktoberfest New Britain is free — this includes two stages of entertainment for the three days of the festival.  Secure parking is FREE in the three city garages.

The City of New Britain and the New Britain Lion’s Club is sponsoring  this event, with almost two dozen bands ranging from authentic German to funk, foods from the Frank ‘n Stein menu (many varieties of hot dogs and cold beer, get it?), and activities for kids, such as the Rock Cats Fun Zone, and on Sunday at 2 p.m., the formation of Connecticut’s largest chicken dance.

“New Britain will find its niche with Oktoberfest,” said Nick Augustino, the festival’s organizer. Augustino’s East Side Restaurant will provide the food and beer for the celebration, which will be served by volunteers from local churches and non-profit organizations, which will benefit financially, too.  Augustino, who has been contracted to host Oktoberfest for next eight years, said the festival will create long-term business in the city.

“I have been bringing people into the city with my advertising and billboards for 13 years,” said Augustino. “I expect we will see 12,000 people over the course of three days, and I’m prepared for more. Our forefathers built New Britain as a center for industry. Now, with all the highways coming through the city, I think we have the infrastructure to be a center for festivals.”

The New Britain Rock Cats will be coming to this year’s Oktoberfest, along with Petco. Petco will have a petting zoo set up as part of a “fun zone” for children. The festival, he said, coincides with National Dog Adoption Weekend.

Ann Pilla, volunteer and entertainment coordinator at the festival, said there would also be a gigantic chicken dance Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Nick will lead the largest chicken dance in Connecticut in a parade from the VIP area,” she said.

To check out this year’s  exciting lineup, go to ctoktoberfest.com.

 

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Fête the Fall Harvest in Newport, Rhode Island: Food & Wine, Fairs and Festivals


NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND — – As the summer sun starts to give way to crisp, saltwater breezes and the tree tops are painted in vivid hues of crimson red, brilliant yellow and burnt orange, Newport, Rhode Island enters into what many consider its most majestic season.

While Mother Nature shows off, enjoy awe-inspiring architecture, rich history, enchanting wineries, coastal charm, miles of trails, farm to fork dining and fine boutique shopping—it’s all here in the City-by-the-Sea. Some of the upcoming world-class events include:

The 43rd Annual International Boat Show, Sept. 12-15, 2013, is one of the largest in-water boat shows in the country. Held throughout Newport’s downtown waterfront locations, the impressive show is mariner’s paradise, showcasing domestic and foreign goods as well as a variety of sail and powerboats. Visit www.newportboatshow.com for a complete list of exhibitors and boats.

The Coggeshall Farm Museum 40th Annual Harvest Fair, Sept. 14-15, 2013, in nearby Bristol, unfolds at a living-history farm that depicts agrarian life in 1799. Activities for all ages including hay rides, face painting, craft-making, a chance to see the farm’s animals and hand-milk a cow, hay bale toss, sack races and other traditional games. Attend a cooking demonstration with farm-raised products, listen to traditional music and watch the Ladies of the Rolling Pin dance. See the work of Rhode Island artisans and enjoy local foods. For more information, visit www.coggeshallfarm.org

The 8th Newport Mansions Annual Wine & Food Festival will be held September 20-22, 2013 at The Elms, Rosecliff, and Marble House mansions, featuring over 100 of the finest New England restaurants and wines from around the world. One of the most anticipated food festivals in the country, guests will savor the opportunity to enjoy cooking demonstrations Food Network “Iron Chef” Alex Guarnaschelli and James Beard Award winner Michel Richard—hosted by Claudine Pépin. The festival will also feature a Sunday Brunch with Guarnaschelli, various celebrity chef appearances, seminars with wine experts, a two-day Grand Tasting on the Marble House lawn, a gala at Rosecliff and much more, all in Newport’s  most spectacular locations. Visitwww.newportmansions.org for a complete itinerary.

The Norman Bird Sanctuary Annual Harvest Fair, October 5-6, 2013, carries on tradition of family fun as it kicks off the fall with a local “small-town” festival.  Enjoy town-fair entertainment in its freshly plowed fields, a plethora of food stations as well as jam and baked good tastings, craft stations, games, home & garden competitions, and hay rides. A staple of New England fall festivals, the two-day Harvest Fair provides family activities all weekend long, including old-time favorites like Tug-O-War and the Mud Pit. Visit www.normanbirdsanctuary.org for more information.

oktoberfest-newportInternational Oktoberfest, Oct. 12-13, 2013, welcomes fall with the celebration of German cuisine, brews, and entertainment at the Newport Yachting Center overlooking the harbor. A celebration for all ages, this year organizers are touting Sunday as the designated “family-oriented” day. Visit the Biergarten to taste seasonal and international brews along with other American favorites. Also savor beloved brats, schnitzel, sauerbraten, potato pancakes more German cuisine.  Listen to traditional German music all weekend long in a fall celebration and reunion of family and friends.  Visit www.newportwaterfrontevents.com  for a complete list of activities, vendors, and musicians throughout the weekend.

The Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, October 19-20, 2013, celebrates autumn’s bounty with seafood dishes and live music celebrating Newport’s “Harvest of the Sea.”  Local restaurants and fishermen prepare their best dishes under colorful tents around the wharf accompanied by live folk, Celtic, “sea-shanty,” and blues music all weekend long.  Spirits, soft drinks, and desserts are all available, as well as seating throughout the wharf.  Come and enjoy many local restaurants’ most prized lobster dinners, clam chowders, “stuffies,” clam cakes, shrimps, scallops, raw oysters, and even some landlubber-friendly dishes. Visit www.bowenswharf.com for a complete list of vendors and performers.

There’s no better time to savor New England in the fall than during Newport Restaurant Week, Nov. 1-10, 2013. Enjoy more than 50 restaurants offering 3-course $16 lunches and $30 dinners throughout the week as well as the opportunity to sample new seasonal items from Newport and Bristol County’s most talented chefs. Cooking classes, walking tours, and lodging packages will also be available in conjunction with restaurant meals.  Visit www.DiscoverNewportRestaurantWeek.org for participating restaurants, events and special offers throughout the week.

Webwww.DiscoverNewport.org

 Photos courtesy of Discover Newport

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Cooking Channel Serves Up Recipes for Caribbean and Carnival Cuisines


TV WORTH WATCHING, Caribbean Cuisine — This Wednesday, tune into the Cooking Channel, as Kelsey’s Essentials features a “Jamaican” cuisine.  In this episode, Kelsey visits Melvin at Melvin’s Juice Box where he is adding the mouthwatering tropical flavors of Jamaica into his juices.

Kelsey heads back to her kitchen inspired to make Fried Fish with Carrot Escovitch using some of the same Jamaican flavors as Melvin.  Kelsey then meets with the queen of jerk cooking, Suzanne, at Miss Lily’s to try her hand at the staple technique of Jamaican cuisine.  Back in her kitchen, Kelsey makes Grilled Lobster Tails with Jerk Sauce and Coconut Rice.

KELSEY’S ESSENTIALS

“Jamaican
Airing Wednesday, August 21st – 8:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm PT

Also on Wednesday, check out Cuban cuisine on Not My Mama’s Meals.  Bobby Deen and his Cuban comrade, Sabrina Soto, are taking a stroll down Havana on the Hudson! They’re picking up some authentic ingredients for a Cuban inspired meal. Later, Bobby invites Sabrina over to taste some of his masterpieces. He makes his famous Lean Pressed Cubans and Cuban Cheesecake- Flan de Queso. It’s Cubano Nights in Brooklyn y’all.

NOT MY MAMA’S MEALS
Cubano Nights
SEASON PREMIERE
Airing Wednesday, August 21st – 9:00 pm ET | 6:00 pm PT
And don’t forget the “Carnival” theme featured on the Donut Showdown. Donut-makers Robert from Florida, Carrie from Albuquerque and pastry chef Josie from Montreal compete in a mystery ingredient elimination round. The final two standing have to impress the judges by making three donuts with a “Carnival” theme. The winner takes home $10,000.

DONUT SHOWDOWN

 

“Carnival

 

Airing Wednesday, August 21st – 10:00 pm ET | 7:00 pm PT

 

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Taste of Hartford to Begin Jan. 21


HARTFORD — Food lovers can sample meals at their favorite restaurant, especially those with good customer service and exquisite cuisines.

Thanks to the Greater Hartford Arts Councils annual Taste of Hartford.

From Jan. 21 to February 3, participating restaurants will offer special multi-course, price fixed tasting menus, including thier signature dishes for $20.13.

From dishes ranging from home-style barbeque to world-class sushi, Hartford’s finest restaurants prepare three-course tasting menus that showcase  variety of culinary experiences the city has to offer.

Participating restaurants include Black-Eyed Sally’s, Casa Mia Ristorante, CASONA, City Steam Brewery and Café, Costa del Sol,  Hot Tomato’s, The Royal Masala,  and Tisane Euro Asian Cafe.

Interested food connoisseurs can visit TasteHartford.com for the most up to date list.

 

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Stellar Performances From Beres, Maxi, Shaggy and UB40 at Historic Reggae Concert


By Anthony Turner, Contributor

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — As the reggae thirsty crowd from the tri-satate area slowly filed out of the arena at 12:05 a.m. early Wednesday morning, their excitement for the concert’s solid lineup was palpable.

The newly minted Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn was the venue for the Sounds of Reggae Concert on 12.12.12 with headliners Beres Hammond, Ali Campbell, Shaggy and Maxi Priest.  And what a smasher it was. Jay-Z and the incomparable Barbara Streisand are just a few of the marquee stars who have played sold out dates at the new facility that is now home for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Maxi, who got the concert started threw down a glittering performance for more than 10,000 screaming fans in a glam-filled coming-out reggae party. His energy ricocheted throughout the jam-packed venue as the legendary reggae crooner belted out classic hits like “How It Feel To Be Loved,” “Just A Bit Longer” “Wide Wide World,” “I Believe In Love” and “She Gives Me Love.” Maxi was later joined by NJ based dj Beniton who lite up the stage, partnering with him on crossover hits ‘House Call” and “Jamaica Nice.”

ISHAGGY - Ajamu photot was a homecoming party of sorts for international reggae star Shaggy, who at one time called Brooklyn home. Performing with his long time friends from the area Rayvon and Red Fox, the former US Marine demanded the entire arena get on their feet during his energetic set and fans obediently obliged, danced up a storm for the duration of his performance. Shaggy’s set was spiced with all his big hits and more including ‘Mr. Boombastic,’ ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ ‘Big Up,’ ‘Angel,’ ‘Church Heathen’ and the ballad Strength of A Woman that he dedicated to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller who celebrated her birthday last Wednesday.

Reggae singer Beres Hammond, who made a scheduled stop at NBC’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots band prior to his performance, had the women in the palm of his hands from the moment he crooned his first note. The Grammy-nominated reggae hit maker could do no wrong as he reeled of hit songs from his catalogue including ‘Step Aside,’ ‘Putting Up Resistance,’ ‘Come Back Home,’ ‘Give Thanks,’ ‘Doctors Orders’ and ‘Rockaway.’ 90 minutes later when the sweat drench singer made his way off stage, the consensus was he was the “Boss” for the night.

BERES HAMMOND - Ajamu photoHaving Ali Campbell close a reggae concert in downtown Brooklyn could have been a dismal disaster. Campbell, being the consummate performer, pushed those concerns aside. While he did not enjoy the same crowd support that Beres or Shaggy enjoyed, he certainly made a good first impression and connected with fans as he belted out ‘Would I Lie To You,’ ‘Running Free’ and the curtain closer ‘Red Red Wine.’

Earlier, Ann-Marie Grant, Executive Director of the American Friends of the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) organization accepted a $10,000 donation from title sponsor BioLife for the University of the West Indies Scholarship fund.

Also present at the concert was the Hon. Herman LaMont, Consul General of Jamaica, New York who endorsed the event. Promoter George Crooks and his hardworking team at Jammins Entertainment must be congratulated for producing one of the biggest reggae concert for 2012 inside the tri-state area.

Photo Credit – Ajar

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