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By Rebecca Lurye
Before the weather takes a turn for the chilly, Parkville is giving Hartford one more chance to celebrate summer with all of the food, music and arts the offbeat neighborhood is known for.
The free community block party will take place Saturday along Arbor and Park streets and Bartholomew Avenue, a couple short blocks that have become the creative center of Parkville, one of Hartford’s smallest and most diverse neighborhoods.
Area businesses, nonprofits and artists organized the party to showcase the various cultural events they’ve introduced to Hartford over the past few years, from the KNOW GOOD Market food truck festival held monthly between April and November, to a bohemian tag sale curated by local vendors, to Cultura Negrita, an occasional dance party that celebrates the city’s Afro-Latin culture.
It’s all part of the community’s effort to advertise this sliver of Parkville as the arts district of Hartford, a place where old industrial warehouses have been transformed into not only high-end lofts for rent, but business incubators, a brewery and dozens of professional artists’ studio spaces, workshops and storefronts.
Here’s what you’ll see at Saturday’s block party:
Bohemian Tag Sale, Open Doors And Dancing At 56 Arbor
This artist-curated rummage sale and marketplace goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 56 Arbor St.
Advertised as “one of the hippest, most happening tag sales you’ll ever experience,” it’s a regular event put on by Tainted Inc., a beauty-and-creative collective.
The business combines a beauty salon with dance classes, self-defense instruction and other community programs, like the Sit-and-Steep series that invites members of the public to share discussions and debates around cups of local tea.
Many of Saturday’s events take place at 56 Arbor St., part of the former factory complex of the Underwood Typewriter Company, now called the Arbor Arts Center.
Real Art Ways, an arts organization that moved into the building in 1989, will be opening its doors from noon to 9 p.m.
At 7 p.m., the block party blends into an after party that includes a marketplace, musical performances, fire and flow artists — people who dance, juggle and move with fire — and graffiti artists.
This is also hosted by Tainted Inc., the beauty-and-lifestyle collective behind the bohemian tag sale.
The event features two different dance parties, starting with the Early Bird Social Club, from 7 to 9 p.m. This is an occasional event organized by Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, the consulting firm behind KNOW GOOD Market.
Cultura Negrita, the occasional dance party for Afro-Latin culture in Hartford, will follow from 9 p.m. to midnight.
A yoga studio and photographer will also hold free programs at 56 Arbor:
Vasu Tribe Studio will be holding a free Vinyasa Flow yoga class in the grass outside the Arbor Arts Center at 10:30 a.m. The block party is also advertising a flower crown-making activity.
Vasu, a yoga studio and organic spa, moved into the fourth floor of 36 Arbor in 2017, recently celebrating its one-year anniversary there.
Along with healing arts like guided meditation and aromatherapy, the studio also holds a monthly ceremony around the full moon and daily free classes in Hartford parks, a series called Yoga In The City.
Commercial photographer Mike Marques will be holding two workshops at his business, Arbor Light Studio, in Arbor Arts Center at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The two-hour classes, called Plugged In, will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the process of a commercial studio portrait shoot, and a live studio lighting and editing session.
Tours will be available of the Hartford Flavor company distillery, located at 30 Arbor St., from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The distillery will then offer tastings and cocktails from 5 p.m. to midnight,
Hartford Flavor Company opened at 30 Arbor in 2015, with a line of craft liqueurs made from botanical and other natural flavors, like birch, cranberry, lavender and rose.
The distillery, which holds regular tastings and tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, is also hosting the block party’s Underwood After Party at 30 Arbor beginning at 7 p.m.
The after party is named for the old Underwood Typewriter Company, the factory complex that occupied the industrial warehouses at 30-56 Arbor from 1917 to 1969.
The historic building at 30 Arbor is also home to the high-end Parkville Lofts and numerous businesses, nonprofits, and organizations, including the Wheeler Clinic wellness center, and a machining and robotics makerspace called MakeHartford.
KNOW GOOD Market And Open Doors At Dirt Salon
Parkville’s regular food truck festival and marketplace, KNOW GOOD Market, will make an extra visit to Bartholomew Avenue on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The event, usually held on second Thursdays between April and November, brings food and drink, local vendors and music to the area around 1429 Park St., and 30-50 Bartholomew Ave., the former warehouses of the Hartford Rubber Works factory.
The open-air community event was first held in 2015, organized by Jeffrey Devereux, a partner in local consulting firm Breakfast Lunch & Dinner.
Hog River Brewing Co., located at 1429 Park St., will also open its doors Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
The brewery opened in 2016, in a space that still features two 30-foot machine presses and an exposed former elevator shaft from the old rubber factory.
The former industrial building at 1429 Park is also home to loft apartments and several other businesses and organizations, including Design Source CT, nonprofit business incubator reSET, and Caral Restaurant and Lounge.
Up the street at 1477 Park St., Parkville Sounds will also open its doors Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The creative space for musicians opened in 2017 in another of the old rubber factory’s former office and industrial buildings. Parkville Sounds provides rehearsal and practice space, instrumental lessons and video sessions.
At the same time as KNOW GOOD Market, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., tea samplings will be held at Ritual Earth Tea.
The loose-leaf tea shop is located on the the ground floor of the arts collective Dirt Salon, at 50 Bartholomew Ave.
Along with herbal and turmeric-based tea blends, Ritual Earth sells tea supplies, a variety of crystal and crystal-infused products, and some crafts by other local vendors.
The shop is open on Fridays.
Dirt Salon will also be opening its doors from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday.
Visitors will be able to peak inside some of the studios, shops and event spaces inside Dirt Salon, which took over the old warehouse in 2011.
Tenants include Anne Cubberly’s giant puppet studio, Witchhouse Tattoo, and Lowell Marshall furniture and housewares.