Thursday, July 28, 2011

Community leaders hope for economic growth, even after closing of Little Tibet

Press Staff

MIDDLETOWN – The closing of Little Tibet marks the end of an era for Main Street, but community leaders are hoping the building can help usher in a new era of economic growth.

“Anybody who doesn’t think businesses are viable in the North End is thinking the wrong thing,” said Harold Murphy, the realtor who owns the building. “We really want to make it a progressive, healthy commercial space.”

For 15 years, Bhumba Drok-Sang owned the Little Tibet store in the building, selling a variety of furnishings and other artifacts from his home country. Drok-Sang announced late last year that he would be closing his business, and after months of seeing his wares sold, one at a time, the store closed earlier this month.

Murphy said it was because of Drok-Sang’s “stick-to-it-iveness” that he realized that the building is a viable commercial space.

Murphy said he’s owned the building for about five years, and knows there’s a lot of potential in the space. He’s partitioning the commercial space into six separate units, and said that so far, four of them are taken. The units range in size from 560 to 2,100 square feet, so renters have several options to choose from.

The rental space was just advertised on Friday, he said, and to see interest so quickly is a positive sign for the neighborhood. “It’s gonna definitely add new life to this section of town,” he said.

Murphy said the largest unit, with windows overlooking Main Street and Rappallo Avenue, will hold a food market, which will fit with what community leaders hope to see.

In speaking with leaders from the city and the North End community, Murphy said, he realized that a grocery store would be an asset to the neighborhood, especially to residents who don’t drive.

Bobbye Knoll, a community organizer at the North End Action Team, said that while Middletown has several large supermarkets, North End residents who don’t have cars had to take the bus to the stores, and it can be difficult to bring several days’ worth of food home on the bus.

“What is most import to us is a business that can be utilized by people in this neighborhood,” she said. Ideally, NEAT would like to see a grocery store that offers fruits, vegetables and other wares at an affordable price.

Knoll said the apartments above the stores are also important, providing housing to new and existing North End residents.

“It could be a really cool space,” she said. “It could be a great addition to the neighborhood. We’re excited to see what happens.”

Rick Kearney, an economic development specialist for the city, said that while the building is old, it contains modern retail space. Bringing new businesses into the space will fit in with a trend of development that has dramatically changed the Main Street area over the past few years, including the Community Health Center, which is currently under construction, the It’s Only Natural Market building, and the Rite Aid at the corner of Main and Union streets. When new businesses open, he said, they bring in employees and customers, who often branch out and frequent other businesses in the area.

“He’s obviously seeing the opportunity with the Community Health Center,” Kearney said about Murphy. “There’s a lot of activity going on up there.”

The northern end of Main Street gets heavy traffic from people coming in and out of Middletown, Kearney said, which makes it an attractive option for businesses.

“We get lots of calls from people saying that want to be here,” he said.

New businesses could be there very soon, Murphy said. He said some of the tenants hoped to come in next month and start renovating.

To go along with his plans for the space, Murphy gave the building a new name – The Pearl.

“We really think it’s the pearl of the North End,” he said. “We want to make it the jewel in the crown.”

Reprinted with permission of the Middletown Press

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Farmers Market Friday - join us!

The North End Farmers Market returns this Friday!

And we are pleased to announce that the Whey Station will be selling cheese by the pound from Cato Corner Farm (in addition to their delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches). We've received a bunch of requests for cheese so we're very excited this worked out! Make sure you stop by this Friday to try some. Yippee!

We also have the Hartford Bread Company as a regular vendor, selling a variety of yummy breads. As usual, we'll have delicious fruits and vegetables and a few special guests as well:

Three Sisters Farm will be selling premier honey produced using organic hive management, handcrafted soap, hand cream, lip balm, and beeswax candles.

Tandoor, a great Indian restaurant on Main Street, will be serving vegetable samosas and Tandoori chicken for lunch.

Raw Youniverse will return with raw organic smoothies to cool you off on a hot summer day!

North End Farmers Market
Every Friday July-October
Corner of Liberty and Main

We'll have fabulous live music by Jocelyn Pleasant, lots of delicious food, and a crafts table for kids. Don't miss it! Call NEAT at 860 346 4845 with any questions. Hope to see you there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

North End Night Market

A huge thanks to the vendors, customers and volunteers that made the first night market such a success! Buru Style was amazing...the whole evening made us all so glad to live in Middletown...

Music was sponsored by Oddfellows Playhouse, Green Street Arts Center and North End Action Team.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

North End Farmers Market - tomorrow 10-2

Hey everyone - hope to see you at the market tomorrow!

Our regular vendors will be there with delicious fruits and veggies and we'll have a few special guests including Crystal's Hoola Hoops, Honey from Three Sisters Farm, Chet's Italian Ices (perfect for the hot weather!), and lunch from Jerkfish Jamaican Restaurant.

North End Farmers Market
Friday July 22nd
Corner of Liberty and Main Street
NEAT at 860 346 4845 for more info

Enjoy these photos from Summer 2011!!!!


The City of Middletown has just released important information for dealing with the upcoming heatwave. Fire Hydrants, Cooling Centers, Alternate Relief Measures and Precautionary measures are outlined below.
  • The Highlands Crescent Drive bus stop from 12 P.M. – 4 P.M.
  • Maplewood Terrace from 12 P.M. – 3 P.M. and 6 P.M. – 8 P.M.
  • Julia Terrace from 12 P.M. – 3 P.M. and 6 P.M. – 8 P.M.
  • Macdonough School (Pease Ave) from 12 P.M. – 3 P.M. and 6 P.M. – 8 P.M.
  • Snow School from 12 P.M. – 3 P.M. and 6 P.M. – 8 P.M.
  • Middletown City Hall Council Chambers located at 245 DeKoven Drive. The Council Chambers will be open Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
  • Middletown Police Department Community Room, 222 Main Street, which will be daily around the clock
  • The Russell Library located at 123 Broad Street. The Russell Library will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 9 A.M. – 8:30 P.M, Friday from 9 A.M. – 6 P.M. and on Saturday from 9 A.M. – 1 P.M.
  • NEAT has passes courtesy of KID CITY for free admission for North End kids under five with their parents for today and tomorrow. If you are interested in obtaining these passes, please come to the NEAT office located at 654 Main Street. KID CITY is open until 5pm so please take advantage of this opportunity. If you have never been, this would be a great time to go.
City health officials state that although anyone at any time can suffer a heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others including: infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, those with a mental illness, and those that are physically ill with heart disease and/or high blood pressure.

The combination of high temperatures and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses such as hyperthermia and heat exhaustion. The most serious form of hyperthermia is heat stroke which is characterized by a body temperature of 105 degrees. Symptoms may include disorientation, delirium, and coma. Onset is rapid and progression to becoming life-threatening may only take a few minutes. Anyone in this condition should seek immediate medical attention. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of hyperthermia and may occur after several day of exposure to heat combined with inadequate fluid intake. Symptoms may include dizziness, weakness, and fatigue.

The best defense against heat related illness is prevention. Drink more fluids and do not wait until you are thirsty and wear light weight, loose fitting clothing. Stay indoors if possible in an air-conditioned place. Never leave anyone, especially children and/or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.

For more information call (860) 344-3482.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


LOCAL. FUN. ARTS. is HERE! The First Tuesday Night Market with Live Music from Buru Style kicked off this weeks North End Nights. This week there is more to come. This Thursday, July 21st Jocelyn Pleasant Jazz Quartet will be playing at the Luis Lopez Herb Garden from 6-8pm. After the concert, Green Street Arts Center will be hosting a Jocelyn Pleasant Reception as part of Green Street's summer series Women and Music. This will be another great night of music.

Monday, July 18, 2011

North End Night Market

Join us for our FIRST EVER Night Market!

It's going to be a rocking good time, with great live music by Buru Style, several restaurant vendors providing dinner options, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies of course. We'll also have a special performance by dance team "Team Taffy."

Listen to Buru Style at:

Double Dollars will be operating - so if you use EBT, WIC, or Senior Vouchers, bring em on down to get your money doubled. More info on our website:

Friday, July 15, 2011

North End Nights July 15th

The Farmer's Market is over but the night is still to come. Tonight, check out Shawn Taylor and the Wandering Roots over at the Buttonwood Tree from 8-10pm. Local. Arts. Fun. Is Here! Middletown's North End.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

'Absolutely Delightful' Farmer's Market Weather

Tomorrow's weather is expected to be amazing. Enjoy it by spending the day at the North End Farmer's Market tomorrow from 10-2pm on the corner of Liberty and Main. Enjoy the produce, food, music, drinks and activities that the market has to offer. Also, later in the afternoon check out Shawn Taylor and the Wandering Roots at the Buttonwood Tree from 8-10pm.

Check out tomorrow's weather here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Check out the Farmers Market this Friday!

Farmers Market returns this Friday from 10-2!

Outside It's Only Natural Market, on the corner of Liberty and Main Street

Join us for shopping, music, a kids' craft table, and special restaurant vendors selling lunch each week. This week we have Public Market providing a few lunch options, and Peter LaMalfa playing great jazz on piano, drums, and guitar with his band (from 12-1).

The North End Farmers market accepts EBT, WIC, and Senior Vouchers, and can get you more bang for your buck with our great Double Dollars program! Please stop by the NEAT info table to check in for Double Dollars and to learn more about great activities going on in the North End! And check out our website for more info:

Hope to see you there!

Some more info on our special guest vendors this week:

Public Market

The Public Market specializes in choice meats and fine Italian foods. We pride ourselves on

bringing the very best foods and recipes from our store to your kitchen. We have a wide selection of Italian specialties including fresh baked breads, desserts, cheeses, a full deli selection, authentic prepared Italian foods and much, more.

Crystal's Hoola Hoops

Crystal's quality handmade Hoola Hoops bring sparkle,fun and fitness to the Market! Come try out a hoop or two!

New Image Greenhouse - Hanging Baskets

Beautiful hanging baskets from their Middlefield greehouse

Green Street Arts Center Presents Women on Paper

Women’s Art Series: Women on Paper
Thursday, July 14 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Suggested donation: $10

Author Jamie Cat Callan returns to Green Street to present work from her latest book, Bonjour Happiness, which offers American woman advice through tips culled from her interviews with French women. This event, in celebration of Bastille Day, will be accompanied by an elegant reception. You will be able to share your stories as well as share in Jamie's experience. All ages are welcome.

Visit our event page for details.
Call 860-685-7871 or email for more information.

Green Street Arts Center Presents Whodunnit? A Two-Part Workshop

Whodunnit? Writing the Modern Mystery: A Two-Part Workshop
SATURDAY, July 16| 10:00am-12pm and 1pm-3:00pm

This two-part workshop examines work from Sherlock Holmes to Phillip Marlowe to Alex Delaware. Our instructor, Eric Lopkin, will cover everything you need to know about mysteries, suspects, forensics, and believable causes of death. You will see all the behind the scenes of being a detective, and discovering whodunnit?
For prices and more information visit our Facebook event page.

Call 860-685-7871 or email for more information.

Green Street Arts Center Presents Women and Music

Women’s Arts Series: Women and Music
THURSDAY, July 21 | 6 pm| Free

Green Street’s Teaching Artists and percussionist extraordinaire, Jocelyn Pleasant, will perform with her jazz quartet. The event is presented by the Community Health Center as part of their summer concert series; a reception will follow at Green Street. For more information go to our Facebook page.

Call 860-685-7871 or email for more information.

Green Street Arts Center Presents Women and Movement

Women’s Arts Series: Women and Movement
THURSDAY, July 28 | 7:30 pm
Suggested donation: $10

Two don't miss events in one evening! Visit the opening of a brilliant visual arts gallery show curated by Renana Magee and stay to empower your womanhood, bond with other women, and dance like no one is watching with Gia and her venusrising belly dance troupe- who will perform, teach and answer all of your questions in full belly dance adornment!

For more information check out our Facebook event page.

Call 860-685-7871 or email for more information.


United Way Worldwide and Bank of America are assisting those at risk of losing their home through foreclosure. There are 2 outreach events July 14-16 in Hartford (Connecticut Convention Center) & Stamford to help their mortgage customers experiencing financial hardships. Loan Specialists will review mortgages & discuss options for assistance from 8am-8pm. These events can provide assistance with possible alternatives and solutions that can help alleviate your stress. For more information in English for the Hartford event, click here. Also, click for information in Spanish. These links provide location, time and registration information.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Girl Howdy July 14th 6-8pm

This Thursday, come on out to hear some great honky-tonk played by Girl Howdy. Check out their website here for more about them: Hope you can make it! Concerts are 6-8pm, a great time to eat a picnic and hang out with friends in the beautiful evening sidelight. Spread the word! And please get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions about the series. It is a FREE event located at Luis Lopez Herb Garden on the Corner of Main and Green Street. For more information, please call 339-440-0532.

*Concerts are family friendly and open to all
*Dancing encouraged!

P.S. Two more concerts after this one - some great jazz by Jocelyn Pleasant on July 21st, and Latin Jazz by Nelson Bello and friends on July 28th.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

North End Farmer's Market July 8th

We're off to a running start! This week join us for the second market of the year on Friday July 8th from 10-2 at the corner of Liberty and Main.

Week 1 was an awesome success. The sidewalk was bustling with shoppers both young and old! We hope you'll join us again this week for another great market with music, crafts, and of course, fabulous fresh food.

We have great new things lined up for this year, including a kids craft area and the Double Dollars Program. Check out the new
market website for more info on these programs and for tons of other cool information!

Our guest vendors this week:

Sweet Harmony Cafe is a Middletown gem, serving delicious "inventive cuisine" from pastries to sandwiches.

Crystal's Hula Hoops provides hoops that are quality handmade and also beautiful. Come try out a hoop or two!

Mystic Hickory Syrup has a special nutty, woodsy, smoky flavor. And it's from Mystic, right down the road!

New Image Greenhouse brings us beautiful hanging baskets to decorate your porch, kitchen, or balcony.

*For more information on these great vendors, check out our official website.

Guest Musicians:
This week, enjoy the sounds of David Davis, a local music star! He'll be playing his favorites on saxophone, from R&B to soul. Feel free to make requests and dance along! From 12-1 pm.
Check out his website to listen to some clips:

Check out our KidsZone Craft Table!

We will have fun activities and crafts for kids to play with and explore. Bring your little ones by to make something cool!

Or, visit our North End Kids' Market!

If your kids attend the summer lunch program at the Salvation Army on Main St, they can walk over to the market and have $7 to spend on fresh fruit and veggies. It's a great program, and it teaches kids about budgeting, agriculture, environmentalism and nutrition. The kids market is funded in partnership with the Community Health Center and the City of Middletown Health Partnership Grant.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Green Street Arts Center presents Women Aloud

Women Aloud: Works by Jenny Lecce, Terri Klein, Jean Ann Wertz
Thursday, July 7 | 7pm | Suggested Admisssion: $10

How many voices can three women have? Spend an evening with strong women, shy women, funny women, wise women - and a few men! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll... sing along? Join us and find out!

Click here for the program.

Parent Advisory: Some material may not be suitable for children under 13.

Call (860) 685-7871 or email for more information.

This is a participating North End Nights event.

North End Nights: Friday, July 8th

Check out Local. Fun. Arts. This Friday, July 8th The Buttonwood Tree will be featuring The Bluebottles with Steven Campiglio from 8-10pm. For more information and a list of upcoming events, please visit the NEAT website at

North End Nights: Thursday, July 7th

Looking for something to do? This summer enjoy the North End Nights Experience. Tomorrow night at the Green Street Arts Center Women Aloud Works by Jenny Lecce, Terri Klein, & Jean-Ann Wertz will be featured from 7-9pm. If your looking for music, David Davis and the D-boyz will be playing at the Luis Lopez Herb Garden, 6-8pm. For more information and details visit or call 860-3464845. Local. Fun. Arts. Is Here! Check it out!

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Farmers Market Today!

The first North End Farmers Market will take place today, Friday, July 1st from 10-2 at 575 Main St., on the wide sidewalk at Main and Liberty Streets.

We have a great lineup of vendors, including the Whey Station food truck for lunch and an amazing Irish Band at noon.

Come pick up some fresh, CT grown veggies and fruit for the holiday weekend!
For more info, go to