5/26/2022 0 Comments
DRONE COMPANY EXPANDS AERIAL OPERATIONS TO OFFER PRIVATE CHARTER EXCURSIONS TO MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND THE LOCAL ISLANDS
Aquiline Drones (AD), a full-service commercial drone solutions company in downtown Hartford, has always prided itself on its advanced aviation experience. Founder and CEO Barry Alexander enjoyed over 25 years as an airline pilot, mainly as a Captain with his most recent assignment flying the massive Boeing 747 aircraft around the globe. Now, to keep up with the demand of anticipated summer travel plans for Connecticut individuals, couples and families, Aquiline Drones today announced the expansion of its AD Airlines division into private chartered flight service from Brainard Airport to several local island destinations, including Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Nantucket Island and Long Island, starting in June.
Specifically, AD Airlines, in collaboration with “My Vineyard Concierge” has started early bookings for private, daylong excursions for golfing, fishing, day-at-the-beach and sailing experiences on Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Nantucket and Long Island. Each all-inclusive package comes complete with pick-up and drop off, shuttle service upon arrival, primary excursion activity, to then conclude with a delicious dinner before a short and safe flight back to Hartford area airports.
“With mask mandates being lifted, and a staggering demand for outdoor activity, most Americans are seeking quicker and safer getaway options - even for a day!” said Tom Keck, AD Airlines Director of Operations. “AD Airlines is able to fly into a variety of smaller airports to create the ultimate daytrip for young and old passengers alike, without exposing them to crowds.”
Besides individual chartered flights, AD Airlines plans on offering complete daytrip packages weekly that will include pick-up from one designated location and transportation to Hartford Brainard Airport. Guests can enjoy a variety of exciting experiences including golf, fishing, sailing, and dining on each island destination. At the end of their adventure, AD Airlines will return passengers back to their centralized location.
Thus far, AD Airlines has developed eight distinct Martha’s Vineyard packages designed for men, women, couples and families.
Highlights of each are below:
About Aquiline Drones
Aquiline Drones Corporation (AD) is a progressive American drone manufacturer and cloud solutions company located in the financial district of Hartford, Connecticut. Through Aquiline Drones Indemnity Corporation, the company insures its continuum of products and services, as well as those of its partners and affiliates. Founded by CEO Barry Alexander, AD's core management comprises highly experienced aviators, systems engineers, IT gurus, military personnel (including veterans), and business strategists. AD delivers a vertically integrated blend of products and services. These include an aviation cloud for commercial drones, U.S.-based drone manufacturing, drone "maintenance-repair-overhaul" (MRO) services, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions for large enterprises and governments, a superior line of Spartacus drone products, a robust UAS training academy, and the country's first 'drone-on-demand' service enabling customers to order drone services through a proprietary mobile app. AD's full spectrum of technological solutions is widely applicable across countless industries and environments for superior, real-time data processing and insights. Visit www.AquilineDrones.com for more information.
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By Alicia Brown
Khaiim Kelly, better known as RapOet, does it all—he is a creativity and culture teacher, poet, artist, inspirational public speaker and even Hartford’s first city troubadour. In all he does, his community-minded spirit and exceptional talent leads the way.
Originally from New York City but now with deep roots in Hartford, Connecticut, Kelly is an international Hip-Hop artist known as Self Suffice. He has performed around the world with Pulitzer Prize poet Alice Walker and Grammy-winning MC Common and his positive use of rap music has been recognized by former President Obama’s Champions of Change, The New York Times, NPR and others.
The arts have always been a central part of Kelly’s life. As a child, he rapped in a way that he self-describes as “just sounds and noises” that eventually became words, then sentences that flowed into structure, timing and something more. This evolution of using words as powerful tools for learning in new ways has fueled Kelly’s mission. He loves making the mundane interesting, and helping his students transform challenges into understandable, consumable art.
“It isn’t the conscious, it’s the subconscious that makes it interesting,” he shared. “I take something people should know about and make it fun.”
Kelly fights for peace with words and lyrics and brings that passion to the classroom at colleges including Yale, Trinity and other arts programs across the globe. In a welcomed yet somewhat unconventional way, Kelly uses Hip-Hop to help students grasp concepts in a fun and engaging way. Central to his highly in-demand RapOetry Workshop and Rap ‘n Rhythmetic lessons “are alignment, access, and integration,” as he puts it. In other words, when the RapOet is invited to instruct or perform, participants can expect to be enlightened.
“It isn’t the conscious, it’s the subconscious that makes it interesting. I take something people should know about and make it fun.”
He teaches with his whole body and soul—something that’s evident to anyone who has had a chance to sit in on a class or be in his audience.
RapOet’s MIFT program—which stands for “Making it Full Time” helps artists and creatives get that “extra fuel for their rocket” as he describes, to remind them of the power of art in and of itself. A coaching program built for artists by artists, it focuses on turning “what you love to do into what you actually do for work”—words Kelly certainly lives by.
Among the many creative talents he shares with the world, Kelly also designs clothing and merchandise, which are available on his website. His favorite? Not surprisingly, his “Black history is the root of all history” gear.
In all he does, Kelly leaves an impressionable mark. While he could have chosen many paths and taken opportunities presented to him that would further his personal success at the expense of pushing positive rap aside, he has dedicated his life to bettering the world through the art of positive rap and poetry—he’s a true change-maker.
Find RapOet on Instagram, Facebook or his website. Kelly is available for speaking engagements, performances and workshops.
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By Sarah Thompson
When Tequanna Tyson was a little girl, she remembers her grandmother, a Southern woman, cooking all the time. Her meals were the epitome of good food. When her mother and grandmother began teaching her how to cook, she never dreamed she would one day have her very own restaurant.
During the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020, Tyson was living in New York City. She decided to pack up and find a new place to call home that wasn’t being hit as hard by the pandemic, eventually making her way to Torrington, Connecticut. That’s when she discovered that there were very limited options when it came to soul food restaurants.
“I was baking and cooking in New York City and would do festivals and pop-up shops on the weekends, but I never thought about having a store. So, when I moved out to Connecticut two years ago, I was driving a bus,” she shared. “I thought, let me try to see how difficult it would be to open an actual restaurant here where we can have soul food because there is none in the area.”
Tyson was on a mission to bring something new and fresh to the area—a mission that didn’t always come easy. In early August 2021, she opened the doors to Tequanna’s Soul Food & Sweets.
“It’s very hard to open your own restaurant. Especially having to deal with all the permits and stuff I didn’t know about. It’s a lot of money,” she said.
“It makes me really happy because you can tell is someone is really enjoying your food. It makes me feel really good and want to stay here and keep going.”
Plus, Tyson’s commitment to serving only the best food is one that comes with a lot of dedication and hard work.
“Everything is actually home-cooked, from cleaning the chicken, seasoning the chicken, everything,” she explained. “Nothing we serve is off a delivery truck and you just heat it up and it is ready. Nothing is pre-made.”
While her mother helps Tyson every other weekend with cooking for the restaurant, most days she’s on her own.
“It’s challenging because right now me and my mom are the only cooks,” she shared. “I have another job. I usually go cook every morning and then by noon my employees come in and we have everything set out on tables.”
She’s doing something right by bringing a great new option to the area. Tyson’s menu includes the best of soul food—BBQ ribs, pork chops, black-eyed peas, collard greens, mac and cheese, fried chicken and so much more.
“Everybody likes the food,” said Tyson. “It makes me really happy because you can tell is someone is really enjoying your food. It makes me feel really good and want to stay here and keep going.”
Her specialties also include desserts and sweets, like banana pudding, and she creates custom-made wedding cakes. Tyson also offers catering, and her restaurant has a bar with special drinks.
As the only female, Black-owned restaurant in Torrington, she’s faced some unique challenges, but those obstacles are what keeps her motivated.
“I keep going because of the people that said we wouldn’t make it out here because I’m a Black-owned business,” said Tyson. “Right now, I have so many people on my side—the mayor and everybody else—everybody just supports me a lot. So that helps me. They don’t make me feel like I’m not supposed to be here.”
And with roots setting in place for her restaurant in Torrington, Tyson is looking to expand her business.
“I’m working with other businesses to have a whole bunch of events and eventually some time in the future I do want to open another restaurant in New York,” she shared.
What started as a tradition in one family’s kitchen from generation to generation is now being shared for everyone to enjoy. What a delicious thing she’s done!
Tequanna's Soul Food & Sweets is located at 21 Main Street, Torrington, Connecticut and is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 12:00-7:00pm, Thursday-Saturday, 12:00-9:00pm and is closed on Sunday and Monday. Learn more on their Facebook page, website or by calling (646) 956-0221. Veterans receive a discount every Wednesday.
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* Food photos courtesy of Tequanna's Soul Food & Sweets