Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Min and I were both taking photographs in downtown Hartford last week.  He came to Connecticut from California two years ago and is still acclimating to New England.  He was captivated by the architecture of Hartford's modern and traditional buildings.  Min sells some of his photographs at art fairs around the state.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Max Chef to Farm Dinners

I have posted before here and here about the Max Restaurant Group.  Among the things I like about them is that they aggressively seek out and support local suppliers.

Max holds "Chef to Farm" dinners on site at some of their providers.  This vintage truck at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury advertises the chef-to-farm dinners that are being held at Rosedale this summer.  I picked up a brochure listing five weekends for these outdoor dinners at Rosedale, and similar events at four other Max suppliers.

To anticipate your questions, no, I have not gone to a chef-to-farm dinner yet, but I will.  But, I did go to dinner at their flagship Max Downtown restaurant last Tuesday.  Excellent.  As always.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Linda and the Teenagers

Linda was also taking photos at the Bridge of Flowers.  She is an artist who had planned to paint elsewhere with a group of plein air painters, but those plans went astray.  Instead, Linda stumbled across the Bridge of Flowers, became captivated, and couldn't leave. 

While Linda and I were at the bridge to appreciate the floral beauty, local teenagers had different ideas.  The water is great and they liked jumping off the bridge.  And, like teenagers everywhere, when a camera is in sight, it is time to strut your stuff.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bridge of Flowers

The Bridge of Flowers in Simsbury is endlessly fascinating.  It is an 1892 metal-truss bridge that became obsolete for automobile traffic and was replaced in 1992.  Starting in 1996, Simsbury citizens began planting the old bridge with flower boxes and hanging planters.  Today there are 48 planters and 32 hanging planters.  Sponsors pay for their upkeep.  There is so much community support that
potential sponsors are turned away and go on the waiting list for the following year.

Last year I showed the bridge after a September rain.  These photos were taken on a bright and sunny July morning.

Friday, July 27, 2012


This was way too easy.  Thank you, Starbucks.

To see more reflections, click here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sunflowers for Wishes

Buttonwood Farm is an ice cream stand in the eastern part of Connecticut.  For the past nine years, they have hosted Sunflowers for Wishes in late July, when their 14 acres of sunflowers are at peak.  A bundle of sunflowers goes for $5.  The proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which serves children with life-threatening illnesses. 

The fields of sunflowers are awe-inspiring.  The photographers and artists are out in force.  The ice cream is great.  The Button family is exceptionally generous.  As are the customers, who will buy more than $100,000 worth of sunflower bouquets this year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Real Men Do Yoga

Most of the people doing yoga were women, but quite a few men also participated.  (Not me . . . )

Monday, July 23, 2012


The first time 1,000 yoga practitioners moved to a new position and yelled, it startled me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Om Street

Yesterday morning, West Hartford closed two major blocks in the Center for an hour.  About 1,000 people appeared to do group yoga exercises.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Most of the construction around the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Hartford City Hall is completed, so Alexander Calder's Stegosaurus is once again visible without construction clutter.  Soon the Travelers Tower in the background will be encased in scaffolding.  It is the tower's turn for restoration.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dining Hall of Avon Old Farms School

When I visited Avon Old Farms School recently, I took a look inside the dining hall.  Wow!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hartford Times

The red motorcycle gave me the excuse to show the Hartford Times building again.  It is in downtown Hartford waiting for development to embrace it. 

It has been a long wait so far.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How Cool is This?!?

Is your house -- like mine -- overrun with books?  No more room on the shelves?  Stacked in piles on the coffee tables and lamp tables? 

You need to set up a Little Free Library, like the people on Concord Street in West Hartford.  Put some of your spares in it.  Invite passers-by to take the books (or leave books of their own).  The homeowners made this library from a discarded kitchen cabinet.

There is even a sponsoring organization, littlefreelibrary.org.  I like the red British telephone booths.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Faces in the Crowd

On Monday nights, Bushnell Park hosts free outdoor jazz concerts.  I wasn't crazy about the music, so I wandered around looking for interesting faces in the crowd.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Satan's Kingdom

Satan's Kingdom is the place on the Farmington River in New Hartford where people rent tubes and go into the river.  A bus picks them up a mile downriver and brings them back to Satan's Kingdom.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

All Are Welcome

You are welcome here.  You can't come in, but, yes, you are welcome here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Tradition of Craft

Until September 8, 2012, the Connecticut Historical Society is exhibiting recent furniture made by members of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.  (You got a sneak preview yesterday.)  The exhibition includes 34 pieces crafted by SAPFM members, paired with counterpart models and inspirations from the CHS collection. 

In the photograph above, the chair on the left was made in 2009 by John Rexroad, a craftsman from Killingworth, Connecticut.  His model was the 1781 chair on the right by Eliphalet Chapin of East Windsor, Connecticut.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Self Portrait

This chest was made in 2011 by Freddy Roman, a craftsman from Ayer, Massachusetts. It is a reproduction of a chest made by Thomas Seymour, a Boston furniture maker who worked at the end of the eighteenth century and the start of the nineteenth.  The original chest is on the cover of an out-of-print book about Thomas Seymour and his father John.

The chest is in an exhibition of current-day furniture makers who work in traditional styles and with traditional tools, currently exhibited at the Connecticut Historical Society.
See other reflection images in James' meme, Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Little Thursday Night Music

Blue Back Square has free outdoor concerts on Thursday nights in the space between Barnes & Noble and the public library.  The series is called "A Little Thursday Night Music."  It is hard for little kids and some unabashed adults to stay seated when the rocking starts!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The two men in front of me at Starbucks wore tee shots for the Laconia Motorcycle Rally. 

Chris, on the left, works at Pratt & Whitney.  John, on the right, owns a business shipping expensive cars and motorcycles around the country.  The previous week they had attended the Laconia motorcycle rally, attended by thousands of bikers from around the Northeast.  They told me about other bike rallies they attend, including Bike Week at Daytona Beach, and the upscale show of collector cars and motorcycles at Pebble Beach in August.

I would tell you how much money John has invested in a variety of exotic cars and bikes, but I do not want to make John mad at me . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Old North Cemetery

The Old North Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places.  I don't think it has been visited by a lawnmower all year.  If the flowers were in a meadow, it would be nice, but in an urban cemetery?  What a mess.

I am linking this post to Julie's blog, Traphophile Tragics, where the ghoulish among you can see posts about graveyards and other similar graven subjectss!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012


This attention-getting building is on Albany Avenue in Hartford's North End.  I don't know a thing about it.

Does this count as a mural?  I don't know that, either.  To see other real murals, click here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Marnie works with her mother in a New Hartford gift shop called Peddlers' Junction.  It is a cute place chock-a-block full of arts and crafts, antiques and consigned artwork.  Marnie is the young woman in black you saw flashing through the background as I took a photo of her store Friday afternoon.  (It is the last photo yesterday.)  Business was slow, so Marnie posed for several photographs.  She even put on this hat, on sale in her store.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Hartford

New Hartford is a charming rural town of 6,000 residents twenty miles west of the City of Hartford.  It looks like Andy Griffiths' Mayberry, if Mayberry had a hippyish edge and a faint smell of stale beer.
U.S. Route 44 runs through the town, providing not enough commercial traffic and more through traffic that doesn't stop at small towns like New Hartford.  The town has multiple churches, a small town green that hosts a farmers market on summer Fridays, and lots of older homes. 

When I stopped in New Hartford yesterday, several shopkeepers suggested places to photograph.  I like New Hartford but wish that business was better for the local merchants.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hartford Daily Photo is Two

Yup.  The first post went live on July 6, 2010, a week after I retired.  You need something to do when you become a man of leisure.

Thanks to the readers, whether the regulars, the occasionals or the one-timers. It didn't occur to me that people would actually look at the blog and some would comment.  How cool!

For other photos with reflections, visit James' Weekend Reflections blog.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The 1812 Overture always gives an orchestra the excuse to end a concert with fireworks.

Happy Independence Day to the American readers. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Celebrate America!

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra's summer home is a bandshell in a Simsbury meadow.  On Friday night, several thousand fortunate concertgoers ignored 97 degree heat to hear the HSO perform a variety of American works, from Copland and Ives, to Bernstein, to Rogers & Hammerstein and Sousa.  The concert ended with a rousing performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. 
OK.  Tchaikovsky isn't American and the music isn't about America.  Those are little details we prefer to overlook as the 4th of July approaches.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Recently I ran into old friend Tony.  He is a lawyer and lobbyist.  In the past Tony worked in state government, in a big company and in a regional law firm.  These days Tony works as a business lawyer in his own law firm.  This suits him perfectly.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Eight to the Bar

I have had too many Elizabeth Park photos recently, so I promised myself to give the park a rest. 

Then I remembered the free concerts on Wednesday nights.  Last Wednesday, the local group Eight to the Bar performed for a huge crowd.  It was like a circus with a main stage and many side shows.  One of my favorite side shows was the women and children working out with hula hoops.