Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Fondness for Blue


Homeowners recently installed a Little Free Library.  Many readers, lots of books to give away.
They put a pale blue chair beside it so neighbors could sample a book before taking it.
And, they placed two pale blue Adirondack chairs on their front lawn.  Nice.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Street Ghosts

Google Street View sometimes catches real people.  Artist Paolo Cirio finds some, then prints life-size images and mounts them where they were seen.  I found some in downtown Hartford.


Thanks, Annetta, for walking past a couple of times for me.  It made the photo more interesting.
(I also liked watching you walk.)



The installations were sponsored by Real Art Ways.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fred


Fred likes chocolate ice cream.  His mother?  Not so much.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chango Rosso

Chango Rosso opened two weeks ago at the street end of Union Station, replacing longtime Hartford favorite Hot Tomatoes.  The owners hired Wallingford muralist Arcy to 
paint this mural on an exterior wall under the train tracks.  


Noted Hartford residents Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Katherine Hepburn and Samuel Colt are illustrated.  Arcy did graffiti-style paintings throughout the restaurant.  I will show some next week.

Like murals?  Visit Monday Mural.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day


Happy Fathers Day.  My father John, a veterinarian.  The first boy has been named John for generations, alternating John, Jack, John, Jack, John.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Juiced Up


I spotted Jason in the window of a Hartford juice bar, Juiced Up.  Sorry.  I just couldn't pass it up.  Jason turned so I could feature his bulging and tattooed biceps.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Animals!


When an adorable two year old begins chanting "Animals!  Animals! ANIMALS!" it is time to pack the car and head for the barns at Westmoor Park.  Goats, sheep, alpaca, llama, donkey, horse, pigs . . . .

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rose Season

It is rose season in Connecticut.  Every year I look forward to their blooms.  They are beautiful.
Yes, they have thorns and can be prickly.  Sometimes they draw blood.  Still, they make life interesting while they are with us, even if rose season is far too short.


Since last month I have written about my son John's serious illness.  He didn’t make it. He was just too weak and in too much pain. Late Wednesday John's heart gave out.  He couldn’t be brought back. The poor guy never caught a break during the painful six week ordeal triggered by a diabetic coma and compounded by a severe allergic reaction to the anti-seizure medicine. 
John was only 30. At least his pain is over.

I am going to see whether wandering around and making photographs is a good distraction.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Elephants


On this day two years ago, I was in a South African refuge, confronted by a herd of perhaps 20 elephants that felt threatened by our safari vehicle.  Our driver backed away.  Fast.

For more photographs from nature, visit the City Daily Photo portal.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

John is Not Partying Yet

 Thanks for all of the kind thoughts and prayers.  John is healing but he is not ready for partying yet.

John is out of intensive care, but he developed a severe allergic reaction to anti-seizure medications.
So, he spent last week in Connecticut's burn center, with skin looking like a boiled lobster.  (Most has peeled off except for the worst arm, and there is no scarring.)  He is still at the burn center. 

John is very weak from five weeks in a hospital bed.  And, he can't swallow, so he can't drink or eat.   He is restrained so he doesn't pull the tubes out.  And, he is confused and has no short term memory.  But he is alive, with good prospects for a full or nearly full recovery.  Once John can eat on his own, off he goes to a rehab hospital.  

Keep praying and beaming those positive thoughts.  They are working.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Son John is Very Sick

John is 30 years old.  For the last two decades he has lived with Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes.  Four weeks ago John's blood sugars went low and he fell into a coma.  A friend found him.


John has been in the hospital ever since, with two long stays in the intensive care unit.  The poor guy has had issues with his heart, lungs, kidneys and most other life systems, and now he is 
coping with a serious allergic reaction to some of the medications he was given.

I have kept this blog going as my way of pretending that life is normal.  But, it isn't.
The blog will be on hiatus until John's situation is resolved and my mood lifts.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Capital Prep Got Caught

To settle desegregation lawsuits over the past several decades, the City of Hartford agreed to create "magnet schools" -- public schools with enriched programs.  Students are supposed to be chosen by lottery.  Capital Prep is the leading magnet school in Hartford, both academically and athletically.



Wonder why their academic rankings were the highest and why they won state championships in football and girl's basketball?  There is an easy answer.  A recent investigative report by the Hartford Courant and a governmental audit discovered that about one third of Capital Prep's students bypassed the lottery and were admitted based on their high academic or athletic ability.   

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aetna

Aetna announced a few days ago that in 2018 it will no longer participate in
Obamacare health exchanges in the two remaining states in which it is currently participating.


Aetna is doing well in the rest of its businesses, but it said its individual commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016 and are projected to lose more than
$200 million this year despite a significantly reduced membership.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Henry and Melissa

The Knox Foundation community gardens are across the parking lot from the
community building on which yesterday's mural is painted.


While I was photographing yesterday's mural, Henry was shoveling topsoil to use in his plot.
He plants a wide variety of vegetables and has a lot to say about the gardens and the neighborhood.


On my way back to my car, Melissa bounced happily up to me and told me it was her birthday.
So, of course I took her photograph and sang "Happy Birthday."  Wouldn't you?

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Universe is on the Side of Justice



Hartford artists and muralists Tao and Amy LaBoissiere planned this mural and led teams of volunteers in painting it on the back of a community building on Hartford's Farmington Avenue.
It is the third of three Hartford murals decrying violence.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day






Happy Mother's Day to the mothers out there.

And to those who are with their mothers.  

And to those who wish they could be with their mothers today.  

This is my mother, painted in the late 1950s by an artist in my home town, Dick Ellery.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Hartford Diocese Shrinks


Falling attendance at mass.  A decline in the number of priests.  Struggling finances.
All of these contributed to the announcement last week that the 212 parishes in the Hartford Diocese will drop to 127 next month.  52 parishes will consolidate.  26 churches will close.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Tobacco Barns

There are tobacco fields and barns near the airport in Windsor Locks.  On a recent trip I detoured.






(I put the last one through a filter . . . )

Back in 2011 I wrote about Connecticut's 150 year history growing tobacco, 
primarily leaf tobacco to wrap cigars.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Back in Hartford

I have been back and forth between Naples and Hartford for several weeks, but today I go back to Connecticut for the summer.  Most recent news in Hartford and Connecticut has not been good.
I am going to escape and show some photographs that make me feel good.


It is dogwood season.
  

 Friends and parents pay to "flock" the front yards of graduating high school seniors.
The proceeds help pay for an end-of-the-school-year party.


There was heavy rain one day and the azalea buds were tightly closed.


The next day azaleas burst into bloom.


A white dogwood against the further house, a Japanese maple near and azaleas below.


These days I usually return to Connecticut too late to see the tulips in Elizabeth Park, 
but this year I saw the end of the run.


A different way to look at tulips falling apart as their season ends.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Willa is Two Years Old Today


Willa is a happy, talkative, outgoing little girl.  Yeah, yeah, I am biased.  But it is true.

Happy birthday, Willa.

Back to Connecticut tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Consultation


Consultation, a 1991 sculpture by A. Joseph Kinkel, is in a garden at a medical office building
off Health Park Boulevard in Naples.  Yes, I have my annual physical today.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A View of the Sea


It is just a small, local, hole-in-the-wall restaurant along U.S. Route 41 in East Naples.
But, in 2002 an artist named E. Thomas painted a pretty nice mural
on the parking lot side of the building.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Riverwalk


A number of tourist-focused restaurants are on the west side of Naples Bay south of U.S.Route 41,
in a big (and funky) complex called Tin City that is ringed by docks and piers.  So far there are no announced plans to redevelop this area like Kelly's Fish House across the bay.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Kelly's Fish House

Kelly's Fish House is the oldest restaurant in Naples.  On the south side of U.S.Route 41 and the east side of Naples Bay, it occupies a valuable piece of real estate.  After sixty years,
Kelly's Fish House is closing its doors.  The land is just too valuable.



Kelly's Shell Shack is on the same property.  It -- surprisingly enough -- sells shells
and items made from or related to shells, like lamps and pillows.
It is closing, too.  A more intense development of the site is planned.



  This is a serious problem for local fishermen, who land and process their catch on nearby piers.
The developers promise that there will be room for the fishing boats, but,
while construction goes on, where do they go?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Homeless Navy Veteran


A man with a long, wild beard rode a bicycle.  I pulled over and let him catch up to me.
Only after I got home and looked at the image did I see his sign.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pickleball Popularity


Pickleball is becoming popular among young players because it is easier to learn than tennis.
The smaller court makes it popular among older players, who do not have
to cover as much ground as in tennis.




From all the signs and banners ringing the courts, it is easy to see that advertisers have discovered it.