Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cary Smith at Real Art Ways

Cary Smith is an artist who paints geometric abstract forms.  His current show is at Real Art Ways in Hartford's Parkville, though December 12.

His work is well executed, but it is a bit cool, intellectual and unemotional for my tastes.  What do you think?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


This is an iconic New England colonial door from the 18th century, brought into an autumn day in the 21st century by some small pumpkins and seasonal wreaths.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Suzanne

Last Saturday I visited downtown Hartford for the annual Hooker Day parade.  Suzanne was also there.  In her left eye we see a reflection of Will Wilkins, executive director of Real Art Ways.  In her right eye we see the reflection of a photographer.

For more Weekend Reflections,click here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This is the time of year when families buy pumpkins, a tradional symbol of fall and Halloween.

OK, OK.  Maybe this photo isn't very creative.  But there is a rule around here that I have to show pumpkins every Halloween.  It's not my fault.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Patio Dining

Yesterday -- in the last week of October! -- it was 75 degrees in Hartford. 

So, we wanted to have lunch at a restaurant with an outdoor patio.  We chose Max's Oyster Bar in West Hartford Center.  It was a good meal and it was delightful to bask in the last temperate day this year in greater Hartford.

The Max Restaurant Group operates about a dozen restaurants in central Connecticut and western Massachusetts.  They are uniformly excellent.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Phelps-Hatheway House

This historic house in Suffield is open to the public.

I think this will end my visit to Suffield for now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hookers Day Parade

Thomas Hooker founded Hartford 375 years ago.

Every year there is a Hookers Day parade in downtown Hartford.  Any parade named after a Hooker is not going to be serious, is it?  No.

The parade is best watched with a pint of Guinness.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Fall in New England

This is another photograph taken in the historic district of Suffield.

I took one photo without the couple and two others with them closer and larger.  I decided I liked this one, with just a hint of pedestrians to provide scale.  What would you have done?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall in New England

Fall foliage seems to have arrived late in Connecticut this year, but it is finally here.

This is one of many scenes one could capture in the historic district of Suffield, a town half an hour north of Hartford, on the border with Massachusetts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Canada Geese

Dozens of Canada geese (regrettably) gather at the pond in Elizabeth Park.  They are beautiful birds, but . . . how do I say this delicately? . . . they are a bit messy.

Fly away, fly away, fly away home.

For more Weekend Reflections, click here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The dahlias are the only flowers still in vigorous bloom in Elizabeth Park.

For her 90th birthday, Glenna's family gave her a Nikon Coolpix digital camera and a digital frame that can store 1,000 pictures.  On Tuesday afternoon, she was out gamely trying to take her 1,000 photographs at Elizabeth Park.

I made a couple of portraits of Glenna for her, on her own camera.

When I am 90, I want to get out and take pictures like Glenna.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soccer (or Football to Many)

On Saturday, Trinity played Tufts to a 0 - 0 tie.

Usually I walk around with a small Canon Powershot point-and-click camera in my pocket.  This weekend I had my Canon EOS SLR with me, along with a long telephoto zoom lens.  I think I should use the big guy a little more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heublein Tower

Heublein was an alcoholic beverage company in greater Hartford. The Heublein family built this tower atop Avon Mountain, a ridge that divides the Connecticut River Valley from the Farmington River Valley to the west.

There is a short 40-minute hike up to the tower.  The first part is steep, then the path flattens before a final uphill climb to the top.  From the tower the 360 degree views are spectacular. 

Sunday was Tower Toot, an annual festival at the Heublein Tower.  The trails were crowded.  There might have been more people climbing the trails than at the football game I featured yesterday.

Monday, October 18, 2010


The runner is hurtling toward the goal line.  Touchdown!
Trinity beat Tufts 27 -7 on Saturday.  Trinity is in dark blue and is scoring.  Tufts, in white, is defending.  It was Trinity's 37th consecutive home victory.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Greater Hartford is primarily urban and suburban, but we do still have a lot of open space.

This is a barn in Bloomfield, a town immediately north of Hartford..

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wilde Building

The Wilde Building was an architectural tour de force when it opened in the 1950s in suburban Bloomfield.  Before then, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (a predecessor of CIGNA) was located in downtown Hartford. 

In the 1950s, CG built this new and very modern glass-faced office building on a huge suburban campus.  Moving the offices of a large company out of center city was unknown at the time, but, alas, it was just the start of decades of moving companies to suburban office parks.

The Wilde Building was designed by Skidmore Owings Merrill.  In recent years, CIGNA had moved many employees to other locations outside Connecticut.  CIGNA came up with a plan to sell off much of its Bloomfield campus for development as a golf course and condominiums.  As part of the plan, they wanted to raze the Wilde Building.

Architectural preservationists rebelled.  The building was saved.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Windows are Imperfect

If you aren't looking for reflections, you think plate glass windows are nice and flat.

When you start looking for reflections, you begin thinking, "Come on, guys, let's make and install those babies a little better, OK?"

For more Weekend Reflections,click here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


If the tree beside your front path were marred by a humongous burl, what would YOU do? 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale -- from Coventry, Connecticut, about 20 miles east of Hartford -- was an American spy during the American Revolution.  He was captured by the British.  As he was about to be hanged, his defiant last words were "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

Nathan Hale's statue has stood in a prominent location on the front lawn of the Wadsworth Atheneum for more than a century.  During the museum's current renovations, Mr. Hale stands forlorn behind a high wall, amidst construction debris, visible only to tall photographers who know that he is sulking over there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Red Umbrella

I have read that the Travelers' red umbrella is the most recognized commercial symbol in the country.

This red umbrella greets visitors to the Travelers' main office in downtown Hartford.

In the second photograph, electronic images of the red umbrella amuse passengers (i.e., travelers with a small "T") at Bradley International Airport.  As passengers walk past the umbrella display -- formed from little red umbrellas that look like peppers -- some of the passengers obstruct the beam of light projecting the images, causing the umbrellas to break up and reassemble in random ways.

If we didn't have flights to catch, some of us would stand there waving our arms for hours.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Freedom of Expression

I don't know about you, but I rarely find my personal philosophy captured perfectly on strips of vinyl.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Butt Ugly Building

If ever a building earned its name, this is the one.

The Butt Ugly Building occupies a critical location adjoining U. S. Route 84 as it cuts through downtown Hartford.  Unfortunately, it is on the wrong side of the tracks, so development has long been stalled.

The building is in deplorable condition.  The developer and the City have been wrestling over long range plans to develop the site and short term demands that the building be demolished to eliminate the eyesore.

Nothing has happened so far despite years of wrangling.  An article in the Hartford Courant this week reports that the Butt Ugly Building will finally meet its end (sic) in about three weeks.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Construction in Progress

The Albany Avenue branch of the Hartford Public Library is undergoing construction.  While that takes place, the construction area is fenced off, and the fence is covered by photograph-covered fabric with library themes.

Here is a picture of one of the photographs on the fence, lit so that the chain link fence and construction equipment show through.

This doesn't qualify as a reflection.  What is it called when shooting through a surface to show what is behind?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Gold Building

Not long ago, I posted a photograph showing the building that houses a downtown CVS pharmacy, bathed in dappled light reflected from the Gold Building.

Today I am reversing it.  Here is a photograph of the Gold Building, with reflections of the CVS building and some of its neighbors.

If you like seeing other Weekend Reflections, take a look here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Angel with a Tommy Gun

Here is another work from my recent visit to the University of Hartford's Joseloff Gallery

This is Jimmy Rhea's sculpture, Angel with a Tommy Gun.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Artists Collective

The Artists Collective is a multi-cultural organization in Hartford's North End.  It was founded by the noted alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and his wife Dollie.  Jackie played with jazz greats like Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.  Later, he became a faculty member at the University of Hartford's Hartt School.

The Artists Collective began in 1970 and has earned numerous awards for the arts programs it offers to minority children.

About a decade ago, the Artists Collective opened this new facility, designed by the Hartford-based architect Tai Soo Kim.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Joseloff Gallery

The Joseloff Gallery of the University of Hartford is a small gallery used for a variety of university-related art exhibitions.  The current exhibition is of the art faculty members' new work.

The first photograph shows Bob Calafiore's work.  The title of the group is Glass Arrangements, three digitally manipulated photographs of stacked glass pieces.

The second photograph shows in the foreground Matt Tower's ceramic work, Tea for Two.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Love a Parade

The Park Road Parade was held on Saturday.  Small-scale local parades are charming.  This is an annual parade that is produced just because the Park Road merchants and other boosters want to have a parade.

In a parade like this, we have firefighters and fire engines, fraternal orders, karate studios, high school bands and bagpipe bands, senior citizens, dance studios and old cars.  There are East Asians, Brazilians and Italians.  Blacks, whites, browns and yellows.  Pest exterminators and landscapers.  Teacher of the year and police officer of the year.  Dog obedience classes.  Balloons and clowns.  You get the idea.

A few thousand people showed up Saturday on a beautiful early fall day to watch the parade or to march in it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ryder Cup

This is a big golf weekend in Wales:  the Ryder Cup.

In the Ryder Cup's honor, here are three photographs taken at Hartford Golf Club.

HGC was founded in 1896.  The current golf course was designed by the prominent golf course architect, Donald Ross.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Art Walk

Art Walk is an annual promotion in West Hartford Center.  Merchants display the paintings, sculptures and other work of local artists in their store windows. The middle painting and its reflection are both reflected images.  The real painting is across the doorway that I stood in to take the photograph, out of the picture. I was amazed how clear the reflected images were.

For other Weekend Reflections, click here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Theme Day: Graffiti

This month's theme is "graffiti."  I was not planning to participate because, frankly, Hartford doesn't have much graffiti and what I see isn't very interesting.

But, Wednesday morning, I read an article about a "graffiti artist" who performs his "art" at an out-of-the-way skateboard park over Route 84 in downtown Hartford.  (The quotations disclose my biases, but, hey, it is my blog!)

So, I visited the park.  I thought it was pretty funny.  The City has installed neat plywood panels, painted white, at the base of some utilitarian structures (probably large ventilation shafts for the highway passing underneath).  This artist has decorated the panels.  It seems like pretty establishment graffiti, but I guess the city and the artist have achieved a truce.  They give him a space and he confines the mess to those panels.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants