Monday, January 31, 2011

Hartford from Above

This is the City of Hartford as seen from the airplane from which I took yesterday's photos.  We are looking northwest.  The high rise buildings are Hartford's downtown.  The Connecticut River is snaking its way past the city.

The Charter Oak Bridge is the southernmost bridge, in the foreground, connecting US Route 91 northbound with US Route 84 eastbound.  Travelers between New York and Boston would usually use this bridge to by-pass the city's traffic.

The middle bridge is the Founders Bridge.  It brings commuters living east of the Connecticut River into downtown Hartford in the morning and back home in the afternoon.

The northernmost bridge is the Bulkeley Bridge, which carries US Route 84 through the city.

Most of this area doesn't flood in the spring, although there is a riverfront park on the Hartford side that was designed to withstand "wet feet" in the spring.  The park starts south of the Founders Bridge and runs north of the Bulkeley Bridge

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Connecticut River Valley

The Connecticut River Valley is very fertile.  The river overflows its banks in the spring, as the snowpack in Vermont and New Hampshire melts and raises the river level.  That brings a new supply of silt to the fields adjoining the river.

These photos were taken on a plane arriving at Bradley International Airport, which serves Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.  We are about ten to fifteen miles north of Hartford, looking due south.  I think at this point East Windsor is on the left (east of the river) and Windsor is on the right (west of the river).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Avon Old Farms

The Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut, has a unique rustic architecture.  It would be as comfortable in rural England as in a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut.

The architect of many buildings at Avon Old Farms was Theodate Pope Riddle, who was featured in a post from December.

The school is a boarding school for boys in grades 9 through 12.  The best known alumnus, at least to me, is Brian Leetch, who played hockey on three Olympic teams and had an illustrious 18-year National Hockey League career.  Leetch was with the New York Rangers for most of that time and has been called the best American-born hockey player of all-time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Quaker Diner

Quaker Diner was introduced to you yesterday through my daughter Susie's photos.  She took a couple of nice reflection photos, too.

If you would like to see more reflection photos, James from Newtown Area Photos hosts Weekend Reflections every Friday.

You can see more of Susie's photographs on Flickr.  She has many wonderful photographs, including photos taken on her six-month long trip in 2008 to South America, South Africa and India.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quaker Diner

Quaker Diner is on Park Road in West Hartford.  It is one of those wonderful and quaint old diners that only the locals frequent. 

My daughter Susie wanted to have breakfast at Quaker Diner when she visited Hartford a few weeks ago. She brought her camera along.

Thursday is Food for Thoughts on Barcelona Daily Photo. Go take a look at other food-related posts.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Watch Out For Icicles!

 This is a tricky time of the year to be walking up to the front door of a house.  Look up!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

West End

I think this qualifies for Ruby Tuesday

The bright red building is The Spigot, an old-fashioned neighborhood bar.  The West End of Hartford was developed mainly in the 1880 - 1930 time period.  It is loaded with marvelous late Victorian and Colonial Revival buildings.

When I took this photo, the temperature was about 4 degrees Fahrenheit.  One thing about winter in New England, though, is that even when it is cold, the sky is usually blue, which makes it OK.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Surprise at the Old State House

A two-headed calf?

A museum of oddities occupied the top floor of the State House back in 1800.  A featured oddity was a calf with two heads.

When the Old State House was renovated, they recreated the exhibitions of the museum.  A farmer in Michigan donated this two-headed calf to the exhibition, to replace the long-lost original two-headed calf.

So, does the seat of government in your state or country have anything stuffed and two-faced?  Other than the legislators?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hartford State House

Yesterday I showed you the Hartford State House as it looks now.  This is how it looked in 1815, when it was about 20 years old. 

In the 196 years since this pottery was made in England, the most noticeable difference in the Old State House building is the addition of a cupola and clock tower.  Plus, the many tall office buildings that now surround it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old State House

I have shown the Old State House before, both because I like the building and because it is a central part of downtown Hartford.  I thought I would show it again today in a different season and in black and white. (One end of State House Square, which I featured yesterday, is at the right, with the glass conservatory and the ING highrise.)

The Weekend in Black and White shows other black and white photos. Take a look.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Reflections: State House Square

State House Square is one of the modern structures facing Hartford's Old State House in the downtown.  It incorporates some old facades, but it is mainly modern highrise construction with an eclectic combination of architectural elements.

To see other bloggers' contributions to Weekend Reflections hosted by James at Newtown Area Photo, click here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


This is the last of Susie's photographs for this week.  I need to get back on tomorrow before the blog's management kicks me off.

Harmony is the name of a metal sculpture that sits in a small pond in Hartford's Bushnell Park.  In the summer two near-by fountains spray water high, and an antique carrousel pumps out its melodies.  In the winter, Harmony sits quietly, while it rests up and contemplates.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Guest Photographer: Bushnell Benches

My daughter Susie lives in London these days.  She grew up in Hartford and was back in Hartford last week.  She has offered some photographs for this blog.

I missed the storm last week that added a lot of fresh snow to the snow that was already on the ground, but Susie was there soon after.  Some of you outside the snowbelt wanted to see what it looks like these days in Hartford.

Here you see benches in Bushnell Park in downtown Hartford.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Out-of-Town: Looking at You

I was in southwest Florida this past weekend. There was a really good outdoor art show at the Bonita Bay Promenade.

Marc Sijan is a Wisconsin artist who makes life-size ultra-realistic sculptures from polyester resin.  People stand and stare.  It is hard not reaching out to touch the figures, just to be sure. 

It is also pretty hard finding a moment when the figures aren't crowded by people, to take a photo.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I like action or mystery or detective novels in which the place is as much a character as the protagonist.

Dennis Lehane's and Robert Parker's gritty Boston (hi, Clueless) shares the stage with Patrick Kenzie and Spenser.  Commissioner Guido Brunetti prowls the backways of Donna Leon's Venice.  Mitch Rapp and Doc Ford travel the world tracking down bad guys, but they are anchored in Vince Flynn's Washington and Randy Wayne White's Sanibel Island.

And could Myron Bolitar from Harlan Coben's novels live anywhere other than New Jersey?  Or could Archer Mayor set his Detective Joe Gunther anywhere other than in Brattleboro, Vermont (hi, Brattcat)?

There is no detective series set in Hartford.  I need to start writing.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stanley-Whitman House

The Stanley-Whitman House is a house museum in Farmington village.  It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

The house is a classic New England saltbox form, and it has a classic stone wall along the street.  This would have been the good life in the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Boat Building

I showed the headquarters of the Phoenix Insurance Companies -- known locally as the boat building -- in September.

It seems almost too easy bouncing some nearby office buildings off the boat building's sensuous curved surface for Weekend Reflections.  I should be ashamed.  (But it IS pretty, isn't it?)

If you like to see shots of other reflections, you can find more of them at James' blog Newtown Area Photo every Friday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hartford Times

The Hartford Times was a newspaper that ceased publication 35 years ago. It was published in a classical building in downtown Hartford. Only the facade remains.

The building is in an area that has been undergoing major redevelopment with a lot of funding from the State of Connecticut. At one point the local art museum -- the Wadsworth Atheneum -- was going to take the building over and make an administrative office out of it in order to free up more exhibition space in its main building across the street.

But, that deal fell through and the economic downturn has put other possibilities on the shelf. Until the economic environment resumes, the shell of the Hartford Times building stands as an abandoned hulk.

I am out of town this week, so I don't have new snow photos from the big storm.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bacchus and Infant Faun

This is part of a late 19th century sculpture by Frederick MacMonnies, on exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

There is something exuberant about Bacchus' expression that I like.  The faun does not seem happy to be in Bacchus' clutches.  That should bother me.

(Subsequent note:  This is actually Bacchante and the infant Faun.  In response to comments, I re-checked the label next to the statue, which I had also photographed.  I had wondered why Bacchus seemed so feminine . . . )

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


A wall in an exhibition room in the Old Hartford State House is decorated by the faces of current and past Hartford citizens, some famous and some just regular folks.

Here is a quiz.  Which face belongs to Eddie Perez, the former Hartford mayor who was convicted of curruption last summer and is now getting ready to serve a three year federal prison term?

Hint:  Look for a smiling male face directly above one of those red squares.

Monday, January 10, 2011

UConn Law School

The University of Connecticut School of Law is in Hartford's West End.

UConn's colors are blue and white.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Bridges: Gateway to Hartford

Commuters driving into downtown Hartford from the West get this view weekdays approaching the city on Asylum Avenue where it merges with Farmington Avenue.

This photograph was taken on a Sunday morning in November, so there was little traffic.

Drivers going into Hartford pass under the bridge at the lower left of the picture, carrying U. S. Route 84 over Asylum Avenue.  To see photographs of other bridges on Sundays, visit San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Katharine Hepburn at One Degree of Separation

The actress Katharine Hepburn grew up in Hartford and maintained ties to Hartford and Connecticut through her long life.

Hepburn's sister Marion Hepburn Grant lived in this West Hartford house for decades, down the street from where I live.  Hepburn frequently visited for holidays. 

In her old age, Katharine Hepburn was in a serious automobile accident.  She spent months recovering in this home under the care of her sister and brother-in-law. 

I looked often but never saw her there.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Drunken Windows

Maybe it is just me, but I find it interesting how the seemingly flat glass walls of modern skyscrapers bounce reflections around.

For more Weekend Reflections, click here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Mozzicato is an Italian bakery on Franklin Avenue in Hartford.  They bake all sorts of wonderful cookies, cupcakes, cakes, etc.  The retail space is only one room.  It is busy most days and packed on weekends and holidays.

Take a look at Barcelona Daily Photo to see more food-related blogs as part of their Thursday's Food for Thought.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Rose Garden

Elizabeth Park's rose gardens are the oldest municipal rose gardens in the country. 

They are gloriously colorful and fragrant in June and July.  In fact, my first post on this blog in July 2010 was from the rose garden.

But, I visited the rose garden in late December, the day after the blizzard, and they had a certain quiet beauty even then.

A photo of the arches and gazebo in the summer is here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Barn in Late Afternoon

Isn't the amber light in the late afternoon wonderful?  This photo was taken the day after Christmas, before the blizzard hit.

I also like the simple painting of grapes on the wall.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Lane Bridge

This is an abandoned one lane bridge across the Farmington River between Simsbury's main street and its quiet neighborhood, Weatogue.  It is now used by pedestrians and biyclists.

This photo was taken the last week of December, just before the blizzard hit after Christmas and altered the landscape for a while.  I think I will post this today and another one tomorrow, before we forget what it is like in early winter before the snow flies.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bridge in Elizabeth Park

This was taken last week, soon after the blizzard ended.

Click here to see other Sunday Bridges from around the world.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Photo of the Year 2010

This blog was started in July.  I am still learning. 

Most of the really good photography in 2010 belongs to the other CDP bloggers, not me.

But, here is one that I think I got right.

It was for Weekend Reflections in November.  I liked the composition, the setting, the stillness of the water, the vertical lines, the black-and-white feeling of a gloomy and overcast day, and the few red and blue highlights that sneaked into the picture.

City Daily Photo's Theme Day for January is "Photo of the Year 2010."  We should see some wonderful photography on CDP blogs today!  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants