Saturday, June 30, 2012

Millrace Bookstore is Closing

Janet Owens has operated the Millrace Bookstore in Farmington for forty years.  The bookstore occupies a few rooms in a building on the Farmington River.  The building's main tenant has been the Gristmill Restaurant, which closed two weeks ago to move to a new facility.  With the loss of restaurant patrons, the bookstore's foot traffic has dried up, so Janet decided it is time to retire.  Miss Porter's School will take over the building.  Today is the last day . . . local book lovers can stop over to say good-bye at a celebration hosted by Miss Porter's.

Enjoy your retirement, Janet.

Friday, June 29, 2012


How often can you go up to a pretty stranger, tell her you like her thigh, and get a big smile? 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

The sunken garden at the HillStead Museum in Farmington hosts a series of poetry readings on Wednesday summer nights.  Most events begin with a lecture, followed by music, finishing with a reading by a noted poet.  Last night the musicians were the husband and wife team of Liz Queler and Seth Farber, joined by their son.  They performed songs she wrote, inspired by works of the noted 20th century American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Treva Again

This past Sunday, the New York Times carried a glowing review of Treva, a restaurant I have shown you before.  So, yesterday I went there to take more photos. 

The owner-chef introduced himself.  Dorjan Puka opened this restaurant eighteen months ago, after a dozen years as a chef with the Hartford area Max Restaurant Group.  The restaurant is small -- two rooms for dining and a separate bar -- and stylishly spare.  It always seems to be crowded.  In nice weather, they have outdoor seating in front, on the main street of West Hartford Center, as well as a more intimate outdoor patio behind the restaurant.

The food is Italian.  The New York Times reviewer drooled over the prosciutto and the pasta.  I have been to Treva two times since my post in December 2011, once having fish and the other time having a pasta dish.  Everyone liked their meals.  The Times review has reminded me that it is time to go back again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Painted House

We have lots of colorfully painted houses, but this one on New Britain Avenue in Hartford attracts special attention.  Maybe it stands out because it is at a prominent site on a main thoroughfare or maybe because of the unconventional color combination.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Free Golf Clubs

Where I live, the town picks up trash on Monday mornings.  So, trash barrels go out on Sunday night.  If we have something useful that we don't need, we put it on the curb early on Sunday.  Nine times out of ten, it will be gone before Monday morning.  Topless scavengers on bicycles aren't common, but this one got a set of golf clubs.  (Not my clubs.)

This image is a bit blurred because I was riding a bicycle when I took the photo.  Amateurs should not try this!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

University of Saint Joseph

Earlier this month, I reported that Saint Joseph College was becoming a university.  Several commenters asked to see the new sign.  Here it is, with the photo from the June 7 post shown at the left.  The new sign is a darker blue, the lettering is white instead of gold, the seal is now featured, and Connecticut has been added. 

To my eye, the design of the sign is stronger and it is more sophisticated.

I was also asked what the difference between a college and a university is.  I have seen different explanations.  A common explanation is that universities are generally larger, have a broader academic program, and often have several different colleges, such as liberal arts, sciences, engineering and medicine.

The President of the University of Saint Joseph explains it here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lena's Pizzeria

Lena's has been a popular pizza parlor on Park Road in Hartford since 1982.  I don't know how long this spectacular iron bench has been out in front of Lena's.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Senseless Violence

Hartford is experiencing another wave of senseless violence.  On a recent weekend, fourteen people were shot or stabbed and two died.  This is an impromptu memorial on Ashley Street, remembering a young father of two who was the victim of multiple gunshots.  The victim was a high school graduate, employed as a landscaper, and was described as outgoing, frendly and not a troublemaker.

Drugs.  Guns.  Poverty. Hopelessness.  It is a tough cycle to break.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


You would have a big smile, too, if you had just sold me four new tires. One tire had a slow leak and all four were original tires beyond the expected mileage.  Then I hit a curb and tore a tire's sidewall.   It was time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Volunteers are invaluable.  The annuals garden is planted in the beds where you saw tulips earlier.  One volunteer does most of the planting, but he has help from other volunteers.

Alecia is a student from Jamaica who wants to become a doctor.  On a hot day, she watered for hours to keep the thirsty plants alive until the beds could be mulched.  As gardeners know, mulch is magic, suppressing weeds, supplying nutrients and reducing the amount of watering that is needed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Don't the rose arches look great when they are in bloom?  You have to stand there and wait for someone to frame themselves in the middle.

Monday, June 18, 2012

We Got Roses!

No, this is not Elizabeth Park Daily Photo, though there are days and weeks that it feels like it. 

Rose Weekend is June 23 - 24.  The roses are amazing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day

Melissa dressed herself and her kids in white and went to Elizabeth Park with a friend who has a camera.  She wanted to have a photograph taken as her husband's Fathers Day present.

To Chad and Charlottes's father:  Your kids are adorable and your wife is a sweetheart.

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Best Seat in the Park

This woman and her parents were sitting in the shade of a large tree when I arrived.  They were still there an hour later when I began to leave.  I don't blame them.  This is a comfortable place to sit and a good vantage point to see what is going on.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Phoenix Insurance Company faces off against the Travelers Insurance Company.  Ying and yang.  Glass and stone.  Transparent and solid.  Modern and traditional.

Visit James' Weekend Reflections website to see more photos with reflections.