Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fruit and Cheese

This wonderful fruit and cheese plate was served last fall at the bistro associated 
with Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut.

Infinity Music Hall is opening a new location for music and food on Front Street in
downtown Hartford early in 2014.  Construction began last month.
If our meal and our visit to the music hall last fall were any
indications, they will receive a hearty welcome!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Trinity Scholars

The doorways along Trinity College's Long Walk have the heads of scholars above the lanterns.  I took four scholars and made a collage.

To be honest, I have no idea how to make a real collage, so I improvised.  Don't tell anyone.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I Know This is Not Original

You have probably posted a photo of a passageway much like this, haven't you?  Equally spaced columns.  Lines converging in the distance.  Maybe the play of light and shadow?  Your eye was caught by the patterns and the geometry.

Me too.

University of Hartford, last summer.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Out of the Jurisdiction: Hoorn

During the Netherlands' "Golden Century" -- the 1600s -- Hoorn was an important harbor town in North Holland.  It is on the IJsselmeer, a large body of water previously known as the Zuiderzee until the 1930s, when a new dam was built to separate it from the North Sea.

The headquarters of the Dutch East India Company were in Hoorn.  Sailors rounding the bottom of South America named it Cape Horn after the town from which they had departed.

It was very cold here, too.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Out of the Jurisdiction: Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk -- or the Children's Dike -- is a village in the Netherlands that has nineteen windmills that once were used to drain the water from the low land into the adjacent canals.  It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The windmills are all in operable condition and are available as backups, but today most of the pumping is done by diesel-operated turbines.

This photo was taken at sunrise on a VERY cold morning in early April.

Like reflections?  Please visit James' blog, Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Out of the Jurisdiction: Antwerp

The painter Peter Paul Rubens was a native of Antwerp.  In the nearby Cathedral of Our Lady, two Rubens triptychs are featured.

Did I do something with Photoshop to turn the sky white?  No.  It was a VERY cold and overcast day earlier in April.  In fact, it was a very cold and overcast week.  Somewhere I heard that the temperatures were lower at that time of year than they had been in 160 years.  No wonder the Netherlands and Belgium had no tulips.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When a Pretty Girl Strikes a Pose for Her Friends

You have to take her picture, too.

Afterwards, I took some photos of her friends and her, on their cameras.  So I wasn't entirely a dirty old man.  At least not completely.

Amsterdam, earlier in April.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

18th Fairway

About 200 yards over water to the pin, to the left of the clubhouse, in front of that row of distant palms.

I think I will lay up.

Taken with my iPhone.  It takes much clearer photos than its predecessor.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

This past weekend the Conservancy of Southwest Florida celebrated its reopening after a significant renovation.  The organization began as an environmental advocate and now operates a 21-acre nature preserve next to the Naples Zoo.  Injured wildlife is brought to the Conservancy, where staff attempts to repair the damage.  Some animals are able to return to their natural environment, while others remain on display at the Conservancy's nature center.

This baby alligator is in an educational display.  When it outgrows the display, it will be transported to a larger facility.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Let's Have Peace

The Civil War monument in New Britain has a message that works for me.

Congratulations to the law enforcement personnel
for capturing the second Boston Marathon bomber.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Clock Tower

The cupola and clock tower of the Old State House are reflected in a nearby building.

Like reflections?  Check these out.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Children's Library

The children's floor of the West Hartford library should probably be shown from down low, the level where toddlers experience it, don't you think?

West Hartford is a cosmopolitan town, so the children's library has a Madeline doll and a small Eiffel Tower.  (Hi, Virginia and Genie!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Barn

The roof on this eastern Connecticut barn caved in during the October Surprise snow storm of 2011.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sweet Chilli

Sweet Chilli is a good little Thai restaurant on Park Road in West Hartford.

The recent series on Colt's weapons made some viewers uncomfortable.  The posts highlighted an important part of Connecticut economic history.  The state is home to many highly trained machinists and metal workers, who began with things like the cotton gin (Eli Whitney), moved on to things like pistols and rifles (Colt) and went on to current day products like aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), hand tools (Stanley), helicopters (Sikorsky and Kaman), nuclear submarines (Electric Boat) and a wide variety of other sophisticated products.  Whether you are for or against gun control, it is a topic that is in the news and Connecticut has become a big player in the debate.

Monday, April 15, 2013

An Exhibition Pistol

Last day from the Colt Collection at the Connecticut State Library.

This elaborate Colt pistol from the mid-19th century bears the mother-of-pearl bust of President Abraham Lincoln.  The sign says the oak wood for the handle was made from the Charter Oak tree, but so many things around Hartford claim that they were from the Charter Oak tree that it would take a whole forest.

This pistol was probably used by Colt salesmen to show potential customers the kind of embellishments that Colt could make for their weapons.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver

This Civil War-era pistol was named for the Texas Navy.  It bears designs honoring Texas Rangers.  If you click on the photo below, you can learn more about it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Governor Seymour's Pistol

This photo is not as clear as I would like.  Everything in the Colt Firearms collection is under glass so I had difficulty maneuvering to get clear photos without reflections and without putting my shadow on the subject.

Thomas Seymour was a personal friend of Hartford gunmaker Samuel Colt.  He was elected to Congress for one term, but declined to run again so that he could accept a commission to fight in the Mexican War.  Returning to Connecticut as a hero for leading a successful charge at Chapultepec, Seymour was elected Governor in 1850.

After serving as Governor for three terms, Thomas Seymour resigned to accept an appointment as the United States Minister to Russia.  Colt gave this pistol to his friend around that time, both to arm him and to provide a sample to help Colt earn business in Russia.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gatling Gun

Colt Firearms also made gatling guns, a Civil War and Spanish-American War predecessor to machine guns.  This 1894 gun stands in front of a vintage photo of the Colt manufacturing complex in Hartford (previously shown here and here).

Connecticut's new gun control legislation poses a real dilemma for the state's remaining firearms manufacturers, including the successors to the Colt firearms businesses.  It is still legal to make certain firearms in Connecticut but it is now illegal for the state's residents to buy them.  So, if Connecticut customers can't legally buy their products, but customers in most other states can, why should these firearms manufacturers continue to make their products in a high cost state like Connecticut?

A couple of Connecticut companies have already announced relocations of their businesses, and others -- including Colt -- are openly considering moves.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Presentation Pistol

Back to the Colt Firearms collection after one day to honor the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

This pistol was made in 1965.  It is based on a 1911 model.  The sign to the right of this pistol describes the ornamentation and indicates that it was presented to the President of the Colt Military Division.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it and read the sign.)

So, why does the State Library have an elaborate collection of firearms?  Because armaments have been a cornerstone of the Connecticut economy for several centuries.

Even though some categories of weapons are banned for purchase in Connecticut, those same weapons may lawfully be purchased in nearly all other states.  And, even if more extensive restrictions are adopted, there will always be weapons produced for the military, for law enforcement, for hunters, and for individuals who choose to own whatever weapons continue to be legal for citizens to own.

Where are many of those weapons currently made?  Connecticut.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UConn -- Eight Time National Champions!

Last night the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team won its eighth national championship, dominating Louisville 93 - 60.

Congratulations, Lady Huskies!

This is a photograph of my television screen.  Credit to ESPN.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Last week Connecticut enacted the nation's strictest gun control law in response to last December's gruesome murders of 26 students and teachers in Newtown.  President Obama visited Hartford yesterday to rally support for federal legislation.  People have strong feelings for and against restrictions on handguns and high capacity magazines.  While the topic of guns is in the news, it seems like a good time to show some of the items in the Colt Firearms collection in the Connecticut State Library.

Below is the entrance to the rooms holding the collection.  Above is a detail showing two crossed Colt pistols, taken from the wooden seal shown on the wall.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daytripping: Pittsfield Police Mural

This mural is one of a pair on a wall across from the police station in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 90 minutes northwest of Hartford.  It honors motorcycle police officers.  The mural was painted in 1998 by William F. Blake and Jay Tobin, directed by Daniel M. O'Connell of the Berkshire Artisans.

This post is linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Daytripping: The Mount

Edith Wharton was an American author around the beginning of the 20th century. She wrote novels and short stories, and she also wrote about garden design and interior design.  In 1902 she built The Mount, an estate on 50 acres in rural Lenox, Massachusetts, to demonstrate her design principles.  This photograph was taken from the Italian gardens behind the house.

Lenox is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  The Mount is open to the public.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Out of the Jurisdiction: Spirit of the Ocean Fountain

The Courthouse in Santa Barbara, California, was designated a California Historic Landmark in 2003 and a National Historic Landmark in 2005.  At the entrance was a 1927 sandstone fountain, the Spirit of the Ocean, by Italian-born sculptor Ettore Cadorin.

Sandstone is porous and the fountain suffered over the years from many uninformed restoration efforts. Two years ago the fountain was replaced by a replica, shown above.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Prudence Crandall's School

In February 2012, I told you about Prudence Crandall, a brave 19th century schoolteacher who briefly operated a school for black girls in Canterbury, Connecticut.  Her statue is in the Capitol in Hartford.  This is her Canterbury schoolhouse, shown in a photograph from last August.

Still traveling.  I will be back at the beginning of next week.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sufficient Grace

Sometimes I get confused.  Is grace being rationed these days?

This is a summer 2012 photo from Pomfret, an eastern Connecticut town.

I will be traveling until the weekend.  See you next week!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bushnell Hall

Bushnell Hall is the leading hall in Hartford for music and theater.  The red glass chandelier on the right side -- "Ode to Joy" -- is by Dale Chihuly.  It is 14 feet long, eight feed wide and 2,500 pounds.   This photograph is from December 2012.  It would have been my "pedestrians crossing" photo for the April theme day if I didn't come across the opportunity for one I liked better.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Saint Augustine

Barry Square, Hartford

This is one of a pair of towers on a Roman Catholic church dedicated in 1912 on Campfield Avenue in the south end of Hartford.  Barry Square is named after Father Michael Barry, the church's first pastor. 

I am traveling, so responses to your comments will be sparse until next week.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pedestrians Crossing

On the first day of each month, City Daily Photo bloggers participate in a theme day.  For April, the theme is "pedestrians crossing."  To see other interpretations of this theme, please click here.