Friday, May 31, 2013

Now It Is Time For Peonies

A pink peony

And white dogwoods

And early daisies

And the earliest roses

Thursday, May 30, 2013


He rode his bicycle into the Elizabeth Park Rose garden, set up a music stand, put a CD into his portable player and accompanied the music with his recorder.  It was quite beautiful.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


West Hartford has kids.  LOTS of kids.  Baseball players, softball, soccer, lacrosse.  Boy scouts, girl scouts, cub scouts, brownies.  Martial arts and dancers.  Marching bands.  

And, on Memorial Day, every kid marches.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Parade


Fire Department

Volunteer distributing American flags

Congressman John Larson

Monday, May 27, 2013

Daytripping: Commencement Weekend

Class of 1942

Class of 1948 -- 65th reunion

Class of 1968 -- 45th Reunion

Barrett Hazeltine

Professor Hazeltine has been on the Brown University faculty for 53 years as a professor of management and engineering.  He was given the senior class award for best teacher so many times that the university named the award after him and made him ineligible to win it any more.  Every year more than ten percent of the entire undergraduate student body signs up for his course on entrepreneurship.

President Paxson

Class of 2013 -- graduating seniors

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Daytripping: Gates

The Van Wickle gates at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, are opened only two times each year.  They are opened inward in September to welcome incoming students and opened outward on commencement to send graduating students into the world.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Daytripping: Providence

On a gloomy day, the Rhode Island State House watches over the city of Providence.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Garden Center

This is the time of year when everyone -- in the northern hemisphere at least -- is going to their local garden centers, to buy new plants to replenish their gardens.

Well, don't go here.  It is not a garden center.  The historic district in the town of Wethersfield has wonderfully interesting street signs.  This is the intersection of Garden Street and Center Street.  A different view of the intersection is seen below.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Associated Press

The current Associated Press scandal involves the Justice Department's seizure of telephone records of AP reporters in New York, Washington and Hartford while trying to track down leaks of classified information.

Hartford?  We rarely make it into the big leagues alongside Washington and New York.  Until this scandal broke, I didn't know that the AP had a Hartford office.  It is in the so-called Candy Cane building, Hartford Square North.  Why did I tilt the photo?  I don't know.  I just liked it better.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Not Cool

OK.  You have a nice old Thunderbird.  Good for you.  But, this parking lot is completely full and I had to drive around twice looking for a space.  And you take TWO of them?  Really?  Who appointed you master of the universe?

When I came back and saw the parking ticket on your windshield for taking two spaces, that made my day!  Am I petty?  Sure.  But it feels good.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Hartford Times Again

The Hartford Times building is a cool shell of a structure behind the Wadsworth Atheneum.  But, it has been empty for more than a dozen years.  Over all that time, the building had received only sporadic development attention.

But, now there are two contenders.  The University of Connecticut is planning to bring its Greater Hartford campus into the city and has invited proposals from developers; the site of the Hartford Times is one favorite possibility.  And, within the past two weeks a craft brewer -- Thomas Hooker Brewing Company -- let it be known that it is interested in bringing its brewery operations and showroom into the city, and it likes the Hartford Times site.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Too Big to Fall?

Recently I read an intriguing post by a blogger friend.  She wrote that old established suburban neighborhoods are often overplanted with out-of-scale trees, which were likely only a few feet tall when some excited new homeowner selected and planted them many years ago, unable to imagine a time when they would grow large enough to fill the space and then outgrow the space.

She advocates remedying the situation with chainsaws.  That got me thinking.  How big a tree is too big?  How close is too close?  Is there a point at which an unwisely placed tree has become so majestic that it merits a reprieve from the chainsaw?

Here are five houses in my neighborhood with big trees close to the house.  To make it simpler, I picked only Japanese maples, but to make it harder, Japanese maples are beautiful and notoriously slow-growing trees that might take half a century to attain a full size.  Which would you take down? All?  None?  Which?  Why?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Rich Rosenthal is founder and President of the Max Restaurant Group, which operates restaurants in central Connecticut (and Springfield, Mass., which is one good basketball throw from Connecticut).  The Max restaurants run the gamut from steak-and-expense-account, to fish, to Italian, to burgers.  Each is highly successful and terrific within its genre.  Here is a link to a previous post about the Max restaurants.

This is my first portrait since getting back to Connecticut.  I raised my camera to take the photograph when the sky was cloudy and the colors in Rich's face were even.  Just as I started to focus, the sun came out, made Rich squint, and split his face between harsh light and deep shadow.  I must be rusty.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

But Not the Dogwoods

Maybe I missed the tulips' big show this year, but not the dogwoods.  

Or the golden chain trees.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Missed the Tulip Season

This year I missed out on tulips.  When I was in the Netherlands and Belgium early in April, it was so cold that the tulips were hiding under the soil.  Now that I am back in Connecticut, the tulips in Elizabeth Park are pretty much done.  Sure, they look OK from a distance.  You just don't want to look too closely.

The bulbs will probably be lifted this week or next, and the beds will be replanted with annuals.

Monday, May 13, 2013


This teenager is kitesurfing on Naples Beach.  He is wearing a harness.  When his kite catches a gust of wind, he mounts his board and follows it where it takes him.

This photo reminded me of a favorite photo from 2012, a young boy playing with a kite in Hartford's Elizabeth Park.  Speaking of which, I am back in Hartford.  One of my first visits today will be to Elizabeth Park.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


This brazen couple has no inhibitions about a public display of affection at a restaurant on Third Street South in Naples.  Get a room!

Today I leave Florida for the season and head north for the summer.  See you soon from Hartford!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Red Ring Juggler

Tim Brown's 12-foot tall, glossy red, metal sculpture juggles outside the Gardner-Colby Gallery on Naples' "Gallery Row," Broad Avenue South.

The juggler has a bird's nest in his hair.  The gallery owners and sculptor must know about it.  I'm guessing they are bird lovers who don't want to upset the inhabitant by removing its home.

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Don't Walk Away!"

"I beseech you!"

Beseech.  I always wanted to use "beseech" in a sentence.

Do photos with reflections amuse you?  Well, I have good news.  There are other people just like you, and many posted pix on James' blog today.  Click here to see them.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Bird Votes Nay

Next Monday I will be back in Connecticut.  So, I will mark my departure from Naples over the next five days by showing a few photographs from a recent stroll.

These haughty gentlemen stand on Third Street South.  A bird offered a critique.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Samuel Colt

Regular viewers of this blog have seen numerous mentions of Samuel Colt, the wealthy munitions maker who became famous for the Colt .45 revolver.  His monument is in Colt Park in the south end of Hartford.

The two main statues are of Colt when he was a young sailor and when he was a rich and  powerful businessman.