Monday, June 30, 2014


Meghan Pattyson Culmo was a star on Geno Auremmia's first Connecticut basketball team
to reach the Final Four, and an assistant coach on his first national championship team.
These days she is a TV analyst on UConn's women's basketball games
and a director seeking major gifts for the UConn Foundation.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Love Wins

Ana Grace Marquez-Greene was one of the 26 people (including 20 children) killed 18 months ago by a deranged shooter at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A coalition of children charities and law enforcement groups has been installing one new
playground for each Newtown victim.  This one is the 18th.  It is in Hartford's Elizabeth Park.

Celebrating children and celebrating life are good things.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Nights at the Park

The concerts in Elizabeth Park have begun.

Here is Julianne -- whom you saw here -- and her sister.

And here is a romantic man who sings while he dances.

And, here is just one of the many moms whose child likes to be swung around.
(I remember those days . . . )

Friday, June 27, 2014

Straw Hats

Stackpole Moore Tryon has a nice display of straw hats in its window.
Two tries.  Different days.  Probably the same hat,
but I have several.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Peterhof is an achingly beautiful palace begun under Peter the Great in the early 1700s.
It is outside St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland.

Peterhof was leveled to the ground in WWII.  It has been rebuilt from the ground up.
The fountains are turned on from 11 to 5.

For most of the two weeks in Russia, the weather was cool to cold, overcast or rainy.
But, the sun came out for the Peterhof visit.  Good timing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Medley of Russian Churches

While I am catching my bearings (and perhaps while I am in Manhattan for the weekend
for a wedding), I will show some more sights from my two weeks in Russia.

The Dormition Cathedral in Moscow's Kremlin is a 15th century Russian Orthodox church.
The coronation of Ivan the Terrible, the first Russian tsar, took place here in 1547.  From 1721
onward, all Russian emperors were crowned here.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation faces the Dormition Cathedral across Cathedral Square.
It was consecrated in 1489 and was the personal chapel of the tsars.

The Church of Dimitry on Blood in Uglich is a beautiful little church built as a memorial to
eight-year old Dimitry, the son of Ivan the Terrible.  He was murdered in 1591, 
setting off three decades of turmoil.

Believe it or not, this St. Petersburg church was finished in 1908.
It is officially the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus, but it is called the Church of the
Savior of Spilled Blood because it commemorates the assassination of Tsar Alexander II on this spot.

Assassinating tsars and potential tsars seemed to be the national sport. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Travelers Tower

Hartford's Travelers Tower is dressed in scaffolding as a multi-year renovation continues.

If things work as planned, I arrive back in the USA today.  Fresh American photos begin soon.
But, posts that I think are interesting are scheduled.  Thank you for your visits.

Here is the headquarters of Leninergo, the electric company in St. Petersburg.
In Moscow and St. Petersburg, when a major building is being renovated, they
cover the work with a building-sized canvas painted to show the building when completed.

Some might argue that open versus closed is an apt metaphor.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chris Ann

Chris Ann is director of nursing at a Bristol hospital.
Before that, she worked at a hospital in Middletown.
Chris Ann loves nursing.  She feels that she helps people every day.

I haven't seen any nurses in Russia.  But here is a military hospital on the Neva river
in St. Petersburg.  Blue skies are uncommon in St. Petersburg.

And here is a pretty girl posing for a friend at Peterhof, a palace built by Peter the Great and
expanded by Elizabeth and then Catherine the Great.  It is on the Gulf of Finland.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gold Building

The Gold Building in Hartford is a downtown high-rise office building that
houses, among other companies, the headquarters of United Technologies.

But, by the standards of Russia's former capital, St. Petersburg, Hartford knows nothing about gold.
Here is just part of the banquet hall in Catherine's Palace, in the suburb of Pushkin.
The palace was nearly destroyed in World War II but has been 
brilliantly (sic!) restored using original techniques.

And, as a bonus picture, regular readers know that I occasionally sneak photographs of
beautiful brides who get married in Elizabeth Park.  This Russian beauty is shown
in front of Catherine's Palace.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Guide Dogs

An organization in greater Hartford trains dogs to serve as guides for
blind people.  Walking down Hartford's Pratt Street, I saw one trainer adopt a
blocking stance while a second trainer worked the dog to go around the blocker.

You didn't think I could find a guide dog and trainers in Russia to pair with this photo, 
did you?  I couldn't.  How about some photos from Mandrogi,
a center for traditional crafts, on the way to St. Petersburg?

Friday, June 20, 2014


One distinctive feature of classical architecture is a pediment, usually a gable with a wide triangle, often with decoration within, with a horizontal element below, and usually columns supporting it.

Above is the ornate pediment of the New Britain (Connecticut) public library.
Below is the similarly decorative pediment of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre.
(It is not a competition.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pratt Street

Pratt Street in downtown Hartford is a short street with a mix of new and old buildings,
some in good shape and some challenged.  I like this old building and the art nouveau street lamps.

My travels are scheduled to last five more days.  Posts are scheduled for every
day while I am away, and I have been updating them to include photos from Russia.

While we are on the subject of lovely old buildings, 
here is a handsome wooden building with wonderful ornamentation, in Uglich.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Caitlyn and The Apprentice

Caitlyn is from Washington, D.C.  She was visiting family and looking at paintings in
Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum.  With her shock of bright red hair and gray short-sleeved shirt,
 I had to pose her near William Merritt Chase's 1875 painting, The Apprentice.

And, so long as we are looking at artwork, here are people looking at icons in the
Church of Elijah the Prophet, a Russian Orthodox church built in 1647 - 1650
in Yaroslavl by two wealthy fur-trading brothers.

Yaroslavl is overflowing with churches.  Perhaps the most interesting exterior is that of
John the Baptist Church, built in 1671 - 1687, a 15-onion dome church that is 
featured on the back of a 1,000 ruble banknote.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Charley stands at one of Hartford's busiest intersections and plays the harmonica. 

I will be traveling for one more week.  Internet might be spotty.
But, posts are scheduled while I am away.  Sorry if I can't visit your blogs.

On the subjects of musicians and travel, here is an entertainer
playing the saw with the Moscow Orchestra.

Monday, June 16, 2014

XL Center Murals

This is one of the entrances to the XL Center, where pro hockey, UConn basketball, the circus, Disney shows and other events are held.  But, it is aging.  $35 million in renovations will start soon.

These huge murals from the 1960s are by Harlem Renaissance artist Romare Bearden.
They don't fit with the renovations, so they have to go.
An appraisal came back recently, valuing them at $4.2 million, shocking everyone.
They are being moved to the Hartford Public Library.

Linked to Monday Murals.

While we are on the subject of huge murals, here is The Princess of the Dream
a room-size 1896 mural by M. A. Vrubel in Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bushnell Plaza

Bushnell Plaza was designed by I. M. Pei in the 1960s.  
There is a high-rise tower and a curved low-rise housing unit.  Hartford's Bushnell Park is to the west.  Main Street, Travelers and the Wadsworth Atheneum are to the east.  
The plaza has become a wasteland. 

The geometry is strong, but it sure would be good to see a swarm of humans here sometime.

Meanwhile, the censors and I extend greetings from St. Basil's in Red Square.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Crown Super Market

This is not much of a photo.  But, the story is good.

Crown Super Market has been a West Hartford kosher supermarket forever.
OK.  For 74 years.  But, last winter the owner announced that the store was closing.
The rent and cost of merchandise were going up, the winter storms kept customers away,
and there are three bigger full-service supermarkets in the neighborhood.

The Jewish community was distraught.  Then they mobilized.  Led by three
prominent businessmen, a plan was devised, ownership changed, and the store
was given another chance to serve its community.

"We are OPEN!  Thanks for your support."

Friday, June 13, 2014


Gerry operates a pipe, cigar and tobacco store on Pratt Street.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Margaret is a pediatrician.  Originally South African, she has lived in the USA 
for 35 years.  She was a ballet dancer when young, but she grew too tall.
For the past seven years her passion has been Argentine tango.

I will be traveling for ten more days.  Internet might be spotty.
Posts are scheduled while I am away.  Sorry if I can't visit your blogs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Park Road

Park Road is the center of the Puerto Rican community in Hartford.

Juanita and her daughter Stacy