Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brown Skin Woman

Carmen was enjoying a coffee on Pratt Street when I hassled her
asked if I could photograph her.   Carmen is a civic-minded entrepreneur
focused on style.  She has an active online presence for her design, civic and clothing interests,
 as well as a website called Brown Skin Women.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Chin is an active 90-year old woman who walks two miles every morning.
She came from China in 1980.  She lived in Boston, near her son, for 20 years, until
moving to Connecticut to live with her daughter.
When I met her, Chin was in Elizabeth Park
with her family to watch 
a dance performance.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Connecticut Ballet

The Connecticut Ballet visited Elizabeth Park Saturday evening.
This piece -- Ancient Lives -- began with classical museum statues in a posed tableau,
then slowly coming to life.  I didn't catch the choreographer's name.  The music was by Mahler.

The evening sky became darker as the dance progressed,
and lights made the dancers dramatically red.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Old Lyme


Old Lyme had its Mid-Summer Festival this weekend.  I expected to be showing
photographs from the festival, but all of my people pix were awful.
So, instead, here are some of the houses on Lyme Street.
We all have days like that.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Om Street Yoga

For the fourth straight year. West Hartford closed LaSalle Road for a couple of hours
early yesterday so more than 1,000 yoga enthusiasts could convene for morning exercises.

Yesterday I made a boo boo and posted these photos for several hours on the same day my post
about Eleanor was already running.  If you saw this post yesterday,
please go back and visit Eleanor.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Eleanor is a social worker.  To earn some extra money, she works
in a clothing store on Saturdays.  Eleanor has loved riding horses since
she was a little girl.  This year she got her own horse, Irish Mist, which she calls Frosty.

Friday, July 25, 2014

56 Arbor Street: Medley

Bill and his son Ross operate the Jumping Frog Bookstore on the first floor
of 56 Arbor Street.  Most of their business is in internet sales.

Art Connection Studio is a nonprofit community art center and gallery.  They
serve their residential adult clients -- individuals with developmental, psychiatric, addiction or behavioral challenges -- with an interest in creating art.  Tara (left) manages operations and
the studio.  Chrissy and Katie are art therapists.

Dave is a labor lawyer with offices at 56 Arbor Street, the former home of
Underwood Typewriters.  He likes the creative atmosphere in the building.

And Aisha wraps hula hoops with brightly colored tape and sells
them under the name Hartford Hoops.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

56 Arbor Street: Real Art Ways

Real Art Ways is a wonderful arts venue located in the rear of 56 Arbor Street.
It offers visual and performing arts, cinema, public art, education, and live social events.

After years of fundraising, they recently replaced their old movie projectors
with new digital equipment.  As a creative art space, R.A.W. put the
old projectors out in the entry,
as a kind of industrial
art form.

(iPhone photo.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

56 Arbor Street: Hartford Prints

Hartford Prints is a small letterpress studio and stationery store with its production activities at
56 Arbor Street and a retail shop on Pratt Street.  It is owned by three sisters,
none of whom were there when I visited.  I will have to go back.

But, three of the employees were there.  Kait operates the press. 

Christa is a designer.

Lauren, too. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

56 Arbor Street: Louise

Underwood Typewriter Company building at 56 Arbor Street in Hartford.

It is too late for Louise's center to do any good for my mind and me.

Monday, July 21, 2014

56 Arbor Street: Lanny

Lanny is a professional photographer whose studio is at 56 Arbor Street.  
He does a lot of the promotional photography for Theaterworks and other corporate and nonprofit accounts.  He was getting ready to do two portrait sessions when I visited.
After that, he was flying to Germany to photograph a client's new factory.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

56 Arbor Street: Al

56 Arbor Street is the former home of the Underwood Typewriter Company.
A case displaying old typewriters is behind Al.

Al is one of the developers and property managers.  The old four-story brick building
has been turned into an arts incubator.  In the coming days, I will show some of
the artists and other tenants.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Close Tango

Jaime and Alexandra Alvarez give tango lessons on Thursday evenings in the Metropolitan Church in Hartford.

Jaime has a quiet manner, assuring his nervous partners as they move together.

No, I didn't dance.  Though Jaime was hoping I would, because tall male dancers are hard to find.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Nancy used to be a program manager in an insurance company, but she left that job
to pursue her passion as an advocate for individuals and families facing mental health challenges.

This post is linked to Weekend Reflections.

I usually take multiple photographs of a subject, because I never know
when I will discover someone in the background asking herself,
"Why is that weirdo taking that lady's picture?"

Thursday, July 17, 2014


On his 17th birthday in 1945, Fred had his father sign his enlistment papers.
When he was in basic training, President Roosevelt died.  Shortly afterward,
the War in Europe ended.  While Fred was on a train to San Diego
to be shipped off to join the War in the Pacific,
World War II ended.

Fred never saw battle, but he was ready and willing to do his part.
I call him a hero.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Carmen is from Spain.  She works two jobs, as a medical assistant in a cardiac unit and as a retail sales clerk.  She rides her bicycle to work.  Carmen has three children.  
(And an exceptional smile.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Firefighter Training

An old building near West Hartford Center is being demolished to erect a new office building.  
Before the demolition, the owners gave the Fire Department permission to
use the building for training.  The firefighters were thrilled.
It gave them more realism than their usual training.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Children's Room at the Library

This mural is outside the entrance to the Children's Room at the
West Hartford Public Library.
The artist was not identified.

Please visit Monday Mural to see more murals.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Connecticut Faces

Eva is a college sophomore majoring in elementary education.  This summer she is a camp counselor.  When I met her, she was helping an elderly woman get to her car in a crowded
parking lot.  Eva is a sweet young woman.

John was Connecticut's economic development director.  These days he is a university administrator.

Ellie is a Yankee.  She was born here and has lived her entire life here.  (So far.)
Ellie and her little dog visit Elizabeth Park three or four times a week.
Her favorite bench is in front of the gazebo.

Sam is assistant dean of the Yale art school.  When I met him, he was taking apart an
old sculpture with a Sawzall.

Years ago, Helen and I served on the board of a nonprofit.  That was before the executive
director was sent to prison, but that is another story.  Helen's 18-year old
son is going off to college in the fall and she is struggling with what happens next.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Hartford Courant

The Hartford Courant is America's oldest continuously published newspaper.
It is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year.

As part of its 250th anniversary celebrations, a Courant writer -- Dan Haar --
began walking and reporting on Route 44 this week.  They created a
cartoon image -- "Flat Danny" -- to promote the walk.

Route 44 runs 106 miles across the state's northern border with Massachusetts.  It begins at the New York border and ends at the Rhode Island line.  Dan is walking about eight miles a day.
I caught up with him in Norfolk, a beautiful rural town northwest of Hartford.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Consultation

Visitors to the September 11 Memorial in lower Manhattan caucus next to a glass wall.

For more photographs with reflections, please visit James' blog, Weekend Reflections

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Larry is a college professor.  He teaches philosophy.  His tee shirt caught my attention.
It is from Bishop's Orchards and Winery, a 140-year old farm business
on the Connecticut shoreline, still in one family's hands.

Larry lives just a short walk from West Hartford Center.  Lucky guy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Liv just graduated from high school.  She is headed to Florida in the fall to study marine biology 
in college, but she is realistic and knows that plans might change when she gets there.

Liv played four years of lacrosse in high school.
She expected to hate it, but found that she loves lacrosse.
(There is a lesson in that about willingness to try new things, isn't there?)

Note to self:  Next time you ask someone to step off the main street to avoid
all of the pedestrians walking into the shot, be sure there are no dumpsters in the background.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I have known Tom forever.  OK, only 32 years.

Tom works in legislative affairs.
Some would call him a lobbyist.
But that seems like such an unfortunate term
for one who performs the valuable public service of
helping legislators understand complicated subjects.