Tuesday, June 30, 2015


It is a lot harder finding a kid doing somersaults than you might think.

My young neighbor Lily volunteered to do a somersault.  It ended in what she calls a "bridge."

The July theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "upside down."
Click here tomorrow to see how CDP photographers interpret the theme.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Four Hartford Portraits

Tang$auce is a young musician, dancer and actor, whose message is "Peace, Love and Positivity."

Azeb is from Ethiopia.  She came here six years ago to attend school.  Now she works in
 information technology at a Hartford insurance company.   Her daughter is two.
She was going to have her face painted but was having second thoughts.

Ron is having a tough time.  He lost both his job and his house.
He stays with different friends and moves around a lot.  He wants to be a singer and songwriter.
Despite his problems, Ron tries to be positive.

It's a long story, but I ended up at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts by mistake.  Not one to waste an opportunity, I got a tour of the school from Jeff, the principal.  When I asked
for a photograph, the shy and retiring Jeff grabbed a handful of the students
who were trailing behind us and stood against a mural.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

To The Park and Back

You never know what you will find when you walk to Elizabeth Park and back.

These young people were having videos shot to promote their party business, Invite a Princess.

At the pond, there were more geese and ducks than people.

Jonathan was taking photos of Emily and Jeremiah with an ancient Polaroid camera, so I took a photograph of all three with his Polaroid and one with mine.  Jonathan's company rents photo booths for wedding receptions, engagement parties, birthday parties and other special events.

Some young folks (including Christina, above) were doing a video for their fashion business.

And on the way back home, new neighbor Jared carried Madison on his shoulders. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Walk in West Hartford Center

Jazzmine (pronounced like jasmine) is a graduate of the University of Hartford's music school.  
She is a jazz singer, currently working at a women's clothing store.

Rich (above) operates a financial planning and investment firm with his partner John (below).

Emily, Dante and Chad are on the staff of Max's Oyster Bar, one of my favorite restaurants.

Rose has been the manager of Penzey's Spices for three years.  
She was a customer for 15 years before that.

And, Molly is an acting student at the University of Southern California, hoping for a career in musical comedies.  When I met her, she was reading some August Strindberg plays,
which are certainly heavier reading material than is typical at Starbucks. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Agnes (Again)

Deciding which of Agnes' photographs to show yesterday was a real struggle for me.  I ended up picking an "upper body" photograph, which let me contrast her zebra-striped blouse with the plain part of the wall behind her and with the decorated column to her right.

But, that meant not selecting a close crop (above) to show the interesting scars in her face (even though this close crop loses most of the decorated column).

And, it meant not showing her full body pose against the beautiful column (left).

And, it meant not showing an even closer crop converted to a dramatic black and white (below).

Choices, choices, choices.

Which photograph of Agnes would you have picked?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Walk Down Pratt Street

Lawrence describes himself as a victim's advocate and he says he is a structural engineer.
He has repeatedly sued the City, the State, real estate developers and construction companies for
what he calls flaws and fraud in construction of Connecticut buildings.

Agnes moved here from Ghana eighteen years ago.  She is a certified nurse's aide.

Rishi used to be a banker.  He and his cousin opened a liquor store on Pratt Street about a month ago.

And, Stewart is an optician.  He is also an amateur photographer.  We had a good time discussing technique, subjects, and other photo-geeky stuff.  Stewart often works with photographers
to match their models to eyewear that suits their look and wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Columbia Street

150 years ago, Hartford was a center of manufacturing for sewing machines and bicycles
in the area that is now close to Aetna and the State Capitol.  One manufacturer
 built workers' housing on Columbia Street in the neighborhood.

All units (except end units) are identical inside, but the exteriors have nice variations.
The front gardens were open for touring recently during "Hartford Blooms." 

Monday, June 22, 2015


Brake The Cycle is a Manchester-based group of faith-based bicyclists who bike to Connecticut churches where they speak about poverty and justice.  I ran into them in Hartford's Bushnell Park.

Tom is a leader of the group.  He teaches theology, history and Asian Studies at Fairfield Prep.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Son-in-law Wessel is a devoted new father to his daughter (my granddaughter) Willa.

Happy Father's Day, Wes.  And, Happy Father's Day to all the other fathers out there.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Yes, yes.  I know this is another photograph of a beautiful young woman.  But, I tried.  I really did.
I went to Elizabeth Park looking for some men to photograph, just to balance the recent women.

Then I saw Megan.

So, what am I supposed to do?

You would have started clicking the camera shutter button, too, wouldn't you?

Meg is an acting student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.  She is home for the summer ("bored to tears," according to her mother). 

Meg loves the camera.  And the camera loves her. 

Megan's mother is a member of The Shutterbugs, photography enthusiasts who meet from time to time to photograph models.  Meg's mother volunteered her to model.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Cassandra is an X-Ray technician.  She works in Hartford but recently moved to Philadelphis to be with her fiancee.   She was in Elizabeth Park to make arrangements for a baby shower for her sister.

Cassandra's son is six years old.  He has sickle cell disease, a painful blood condition.
Cassandra explained how watchful she has to be.  September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and Cassandra volunteers to speak to community groups about the disease. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Sheryl is an artist from Glastonbury.  Her husband and she also have a place in southwest Florida, 
not far from where I live.  I met her -- surprise! -- in Elizabeth Park's rose garden.
We found some pink roses that were a good match.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Latesha is assistant principal of a Hartford neighborhood school.  She has p-e-r-s-o-n-a-l-i-t-y! 

Latesha taught in the classroom for five years and has been in administration for the last ten years.
I met her at the Pond House in Elizabeth Park, where she was greeting attendees
of a year-end function for Hartford public school principals.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Alie is from Simsbury.  She graduated from UConn in May and immediately started a job handling
social media communications for a local public relations firm.  When I met her in Elizabeth Park,
she was decompressing from a busy day helping her firm handle a big public announcement.  

Monday, June 15, 2015


Mike was sitting on an Elizabeth Park bench with a Nikon camera and a BIG lens.
He is retired on disability after a career as a "Jack of all trades."

Now, he likes to take photographs, but -- like me and maybe like you -- he has so many
photographs it is hard to find the ones he wants.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Evelyn was in the rose garden gazebo in Elizabeth Park, posing for a friend.
I asked if I could take my turn, and she said “sure.”  

Evelyn is from Simsbury.  She is a sophomore at Miss Porter’s School.
Evelyn is on the varsity soccer and track teams.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Elizabeth Park

Back in Hartford.  So, where did I go first?  Elizabeth Park, of course.

The spring bulbs have been removed from the annual garden and the replanting is underway.

The shade garden was replanted this spring.  It will take a while to mature.

The rose garden is in the early days of bloom.  Peak is about a week from now.
The foreground plot is the one I support in memory of my parents.  The rose is American Pride,
a tall, strong red flower.  That fits my parents.

Richard played the flute in the perennial garden while Margaux listened. 

And Adam spent some quiet time with his guitar in the herb garden.