Friday, September 30, 2016

Westmoor Park

Westmoor Park is a public park in West Hartford, with horses, cows, sheep, goats 
and a variety of other barnyard animals. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Please keep off the field"

The previous Hartford mayor stole a minor league baseball team from nearby New Britain.  
(Not nice.)  He promised to build a new stadium on an accelerated schedule, on a small plot with no parking in a marginal part of the downtown for $70 million and have it ready for this season.  

Didn't happen.  The city kept meddling with the plans, the contractor was kicked off the job, 
the bonding company took its sweet time deciding if it was on the hook, everyone is suing everyone.  The place leaks, work is substandard, the team had to play the whole season away from Hartford.

Welcome to Hartford, Dunkin Donuts Park.
"Please keep off the field."  Not a problem . . . 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hello and Goodbye

There probably won't be many more visits to Elizabeth Park shown here this season.

But, it is the time of year when dahlias bloom, and they look good, along with the nearby herbs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


On the way back to Hartford, I was finishing up a meal at Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret.
Nine bikers roared into the parking lot.  They dismounted and swaggered in.
Members of a Christian motorcycle club.  Times have changed.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Spectrum India

Spectrum India was there when I was in college.  Long ago.  Very long ago.
It looks like the awning has not been changed in all those years.
C'mon, guys.  Time to up your game!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: College Green

I was in Providence because of some things going on at Brown University, where I went to school.

The sight of students lounging on the main college green triggers a serious case of nostalgia in me.
Much of the education in college occurs on the green during relaxed conversations.

The "quiet quad" is the less busy space between the back of University Hall and the libraries.
Nothing like an early fall night on campus.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Driving through the town of Brooklyn in eastern Connecticut on my way to Providence, I pulled over to take a photograph when I saw this building.

Bank?  School?  Municipal building?  No, it is occupied by a hair replacement center.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Caged Stegosauros

Alexander Calder's Stegosauros has been standing between the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Hartford Municipal Building for 43 years.  The paint has faded.  It is tired.

Over the next three weeks, the paint will be stripped, corrosion will be repaired, and Steg will get a fresh coat of vibrant red, this time with a longer lasting and lead-free paint.

BONUS:  The sky was showing signs of a good sunset on Tuesday, so I hustled to the
West Hartford reservoir.  It was less dramatic than I expected, but still pretty nice.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Bartaco (a spin-off from Barcelona) is a very popular small plate restaurant.
I went there once.  It wasn't for me, but I am in a distinct minority.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Models' Greatgrandchildren

Walking through the New Britain Museum of American Art again.

Mary is NBMAA's director of education.  The artist and teacher Robert Henri painted the model at his home in Madrid, where his American students were painting during the summer.

John is from North Carolina.  His wife and he are on vacation and 
had nothing better to do than to find a museum.

Deanna -- a student -- and a friend visited the museum.  She is with Blanch Sully, daughter
of the artist Thomas Sully.  Deanna and her friend are the kind of visitors museums love.
They took their time, looked carefully at the works they liked and discussed them at length. h

Sorry about the glare.  I tried several different approaches but couldn't avoid it
in the photography nor get rid of it in the editing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Look at The Hartford Sky

The clouds were growing pink edges when I went into a Vietnamese restaurant last night.  It looked like a promising night for a sunset, but I was not in an interesting location for a picture.
And, I had only my iPhone with me.

After ordering, I went outside to see how things were progressing.  The Hartford sky was ablaze.
So . . . apologies for the nondescript foreground, but isn't the sky spectacular?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: High Line Again

These days, if I am in New York City and have time, I go first to the High Line. 

No such luck today.

Iddi had a stand to sell his bold and colorful animal paintings.

 People can't resist posing with Sleepwalker (Tony Matelli, 2014).

Yesterday I posted from the Chelsea neighborhood of New York.  The bomb blast you have read about was on 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.  My hotel was five blocks north.
I heard police sirens and emergency vehicles, but that is part of the music of the city,
so I didn't think about it.  So, thanks to those who asked, but I was not affected.
And, fortunately, the 29 injured people are all out of the hospital. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Chelsea

Had to make a quick trip into New York City.  Chelsea, on the west side.

28th Street doesn't feel like part of a big, impersonal city.

A security shutter was intriguing.

The High Line is driving redevelopment along dozens of blocks on the formerly forlorn west side.

Norman Vincent Peale was the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church (Fifth Avenue at 29th Street) for 52 years.  He was an inspirational speaker and writer, whose book The Power of Positive Thinking
was a best seller for years.

Three friends.  Why did I include them?  I liked the three different attitudes.  
"Hi," "Get lost, dude" and not even noticing.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A House in Dappled Light

Usually I want to photograph a scene in even light.  It can be sunlight, shadow, doesn't matter.  
I just want the light in the key areas to be even.

This house looked great in person, but the light was bright where there was light, the shadows were deep where there were shadows, and the tree cover gave the scene a dappled effect.  The wrong 
kind of light to take a picture.  I did it anyway.  Do you like it despite the problem light?

Friday, September 16, 2016


Ashford is a small town in northeastern Connecticut.  
Ashford Academy was its schoolhouse from 1875 until the 1940s.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


We New Englanders come from conservative Puritan stock.  Our houses are white or brick,
sometimes light gray or tan.  We don't want to be flashy or to stand out.

These folks must come from out of state.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cousin Tom

My sister and many of my cousins still live in northeastern Massachusetts, where I grew up.
Yesterday I drove up there for one of the periodic "cousins lunches" at which the cousins
from my generation get together.  Cousin Tom is the one you would notice first.

Tom is a big barrel-chested guy with a booming voice.  And a beard that rivals the guys from ZZ Top.  

After high school, Tom went into the U.S. Navy like his father.  After the Navy he worked on sophisticated technology for a defense contractor.  These days Tom fishes and tells tall tales.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Flower Lover

A woman in Avon puts on a dazzling floral show every year.  These days the show is for her own enjoyment and for those who go past.  In past years, she opened her yard to raise
funds for charities, but a spurious lawsuit ended that.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory has a spanking new building in Farmington, on the property of the University of Connecticut Health Center.  The Jackson Lab does genomics research.  The State of Connecticut provided $291 million in loans and grants in 2012 to lure Jackson to Connecticut, 
about which I have ranted in the past.

So far, the lab has hired about 200 employees; if it hires 300 within ten years, the state loans will be forgiven.  I would like to be proven wrong, but I am still cynical about the State's largesse.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Small Get-Together

I went to Elizabeth Park to see what is happening.

Some young people reserved the back end of the Pond House's reception hall for cocktails.
Curtains shrunk the room to make it more intimate for the small group.

Fifteen years after the attacks on September 11, 2001.  Still in my mind,
but I haven't been in the States long enough to come up with something suitable.
Maybe a small group of people just going about their free life is appropriate?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Welcome Home

A new mural in Hartford's North End.

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Last Day In Stockholm

In secular countries like Sweden and Norway, the ornamentation that goes into churches in southern Europe goes into governmental buildings.  So . . . off to visit Stockholm's city hall.

The Golden Hall is constructed from 19 million mosaic tiles, most of which incorporate real gold.
The ball after the banquet for Nobel Prize winners is held in the Golden Hall every year.

The ceiling of the Municipal Council's chamber is a marvel.  Originally it was supposed to be a customary flat ceiling.  But, when the architect visited to check on construction, 
he saw the beautiful timbers and decided to leave it open.

On the way to the city hall, I heard the sound of horses and rushed over.
A parade with about fifty military horse riders and two carriages was passing by.

Buildings in Stockholm's downtown often have great embellishments.

The theater was on the way to lunch.  Actually, the theater was staying where it was.
I was on the way to lunch.

Anders is co-owner of Riche, a popular restaurant where the rich and famous dine.
The son of a friend is a waiter there.  Anders found us a table despite not having a reservation.
He is one of Sweden's most popular TV and radio talk show hosts.

I am back in Connecticut.  Posts from New England resume tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting while I have been away.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Out of the Jurisdiction: Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan is the central island in Stockholm, home of the Royal Palace, the legislature,
many shops, hotels and restaurants, and lovely cobblestone pedestrian streets.

The Royal Palace is fun to visit.  More than most palaces, I got the feeling that the next person entering the room could be the king or queen.  The king looks like a regular guy.
If he sat next to me on a plane, I would guess he is a dentist from Iowa.

I got lucky and was there for the changing of the guard.  Things are more relaxed in Stockholm.
One of the members of the royal band sang an aria.  The crowd was asked if we
wanted to hear it again.  So, we got an encore.

Sorry.  My Latin is no better than my Swedish.

The Nobel Museum is a must-see.  Very well designed, informative and interesting exhibitions.
Fun to see a photo exhibition of 20 prize winners with drawings explaining the discoveries
that won them their Nobel Prizes.  Cool to see the husband of a college classmate --
in the middle -- who won the prize for chemistry in 2005.
(The husband won it, not the classmate.)

 I have spent two weeks walking pedestrian-only cobblestone streets in Scandinavia.
We really need more pedestrian-only streets in the USA.

St. George slew his dragon down the street.