Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hiding in Plain Sight

This is another beautiful house that has been largely unnoticed by passers-by during the summer because of the grand old trees that obscure the summertime view.

Now that the leaves have fallen, we can see this house's beauty until May, when the trees will leaf out again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

We can finally see it!

I could give you a long list of reasons why I hate the arrival of winter.  It is getting cold.  The trees are bare.  Did I mention it is cold?  And the ice, snow and slush aren't even here yet.

But, one of the good things is that, with most of the leaves gone, we can now actually see some of the beautiful houses that have been hidden by foliage during the summer. 

This is a pretty house in Sunset Farm, a quiet, private, forested community that is right off a busy main street in West Hartford, yet little noticed by passers-by.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another pair to choose from

Thanks for your comments yesterday.  I learn about photography by listening to your thoughts.

Further up Mountain Spring Road in Farmington from the house shown yesterday is a beautiful white colonial house.  (There are many beautiful houses on this street.)

In the top photo, I wanted to show the whole house and its fence, since the entire house and its setting are wonderful.

Then again, the part that is really special and distinctive for colonial-era houses in this area is the entry way, i.e., the pediment, the double door and the gate.

Which would you have chosen to show?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Barney House: Pick One

The Barney House was originally owned by the family of a former governor of Connecticut.  More recently it was a conference center for the University of Connecticut.  About ten years ago it was sold and I believe it is now back in private hands.

Which of these three photos would you show?

The top photo emphasizes the house's elegant setting and its grandeur.

The middle photo was cropped to show only the central part of the first photo, in an attempt at a more "artistic"  presentation.

The bottom photo is a different picture, showing the great dane that came running up to scare me away.  This was intended to add some life.

So, if you were showing only one photo today, which would you show?  Or would you have run away from the dog?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Well Dressed Men

It must be very disturbing for these two gentlemen.  They were dressed for the holiday parties, and then some cars drove right through them!

This is the window display at the Jos. Bank store on Lasalle Street in West Hartford Center.

You can see more Weekend Reflections on Newtown Area Photo every Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell gained his reputation as illustrator of many covers for the Saturday Evening Post.  During World War II he produced many paintings that were distributed as prints supporting the war effort.  His Four Freedoms series was among his most famous; millions of prints were distributed.  This is Freedom from Want, from 1943.  The others were Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Fear.

Frame Dimensions in West Hartford Center let me move this print into a spot where I wanted it.  I have had things framed there for years.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving today with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hartford Stage Company

The stage of the Hartford Stage Company is usually off limits to photography.  But, recently the theater completed an extensive renovation and expansion, and they invited the public to visit (and take pictures). 

This picture shows actors during a rehearsal.  Regrettably, I didn't see the performance and it wasn't clear to me whether they were rehearsing the current show or an upcoming one.  So, I can't shed any light on what was going on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bradley International Airport

Bradley International Airport (BDL) is the airport midway between Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.  When you look on the Arrivals or Departures screens, look for "Hartford."  BDL serves passengers from Connecticut, western Massachusetts and even southern Vermont and eastern New York.  Southwest Airlines and Delta are the main carriers using this terminal.

With Thanksgiving week travel underway, the terminal today will be much busier than the scene here.  Why, someone viewing the same scene today might even see a tall photographer passing through!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Griswold Inn

The Griswold Inn in Essex opened for business in 1776 and is one of the oldest continuously operating inns in America.  Essex occupies a beautiful spot on the Connecticut River.

The inn has an authentic tavern room that is crowded after sailing races (and football games and just about any other excuse for people to gather, eat, drink and tell tall tales . . . ).

I have featured the Griswold House in Old Lyme recently.  So far as I know, the Griswold Inn is not connected.  Griswold must have been a common name.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lieutenant River

I visited the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme the last week in October.  The starting point for the museum is the original house, which I showed in early November.  There are a variety of outbuildings and a large new building for exhibitions.

But, what drew the artists of the Lyme Art Colony to live and paint at Miss Griswold's house was Old Lyme's natural and unspoiled beauty, including the house's glorious setting amidst the marshes of the Lieutenant River, a tributary of the Connecticut River.

This photograph is taken from the back of the Griswold property.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Stegosaurus

Alexander Calder's Stegosaurus highlights a small park lying between Hartford City Hall and the Wadsworth Atheneum.  With the construction taking place at the art museum, this park is easy to overlook these days.

So, I raised the curtain and show it to you here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Friends and Strangers

I took this photograph on one of the last warm days in late October.

I liked this sign in the window of a bar, so I stationed myself where I could catch reflections of strangers approaching from each side. 

Just as I began to push the button, the girl in the center recognized a girl in the approaching group, broke into a big smile and opened her arms for a hug.  Decent timing, I thought.

If you like reflections, you can see more by following the links on Newtown Area Photo's blog every Friday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Florence Griswold Museum Again

Two weeks ago I explained how Florence Griswold took in artists as boarders in her large home in Old Lyme at the turn of the last century.  Before long there were so many artists working in the area that they came to be known as the Lyme Art Colony.

Miss Griswold permitted her favorite artists to paint panels for her dining room.  Here you see a small number of the painted panels.

The rooms are dimly lit to protect the paintings and only hand-held, no-flash photography is permitted.  This is darker and less sharp than I would like, but the museum is so interesting that I still want to show it to you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nathan Hale, Again

Last month I showed Nathan Hale's statue through a chain link fence, surrounded by construction materials for major renovations of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Today, I give you a different perspective on Nathan Hale rising above it all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Change of Pace: Pigeon

Let's leave Hartford for a day and peek into my trip to Italy in September. 

This photo was taken near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Middle School

The Town of West Hartford needed a third middle school (i.e., grades six through eight).  They bought this mansion from a private school and then built large additions behind it.

I thought this was a nice solution.  They preserved an unusual and appealing older building in a neighborhood that is primarily residential.  And, the town got the additional space they needed for classrooms.  The additions don't try to mimic the style of the mansion, but they do reflect the scale (height) and the color palette.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


These buildings are on Broad Street in Hartford, which runs from The Hartford, past the Hartford Courant and the state Capitol, and on toward Trinity College. 

In an area of multi-family buildings that have some deterioration, I thought these all looked great.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Most of us take infrastructure for granted.  When is the last time you gave a thought to the supports holding up the bridge you drive over?

Here I show the simple beauty of the supports for the Founders Bridge, a bridge that takes heavy traffic from east of the Connecticut River into downtown Hartford.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Boats at Essex

These boats are on the Connecticut River in the beautiful town of Essex, half an hour or so south of Hartford.  This photo was taken three weeks ago on a cold and cloudy day.  By now the boats will probably be in dry dock.

To see other Weekend Reflections organized by James at Newtown Area Photo, click here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Connecticut River

It seems odd that I have posted more than 125 entries without yet having posted a photograph of the Connecticut River.  So, here it is.

The Connecticut River is the dominant geographical feature of central Connecticut. The west bank of the river is the eastern boundary of the City of Hartford.  On the other side of the river is East Hartford, an independent city.

The Connecticut River starts way up north in New Hampshire, just a few miles from Canada. For the first half of its 400 mile total distance, the river forms the border between Vermont and New Hampshire.  It then bisects Massachusetts and passes Springfield before running south into Connecticut.  North of Hartford, the river is non-navigable and is spanned by a series of locks and dams, most of which are in Massachusetts or New Hampshire.  South of Hartford the Connecticut River widens and flows slowly in a southeasterly direction until it pours into the Long Island Sound at Old Saybrook.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The Victorian style is popular in greater Hartford.  Fortunately, many have been preserved and are well-maintained.

The top photo shows an impressive Victorian house down the street from the New Britain Museum of American Art, which was featured two days ago.  It is painted periwinkle blue.

The next two houses stare at each other across Prospect Street.  The first, with gray-green siding and dark green trim,  is on the West Hartford side.  The other, with dark green siding, is on the Hartford side of the street.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Traffic Jam

How can I have a blog about an American city without showing one of the most familiar sights, a traffic jam?

Hartford is traversed by two interstate highways, U.S. Route 91 (north-south) and 84 (east-west).  Many folks know Hartford only from past experiences sitting in heavy traffic on the road between New York and Boston.  This is a traffic jam on a sunny Sunday afternoon, about two weeks ago; yesterday it snowed in Hartford and the highways would look a lot different.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Britain Museum of American Art

The New Britain Museum of American Art is a terrific small museum about 20 minutes west of Hartford.  The museum exhibits both traditional and contemporary American art.

This is an impressive painting commissioned by the museum from Graydon Parrish to commemorate the September 11, 2001 tragedy.  The painting was created in 2002 - 2006.

The twin blindfolded figures are Tragedy and Terror, screaming at heaven in despair.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Braza is a Brazilian restaurant on Farmington Avenue in Hartford's West End.  It is housed in a former movie theater.

In our area, many older movie theaters have become obsolete as theater operators turn toward multi-screen facilities.  This theater succumbed to competition from a 14-screen movie theater about one mile away.

Braza is a pretty good restaurant.  I'm glad the building was converted to a new use.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend Reflections: Doubles

This window had an interesting effect.  It doubled the reflected images.  Kind of cool, isn't it?

Click here to see more Weekend Reflections

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Florence Griswold House

The Florence Griswold House is a museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  The house backs up to the Lieutenant River, a tributary of the Connecticut River.

The Griswold House was home to many excellent landscape painters at the turn of the 20th century.  Ms. Griswold inherited the house from her previously wealthy family.  To make ends meet, she began taking in artists as boarders.  Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf and Guy Wiggins are among the artists who lived at or visited the colony.

The artists became known as the Lyme Art Colony and Ms. Griswold's house became the center of Impressionism in America.

This painting of the house is by Matilda Browne, one of the few women artists associated with the Lyme Art Colony.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Connecticut State Capitol

You get a peek at Connecticut's State Capitol in the banner to this blog.  Here it is from a more direct perspective.  (This photo was taken in late summer, before our trees turned red or yellow and then lost their leaves.)
Tuesday was a mid-term electon in Connecticut and elsewhere in the United States.  Big changes are happening.  It will be interesting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today is Election Day.  Change is in the wind.  It is going to be interesting.

This is the front of Hartford City Hall.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Theme Day: Union Station

Union Station is the main train and bus station serving Hartford.  The building dates to the 1880s; it underwent a substantial renovation 20 years ago.  Along the way, it was given a huge and colorful tile mural by the late artist Cleve Gray.  The mural is 686 feet long . . . you see only a part.

The November theme for daily photo blogs is "public transportation." 
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants