Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trinity College

Here is the chapel of Trinity College in the early days of spring.  It was spring break, so no one was there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hartford Children's Theatre

The headquarters of the Hartford Children's Theatre is on Farmington Avenue in Hartford.  I think the roofline is the most interesting part of the building.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Student Art Exhibition

A week ago I visited the Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford.  Award-winning student art was exhibited.

The ceramic bust (ahem!) is titled "In Bloom (Self Portrait)" by Jacqueline Edwards, a sophomore ceramics major.  I don't know Ms. Edwards, so I can't vouch for the likeness.

The large floor exhibit is by Lucia Esposito, a senior ceramics major. The work is called "Millions of Turkeys Die for Each State . . . Excluding Puerto Rico." It consists of a very large map of the USA and ceramic turkeys of different sizes and shapes.   I took this one to be a pro-vegetarian statement, but what do I know?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Elizabeth Park Garden

Steffe from Photos from Haninge returns to the same place over and over again, to show us how it changes throughout the year.

At the beginning of March, I showed one of the gardens at Elizabeth Park in mid-summer (the smaller photo to the left).  Today I am showing the same scene at the margin between winter and spring, before the first flowering plants appear.  Not much going on today, but under the surface . . .

In the coming months, we will see this plot several more times.

The building in the background is an administrative and educational building for the Friends of Elizabeth Park.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Light and Shadows

An arbor in a plant nursery is not yet being used to hang plants.

This photograph is linked to Shadow Shot Sunday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


A week ago Hartford had a two-day heat wave, the first one this spring.  Julie came over to Elizabeth Park after work to get some sun and to relax for a while in a peaceful, quiet, pretty setting.  She found a bench in the sun below the gazebo in the rose garden.  When asked if I could take her picture, Julie said "Sure."

The rose garden is pretty bare now.  We won't really see much growth until May.  Roses are in peak bloom in June.  You will see Elizabeth Park often in the coming months.  I don't know if you will see Julie again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Gold

Here we see two different kinds of reflections, the golden reflections OF the Gold Building on the CVS building across the street, and the reflection ON the Gold Building of ING's tower at State House Square.  Whenever I drive up Pearl Street and see the gold light shimmering on the CVS building, I am caught off guard.

It is Friday again.  If you like photographs featuring reflections, this is your day.  Go to Newtown Area Photo to see them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The NCAA tournament isn't the only basketball being played.  At the First Cathedral Playfields in Bloomfield on Sunday afternoon, a bunch of guys played a hard fought game of basketball.

My four teams in the NCAA tournaments (Connecticut men and women and Ohio State men and women) all won their first and second round games, so all are in the Sweet Sixteen.  This is where the competition gets tough.

It was warm on Sunday when I took these pictures.  Yesterday it snowed again!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bulb Sale

The Friends of Elizabeth Park hold an annual sale of spring bulbs -- hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and the like -- to help pay for the park's plantings.  The City of Hartford and Town of West Hartford pay for the park's basic maintenance, but the extensive plantings and improvements are funded by the Friends, who also volunteer to plant and weed the flower beds.

I walked over to the park on Friday to check out the inventory.  The greenhouses were locked, so I could only look from the outside.  The greenhouses were full of gorgeous potted flowers in full bloom; it is too early for any spring bulbs to bloom outside.  By the time I returned around noon on Saturday to go inside, most of the flower pots were gone.  This is always a very successful fundraiser.

I am seeing a lot of spring bulb macro shots.  Just one flower.  They are pretty but I like scenes.  Isn't it interesting how different people's minds and eyes and tastes are?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Here is another photo I took but didn't find a spot to post.   Besito is a stylish, upscale, Mexican restaurant in West Hartford Center. This photo was taken on a December morning, before the lunch rush began.

Besito shows artworks on its walls.  You can see part of the exhibition "The Wild Horses of Sable Island," photoworks by Roberto Dutesco.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Construction at the Atheneum

The Wadsworth Atheneum's renovations are supposed to be finished this summer.  Most of the work has been the thankless task of fixing the roof . . . lots of money, entirely necessary, but no more space and no new features.  The museum has been open during renovations, but I am sure attendance has been hurt by the construction barriers that obscure the building.

The lead exhibition today is Monet's water lilies.  I didn't go in today.  I will have to see it later.

Nathan Hale's statue is bravely standing amidst the construction materials.  I showed him before here and here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steampunk Fashion

I was standing in front of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford's main art museum, when this young lady came walking down the sidewalk toward me.

Can I take your picture?  Sure.  And where are you going and why are you dressed up today?  I'm taking a bus to the Mark Twain House for a Steampunk Fashion event.

Uh.  OK.. Have fun.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Street Hockey

Yesterday it was 70 degrees in Hartford.  The kids came out of their houses and a game of street hockey was on!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Self Portrait

The head-top I show with my profile isn't much of a self portrait.  So, I put on a proper green shirt for St. Patrick's Day and took a photo of myself in the bathroom mirrors.

To see other photos of reflections, go visit Newtown Area Photo  any Friday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

This is the day when the Irish, those who wish they were Irish, and those who are Irish for just one day wear green and imbibe prodigious amounts of hops- and grain-based medicines.  This has something to do with chasing snakes out of Ireland.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Masters of Flight

Have you ever taken a special trip to a place that you thought would give you photographic material for a month, then looked at your photos and found nothing worth using? 

Let me introduce you to the New England Air Museum.  This is a museum behind Bradley International Airport, serving Hartford and Springfield.  Connecticut has made many contributions to the aircraft and aerospace industry, from Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, to Sikorsky helicopters, to space suits made by Hamilton Sunstrand. 

There are many old airplanes, old helicopters and old gliders in the museum and on the grounds.  There are displays of civilian and military aircraft from the beginnings of the air age, but I found it impossible to take interesting pictures.  I guess everyone has off days.

The top photo shows a wall with plaques for people who made big contributions to the aerospace industry.  The smaller photo honors the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black pilots in US military history.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

63 Parsons Street

Do you have photos in your archives that you want to show but can never work into the line-up for your blog?  This is one of mine.  I am going to push other things aside and show it today.

Last fall I visited the Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford.  I showed some of the work from that visit here and here.  One photography exhibition that was particularly interesting, but which I didn't show, was by faculty member Robert Lyons.  He found an elderly man who has lived in the same town, and even in the same house, since he was born in 1925.  (Read that sentence again slowly!)  Lyons' photographic tribute showed Walter Kmiec and his home and belongings, little of which had been updated in decades.  It was a fascinating frozen moment in time. 

It is thought-provoking to contemplate a man who has been touched so little by modern life.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness

For those who are not sports fans, March Madness is college basketball's year-ending tournament.  Most fans, including me, will be watching men's college basketball for the next three weeks.  A smaller number, also including me, will be watching women's basketball.

Ohio State's men's basketball team will start the tournament ranked #1 in the country and the University of Connecticut's women's team is also ranked #1.  Both also won their conference championships.  The UConn men's team won the Big East tournament and the Ohio State women won the Big Ten championship.  So, I have four good chances for favorite teams to go deep into the tournament.

Although I have lived in Hartford for three decades, I worked in Ohio for six years, until last summer.  My loyalties are divided.  I expect to log many hours in front of the TV in the coming weeks, changing my shirts back and forth from blue-and-white to scarlet-and-gray.  Go Huskies!  Go Buckeyes!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Elbow Room

West Hartford Center is the restaurant mecca for this region.  There are perhaps 25 - 30 good restaurants in a small area.  When good weather arrives, diners will want to sit outside, but the Center wasn't designed with wide enough sidewalks to accommodate the growing demand.

So, if you are the Elbow Room and operate a successful restaurant with more demand for outdoor dining than your small piece of the sidewalk can serve, what do you do?

Answer:  You build a funky rooftop dining patio, overlooking Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road.

But, if the weather is not great, of course, no one eats outside in Connecticut.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thinking about the People of Japan

I had to scour my archives for a photo that could represent Japan for today's blog.  We have Japanese restaurants in central Connecticut, but that is about it.  This is a relatively new one that opened about one year ago, with an unusual (to me) buffet format.

No doubt, yesterday's earthquake in Japan is on many minds today.   The scenes we saw repeatedly on TV were frightening.  Like you, my thoughts are with the people of Japan.  They have suffered very serious damage, but the Japanese are resilient and will recover.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Reflections: XL

XL is a Dublin-based global insurance company with its Eastern US headquarters in downtown Hartford.  Their building offers simple reflections of the sky and nearby buildings.

For other reflections on Fridays, please look at Newtown Area Photo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

City Council Chamber

This is the former City Council Chamber on the second floor of Hartford's Old State House.  You saw the Senate Chamber across the hall in February

I don't know why I turned the camera . . . I must have been looking for an artistic effect.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"My" Starbucks

We should all post photos of "our" Starbucks and see if anyone can tell one from another.  OK, this customer is wearing a jacket, so it must be in a cold weather climate.  That really narrows it down.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mark Twain Again

When you can't think of anything else to show on a Hartford blog, show something about Mark Twain.

The Mark Twain House is one of Hartford's most visited tourist attactions.  I have previously shown a bust of Twain and photos of his impressive Hartford house.

For other photos with a lot or a little red, go see Ruby Tuesday.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Pfau's is the kind of old fashioned hardware store that used to be found in every town before Home Depot and Lowe's arrived.

You go into Pfau's and say "I want a tool to make a hole to put a doohickey through."  The guys in Pfau's then rummage around the back room and come back with just what you need.

A sense of humor never hurt, either.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lego's State House

The Danish toymaker, Lego, has had its U.S. operations in Enfield, CT, since the 1970s. 

Lego employs modelmakers to produce special exhibitions from Lego bricks, but there are also many Lego hobbyists who build impressive model structures from standard Lego bricks.  I don't know who made this one.  The model is in the lower level of Hartford's Old State House.

I have previously shown you the Old State House here and here and here.  Plus others.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

55 Farmington Avenue

This is a close-up of 55 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, an office building that houses Hartford Investment Management, the investment arm of The Hartford. 

I thought the curved effect, produced entirely from straight lines, makes the building an interesting study.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Gable

I think the late afternoon winter sun bouncing off the gable and window of a Tudor-influenced house is nice.

For other photos of reflections, go see Newtown Area Photo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Britain Museum of American Art

Following up on yesterday's post: 

At the top are two among many wonderful works at the New Britain Museum of American Art.  In the foreground is a 1908 bronze statue, Artemis, by Bela Lyon Pratt.  The painting in the rear is Le Jour du Grand Prix, a work created in the late 1880s by the American artist, Childe Hassam, while he studied in Paris.

To the left is a couple sharing a romantic moment they didn't expect me to capture and put on the internet.  The work that stirred the young man is a portrait by Chuck Close.  On the left in the distance is the marvelous and inspirational 18 foot painting by Graydon Parrish, The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy:  September 11, 2001.  This is the painting I mentioned in yesterdays post.  I showed it originally last November.

Chuck Close is a fascinating story.  He became paralyzed in 1988 after he had long been an established artist. He continues to work with help from assistants, holding a paintbrush taped to his arm.  The silkscreen shown above was done in 2000, a dozen years after Close became disabled.  Here is a link to an explanation from the New Britain  museum.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

White Rose

Last year I showed you an amazing, huge, September 11-themed allegorical painting by Graydon Parrish at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Parrish liberally used white roses in that painting to recall the bouquets that mourners placed in memory of the victims of September 11.  For his new painting in the New Britain museum, Parrish again used white roses to memorialize a recently deceased friend.

Isn't it remarkable that a noted young American artist in 2010 can and does paint simple white flowers with the kind of quality and detail first used by Dutch masters five centuries ago?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Theme Day: Favorite Part of Town

My favorite part of town?  It has to be Elizabeth Park, shown here last summer.  Elizabeth Park straddles the City of Hartford and the Town of West Hartford.  Walking to, around and from Elizabeth Park is one of my simple pleasures, at any time of year.  (It was even more fun when my old dog was still here to lead the walks.)

I have shown the gardens in the summer, the fall and the winter.  I started this blog in July 2010, so I have not yet shown Elizabeth Park in the spring.  Stay tuned.

The first day of the month is theme day for City Daily Photo participants.  The theme for March is Your Favorite Part of Town.  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.