Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Lovely and elegant Ann closes out 2014.  We met at a hardware store.

Ann is a a retired teacher, a widow with two grown sons.  One son has suffered from a very serious disease, with one failed transplant but a second successful one.   Last week he was able
to  visit her in West Hartford for the first time in 2-1/2 years.

Happy New Year, Ann.  Happy New Year, everyone else!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Elizabeth Park

OK.  I am biased.  But, I think Elizabeth Park is beautiful in every season.  And all weather.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bear's Smokehouse BBQ

Bear's has been open about six months in downtown Hartford and it is already a busy local favorite.
The mural on a flat side wall was painted by Hartford muralist Tao LaBossiere. 

This post is linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thomas Hooker

Center Church in downtown Hartford has five stained glass windows made by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

A century ago, a comprehensive survey of Tiffany windows found that there were Tiffany windows in 75 Connecticut churches.  Since then, some of the churches have been demolished and some windows have been moved.  Still, Connecticut has many remaining Tiffany windows.

The Center Church Tiffany windows were made and installed from 1894 to 1903.

Thomas Hooker is the founder of Hartford.  He was a prominent clergyman in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Hooker disagreed with the practice in Massachusetts of limiting voting to "freemen," men who were officially admitted to the church after extensive interviews about their religious views.

So, in 1636 Hooker led a band of 100 followers out of Massachusetts to the banks of what we now call the Connecticut River.  This community adopted much broader voting rights.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What is a Family II?

Two brothers in their 30s bought this 25 room, 12,000 square foot house in Hartford, just two blocks away from the home shown yesterday.  They live there with their wives and -- so far -- three children.
Until recently the building had been the headquarters of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.

The neighbors seem happy.  Because both male adults are brothers, the zoning laws limiting occupancy to single families seem to be satisfied.

Take your exam booklets and pens out again.  Why is this OK but the situation from yesterday is not?
Or are they both OK?  Or both unacceptable?

Friday, December 26, 2014

What is a Family?

This house on Hartford's fanciest street stood empty for four years.  It is too big for most people.  It has nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, 6,000 square feet and sits on two acres.   While unoccupied, someone stole all the copper gutters and downspouts.  Last summer it was sold.

One couple with kids, a childless couple, a gay couple, two single adults and three children moved in.  The eight adults are friends who share duties around the house, including the cooking, put house maintenance money into a single bank account and eat at a communal table.  Neighbors have complained to the City of Hartford, because zoning limits occupancy to single families.
The occupants of the house say they consider themselves a family, albeit a non-traditional one.

If the unrelated adults were domestic employees, no problem.   

Take out your exam booklets and pens.  So, in today's world, is it OK for this group 
to occupy a home like this in a single family zone?  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Virgin and Child

This limewood sculpture of the Virgin and Child is in the Cloisters,
a satellite museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
It is attributed to the Master of Rabendum, who worked in Germany about 1500 - 1530.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


The Christmas season in Hartford has its own habits, customs and rhythms.
One habit is a visit to the south end of Hartford -- the Italian section -- to buy
Christmas cookies at Mozzicato Pasquale Bakery and Pastry Shop.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Back in West Hartford

Connecticut always feels more Christmas-y than Florida.
Even without snow on the ground.
Here through New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Black and White In Color

Here is a collection of "almost black and white" photographs that I could not give a day of their own.

Two photographs from Lake Trafford.

Two paddle boarders on the Imperial River in Bonita Springs shortly after sunset.

Yes, I know that it was the current Pope who said dogs can also go to heaven,
but you take the photographs you are presented.
Venetian Village in Naples.

Tired of monochrome and looking for some color?  OK.

On my way to a holiday party in a high-rise tower in Naples,
I turned the corner and found these chairs near the elevator.
No, they don't suit my decor but I want them anyways.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


These two young women took a break from shopping at the factory outlet stores.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nutcracker Soldiers

Did I mention that I like German nutcracker soldiers?
Italian ceramics, too, but that is another story. 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bah! Humbug!

Let me quickly say that "Bah! Humbug!" does NOT express my feelings about the Christmas season.
I love this time of year.  The music, the colors, the happy spirits, everything.
But this pillow in a Naples store was too
good to pass up.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Norman Love Chocolates for the Holidays

My kids will be visiting, so I paid a visit to Norman Love Confections,
one of the best chocolatiers in the world, for a couple of boxes of chocolates.

Alex helped me.  Alex is graduating from college and going on to medical school.

The chocolates are not only delicious, they are beautiful.

Ramona is a customer who lit up the store with her Santa hat, warmth and smile.

Annie -- a Naples realtor -- is a friend of Alex's mother and told me about his medical school plans.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


How often do you ask the owner of a fashionable Naples boutique to pose for you 
and discover that she used to be a model?  Sweet!

Marina is from Torino (Turin), Italy.  She owns Casanova Boutique in the Village on Venetian Bay.
Her husband, Keith, owns the Venetian glass shop next door.  The Venetian connection
is probably serendipity, but I like it.

Casanova offers colorful, stylish and elegant clothing and jewelry.  The clothing is 
usually made from natural fibers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Keith has a marvelous gallery in the Village on Venetian Bay, selling Murano glass and
Venetian paintings, masks and other fine art objects.  If anyone is looking for a
Christmas present for me, one of the Venetian masks would be a good choice.

Here Keith is showing a meticulously crafted Venetian glass violin, 
with an impressive Murano glass sculpture behind him.

Keith's vivacious wife runs a boutique next door.  Come back tomorrow to meet her.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Old Mohawk

A night photograph of the Old Mohawk restaurant taken on my recent trip to
Columbus, Ohio, reminded me of a painting by Edward Hopper.

So, here it is, with a few light brushstroke, watercolor and posterization effects applied to it.

It is posted on a Monday because, when I lived in German Village,
I was a regular at "Monday night at the Mohawk."

Here's to you, John, Geri, Sarah, Clint, Jim, Rita, Erin, Linder and the rest of the gang. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Eric is from Connecticut, as I am.  He built a successful business, sold it and then retired to
Naples in his 50s.  Today his time is split between his photography --  he is
the former president of the local digital photography club --
and teaching golf.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Sticker Lady

Back in Naples.  Columbus was great, but it is a pleasure to be warmer and see blue skies.

Kim is outgoing, friendly and enthusiastic.   She went to college to become a commercial artist, then worked for an ad agency and later a sign company.  Now she has her own design company.  Kim makes and applies vinyl lettering for store window signs, and she creates and applies
those colorful, graphic full body signs that some cars and trucks are wrapped in.

Some of Kim's biggest contracts are for designing, making and applying names and numbers 
to the sides and sterns of boats and airplanes.  Hence, the name "Sticker Lady."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Out of the Jurisdiction: Hockey

While I was in Columbus, I bought a third row ticket to a game between the
Columbus Blue Jackets and the Philadelphia Flyers.

I tried some photographs of the action with my little compact camera.

The Blue Jackets won 3 to 2 in overtime.  That goal was at the other end, so I didn't catch it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Out of the Jurisdiction: German Village

I am spending a couple of days in Columbus, Ohio, where I worked from 2004 to 2010.

I lived in German Village, a red brick enclave from the late 19th century, 
where the brewery workers lived.  Beautiful, though cold and cloudy this week.

German Village is just south of downtown Columbus.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places, the largest privately funded preservation district on the list.

The house on the left is where I lived.

Once or twice a week I ate at the Old Mohawk, an old-fashioned restaurant
featuring  simple comfort foods.  

This beauty faces Schiller Park.

The architects of this ornate house tossed in every feature they could think of. 

Tourists come from all around to eat at Schmidt's Sausage Haus,
featuring a Bahama Mama with sauerkraut and horseradish. 

Lindey's is the best restaurant in Columbus.  It is the place to rub elbows with politicians,
neighbors and the powerful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I saw Anne Chaddock's fine painting of an old Florida scene at the Naples Art Association,
so when I came across her studio, I walked in and said hello.

Anne paints in a variety of media -- oil, acrylic, water color, pastel -- and teaches art classes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I know next to nothing about cars.  OK, I do know how to fill the gas tank, push the accelerator,
brake and steer.  But, there was a "cool cruising" event where I was shopping,
so I took some photos.  Except for the middle Chevy,
I have no idea what they are.  Sorry.