Hartford

A journey through the capitol

The unsung city

Hartford, Connecticut’s capitol is primarily a work center. A center for insurance and manufacturing. It is also a place of beauty and history. These photos and observations spring from two walks with a friend, one alone, one with a group while she decribed some of the wonders of the city

The Lovers

The Best of Places

River Side Park, Bulkeley Bridge

It is mid morning on a sultry August day,  the sounds of traffic on Route 84 above, these two have carved out their own little world, there on the concreted banks of the Connecticut River. A world wherein they are the only inhabitants and every dream is possible. You know the place. I hope you do anyway. It is the best place ever.

A Bridge too Far

Bulkeley Bridge connects Hartford to East Hartford, first of the big bridges across the Connecticut river was completed in 1908.

INCIDENTALS

Small Amphitheater wall

Bulkeley Bridge, East Hartford across river

Genius in the House

The Goddess of Connecticut

The Genius of Connecticut, our very own state Goddess. she is the symbol of the the spirit of the people, the protectress of Connecticut. She stands, angelic in form with flowing robes, crowned with a garland of oak leaves torn from the branches of the Charter Oak, it’s hidden treasure the seed from which the tree of the United States Constitution grew. In her right hand she holds the wreath of flowers symbolizing immortality, in her left a wreath of mountain laurel, the state flower.
Here she presides beneath the dome of the state capitol. Considering some of the “leaders” who have been walking into her sanctuary, she is doing a really shitty job these days. Oh wait, she just whispered something to me. “Why are you blaming me? I didn’t elect these assholes or tell them to take all of your money and spend it on stupid shit.” Ooops. Sorry dear Lady.

The State House

The Connecticut State House. There is so much symbology contained in this building it is incredible, beginning with the eight-pointed star, which has sacred meaning in most religions, though in the context of this edifice I would roll with Masonic. Paganism never went away dear Christian friends, it just went incognito for awhile.

INCIDENTALS

The Genius

In the midst of beautiful architecture, I have to wonder at a world where, in the middle of a state built on human ingenuity and industry we must display a device whose gaping maw was designed for the express purpose of devouring the lives of poor mother’s sons in wholesale lots. Well, I guess that actually is a testament to human ingenuity and industry, all the best shit gets invented while we are imaging creative new ways to murder one another.

The Genius in the Park

The Soldiers and Sailors Arch

Completed in 1886, Hartford’s own Arc De Triomphe stands as a memorial to the men from Connecticut who served and/or died in the Civil war. I consider both Connecticut and Texas as Home (yes I can have more than one) so some mixed feelings here. When my thrice-great grandfather Francis Marion Slaughter crossed the Llano river not far from present day Kingsland, Texas (yep, my hometown-ish… one of them anyhoo) on his way back from the other side of that there conflict, there was nary parade or memorial planning party on the calendar. Just another struggle. one potentially as deadly as the one he just left. But he did come home to a new face he had never seen before, a wee little girl who would grow up and be the twice-great grandmother of the author of this tragedy. I wrote her a letter, you can read it.

The Genius on the Arch

Oh yeah, and there presiding over the triumphal return is the state Goddess, Madam Genius, sitting there are regal like (her wings appear to be tucked away somewhere).

INCIDENTALS

The Wild Ride

Bushnell Park is home to a vintage carousel crafted Russian immigrants Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein from 1914, of which only three remain. Only one word comes to my mind. Okay two words. Craftsmanship, and Crazy. Craftsmanship. A word fallen into much disuse in this day of iThis and iThat. Pure beauty and artistry in every curve and line. Exquisite. Oh… Crazy. Yeah. just look at ’em… those two guys were batshit.

Go there, and when you do, ride it… only costs a buck.