So sad that this had disappeared when I revisited in 2013.
Guerilla gardening...a sudden surprise when I turned a corner in 2010.
Here are flowers and plants, flowerbeds made of re-used materials, seating created from scrap wood, old toilets used as plant containers.....
It's a space where anyone can help. Water or weed or tidy; it's for everyone.
I really liked this idea. Maybe they'll start it again....
Walk past the Green to the east, along Chapel street. You'll find 'the lot' on your right after a block or so, by the bus stops.
I was really rather impressed by this bit of street art, although I know nothing more about it.
There is a (pleasant and safe) alleyway which runs off Chapel Street, near its junction with Temple street,. the alleyway runs towards a multi-storey car park (although there is no access) and then turns either towards Temple Street or past the Schubert Theater and College Street.
Look down the alleyway and you'll see the red artwork in the photo.
Walk down the alleyway towards the multi-story and you'll see that each section of the artwork is actually completely separate. It is only when you are viewing it from afar that the illusion occurs.
Very clever indeed!
This little slice of green lies between Elm street and Broadway, to the north-east of the Green.
It's an up-and-coming area, apparently, with shops and cafes and restaurants.
But I'm writing the tip about the war memorials on the triangle. The older one, to those who served in the Civil War, is a classic of its type: column topped with eagle, sculpted figures at each corner of its base, memorial plaques.
But look to the south-west of this bit of green. You'll see a pile of stones.
Look closer and you'll see that each stone is painted with the month and casualty figures.
Each stone stand for one month since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As of July 2011 total US military deaths in Iraq stands at 4469. Verified civilian deaths stand at 110918, but will be higher of course.
In Afghanistan, US military deaths so far are 1648. Civilian deaths are at least 14240.
So much death.
I found this simply memorial to be intensely moving. I hope it will soon be no longer necessary to add a rock each month, but i fear this is not likely.
Wooster Square was, in the early 20th century, very much New Haven's 'Italian Quarter'. The streets which surround it are filled with the mansions of those who made their wealth through shipping in earlier times (ship's captains and wholesalers, in the main) and there is a particularly lovely, and very green, street of late 19th century terrace (row) houses...Court Street.
The whole square is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. It's amazing that it remains at all because there had been plans to demolish it from as early a the 1930s and, in the 1950s, interstate 95 was planned to run through the area.
It's still an Italian-origin neighbourhood, with several excellent restaurants (I believe).
But I liked it because if its greenery and its architecture. And I liked the small memorials in the park itself: one (a simple lump of rock) to classmates who dies in the Second World War, another to those from the area who died (their names making it clear that this was indeed an Italian enclave), and one to Christopher Columbus, erected in 1892 by 'the Italians of New Haven'.
It has an earlier history too. In 1781, French troops, led by De Lauzun, camped nearby on their way to Yorktown.
Wooster Square is certainly off the beaten path. But it's well worth taking a walk to explore this area.
Start by walking along Chapel Street. 2 blocks after you have crossed the railway line you will come to Wooster Square, on your left.
(Continued from the last library tip. 2008 update: replaced old photo with one I took at night.)
And then there's the most fascinating library of all - the Beinecke Rare Books Library, home of one of the world's five Gutenberg Bibles and other precious documents. Its policies are probably no different from other rare book libraries; students are made to wear cotton gloves while perusing the rarest of the archives, for instance. One student claimed, however, that he was supervised the entire time he read an original copy of Thomas More's Utopia, and that he wasn't allowed to use his hands - instead he was supplied with a a sterling silver page turner.
Whether or not it is true, I would be remiss if I didn't pass on my favorite story of all. Legend has it that in case of a fire, the employees and anyone else in the building have a minute to get out before all the oxygen shuts off in order to protect the books. In that case, I hope the employees get paid a lot to work in a death trap.
This story has led to countless myths about the building. In case of a nuclear war, we're told, the building will sink into the ground. I don't know if this takes place via remote control, and if someone's still in the building, if they escape via the underground library or steal away in an Aston Martin afterwards - I'm just amused by the story. Call me a geek, but there you go.
One night, my classmates and I shared these stories over dinner and tried to one-up each other with outrageous Beinecke tales. The winner was the student who said he'd heard that during a nuclear war, Bieneke takes off for the moon and waits there until it's safe to come down.
Maybe you should ask your tour guide about that one. *smirk*
If you cross all the way to the west end of the city, you're rewarded with a completely non-touristy area. Edgewood Park offers great walks by the river, and if you go far enough, there's West River Memorial Park further south along the river.
BUN LAI, owner and head chef of the legendary MIYA JAPANESE RESTAURANT in New Haven talks about one of his adventures, "last year we had a great year so as a treat I took the staff to Rhode Island for a trip. I rented out a bunch of rooms, each equipt with a kitchenette, and then we went foraging for dinner. Chefs Pablo and Juan had the largest kitchen in their rooms so we did all of the cooking there. We cooked Asian crabs that are parasitic like zebra mussels and came to the east coast in the late eighties on tankers. The trick to eating these crabs are to deep fry them whole until they are crispy like crackers. We also tried for the first time, horseshoe crab, which had huge clumps of lobster-like meat in its joints. The meat was tough but I might have over-cooked it. We also cooked up piles of shellfish and seaweed. Pablo and Juan were great sports because their rooms really smelled bad after we cooked half of a marsh in it...yet they never complained...or really liked the food. Later all of the guys sat in the tub drinking champaigne together. Jack Taylor was afraid we looked too gay in the photo. but I say you can never look gay enough"
Look very closely at the photo and read what it says on the book. That is from the stonework in the Sterling Memorial Library - and was one of the things that made me believe I could actually bring myself to go to school here. =)
Yale has some interesting libraries, architecturally. And because they all seem to have urban legends, the truth value of which I cannot vouch for.
There's the Social Science Library, the towering one, with the "stacks" where students are said to get nekkid and make out late at night (never happened to me, sorry).
There's the underground Cross Campus Library which is said to be sinking by an inch every year because the architect did not account for the weight of books. I have a feeling every underground structure comes complete with this legend.
(Continued in the next part due to length.)
If you would like to get a bit of exercise in the great outdoors, you can take a visit to Sleeping Giant State Park in nearby Hamden, CT.
You can take a nice, easy walk up to the top of the mountain on the 1.5 mile (2.25km) Tower Trail. From the summit, you have an excellent view of New Haven.
The walk along the path to the tower takes about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace. For the more adventurous, the Sleeping Giant contains several other hiking trails of varying difficulty for serious hikers.
Be sure to wear good hiking shoes. The park closes at sunset. For a treat afterwards, stop by Wentworth's Ice Cream at 3697 Whitney Ave. for some excellent homemade ice cream.
The Shore Line Trolley Museum -
This is a great place for the young and young at heart. They have restored a bunch of old-time trolley cars and you can even take a ride on them (for a small fee, of course!)
The Shore Line Trolley Museum
17 River Street
East Haven, CT 06512
I'm not sure where to put this, it's a little French bakery called Patiserie Normandie located in Hamden. Excellent pies, cakes, pastries, thay have a few tables inside where you can have a cup of hot tea or coffee and a little snack.
The Northanpton - New Haven Railroad and Farmington Canal . Originally a canal in the 1800s, it was drained and turned into a railroad. The railroad stopped using it and it then lay derelict for several years. Recently it has been cleaned up, repaved and turned into a greenway for bicylists, walkers, in-line skaters and joggers. I think dogs are allowed, too.
...or you might miss architectural details like this weathervane atop the Sterling Memorial Library.
The tower at the top of East Rock Park is seen from all over New Haven.