Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I meant to do while in CT

I grew up, went to university & had my first jobs in the greater Hartford area & I assure you, it really is not the most boring place on earth. In fact, I always run out of time to do the things I want to do. What I should have done but did not:

- Seen the Chihuly. We actually tried to on a previous winter holiday visit. After dinner we were four adults just staring at each other & it was a beautiful night so I asked if we could walk around Constitution Plaza & see the lights. No one could come up with a better idea, so we went. I know it does not compare to even lawn displays in some parts of the country but it is still the first big light display I ever saw & I am fond of it. We swung by the Bushnell to see the Chihuly; it is inside but it is massive & well lit BUT they had the shades pulled on the 2+story high windows. If you do not buy a ticket, you cannot see the Chihuly.

- Visited Horace Wells. Back in the days when I worked around Bushnell Park, I used to seek out the space near the Horace Wells Statue. Sure, I was drawn to the flashy carousel horses in warmer weather, but even when he was dusted with snow I enjoyed a brown bag lunch with Horace. How many other capitol parks have statues of famous dentists, hmmmm? It turns out that the answer to this is Paris; in the Place des Etats-Unis there is a statue of........Horace Wells.

- Walked through the Mark Twain House. Even before we moved south, it had been too long since I had done this. If you can, go on a day it is snowing so you can watch the snow flakes in the window over the fireplace. It really is pretty cool. You can also visit his neighbor, Harriet Beecher Stowe. Unbeknownst to many (well, me) she wrote one of her books just a few miles from where I live now.

- Dined at Kashmir. I was once dumped over dinner at Kashmir. Immediately after, anyhow. I had never been to the restaurant before that evening & it was worth it. Good-bye man, hello cuisine!

Then there are all the places outside the city limits that I missed:

- Crazy Bruce's Liquors. This is another place I have never actually been, but on a past xmass eve my husband & my brother rushed in moments before closing & bought all the ingredients for chocolate martinis, including the glasses (most women want jewelery but we are not most women). The clerk was very helpful & figured out what they were making from their purchases. What does not ever seem to have occurred to them is that she thought they were a couple. Crazy Bruce stocked the bar at A's graduation party, our wedding reception & every event we ever had at my parents on these visits home. Yes, even those whatever night of Chanukah/G***'s Birthday/Open Houses we used to have when we came north in Decembers past.

- Talcott Mountain. Roughly between the house I grew up in & the house my parents live in now is Talcott Mountain. It is not a big mountain; it is a perfect mountain. You can get up & down in an afternoon & enjoy an uninterrupted view from the top.

- Rock Cats game. I actually have a hard time leaving Florida in the summer: I like it HOT but we are trying to swing a winter-holidays-in-July so maybe....

- SONE rehearsal. We have been on previous visits to watch my sister sing & they treat you like an honored guest! Really, they make an announcement & thank you for coming. No talking though, you can only smile & wave like the Queen of England. If you go in winter, take a step back & enjoy the Congregational Church architecture conveniently located diagonally across from the Prosser Public Library. If you go in summer, bring your anorak; I do not know what the deal is at Emanuel Synagogue, but it is the best air-conditioned place I have ever been & I live in Florida.

& finally there are those places I will never visit again:

- Mount Southington. I can x-country ski, but I rarely do. I do not downhill ski. I do not even like the ski lift. The sensation of air moving quickly across my face makes me feel ill. I have a lot of great pictures of everyone else coming down the slope though.

- Cinema City. I have been told there is a theater there again but is it really Cinema City? I remember when they put real butter on the popcorn, popcorn popped right in front of you. The movies were good, bad & off-beat. This is where I saw Dogs from Space, Sid & Nancy, Round Midnight, & the list goes on. Maybe I am wrong & it is everything it could be, but I will never know.

- The Elm, another theater, but this one really is gone. The last film I saw there was Walt Disney's Cinderella. N*** & I tried to sneak up to the balcony, but it was already closed & then we sat through the unpublicized opening film which caught us by surprise: Nestor the Long Eared Donkey. I don't even think it was xmass-time, but that is part of what made The Elm The Elm. Actually, N*** & I have a twisted history with strange movie theaters across Hartford County. Remember the one in Avon with all the sinks in the stalls so a person could not just wash the salty-popcorn-y smell off her hands without feeling obligated to try & pee....?

I know this sounds like a tag-you-are-it kind of list, random-beyond-random but these were what made my every day for decades. Or at least they are what was part of what made my every day for decades & then fell away has become. You can follow that, right? Even if they are gone, even if they are back & better than ever, they are not every day anymore. Not for me. I think this might be why people make small shrines in their kitchens & collect scrapbooks & plant trees.

//one place I had thought I would miss was Shady Glen. These are the only cheeseburgers I ever eat. Which means I have a cheeseburger roughly every eight to fifteen years. I have been enjoying the mural on the back wall & the doilies under the little metal bowls of ice cream for as long as I can remember. So has the rest of my family, except maybe my cousin C**** who has been working there since he was sixteen & just might be sick of it all. We managed to squeeze in a visit on Monday along with one wonderful quilt shop & Penzeys. & yes, I had a cheeseburger, so I will eat beef again in ?2015-2025?, give or take.

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