A couple of things before I take you along with me on the walk I took yesterday:
I am completely ignorant about Houston. Completely. I hope I didn’t come off as disparaging that city because that was not my intention. I just have to choose where and when to visit Don on his tour vs. when I have to stay home and take care of the cottage and the endless leaves that will be falling in October and November. If I learned anything on our drive across the country it was the fact that you never know what wonders are just around the corner. And I’m sure Houston has them. Another time, Houston!
My heart and prayers are with all of you who are in the path of the hurricane. I know of at least two of my readers who live in that area of Texas. I’m sure there are even more. Stay safe, evacuate if you need to. I’m sure I can speak for all the readers of this blog when I say our thoughts and prayers are with you.
I did end up taking a walk yesterday and it was lovely.
First up, this building which is the view I see from my apartment. I’ve always loved this building, the former Goodwin Hotel, that has been closed since, I think, 2008. I’ve watched it over the years, thinking how cool it would be to have an apartment there. I’ve even written about it on the blog. When I was here in January and February, I would see the occasional light in one of the rooms and, once or twice, the silhouette of a man or two. I thought I was going crazy. The hotel portion of the building, after all, was empty. There were businesses on the ground floor but nothing up above. Then I thought they might be squatters, or something like that.
This time around, I saw the same thing in a different window. But the next night, I saw more windows lit up. Hmmmm. So I walked that way the other day and found out that the hotel has been restored, reimagined, redesigned, and has now reopened as the Goodwin – a Boutique Hotel! I even went inside and talked to the desk clerk, who said they had opened in June. It’s stunningly beautiful. It’s also a sign of the revitalization going on in Hartford.
I walked through the park to the Capitol building, which is ornate and gorgeous, as a Capitol should be. I had the honor of meeting the Governor of Connecticut – Dannel Malloy, a man I greatly admire – last year.
All inclusive. As it should be.
A view from the park. My apartment building is over there.
I loved this. And it’s so true.
My favorite apartment building in Hartford – The Linden. This is actually the back of a portion of the building. I fell in love with those balconies and the french doors leading into the apartments a few years ago. There’s a beautiful courtyard. It reminds me of something I might see in New Orleans or Charleston.
Gosh, I’d love to get inside one of those apartments!
I stopped by the library, of course, where I scanned the new fiction and saw the newest Sue Grafton (which has just been published.) So I went about getting my card renewed and checked it out. The librarian and I got to chatting and she told me she is originally from Charlottesville, which prompted a conversation about the events that transpired there. She’s going back for a visit in a couple of weeks.
The interior of the main room is being redone, partly because the University of Connecticut, or UConn, has just opened a new campus in downtown Hartford. This is great news for Hartford. There is now a section of the library for UConn students. The campus itself is just behind the library, in several buildings, the biggest of which is the former Hartford Times building.
I saw students, clearly going through some sort of orientation, everywhere. As I walked around, I kept trying to remember something I read when I was here at the beginning of the year – something that was coming to downtown Hartford because of the UConn expansion. Then I saw it – a small branch of Barnes and Noble. It had just opened the day before. It’s connected to a Starbucks and like many university bookstores that are under the umbrella of B & N, the concentration is on textbooks and sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. But there is a smallish section of fiction and non-fiction that I was happy to see.
The Barnes & Noble is in that building on the left in the rear of the picture. There are new loft apartments upstairs. The main building can be seen at the rear – through this magnificent Alexander Calder sculpture. On the left – but barely seen in this photo – is the Wadsworth Antheneum, the beautiful museum I have shared with you in the past. On the right, just across the street, is the Main Branch of the Hartford Public Library.
A very nice walk. I may take another one today as I don’t have to be at rehearsal until 1:30 and I’m nervous about whether the stove will arrive or not, so I’m keeping myself busy.
Update: She’s in Newburgh, just about 20 miles south of our cottage. She’ll be delivered today!
Stay safe my friends.