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Colt as National Park

Colt as National Park

An interesting issue as Hartford and Ct. have to grapple with politics and history, celebrating the past, and dealing with the present.  Here’s a topic for an argument paper in Composition 101.   


Bakery poetry – Hartford’s George Scott

Check out this video featuring George Scott, owner of Scott’s Jamaican Bakery in Hartford.  It gives a little history and George recites his favorite poem, recalling his early life in Jamaica.



The Leisure Class – a musical primer

I heard this on the radio the other evening, and thought immediately of our upcoming workshop.  The recording isn’t great but a fun little ditty nonetheless.

Cruising the CT River on the “Hartford Belle”

Delicious food, beautiful views, and great company

Story about Frederick Law Olmstead on NPR’s “Where We Live”

I think that you will all find this story really fascinating.  Enjoy:



The Forlorn Soldier

After the talk today and before we were P.T. Barnumed to death, I asked Matt Warshauer if he knew anything about a statue I have always noticed amid the clutter of Brainard Road, just as you come off the 91 exit beyond the traffic light, tucked in the overgrown shrubs near the highway.  He told me the name of it: “The Forlorn Soldier”



The Little River

How do you get paralized by building a bridge?  But if only we still had that bridge crossing the Park River into Bushnell park.  From the poem by Wallace Stevens to the history of the pollution and filth of those lower class workers (and horrible immigrants) to the Bushnell and Olmsted landscape architecture – one thing runs through our readings (as it ran through Hartford itself): the “Little/Mill/Hog/Park – after Bushnell’s efforts – River.”  From what I gather, all those illustrious planners and thinkers would certainly be horrified to see what later generations did with that river.  It was just as responsible for Bushnell Park and Pope Park’s dimensions as was the Ct. River for Riverside Park.  All the walkways and strategic plantings of native trees and flowers related to the river.  But just as interesting is the idea that the glorious beautiful things Hartford celebrated and still celebrates were often invented to cover up the stuff no one wanted to see – the poor, the dirty and the undercurrent of those outside the institutions of control.  It’s like Ani Difranco’s song “Fuel” about the slave cemetary discovered beneath Manhattan – where “there’s a fire just waiting for fuel.”    It’s one thing to reconstruct Samuel Colt’s extravagent gardens and do away with his greenhouses and his ponds.  It’s another thing to obliterate Front street and the whore houses on State street and the ethnic culture of the riverside.

June 8 discussion

I’ll be in Maine on June 8 while you’re discussing Connecticut and the Civil War, but I’ll be curious about a couple of details that I recall (maybe some misremembering here?) from the Prudence Crandall readings: Continue reading