The Streets of New Haven

This weekend, our family spent some time in New Haven, Connecticut. With Yale University and a host of other attractions, New Haven is clearly the Connecticut city with the most culture. We spent a night at The Study at Yale, a newly renovated hotel on Chapel Street. The hotel was hip and comfortable. We dined at Heirloom, the in-house restaurant and they did a fine job accommodating our diets. At dinner, we heard a mini concert by the renowned, Whiffenpoofs. Their holiday CD had already been in rotation at our house during the past week, so it was cool to hear them in person again. They sang with their backs to a large wall of windows, looking out on to Chapel. A nice snowfall was coming down, confirming that the holiday season was upon us.

For breakfast today, it was a whole lot easier to eat vegan because we sought out the right spot. Claire’s Corner Copia has been serving vegetarian food since 1975. It is one of the oldest veggie restaurants around. Claire’s didn’t open till 9:00 A.M., and that is four hours later than our kids’ “normal” wakeup time, so we killed time by walking the streets, window shopping, and hanging out at the Atticus Bookstore/Cafe, another landmark shop. When we did get in to Claire’s, we were quite pleased. I’m actually surprised that after all of these years, this is the first time that either Debbie or I had been there. The menu was fantastic. We will be back.

New Haven is so close that we have committed to exploring it more. There is a lot of stuff to do and much of it centers around the Yale campus. Like Hartford, Bridgeport, and other Connecticut cities, it has its issues. We awoke to news of yet another shooting on the streets. I couldn’t help but think about the lyrics of one of my favorite Doors songs. In Peace Frog, Jim Morrison sings “Blood in the streets of the town of New Haven.” Of course, he was talking about a different kind of blood in a different era. Still, the parallels were drawn. Tradeoffs need to be made in order to experience the culture of a downtown setting. Stay out of the bad sections at the wrong times. Sage advice that I will continue to follow.

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