Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day in New London, CT

President's Day and the American Dream

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

I spent the morning walking and shooting pics in New London, CT, a whaling capital in the 1800s with glorious captains' houses, just like Mystic's.

But these days, New London is struggling in ways Mystic is not. Houses are run down, interspersed with houses where people with jobs and money lovingly tend to their houses' needs.

When is one of our Presidents going to stop waging war in a misguided effort to bring democracy to countries where the citizens are insane and don't deserve it (i.e., Iraqi and Afghan fathers, brothers and uncles performing "honor killings" of girls in their family who have been raped).

When is one of our Presidents going to focus on helping small businesses in this country grow? Small businesses employ far more people, in total, than big corporations do, in total. With jobs, people could better afford to take care of their homes, as well as work on making their dreams come true.

Take a look and see if I've made my case.

A splendid 19th century home falling into disrepair.

A close-up of the mess under the eaves and woodwork that needs a protective coat of paint.

Here's another example, just one block away.

Details of the peeling paint.

Across the street, a splendid example of what care can do for one of this historic homes.

The house above was built by two women in 1903.

The lovely front door.

Here's another beauty.

A detail of the front porch wrought iron.

Around the corner, a house whose owners can't manage.

A close-up of the front door.

Footsteps away, someone with a job maintains a beauty of a house, with a room on the roof.

Agreed? Let me know, and comment below.

If you like my blog, would you please follow it? Thanks!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mystic Bridge House. Come debate me on historic significance!

My American Dream of Preserved Historic Buildings

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

These shots were taken in autumn.  Remember the good old days, with temps in the 50s and 60s?

Today I'm offering more than the weather to be nostalgic about.

Even in Mystic, full of shoppers nine months a year, a few storefronts are still empty. Remember what a booming economy felt like? I'm nostalgic for that.

Fall roses. A beautiful sight at...

…a beautiful Mystic riverfront house. Sometimes it's hard to look at what only a few people can afford to enjoy, do you think? Then I have to let go of it and say, "I hope you enjoy it in good health," and I'm content with my little cottage again. At least this historic home is in the hands of someone taking magnificent care of it.

The house was built in 1834 by Daniel Williams, marine entrepreneur. That stone foundation looks stronger than my concrete foundation from 1952.

A romantic door.

This is the view that house has -- of historic Mystic Seaport itself.

Another autumn garden nearby.

The old Mystic Drawbridge bridge house, with a crane lurking in the background waiting to
 demolish it. 

The new house that's now on the bridge is probably warmer and has the latest technology in it, but it lacks the history, the historical significance.

Brand spanking new, but somehow….not as terrific. Do you agree?  If you like my blog, would you sign up to follow it? And RT, +1, or Share? Tnx!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

American Dreams of a Welcoming Irish Pub

Beer and Ice Cream in Mystic, CT

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Folks, my 84-year-old mother is not doing well, and that's why I haven't posted the last two weeks.

But I'm determined to keep you guys happy! You need your fix of Americana, so, onward! 

Let's browse in Connecticut again this week and next.

This Irish pub, near the drawbridge, has been here since my parents moved to Mystic 22 years ago. I've never been inside -- somehow it doesn't invite me. What about you? Do you feel the same way? Comment below.

This is Drawbridge Ice Cream Cafe. When the traffic bar on the left goes down to stop cars on Route 1 so the bridge can open, the people on line (especially in summer) are stuck in front of the ice cream shoppe (so sad!). Next time I go there, I'll get shots of the interior of this indie coffee shop. I avoid going in because the scones are too tempting!

Not far from downtown, fall roses flourish beside an historic house.

A view of a three-master docked at historic Mystic Seaport, with a wood-hulled two-master behind it.