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INTEL CT PHONE HOME Seen any aliens over Connecticut lately? No? Well fear not, because John Greenewald is offering the next best thing: access to the testimonies of those who have.

According to the global market service firm’s rankings, the nexthighest rate of millionaires in New England is found in Massachusetts, which came in at No. 7 on the list. New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island cracked the top 25 as well.

LE TTER S

For now, Maryland’s average of 7.67 millionaires per hundred households relegates Connecticut to second best, but the question remains: doesn’t James Franco count?

FÊTES

A BBC report in Pakistan surprised viewers when the camera caught a photograph of Sandy Hook massacre victim Noah Pozner displayed amongst photographs of the 145 victims of a Pakistani school shooting in December.

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Hold onto your polo ponies: Phoenix Marketing International has ranked Maryland above Connecticut as the state with most millionaires per capita.

New Haven

IN STYL E

The BBC admitted that the photograph, which was seen hanging on a wall of the Pakistani school with those of other victims during a televised report, was indeed Pozner, an American child who was killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook. The BBC, however, did not elaborate further on the unusual sighting.

OUTDOORS

NEW HAVEN – New York and Connecticut are each celebrating their 225th anniversary, but a U.S. Court of Appeals judge says Connecticut established the nation’s first court under the Constitution – by one day.

OF NO TES

WE’RE NUMBER TWO

BIBL IOFIL ES

But Cabranes doesn’t see why our courts couldn’t have 13 mommies: he pointed out that the original 13 states’ courts were all legally established on the same day in1789 by the first Congress. Mother Courts all around!

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AT H O M E

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explanation: A Pakistani woman created a collage of photographs of young people killed in school shootings, including Pozner, and posted it to Facebook with the caption “They Went to School and Never Came Back.” That tragic collage was printed out and used at vigils for the Pakistani victims.

WORDS o f MOUTH

UFO enthusiast Greenewald’s new website details 12,000 declassified UFO investigations – dozens of which were reported in Connecticut. Greenewald has catalogued nearly130,000 U.S. Air Force documents on UFO sightings, including Connecticut reports dating back to the 1940s.Twenty years of tracking down government documents has convinced Greenewald of an official cover-up of UFO activity, the evidence for which is now neatly compiled in one source.

its first judge, James Duane. The distinction of “Mother Court,” he argued, belongs to the court that first had a judge, even though there is uncertainty regarding when either court actually began official proceedings.

Meanwhile, Pozner’s photograph is being circulated around Pakistan as a December victim named “Huzaifa Huxaifa.” According to Islamhelpline.net, both the first and last name are variations of the root word “hazaf,” which means “to erase”.

SLOT RECEIVERS HARTFORD – Though not a jackpot, December did bring a glimmer of hope to Connecticut’s two struggling Native American casinos: an increase in slot machine bets. Foxwoods Resort Casino reported a decline in revenue from December 2013, but did enjoy a 3 percent increase in slot machine bets, to $446.3 million, last month. The Mohegan Sun actually increased its revenue over that same time, and also showed a 7 percent rise in slot machine bets, to $49 million.

BODY & SOUL

Judge Jose Cabranes, formerly of the U.S. District Court in Connecticut, stood up for his old stomping grounds at an anniversary bash in noting that George Washington appointed Richard Law, Connecticut’s first federal judge, the day before the New York district was granted

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The Connecticut casinos have struggled against growing competition in New York and Rhode Island but may be able to steady the ship as gamblers increasingly reach for the lever.

| Vol. 8, No.4 | January / February 2015

Publisher: Mitchell Young Managing Editor Liese Klein Contributing Writers Brooks Appelbaum, Jamie DeChesser, Bruce Ditman, Jessica Giannone, Eliza Hallabeck, Lynn Fredricksen, Mimi Freiman, Lesley Roy, Priscilla Searles, Makayla Silva, Photographers Steve Blazo, Lesley Roy, Chris Volpe Graphics Manager Mathew Ford

Publisher’s Representative Robin Kroopnick Robin Ungaro New Haven is published 8 times annually by Second Wind Media Ltd., which also publishes Business New Haven, with offices at 20 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT 06513. 203-781-3480 (voice), 203-781-3482 (fax). Subscriptions $24.95/year, $39.95/two years. Send name, address & zip code with payment. Second Wind Media Ltd. d/b/a New Haven shall not be held liable for failure to publish an advertisement or for typographical errors or errors in publication. For more information e-mail: NewHaven@Conntact.com.

Please send CALENDAR information to CALENDAR@conntact.com no later than six weeks preceding calendar month of event. Please include date, time, location, event description, cost and contact information. Photographs must be at least 300 dpi resolution and are published at discretion of NEW HAVEN magazine.

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Greater New Haven Rivers From “sea dragons” to screaming mayors and Native American sachems, here’s a look at the history of three Connecticut rivers.

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Quinnipiac River Its 38 miles justified the Algonquian name meaning “Long Water Land,” and later Americans added to the Quinnipiac’s pleasant monikers by nicknaming it “Clamtown,” due to its abundance of oysters, as well as “Dragon” for its lovely sea dragons – the quirky local term for harbor seals. Things became decidedly less cheerful when industrial pollution became so severe Connecticut had to pass its first pollution control legislation simply to stop Meriden from dumping its sewage directly into the river. The Quinnipiac received the lowest possible water quality ranking in the 1960s, but it has slowly been recovering under the care of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association.

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Mill River In the 18th century, the Mill River was home to eight corn-grinding mills and powered Eli Whitney’s gun factory. But more recently the Mill has been threatened by the hazardous chemicals of English Station, the abandoned former United Illuminating power plant at Ball Island. At a 2009 press conference, former New Haven Mayor John DeStefano scorched UI CEO Jim Torgerson for selling the plant to a company without the means to properly clean its facilities, demanding that they and all the cameras go down to Ball Island that instant. In 2013, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection ordered English Station’s current and previous owners to conduct a massive cleanup.

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West River A third the length of the Quinnipiac, the West River flows through Westville, in New Haven and is a great place to find a wide variety of birds. In West Haven, the river was long plagued by an unwieldy bridge incrementally crumbling into the river that posed a risk to boating as well as the aquatic vegetation. In 2001, then-mayoral candidate and Yale alumnus Joel Schiavone enlisted a scrap metal company to remove the 10-ton bridge trestle entirely, but the Department of Environmental Protection accused him of not complying with state regulations and causing further damage. Few citizens of either New Haven or West Haven agreed, but Schiavone did lose to John DeStefano in his quest for Mayor.

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BIBLIOF ILES LET T E RS

WORDS of MOUTH F ÊTES INSTYLE

ATH O M E

OUTDOORS

OF NOTES

BODY & SOU L ONSC REEN

Blasts from the Past

The most fascinating people sit down with New Haven Magazine Photos: Steve Blazo


A

rguably one of the first celebrity chefs, Jacques Pépin sat down with us in 2013 in his studio kitchen. Pépin, who lives in Madison, has been cooking for nearly all of his 77 years. At age 5 he was in the kitchen of his mother’s restaurant. At 13 he began his formal career as a chef apprentice. By his late teens he was preparing meals for French President Charles de Gaulle. He came to America at the end of the 1950s and is now recognized as a seminal figure in food culture. Nevertheless, he says he remains, above all, a cook, a chef and a teacher.

In your family the chefs were women. But we typically think of the ‘French chef ’ as a male. It is a misconception. There are 138,000 restaurants in France. Most people — [including] many people in my family, a family of restaurateurs — have never been to a three-star restaurant. Many of the great chefs came to this country in the ‘70s, and to American people that’s what French cooking is. Those [chefs] are mostly men, although now there are a few women. I can count eight restaurants in my family in Lyon and in Paris. They were all [owned and operated] by my aunt and cousins — all female.

Your father was a cabinetmaker. Why didn’t you become a cabinetmaker, too? The excitement [of restaurants]. At that point we had blinders; you did what your family did. There

was no television, no magazines. I had no thought I could become a doctor or a lawyer — something totally outside the range of what my family was all about. It was easier for young people to decide than it is now. It was my aunt, my cousins [in the restaurant business] — more exciting than the cabinet business. Although I liked to do [woodworking] — I made that table [gestures to the table in his studio kitchen]. At that point the cook was at the bottom of the social scale. You had your place — behind the stove.

Yes, but as a very young person you became chef for the president of France, Charles de Gaulle. How did you get that job? It wasn’t as prestigious as you may think. I was working at some of the great restaurants in Paris, and then I was called into the navy. It was during the Algerian war [1954-62], we were supposed to [serve] for 18 months. I did my boot camp in the southwest of France, and I was marked to go to Algeria. But my older brother was there at the time, and they didn’t call two [brothers] to be drafted at the same time. You had to wait for one to come back to send the other. I was at the headquarters of the navy in Paris and they put me in for the admiral. Then a friend came and he was cooking for the minister of the treasury and he said he never worked in Paris in a big [restaurant]

like me — ‘I would really like if you can give me a hand.’ They liked me and he eventually left and I became the chef there and that [person] became the prime minister of France. De Gaulle came to Paris in 1958. At that time the government was changing at a rapid pace. I ended up working in three governments.

Did that all go to your head? No. As I said, the chef was very low on the social scale. If anyone came into the kitchen, it was because something was wrong

So in America you were a food ‘pioneer.’ Did it seem as though you were entering new territory? With your 20/20 hindsight you look at what happened in the last half-century — an amazing revolution in the food world and the position of the chef and all of that. But those changes did not happen overnight. It was very gradual and you don’t even realize it. And maybe I am an existentialist, but I feel that in life you do one thing, which projects you in another thing, which projects you forward and your life eventually designs itself. At the time I had no master plan. I worked here, I worked there. It was interesting, it was different. I didn’t have a wife or a kid, I didn’t have anyone to support.

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around at people’s writing, and I came upon you. I like the kind of writing you do.’ And I said ‘Thank you, but I work now in fashion.’ And he said, ‘Well, that’s why I’m calling: I want to lure you back into newspapers.’

convey energy, you have to talk really fast. When you start in radio, you have to find your real voice — just as you do in writing.

A women’s section?

Have you ever tried to calculate how many people you’ve interviewed over 30-plus years?

By now [newspaper women’s sections] had all become…

I have it written down somewhere. It’s either 10,000 or 12,000.

‘Lifestyle’?

Ann Johnson Prum

Lifestyle. And he was going to pay me a decent amount of money — far more than I was making. So I said, ‘Okay.’ And it was wonderful.

Eventually to radio?

Faith Middleton

a “Exploring the Richness of Life” was the perfect title for our March 2012 interview with Connecticut Public Radio Hostess Faith Middleton. Middleton, 63 at the time of our interview, had already been doing her show for 32 years and is still going strong. Former Editor Michael Bingham turned the tables on the famed interviewer.

Before you were a radio personality you were a journalist, how did you get your first big break? I was very close to my sister Sally, the one who’s closest in age to me [13 years older; Middleton is the youngest of four children]. My sister was in fashion — she was Miss Connecticut and she was in the Miss America pageant — and I wanted to do everything she did. She worked in fashion at Sage Allen, the Hartford department store. She said, ‘Why don’t you try fashion [as a career]?’ And I thought that was interesting, and I had dome some writing about fashion. So I quit the newspaper and went to Sage Allen, and began working first on the floor, selling coats, and then they moved me into the fashion office. Then they had me modeling — I’d be marching down the runway wearing these Yves Saint Laurent clothes — it was a riot. Then, I’m home one night, and the phone rings. And it was Ed Chinnock, the brilliant editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. And he said to me, ‘I’ve been looking

I spent the summer [of 1980] unemployed, thinking, ‘What will I do next in the state of Connecticut that would be as interesting as what I’ve done?’ Then, I get a phone call [laughs]. It’s the vice president of Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a woman named Midge Ramsay. And let me tell you, it was love at first sight. We had the best time ever. That is probably the only thing that could explain why I took a 40-percent pay cut to come work for Connecticut Public Broadcasting. I came in and took a voice test, and I thought, ‘Well, that was a failure.’ Because my voice is horrible. But they hired me. It was really weird. They said, ‘We’re going to give you a show.’ I said, ‘A show?’ They said, ‘You and Bill Henry are going to have a show together. It’ll be called On the Town. He’s a Broadway music expert, and you’re an interviewer/journalist, so he’ll play Broadway music, and you’ll do interviews.’ [Henry] was in Hartford and I was in New Haven because they made me the New Haven bureau chief. We’d talk on the phone about a halfhour before airtime and then fax the order [of stories and music] to each other. [Sometimes] I would lead off with a report about, say, a mother talking about what it’s like to live in a poor neighborhood where her children hear gunfire and she’s trying to keep her kids out of trouble. Then Bill would come on next, and say, ‘And now from the show [Gold Diggers of 1933] here’s the song “We’re in the Money”’ [laughs]. It was so funny. It was the worst show in the world. It just did not work

To me you have a uniquely distinctive and calming voice. Was it like that when you started on the radio? If you heard the first show that I did, I spoke in a way that I thought would sound interesting — and it was at about 1,000 miles an hour. It was as if someone put me on speed. I thought that to

a New Haven filmmaker and naturalist Ann Johnson Prum was cinematographer for for Cuba: The Accidental Eden, a film that aired on PBS in 2010, as well as Hummingbirds, also from 2010. While many islands in the Caribbean have poisoned or paved over their ecological riches for the tourism industry, Cuba’s wild landscapes have remained virtually untouched, the filmmakers found. We interviewed her in 2010.

How is Cuba different from other Caribbean islands? There is so little industry its effect on the environment is very low. People still use horse and buggy for some transportation.

Is there much eco–tourism? No, most of the tourists are on the beaches.

You didn’t produce this film. How did you get to shoot it? The people from Nature said [to the producers] ‘You should have Ann Prum shoot it for you.’ The film company wasn’t big in wildlife. It took three and a half weeks and it was down and dirty. We had a Cuban driver and Cuban fixer.

Were Cubans themselves interested in showing off their natural landscape?


Half were puzzled and half would say you need to go to X, Y and Z [to shoot]. It was one of the most confusing places I ever went. Compared to a lot of Latin America the standard of living wasn’t bad, but there are the humanitarian issues. As soon as I landed they gave me a cell phone. When I was there 10 years ago you couldn’t have a cell phone. Then the Cubans working with me couldn’t go in the hotel, because of the “corrupting influence.”

Do Cubans fear changes coming? There are miles of beautiful, untouched beaches — sea turtles, that’s it. They don’t want CubanAmericans from Miami coming in and building hotels everywhere. They feel they’re the ones that have suffered so if anyone does anything to their island, it’s going to be them.

Where did you grow up, and how did you get to New Haven? I’m from Boston. There was a [meat-packing] plant down here called Sperry & Barnes. My father was a meatpacker and an Irish immigrant; my mother was also an Irish immigrant. They met in Boston and had five kids. We lived in Somerville and he worked for a subsidiary of Swift Squires. They closed that plant and shipped him to New Haven and he dragged five kids down here.

So this was the perfect career for a smartass Irish kid from Boston.

If you have a personality that does not mind being contentious, antagonistic professionally and confrontational, then the practice of trial law is made for you. You get out of bed every day and you can have a fight with someone.

Many of your well-known clients are people who have had solid accomplishments and now they’re in trouble. That must be pretty difficult for them. How do you adjust yourself to deal with them? That’s an excellent point. You hear all these people constantly say, ‘Let’s get tougher; let’s put the people in jail.’ Ninety percent of the

How did you decide to do a film about hummingbirds? Hummingbirds came about because my husband had a sabbatical. He said, ‘Where do you want to go?’ I said the Andes. When he was in grad school we did a lot of work in the Andes. Ecuador I love. I thought years ago about doing a hummingbirds film, but I thought it would be too hard. Just at that time there was a new camera that came out with high-speed video. I thought I could probably make this film in a way nobody has ever seen hummingbirds before.

Hugh Keefe

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a Hugh Keefe is one of Connecticut’s best-known criminal defense lawyers. He’s been practicing law in New Haven for 40 years, handling cases from the Black Panthers to former Rowland administration Chief of Staff Peter Ellef to Danbury trash-hauler James Galante. We interviewed attorney Keefe in 2007.

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people caught up in the criminal justice system as defendants are either good guys who made a mistake, or otherwise fine people. Like Peter Ellef, chief of staff for [former Gov. John G.] Rowland, like Rowland himself. I’d say 5 percent are real evil. Like the people who did the crime in Cheshire — they’re evil. But they are so rare, thank God.

I love Kevin Bacon. I’ve been very fortunate and have gotten to work with a lot of wonderful artists in television, films and the theater.

You’ve worked with a lot of top Hollywood talent. How would you characterize actors at that level? A lot of great and famous people are just good people. They show up on time, they work really hard. The reason that they’ve lasted so long is that they show up on time and work really hard. It’s a privilege to be an actor. The work itself is very rewarding.

Today we see you with a lot of high-profile, white-collar-crime defendants, but didn’t you make your reputation defending the Black Panthers here in New Haven? I was a kid out of law school just a couple of years. [The government] decided to try a dozen Black Panthers for murder in New Haven. The FBI wanted to terminate the Black Panthers and they were litigating them to death. I was appointed special public defender to represent two of them, and the firm was good enough to allow me to do that case for almost two years exclusively, at special public-defender rates.

Was that the high-profile case that set your direction? I had some murder cases, and almost any murder case in those days was high-profile. New Haven had two newspapers in those days, morning and evening. That case was a very highly publicized case.

There are lots of cases today where police are accused of abusing their authority or outright commission of crimes. Do they get a fair shake in the system, or are they presumed guilty? They get a fair shake when they themselves are the defendants. They have an edge up. Jurors will give them the benefit of the doubt. They recognize how tough a job it is. If they don’t at the beginning, after they hear evidence they do.

a We spoke to New Haven resident and actor Bruce Altman in 2011 when he was playing the mayor of New York on Blue Bloods, the popular CBS TV series featuring Tom Selleck as New York’s police commissioner. Altman graduated from the Yale School of Drama and received his first film role in the film Regarding Henry with Harrison Ford.

You were already 34 when you graduated from the Yale School of Drama School in 1990. Wasn’t that a little late to start an acting career? I didn’t start then. I started acting when I was in college at SUNY Albany. I was a pre-med major, then an English major. I met my wife my senior year, got a master’s degree in education so I could teach high school and support myself as I tried [to build a career] as an actor. I moved to New York 10 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

a

Bruce Altman

in 1979, I was there for eight years. I taught high school as a sub and also a full-time tenured innercity public high school teacher. I felt I needed to support myself, but I never would have made it as a waiter. I’m too disorganized. [All the while] I did a lot of plays I auditioned and I studied a great deal.

Among all the characters you’ve played, I haven’t seen teacher. I auditioned for a great role as a teacher, but I play a lot of white-collar guys — more the principal than the teacher.

In a lot of roles you affect a cool demeanor. Do you have a cool personality?

When John Lahey first came to what was then Quinnipiac College, in 1987, the school could certainly be described as sleeping in the shadow of Hamden’s famed Sleeping Giant. Lahey increased student enrollment by more than 300 percent and expanded the physical plant from 100 acres to 604 acres. When we interviewed Lahey in 2011, Quinnipiac had announced that it was starting a medical school and would be opening Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on campus.

So you were recently chosen as the Irish American of the Year by Irish America magazine. Just how Irish are you? I grew up in a very, very Irish neighborhood: the Riverdale section of the Bronx. I was pretty parochial — I went to the neighborhood school, St. Margaret’s. Everyone teaching was Irish, the priest in the parish, the cops on the beat were Irish, the firemen. I grew up thinking the whole world was Irish.

John Lahey

My wife says I’m so uncool that I’m cool. I don’t know, I don’t cast myself. How do you really analyze yourself? You can’t.

Most of us don’t understand what actors actually do. Can you give a quickie definition? Let me give you a definition that Bill Esper taught me. Of the many wonderful teachers I had, he was one of them. He was a student of [legendary actor and acting coach] Sanford Meisner, and Meisner said, ‘Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.’ For me it has to do with analyzing the circumstances, the person. I studied with [former drama school dean] Earle Gister. He talked about different aspects of acting, but the two main ones were asking the questions, ‘Who am I, and what do I want?’

You’ve been in so many plays, movies, television shows — you could be a wild card in anybody’s ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ game. NEWHAVENMAGAZINE.COM


You have a collection of Irish paintings at Quinnipiac. I credit Murray Lender [former Lender’s Bagels entrepreneur and philanthropist] for us getting the collection. In 1997 there were events in Ireland commemorating ‘The Great Hunger’ that took place from 1845 to 1850. The worst year was 1847 — it was referred to as ‘Black ’47’. It was the third consecutive year of the failed potato crop and it was also one of the coldest winters Ireland ever had. 1997 was the 150th anniversary and Ireland was doing a number of things, including commissioning artwork for the first time. I thought that was a good theme to talk about. Murray Lender had heard a number of these speeches, he said, ‘I grew up in New Haven it had a large Jewish population, large Italian population and a large Irish population and I never heard word about this famine.’

I used to think that Quinnipiac competed for students with Northeastern, but it seems more like Boston University now. We compete with both of them — Syracuse, Hofstra, Villanova. Twenty-five years ago, of our 1,900 students, 80 percent lived in greater New Haven. Today, 80 percent come from outside the state. We have we have just under 6,000 full-time undergraduates. [In 1987] we had no graduate students; now we have 2,300.

When you acquired the University of Bridgeport law school, wasn’t that a big risk at the time? Well, it was a stretch. It was 1992 [with a weak New England economy] and we were still a small institution. That was a major step up.

The Quinnipiac Poll has certainly got the name out. If you were to watch our poll progress, you can follow the expansion of our student body. We started the poll here in Connecticut. We started off-Broadway, but New York was always where it was going. We moved into New York, did statewide polls in New York City,

then New Jersey, then Pennsylvania, Ohio and then Florida. Florida picks up the whole Northeast, getting the grandparents and the kids knowing about Quinnipiac.

You have raised a lot of money here, how did you do it? I was at Marist and five of those [years] I was vice president for development. It’s very important that you have something to raise money for — it’s not just go to someone who has money and they give it to you. People who give big gifts — seven-, eight-figure gifts — it’s not charity. They’re making an investment in something. They want to know that what they are going to have their name associated with is going to be a going concern, it will be exciting.

How did Ed McMahon come to become a donor? When we built the business school building we put a high quality broadcast studio in it. We were fortunate that Ed McMahon’s daughter went to Quinnipiac. She stayed for just a year, actually, but I asked if anyone knew her. It turned out she was married and living in Westchester, she came up and we had lunch. I told her I had my sights on doing something in communications and she set up a meeting and I went to California, met with Ed at his home. He gave a gift as well as helped us raise money from his friends. Communications now is about 1,400 [students].

a Interviewing local art legend Tony Falcone (then 62) in his studio a huge old barn in Prospect set the tone for a great discussion on art and of course Tony’s unique path to his artistic heart.

When did you first become involved in art — in junior high and high school? No, but I was the kid in grammar school that knew how to draw maps, so everyone would say, ‘Do my map assignment.’ But I didn’t do art really ‘til I was about 27. I went to college for business — I wanted to be an architect. My dad was a

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fireman and he built homes on the side. I would watch him build houses without blueprints, — he was amazing. When I told him I wanted to be an architect he said, ‘You don’t want to be an architect. ‘He grabbed the Yellow Pages and said, ‘See how many [architects] there are? You want to be businessman. I ended up hating it. Calculus and economics? I was glazing over. I ended up dropping out and taking a job as a firemen.

Tony Falcone

Was that your first job?

You opened Claire’s in 1975, when women’s liberation was urging women to get out of the kitchen.

I took the exam and I scored perfect — now I’m a fireman. I was 22 and stayed at it for seven years. I hated it. I grew up in the ‘60s. I was a hippie, and the fire department was quasi-military. You had to cut your hair short, so I cut my hair short. But I had a mustache, and then if it went beyond the corner of your mouth…I had this captain — he just hated my guts. I went to him and said, ‘I’m giving you 150 percent; why can’t we get along?’ He says, ‘You see these captain’s bars? You know what I had to go through to get those?’ And every fireman has a paper route.

Women were telling women that the kitchen was not the place to be. I think we were wrong. We made a mistake. Being in the kitchen is a wonderful place — was then, and is now.

I read that you used your engagement ring as a collateral for the loan to open this place in 1975. True?

Paper route? Part-time job on your days off. I was a lifeguard at a pool club and I did this doodle one day on my break. And a guy who was doing arts and crafts with the kids said, ‘Wow — you’re an artist!’ I said, ‘I’m just doing a doodle.’ And he said, ‘Let’s do a mural,’ and I said, ‘What’s a mural?’ We painted this wall at the [Woodhaven] country club. I had an amazing time. It’s a giant ice cream cone lying on its side in the grass. It was probably 12 feet by 12 feet and it’s melting and there are giant blades of grass, and there are red ants and black ants sliding down the grass. That was my first painting and I flipped out — ‘I have to do this.’

What was the reaction? We had some people at the club saying, ‘You gotta paint my hardware store.’ Or, ‘Come to my house — paint a wall.’

One of my favorite pieces of yours immortalizes the New Haven fire department — a painting of a horse-drawn water pumper. I was still a fireman. It was in the oldest firehouse in the city, on Orchard and Dixwell. It had a hayloft. They built a new fire station [and we] were moving to the new firehouse. I went over to the new building and saw this big wall. I had only painted the ice cream cone and a hardware store. I found this photograph of three horses pulling the steam engine. I talked to the chief, [who said], ‘What’s it gonna cost?’ We worked out an arrangement — I think I got three eggplant grinders and a couple of six packs of soda. I got stationed there. People would ask, ‘Who painted that mural?’ And the guys would point over to 12 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

predetermined by that. Associating food with love. I learned about the importance of good food — of good, quality ingredients. Of preparing things with love for people you love. I also learned that food is a party. My grandmother took care of me a lot when my mother worked [cleaning homes], and I remember her converting cardboard boxes into a table and chairs for me, and sitting outside and having a snack, or lunch.

me.

Have you ever felt complacent because of commercial success? Relaxed? Once, maybe. I can’t say I‘ve ever relaxed to say, ‘Why don’t I just take an artist’s holiday?’

It is. And my mother took out a second mortgage on her house to pay off the loan. [Subway sandwiches founder] Fred DeLuca owned the lease [on 1000 Chapel Street] and he was expanding [and needed cash]. He said, ‘If you can pay off the loan within a week (or something), I will give it to you’ at a huge discount. So we gave him our engagement ring as collateral and he made us pay, like, $500 a week on the loan.

Claire’s wasn’t originally a vegetarian Claire Criscuolo

Is that just something your father put in your head? Hard work and Italian — ‘Twelve hours? Okay, it’s half a day — let’s take a break. Now I’m the same way. I owe a lot to him for that, because I wouldn’t have made it as artist if I took this as a hobby. That’s what people said at the fire department: ‘You’re on three days, off three days. Do [painting] as a hobby and when you retire [you can paint full-time].’ I didn’t want to wait to be an old man.

a Claire Criscuolo, cookbook author, advocate for organic food and owner of Claire’s Corner Copia restaurant, recently celebrated her 40th year in New Haven. Michael Bingham former editor of New Haven magazine interviewed her in 2012.

Did you grow up in the stereotypical Italian family in which so much of family life revolves around cooking and meals? Yes. My grandparents emigrated from Amalfi and had a grocery store on Wooster Street — Paolo Biglio & Son. My destiny, my story was NEWHAVENMAGAZINE.COM


restaurant. When did it become one, and why did you make the change? I worried then about similar things that I worry about now. I also worried about people losing their sense of heritage and tradition because of this wonderful melting pot we have. And I wanted to serve what I always referred to as everybody’s grandmother’s cooking.

But was there a catalyst for making that change? I had been a vegetarian in college, so everyone was surprised when [we served] meat. One day I just said: ‘This is crazy — why are we serving meat here?’ And I didn’t want smoking, either. My accountant said, ‘If you want to be a social activist, sell the restaurant and go into social work.’ But I always felt I could do as much social work, if not more, [operating the restaurant].

What have you learned about business in 37 years of doing this? I guess, listen. Listen to what people say. This community is like a big hug. People protect us. People watch our backs. They’re unbelievable. One of the girls who works here made a comment years ago. She said, ‘We have to be loyal back to them [customers] — they’re always loyal to us.’

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a In her award-winning memoir Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran (Crown, 2004), author, journalist and poet Roya Hakakian documents growing up in a Jewish family in Tehran. We interviewed her in 2007.

How are Jews treated in Iran today? It’s a mixed bag of mistreatment that is primarily directed at all non-Muslims, who ever since the decree of Ayatollah Khomeini declaring them legitimate minorities, are treated as second-class citizens. But life is good if you’re willing to accept that there are limits to how much you can accomplish in life and society. The remainder of the Jewish community in Iran has made peace with that notion — that they’re not going to be able to excel in academia or the professions.

What was it like living in Iran as a young girl at the time of the revolution and the hostage crisis? The historic order fell apart. Iran had been a monarchy for thousands of year, and all of a sudden it is transformed not only into a theocracy but also some sort of presidential republic. To have been there and witnessed all of those things was not something I would have wanted to miss — even though it came with a whole bunch of other unpleasant consequences.

How did you get to the U.S.?

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37 percent of Iranians would welcome military occupation by the United States. So people want real change. But they’re also terrified about what it would take [to overthrow the regime].

How cosmopolitan are young Iranians today? Do they view the world with an open eye? When you get past the nuclear threats and the anti-Holocaust rhetoric, underneath all that Tehran is a very vibrant, cosmopolitan city, where tons of cultural and artistic activities are going on to the point where friends of mine who are artists come here and get bored — and can’t wait to go back.

What do you think American foreign policy should be toward Iran today?

Roya Hakakian

After the revolution, Jews were unofficially banned from leaving. So my mother and I after four or five years of trying were able [to leave the country] but my father couldn’t, so he stayed behind for another three years.

I would like to see this government exert every pressure short of military action to force the regime out of power. On a people-to-people level, I want to see Americans support the authentic grass-roots civil-rights movements that are ongoing in Iran but unknown in this country.

a We spoke to Marna Borgstrom, CEO of YaleNew Haven Hospital, in 2009 as she was about to preside over the opening of Smilow Cancer Hospital.

What happened to him? Eventually he was smuggled over the Pakistani border on a donkey’s back.

What appealed to you about the revolution — that it represented change? Until about a year after the revolution we never thought much of the clerics. The secular movement in Iran was very strong.

Did the West’s reaction to the revolution actually empower them? Absolutely.

So by thinking they were powerful they actually became powerful? It played into their hands. The [1979] hostage crisis cost America 444 days — and it cost secular Iranians forever. It catapulted the zealots within the regime [to leadership of the regime]. It gave the mullahs the upper hand. The provisional government, which was the government of liberal, American-educated Iranians, was forced out of power.

What do Iranians want today? The people desperately want change — but they don’t want to invest in that change. They would like to go to sleep and night and then wake up to find that everything has changed. Let me say that I am absolutely against any kind of [U.S.] military strike against Iran. But a university poll [conducted] four years ago reported that 14 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

The TV show House portrays physicians as prima donnas. Is it very difficult to manage people like that? I like working with physicians. It’s nice working with smart people; smart people are challenging. We have a lot of smart people around here and working with them all is a pleasure.

Early on there was a lot of discussion about the impact of Smilow outside of New Haven, into Connecticut and even beyond. There are a lot of people in this country who travel hundreds and hundreds of miles [for specialized medical care]. For some of the unique services that we have, there are going to be referrals nationally and internationally. That’s largely because of the thought leaders and the people who are doing clinical trials [at YNHH]. I think we have the best of both worlds.

Recently we’ve been hearing how expensive health care is in the U.S. and how poor the outcomes are. What’s it like for the people who are generating these outcomes to hear they’re failing from everyone? The health care we get in this country — notwithstanding that there are issues in any delivery system — is pretty good; the issues are largely of access and how that’s paid for. I’m not talking about New Haven and the Northeast;

Marna Borgstrom

because in general people don’t have access barriers [here]. There are payment barriers. In other parts of the country, access is a big problem. When people access health care too late, and it’s coupled with an inability or a failure to take personal responsibility, [that] contributes to a lot of the issues. If you look at unadjusted poverty rates in the U.S., Canada and certain western European countries and look at what we spend, it’s significantly more.

How did you first get attracted to health care? You grew up in Meriden and your father was a doctor. My dad never wanted to be a doctor; he wanted to be an English teacher. At the beginning of World War II, the army was looking at IQ tests and they told him he had to go to medical or dental school. He said he didn’t want to do either, and they said, ‘This is the army, son.’

So he was drafted into medicine? Yes, but he was one of seven kids. His parents were Irish immigrants, so he got into this with a real passion for health care and he instilled that in all three of his kids. And in different ways we’re all in health care. My brother is a physician and my sister designs health-benefit programs in California.

a Yale economist Robert Shiller is a regular on financial news shows and is seen by many as predicting the housing collapse that brought the economy into the “great recession.” His book Irrational Exuberance, written in 2000 and revised five years later, forecast the potential problem. We spoke with Shiller in August 2008 while the housing market was still in a major funk. NEWHAVENMAGAZINE.COM


Isn’t there an argument about whether economics is an art or a science?

Robert Shiller

That is the continuing conflict. Around 1900 the great British economist Alfred Marshall said, ‘Economics is not an exact science.’ [For] economists [who] try to be too much like real scientists there is a risk of being irrelevant. There is abstract economic theory, which is nice but so many of the questions that we want to answer are relevant to our current situation. And the current situation is a hodgepodge of laws, traditions, norms, companies, leaders and human psychology.

Didn’t you argue for a bigger stimulus from the federal government?

When did the idea that human psychology affects the economy take hold? I did a paper, ‘From Efficient Markets to the Theory of Behavioral Finance,’ and I did a decadeby-decade analysis. In the 1950s economists started to get into survey data. They started measuring confidence. In 1975 George Katona wrote a book called Psychological Economics. I was just starting out. In the ’80s we thought we were really out on a limb [with the idea of the psychological dimension of economics]. There were people [who shared it] and they were tolerated. Then in the ’90s it started taking off.

Was it because the science of human behavior became more advanced, or because some of the predictions got better? I never could fathom academic trends. I think it was a reaction against the extreme that had taken hold of [what is called] the efficient markets theory. Which means you can’t make any money trading stocks because the market knows more than anyone. There is no smart opinion that some smart guy somewhere has. When you meet these really

I got into predicting home prices in the ’90s through our company, Case, Shiller, and we published every month in the Wall Street Journal. They did a scorecard on us and we were pretty successful. It was so easy to forecast — they [home prices] just keep going up. We were forecasting the obvious. In 2005 I was on a town hall meeting on [cable channel] CNBC, where they brought [house] flippers and they brought me. [The flippers] were so confident they were going to be rich and they just dismissed me as this academic who doesn’t know anything.

smart guys, it is my experience, you are always disappointed [laughs].

So I should be disappointed, then? You have to realize that when [experts] get on television and they’re interviewed — and I know this from personal experience — the interviewer is very careful to not ask questions that you don’t have a ready answer for. That’s their profession. So they [experts] seem smarter than they really are.

The risk was a great depression, but the biggest issue facing this country today is rising inequality. It’s a trend – let’s not assume it is over. It’s probably due to new information technology and a more cosmopolitan world. Information technology is dangerous. I like to quote Norbert Weiner, one of the pioneers of computer science: He wrote a book called Cybernetics. At the end of his book, he said, ‘I don’t know which is more dangerous — the atomic bomb or the computer.’ He didn’t [actually] call it the computer, — it wasn’t called that yet; [it was called a] highspeed calculating machine. This was right after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He meant it was dangerous because it will displace jobs. Economist say there will always be new jobs but we don’t know how well they’ll pay.

a

But you stuck your neck out with this prediction.

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From the Artic to enjoy a sunset in Milford

Winged Wonders Snowy owls perch in our area for the season Photos and Copy by Lesley Roy The magnificent snowy owls are back again – most frequently spotted along the shoreline at Milford Point Coastal Center, West Haven beach, Hammonasset State Park and Stratford Point. A Bridgeport ferry leaving port in the background during a recent sighting of the bird provides an urban backdrop to this majestic animal: The snowy owl’s native habitat and breeding ground are in the Canadian Arctic.

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The number of immature owls in our area this year is a result of a highly productive breeding season in the Arctic. The snowy owl is the largest owl in Northern America, standing 2-and-a-half feet tall and sporting a 5- to 6-foot wingspan. Did you know that all owls hunt as much by hearing as by sight? The stiff feathers surrounding the owl’s tiny ear holes have a funnel effect that help pinpoint the sounds of prey in the dark of night. Another adaptation that adds to the snowy owl’s echolocation skills is their offset ear placement. The owl’s left ear is higher and larger than the right NEWHAVENMAGAZINE.COM


one and this arrangement allows for precision detection of the tiny scratching sounds of mice, voles and other prey. Snowies, like other owls, have incredible eyesight, but their eyeballs are immobile in the sockets, so when looking at something the entire head can turn on a swivel up to a stunning 270 degrees. Although we’re seeing fewer of the birds here this year than last, they can still be spotted perched during daytime hours. Snowy owls are active during the day and can be found roosting on a beach-front cottage rooftop or a solid fence post, but almost never in a tree. If you are interested in observing the owls, take binoculars, a spotting scope or a telephoto camera and stay well away to allow them to hunt and rest undisturbed – they are trying to survive in alien territory.

Snowy Owl on a log in Milford with Bridgeport Ferry in the background.

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Delicious Duos

By Liese Klein

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ooking at a beautifully composed plate of beef carpaccio on a table at New Haven restaurant L’Orcio, it’s easy to see the hand of an expert chef. Thin slices of meat are arranged just so, glazed with a light dressing and draped over the freshest greens.

Francesco D’Amuni and Allison de Renzi

What you don’t see is the family unit behind the scenes at the State Street eatery, which celebrates its 12th year in business this February. New Haven diners wouldn’t be able to appreciate the deft knife work of Chef Francesco d’Amuri without the hard work and support of his partner in life and business, Alison De Renzi. The couple’s shared dream of owning a restaurant and love for fine food bolsters both their relationship and their business, De Renzi said. “For us that’s the foundation of our marriage and always has been – that we have the same long-term goals.” Now the pair’s daughters, ages 9 and 7, are sharing in the family business, often spending time in L’Orcio’s kitchen and dining room and socializing with customers. Key to the harmonious blend of work and family is the couple’s dedication to building the restaurant, De Renzi said. “You have to have a very strong relationship and have an unwavering belief in the person you have next to you, to know that person is your rock and is going to get you 20 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

NEWHAVENMAGAZINE.COM


Amer Lebel and wife Michelle of Corner Restaurant in MIlford

where you want to go,” added De Renzi. Sitting the cozy dining room at L’Orcio, every glass polished and ever bottle in its place, it’s easy to the see the talent for hospitality that first united the couple. De Renzi was visiting Italy as a 20-year-old exchange student from NYU when she met d’Amuri, then 23, in Florence on the dance floor. Their relationship grew as they traveled Italy together, sampling regional specialties and cooking for themselves using local ingredients. “We fell in love in the kitchen,” De Renzi said. “We fell in love eating and drinking,” agreed d’Amuri, who recalls their adventures with the enthusiasm of a love-struck teenager. “We’d get in the car and drive two or three hours for pizza, espresso. It was beautiful.” D’Amuri, with his background as a chef and caterer around Italy, found a partner in his interest in capturing the essence of regional Italian cooking in De Renzi, who came from an ItalianAmerican background.

Blend of Old and New The current menu at L’Orcio reflects the pair’s passion for both traditional and “nouveau Italian” cuisine. A duck ragout features a dusting of curry spices; an antipasto dish tosses string beans with new potatoes, red wine vinaigrette and housemade chicken sausage. Sweet and sour flavors are evoked with balsamic vinegar in another dish. Although specials and some mainstays at L’Orcio reflect new trends in Italian cuisine, the basics remain: quality ingredients, simply and skillfully


La Molienda’s Maria and Largo

Andrew Hotis and Michelle Chadwick-Hotis

prepared. “Italian food is very simple, if you don’t use the good olive oil or you don’t use the good tomatoes, it’s not good,” De Renzi said. “The ingredients are really what hold it up. It’s all about the product that you’re using.” Those ingredients include tomatoes grown in Wallingford in the summer and San Marzano tomatoes shipped in from Italy year-round, their acidity and flavor bringing out the best in classic sauces. “Our food isn’t fussy,” De Renzi said. “We try to make as much stuff as we can here, and we try to purvey the best ingredients we can.”

Double Happiness We’re lucky in the New Haven area to

have many excellent restaurants run by couples. Just down State Street from L’Orcio is August, a sliver of a restaurant run by husband-and-wife team Andrew Hotis and Michelle Chadwick-Hotis. The tiny eatery with its limited menu won a rave review from the 22 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

New York Times dining section just this January. Reviewers and diners alike have singled out the couple’s impressive teamwork and effortlessseeming hospitality. Another husband and wife collaborate at G-Zen, Branford’s nationally recognized vegetarian restaurant. Chef Mark Shadle and his wife, Ami Beach Shadle, put forward their fresh-faced good looks and healthy lifestyle as a big part of the restaurant’s brand, along with their motto “Food is Love.” A strong relationship at the core of a restaurant often translates into a warm and welcoming atmosphere, as in that at the Corner Restaurant in Milford. More like a living room than a dining room, the eatery’s central space sports offbeat antiques and mismatched china instead of generic restaurant decor.

Milford Pair on Screen Owners Michelle and Amer Lebel also break the mold when it comes to typical casual cuisine, mixing and matching ethic ingredients and influences. The menu sports dishes like their signature spiced duck tortilla, a crispy fried roll featuring curry-spiced meat along with bacon and cheese. “African Hash” brings together spicy beef and lentils with poached eggs and Béarnaise sauce. Each dish at the breakfast-and-lunch spot manages to be hearty, exotic and satisfying, accented by the down-home service and clientele. During a recent visit, the staff exchanged gossip with customers while everyone collaborated on a Super Bowl pool. The Corner Restaurant’s unique recipe recently attracted the attention of producers at the Cooking Channel, featured the eatery in a May 2014 episode of the show “Road Trip with G. Garvin.” The segment focused on the duck tortilla dish and the eatery’s peach-stuffed French toast.

Another couple-owned restaurant that delivers both down-home appeal and exotic flavor is La Molienda Peruvian Restaurant & Bar, located on busy Grand Avenue in the Fair Haven section of New Haven. Westfalia and Paul Rocha own the eatery, which already sported Valentine’s Day-themed decor in January. Heart-warming dishes at La Molienda include the caldo de gallina chicken soup, with big chunks of potato and savory meat, enlivened by a side dish of expertly fried yuca. Everything on the wide-ranging menu benefits from a smear of mellow but addictive Peruvian green chile sauce. Also lovingly prepared was a dish of fried fish with savory rice and salad, the seafood nicely seasoned and tender.

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Mark and Ami Shadle of Branford’s G-Zen.

Bringing home to work For d’Amuri and De Renzi of L’Orcio, opening a restaurant seemed to be a natural outgrowth of their love of Italian food – and each other. They hatched plans for the eatery over a dish of wild board ragu while still in Europe. The couple set their sights on a historic Queen Anne building at 806 State Street in New Haven and opened their restaurant in 2003. The eatery’s name, “L’Orcio,” the Italian word for a terracotta urn used to store olive oil, symbolized their love of tradition and classic Tuscan ingredients. After 12 years in business, the couple has built a thriving business and close-knit group of regulars. “It’s all about our customers, who have become friends and watched our family grow. We feel very blessed,” said De Renzi. Their daughters, Mia and Clara, also see their parents working together every day and building the business. “Our kids have a very concrete idea of what we do,” De Renzi said. “I’ve heard from their teachers how proud they are of us and the restaurant.” There are definitely tough times in the restaurant industry that can try any relationship, the pair admits. Especially when one spouse takes on “front of the house” duties like staffing, marketing and bookkeeping, and the other is in the kitchen. With small children, the couple is also on different schedules, with Alison working during into the early evening and Francesco on the later shift. But at the end of the day, working together to build a business has its own rewards. “This is ours and we did this,” De Renzi said, taking in L’Orcio’s earth-toned dining room. “It belongs to us and people like it. That’s a wonderful thing.”

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New York Style Gastro Pub Ups The Ante in Milford Eli’s Restaurant Group, Eli’s Tavern Brings Excitement To Downtown

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ometimes the new guy in town ups the ante a bit, that’s exactly what happened in June 2014 when Connecticut’s own Eli’s Restaurant Group expanded its horizons in a bold new way. With the opening of Eli’s Tavern on Daniel Street in Milford (ElisTavern.com), arguably their most chic location yet, a new standard was set. Eli’s Tavern is a New York style gastro pub serving tavern food with a modern flair in a completely remodeled restaurant with a metropolitan décor located in the heart of bustling Downtown Milford. This urban style restaurant features an eclectic menu including fresh local fish, a raw bar and gourmet sandwiches, burgers, grilled flat breads pizzas, crisp salads and delicious house made desserts. The Tavern’s bar features a large selection of craft beers on tap poured from a one-of-kind copper draft systems culminating in a bank of 36 taps! There’s an extensive wine by the glass selection and an ever-changing list of hand-crafted cocktails as well. Whether you are having a business meeting, gathering with friends or going out with that special someone, Eli’s Tavern is the place to be and be seen! The “Tavern” as it is quickly became referred to by a growing cadre of loyal customers, offers everyone’s favorite comfort foods with a modern twist. The exciting and exotic menu surpasses what can be found anywhere in the region. This posh addition to the Eli’s restaurant group maintains the traditional pub atmosphere, adding a dash of rustic and a pinch of modern accents, to give you the best of both

worlds. There is not a bad seat in the house, whether you are at Tavern’s signature spacious horseshoe bar, the cozy window seating or the elevated booths along the wall. And with The Tavern’s savory, mouth-watering menu, you simply can’t go wrong. As most do, we recommend that you start your meal off with their signature Philly Egg Rolls. These are not your “fathers’ traditional egg rolls – far from it; Eli’s rendition are stuffed with tender steak, fresh onion and melted American cheese, paired with chipotle aioli. We’ll also suggest you don’t miss out on one of their delectable burgers, like the Bacon Egg and Cheese Burger, topped with all natural smoked bacon, a fried sunny side egg with tomato jam and melted Cheddar-jack cheese.

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or the complete dining experience, you can wash it all down with one of the 18 beers on tap or a signature cocktail, such as the Brooklyn Lemonade: Brooklyn Gin, muddled cucumber, organic lemonade topped with ginger beer and fresh mint. You will always find something (candidly, a lot of things) of interest on the varied menu. The only thing you’ll regret is that you didn’t have room for more! Lucky for you, you can come back any time! Eli’s Tavern didn’t just spice up their menu, they are spicing up the Milford nightlife as well, with special events almost every night of the week.

TUESDAY: $1 Oysters

f you are in the mood for uber-fresh local seafood, then reel in Eli’s Lobster Roll, a brioche bun loaded with Atlantic Lobster meat tossed in a foamed hot buttered corn sauce, served with slaw and a side of hand cut fries, the fish tacos or order from the raw bar menu and mix and match from their extensive oyster menu where you can sample them by the shell or by the dozen. Eli’s Tavern also offers stimulating vegetarian options like the Vegetable Burger; a Tavern made quinoa-mushroom burger, toped with Tavern made “coconut mozzarella,” guacamole and sweet potato crisps.

WEDNESDAY: Ladies Night FRIDAY: Happy Hour 3-6 FRI/SATURDAY: DJ entertainment and dancing Eli’s tavern is available for private parties and corporate meetings serving 75 to 200 people. They can create a custom menu for you or cater your event held elsewhere.. For more information check out Eli’s Tavern at ElisTavern.com Eli’s Tavern is part of the Eli’s restaurant group, which also includes Eli’s on Whitney and Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza in Hamden and Eli’s on the Hill in Branford. elisrestaurantgroup.com

Advertiser Submitted 24 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

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The Newest Place To Be In Downtown Milford

Open for Lunch and Dinner 7 Days A Week An American gastro-pub with a modern air and creative mixology.

21 Daniel Street, Milford 203-693-2555 ElisTavern.com new haven

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Making a Stanza New Haven poets thrive in a short-form culture By Liese Klein

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t’s right there, in one of the greatest works by one of the greatest poets in American literature – a reference to our own city. Not to mention the title of the work itself: “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven.” The poet, Wallace Stevens, must have stopped in town on his travels as a Hartford-based insurance executive one night and immortalized it in his 1950 masterpiece. The work takes up 24 pages in Wallace Stevens: The Collected Poems, and is full of difficult concepts along with lyrical language. But New Haven comes up repeatedly as a trope relating to reality and unreality. The real, present-day New Haven serves as something of a capital for poetry in the region, with a thriving scene centered on institutions like the Institute Library, the New Haven Public Library and Yale’s English department. Poetry as an art form is also vital around Connecticut, with active reading and writing groups on the Shoreline and across the state. “There’s poetry all around you in New Haven – you’ve got to be careful not to step on it,” said Mark McGuire-Schwartz, co-director of Poetry Institute-New Haven. He proceeds to list a score of groups and venues where local poets practice their craft: Interested poetry fans could attend several events a week for most of the year, he adds.

… it follows that Real and unreal are two in one: New Haven Before and after one arrives … Wallace Stevens 26 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

The art form gets attention across the city: A Martin Luther King Jr. Day “poetry slam” at the Peabody Museum in January drew a standingroom-only crowd. The event, the annual Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Poetry Slam, was emceed by Ngoma, a New York-based “performance poet, multiinstrumentalist, singer-songwriter and paradigm shifter” who has helped inspire a generation of boundary-challenging performers. “There are poets are all over the place. It’s a very vibrant and active scene that has blossomed over the last years,” McGuire-Schwartz said. He credits the boom to a cultural shift that has

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Christian Wiman, who teaches literature and religion at Yale Divinity School, was named a finalist for National Book Critics Circle awards in January for his 2014 book of poetry, Once in the West.

“There are more poetry writing and reading groups than ever” on the Yale campus, Hammer said. “Along with quantity comes diversity and probably quality too. Student poets are more connected to the larger poetry world – digital culture gives people a very big horizon.”

The university also hosts major poets: Pulitzer prizewinner Jorie Graham is scheduled to read on campus on February 16 as a guest of the Beinecke Library. (For more information, visit beinecke. library.yale.edu.)

Through efforts like the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, university poets are increasingly reaching out the New Haven community, Hammer added.

Mark McGuire-Schwartz

moved verse-making from the academic world into popular culture. “Poetry has come into its own as an activity – it’s no longer done in back rooms. You see people of all ages, all economic and social and cultural backgrounds. You see people writing all types of things.” To spread the word, the Poetry Institute-New Haven hosts regular readings every third Thursday at the Institute Library on Chapel Street. Anyone can take part: Just arrive a few minutes before the 7 p.m. start to sign up to read your work. Featured readers kick off the events but the series “celebrates an eclectic mix of poetic voices.” McGuire-Schwartz himself has published in journals like Carte Blanche, Caduceus and the Fairfield Review. Other leaders of the Poetry Institute include noted local poets Alice-Anne Harwood Sherrill, Gemma Mathewson and Faith Vicinanza. “An evening spent at a reading in vibrant local poetry scene allows folks the chance to open their ears, their minds and their hearts,” McGuireSchwartz said. Outside the city, active groups include the Guilford Poets Guild, the Shoreline Cluster Poets and Time Out for Poetry in Madison (see the New Haven Magazine calendar in this issue for more information). Yale has attracted world-class poets for decades, with Elizabeth Alexander, Louise Glück and J. D. McClatchy counting among current poetry luminaries affiliated with the university. Other notable poets now at Yale include Danielle Chapman, Peter Cole, Richard Deming, Dolores Hayden, Nancy Kuhl, Christian Wiman and Cynthia Zarin, according to English Department Chairman Langdon Hammer.

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program in creative writing, which allows concentration in the discipline. Faculty for Southern’s MFA program include wells, who has published nine volumes of her work and twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Poet Charles Rafferty directs Albertus Magnus’ MFA program when he’s not placing his work in respected publications like The Southern Review, Measure, TriQuarterly and the Massachusetts Review.

Elizabeth Alexander

“I’d like to see Yale … do more to collaborate formally with institutions in our community,” Hammer said. One of the university’s current poetry and allaround literary stars is Elizabeth Alexander, who spoke at the first inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009 to recite her poem “Praise Song for the Day.” She became only the fourth poet ever to read at an American presidential inauguration, joining the likes of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Alexander’s upcoming memoir, The Light of the World, describes her existential crisis after the sudden death of her husband, Ficre Ghebreyesus, a noted artist and co-owner of Caffe Adulis in downtown New Haven. The book is scheduled to be published in April. Among universities, Southern Connecticut State has also made its mark in the poetry world with the establishment of its Master of Fine Arts

You can even study poetry on your own for free by enrolling in English 310 “Modern Poetry” through the Open Yale online platform. Professor Hammer delivers this wide-ranging course, which covers topics like: “[Wallace] Stevens’s conception of the poet as reader and the world as a text to be read and translated.” Hammer’s style is plainspoken and approachable despite the complexity of the works discussed. (Visit oyc.yale.edu for more information about the poetry course and other Open Yale offerings.) So why has poetry maintained its relevance in the face of ever-more distracting technology? McGuire-Schwartz of the Poetry Foundation can’t help but quote William Carlos Williams, in his poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”: It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.

Green By Charles Douthat Some days I walk down the street where we lived and the fat man who stole tomatoes sits under the same old sycamore tapping out his angry rhythms on the knotted roots. And though the children are no longer ours, the oaks are no less generous to the sidewalks with their shade. Overhead, sweet air still arrives through many simple branches— some reaching skyward for joy, others downcast for a reason.

Alice-Anne Harwood Sherrill, Gemma Mathewson, Faith Vicinanza and Mark McGuire-Schwartz compiled this list of notable poets active in the New Havenarea community. “It was difficult, as there are so many fine poets to choose from,” McGuire-Schwartz said. Watch for readings and events featuring these artists. Charles Douthat

Randall Horton

Charles Rafferty

Claire Zoghb

Marilyn Nelson

Ken Cormier

Gray Jacobik

Faith Vicinanza

Aaron Jafferis

Mark McGuire-Schwartz

We were like good trees the years we lived on this street. We were so green. Fresh as leaves. And the days whispered through us.

From charlesdouthat.com

Monica Ong Reed

28 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

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At the Beach By Elizabeth Alexander Looking at the photograph is somehow not unbearable: My friends, two dead, one low on T-cells, his white T-shirt an X-ray screen for the virus, which I imagine

12th Annual Gala

The Art of Giving

as a single, swimming paisley, a sardine with serrated fins and a neon spine. I’m on a train, thinking about my friends and watching two women talk in sign language. I feel the energy and heft their talk generates, the weight of their words in the air the same heft as your presence in this picture, boys, the volume of late summer air at the beach. Did you tea-dance that day? Write poems in the sunlight? Vamp with strangers? There is sun under your skin like the gold Sula found beneath Ajax’s black. I calibrate the weight of your beautiful bones, the weight of your elbow, Melvin,

Honoring MARILYN FERGUSON BLESSING OFFOR

on Darrell’s brown shoulder From poetryfoundation.org

MARY ANN WHITE

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Sipping Tea

or had Googled How to behave

By Mark McGuire-Schwartz

in the company of people who know how. And I would wonder

If I were ever invited to dine

why my mother never taught me

on a yacht and offered small foods etiquette for a yacht. And would wonder on Wedgewood, I would try

also who these Wedgewood people are.

to recall if I owned a set What do they want? of manners or had ever read Wikipedia on dainty, refined

From Theodate, the poetry journal of Hill-Stead Museum

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LIVING LARGE On The Inside

EDITOR’S LETTE

A look back at some of our favorite living interiors

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Towering bookcases, abundant light, wood and color create a pathway to an extensive back yard. The “house” redesigned for Len Suzio by local architect Matthew Breisch actually combines two homes overlooking the Quinnipiac River on Front Street in the Fairhaven section of New Haven. First published in August of 2009 Photo: Anthony DeCarlo

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This living area designed by architect Wil Amster for the Long Family in Guilford is surrounded on all sides by air. The outsized glass walls and skylight allow direct connection with the site horizontally, and with the upper floors of the home’s shape vertically through the skylight. First published in August of 2009. Photo: Anthony DeCarlo

Debra and Dave Ivanovich were “returning to the water” from a more suburban style home in Shelton when they had a home built on the Charles E. Wheeler wildlife preserve. The large salt marsh abutting the Housatonic River at the Cedar Beach area of Milford was nearly brought inside this informal dining space, as the corner of windows capture a wrap-around view of the marsh.

36 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

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24 WOODWARD AVE, MORRIS COVE, NH2 BR, 1.5 BTH townhouse style condo across from Nathan Hale Park and a short walk from the seawall. HW floors, spacious BRs, dining area, newer windows & full basement w/ W/D hookups. FHA approved. Own for less than you can rent with very little money down! $105,000. Call Jennifer DAmato 203-605-7865

31 MOULTON ST, NH- Lovely 4 BR Whitneyville home. Large LR w/HW flrs & FP. Formal DR w/slider to wood deck. Updated kit w/renovated 1/2 bath. MBR suite on 3RD flr. Large additional BRs. Finished basement. Huge yard w/2 lots combined. 3 car garage. $279,000. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942

175 STONY CREEK RD, BRANFORD - Sunny 3 BR, 2 BTH contemporary home w/updated gourmet kit w/SS appls & skylights. Formal LR & DR. HW flrs. Panoramic views of salt marsh and LI Sound. Detached 2 car garage. $439,900.Call Cathy Conlin 203-843-1561.

30 PECK LANE, HAMDEN- 4 BR, 4.5 BTH home on 1.01 acres in Hamden. Custom built in 2004. Formal LR & DR, family room w/FP, large master BR suite. Perfect layout for modern day family. Stone patio leads out to huge, private back yard. $599,000. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942

266 C COSEY BEACH AVE, EAST HAVENDirect waterfront 1922, 4 BR, 2 BTH Col w/ panoramic views of LI Sound + sandy beach. $450K in recent improvements. Complies w/ current bldg codes for elevation & storm proof windows, making it virtually hurricane proof! $699,000 Call Cathy Conlin 203-843-1561

486 HOWARD AVE, NH - Investors take notice! Legal 2 family home w/3 apts w/long term tenants. 1st and 2nd units each have 3 BRs & 1BTH. 3rd unit has 2 BRs & 1 BTH. The home has three newer gas furnaces and 4 off-street parking spaces. $139,000 Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942.

1785 MIDDLETOWN AVE (AKA SOL’S PATH) NORTH BRANFORD - 3 BR 2.1 BTH on private 1.75 acres. Wonderful updates and additions. Mature gardens and a large patio. 2 Fpl. Wet bar. Great home office. Close to everything. $425,000. Call Cheryl Szczarba 203-996-8328

345 SUMMIT STREET , NH - Charming cedar shake farmhouse located in historic Quinnipiac River district. Large formal LR w/stone FP w/ spectacular light. 1st floor master BR w/ full bath. Large lot w/great gardening space. $274,900. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942.

100 YORK ST, “UNIVERSITY TOWERS”, NH 1 BR Co-ops (#5-J, 5-R 8-J, 9-M, 11-H, 5-M) w/ balconies,24 Hr. Sec., pool, on-site mgmt. Convenient to arts, dining, hospitals, and more! No pets. No investors. Private financing avail. $45,000$63,900. Call Chery Szczarba 203-996-8328.

271 FAIRMONT AVENUE, NH - Large 4BR home with bonus 3rd floor w/ additional 2 BRs. Nice updates. Large LR w/Den and brick FP . HW floors. Formal DR. Eat in kit. Large deck. Just steps from Q River. $179,900. Motivated Seller. Call Cheryl Szczarba 203-996-8328.

15 PAWSON RD, BRANFORD - Linden Shores. 5 BRS, 2 Bath wood shingle 1920’s Cape w/access to 3 priv. beaches. Charming LR w/stone FP. Screen in porch leads to deck, hot tub & yd. $565,000. Call Cheryl Szczarba 203-996-8328

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63 FOUNTAIN ST., BRYETH HILL, NH - Spacious 2 BR Condo in heart of Westville! Great light, beautiful HW floors, living room with cathedral ceiling. Sunny remod. eat-in kitchen, MBR suite, detach. gar., steps to village & mins. to downtown & Yale. $149,900. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942.

832 QUINNIPIAC AVE, NH - Direct riverfront, completely renov 2868 sq. ft. Colonial in Historic River District. Sweeping views of Q River. Gourmet Kit w/new SS appls, custom cabinets & FP. LR w/FP, MBR suite. Det gar. Mins to Yale & downtown. $375,000. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942

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8 EDWARDS ST, NH - Newly renovated luxury 5 BR duplex apt w/HW floors, new windows, recessed lighting, central air, brand new kitchen, 3 brand new tile BAs w/ shower, private W/D & great storage space. Formal LR & DR and 5 separate BRs w/ closets make this a perfect home for sharing! ! $3,250. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942

9 BROWN ST, NH - Brand new luxury 3 BR duplex apt for rent! HW floors, new windows w/ great light, recessed lighting, ceiling fans & central air! The brand new kitchen has granite counters, new cherry cabinets and SS appliances. Sunny & spacious LR/DR off the kitchen, spacious den on the 2nd floor and 3 BRs w/ great closets. $3,000. Call Jack Hill 203-675-3942

799 WHITNEY AVE, NH - Spacious 1640+ sq ft 2 BR Ranch w/open floor plan, HW floors and newly carpeted lower level w/2nd full tile BA. Large LR with FP & recessed lighting. 2 car garage. The house is on a corner lot of Whitney and Burns across from Edgerton Park and near East Rock Park. $2,200. Call Barbara Hill 203-624-1396.

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An imposing maple tree standing in Gio and Pam Meier’s antique home in Madison needed to be rebuilt and cut (mostly) from the top.”. Integrated into the open living area, the “tree” serves to divide the array of activities of family members. The careful sculpting of the trunk allows for full support at the center of the timber frame, and turns the site’s history into structural art. First published in January 2011 Photo Anthony DeCarlo

After a fire devastated their Meriden home, housing magnate Joe Carabetta and his wife Anna decided to “go big” and dramatic. Architect Craig Laliberte of Ivoryton gave them just that, as this expansive living room attests. Published in December 2008 Photos: Anthony DeCarlo

38 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

NEWHAVENMAGAZINE.COM


This remarkable master bedroom of Joe and Phyllis Satin is just one of many outstanding interior living spaces in the Clarke House in Orange designed by Marcel Bruer and built in 1949 (purchased by the Satin’s in 1975). Bruer is seen as a master of modernism and was the architect for New Haven’s “Pirelli” building on Long Wharf. Published November 2010 Photo: Anthony Decarloe

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$395. x 8 Total $3160. This uber modern kitchen has just enough traditional touches to fit defense attorney Hugh Keefe and Tara Knights’ Queen Anne Victorian home.” Published December 2013 Photo: Michael Doolittle

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OF N OT E S

BODY & S OUL ONS CR E E N

Titus Kaphar: The Art of Risk Titus Kaphar: The Art of Risk By Lesley Roy Titus Kaphar with Jerome Project (My Loss), Oil, tar & gold leaf on panel, 2014

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T

itus Kaphar has lived in New Haven “purposefully” since graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 2006.

complex underpainting and fleshtone technique. “This black skin is different than that one and this one is different from that and so on,” Kaphar says, pointing to pieces hanging on the walls around his studio. “It’s incredibly difficult to accurately produce lifelike or photorealistic black skin.”

The 39- year-old Kaphar works day and night in his New Haven studio to create paintings, drawings and installation art. He has gained international recognition for his ability to initiate a contemporary dialogue. The soft-spoken Titus finds the attention, “a little weird – it’s strange for me.”

The Jerome Project was born in 2011 when Kaphar began searching for his father’s prison records and discovered dozens of men who shared his father’s first name, Jerome. The larger-than-life panels are based on police portraits of men that he found online as part of the public record. The oil portraits on wooden panels with gold leaf are submerged in tar, representing a community of people, particularly African-American men, who are overrepresented in the prison population. Tar was chosen as a historic reference to the time when tar and feathering was punishment. Initially, the tar-covered portion of each painting corresponded to the percentage of life that each subject would spend in prison.

Kaphar has served as the artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and received the 2009 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize from the Seattle Museum of Art for his exhibition History in the Making. If you happen to find yourself staying at the Ritz Carlton in Miami, keep a look out for the giant Titus Kaphar painting in the lobby. His work has been displayed recently in Berlin, Los Angeles, and Tel Aviv and at the Savannah College of Design. The studio where he paints powerfully distinctive canvases is bathed in natural light – sometimes too much light, he jests. It is a sanctuary surrounded by vegetable gardens and play sets for his kids. His is a well-ordered life, steeped in the act of creating art in extraordinary ways and celebrating love of family. The studio is 20 feet from the house and the kids are always coming in to see what dad’s up to. “My 8-year-old has become a real art critic” Kaphar said, recounting the child’s comments on a recent painting commission for Time Magazine. Kaphar said: “New Haven is my home – I love New York as a place to visit. I was born and raised in Michigan primarily, but New Haven feels, in many ways, a lot like that.” Choosing to have his studio in New Haven influences Titus’s art in deeply rooted ways, as he merges 18th and 19th century portraiture, historical fact and fiction. “There are a lot of great things that are happening in New Haven that go under the radar that I really get excited about. And then we have

Lost In Shadows, Oil on Canvas 2014 -57” x44”

the ‘overground’ things like the museums here.”

meticulous and completely spontaneous.

On the Yale University Art Gallery: “It’s this gem that you don’t have to pay 20 bucks, wait in line for three hours and deal with huge crowds to get in to see.” When he’s in the studio and needs a little inspiration – if something’s not working – Kaphar just runs over to the museum for an hour or so, comes back and is ready to go.

While researching how best to paint African-American skin tones, Kaphar discovered that little to nothing was recorded regarding technique, yet there were volumes regarding the painting of white skin in the tradition of the masters. His 2014 painting “Falling from the Gaze” accentuates the duality of black and white. A cutout section of layered canvas reveals a small portion of a black woman’s face while a peeled-back inverted portion reveals a white woman’s face, accurately depicting a technique for painting white skin from an earlier period.

The Yale Center for British Art is also important to Kaphar, who draws on historic pieces as reference material for his artwork. “All history becomes interesting when we see the ways in which the past affects our present.” Taking risks is inherent in his work. Kaphar enjoys the surprise of the process, not knowing the outcome of a piece until he is finished. His paintings are methodical,

Kaphar had to discover how best to create a monochromatic luminous skin tone, as seen in a portrait halfdipped in tar called “Jerome Project (My Loss),” part of a triptych. In many paintings he changes the

Kaphar leaves abundant room for the unexpected to happen. One day he walked up to a painting with an X-acto blade and meticulously cut a figure from the canvas on which he had just spent weeks of work. Whether obscuring a portion of a portrait or literally cutting the subject out of the canvas, the intellectually engaging and deliberate manipulation of the medium invites a conversation. He also overlaps interrelated and fully completed canvases, exploring how subjects interact with each other and thus the viewer. As a self-proclaimed “studio hermit,” Kaphar likes to operate under the radar. He is protective of his space, his vibe and his mental zone. When he lived in Washington Heights and worked at his studio on 21st Street in Chelsea, friends would just drop by. “Sometimes that was cool and sometimes that could completely mess up the vibe in the studio – one minute you’re in the zone and the next you’re completely distracted.” Friends would often comment on unfinished pieces: works in progress that he would

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“Erasure is permission to forget the event because we’ve seen it – consumed it in the media and now we can move on. The very nature of our media cycle erases the gravity and the impact of a situation as it becomes just another short-lived flash across our screens.”

EDITOR’S LETTER He immediately began painting the piece, “Fight for Remembrance,” a 4-by-5-foot oil on canvas, when Time accepted his sketches. He wanted to make something that didn’t feel like an illustration of an idea but an expression of a feeling. Kaphar expanded upon an idea that he was already discovering in his other paintings: the deliberate obliteration of the figures with white wash. He instinctively felt it would be right — it would work perfectly for the painting of two young African-American protesters with arms raised in photorealistic protest.

I NT E L

LE T T E RS

“The Black Power movement of the 1960s was symbolized by a closed black fist. I’m struck by how the current movement of resistance is symbolized by two raised open hands. This jarring contrast reminds me yet again that history doesn’t remain in the past. “When I finished the piece it didn’t feel like anything I could imagine in Time Magazine. I was satisfied with it. For me this piece was never simply about Ferguson. That’s how it was editorialized, but this is the reality in Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago and hundreds of other cities around the country.”

AT H O ME Yet Another Fight for Rememberance, 2014, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

have otherwise put away because he wasn’t ready to talk about them. “The process of painting is like letting folks into your brain,” Kaphar said. That’s a place now held sacred and reserved for family and an inner circle of friends with whom he can honestly share his most intimate ideas. Relationship along with risk-taking is another touchstone of Kaphar’s artwork. “I don’t want to tell you what the painting means – it’s up to you to have a conversation with the work.” For instance, Kaphar chose to paint 2014’s “Drawing The Blinds” a graytoned portrait of Senator Thaddeus Stevens (April 4, 1792 – August 11, 1868), then cut it from the stretcher 44 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

bars, roll up the bottom three quarters, bind it with red twine and adhere it to another fully painted canvas of Lydia Smith, the AfricanAmerican housekeeper mentioned in Steven’s will. Their relationship was fairly mutual and informed Thaddeus’s politics during pre-Civil War America, however, the myriad interpretations are left for the viewer to discover. This painting invites the viewer to bend down, peek up under the bound canvas into the eyes of the silken skinned woman and listen for what she might be saying to them. When on exhibit, friends commented, “It’s a shame to ruin a painting in this way, it took weeks to paint the entire portrait, why hide most of it – doesn’t that destroy it?

Kaphar doesn’t see that way. “I’m a participant in the process, not a dictator of the painting.”

Although his painting wasn’t chosen for the cover, Titus Kaphar’s work stands testament to these times we are all witness to and will no doubt endure long past our remembrance.

OF NO TES

Kaphar’s work has won wide acclaim, including a commission from Time Magazine for a potential “2014 Person of the Year” cover. Kaphar painted the Time piece to address what was happening in Ferguson and New York and the rest of the country as it related to the relationship between AfricanAmerican communities and the police. His hope was to spark a much-needed dialogue.

Normally he doesn’t do commissions. His concern with one as highly publicized as a Time cover was the idea that it – and he – would be part of what he calls “an erasure.”

W

I

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Showings: The Jerome Project, The Studio Museum Harlem, November 13, 2014 March 8, 2015 Drawing the Blinds, Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, January 10 – February 21, 2015 Asphalt and Chalk, Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 West 24th Street, January 10 – February 21, 2015

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BIBLI OF I L E S

WORDS o f M OUT H FÊTES Ryan Gardner and Lisa Daly in Broken Umbrella’s Seen Change Photo: Lisa Daly

I N STYLE

Scenes Change OUTD OO R Swith the Season

Brooks Appelbaum BOByDY & SO UL

Looking back at the past holiday season, it’s tempting to feel a bit nostalgic. Remember the lights, the festive gatherings, the good cheer and, if we were lucky, the kindness of strangers? Also, of course, nearly every theater was producing those warm, comfortably familiar productions that hearken back to childhood: “A Christmas Carol,” “The Nutcracker,” “White Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” and more. . .

ONS C R EE N

But there is, of course, the other side of the season: the family visits that aren’t always quite so warm (and that provide the plots for many darker theater pieces), the stress of entertaining, the round of parties and events that can become a bit… much.

So here’s the great news: by the end of January and throughout the month of February, New Haven residents who love theater have much to look forward to, without the holiday whirlwind. Long Wharf Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre and A Broken Umbrella Theatre are offering audiences theatrical productions that provide a welcome combination of challenge and surprise. Yale Repertory Theatre takes up the theme of family in a wholly different key with the Yalecommissioned “Familiar,” written by Danai Gurira and directed by Rebecca Taichman. “Familiar” takes place in a Midwestern suburb where Donald and Marvelous, immigrant parents, are getting ready for the wedding of their first-generation daughter. When their daughter insists on observing a traditional Zimbabwean wedding ritual, conflicts rise to the surface, challenging each character’s beliefs about culture, custom and identity. Yale has presented two previous plays by the Obie- and Whiting Writers Award-winning Gurira: “Eclipsed,” in 2009, and “In the Continuum” (co-written with Nikkole Salter) in 2007. Gurira told Anita Gates, of the New York Times, “. . . my focus as an artist is about getting African women’s voices out there.” In contrast with “Eclipsed,” which depicts a harrowing version of family in the form of

several women who live together as the “wives” of a Liberian commander during the civil war, “Familia”r focuses on an actual, and American, family, brings in humor and poignancy, and then, through the lens of cultural division, complicates that surface. Yet another kind of family lies at the center of “Seen Change!”, A Broken Umbrella Theatre’s newest original, site-specific creation, running from February 18 through February 28 at the Shubert Theatre – or rather, running between the Shubert Theatre and the nearby Taft Hotel. Here, the family being celebrated is the backstage community of every theatrical production: those unsung heroes who make the play go on, literally and figuratively. Rachel Alderman, co-founder with her husband, Ian Alderman, of A Broken Umbrella Theatre, describes “Seen Change!” as “a comical love letter to the American musical theater and to the Shubert’s role in bringing out some of the greatest productions in that genre.” The premise of the script rests on theatrical superstition: on the final day of rehearsal for a new musical’s out-of-town tryout, a naïve apprentice mistakenly breaks an age-old theatrical custom and chaos ensues. The premise of the production itself is even more fascinating: theater, of course, always takes us on an imaginative journey, but “Seen Change!”, new haven

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Danai Gurira, playwright Yale Rep’s Familiar.

DAVID DORFMAN DANCE

Ani Collier

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 7:30 p.m. Palmer Auditorium

DAVID FINCKEL, CELLO AND WU HAN, PIANO

REGINA CARTER, JAZZ VIOLINIST Southern Comfort

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 7:30 p.m. Evans Hall

Friday, Mar. 27, 2015 7:30 p.m. Palmer Auditorium

Frank Stewart

Connecticut College, New London, Conn.

For tickets and information call 860-439-ARTS (2787) or visit onstage.conncoll.edu 46 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

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says Alderman, “takes the audience on a physical journey as well. The audience moves, with the play’s action, between the Shubert and the Taft Hotel. I don’t want to scare anyone away,” she laughs. “The audience will get to sit down!” But don’t expect to sit in the Shubert’s familiar audience space. “Seen Change!” challenges audience members to look at their beautiful theatre with new eyes – as Alderman puts it, “to pause in ways you’ve never paused, to hear the architecture sing to you in a different key.”

A Broken Umbrella Theatre’s mission is to “heighten our awareness of where we live,” says Alderman. “Seen Change!” also widens the notion of family to include not only theater casts, technicians and audiences, but also theatre companies, theatres themselves and those cities – like ours –that so richly support them.

This goal meshes perfectly with the Shubert’s recent renovation project. Producing a singing, tap-dancing musical about musical theater in the Shubert – where so much of our musical theater was born – not only excites Alderman and her company but also has garnered the company its third grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Long Wharf Theatre’s production of “Forever,” a memoir piece written and performed by Dael Overlandersmith. The playwright’s other works include “Yellowman” (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); “Beauty’s Daughter” (Obie Award); and “The Gimmick” (Susan Blackburn Prize). The Long Wharf has a close relationship with this artist, having been home to three previous productions.

The Shubert’s executive director, John Fisher, is effusive. “Working with this talented group of artists is a great way to shine the spotlight on one of New Haven’s most innovative theater companies.”

Here’s to theater, family and fun! Quick Review

Directed by Neel Keller, who suggested that Overlandersmith write about what and who inspired her to become a theater artist, “Forever” moves back and forth between Paris and New

York. Paris is represented by the Père Lachaise Cemetery, where the likes of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Chopin are buried. New York transforms into a terrain of terror and squalor in Harlem, where Overlandersmith grew up alternately fighting off and comforting an abandoned, childlike, alcoholic mother – a mother who also filled their house with books, recited Lawrence Dunbar’s poetry and reminisced about dancing. Overlandersmith sums up her goal with “Forever” in an interview with dramaturge Joy Meads: “I wanted to look at this flawed individual who raised me. . . filled with angst, filled with pain – filled with wonder. And I had to look at myself as someone filled with wonder, but also as someone who is capable of great cruelty and who has inflicted pain upon people as well.” The play asks us to consider what experiences must stay with us forever, whom we owe allegiance to as blood kin, and when we can claim family ties to those who resonate with our deepest selves.

Dael Orllandesmith, playwright and performer

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FÊTES I NS T YLE

Have a party to attend but only sleeveless dresses in the closet? That’s what this handmade shawl in cranberry is for! BRIKA.com

OU TDO O RS B O D Y & SO U L O NS CRE E N

Warming Trends Think stylish to bundle up as winter wears on By Jamie DeChesser At freezing temperatures, it is hard to think fashion before function as you roam the city to head to work, run errands or enjoy the outdoors. However, with festive parties, glistening lights and plenty of places to be seen, we want the best of both worlds; cozy New England-friendly attire that is not only warm, but attractive as well.

office so I protect my shoes,” says Nicole McNally, who has been working in New Haven for 13 years. As a personal stylist and fashion blogger myself, I find that layers are a person’s best friend this time of year, especially since the heat will be on once you are inside. A cotton long-sleeved shirt with a cable-knit cardigan layered on top makes a beautiful yet warm statement. Most cardigans button down or zip up, which makes it easy to take on and off when you get inside and warm up. Showing off festive colors and even sequins, scarves are also not just for function anymore as they can make a beautiful statement. Menswear emporium Raggs, on Chapel Street in New Haven, is celebrating 30 years in business this year. Owner Tom Malony has thoughts on how a stylish man can stay warm despite the chilly New England weather. “Layering is key: an outfit doesn’t exist with only a shirt and pant. Underneath your coat, a stylish cardigan or v-neck sweater with a patterned dress shirt will make you both fashionable and warm.”

When looking around the streets of New Haven, the locals are undoubtedly taking this winter on with a fashion-forward approach.

When the weather outside is frightful, functionality is a priority, but there is no need to sacrifice your best looks with some of these great items. Stay warm!

“A thick infinity scarf, wool jacket and tons of layers keep me warm since I walk 3 miles a day to get to work every day from the train. I really try to wear all-weather boots to work and switch to my heels once I get in the

As a guide to weathering the season, I have come up with some must-have items for winter that will keep you toasty and looking fabulous. These items make great gift ideas as well.

48 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

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A beautiful handknitted toque makes the perfect statement in cold weather, as well as keeping your head toasty. Find this one online at BRIKA.com.

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CALENDAR

Craig Ferguson comes to SCSU’s Lyman Center on February 28th.

BELLES LETTRES Anders Winroth, Forst Family Professor of History at Yale University, hosts a book discussion: The Age of the Vikings. The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. By dismantling the myths, The Age of the Vikings allows the full story of this period in medieval history to be told. 4:30 p.m. January 27 at Sterling Memorial Library, Lecture Hall, 120 High St., New Haven. (128 Wall St. Entrance.) Free. 203-432-1810, web. library.yale.edu. Classic Book Discussion: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 10 a.m. January 29, Milford Library, 57 New Haven Ave., Milford. Free. 203-783-3304, facebook.com/friendsofmilfordlibrary. Best-selling authors Jennifer Roson (After the War is Over), Sarah MacLean (Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover), and Lauren Willing (The Ashford Affair) host a Historical Fiction Panel: Love. War. Scandal. 5 p.m. January 31 at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Rd., Madison. Registration required. Free. 203-2453959, rjjulia.com. Open Mic Night takes place on the last Saturday of every month at Neverending Books. Music, poetry, etc. 8 p.m. January 31, 810 State St., New Haven. Free. 203-865-6507, neverendingbooks.net.

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Poetry Open Mic Night. First Tuesdays of every month. Bring your own works or a piece by a favorite writer. 7 p.m. February 3, Shoreline Cluster Poets, Scranton Library, 801 Boston Post Rd., Madison. Registration. shorelineclusterpoets.wordpress.com. Local writer Jen Payne leads a discussion about mindfulness in these fast-paced times. Following a trail of readings from her new book, LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, Jen will guide participants on a conversation about reconnecting with nature, the many ways to be mindful, and how the simple act of looking up can create more balance in our lives. 6 p.m. February 4 at James Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main St., Branford. Registration required. Free. 203-488-1441, blackstone.ioninc.org. Daniel Handler discusses his new book We Are Pirates. Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for many books for children, including the 13-volume sequence A Series of Unfortunate Events and the four-book series All The Wrong Questions. 7 p.m. February 6 at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Rd., Madison. Registration required. Free. 203-245-3959, rjjulia.com. Natalie Berkowitz is a wine, food, and lifestyle writer. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and many other publications. She discusses her new book, The Winemaker’s Hand. 4 p.m. February 8 at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post

Rd., Madison. Registration required. Free. 203-245-3959, rjjulia. com. Guilford Poets Guild Second Thursday Poetry Series. 7 p.m. February 12 at Greene Art Gallery, 29 Whitfield S., Guilford. Free. 203-453-2036, guilfordpoetsguild.wordpress.com. Jorie Graham Poetry Reading: Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently Place (2012), Sea Change (2008), Never (2002), Swarm (2000), and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. 5 p.m. February 16 at LinslyChittenden Hall, Rm 317, 63 Hight St., New Haven. 203-432-2977, beinecke.library.yale.edu.

CINEMA Cinema Paradiso: A famous film director remembers his childhood at the Cinema Paradiso where Alfredo, the projectionist, first brought about his love of films. 2 p.m. January 27 at the Milford Library, 57 New Haven Ave., Milford. Free. 203-783-3304, ci.milford.ct.us. Yale Film Society and Films at the Whitney present: A Separation (Iran, 2011). Director Asghar Farhadi. 7 p.m. January 31 at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St., New Haven. Free. 203432-0670, whc.yale.edu.

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The Banff Centre’s Banff Mountain Film Festival features a collection of inspiring action, environmental, and adventure films from the festival, and audiences across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Lebanon, Chile, New Zealand and Antarctica. 7 p.m. February 21 at Shubert Theater, 247 College St., New Haven. $38-$18. 203-562-5666, shubert.com.

COMEDY Award-winning comedian, actor, and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia returns to the stage with more painfully awkward stories in his all-new show about jokes and how they can get you in trouble. 8 p.m. January 30 at John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts, 501 Crescent St., New Haven. $35. 203-392-6154, tickets.southernct.edu. Peabody Award -winning, Emmy Award -nominated host of CBS-TV’s “The Late, Late Show”, Craig Ferguson. 8 p.m. February 28 at John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts, 501 Crescent St., New Haven. $45. 203-392-6154, tickets.southernct.edu.

CULINARY Indoor Winter Farmer’s Market. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday January-April 25, Metropolitan Business Academy, 115 Water St., New Haven. Free. cityseed.org. The On 9 Tour of Downtown New Haven. A hands-on tour held in and around the Ninth Square. Start at the Elm City Market, to sample, smell and see local foods and produce. Then to Tikkaway Grill for fresh Indian fare, then to Italy at Skappo Italian Restaurant for a pasta dish and wine and onto Skappo Merkato to sample the family’s Italian imports, then over to Bentara for Malaysian food and a house cocktail tasting and end at Thali for amazing regional Indian food paired with beer. Tours start on Saturdays at 3 p.m. All food and drink tastings are included in the tour ticket. January 24, $55, tasteofnewhaven.com. Consiglio’s Cooking Class Club. Chef Maureen Nuzzo explains and demonstrates how to prepare mouth-watering southern Italian dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. February menus include zuppa di mussels, iceberg wedge with pancetta and gorgonzola, spaghetti with crab sauce and limoncello with ricotta cake. 6:30 p.m. February 6 at Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven. $65. Reservations. 203865-4489, consiglios.com. Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee hosts a Corned Beef Dinner Parade Fundraiser. Open seating 1 -5 p.m. February 8 at Knights of St. Patrick Grand Hall, 1533 State St., New Haven. $15 adults, $6 Child. Tickets sold at door. 203-288-3876, stpatricksdayparade.org.

FAMILY EVENTS Dinosaur days: The annual celebration of paleontology and dinosaurs. Hands-on activities for the whole family, including the famous fossil dig and an extensive fossil touch table. And you’ll have the chance to meet paleontology graduate students and professionals and learn about interesting research. 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Yale Peabody

Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven. $9 ($5 children 3-18). peabody. yale.edu. Stories and Art: Tales of distant times and faraway lands that inspire children of all ages to view art in new ways. Experience folktales, myths and exciting stories from around the world that highlight unique features of objects in the art collection at the Yale University Art Gallery. Drawing materials available for older children. 1 p.m. Gallery Lobby, Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. Free. 203-432-0600, artgalleryinfo@yale.edu. Lego Club. Meet with other creative dreamers who use Legos to build their inspirations. Ages 5 and up. 4 p.m. Wednesday, Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St., New Haven. Free. 203-9468129, nhfpl.org.

MIND BODY SOUL Led by Nelie Doak, Yoga promotes a deep sense of physical mental and emotional wellbeing. Classes are designed to help cultivate breath and body awareness, improve flexibility, strengthen and tone muscles, detoxify the body and sooth the spirit. All levels welcome. Bring a yoga mat. 5-6:30 p.m. Mondays at Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., Branford. $10. 203-488-1441, lioninc.org.blackstone.ioninc.org.

ROAD RACES/TRIATHLONS

Coffee Tasting and Greenhouse Tour lead by One World Roasters’ Eric Ciolino. 2 p.m. January 17 at Marsh Botanical Garden Greenhouse, 265 Mansfield St., New Haven. Free. 203-432-6320, eric.larson@yale.edu.

Menunkatuck Audubon presents Nature Show-and-Share Night. Bring your favorite nature photos on a CD or thumb drive to share for an informal evening celebrating our mutual love of beautiful places and all creatures great and small. Have something else, like a skull or snakeskin? Bring it along! 7 p.m. February 11 at Blackstone Library, 758 Main St., Branford. Free. 203-488-1441, lioninc.org. blackstone.ioninc.org.

SPORTS/RECREATION SPECTATOR SPORTS Yale University Men’s Hockey vs. Quinnipiac. 7 p.m. January 31 at Ingalls Rink, New Haven. 203-432-1400, yalebulldogs.com.

Fight for Air Climbs are the American Lung Association’s most unique fundraisers. Climbs take place in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involve walking, running or racing up hundreds of steps. Sometimes called a “vertical road race”, teams and individual participants can use the event as a fitness target, as a race, or as a great way to be active and meet new friends. The 4th annual New Haven Stair Climb will be held on Saturday, February 28. Register at fightforairclimb.org.

Elm City Cycling monthly meeting occurs on the second Monday of each month. ECC is a non-profit organization of cycling advocates who meet to discuss biking issues in New Haven. Dedicated to making New Haven friendlier and more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. 7 p.m. City Hall Meeting Room 2, 165 Church St., New Haven. Free. elmcitycycling.org.

Brace yourself to splash down in the frigid sound to benefit animal rescue efforts at

New Haven Bird Club Field Trip. Meet at the Nature Center at Hammonasset State Park to look for sea ducks, shorebirds, grassland species and winter finches. 8 a.m.-noon, January 31, Hammonasset State Park, Madison. Free. 860-681-5548, pwolter6@earthlink.net.

8th Annual 5K Run for Refugees. Start your Super Bowl festivities early with a fun-filled event that raises funds and awareness for the hundreds of refugees who start new lives in Connecticut each year. Form a team to raise funds to sponsor refugee runners. The challenging certified course runs through picturesque East Rock Park. Chip timing and T-Shirts to all participants. 10 a.m. February 1, Wilbur Cross High School, 181 Mitchell Ave. & East Rock Park, New Haven. jbsports.com

The Little Lulu (LL) is an alternative to the long-standing Sunday morning ride. The route is usually 20-30 miles in length and the ride is no-drop, meaning that the group waits at hilltops and turns so that no rider is left behind. The LL is an opportunity for cyclists to get accustomed to riding in groups. Riders should come prepared with materials to repair flats. 10 a.m. Sundays at Lulu’s European Café, 49 Cottage St., New Haven. 203-773-9288, elmcitycycling.org.

NATURAL HISTORY

Eagle Boat Tours. Each winter as the temperature dips below freezing, bald eagles from as far north as Canada make their way to the open waters of the Connecticut River for fishing and nesting. Learn their story while getting a unique on-water view aboard Project Oceanology’s modern research vessel with heated cabin and ample deck space. A Connecticut River Museum naturalist provides guided narration. Boat departs on Fridays at 1 p.m., 9 and 11 am. Sat. and Sun. January 31-March 16, Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main St., Essex. $40. Reservations. 860-7678269. ctrivermuseum.org.

Mystic Aquarium. Registration is now open for the Aquarium’s 2nd annual Seal Splash. Proceeds benefit Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Team to continue its meaningful work. Noon January 24 at Paddy’s Restaurant, 159 Atlantic Ave., Westerly, RI. $20 for basic registration, plus pledges. mysticaquariam.org.

CYCLING Elm City Cycling organizes Lulu’s Ride, weekly two- to four-hour rides for all levels (17-19 mpg). Cyclists leave at 10 a.m. from Lulu’s European Café as a single group; no one is dropped. 10 a.m. Sunday’s at Lulu’s European Café, 49 Cottage St., New Haven. 203-773-9288, elmcitycycling.org.

A Season of Tradition and Innovation

Parfum de la Nuit

Amanda Hall, soprano February 19, 2015 • 7:30pm Woolsey Hall Ransom Wilson, conductor Amanda Hall, soprano

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ONSTAGE

Ailey II in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations.

Photo byJames Michael Avance

Opening Man of La Mancha. Enter the mind and the world of the mad knight Don Quixote as he pursues his quest for the impossible dream. Against all odds, a man sees good and innocence in a world filled with darkness and despair. A Tony-award winning musical featuring the song, “The

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Marketplace For more information call 203-781-3480

Impossible Dream.” 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. January 30-February 15 at Center Stage Theatre, 54 Grove St., Shelton. $25. 203-225-6079, centerstageshelton.com. Familiar by Danai Gurira. In a snowy Midwestern suburb, Marvelous and Donald are preparing for the marriage of their eldest daughter. Clashes erupt within the family when the first-generation American bride-to-be

insists on observing a traditional Zimbabwean wedding ritual. Familiar is a funny and moving new play about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters, wives and husbands – the customs they keep and the secrets they keep buried. Rebecca Yale Repertory Theatre, University Theatre, 222 York St., New Haven. $50. 203-432-1234, yalerep.org.

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Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental develops original theater works using creative structures, objects, found and original texts, and extensive travel. Collected over 15 years, 17 Border Crossings (2011) weaves together real adventures into a dramatic, visual and surreal

Yale Opera presents a new production of Mozart’s ever-popular comic opera The Marriage of Figaro, performed in Italian with English supertitles.February 13–15, 2015 Friday 8:00pm, Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 2:00pm Sprague Hall, 470 College Street, New Haven, 203 432-4158. http://music.yale.edu/concerts/series/yale-opera/ Rainbow Fish is a musical based on the children’s book of the same name about the value of sharing true friendship with others. With her shimmering scales, the Rainbow Fish is used to being the most beautiful creature in the ocean. So when the other fish ask her for some silver scales, she refuses. 3 p.m. February 15 at Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. $16. 860-510-0473, katharinehepburntheater.org. Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon. When Daphna arrived at the funeral of her beloved grandfather, she thought it was obvious that she would get the necklace her Poppy carried throughout the Holocaust. After all, she’s the one on the way to rabbinical school in Israel. Her cousin Liam appears with his non-Jewish girlfriend Melody and with a very different plan in mind. The play takes on a relationship with family, legacy and tradition. February 19-March 22 at Stage II, Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Dr., New Haven. $74.50. 203-787-4282, longwharf.org.

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Almost Maine, a comedy by John Cariani. On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. March 14-22 at Phoenix Stage Company, 686 Rubber Ave., Naugatuck. $22 ($18 seniors). 203-632-8546, phoenixstagecompany.com.

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The Blue Man Group combines comedy, music and technology to produce a totally unique form of theatrical entertainment. 8 p.m. February 13, 2 & 8 February 14 and 1 p.m. February 15 at Palace Theater, 100 E. Main St., Waterbury. $68-28. 203-346-2000, palacetheaterct.org.

The famed Alvin Ailey dance company will take to the Shubert Theater stage to perform Hissy Fits (2006), choreography by Dwight Rhoden, Wings (2013), choreography by Jennifer Archibald and Revelations (1960), choreography by Alvin Aile. Sunday February 22 at 5:00 pm. There is special school time performance on Monday February 23 at 10.:15 am. Shubert theater, 247 Colege Street, New Haven. 203) 562-5666 shubert.com

examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports and curious customs. Written and directed by Thaddeus Phillips and based on his actual experiences, this solo work takes audiences to the frontiers of Angola, Austria, Bali, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia, the United Kingdom and the United States. 8 p.m. February 21 at CFA Theater, Wesleyan University, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown. $19. 860-685-3355, wesleyan.edu.

Integrated Aesthetics

Secondary Cause of Death, the comedy sequel to Murdered to Death. It’s now 1939, and storm clouds are gathering over Europe. Having inherited Bagshot House, Colonel Charles Craddock has converted the property into a hotel for the discerning visitor. Soon Inspector Pratt arrives once again at Bagshot House, bearing grim news. When Joan Maple’s sister Cynthia arrives to stage a murder mystery evening, it’s not long before Pratt’s visit turns into a chaotic nightmare as the bodies pile higher than ever. 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. February 7-15 at Phoenix Stage Company, 686 Rubber Ave., Naugatuck. $22 ($18 seniors). 203-632-8546, phoenixstagecompany.com.

David Edgar’s Pentecost. A fresco painting is unearthed in an abandoned church in Eastern Europe. The discovery causes a dramatic struggle as representatives from the worlds of art history, religion, and politics stake their claims for the ultimate prize. 7:30 p.m. February 1921 at Paul Mellon Arts Center, 332 Christian St., Wallingford. $15. 203-697-2398, choate.edu/boxoffice.

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50 Shades! The Musical Parody. A musical comedy based on the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. 7:30 February 4 at Palace Theater, 100 E. Main St., Waterbury. $38. 203-3462000, palacetheaterct.org.

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MUSIC The Hamden Arts Commission presents an afternoon of Dixieland and authentic New Orleans jazz featuring the Galvanized Jazz Band, with regional personality Joel Schiavone on banjo. 2 p.m. January 25 at Thornton Wilder Hall in Miller Cultural Complex, 2901 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. $7. 203-287-2546, hamdenartscommission. Creamery Station with Felicia March, featuring members of the longtime popular show band, The Bernadettes – this organic Roots/Blues combo is an all-purpose vehicle for volcanic soul. 8 p.m. January 29 at Café Nine, 250 State St., New Haven $5. 203789-8281, cafenine.com. Based in Amsterdam, the Calefax Reed Quintet breathes new life into classical chamber music, arranging, recomposing and interpreting music from eight centuries to suit their unique constellation of oboe, clarinet, sax, bass clarinet and bassoon. From early music to classical and jazz to world music, it all sounds fresh and new. 8 p.m. January 30 at Crowell Concert Hall, Wesleyan University, 271 Washington St., Middletown. $22. 860685-3355, wesleyan.edu/cfa.

Choate’s Winter Vocal Festival: Choate’s vocal students perform. 7:30 January 30 & 31 at Paul Mellon Arts Center Recital Hall, 332 Christian St., Wallingford. Free. 203-697-2398, choate.edu/ boxoffice. Get The Led Out, The American Led Zeppelin Band brings the studio recordings of Led Zeppelin to life in concert. 8 p.m. January 31 at the Dome at Oakdale Theatre, 95 South Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. $35. 203-265-1501, oakdale.com. Harris Brothers Balkan Band, Roma Gypsy music. 7 p.m. January 31 at the Funky Monkey Café & Gallery, 130 Elm St., Cheshire. $5. 203-439-9161, thefunkymonkeycafe.com. The contra dance trio Why Bred engages in joyful musical conversation with driving rhythms and exuberant harmonies. 7:30 p.m. February 2 at the Ballroom at Outer Space, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden Free. 203-288-6400, theouterspace.net. Together for more than 17 years, The Australian Bee Gees Show has mastered the look, sound and personality of the adored trio, while cementing their reputation as the world’s leading Bee Gees tribute band. 7:30 p.m. February 3 at Palace Theater, 100 E. Main St., Waterbury. $55-$35. 203-346-2000, palacetheaterct.org. Mo Lowda & The Humble is a three-piece indie-rock group from Philadelphia. The band has created a unique musical style combining various genres ranging from garage rock to jazz fusion and characterized by soulful vocals, a larger-than-life rhythm

section and intense live performances. 8 p.m. February 3 at Café Nine, 250 State St., New Haven $8. 203-789-8281, cafenine.com. Grammy winner Paula Cole celebrates the 20th anniversary of her performance debut on Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live and her solo debut Harbinger. 8 p.m. February 7 at Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. $50. 860-5100473, katharinehepburntheater.org. Grammy-Award-winning harmonica legend James “Mr. Superharp” Cotton says, “The blues is all about feeling. If I don’t feel it, I can’t play it.” Now in his 69th year as a professional musician (starting at 9), Cotton not only feels it, he lives it. His overwhelmingly powerful harmonica is one of the iconic sounds of the blues. 8 p.m. February 8 at Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. $45. 860-510-0473, katharinehepburntheater.org. Sweelinck: Master of the Dutch Renaissance, Organ Music by Yale’s Jonathan Dimmock. 7:30 p.m. February 8 at Marque Chapel, 409 Prospect St., New Haven. Free. 203-432-5062, ism.yale.edu/ event. A native of Oregon, teacher, composer, and performer Stephen Bennett is widely regarded as one of the finest finger-style guitarists of his generation. Using a standard six-string guitar, a 1930 steel guitar and his trademark harp guitar (a 12-stringed instrument with an extended sound chamber and six sub-bass strings), Mr. Bennett will present a wide variety of music, ranging

Italian Guitarist Beppe Gambetta, well versed in bluegrass as well as his own original music, is a master of the acoustic guitar. 8 p.m. February 28 at the Ballroom at Outer Space, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden $25-$15. 203-288-6400, theouterspace.net.

54 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

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from his original compositions to arrangements of the Beatles and the film scores of Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein. 3 p.m. February 8 at The Samuel Wadsworth Russell House, Wesleyan University, 350 High St., Middletown, Free. 860-685-3355, wesleyan.edu/cfa. Bach: Three Partitas. Award-winning harpsichordist Stephen Gamboa-Diaz presents the second half of J.S. Bach’s Clavierübung I. 7:30 p.m. February 12 at Morse Recital Hall, Sprague Hall, Yale University, New Haven. Free. 805-901-3116. Yale Opera presents a new production of Mozart’s ever-popular comic opera The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro). Since its premiere over 200 years ago, The Marriage of Figaro has continued to delight audiences with its sublime melodies, nonstop action, clever ruses and unforgettable characters. February 13-15 at Shubert Theater, 247 College St., New Haven. $47. 203-562-5666, shubert.com. Branford Folk Music Society presents New England fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger, accompanied by guitarist Bethany Waikman, contra and square dance musician. 8 p.m. February 14 at First Congregation Church of Branford, 1009 Main St., Branford. $15 ($12 members, $5 children under 12). 203-488-7715, folknotes. org/branfordfolk. Melanie Safka first attracted national attention when she stepped

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onto the stage at Woodstock. As dawn broke and rain fell, she performed on a stage that transformed a generation and changed music forever. That day Melanie launched a legendary career that spans more than 40 years and includes the No. 1 hit song “Brand New Key.” 8 p.m. February 14 at Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. $45. 860-510-0473, katharinehepburntheater.org. Artist in Residence and Wesleyan University Organist Ronald Ebrecht shares a Romantic fifth: the famous Fifth Symphony of Charles-Marie Widor, schmaltz by Franz Liszt and other works in an afternoon intermezzo for Valentine’s Day. 4 p.m. February 14 at Memorial Chapel, Wesleyan University, 221 Church St., Middletown. Free. 860-685-3355, wesleyan.edu/cfa. Funky Dawgz are a New Orleans style second-line brass band that has exploded onto the live music scene throughout the Northeast. 9 p.m. at BAR, New Haven. Free. 203-495-8924, barnightclub.com New Haven Symphony Orchestra presents Classics Series: Parfum de la Nuit. 7:30 p.m. February 19 at Woolsey Hall, 500 College St, at Grove St., New Haven. $74-$15. 203-865-0831, newhavensymphony.org. Bush formed in London in 1992 and found immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which

is certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. 8 p.m. February 20 at the Dome at Oakdale Theatre, 95 South Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. $35. 203-265-1501, oakdale.com. The Machine, America’s top Pink Floyd show. 8 p.m. February 21 at Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook. $38. 860-510-0473, katharinehepburntheater.org. John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, Neely Bruce, presents the fifth in a series of CD-length recitals of his piano music. 3 p.m. February 22 Crowell Concert Hall, Wesleyan University, 271 Washington St., Middletown. Free, 860685-3355, wesleyan.edu/cfa. The Hamden Arts Commission presents Raymund Santino: That’s Amore: An Afternoon of Romantic Italian and American Songs. 2 p.m. February 22, Thornton Wilder Hall in Miller Cultural Complex, 2901 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. $7. 203-287-2546, hamdenartscommission.org. New Haven Chorale presents A Night at the Opera with Connecticut Concert Opera’s maestro Doris Kosloff and soloist, with works by Gounod, Leoncavallo, Puccini and Verdi. 7:30 p.m. February 28 at Battell Chapel, Elm & College Sts., New Haven. $20 ($15 seniors, Students free with ID). 203-776-SONG, newhavenchorale.org.

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55


ART

Works by Peter Halley will be on display through May at the Florence Griswold Museum.

Opening 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition & Wonders of Winter 2015. Landscape, portrait, still life paintings and sculptures by member artists. January 16-February 27 at Goodman Gallery, Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St., Lyme. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 1-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 860-434-7802, lymeartassociation.org. Over Life’s Waters: The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm. Ninety-three of the Hamm’s American coastal collection including works by artists Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), William Braford (1823-1892) and Sears Gallagher (1869-1955). The exhibition highlights several scenic seascapes including Old Mystic, Swampscott, Mass., and New York Harbor. January 31-April 12 at New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., New Britain. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. $12. 860-229-0257, nbmaa.org.

56 J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2015

A Show of Hands – The Fiber Arts. Artists use plant, animal or synthetic fibers to create fine art and practical or decorative objects. January 23-March 15 at Spectrum Gallery, 61 Main St., Centerbrook. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 860-663-5593, spectrumartgallery.org. Picture/Thing presents 10 artists – Kendall Baker, Isidro Blasco, Rachel Harrison, Leslie Hewitt, Jon Kessler, Anouk Kruithof, Marlo Pascual, Mariah Robertson, Erin Shirreff and Letha Wilson – who make hybrid objects that challenge the limits of photography and sculpture at a time when the definitions of the two media continue to evolve. These artists take varying approaches to material, technology and presentation, expanding and redrawing the traditional perimeters of both. Defying photography’s specificity as a “window onto the world,” some prioritize the materiality of the photograph over the actual image, while others migrate the graphic flatness of the photograph into the full dimensionality of the sculptural realm. January 27-March 1 at Ezra & Cecile Zilkha

Gallery, 283 Washington Ave., Middletown. Open noon-5 p.m. daily except Mon. Free. 860-685-3355, wesleyan.edu/cfa. City Gallery member artists present their works in a Group Show. February 1-28 at City Gallery, 994 State St., New Haven. Open noon-4 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. Free. 203-782-2489, city-gallery.org. Winter Student Show features new work by students of the Creative Arts Workshop of all ages and experience levels. February 1-26 (opening reception 2-4 p.m. February 1) at Creative Arts Workshop, 80 Audubon St., New Haven. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 203-562-4927, creativeartworkshop.org. Peter Halley: Big Paintings is a focused look of the artist’s most monumental paintings spanning his career from the 1980s to the present day. Since developing his iconic style in the early 1980s, Halley has worked at the forefront of a group of artists reinvigorating American abstraction with a critical lens focused on contemporary culture. Organized by the museum’s assistant

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curator, Benjamin Colman, this exhibition of nine monumental paintings highlights the evolution of Halley’s bold style and the sophistication of his ideas. The exhibit is divided chronologically into three sections examining clusters of works made as the artist used his iconoclastic touch to transform the geometric abstraction of earlier generations of modern American painters into postmodern diagrams of contemporary culture. February 6- May 31 at Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $10. 860-434-5542, florencegriswoldmuseum.org. Karl Lund’s exhibition, Angry Robots Liquefied My Brain, features narrative paintings that depict a world where robots fight giant squid and exterminate countless enemies with powerful laser beams. February 28-May 31 at New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., New Britain. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. $12. 860-229-0257, nbmaa.org. Four Early Spring Exhibitions 2015: A Contemporary Look, Pulled and Pressed, Industrious America and Outside the Bowl and Vase. March 6-April 17 at Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St., Lyme. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 1-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 860-4347802, lymeartassociation.org. The first major collaborative exhibition between the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860, comprises paintings, sculptures, medals, watercolors, drawings, prints and photographs by such iconic artists as William Blake, Théodore Géricault, Francisco de Goya and Joseph Mallord William Turner. The broad range of work selected challenges the traditional notion of the Romantic artist as a brooding genius given to introversion and fantasy. Instead, the exhibition’s eight thematic sections juxtapose arresting works that reveal the Romantics as attentive explorers of their natural and cultural worlds. March 6-July 26 at Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Mon. (until 8 p.m. Thurs.) 1-6 p.m. Sun. Free. 203-432-0600, artgallery.yale.edu.

Ongoing Caravaggio’s Toys: Photographs by Joy Bush. Through January 30 at DaSilva Gallery, 899 Whalley Ave., New Haven. Open 10 a.m.5:30 p.m. Wed.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. Free. 203-387-2539, dasilva-gallery.com. Paint & Stone: Karen Green Recor & Rod Recor. Works by local artists. Through January 31 at Reynolds Fine Art, 96 Orange St., New Haven. Open 11 a.m. -5 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. Free. 203-498-2200, reynoldsfineart.com. Annual Holiday Show. Through January 31 at Susan Powell Fine Art, 679 Boston Post Rd., Madison. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.Fri., noon-6 p.m. Sat., noon-3 p.m. Sun. Free. 203-318-0616, susanpowellfineart.com. Works by Kate Themel. Through January 31 at the Funky Monkey Café & Gallery, 130 Elm St., Watch Factory Shoppes, Cheshire. Open. Free. 203-439-9161, thefunkymonkeycafe.com. The Knights of Columbus Museum’s 10th annual Christmas crèche exhibition, Buon Natale: Crèches of Italy, features two dozen Italian inspired Nativity scenes on display. The highlight of the show is a 120-square-foot Neapolitan diorama. Through February 1 at Knights of Columbus Museum, 1 State St., New Haven. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 203-865-0400, kofcmuseum.org. Vida y Drama de Mexico: Prints from the Monroe E. Price and Aimee Brown Price Collection presents a selection of approximately 50 Mexican prints and posters. Most of the works in the exhibition were made at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (People’s Graphic Workshop), a collective printmaking workshop in Mexico City founded in 1937 by Leopoldo Méndez, Luis Arenal and Pablo O’Higgins. The collective’s aim was to create art to improve the lives of peasants and laborers and to support social justice – goals not fully realized by the Mexican Revolution (1910–20). To reach the broadest possible audience, the Taller artists created works that could be widely distributed and that employed a clear, representational style and inexpensive techniques, like lithography and linocut. The subjects of these

powerful prints and posters include anti-war messages, support for workers and their unions, protests of government-sanctioned violence against demonstrators, political heroes and villains, U.S.Mexican relations and indigenous Mexicans. Through February 1 at Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Mon. (until 8 p.m. Thurs.) 1-6 p.m. Sun. Free. 203-432-0600, artgallery.yale.edu. East of the Wallace Line: Monumental Art from Indonesia and New Guinea explores the cultural characteristics of eastern Indonesia and coastal western New Guinea. Taking as its jumping-off point the “Wallace Line,” an ecological demarcation first recognized by British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace that runs through Indonesia between Bali and Lombok and west of Sulawesi, the exhibition presents intricately decorated, largescale sculptures and textiles, as well as more intimate personal and domestic objects. Through February 1 at Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Mon. (until 8 p.m. Thurs.) 1-6 p.m. Sun. Free. 203-4320600, artgallery.yale.edu. Passiones, works by Jennifer Davies. Through February 1 at City Gallery, 994 State St., New Haven. Open noon-4 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. Free. 203-782-2489, city-gallery.org. Textures & Tones, an exhibit of paintings by local artist Sandra Grove. Through February 8 at Atticus Bookstore Café, 1082 Chapel St., New Haven. Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri-Sat, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Free. 203-776-4040, atticusbookstorecafe.com.

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Cowboys and Cattle, a photography exhibit by member artist Jean Perkins. Through February 15 at Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave., New Haven. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free. 203-389-9555, kehlerliddell.com. Zachary Keeting and Anahita Vossoughi present Rockless Volume with works by Loren Myhre. Through February 21 at Fred Giampietro Gallery, 1064 Chapel St., New Haven. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Sat. Free. 203-777-7760, giampietrogallery.com. Comedy and Tragedy explores the strange intermingling of comic and tragic themes in art, society and daily life, leaving viewers to decide for themselves what comedy and tragedy really are. Through February 27 at Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery, 70 Audubon St., 2 Fl., New Haven. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Free. 203-772-2788, newhavenarts.org. First Annual Holiday Exhibit: Fine and Folk Art of China showcases scrolls, Chinese traditional puppets, paper cuts, porcelain pieces large and small, handmade silk embroideries and tea and tea sets. Through February 28 at Silk Road Art Gallery, 83 Audubon St., New Haven. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Free. 203-772-8928, silkroadartnewhaven.com. Works by James Polisky. Through February 28 at the Funky Monkey Café & Gallery, 130 Elm St., Watch Factory Shoppes, Cheshire. Open. Free. 203-439-9161, thefunkymonkeycafe.com.

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Photographs from the Archives: A curated exhibition of photographs from The Choate School. Through March 7 at Paul Mellon Arts Center, 332 Christian St., Wallingford. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Free. 203-697-2398, choate.edu/boxoffice. Otis Kaye: Money, Mystery and Mastery features works that display a mastery of the highly realistic trompe l’oeil technique in curious compositions of currency, letters and other symbolic items that make reference to political, economic and social issues facing America in general, and Otis Kaye in specific, during the first half of the 20th century. Through May 20 at New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., New Britain. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. $12. 860-229-0257, nbmaa.org. Whistler in Paris, London and Venice. This exhibition – the first at the gallery dedicated to James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834– 1903) – examines the biography and artistic development of one of the most celebrated artists of the 19th century through the lens of three of his earliest and arguably most innovative sets of etchings, the so-called French, Thames and Venice Sets. Through July 19 at Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Mon. (until 8 p.m. Thurs.) 1-6 p.m. Sun. Free. 203-432-0600, artgallery.yale.edu.

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ES

B IB L I O FI L E S WORDS of MOUTH JUSTFAÊ T TASTE: ES

Harvest IN S T Y L E

F O U T D OO R S

rom street level, Harvest looks like an afterthought, barely visible and tucked at the back of a bleak concrete plaza set below Chapel Street. But take the elevator down in building to the left of the Yale Repertory Theatre and you’ll step out into a different world: Rich textures, tempting aromas and a convivial, well-dressed crowd.

B O D Y & S OU L

Long the site of veteran Italian eatery Scoozi, the space has been subtly transformed into another haven for the splurging New Haven diner.

ONSCREEN

Harvest opened last fall as the second outpost of a mini-chain of restaurants operated by Vicente Siguenza. The Greenwich Harvest was praised by the New York Times in January as “a pleasant surprise.” Does our New Haven Harvest deserve kudos as well? Certainly for much of the food. A dish of olives and whipped butter served with fresh bread primed our appetites, the olives the fruity and rich kind you can’t find in the supermarket. The stark colors of the olives, set off by simple, pure-white plates, added to the minimalist elegance of our table setting. Harvest’s designer has stripped the space down to bare concrete walls and added some wood and metal accents to create a clean yet welcoming ambience. The spare expanse of the plaza is enlivened by propane flame lighting and a

sculpture visible across the way at the British Art Center. Harvest bills itself as a wine bar, so by all means take advantage of the expansive list of wines by the glass. I opted for a fruity Spanish Albarino ($8); craft beers are also available in ample pours. Top-flight reds and whites range up to $18 for a glass. Starters set the stage for an indulgent meal: Crispy artichokes ($12) arrived as a generous portion of marinated hearts encased in a light breading. The warm vegetable benefited from room temperature jalapenos, barely hot, and picked red onion. A schmear of lemony aioli brought together the disparate textures and flavors. Those jalapeno slices also accented a dish of calamari ($12), lightly grilled and served with several clusters of deep-fried tentacles. Avocado

john Starkes and Guss Christmani of Harvest with Tuna Tartare

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puree served as a cooling accompaniment. This mélange shouldn’t have worked, but a deft hand in the kitchen made it all harmonize.

The dish’s main salvation was a truly top-notch scoop of pecan ice cream alongside, as creamy and silky as could be hoped for.

The generosity seemed to have stopped with the entrees: My lamb cavatelli entrée ($20) in a petite square dish looked lost on its huge white platter. But the rich, meaty ragu and dots of salty cheese were warming and satisfying with the homemade pasta, and I didn’t want for more. The seafood pan roast ($27) also came in a smallish serving but each expertly seasoned and cooked nugget of seafood over tender rice invited solo appreciation.

Service, along with an awkward layout, also leaves something to be desired. The wait staff seems to consist of an army of young men with a range of English ability who buzz around the tables to little effect. At least a dozen people seemed to serve or bus our table on a recent visit, but no one seemed to take a consistent interest in meeting our needs.

The portions turned out to be about right. Ordering a side like the outstanding broccoli rabe ($7) makes sense to sample the kitchen’s range. Beautifully al dente yet bracingly bitter, this version of the Italian classic is among the best in town, bathed in a light garlic sauce.

T

he sophistication of many menu items belies a pretty pedestrian dessert list – New York cheesecake? No Italian classics to be found. Stay away from the banana bread pudding ($7), an overnuked cube of oily sponge unworthy of the meal that came before.

The all-male staff – a sexist anachronism that seems to persist in our city’s high-end eateries – may be the reason the women’s restroom was a chaotic mess relatively early in the evening on a recent visit. The lackluster service and sloppy housekeeping was unworthy of a triple-digit evening out. In all, Harvest’s often fine cuisine makes it worth a visit, along with the elegant ambience and central location. If the service and desserts can rise above ground level, we’ve got a winner. Harvest, 1094 Chapel St., New Haven 203-777-2500. harvestwinebar.com

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NEW EATS:

Barracuda Bistro & Bar By Liese Klein

T

here’s a lot more to Latin food than tacos and burritos, and we in New Haven are lucky that entrepreneurs from across Central and South America are taking a chance on our town. The latest is Sonia Salazar, a native of Barranquilla, Colombia, who recent opened the Barracuda Bistro & Bar on the corner of Chapel and Park. Taking over and freshening the location of the former New Haven Meatball House and Avro, Salazar has brought the sparkling flavors of Colombia to the borders of the Yale campus. Inside the space are familiar industrial touches like visible ductwork and metal screens, but

bouncy merengue-style music on the sound system and mellow lighting warm things up. Cocktails like La Flaca ($8), a blend of Azunia tequila, agave nectar and lime, appeal to drinkers seeking some sweetness. I preferred the Media Noche ($7), which mixed dark rum, lemon and triple sec for a tart but mellow quaff. Drink prices are reasonable, with craft beers going for $5 a glass and most cocktails below $10. Brunch with all-you-can-drink mimosas is on tap for the spring. Appetizers blend South American staples with locavore touches to varying success. An arepa ($9), a tender corn cake with a crisp crust, married well with a dollop of fresh sautĂŠed

mushrooms. Yuca ($7), a starchy root with a subtle flavor and addictive waxy texture, got lost in a coating of seasonings dominated by salt. I missed the more simple Cuban preparations of the fried root. A Colombian-style shrimp ceviche ($13) came in a martini glass with strips of fried plantain and an appealing tomato sauce. Tangy flavors, the crunch of red onion and flecks of herbs complimented the succulent seafood. On the sandwich side, the Cubano ($13) contrasted the textures of shredded pork shoulder with sliced ham and a layer of gooey Swiss cheese. Again salt was overused a bit in the pork but the overall combo, perfectly set off by a

Chef/owner Sonia Salazar

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Voted Best Seafood Market 10 Years in a Row

crisp baguette, was appealing and satisfying.

perfect balance of sweetness and richness.

A veggie burger ($12) was savory with a quinoa blend but suffered from being encased in an overly thick and dry bun.

As a casual place to sample South American flavors and escape the winter chill, Barracuda is a welcome addition to downtown.

Tres leches cake ($5) came to the rescue, with the condensed-milksoaked sponge cake achieving the

Barracuda Bistro & Bar, 1180 Chapel St., New Haven 203-691-5696. barracudanewhaven.com

Tura McNeil, Robert McNeil & Joe Luchese Come by and say Hello to our new General Manager Joe formerly of Balducci’s & Citarella. Sample a full line of Joe’s new prepared items.

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M y N ew Ha v e n

On Nostalgia “O

f all the streets that blur in to the sunset, There must be one (which, I am not sure) That I by now have walked for the last time Without guessing it,…” excerpted from Limits, by Jorge Luis Borges A few Sunday nights ago, social media exploded with the news that the Anchor bar, a beloved and historic pub and downtown landmark, would be closing within a matter of hours. And, as quickly as people scrambled to grab one last drink (and/ or selfie) in that museum of cheap suds, so, too, began the efforts to “save” it. Online petitions, fundraising and staff-relief efforts rolled out for the better part of the week and…and good for them. If you love something…fight for it. Participation and putting skin in the game is entirely what this column is about, right? Right. But in the spirit of good conversation and since all good drama is about conflict, I want us to consider the following complications: How does a modern city reconcile nostalgia with progress? At what cost do we favor one over the other? And, above the others, how does one love, anything, in transition? I am, to my great regret, prone to bouts of powerful nostalgia. I fear that there is very

little whose passing I can’t lament (I am the type who fondly remembers a loose tooth). Subsequently and in order to be a productive human being, I’ve committed a good amount of energy in marshalling this predilection into healthier emotions (for our purposes today, let’s define “healthier” to mean: a state in which I’m not knees-to-chest, under a blanket with a sippy cup of scotch and a sleep-away camp yearbook). Without this kind of management, I just simply can’t be present in the now which, I’ve learned via both hard and easy ways, is just simply super important in life. In any case, this is a subject upon which I have reflected…a bunch…and I want to talk about it, here, because I worry that nostalgia can be just as good at corroding the future as it is at polishing the past. The Anchor, the ‘Doodle, the Old Heidelberg, Cutler’s et al, are all beloved touch points (high points) of our city center’s recent history. But barring those and a few others, Downtown New Haven’s past is not something that is usually fondly recalled, not by our city’s champions or by its detractors. A very few of us, I suspect, would turn the clock back on our city even if we could to the Elm City of the ’70s or ’80s. Rather than counting a dodgy past as a weakness, I’d like to suggest it as a strength and that the

By Bruce Ditman

dreamers and doers of New Haven have a great advantage over those of other cities. Let us be spared the obligatory nostalgia for the good ol’ days that so often defines cultural or regional identity and let us be free to build, to redefine, without having to drag our past behind us. It is by virtue of that fact that New Haven is, inherently, a progressive city. Progress mustn’t always mean destruction and old bars don’t have to close only to be replaced by sanitized (though, likely, more sanitary) lesser versions of themselves. But without a doubt some of the time this is going to happen and happen again. Change will happen. And, change is scary. For me, the fear of change is all about its inevitability and about powerlessness. But I’m wondering if when we lock our arms and protest as reflex, aren’t we just tying our hands? Doesn’t that realize the fears that drove us to act in the first place? The fear that we are without power, without voice? The fear that someone or something else is changing and taking away (bitby-bit) the thing we love? Consequently, isn’t our love of our city best served by being the agents of change and not its obstacle? Shouldn’t our relief come in the form of stewardship and not of protest?

T

hat’s a lot of questions without a lot of answers. It is no secret that there is simply tons of crap I don’t know. But, here are two things I do know: Always, the things we love will change. Equally so, not everything that ends, fails (and everything, eventually, ends). I’m not writing this to discourage the exciting and vital advocacy and engagement we have in our beloved city, for the Anchor or anywhere else. Likewise, it’s terrible when people lose their jobs and storefront windows are soaped. I’m writing about this because it is of our present, in New Haven. We can’t be sure when we’ll walk by our favorite bar for the last time. We can be sure only that it will happen, one day. Let’s own that little bit of sadness and strive to be present and unencumbered by it as we plan for the future. Our city is a complicated city one, its future no less challenging. Someday, and I truly believe this, our city and its superlative residents will look back on this decade as they plan their futures and fondly recall how we thought it wouldn’t get better…and then it did.

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