A photojournal of the Wooster Square neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. And, occasionally a photo of New Haven, of course, of course.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bud Watch

Well we're on the countdown and bud watch to the 37th Annual Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival. It's slated for April 18th barring any rain, which we've had three days of around here. This is my second year for the festival. My fingers are crossed and prayers going up for the Festival and the blossoms to happen at the same time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What's Wrong with This Picture?

Go ahead and take a guess, leave it in the comment section below. Tomorrow you'll receive the answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

City Seed

Today was miserable. Cooler and rainy ALL DAY LONG. It didn't let up for a minute. However last Saturday was beautiful and people were out all day long. Our local farmer's market City Seed meets all year long. During the winter months only twice a month and during the summer each and every Saturday they come. City Seed meets at on a tiny street at Russo Park in Wooster Square. You can see people were out in short sleeve shirts, dogs and baby carriages. A sure sign of spring.
Fresh bread from the SoNo Baking Company...
Fresh milk..... chocolate and white.
And root vegetables galore.
Everyone in Wooster Square is waiting for City Seed to open each weekend. All of the vendors bring Connecticut grown vegetables, organic meat, honey, herbs, just about anything that you could possibly need.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

This woman was straightening out the crosses made from Palm leaves at the local Big Y grocery store. These are crosses that people put at gravesides rather than being used at church. At church this morning we waved our palms high as the children processed around the sanctuary. We also carried palms of other sorts. In the previous weeks I had asked the congregation to draw the outline of their hand on a piece of green construction paper and cut it out. Then, they were asked to write prayers on their 'palms'. I taped them all to three long tubes so the children carried the palm prayers as well and then we laid them at the altar.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

I was on my way to pick up my Easter bread from St. Barbara's this morning and the crowd gathered on the green in New Haven caught my eye. I swung around the block, found a parking place, grabbed my camera and saw children. And eggs. And candy. And Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny. The children are eagerly awaiting the Bunny's arrival by firetruck.
Here they are. It was cold out today and so probably the bunnies were the warmest ones around in their furry coats.
Finally! Most of the children were not at the curbside to greet the bunnies but were waiting outside of their age appointed ring. Inside the ring was candy and eggs, outside of the ring were the children waiting patiently.
Sweet baby. Yes, that's tear from her eye. The Easter bunny scared her.
Another little one pretty in pink.

So long for now Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, see you next week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend Reflection

This is from Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven. I love the way the sun is reflecting through the stained glass windows onto the thin strip of the arch. Please have a look at many other thoughtful reflections at Jame's Weekend Reflection.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Graffiti Industry

This is getting serious now. Reo and his friends have been out painting again. Looks like some graffiti invaders must have painted on their previous work and the owner of the building has now posted this sign. Tomorrow I'll post some of their new work. To have a look at the old go to my entry of November 9, 2009, Making Art in the Neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Another fine evening at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. The Ladies of the Philoptochos Society ended this series with a bang. Tyropita. Gemista. Portokali Poutinga. Let me explain.Here we are assembling our Tyropita or cheese pie. This recipe is from Northern Greece the area which was once known as Roumeli. It's the standard butter, phyllo and cheeseAssembly got a little confusing and there were different opinions on how to assemble the Tyropita. Mine was not quite correct but I'm sure will work out just fine.
The Tyropita was scored before baking and here's the finished product above. Below we are moving on to the Gemista or Stuffed Vegetables.
From time to time cooks don't always agree on how things are done, or which utensils to use. Such was the case last night as we hollowed out the veggies. Above Maria is making her case with the students on the right and Virginia is making her case with the students on the left. Virgina prefers a melon baller to scoop. She's so serious.
Maria uses a spoon. It must be more fun using a spoon, Maria's smiling! In either case the insides of the veggies do not go to waste, they are put into the meat and rice mixture that is cooking below.
Oh Yum. Can't you just smell it, steam rising from the mixture?
Maria was the head cook on this dish. She's showing off a yellow pepper that's been stuffed with the mixture. She's pleased, the spoon worked wonderfully.
However, when the baked vegetables came out of the oven I think Virginia approved. Now on to the Portokali Poutinga. Below the orange mixture is being stirred over the stove top.
The woman standing next to me, Michelle, knew Greek so we got to talking. Tyri is cheese. Pita is pie. Hence Tyropita. Portokali is an orange. Poutinga is pudding. Hence Portokali Poutinga. However Poutinga, well let's say, sounds like another questionable word in Greek...also in Italian. It started like this. The recipe on the page only had Orange Pudding written on the top. So I asked what the name was in Greek. She said Portokali for Orange. No one knew the Greek word for pudding. We asked Maria, she didn't know. We asked Virginia, she said, "uh, uh" and then back to stirring the mixture. Then she said, "pudding".
Michelle wasn't quite happy with that so she went to her I phone and looked up in the Greek Lexicon, pudding. She started laughing and told me that sometimes there isn't an exact translation because there really is no equivalent word in Greek and the word is a very corrupt form of the English. Hence Poutinga! Well Maria's eye's got big as saucers and began to smile and Virginia well, the entire New Haven County could hear her laugh. Let's just say that poutinga is similar to 'lady of the evening'!
And here is Portokali Poutinga! Delicious and Sweet. The pudding is drenched in that delicious syrup that adorns the beloved Baklava. This was a wonderful way to end our time together. Thank you ladies, God be with you till we meet again.
I said, "Happy Easter" to Michelle as we were leaving. She said in Greek, "Kali anastasi" which literally translated means, good resurrection. Or, in the future tense, have a good resurrection. I like that....alot.
Kali anastasi

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Tease in our Midst

There's one in every crowd. This is one eager cherry blossom that is showing her colors. All of the trees that line Hughes Place and Wooster Square are showing buds but no blossoms yet. This little one just can't wait for the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival that will be on April 18 this year. We're all on bud watch around here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The New Haven Fire Department

The Central Station of the New Haven Fire Department is a stone's throw from my house. I've walked by many times and have seen this old fire truck alongside of shiny, big, white and modern fire trucks. It was a nice day. The doors were open. I walked in and asked if I could have a look and take a photo. This is a truck from the mid 1800's. One of the firemen came over and explained all about it. Quite a bit different than what we're used to seeing today.

From the NH Fire Department website... "Now home to Engine 4, Truck 1 and Car 32. The original home to Hook & Ladder 1 was on Artizan Street. This was known as the Mutual Hook & Ladder 1. The original Engine 4 was located on Wallace and Saint John Streets. This was The James Brewster Steam Fire Engine Number 4."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Trinity Episcopal Church

Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven was founded in 1752 and was situated on the corner of Chapel and Church Street. The present sanctuary was built in 1814 on the corner of Temple and Chapel Streets. It's one of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival in America. The sanctuary has L. C. Tiffany Company windows and a pipe organ built by the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company in 1935.
I was out walking on one of the fine pre-spring days this week and the doors were open so I walked right in. I was taken with the arches and the pipes of the organ. Both seemed to bring me up and looking heaven-ward.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Time for Greek cooking class at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. This week's delicacy was Moussaka and Koulourakia. This post will be the Moussaka instruction. This is Chef George Koutroumanis of Yorkside Pizza in New Haven. Chef George also hosts a local television show on WTNH once a month. He makes it all look so easy and I suppose it is when you just happen to whisk up Bechamel sauce for sixty day after day. Chef George brought in pre-baked eggplant and potato slices.

Now he's cooking the meat with onions, tomato sauce, wine and spices.
And layering the Moussaka. You can see we are all trying to translate "just a pinch" into weights and measures.
Back to the Bechamel Sauce. In this large quantity it took two people to make it. One to pour the hot milk into the butter and flour mixture. I love the picture below. I don't remember what it was that they were trying to figure out but it took three people to figure it out. It all worked and the Moussaka baked up beautifully.

From this below......

To this....

Very impressive.

After layering the potatoes, eggplant and meat sauce the final layer is the Bechamel Sauce. The trick is to pack down all of the ingredients before putting on the Bechamel Sauce.

Here's the finished pan of Moussaka. I travelled to Greece once in my life but don't remember Moussaka tasting so good. Chef George asked if we had any questions and I thought to myself, "Can I make reservations at Yorkside Pizza?" Next Friday will be my first time for making Bechamel Sauce...on my own.

Weekend Reflection

I was driving down Chapel Street in New Haven a couple of days ago with my camera by my side. I stopped at a light and was noticing the reflection of the building in the building windows. After taking a photo I looked ahead of me and saw this reflection in the car in front of me. As they say, it was a double header! To some other interesting and thoughtful reflections click on over to Jame's Weekend Reflection.