New Haven Turkey Day

Three Thanksgivings ago I traveled north to have turkey with my younger sister’s in-laws.

They were good people.

Back in the 1940s New Haven was a prime destination for commuters. however in the 50s the Federal Courts had ordered the New Haven railroad to divest itself of the trolleys running from the various stations along the Connecticut shore and the rail line plummeted into insolvency, as the car replaced rail as the primary form of transportation in the suburbs.

While the city’s population declined in those years, its inhabitants still number 130,000 making New Haven the Nutmeg State’s second more populous urban area behind Hartford, although exiting from the train station I wasn’t able to verify that 2012 census claim.

Once the other passengers were picked up by family, I noticed the projects across State Street were devoid of humanity. Even the minimart was closed for the holiday.

I called my sister. She was running thirty minutes late. I decided to take a walk. It was a sunny day and New Haven possessed some striking brutalist architecture.

Some trees showed the colors of autumn.

Some more than most.

Winter was far away from New England and I strolled down the deserted streets to the Knights of Columbus Tower.

The 23-storey modern style reinforced concrete building was designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates and finished in 1969. According to Wikipedia 321 feet (98 meters) tall is the third-tallest building in the city’s skyline. No one was there too.

Flowers adorned the sidewalks.

They didn’t know it was almost winter.

Another low building exhibited all the signs of 1960s urban service.

It took me a little time to discover its function.

Knights of Columbus Museum.

The Catholic Church.

As an atheist both the tower and the museum threatened by godlessness and I hurried away toward the train station. It was almost time to meet my sister.

I walked past the New Haven Police Station.

It was having a quiet day.

So was I.

After all I was a Mayflower descendant and Thanksgiving was all about celebrating New England’s conquest of the Indians.

We should have treated them better.

New Haven too.

There was no turkey in the air.

Only loneliness.

And it felt familiar.

But not for long, because I would be with family and friends.

And that was a good reason to come to New Haven.

Thank you Squantum.

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