Friday, August 22, 2014

Broken Windows and Empty Hallways

The New Haven Register has a blog called Divided Connecticut. It's about politics, and the many issues that are wrapped up therein. But anyone who pays attention to Connecticut - the way it's perceived, and the way it's described - hears a lot about all the other ways the state is carved up into opposing slices. The other day I heard someone say there are "two Connecticuts," and I thought, Two? Try four, try ten, try seventeen. Some would say there are 169 Connecticuts, or that the divisions are infinite.

I tend to chop Connecticut up too, but sometimes I realize that it's better to think of this place as a whole. Town greens and white churches, blighted streets and empty storefronts, manicured lawns and hedge funds, dairy cows and rolling hills, painted boulders and rocky beaches.

This usually occurs to me when I'm enthralled with something like these old J.R. Montgomery textile mill buildings along the canal in Windsor Locks. They're as beautiful as an ornate city hall or a wooded trail, and they're as much a part of Connecticut as either of those.


  1. My grandfather worked there when it was the Montgomery factory, just a mile or so from their house. My grandmother would walk down and bring him lunch, and I think she even worked there for a little bit, too. It's so sad to see how rundown the buildings have become. They've tried to sell them several times, with plans to turn them into condos, but as they're on the Windsor Locks side of the river, if there was ever a fire there, it would be hard to get trucks in so I think that's part of the reason it never went through. My 5-year-old always asks why people broke all the windows every time we drive by there.

  2. Kristen, thanks for the comment. I love those little bits of family history. It's sad/frustrating to really think about the days when all these buildings were in use.



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