Saturday, June 26, 2010

Newington Center...And Beyond (2)

Note: Most of these pics were taking in the early spring, around March or April as near as I can put it.

This is looking north down Mountain road, and as you can see, the trees are incredibly bare, and yes, believe it or not, that is a bridge. There is a small mountain stream that trickles underneath when there is a decent rainstorm in the area. It's hard to tell from this shot, but the width of the road is about one car plus the door open. When two are driving in opposite directions, both more often than not, will pull all the way over to the side to let each other pass. The fortunate thing about this road is that there is no troublesome spots to worry about, save for the shallow (about three feet deep with a gradual incline) ditch that starts about where you see that white house on the right (a local group home for the developmentally disabled).

This is a shot further up the street, taken from the closed section of the road. The closed section is a popular walkway for people who are looking for a quiet area to walk in, a decent shortcut if you're on foot patrol and walking from the highway that's a couple of miles away to the southern border of Newington/Hartford, or if you want a place to walk your dog without having to curb or pick up their doo-doo.

This is the beginning of the closed off section of Mountain Road. There are two stories that are currently circulating as to why this road is closed, each of them containing a kernel of truth somewhere. Story #1 is that the town and the state claim the other is responsible for maintaining that particular section of roadway. Since neither would budge, concrete barriers were put up, this one here and one about half mile or so up the road near the Hartford Regional Center (an institution for the moderately to severely developmentally disabled). Story #2 is that before the barriers were installed, there were the appropriate signs posted saying that the road was legally closed and that to drive it was at your own risk. An elderly woman ignored the signs, drove on the road, crashed and died. The reason as to why the road looks so clean is that around December/January, it was cleared out by a developer in anticipation of building luxury condos on the mountain ridge. It never came to fruition.

The graffiti in the previous picture and this one has a sadder story to it. Back in the summer of 2008, a young man (about 16 or 17) who was suffering from depression, chose to end his life by driving his car into this particular concrete barrier. Since 2008, this particular graffiti has been more or less unchanged, untouched and unremoved from this barrier. For about a year and a half, there used to be a small stuffed Barney and a small cross sitting on the top of this barrier. Off to the right of this pic, there is a perpetual dried out bouquet of flowers tied to a tree.

This is Mill Pond, the centerpiece of Mill Pond park and waterfalls. The island that you see is usually populated with ducks and geese in the summertime. To the left out of the picture, is a man made fountain that helps when Mother Nature can't. To the extreme left is a dock, where they hold a small fishing derby during the Newington Extravaganza that will held sometime in mid July (and was the backdrop for my short story The Right Thing) The building directly behind the island is where you enter the town pool at.

The ducks (along with the geese) that call Mill Pond Park their home, have absolutely no fear of people, and as such, it's incredibly easy to get up close and take candid shots of them. So long as you approach them quietly and carefully, you can get some pretty remarkable shots (which you'll see in the upcoming weeks). This particular one was probably searching for some grub to eat. I'm not quite sure whereabouts this particular shot was taken, but if I had to take a guess, I would say it was at section of the pond that has no water flowing into it most of the time and thus it was usually drained and/or barren.


  1. Wow - that is some story about that road. You could almost come up with some sort of Stephen King scenario with all that tragic death surrounding it.

    I always enjoy these walks. Thanks, G. :)

  2. Lynn: Never really thought about a Stephen King type of scenario for all the tidbits about this road, but I suppose you're right about that.

    Glad you enjoy my little strolls around my neck of the woods, because I really do enjoy sharing my little slice of heaven with everyone else.

  3. I bet it's absolutely beautiful to walk around there in summer. You are going to show us some photos of the trees in full leaf, right?
    Hmmmm, probably in the dead of winter, huh? :)Bea

  4. So sad about the young man. I always wince when I see the flowers or crosses alongside the road where someone has died.

  5. Bea: It's absolutely fantastic to walk around and through in the summer.

    Of course I'll show some trees in full bloom.

    In the dead of winter, when your spirits need picking up. :D

    Seriously, they'll probably pop up by the end of July/beginning of August.

    It usually takes me about two to four weeks to use up a disposable, another week to get it developed and two or three months for it to make it to my blog.

    Charles: Yeah. I think Newington's been lucky as it pertains to crosses and highway memorials. I've seen my fair share of those while traveling the interior of Connecticut, mostly involving teenagers, than I have around here.

  6. Nice pics...and that is a sad story.

  7. Great photos, and what a sad story about the guy that killed himself.

    It's becoming much more common in the UK now to see flowers, ties and soft animals on lamp posts and fences near to where people have died.

  8. R.K.: Thanks, and yes it is. In an uncomfortable coincidence, when were getting a new modem installed a few weeks ago, the techie that did it was the brother of the young man who passed away. When he came to our house, he said it was the first time he visited this particular section of town since the accident.

    Joe: Thanks.

    I know for here (Newington that is), suicide is a very uncommon occurance. Besides this one, the only one that I can recall with clarity was a potential classmate of mine who passed away some 31 years ago.

    As for the crosses, memorials and the like, it gets very depressing to see them, especially if you know the story behind them (Connecticut is such a small state that the media coverage on such things is very wall-to-wall).

  9. Another brilliant tour, G. The combination of your photos and words make me feel almost as though I'm there.

    Suicide is always such a tragic experience. Especially for those who are left suffering from the loss.

  10. B: Thanks.

    Most definitely a tragic experience. And doubly if the person was young.

  11. Nurse Myra: Thanks. The pond looks really fantastic in the summer time, when everything is in full bloom.


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