Honneus on Yale

"Summer in New Haven"

On a Friday last month, I was driving back to White Plains from Providence and stopped in New Haven. Davenport College is shrouded in renovation scaffolding, Pierson Gateway and that long walk in to the college is being finished. Broadway was bustling, alive with pedestrians and if Ginny had been with me she would have been in J. Crew and gone for an hour. I picked up "The Guide to Downtown New Haven", a very handsome, 16-page guide to what we used to call the "Armpit of the Nation". Could this be my (our) old New Haven? The butt of all those jokes?

A prior column told you New Haven was looking much better. But, you not believe this guide. Walking tours of New Haven??!! An Arts District?? Historic Wooster Square?? The Theatre District?? Both Chapel and Broadway looking like movie sets for retail streets? Restaurants everywhere?? Good ones!! And, oh yes, Barrie's is back. Not called Barrie's; it is now Paul Richards, reincarnated by its long time manager and the manager of J.Press. Same shoes from the same factories.

In this guide, New Haven now calls itself Connecticut's Cultural Capital. That is probably true given the sorry state of Hartford. The current Yale newsletter tells us part of the tale. Yale, over the years, bought up most of the properties along Chapel and Broadway and has carefully upgraded everything. While the process may have angered people, including me, there has been a master plan that amounts to good policy, good citizenship and good economics. But, I see no 24 hour diner (remember the United Restaurant?) so where do you get breakfast at 4:00AM after a grueling and brutal Dramat set-up or an all-nighter for that overdue paper? Actually, there is Gourmet Heaven on Broadway, a 24-hour food shop / hot and cold salad bar on Broadway that has sit down and take out far better than the old United every dreamed of!!

I urge you to take a look at www.INFONewHaven.com. You will see that if New Haven can be remade or recreated, anything can. Even us!!

My strong views on the coming Election and encouragement for everyone to work to bring about a change in Administration can be found on the web site Message Board.

David may be reached at david_honneus@fleet.com.