"Time and tempest felled it at last; but it blooms here in marble still, its name is preserved throughout the city as the distinguishing mark of divers stores, shops, and companies; and a pretty marble slab, like a grave stone, in Charter Oak Place inadequately marks where the original flourished until 1856. In Bushnell Park (named after that eminent theologian, the late Dr. Horace Bushnell, who was the chief promoter of this public pleasure ground) there is a couple of Charter Oaks junior, sprung from its fruit; and 'certified' acorns, possibly taken from these younger trees, but supposed to have grown upon the parent, have been worth their weight in gold at charity fairs. Across the Connecticut, leading to East Hartford, stretches a covered bridge one thousand feet long, and taking up in its construction a corresponding quantity of timber. Mark Twain, showing some friends about, told them that bridge also was built of wood from the Charter Oak."
"He is the patriarch of American gastronomy, responsible more than anyone for raising our food consciousness, yet he never took a cooking class in his life. Worse, he's not even solemn about what he does. James Beard has, for all his life, been devoted to the proposition that cooking should be fun."
"Schiavone is thinking up new projects, in the atmosphere for meditation that he has created at his offices on Chapel Street in the old Union League building. The Union League, a private, exclusive men's club formed at the turn of the century, once would not have admitted anyone named Joel Schiavone. 'It was for WASPs.' He has taken the former hangout of the very privileged and created offices that bear the unmistakable stamp of Joel Schiavone."
"Stroll down Sherman’s Alley adjacent to the restaurant’s building and you’ll find La Terrasse, Union League’s new terrace area, which debuted in mid-July... Union League’s general manager Romain Turpault describes it as a late afternoon or early evening social ritual, a gathering with friends for drinks and light snacks before a later dinner."
"Piano rags filled the air as waiters and waitresses bedecked in Gay Nineties clothing served the libations. A woman in a bear costume mingled with the crowd; a mime 'sang' songs of the era. Outside, a horse hitched to a carriage whinnied in the crisp, winter night. And who was in the carriage, trotting dignitaries up and down the street? Who else but Joel Schiavone, New Haven's flashiest developer, a flamboyant 46-year-old who believes -- and proves -- that showmanship is as much an ingredient of success as business sense."
"The successful presidential campaign of Republican Abraham Lincoln perfected the nighttime torchlight parade as an entertainment of unprecedented scale that attracted the attention of men, women, and children. The concept originated in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1858, and was revived for Lincoln’s campaign by the city’s young Republicans. Tailored oil-resistant enameled cloth capes distinguished the marchers, some of whom were too young to vote. Their example spread from Hartford to cities in the northeastern United States, which contributed traveling companies totaling some ten thousand uniformed men with torches to a Grand Procession in New York City on October 3, 1860."
"Entrees at Robert Henry's are brought to the table under opaque white china domes. They are set before the diner, and the dome is whisked away, revealing the meal. At most places, such fanfaronade would be insufferable. The moment you focus on these plates, however, you know that a dramatic presentation is the only way… Continue reading A Matter of Taste: Robert Henry’s, by Jane and Michael Stern
"In the 1991 book 'Ticket to Paradise: American Movie Theaters and How We Had Fun' (Bullfinch Press/Little Brown and Co., $29.95), writers John Margolies and Emily Gwathmey rhapsodize about the lost era of the movie palaces. (The first, they write, was New York's Regent, built in 1913.) 'The buildings were ceremonial structures in which we… Continue reading An Acre of Seats in a Garden of Dreams