New Haven: Recreation
Yale University, whose scholarly ranks include patriot Nathan Hale; presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush; scholar Noah Webster; and statesman John C. Calhoun, is one of the nation's oldest schools. A walking tour of the campus will include a view of Connecticut Hall, built in 1717. The school's 12 colleges, the 221-foot Harkness Tower famous for its carillon concerts, and the world's largest gymnasium—the Payne Whitney Gymnasium—are highlights of the tour. Adjoining Yale University in an area known as The Green is United Church, whose congregation fervently supported the struggle against slavery. The church is regarded as an outstanding example of New England architecture. The New Haven Colony Historical Society has exhibits celebrating the exploits of several former slaves who revolted aboard the slave ship Amistad, eventually landed in New Haven, and were eventually set free by the United States Supreme Court.
One of America's first cemeteries, the Grove Street Cemetery, was founded in 1797 and contains the graves of many New Haven notables. On the eastern shore of the New Haven Harbor are Black Rock Fort, used in the Revolutionary War, and Fort Nathan Hale, a Civil War fort. The Pardee-Morris House dates from 1750 and contains many colonial Connecticut furnishings. East Rock Park offers a bird sanctuary, self-guided nature trails, picnic groves, and the Pardee Rose Garden and Greenhouse. Lighthouse Point Park's natural history displays and its unique carousel set in an eighteenth-century pavilion on the beach are popular tourist attractions. West Rock Nature Center is a year-round 40-acre facility with displays of native wildlife. The park includes Judges' Cave, where the regicidal judges who condemned King Charles I to the block hid to escape English royal retribution. New Haven's historic Green, a national historic landmark, is ringed on one side by churches built between 1812 and 1815 in the Gothic, Federalist, and Georgian styles. Day and evening harbor cruises and educational tours of the coast are available aboard local chartered boats.
The Connecticut Afro-American Historical Society, located on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University honors the role of African-American people in New Haven and the United States. The university's Ethnic Heritage Center also highlights the cultures of Jewish-, Italian-, Irish-, and Ukranian-Americans, as well as other ethnic groups. Eli Whitney Museum, established in Whitney's restored gun factory, offers programs, lectures, and workshops about machinery and technology.
Arts and Culture
New Haven's performing arts offerings are rich. The New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the fourth oldest in the country, is nationally recognized for its performances, which are often accompanied by international guest artists. The symphony presents a summer concert series on New Haven's historic Green. Orchestra New England, a chamber ensemble, is gaining a reputation as well. Performances of touring groups and guest artists are staged at two major facilities in New Haven: the Palace and the Shubert Theater, a traditional stop for shows on their way to Broadway. Concerts include internationally renowned symphonies, concert artists, bands, and singers performing the whole musical spectrum.
Theater is popular and critically acclaimed in New Haven. The Long Wharf Theatre Company is known for its contemporary works while the Yale Repertory Theatre, home to the university's world-renowned drama schools, is heralded for its productions of the classics. Many other fine student, amateur, and professional groups enhance the cultural landscape.
Yale University has made the city of New Haven synonymous with fine museums. Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History is New England's largest and one of its oldest science museums. The Yale Center for British Art is considered one of the foremost collections of its kind in the world. American, European, and classical works form part of the Yale University Art Gallery's collection. Artspace and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven are local arts organizations that offer support, performance and exhibition space, education, and classes for student and professional artists. The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments numbers more than 800 sixteenth- to twentieth-century instruments. A Gutenberg
The New Haven Colony Historical Society houses a museum and library of local memorabilia, including industrial and toy exhibits. The Connecticut Children's Museum stimulates the imaginations of children under eight years of age. Private galleries in New Haven include the John Slade Ely House, the Museum of American Theatre, the Munson Gallery, the Mona Berman Gallery, and the galleries of the Creative Arts Workshop and City Spirit Artists, both of which offer instruction in the arts.
Arts and Culture Information: Arts Council of Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510; telephone (203)772-2788
Festivals and Holidays
Its location in the center of the former colonies makes New Haven a treasure-trove of Americana. The New Haven Antiques Show, held at the New Haven Coliseum, schedules a spring and fall exhibition while the Connecticut Antiques Showcase is held in November. Powder House Day, commemorating Benedict Arnold's seizure of the New Haven powder stores in the name of the Revolution, is celebrated each spring with a drill and costumed parade on the Green. In March, the Annual International Competition of Women in the Arts take place.
April's Film Festival New Haven screens features, shorts, and documentaries at three local venues. April also brings the Cherry Blossom Festival at Wooster Square. New Haven's maritime past is celebrated with East Shore Day in the harbor area in June. A week-long Summertime Street Festival runs concurrently with the Pilot Pen International Tennis Tournament. The Annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which is fashioned after the Spoletto and Edinburgh Festivals, takes place in June and centers around the New Haven Green. Each June on Wooster Square, the St. Anthony Italian Feast takes place, as it has for the past 105 years. The Celebrate New Haven 4th takes place each July 4 weekend and includes fireworks, entertainment, and sails on the schooner Quinnipiack. There is an annual lobster bake each July in nearby Milford. The best in contemporary crafts produced by 400 craftspeople from around the country is on display for most of November and December at the Celebration of American Crafts Creative Arts Workshop. December's UI Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Park on New Haven harbor allows visitors to drive through an enchanting land of more than 200,000 lights.
The city's love of music is apparent in the large crowds drawn to the summer weekend New Haven Jazz Festival held on the Green. Religious and ethnic celebrations include St. Andre's Feast in June, Santa Maria Magdelina Feast in July, and the Greek Festival at Lighthouse Park in September. Connecticut's oldest fair, the Durham Fair, will celebrate its 86th year in September 2005.
Sports for the Spectator
The New Haven Cutters play minor league baseball at Yale Field as part of the 8-team Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, an independent baseball league. The Sports Haven in New Haven provides horse-racing fans with simulcasts of some of the major races on four large screens and permits betting. Visitors can dine at the on-site sports bar or the Shark Bar. Several local colleges and universities field sports teams, including the Albertus Magnus Falcons, the Quinnipiac Bobcats, the Southern Connecticut State University Owls, and the New Haven University Chargers, whose contests are eagerly attended throughout the year. The Yale Bulldogs compete in one of the oldest collegiate sporting leagues in America, the tradition-rich Ivy League, with such fierce rivals as Harvard, Princeton, and Brown. Although its team can no longer compete with the top Division 1 collegiate programs, the Yale Bulldogs football team is a hugely popular local favorite that has drawn up to 70,000 fans to big home games. The Yale Bowl hosts world-class soccer tournaments during the summer. Tennis is represented by the Pilot Pen International Tennis Tournament, held each August at the new Connecticut Tennis Center. The Milton Jai Alai fronton in nearby Milford is the only remaining fronton in Connecticut.
Sports for the Participant
Water sports predominate in New Haven. Boating, swimming, and aquatic sports of all types can be enjoyed at the city's many beaches. Golf is played at the Alling Memorial Golf Course, where the 18 holes carry a par of 70. Fully 17 percent of New Haven's land is dedicated to parks. City parks include East Rock Park, the city's largest, which maintains hiking trails and an array of recreational facilities. Lighthouse Point Park features swimming and recreational facilities. Edgewood Park has a skate park, and the Walker Ice Rink has ice skating and hockey. The city has dozens of sports leagues for kids and adults, as well as swim instruction. Each fall New Haven hosts a Road Race, which draws amateur athletes from throughout the Northeast. In Ledyard, east of New Haven, the Mashantucket Pequot Indians opened a casino in 1992.
Shopping and Dining
The downtown area's bilevel shopping complex, the Chapel Square Mall, was renovated and reopened in 2004, giving the beleaguered mall a facelift that many hoped would return it to its glory days. Ann Taylor Loft, which began in New Haven 50 years prior, returned to anchor the newly restored complex. Small, family-owned shops can be found throughout New Haven, along with a variety of bookstores that serve the university community. Many unique shops can be found in the historic Wooster Square, the Arts District near Audubon, and around the Green.
A diner's paradise with a growing national reputation for its sophisticated cuisine, New Haven is home to more than 100 restaurants, many within an easy walking distance of downtown and the Green, including the Union League Café, which serves fine French cuisine in an elegant setting, and Scoozi's, New Haven's only wine bar, which offers contemporary Italian fare. Other cuisines from which to choose include American, Caribbean, Chinese, Continental, Ethiopian, Greek, Indian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latin American, Malaysian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, soul food, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and vegetarian.
Visitor Information: Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau, 59 Elm St., New Haven, CT 06510; telephone (203)777-8550; toll-free (800)332-STAY
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