The Definitive Guide to the Quiet World of Salt Water New England.     Photo by Muffy Aldrich

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

My Father's New Haven

Photos by My Father, Salt Water New England, and Family Archives.  
New Haven is enjoying a rebirth, as reported in today's New York Times.

I could not be more pleased.

I was born in New Haven, and raised a stone's throw away, as was so much of my family.  We went to school there.  We worked there.  We bought our clothes there. And our books, our pizzas, our records, our pipes, and our hats.

As soon as I could drive, I was bounding over the Q Bridge and zipping though the streets of New Haven.  Exercising caution in the rougher neighborhoods, less so around the center, I know this city inside and out.

My family has deep roots in New Haven.    Two of my direct ancestors (John Cooper and John  Brockett) were amongst the first settlers and founders of New Haven in 1638.  My 9th great grandfather, Samuel Heminway, paid Yale's first tuition.

Yet New Haven was always my fathers' city.  He understood the city during a time of vibrancy.   

It was with him and through him that I went to the theaters, museums, and symphony.  It was because of him I read the two daily newspapers. Looking back, these were all better than they should have been.

And he loved to photograph New Haven.  He loved the people, the energy, the progressive spirit, and yes, the clothes.   

My father would spend hours in his darkroom developing the day's film and then sharing prints, asking me which was my favorite.   

Because of my father's eye, despite countless trips to New York and all over New England, and beyond, New Haven was and always will be the cultural center of my universe. 





All Photos ©2010-2022 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



  1. Terrific photos. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Nice to see the Anchor in one of the photos. I spent many enjoyable evenings there in the 90's.

  3. Great photos! I grew up in New Haven in the '60s and loved it. The photos made me homesick and nostalgic. I'm glad to see things are turning around a bit there.

  4. The Green was but 4 miles from the house in which I grew up In the ‘60’s. At the end of our street was a pond on which we skated and played hockey every winter. A half hour north were two small ski areas where we practiced other sliding skills. During the summer we travelled to the close by Branford shoreline. There we found rocks to dive off into the salt water. The world came to New Haven, not only JFK but Jimi Hendrix, Janis, Cream, and the Grateful Dead too. Starting about age 11 we had our own money earned raking leaves, delivering 365 days a year the New Haven Register, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, and doing other odd jobs in the neighborhood. We caddied. That was good money. We were altar boys. More cash in our pockets from tips garnered at weddings and funerals. We never experienced anything untoward. We hitchhiked downtown, “going downtown Mom.” We had money burning a hole in our pockets when we walked up and down Chapel Street, Broadway, and York Street. We soaked up all the campus politics, and how they related to what was happening in Selma, Saigon, and elsewhere. We knew where Kingman Brewster and William Sloane Coffin stood on race and war and how Dick Lee changed the city. We saw every home game Calvin Hill and Brian Dowling played. We were regulars at Yankee Doodle. It wasn’t Washington DC, Philly, New York, or Boston. It was better. And not just because we also had the best pizza in North America.

    1. Add, please, to The Dead et al, Dylan and “... blood in the streets in th etown of New Haven.” The Doors.

  5. Wonderful post. Great photos and photo essay.
    Thank you Muffy.

  6. What wonderful photos! Have spent many happy times visiting the Owl shop! Thank you so very much!

  7. These photos are wonderful, vivid documents of a place and time. There's tennis, but also politics. There are gowns and white dinner jackets, but also slush and parking lots.

  8. Thanks for the tease! It is appreciated.

  9. I was born at YNH and raised in Guilford. Concerts at Woolsey Hall and on the green, CT Ballet doing the Nutcracker at UNH, Greek festival at Lighthouse Point, hockey, football at Yale Bowl, many hours at the Peabody museum, Cutler's record store, and pizza loyalty that's thicker than blood. Culturally, New Haven is easy to wrap your arms around.