Hartford used to be a place that I only tolerated if there was a special concert or event that I wanted to attend. Trying to manoeuvre my way around the city while looking for a place to park my car was never my idea of a good time. I usually ended up paying to squeeze my car into a public garage where I felt like a can on a crowded shelf in a supermarket.
The Riverfront Recapture project started may years ago with a goal to reestablish connections between the city of Hartford and the Connecticut River. I walked across the promenade for the first time last year to a attend a free concert at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford. That experience renewed my interest in Hartford. Last Weekend, I attended the Riverfront Dragon Boat Race and Asian Festival.
Dragon boat racing started in China as part of ritual 200 years ago and eventually became a competitive team sport during the 1970's. Teams from several different states showed up for the competition. I was a little disappointed that the boats didn't breathe fire but it was still fun to watch.
The festival also featured Asian food, art, and cultural demonstrations.
Birds and nature play a significant role in Asian art. These paintings were submitted by six year old students from the Greater Hartford Chinese Language Academy.
I like the visual effect of looking through the arches under the Founder's Bridge. The man in the photo who was participating in the event hopped up for a look at the action as I was taking the photo.
After crossing the bridge, I followed the shoreline of the river back to Great River Park in East Hartford. There were many mature trees along the way where I was able to see some woodland birds along with the pigeons, House Sparrows, starlings, and grackles you might expect to see in an urban area.
One thing that surprised me was how nice and sandy the Connecticut River shoreline was at this park. I was also pleased to find a well decorated Spotted Sandpiper there.
I enjoyed watching as the sandpiper scurried quickly along the shore searching for food proudly bobbing its tail everywhere it went. One of the nice things about birds is that they are everywhere so I didn't have to make a choice between activities like visiting the city or birdwatching. I was able to do both !
click to play
For information about other upcoming events taking place at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza click here.