A Curious Place

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T he mystique of the alleyway—narrow, hidden in plain sight, a good place to carry out acts unseen—is advanced in countless movies and TV shows. Alleys are where characters make getaways, cops discover bodies and agents meet in secret.

The alley next to art supply shop Hull’s is dramatic for aesthetic reasons. Its prominent, out-of-place “bicycle” sign, a vestige from the days when the building housed the 1995-closed bike shop Cycles LaChance, gives it a dash of intrigue. So does the big “Do Something Amazing” mural stenciled onto stucco in shades of red and yellow, left by the anonymous street artist Believe in People in 2012.

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The Fund for Women & Girls - The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

More mundane forms and textures create their own drama. A second-story air conditioning unit creates a stark vision against a narrow sliver of sky. A warped, rusted sheet of latticed metal, tiny old bike locks still hanging from it, extends across the front, its purpose a mystery. Metal tubes for delivering utilities and water drainage snake across surfaces here and there. Watered by one of those drain spouts, some mossy greenery’s gotten a foothold across patchy brick and mortar.

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CitySeed Farmers' Markets

You don’t need getaways or dead bodies or secret meetings to make this alley interesting. You just need curious eyes, and a few moments to give over to curiosity.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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