Real Potential

Real Potential

Last December 31, speaking of a one-eyed cat, we wrote, “He’s a bit like Daily Nutmeg on the precipice of a new year—an eye towards the future, wondering what adventures await.”

As it turns out, 2015 was full of them.

Always in a mood to “Inquire Within,” January had us examining how New Haven, once the co-capital of Connecticut, became “Uncapitalized.” Good thing we had wine to soothe that inquiry’s more stinging revelations, thanks to some nearby “Cork Competency,” which also helped divert us from the city’s peculiar history to its present peculiarities, or “Odd-Makers.”

To a mixtape compiled by a “Smooth Operator” and a “Heavy Meta” band, February showed us “Irrepressible” designs a monstrous government had tried to stamp out—and some good-natured “Monsters of Design” right here at home. A business with a local history that’s “Fit to Print” made it into our non-print publication, as did a historic business on the margins, located between West Haven’s “Surf and Turf.”

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New Haven Symphony Orchestra Family Concert Series

Too late for Valentine’s Day, we found in March “True Romance” with art, but also with French fries, wishing people—especially newly single people—a “Happy Fry Day.” We found, too, some “Roamin’ Catholics,” who don’t much mind if you’re not Catholic, plus some “Ring Tones” that are free but not for download. In addition to a “New Lease,” we found a means of finding a new lease on life: a “Search Engine.”

April was as much about action as words. Exhibiting “Thick Skin” and “True Grit,” unfazed by “High Roads” and “a Flight Cancelled,” we went “Door to Door,” explored “A Curious Place” and delivered a “Bomb Shell.”

By then we were pooped. But May gave us a chance to “Take Cinco,” then see some local “Bands Together” at a brand-new “City’s Hall.” We wandered some “Dead Ends,” enjoyed some “Nature and Nurture” and let a “Land Rover” take us around. We even spent an evening “Spacing Out,” though a particular story still left us feeling “Pressed for Time.”

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Joyful Learning at Cold Spring School

Seeking out a “Top Tree” had us gazing up at June sky, as did a “Crane Check” of a building site that’s since progressed considerably. So too have the fortunes of a group of “Garbage People” who, faced with an uncertain future back then, have landed on their feet. Other people’s futures were already firming up at the time, thanks to being given “A Fighting Chance.”

July produced a “Conversation Piece,” and a conversation piece: “An Impossible Wicket,” i.e. the intractable predicament of a homeless, mentally ill poet who once studied his craft at Yale and Harvard. We found ourselves “Light-Headed” and “Bent Out of Shape” for other reasons, too, but not because of the hot summer climate, whose lushness gave us insight into “Living on the Edge.”

In August, we became entangled in a temporal paradox, engaging in “Time Travel” before we’d even looked around for “Time Machines.” Meantime, a pair of “Escape Artists” gave us some futuristic escapism; a guy who’s been “Sticking Around” awhile gave us a groove; and a theater gave us shapeshifting laughs and gasps with a “Murder, Staged.”

And just like that, it was September, leaving us feeling as though summer was “Here and Gone” too quickly, like a favorite broken-up band getting back together for just a weekend. Yet ours was still a “City Sitting” and otherwise spending time outside, with a very temperate autumn ahead. And the energy of a new school year brought out some noteworthy “Young Adults,” plus an important exhibit that had us “Seeing, and Believing.”

So too did the “Alternative Scenery” and “Wonders Wandered” of October’s City-Wide Open Studios, an especially “All-Inclusive” affair for being mostly free and open to the public. Amidst all the color, a cloudy day and a downtown revitalization project created a “Gray Area,” while a “Stop Watch” helped us understand downtown’s most established travel hub. Rational thinking took us “Off the Charts” and unsettled us during a case of “Mistaken Identity,” while Halloween’s imaginations inspired us to explore “Magic Power” and “Haunting Houses.”

November brought an out-of-town “Road House,” much more appealing than the iconic movie’s, and a new “Taste Acquired” on Broadway. It gave us “Fair Games” to play, “Friends in Knead” to visit and “Present Company” to enjoy. But the month also delivered one of the year’s most heart-rending tales, of a talented, troubled man caught between “Inner War and Peace.”

Reflecting the “Mood Lighting” gracing the holiday-season cityscape, December, too, brought plenty of fun and frivolity. We summed up the city’s aptitude for “Long Revision” and its reverence for “Holy Cannoli.” We managed to “Connect Four”-letter words around the city. We played “Hide and Seek” and told a “Fair-y Tale” about a neighborhood trying to reach its potential.

Potential—it’s something many of us think about all months of the year, but especially this one. We wonder what changes and challenges are coming in 2016. We wonder whether we’ll be able to weather them well.

But if our wide-ranging 2015 suggests anything, it’s that there’s little point trying to predict the specifics. They’ll present themselves in due time, and in the meantime, the present waits impatiently.

Happy last day of 2015—

Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Dan Mims and Daniel Shkolnik.

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