Present Tens

Present Tens

Since Daily Nutmeg turned 10 on Tuesday, other 10s keep turning up.

Downtown on Chapel Street, Atelier Ten, an environmental design firm, is 10 doors up from hotpot hotspot Ten Seconds Yunnan Noodle. A few blocks farther is Ten Thousand Villages, whose home- and other wares are 10-times-10 percent fair trade. Along-the-way fashion shops Expressions, Sneaker Junkies, idiom and Raggs have your 10 toes covered; for fingers, drive to East Haven’s Top Ten Nails.

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Long Wharf Theatre

Heading west instead, Woodbridge’s 10Selden community space tends to youth and arts, while, back in New Haven, two-times-Five Guys tend to countless burgers and fries. One of those Five Guyses grills away near Criterion Cinemas, where exactly 10 films are screening today, and Ives Main Library, which counts among its movie collection The 10th Victim, 10 Things I Hate About You and a two-disc compilation of “10 Classic Horror Movies.”

New Haven’s nine original squares are home to most of these 10s, but outlier Wooster Square has its own ten-ability. The historically Italian-American neighborhood touches three of the nine, and its marquee green space, Wooster Square Park, is marked by a giant paved X—a 10 to ancient Italians—among other, shorter footpaths.

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Similar Xes—10-plus-one of them—mark the intersecting paths of the New Haven Green. Some take you close to the Richard C. Lee Courthouse and its 10 grand pillars. Others lead to the city’s oldest churches and their 10 a.m. Sunday services.

Just a block away from the Green rises a shrine to a ten-acious industrial history: the ex-headquarters of regional telecom giant SNET, which lasted for more than a century before being gobbled up. Looking at SNET backwards, as we must do now that it no longer exists, we find the word “TENS.”

And if you think that’s a stretch, imagine the ten-sion required to follow a one with a zero on one of those old rotary dials.

Written by Dan Mims. Image by NSC Photography.

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