New Haven State Street Station

Blue State

Hypothesis: blue, not white, is the best color for making peace. Blue’s the cooler head to red’s hot temper. It’s the salve to orange’s burn on that complementary color wheel we had to memorize in art class. It’s the color of clear calm skies and relaxing tropical waters.

It’s also the color of New Haven’s rather quiet State Street Station where, coincidentally or not, blue features and accents, from cerulean to turquoise to cobalt, are rarely out of sight. They span curving ribbed roofs and a decorative arch over the main entrance; window frames and support spokes; handrails and stair risers; even vent covers.

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Even if you’ve never caught a train at State Street, you can glean its peacefulness just from looking at a standard Metro-North schedule, where the station’s rows of train times are filled with more blanks than any other. Looking at State’s lean row and mistaking it for Union’s—the next one down or up, depending on which direction you’re going—is an easy way to spark an internal panic, thinking you’ve seriously mis-planned your trip.

Over at State Street yesterday, the usual travel anxieties were undetectable. Maybe it was because healthy pauses between trains and modest crowds had given riders time and space to reflect. Maybe it was because most of them were waiting for a Shore Line East train, traveling to placid places like Branford, Guilford and Madison.

Or maybe it was all that blue.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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