High Water

Over the course of three days, the author fasts, drinks, and hikes into the feet of the Sierras.

I might have had fifteen dollars after I paid the train fare. I surely didn’t have enough for a four-day road trip in the Sierras. But after half a summer in an office downtown, I craved pine and dark earth, laurel and thrush. For three days I hardly ate. Beer served as my bread, my meat, and my milk. Fasts, I’d been told, clarify the mind, channeling streams of thought into a single still pool. At Modesto, my friend Abby* and I descended from the. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle
An Interview with Ted Hoagland

TNJ sits down with award-winning nature essayist Ted Hoagland.

On January 2, Ted Hoagland sat down with me in his house in Martha’s Vineyard. Our conversation ranged from his work with animals in the circus as a young man to his travels to places including Alaska and the Sudan—and his writing process. For six decades Ted Hoagland has keenly observed the intersection between the natural world and the constructed one. A member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Hoagland has received numerous awards including a National Magazine award and two. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle
Smelling Blood

Get your gun, bag a squirrel, and don’t be afraid to dirty your lily-white hands.

The author in her tree stand Just two weeks before Thanksgiving, the scent of braising meat, like bread and old leaves, filled the kitchen. My squirrel was breaking down, slipping off its bones. One of my housemates walked in, where I leaned over the stovetop watching our dinner simmer. “Smells great,” Travis said. I nodded and sniffed again. Squirrel, I thought, smells like both rabbit and quail, but also nutty and a little gamey. Rodent might not be prime protein, but a hunter obeys her. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle
No Dumping

New Haven residents fight a plan to fill Morris Cove with toxic sludge.

Larry Smith turned the bow of his weathered, flat-bottomed skiff toward the Long Island Sound. More than forty other sailboats, motorboats, and kayaks were moving with him. July 10 was the kind of bright summer Sunday when sunlight shocks the seascape into a series of horizons from deck to sky. Before they reached the chop and swell of New Haven Harbor, the boats turned back across the shallower, calmer waters of Morris Cove. They swung close to the Pardee seawall, where more than a hundred. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle
The House That Alice Built

Before women could vote, Alice Washburn was building the most beautiful houses in New Haven and Hamden.

Blueprints of Washburn's houses. Images courtesy the Eli Whitney Museum The houses of Hamden’s Swarthmore Street possess delicate bones. Place them atop poles and each home would look like the finest handmade birdhouse. These colonials and their siblings, over one hundred and ten houses in total, have presided over streets in Hamden, New Haven, and Cheshire since the 1920s, when they were designed and built by Alice Washburn. Washburn began her career as a landscape architect in 1919 at age 49. She had no formal. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle
Root Beer and Skittles

The Naclerio family of East Haven is in year 83 of making and bottling their famous root beer.

Foxon Park bottles. Juliana Hanle The invention of root beer predates our nation. Native American warriors during the French and Indian War carried sugar and ginger to flavor their water. Hardy White Mountain backwoodsmen sustained themselves with maple sap boiled with spruce twigs. Even 250 years later, the recipe isn’t too different. At Foxon Park, a small family-owned soda manufacturer in East Haven, the Naclerio family has combined syrup with sugar, water, preservatives, and carbon dioxide in the same formula they’ve used since 1928. Foxon. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle
Talking Shops

The story of a street, a city, and a school.

The printer on the second floor of Tyco beats like the heartbeat of a marathoner gone aerobic. Founded by Michael Iannuzzi in 1971, the copying and printing company is one of the few small business that have seen the transformation of Broadway. Cutler's Record Shop still exists today; David's Cookies and Ice Cream, however, has long been replaced. Educated Burgher is another. There, a 1984 map of New Haven’s businesses still hangs on the wall, faded and irrelevant. Fewer than half of the businesses depicted. . . Read more
Juliana Hanle