Meryl Streep Hangs At Miya’s
by Thomas MacMillan | Aug 10, 2012 2:04 pm
Posted to: Arts & Entertainment, Downtown
Walk down Howe Street, and you’ll see Meryl Streep outside Miya’s restaurant. Walter Camp and Albie Booth are talking football in a driveway on Chapel Street. And Chad Dawson and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. are hanging out by the YMCA.
Literally hanging, that is.
A crew of workers Tuesday hung a number of new vinyl posters of famous New Haven dwellers at locations in the Chapel West Special Services District, the business organization-monitored area of Chapel Street just west of the center of town.
Chapel West is hanging about 15 posters, said Vin Romei (pictured), president of the organization. Each features a black and white drawing of “A New Haven notable,” someone who either is from New Haven or spent a significant period of her life here.
“We’re just trying to bring notice to New Haven history,” said Romei. The idea is to select people who have made a “contribution to society,” to highlight the great people and achievements that have come out of the city.
“Our main goal is promoting Chapel West,” Romei said. When passersby see the posters on the streets, “we just want them to be impressed,” he said. “We’re waiting to see the reaction.”
On Tuesday afternoon, workers from a North Haven company were hanging Streep outside of Miya’s. Woody Ford, the owner of the company, said the posters should last at least two years.
Nate Blair (at right in photo), a waiter at Miya’s, stepped outside to admire the new poster. “The question is, will anyone tag it? It’s hanging pretty low,” he said to Brian McGrath (at left), who works for Chapel West.
Blair said he wishes all the posters honored people who grew up in New Haven, “but we might as well have Meryl Streep up here. ... Lots of the Yale Drama School students come in here.”
The “New Haven notables” hanging anew in Chapel West include:
Charles Goodyear, who was born in New Haven in 1800, invented a process to vulcanize rubber, and went on to found the Goodyear tire company. Eli Whitney was a Yale alum who invented the cotton gin. Robert Moses, the urban planner who changed the face of New York City, was born in New Haven in 1888. Dr. Benjamin Spock was born in New Haven, went to Yale, and won an Olympic medal in rowing before becoming a renowned author of books about child care.
Paul Giamatti, born in New Haven, is an actor who went to the Yale School of Drama. Meryl Streep, who also studied acting at Yale, gets her face on a poster, even though she wasn’t born here. Patricia Smith, born in New Haven in 1930, was a film and TV actress.
Albie Booth, a New Haven born Yale football player, nearly singlehandedly defeated the Army football team in 1929 by rushing for 233 yards and scoring all of Yale’s points. Walter Camp, considered the “Father of American Football,” went to Hopkins Academy and Yale and in the late 1800s made the rule changes that led to the modern game as we know it. “Bad” Chad Dawson, born in 1982, trained in New Haven and went on to become a national light heavyweight champion. Craig Breslow, born in New Haven in 1980, is a Yale-educated pitcher who was recently traded to the Boston Red Sox. Floyd Little, a pro football Hall of Fame running back, was born in New Haven in 1942.
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. was born in 1908 in New Haven and went on to represent Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he fought against racial segregation. Father Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven in 1882. James Hillhouse represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate at the turn of the 19th century.
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Good stuff. New Haven definitely needs more public art!
posted by: jeffreykerekes on August 10, 2012 2:48pm
Great concept. I like it. Good work to all those involved (Yes, even you).
posted by: Brian McGrath on August 10, 2012 3:00pm
Chapel West wants to give the credit to Strong Cohen Graphic Design,one of the businesses located on Chapel Street within the district. They not only designed these posters, they may even have come up with the idea in the first place!
Totally great choice of New Haveners to feature, and cool project. I might have added Michael Bolton.
If these one-way streets were designed to have lower speeds, people might actually stop and look at stuff like this (and at the businesses). As it is now, Chapel West is a wasteland because nothing has been done to correct the grave mistakes of the period from 1955 to 1965. Unfortunately, it seems that our city leaders are more interested in catering to the convenience of big businesses & unions than they are interested in supporting our local base of jobs and entrepreneurs.
I love the Albiy Booth and Walter Camp one :)
Forgot Theo Coleman…
He came out of New Haven.
This is a great project. I would also add:
-Sengbe Pieh (aka Joseph Cinqué)
-The Five Satins
Michael Bolton stole “sitting on the dock of the bay” from Otis Redding. Could somebody please steal it back?
Yes! ” In the still of the night” remains one of rock and rolls greatest songs! (recorded in the basement of St Bernadettes over in the annex.)
Great idea, terrrrrbile execution. You can’t read half of the pieces! Pictures say a thousand words which is lucky as Goodyear’s and Giamatti’s are beyond laughable. 20/4000 anyone?
Great idea but why are there posters with small font hanging 15 feet off the ground? Who is supposed to be able to read those?!
OMG robn, My dad drove me crazy with their songs when I was a kid, I guess he knew the guy when they were kids.
And as far as the font. What are you people taking about? It is fine. I need glasses for everything and I do not at all need them for this.