Monday, April 30, 2007

Lobster vs. Submarine

“Lobster vs. Submarine” is more than a good name for a painting. It is a street phrase used when discussing New London development. It is shorthand for saying, “This is a question of relying on tried and true tradition or embracing new, expert-drawn, potentially dangerous, modern means.” Every time something new develops in New London, Conn. the city debates whether to let it take root. It is always a question of Lobster vs. Submarine.

Blackie is a crow that smokes cigars while he struts back and forth along Green’s Harbor Beach like a plutocrat pacing his boardroom. Blackie has plenty of people to supply him with stogies. This is an old fashioned city that favors the many flavors of tobacco, be traditional or whacky. The city is a natural humidor, keeping everything fresh with its air. Many people stop to watch Blackie from their cars, but few stop to approach him and ask him a question.

Whalehead King, the obvious hero of these stories, parked his motor scooter and spoke to Blackie a few years ago during the big eminent domain legal brouhaha. Both had already been long-term residents of New London. Both had a different perspective on the city. Whalehead King asked Blackie what he thought of the Fort Trumbull plans. Blackie said, “It is a question of Lobster vs. Submarine.” Not only is Blackie a cigar-smoking crow, he is The Oracle of Green’s Harbor Beach.
Whalehead King visited the Fort Trumbull Neighborhood today. It is a moonscape dotted with abandoned homes ready for demolition. It is barren of anything but weeds. It is a question of Lobster vs. Submarine. In New London, things rarely change. The city opted for the open, untrammeled space that existed here when the Nameaug Indians were the original residents. Rather than have inhabited land, the city chose to return to nature. It is a question of Lobster vs. Submarine.

To learn a little about Dr. Otto Zugzwang, visit http://blog.myspace/whaleheadking

I Left My Heart on West Street

West Street, that most blessed street in New London, is home to many colorful characters, some more notorious than others. The street directory reads like Dick Tracy's rogues gallery. Sometimes, when people are putting out their trash for Monday-morning pick-up, West Street looks like a police line-up more than a neighborhood.

West Street is, in fact, west of some things, but not in any way that is remarkable. It has no connection with anyone with the last name of 'West.' Why West Street is called West Street is the caprice of some forgotten New London street-namer.

For the people who have made their home on West Street, it is hard for them to be away for long. This is true of anywhere in New London, but it is particularly acute on West Street. There must be something addictive in the pipes.

The homes along West Street range from imposing to doll-sized. In one juxtaposition, the smallest house is across the street from a large, brick apartment building. The apartment building is called "The Marquis." West Street is home to nobility.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Foul Weather Friend

Today was not the best day to be a scooterist. Your intrepid vesperado went through a puddle so deep, the water went over his leg shield and even doused his hat. He stopped to stand up so that the water would run out of his lap and down a storm drain. Luckily, he is used to foul weather and he has the gear to handle it with impunity.

Whalehead King owns a Weatherproof® brand, 100% polyester fedora, lovingly made in China. It fits so perfectly that it stays on his head in gale force winds. Even at top speed on his scooter during a hurricane, this hat stays put. The brim is firmly in place, guarding its owner’s eyeglasses from blinding raindrops. He tilts his head a bit for maximum protection.

His trench coat is likewise waterproof. Rain rolls off it like a fisherman’s slicker. Rather than being made of yellow rubber, Mr. King’s coat is a tight weave of synthetic, stylish, microfibers. It buttons to the neck and the collar is sewn down so as not to flap distractingly in the breeze. It is long enough to protect his thighs from getting soaked and the scooter’s leg shield protects his shins and boots.

A little known fact: When Whalehead King arrives at his destination, though the front of his coat is wet, his back is dry. It is a result of his perpetual motion. No matter how wet he appears to be, his suit and tie are dry underneath and his starched shirt is still pressed with razor-sharp creases along the sleeves.

It takes more than inclement weather to keep a good man off his scooter. With a little foresight and preparation, even a dandy can look good no matter what the elements throw at him. He is like Teflon. He is like stainless steel. He is like titanium alloy. He carries himself proudly in fair weather or foul. You can’t keep a man-about-New London off the streets for long.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Improbable Couple

Keep your eyes on the stars and you will never be wrong. New London is full of minor heroes and miniature Herakles. The city is full of bargain basement geniuses, tinkers, and foot soldiers for propriety, unheralded prophets, and just plain, upstanding folk minding their own business. Follow the examples around you to make a better city.

New London is a city of small courtesies, good manners, compassion, positive reinforcement, and good deeds done well. Former crossword puzzle champion, Annie Forsyth came to town and fell in love.

Her husband-to-be is Mr. Charles Osgood Dexter. He lives in the white house on Ocean Avenue between Farmington Avenue and Niles Hill. Mr. Dexter, who comes from old New London stock, is a philanthropist. He is an Elephant Man who is rarely seen in public. The curtains of his house are always drawn and he tips his paperboy extra so his newspaper will be slid into his mail slot. He doesn’t mow his own lawn and he has his groceries delivered to his garage at night. People know him by his generous donations to local charities.
Space limitations prevent us from telling the story of Ms. Forsyth’s and Mr. Dexter’s courtship. Let it be said that they are very much in love and get along famously. Ms. Forsyth looks forward to being the face the Dexter family presents to the public. She is a twee woman. She has a hawk’s nose and a walleye. Her red hair is cut in a bob and she favors sparkly, green dresses. You will know who she is when you are introduced to Mrs. Dexter.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Fourth Horseman of the Roadshow

Einsterzende Neubauten and Nina Hagen stopped by the Garde Arts Center in February for their German 80’s Pop Tour, 2007. Alice Cooper happened to be scheduled to play at the Mohegan Sun Arena at the same time. Mr. Cooper once had a fling with the lovely Ms. Hagen. He enjoyed her perceptive, witty conversation as well as her stunning good looks. He developed a last-minute sore throat on the night of his show in order to see if the romance could be rekindled.

The two had dinner at The Bulkley House on Bank Street. Mr. Cooper had a Caesar salad. Ms. Hagen had the snails. Though Mr. Cooper was in full make-up and Ms. Hagen had blue hair as long as Cousin It’s, no one noticed the couple or disturbed them. They were expecting autograph hounds, but they fit right in with the crowd at the Bulkley House. There are more than three eccentrics in New London, Conn., and there are more than three celebrities. This city is a sort of playground for the rich and quirky.

Though love is always in the air in New London, the sparks didn’t fly between Alice Cooper and Nina Hagen the second time around. Ms. Hagen pleaded a headache due to her escargot allergy and asked Mr. Cooper to drop her off at the Holiday Inn on Bayonet Street. Left to keep himself company, Alice Cooper asked his driver to take him to the Oasis Pub. The Paul Brockett Roadshow was working its magic that night on the stage. Bassist Dave Anderson spotted Mr. Cooper first. He whispered in Paul Brockett’s ear between choruses.

Paul Brockett invited Alice Cooper to join the Roadshow as an honorary member. The two launched into a duet of “Cold Ethel” with Meghan Killimade keeping time. At Dave Anderson’s suggestion, Messrs. Brockett and Cooper held a yodeling contest. After two rounds, Mr. Cooper thought he had the best of his opponent. Then Paul Brockett decided to loose the stops of this voice box and yodel like he was born to do. A flock of sheep came into the Oasis while Mr. Brockett was only halfway through. Alice Cooper conceded without even trying to match Mr. Brockett’s natural gift.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An Obituary to Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin is a particular hero of Whalehead King. Boris Yeltsin is quoted as saying:
“A man must live like a great bright flame and burn as brightly as he can. In the end, he burns out. But this is better than a mean, little flame.” Whalehead King heard a recording of Mr. Yeltsin’s quote in its original Russian. Whalehead King didn’t need a translation. He knew exactly what the speaker meant. Yeltsin was a kind of Kerouac in his way, the way Whalehead King, in his dapper persona, stills experiences beat epiphanies every day.

Mr. Yeltsin moved inside the system as a subversive until he parlayed his strengths into positive power. All he ever intended was to enable people to have pride in their lives and the optimism to take a chance. He wasn’t successful in every sense, but he was dramatic and he gave whole nations, even the whole world, hope for a brief time. Some people are good at grandstanding and forging a vision into an anchor to which others can cling, waiting for rescue. Other people are good at being bean counters and administrators. To bring New London, Conn. into this obituary for a grandstander and empowered drunkard, let it be said that many citizens of New London wish for a leader of Mr. Yeltsin’s stature.

In New London, the bean counter administrator is in charge by antiquated fiat. This is a city that yearns for a leader who personifies the hopes and dreams of a community often scorned and shadily portrayed. A city so full of eloquent performers and artistes should be able to express itself. Imagination burbles all over New London. People have aspirations. They would like to live in a city in which they can take pride. City Hall is tone deaf, numb and dumb and blind. All it can do is taste is business as usual. Despite the contents of official proclamations, New London’s government relishes the taste of decay.

It is a city of conflicting visions because no one but a bureaucrat is running the show. We have an ineffective council of well-intentioned cab drivers, construction workers, school teachers, non-profit predators, and political hangers-on who need their egos stroked. We elect then every two years out of the list of like candidates of devils-we-know. You are more likely to see a New London City Councilor sitting at a picnic table at Fred’s Shanty with a mustard stain on his or her tee shirt, than standing on top of a tank. If a tank were in front of City Hall, there would be have to be a lottery to decide who would get the pleasure of pulling the trigger. You can bet your bottom dollar that most of the City Councilors would be out of town at prior commitments and the City Manager would be looking for another cushy job with a fat salary in a city with low expectations.

Godspeed to Boris Yeltsin.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mad Dogs and New Londoners

There is no pug more threatening than the ugly mug of a hungry New Londoner. When New Londoners travel to the suburbs, when they eat at the Olive Garden or Appleby’s they don’t like the food. They usually push away the half-finished plates of pabulum. Besides McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and numerous Subway chains, New London is full of entrepreneurs handy with a spatula and a spice rack, No food out of a microwave will ever satsufy as much as fresh ingredients bought that morning and cooked under the broiler with devotion to craft.

New Londoners do things their own way, in ways they polished over the centuries since the city’s founding in 1646, You can tweak perfection, but you cannot really improved on it. New things are new, bur they are not better. If a New Londoner lacks patience, it is because he or she had perpspectve. If a New Londoner slavers, it is because he or she is rabidly hungry for something authentic and not out of a can. Give this beast steak, not dried nuggets out of a bag that make their own gravy when water is added.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reasons Not To Lend Your Scooter

The Berlin Pilgrim asked to borrow Whalehead King’s little motor scooter to run errands about town. The Berlin Pilgrim has traveled across the country on a motorcycle sleeping wherever his exhaustion got the best of him in landscapes both pastoral and lunar. A little motor scooter would seem to be a toy for someone who has crossed a continent with more horsepower between his legs and more hurdles in his path than New London’s streets can offer even during rush hour.

The scooter in question, made by Honda, has the apt model name, Metropolitan. It sits inches off the ground, runs on an automatic transmission, is whisper quiet at full throttle, and handles like a magic carpet. It is seductive. Its maximum speed of 35mph seems like an effortless slide alongside a slipstream. The surroundings go by with enough time to notice the details and beauty along the route. Do not let appearances deceive you.

Whalehead King isn't about to let any novice take the Metropolitan for a spin. As its name implies, this is a model of scooter that requires sophisticated understanding to master its operation. A motor scooter is not a toy; it is a responsibility to be taken seriously, with every sense sharpened to a keen edge.

The Berlin Pilgrim had to hoof his way to the apothecary and the cobbler. As he headed home toward the southern end of the city, it started to rain on Howard Street. By the time he had reached the second rotary, it had started to hail golf ball-sized stones. It is springtime in New England and anything can come out of the sky In front of Stash’s The Berlin Pilgrim was struck by lightning. Finally inside his building and headed to the front door of his condo, he slipped on the top step and went tumbling down two flights of stairs. He crawled to his door and finally managed to crawl to the phone. He called Whalehead King and cursed him out royally. Imagine what would have happened to the scooter if Mr. King had lent it out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Matthew King has found himself in all sorts of situations over the years. He has had escapades and exploits that would make for a good memoir. Mr. King has had lively and varied careers throughout the latter half of his life thus far. He currently holds two positions.

Mr. Matthew Gordon King hasn’t quit his day job. He is regularly employed, evidence to the contrary, in a position that requires his Social Security Number. He lives with style though few people know how he can afford to do it. His secret: He lives in New London, Conn., where your dollar goes farther.

As Whalehead King, Mr. King practices a cash-poor profession. He is the Unofficial Goodwill Ambassador and unappointed, unelected Bard of New London, Conn. While the stipend for these titles wouldn’t feed a mouse, Mr. King enjoys the prestige and intangible privileges these positions provide. Walking a mile in this pair of shoes would prove tiresome to most people, but Matthew King tries to do it with good grace while stylishly dressed, with malice toward none.

Mr. King witnesses the dawn and looks forward to tomorrow. New London is good. Life is good. Being Whalehead King is good. Being Mr. Matthew Gordon King is good. There is little room for complaint when thoughout every day in every way everything gets even better. All New London is a stage and you get to pick your role and play it as best you can. Choose wisely and juggle your obligations judiciously. Put your balance to the test. New London demands determination.

If you can make your mark in New London, you can succeed anywhere. You can be yourself and you can outstrip other people’s expectations. You can run in place or you can sprint toward a finish line cut in the sand until the tide washes it away. It is good to be whatever you want to be. Life is always a parade.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


This upcoming Sunday, New London's resident Poet Extraordinairre, Rhonda Ward is sponsoring an event at the Mystic Arts Center to raise awareness of the genocide and atrocities happening in Darfur, Sudan. While this event is happening in a town we do not like, we are promoting it nonetheless because it is important. Mr. King has great respect for The Poet Rhonda Ward and he is not particularly fond of genocide.

Sunday, April 22, 1:00 in the afternoon at the Mystic Arts Center. The list of presentations is impressive. Ms. Ward has many connections in the world of poetry and the big guns are coming out in support of the victims of an undeclared war in a far away land. Your author does not generally preach but given the opportunity let him say that as citizens of the free world, it is our obligation to know what is going on elsewhere, epsecially when the acts are so heinous and despicable. We cannot change the world, but we can do our little bit to help.

Your correspondent is usually rather whimsical, but not today. Maybe tomorrow, when he isn't thinking about families being hounded across scrubland, chased down, raped, mutilated, beaten, killed and spat on; the men, the women and the children. I thank Heaven that I live in New London, Conn.

Matthew King would like to thank the Poet Rhonda Ward for allowing him to participate in this event and shine a light on something that most people are ignoring.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Home Sweet Home

If home is where the heart is, then New London's skyline shelters 25,999 happy citizens. There is one person not wholly convinced that she belongs in New London and her loyalties have wavered of late. Our correspondent met with her recently over coffee at Muddy Waters Cafe to learn the cause of her disenchantment.

Sitting in the back with The Whaling City's Goodwill Ambassador, this middle aged lady recited her reasons. To whit: New London is too small, too boring, too poor, there is no interesting work and nothing happens here. She is thinking about relocated to a larger city that proves what it promises with cash, glamour and stimulation.

In retort to these complaints, The Goodwill Ambassador replied point by point, "Firstly: while New London is small, it isn't too small; it is just right. It may be small in size but it is big in heart. Secondly: only boring people are bored, you cannot expect the rest of us to entertain you, we are busy pursuing our own joys, but you are welcome to join us. Thirdly: New London may be cash-poor but it is rich in spirit and in potential, as anyone who has listened to politicians and real estate agents can tell you. Fourthly: while the job market may be a little lackluster if you don't want to work in law, medicine or the restaurant trade, this is a place that attracts entrepreneurs who try their luck in New London's marketplace every year and become their own boss. This experience usually lasts a year and then they are perfectly content being employed in law, medicine or the restaurant trade. Fifthly: things happen in New London more slowly than in other places. You have to remember that New London has its own time zone where a minute is triple the length of anywhere else. You get used to it after awhile."

The lady listened to these sage observations and agreed to think it over a little longer. It is true, once you spend enough time in New London's zone, you get used to it and are lulled into the same stupor.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Brief Soujourn

Unfortunately, our New London reporter will be out of the city this weekend during the much-anticipated release of Chopper. News of this blowout shindig of the spoken word will have to be found elsewhere, though as usual, any interesting rumors will find their way here, no doubt. In the meantime, you can find Chopper at MySpace or you can read more about it by clicking here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Chop, Chop Chop It Up

There are as many poets in New London as there are people. In a Whitmanesque sense, we are all poets. We all create art, just by going about our business and we create beauty just by being ourselves. It is easy to be beautiful in New London, Conn.

There are about twelve serious poets in New London who consider themselves a school. They share New London in common and that makes them of like mind and intent. They are in love with the sounds of their own voices, as any real poet should be. Whalehead King, though he strikes many a off-key note, is a perfect example. This most prosaic of writers is lumped in with the caste of poets, though he would never call himself one. He is hard to pidgeon hole and the pidgeon is the mascot of The New London School of Poets new journal. It is called Chopper and the poets chose that title for a reason. They parse words and ideas with a certain dogged sensibility that only New London could nurture. Dogs scare and chase pidgeons off New London's sidewalks every chance they get.

You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a New London artiste, be it a poet, actor, playwrite or painter. This is a city that encourages creativity. If you cannot entertain yourself, you won't find much to do in New London. It is a city of exhibistionist mastubators. This is not an observation of those who write poetry in a New London state of mind. It is an observation of creators who put their product in front of a public that doesn't care.

This is an essay that goes nowhere, it circles its tail the way New London poetry falls into ellipses.... Sometimes you don't know when the writer/reader is done until the awkward pause when nothing is going on so people start to clap. At least on a page, you will be able to tell when a poem has finished. The page ends and another title appears opposite.

That is literature.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Council of Dunces

If a certain City Council meets enough times, it will eventually make a difference for the better. This will happen about the same time a room full of monkeys will type a Shakespearean sonnet.

Recent news reported in last Sunday's paper was that the new City Manager is getting along with the Council. He must stock bannanas in the candy jar on his desk. His predecessor had his bean-coutning job for fourteen years, all with the Council's blessing. Many of the same faces have sat on the Council over the last fourteen years. Birds of a feather flock together.

We wish no ill will toward the new City Manager. In fact, we wish him the best of luck in breaking the spiral of inertia that drives the particular city in question. The fact of the matter is the deck is stacked against him. This city's government is irrelevent to all but its employees and those who, for whatever psychological needs, seek election to the Council. Harsh words from a usually cheerful reporter.

Some city employees report that they like going to work now that a new manager is running the show. How nice. At least there is someone in charge. Maybe he will be able to make the city run efficiently and effectively. Then again, why change something about which no one cares? We hope the new city manager enjoys his salary and his tenure. The honeymoon is still in bloom. The daffodils that are sprouting out of the ground this time of year will wither and die. Euphoria, wherever you can find it as related to the city government, will soon turn to its usual ennui.

A word of advice to the new City Manager: Showing up is the easiest part of the battle. Sticking around will take the patience of a saint. Getting something accomplished will be the hardest task of all.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Best Dressed Biker

It was a red light at six AM this morning on the corner of Montauk Avenue and Bank Street. A small, beat-up, Japanese brand, pick-up truck pulled up to a small, shiny blue, Japanese-brand motorcycle. The driver of the truck rolled down his window and, with a cigarette butt hanging our of his mouth, told the driver of the motorcycle that he was the best dressed biker he had ever seen.

The motorcyclist was wearing a new, French, olive, boiled wool, trench coat with a double row of brass buttons in the front and a brass-buttoned belt in back. He had a silk scarf knotted between the dashing lapels of his coat in best Hollywood avitator's style. The knot was as puffed out and full as an ascot. He was wearing a stingy brimmed fedora that fits so well it stays on his head safely at any speed. His legs, that showed beneath the hem of his coat were clad in dark gray, worsted wool, pinstrip trousers.

The truck driver told the motorcyclist that he was the best dressed biker he had ever seen. The motorcyclist took his white, kid skin gloved hand off the throttle and tipped his fedora to the truck driver by way of thanks. They both chuckled and waved as they parted company when the light turned green. The truck rattled up Town Hill toward the New London border. The mortocycle sped up Montauk Avenue, the hems of the driver's trench coat flapping gracefully in the wind. is temporarily undergoing rennovations, but to read more about the New London state of mind, feel free to visit

Friday, April 06, 2007

Aparagus Martiini

There is a New London hotspot called Midnight-a-go-go, we will not mention its address. If you don't know it, there must be a reason. It isn't hip to be flip, but only the best and brightest of New London's stars frequent this secret headquarters of hedonsistic libertines. Come as you are, but you had better be good. Midnight-a-go-go is where the beautiful people go.

The most beautiful woman in New London ran into Whalehead King last night at the Whaling City's most exclusive nightlclub. She walked over to him like good karma in motion. She asked if she could buy him a drink. Never a man to turn down an offer from a beautiful woman, Mr. King agreed. He politely asked if she had any idea what he may prefer. She said she had no idea what Mr. King's eccentric tastes may require, so she told him to order what he wanted.

Whalehead King leaned over to the bartender and whispered, sotto voce, for a rarely ordered house special, the asparagus martini. This is a drink for people who like their vegetables and can take their medicine. Grey Goose, Cynar and an asparagus spear. Sophisticated, vitamin-filled and an effective digestive.

Mr. King enjoyed his drink while his companion sipped a rum and coke. They kissed briefly when they parted company. The most beautiful woman in New London said Mr. King tasted bitter though his manners are always so sweet. He blamed the asparagus martini, which is an acquired taste.

To learn more about the most beautiful woman in New London, see today's blog post at MySpace.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Prune Belly Syndrome

Prune Belly Syndrome is a real medical condition as classified in the International Classicfication of Diseases, 9th Edition, Code Manual (ICD-9-CM for those in the medical coding trade). Whalehead King was reminded of this twice today.

The first time was while perusing the ICD-9-CM. The second time was while walking down Eugene O'Neill Avenue. America's only Noble Prize-winning playwright didn't have a prune belly, but many of the people who stroll the street named after him do. Always alert to details, Mr. King noticed a person, who should be old enough to know better, wearing a short shirt over low-cut pants. We will not go into details here, but some fashions are not meant for everyone. Midriff exposure is one of them. Hopefully, this fad will pass soon.

Of course, it is the New London way to make choices and damn the consequences. It is the New London way not to care what other people think about what they see. It is the New London way to show off one's best and worst attributes at the same time. In a New London state of mind, everything is fine.

It takes real courage to wear whatever you feel like wearing. It takes a New London kind of courage. In a city, you are given a chance to invent and re-invent yourself. Sometimes you make a mistake, but there are so many opportunities, you can redeem yourself tomorrow. If one day you are a mess, the next you can be a dandy. If one night you are a stumblebum, the next you can be the toast of the town. You needn't be ashamed of your prune belly, you just have to know how to use it to your advantage.

Remember to visit the Whalehead Library by clicking on the title of this essay to learn more about New London's brand of courage.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Long Walk

If you walk the length of every New London street, that walk will be longer than the Wall in China. At least you will get your exercise and your dose of history. The crime rate in New London is low as it officially is in China. You are just as likely to get mugged along the Great Wall as you are on Elm Street.

Whalehead King walked Elm Street the other day. It is a street, like many in New London, with a name that makes no sense. You won't find an elm tree on Elm Street. In fact you won't find any spot of shade. New London is a city indisposed to trees and foliage. New Londoners like the sun to beat down on them like a hot hammer in the summer against the anvil of the sidewalk. They appreciate the rooflines of the city's many homes so much that they do not like dead trees obscuring the view during the winter.

You can walk the length of the Great Wall of China and even eat Chinese takeout along the way. When you walk the length and breadth of New London, you will see many exotic delights, both oriental and puritan. There are views full of gimcrackery and vinyl siding.

To learn more about New London, see or

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where's the Sperm??

Connecticut has a Whaling City, a city that saw its fortunes rise by the barrel as whale oil (For the uninitiated: spermacetti is the best grade.) poured into the best deepwater port on the Eastern seaboard. More than a century after the trade has become an illegal pastime pursued only by Norwegians, Icelanders and the Japanese, New London is still affectionately, known as the Whaling City.

You won't find any whale products, not even scrimshaw or rubber whales that squeek when you squeeze them in New London. You will see paintings of whales and pictures of whales, and even whale cartoons drawn in chalk on downtown sidewalks, but you will not find a trace of a part of a real whale. One would imagine that a new, more relevent nickname would have appeared and stuck after the whaling trade's demise. You also won't find any one industry that replaced whaling as the city's defining attribute. So why is New London still the Whaling City?

Many names have been proposed. Few of them were flattering enough to be promoted by the Chamber of Commerce. In fact, there is so little industry left in New London, the city no longer has its own. The field is wide open for someone to come up with a name that will stick, a name that will promote and define the New London of today.

Of course, Whaling City isn't so bad. It still fits.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Love Rather Than Laughs

While it is true that a rubber chicken isn't the most necessary household appliance, when you need one in a pinch, you had better know where to buy one quickly. You can't buy a rubber chicken in New London, Conn. You can't buy a joy buzzer, you can't buy a nickle to nail to the floor, and you can't buy soap that turns people's hands black.

You can't buy garlic gum, though you can buy plenty of garlic. The pungent rose can be found all over New London. There are Italian and Hispanic populations, but New London's taste for garlic runs along more than ethnic lines. All of New London is in love with strong flavors. New Londoners eat raw cloves like grapes. New London loves garlic.

The city's signature salad, trademarked and used here without permission, is the 'Love Salad.' A Love Salad is an antipasto collection of sliced salami and cheese over iceberg lettuce. There is some kind of canola and balsamic vinagrette, but in the middle, and the most prominent ingredient, is a dollop of minced garlic out of a jar mixed throughout. You can find novelty in New London, but you won't find any gags. What you will find is a city with a meal based on Love.


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