Friday, September 12, 2014

Wooster Square Blossom Blogs to the New, New Haven, Connecticut Open!

Wild Wacking Women Wow Watchers!

Summer in New Haven can only mean one thing to some people. Tennis.

The Women's professional tennis tour, the WTA, makes its annual stop right here in the Elm City. World class tennis in our Historic corner of New England. Travelers from around the world come to see great tennis and enjoy New Haven... a quiet preface to the Storm of the following weeks US Open,
 the year's last Grand Slam.

The World of Tennis casts its watchful eyes on 
New Haven Connecticut.  Home of the New,
Connecticut Open!

Over the years the tournament has had its ups and downs, but for 2014, we hit the United Jackpot!
United Technologies, that is.

United Technologies, headquartered in Connecticut, 
doubled down on its commitment to the state
by becoming the Title Sponsor. 

This gave our World Class Sporting event,
and Tournament Director Anne Worcester,
some needed breathing room.

The State of Connecticut also came into the fray at the last minute with Governor Dan Malloy riding a white horse and a contract to 
buy the tournament event and save
World Class Tennis here in Historic New Haven.

Thanks United Technologies!

Anne Worcester 
Dan Malloy!

To make things all brand new and shiney,
they renamed the Tournament the
Connecticut Open
(brought to you by UTC) 

So this year, flush with new sponsorship, 
Anne went out and got one of the best
Women's fields that any Tournament 
of the season.

11 of the top 25.
French Open Semi-finalist and World #2
and last years New Haven Open Champion.
Simona Halep. 

Wimbledon Champion and 2012 New Haven Open 
Champion- Petra Kvitova. 

4 time New Haven (Pilot Pen, New Haven Open)
Champion and Fan Fave - Caroline Wozniacki.

New comer and Wimbledon Finalist
Genie Bouschard.

And the names didn't stop there.
Cibulkova, Pennetta, Errani, Suarez-Navaro, Giorgi, Vandewegeh, Rybarikova, Petkovic, Vinci, Makarova, Muguruza, Flipkins, Peng and even Pittsburg's Allison Riske.

But in the end, Petra Kvitova bested out of
nowhere Magdalena Rybarikova, who beat Simona Halep, Allison Risk, streaking Camila Giorgi to get to the finals against Petra.

Petra says she likes New Haven.

New Haven loves you Petra!

Luckily, I had my camera to bring you some
of the fun and action that is 
World Class Tennis, right here!

The Connecticut Open!

Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale

Petkovic Pows sans Prance
(if she wins she does a "dance")

((she lost to Flipkins))

Petkovic Serves up an ace

Japan's Kurumi Nara's form not enough for 
the overpowering Samantha Stosur

Stosur Muscles a winner

Slamming Sam couldn't get past 
Petra, the 2014 (and 2012) Champion

But Stosur dismantled rising American star
Genie Bouchard

Wimbledon Finalist Bouchard Bumped

Canada's Genie Bouchard 

A Stosur missed serve...

Italy's Flavia Pennetta took down
America's own Alison Riske

The Pride of Pittsburgh People!

Some like it HOT!
(Temps made the action sizzle) 

Four time Champion 
Caroline Wozniacki... 

...couldn't get by
the hot hand of the quick Italian
Camila Giorgi

Giorgi Gave it all, only to fall to the 
very hot and semi-finalist
Magdelena Rybarikova.

Giorgi pride of Tirrenia, Italy
(outside of Pisa)

Eketerina Makarova, who made a run at the US
Open making it to the semi-finals
 ran into hard hitting 
Petra in the second round

Makarova couldn't make a move.

I bumped into her at New Haven Fitness
and wished her luck. Glad to see she
went on to much success in New York!

There was plenty to do and see during the week of Tennis here in the Elm City. All sorts of food
from the Square Doughnuts from Orangeside
and the Cassius Cheese Truck.

This year they decided to have a meet and greet players for box holders. The players are all 
very grateful and polite (and tall!)

Caroline Wozniacki Wittily Wows

Former and Future Champ (current)
Petra and Anne Share a laugh

Fielding a question from a fan,
last year's New Haven Open
Champion and 
World  #2 Player
Simona Halep

Simona said she likes New Haven because
of the shopping and restaurants.

Unfortunately for Simona, she ran into red
hot Magdalena Ryybarikova who's run
endend against the powerful Kvitova 
in the finals.

 Magdalena Makes Meaningful Magic, Man.

Rybarikova Really Rocked

ending as a fitting runner-up to the 
hard Hitting Petra Kvitova

Petra kept her eye on the ball
and on the title to become the first
Connecticut Open Champion!

At the meet and greet, I asked Petra
if the Wooster Square Blossom Blog
was her favorite New Haven Read and
she appeared...

in shock that I knew somehow it seemed...

Genie Bouchard, the tours new
sensation getting to the finals at 

Here I asked her if she had any trouble adjusting to the language here in the US, to 
which the stone faced serious Canadian native said there wasn't much of a difference.

And of course the whole affair ended with 
Tournament director Anne Worcester
was dunked by the four stars for the
ALS Challenge.

It's all good in New Haven!

Could it be the last time we see
French Open Champion, Italian
Francesca Schiavone?
(she lost in the first round)
((she did have pizza at Bar, 
and said it was as good as
any pizza in Italy!))

Click here to read about how the players enjoy our city in the New Haven Register

There's lot's of interesting things at the 
tennis that I seem to notice...

Lots of fist bumping in doubles

twice the fun in half the time.

Michigander Moulten-Levy flys to the ball

Lots of Color here in Historic New Haven.

Lots of tuning strings too.

Stars came out during the day.
(Rebecca Lobo Basketball Superstar)

The coin for the coin toss
to decide who serves

Flipkens Flicks Forehand Forcefully

Osprey Searching for food overhead...

and then flies off with a big fish!

Then we had the birds that seem 
to honk their way to the changing
of the seasons...

Sounds like a flying traffic jam!

Have a nice winter!
See you next year!

Garbine Muguruza shows a balancing trick

But in the end, it was all 
Wimbledon Champion
Petra Kvitova who took the crown

Powerful Petra Prevails

A cut above the rest

Congratulatory Hug from Coach

It all happens here, in Historic New Haven

Queen Anne and her court.
Champion Petra Kvitova and 
Runner up Magdalena Rybarikova

What an exciting finish to the 
summer here in the 
Wonderful World of Wooster Square.

Thanks to all the Women who chose to come
to our fair city and
Anne Worcester, 
United Technologies,
and all the sponsors and volunteers!!

See you in 2015! 

Cheryl, Sarah and Rosemarie

Stay tuned to the Wooster Square Blossom Blog for everything New Haven and Wooster Square!
It's Your World Squared!

Coming up: Advice for incoming Freshmen!

More Pizza News

And lots of photos from our Historic
Sweet Sakura Square.

Until then-

See You Round the Square!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


This is a re-print of a guest article I wrote for the now defunct
Elm City Beat. 
(I'm thinking, it couldn't have been THAT bad...)
While the Blossom Blog Mainframe sifts through all the Connecticut Open photos for your enjoyment, check out this weather post from ...


To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

New Haven Marches to the Drumbeat of the Season

Is this Climate change New England Style? We have always been famous for temperate weather that is fleetingly fickle. But increasingly, our weather seems to go to extremes overnight. 
As chief editor of the Wooster Square Blossom Blog
(the Photoblogumentary of Wooster Square, its world famous Sakura Trees and everything New Haven) you begin to notice a real shift in the patterns. Seemly seasons on serious steroids, every season has bulked up bigger than the Yankee’s A-Rods Ego. Each seasonal nuance becomes increasingly intensified. You want snow? Last year we had several feet of Snow with Blizzard Nemo. Two years ago we had a winter in New Haven we came to call Snowmageddon (think lots of snow). Throw in two terrific terrible tropical trounces (ex-hurricanes Irene and Sandy) and a freak SnowtOber last year that left people without power for a week in some places each storm.  If that wasn’t enough excitement, throw in an earthquake we had in New Haven a couple of summers ago during the New Haven Open Tennis Tournament.

This summer of 2013 is/was no different. We had “MonsJune” when we had 11.32 inches of rain here in the Elm City. More than twice the amount of rain fell in 36 hours (5 inches) than in Dry-ly, where only 2.07 inches fell (you get the picture). Last month we came to what I will call “Fallgust”. Friends had mentioned to me if I have noticed the leaves turning already on some trees. Blindly speculating that because of the recent cool snap the trees instantly turn lively luring leaves of chlorophyll-less color, or really some underlying color that stands out when the green chlorophyll disappears. But actually it is the shorter day that “tells” the trees when to start shutting down their food production line. The days do not have less than 24 hours (it just seems that way since your smartphone sucked all the free time out of your life) in Fallgust, just fewer hours of light. Throw in a myriad of factors like heat, rainfall, drought, and flooding makes predicting the fantastic fall foliage and the winter weather about as tough as predicting when Wooster Square’s world famous Cherry trees will be in full bloom. 

Using some Mid-Western and New England folklore, I rely on the sure fire weather predictors. Wooster Square Squirrels are on the skinny side. There is no furious searching for nuts. Make no mistake, our Super Square Squirrels are Phat, just not bulking up for winter. The Farmer’s Almanac says that when acorns that have thicker husks, we will have a hard winter. I can attest that.  The fall before Snowmagedon, large acorns were dropping at a pace that in the park that  sounded as if you were in a hailstorm at a car dealership.  This year’s crop of future mighty oak trees(acorns) are just plain average. Not overly big or husky. 

So far this year, I have not encountered another winter weather wives tale, the Wooly Worm. The black and brown caterpillars of the tiger moth are everyone’s favorite weather forecaster since Punxsutawney Phil (ground hog day).  When the middle brown band is thin, or the front black band is longer, expect a cold and snowy winter. Studies in the 1950’s by the Natural Museum of History in New York City showed the worm with 80% accuracy. Since I have not seen one in and around New Haven yet, I am assuming that they are all mostly brown. Optimism doesn’t hurt either!

No matter how or what you forecast, the seasons change, along with the weather. Take time to get outdoors and enjoy all the Elm City has to offer before we settle inside by a crackling fire. Fall is the perfect time to stroll the shops, indulge in our restaurants and explore the city’s world famous Museums or grab your favorite pie (pizza) and picnic in Wooster Square.  With cooler sunny dry weather, baseball pennants heating up and Football starting, what is not to like?  I am going to call this (coming) month SweeTEMber! 

Editors Note: We had the winter from the opposite
of hell. Coldest and Snowiest in the Northeast in 35 years. So much for my skinny squirrels and large acorns. This year, same deal. No tell tale signs. 

For now, I'll stick to predicting when our 
Sweet Sakura Stars Shine (Cherry Blossoms) 
pop here in World Famous Wooster Square.

Up next, The Wooster Square Blossom Blogs to the Nifty, New, New Haven, Connecticut Open!

Petra Kvitiva
2014 Connecticut Open Champion

Until Then...

See You Round the Square!