I'll take new haven. tales of discovery and rejuvenation by Lary Bloom

picture of Lary Bloom
Photo by Suzanne Levine.  

Lary Bloom's I'll Take New Haven, subtitled Tales of Discovery and Rejuvenation, is a sprightly collection of essays depicting the author's transition from a suburban community to total immersion in New Haven, CT. It is written with the author's inimitable wit and sharp eye for telling details. The book is a total delight! Early readers have been enthusiastic, including one of its heroes, the author’s Italian water dog, Lucca. Here is a sampling of their commentary on the book:

“Lary Bloom’s I’ll Take New Haven is to New Haven what James Heriot’s All Things Wise and Wonderful is to the Yorkshire Dales and veterinary life post World War II. These are delightful, much-needed tales that will warm your heart and reaffirm your faith in humanity—and with an adorable scene-stealing puppy to boot.”  –Molly Gaudry, author of We Take Me Apart

“For decades, Lary Bloom was one of the foremost chroniclers of Connecticut life, which too often meant Hartford life, or Connecticut River Valley life. But a few years ago he had the wisdom to move to New Haven, and we Elm City denizens had the good sense to welcome him. Now, as if to thank us, or pay down a debt, he has produced this beautiful, winning collection of essays about re-urbanizing oneself, and one’s spouse, in life’s third act. It’s a terrific read by my terrific neighbor.”  –Mark Oppenheimer, author of Squirrel Hill: TheTree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood

  I'll take New Haven cover image
  Cover design by Erica Udoff.

“In a world where the sun burns cold and cyborg overlords rule the land, humanity prays for a hero. That hero is Lary Bloom, bringing warmth, whimsy and wisdom to life in New Haven and reminding his reader that every day contains a good story, if you see it and tell it right. I wish some of the cyborgs would read this book, especially YW-1183 who just doesn’t get us.    –Colin McEnroe, WNPR host, columnist, author of My Father’s Footprints

“Amble down the path of New Haven’s city streets with Lary Bloom and you’ll want to pack up and move to the Elm City with Bloom as your guide. The book is packed with tidbits of wisdom and is not just a great read but a wake-up call, inviting us into our own innate humanity. –Nancy Slonim Aronie, author of Writing From the Heart and Memoir as Medicine, founder of the Chilmark Writing Workshop

“With his characteristic curiosity, humor, and insight, Lary Bloom’s essays help us make sense of these challenging times, and to find compassion for those we disagree with—and ourselves.”  –Sarah Darer Littman, author of Deepfake, Anything But Okay, Backlash, etc.

“Chronologically challenged columnists don’t fade away; they simply get better. Lary Bloom’s recent portfolio brings fresh eyes to New Haven’s land- and people-scape. A recent immigrant from the provinces, he writes with wonder and affection about his brave new urban habitat.”    –David Holahan, essayist

“In I’ll Take New Haven, Bloom reminds us to listen, observe, engage and care as he unfolds tales from the streets of New Haven and his own layered life as a young widower, Vietnam veteran, IRIS family sponsor and new dog owner. This book feels like a private visit with the droll, sharp grandmaster of Connecticut’s writing scene.” –Mary Collins, author of At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick up the Pieces

“I spent several hours with Lary Bloom’s haimishe voice in my head and found it a very pleasurable experience.  I was familiar with some of the essays that I read in the Independent but many of them were new to me.  The effect of reading them this way, in a collection, lends the work a gravitas that sometimes gets lost in the blur of the daily news cycle.  It reminded me of Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City, that writer’s midlife musings on his coming of age as a young man in Brooklyn.   In I’ll Take New Haven the flaneur is Lary Bloom, a writer musing on his coming-of-old-age in the city he adopted late in life. Bloom’s love of his city, of his wife, and of his dog (not necessarily in that order) permeates every well-observed snapshot.”  –Donald Margulies, Pulitzer-winning playwright (Dinner with Friends, Time Stands Still, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, etc.

“Lary Bloom has been a voice for sanity, humanity, and the appreciation of quiet beauty in Connecticut for a lifetime. How lucky New Haven is that he chose to train his eye and his craft on our society in his golden years! Whether you live in New Haven, think about living in New Haven, or simply have an interest in how colorful, striving communities work, this collection of essays will open your eyes and your heart.” –Paul Bass, editor, New Haven Independent

“Woof.”   –Lucca, resident Lagotto Romagnolo


Lary Bloom. who moved from Chester, CT to New Haven in 2015, is a prolific author. His books, some of them co-authored, include Sol LeWitt: A Life of Ideas; The Writer Within; Letters From Nuremberg; The Ignorant Maestro; The Test of Our Times; and Lary Bloom’s Connecticut Notebook. His plays include Worth Avenue, Wild Black Yonder, and the musical A Woman of a Certain Age (lyricist). He has taught writing at Yale, Wesleyan, Trinity College, and in Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. His columns and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Miami Herald, the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Magazine and the New Haven Independent. He can be reached at larybloom@gmail.com.

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ISBN 979-8-9855621-2-5
First edition, 2022
130 pages

AFTER OCT. 14, 2022
Copies of this book can be ordered
from all bookstores including Amazon
and directly from the author:
Lary Bloom
850 Orange St.
New Haven, CT 06511.
Send $18 per book
plus $4 shipping
by check payable
 to Lary Bloom.

You can reach the author at


                                                   SAMPLE ESSAY FROM THE BOOK
                                                       Copyright © 2022 by Lary Bloom



A Brief Word About Longevity
I believe in free will. I have no choice.
–Isaac Bashevis Singer

            When my wife Suzanne and I decided in 2015 to move from the tranquil countryside to urban chaos and culture, friends were surprised, and so were we.
            We had vowed never to leave our barn house in the woods of Chester, home for three decades. That town has barely 4,000 residents, with a village center of old-world charm, small-shop commerce, and an air of affability. In a way, it is a mystical place, even willing to laugh at itself; its semi-official slogan: “Chester, CT: We Know Where It Is.”
            So news of our flight from this tiny Brigadoon astonished more than a few locals. New Haven? Really? We love it for its theater and music and art and of course the pizza but what about high city taxes and gunshots in the night and . . .
            Most weren’t even aware of another Elm City distinction: the selection in 2016 by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the ten unfriendliest cities in America. Hence, we presumed, should we slip on sidewalk ice, a distinct possibility considering our senior citizen status, a majority of witnesses would simply step over us. 
            Nevertheless, in our resolve to add ourselves to the city’s climbing census count (134,023 in 2020) we were far from alone. Many people who’ve reached retirement age inhabit these old streets, drawn by satisfactions untallied by magazine list makers whose research favors police blotters, city budgets, and stereotyping over the more difficult task of assessing quality of life.
            On these pages, I have taken the trouble, because I have no choice, of documenting the results of exurb-to-city adventure. Every time I have a religious experience, having nothing to do with theism but a kind of movement of soul, there’s a tale to write.  
            The yarns that follow trace how I became content in this place of urban complexities, rewards, heartbreak, and delight. Some of it is borne out of the perils of aging. But these findings are relevant for younger people—just about everyone I meet these days—because they contain useful lessons drawn from decades of personal experience, observation, failure, and sources of exultation. In short, what matters in the true end, when life itself turns fragile.
            In these days of ours, we may have no choice about free will, but we have options aplenty about almost everything else.