Refugee Family Nurtures Culture In Hartford Community Garden

On a September weekday morning, Maaye May removes the lock and chain from one of two gates and enters the Niles Street Community Garden in Hartford. A 6-foot high, black-metal fence encloses the garden, which measures half the size of a football field. Within the gated oasis, the city surroundings slip away as bees, birds, flowers, fruits and vegetables begin to dominate the senses. May, 41, has an hour and a half to pick Thai chili peppers before driving to her part-time job washing dishes in East Hartford. She disappears into a green hedge, filling a small blue bucket with red and green chilies.

‘One Way or Another, COVID Will Get You:’ Uninfected Yet Greatly Affected

On a bustling Friday morning, the aroma of rice and beans wafts through a cloud of hairspray in Romy’s Beauty Salon in Meriden. Merengue music soothes the senses. Customers exchange pleasantries in Spanish as Romy Norwood offers each a small bowl of “arroz y habichuela,” the Dominican staple of rice and beans. Later in the day, Norwood repeats the courtesy with small mugs of strong coffee, “cafecito,” prepared by her mother, Yolanda Sosa, in the kitchenette in the rear of the shop. Unlike Norwood and her mother, most clients aren’t wearing a mask.

Dancing Again: COVID-19 Battle Gives Survivor A New Appreciation For Life

Michael Kelly is still fighting. After waging—and winning—an epic battle with COVID-19 in spring 2020, Kelly is now focused on his recovery and preventing a second infection. But getting back on his feet has been challenging. Once intimidated by what he described as wealthy, better-educated clients of his carpeting business, Kelly, 64, says he feels he’s on equal footing with the world today. During his recovery from COVID, he said, he realized that regardless of wealth, education or status, everyone has the same allotted 24 hours to live each day.