A city isn’t complete without its main street in the center of town that is home to restaurants, city events, and most importantly, lots of people. For New Haven, that is Chapel Street, where you can find dozens of types of food, stores, and activities throughout the year. Wandering down Chapel Street, one of the area’s busiest strips, you embark on an expedition that reels you into New Haven’s personality and unique charm.
My first stop on Chapel Street was a quick breakfast at Claire’s Corner Copia. Known for its vegetarian and organic recipes, I chose to stop in for a bowl of its famous oatmeal infused with fresh bananas, tart raisin, cinnamon and brown sugar. Large glass windows create a pensive atmosphere and you can look out across to Yale’s Old Campus as you enjoy your meal. With Bingham Tower to my right, I ate my oatmeal with the sweet memories of freshmen year on my mind.
Overcome with a bit of nostalgia, I decided to continue my exploration. I took a left out of Claire’s and headed past Sushi on Chapel, Union League Café, and Starbucks over to The Yale University Art Gallery. Far from an art historian, my journey through the art gallery was still incredibly rich and engaging. Moving from the Ancient Collection to the Modern and Contemporary Collection, I covered THOUSANDS of years of art in that single space.
I could have spent all day perusing through great works of sculpture and painting, but there was one more stop down Chapel Street that I wanted to hit. In the direction of downtown, I walked to New Haven’s vast central park “The Green”, in the center of the city to sit and reflect on the three years I have spent in New Haven. In all of its variety, Chapel Street embodies the diversity of New Haven through cuisine, artistic expression, and landscape. From the contrasting architecture of Old Campus and more traditional buildings around the Green, to the Ethiopian, Japanese, and Thai cuisine mixed in with Shake Shack, Chipotle, and Subway, and finally to the extensive art collections found in two globally renowned Art Galleries, a stroll down Chapel is surely a glimpse into the vibrant culture of New Haven.