Friday, October 17, 2008

Lights on, no one home

{IMG_0714, originally uploaded by mohitontherocks}

For a week now, I've been getting up before the crack of dawn and going for a brisk nearly-one-hour walk with my neighbor, the lovely Meghan of Ladies In Waiting. Her sweet teddy of a goldendoodle, Boddington (aka The Bods) accompanies us and, ahem, "protects" us from any unsavory characters. I should preface this by saying that Meghan is a morning person of the highest caliber. The Bods and I are not (Meghan's partner Mo is not either. She's the smart one, home in bed, sleeping). But once we get to walkin' and talkin' (and boy, can we talk!), I'm fully awake and before you know it we have circumnavigated Downtown Hartford and are home-again, home-again.

It's mighty dark at 6:00 am, and will be until daylight savings starts/ends (I can never remember which it is) in two weeks. In between our incessant talking we've noticed that the city has quite a life of its own at that hour. As the sky (very) slowly lightens, a steady stream of traffic starts coming over the bridges from suburbia, and we've remarked on how ungodly early some people head in to their office jobs. It took only three days for us to become "regulars" on our route, greeted amiably by dog-walkers at the new apartments on Temple St., the corporate cafeteria cooks out for a smoke behind one of the insurance companies, and the construction workers headed for the soon-to-be-finished science museum.

One thing about these walks that really, really bothers us is that in some of the office towers, all the lights are on. All the lights. On. All night. I can see it from my apartment before I go to bed, if I get up in the middle of the night, and when I wake up at 5:45. No matter the hour, every light in these buildings is a-blazing. Yeah, yeah, they're fluorescents and CFLs, so what. Why are they on? No one is there. Even the cleaning people are long gone. How much money are they spending on electricity? Sure, it looks pretty, in a "the city never sleeps" kind of way, but in this day and age, is this really the best use of their money and our resources? Make that our money -- Hartford is an insurance and finance town, and some of these companies were recently bailed out by Our Tax Dollars, so technically that's my money and your money that they are wasting.

I'm tempted to call them up and tell them to turn the lights off. How do you think that would go over?


Kathleen said...

A noble worthwhile idea indeed. Do it, and good luck - I can't seem to even get my own daughter to listen to the same plea!

Anonymous said...

We love you. (The Bods and I do.)

We should really start a Clurb. Not a walking Clurb, a Ladies Clurb.

We shant name this club after our city.

That club, we've done.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Well, the lights do look pretty in the picture. But I love the way you tie it into the bailout and the common bond it's created economically. Will this help us all be more mindful?

A-M said...

You tell em....tell em to turn the lights off! Sounds like you are cherishing these morning walks. It's such a beautiful time of the day. I'm a morning person... hence this comment at 5.17am! Enjoy the fresh air and feeling fit! A-M xx

Anonymous said...

No wonder companies are going out of business...they can't afford their electrical bills! Good for you for going for your walks in the morning....other than getting up super early, it must be really relaxing :)

Fifi Flowers said...

Yes.. I think you should call them... call them right now... if the lights are on... there is bound to be one person there... see if they can run around and turn off all the lights in the building.

knitseashore said...

You have my utmost admiration. I am so not a morning person. But I can do the bike in the trainer at 9pm, and mostly in the dark since you don't need light to ride in your living room.

If these businesses have a website with a contact us section, and they are not your insurance carrier, it might be worth it to send an email signed "A neighbor" and ask why do they keep those lights on all night. I'm sure all of us would be curious to see what response you get!

Or, a letter to the editor of the Hartford Courant might do the trick!

Marnie said...

yes call - I don't know why these organizations don't turn the lights out either - i have tried walking in morning - it is too dark - i always turn over. sorry not to have visited for awhile - busy just try to keep my head up and work done.

only a movie said...

I missed this post in the original. Great that you do the early morning walk. I wish I had a walking partner to keep me accountable in the early a.m.
And I love your perspective on the lights kept on. Did you complain to anyone?