Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Taco TV - On the Scene Reporting

Although the headline is entirely accurate, let me clarify that the "on the scene" reporter is not moi, but critic at large and all around lovely person, TK. She offers this artful assessment of El Charrito's moment in the TLC spotlight:

Despite the blustery weather, a steady stream of regulars showed up to
El Charrito today (the taco truck on Richmond Hill Ave). A film crew
was there, interviewing customers for a show on the top 10 best street
food vendors that is rumored to be airing on TLC. A Stamford Advocate
reporter was also on the scene interviewing customers. The
proprietors, Alex and Carlos, were in good spirits, passing out cups
of Mexican hot chocolate to keep everyone warm and happy.

The daily specials were Cochinita Pibil (pork tacos) and Enchilidas
Verdes. The tacos included tender pulled pork that was slightly sweet
and tangy, with carmelized red onions, fresh parsley, and a wedge of
lime. And the tortillas were soft, fresh, and delicious as always.
The Enchilidas Verdes included a moist chipotle marinated chicken
wrapped in tortillas and topped with lettuce and Mexican crema.

The whole event whet my appetite for more El Charrito. Unfortunately
they are closing for the winter soon, but they said they'll be open
March 1, 2010, come rain, sleet, or snow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Taco TV

Although Stamford Talk has this topic covered, hoping she won't mind a little double duty: El Charrito (affectionately known by some as the Taco Truck) is hitting the airwaves. The TLC channel will profile them for a shoot tomorrow! Come out and support the local chef-lebrities!

My very good friend, TK, is a huge fan - and I can see why. Fresh ingredients and top shelf seasoning wrapped in a big happy yellow truck. Besides, it's conveniently located in front of Beamer's! (Ok, that's not my favorite feature...but anyway...). Check them out and bring a hungry friend.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sweet on Whiskey Sours

Long standing tradition in my family dictates that when my dad and my husband are out to dinner, they order whiskey sours and begin judging. The idea is to seek out the best whiskey sour the area (any area) has to offer. There are detailed considerations involving the manliness of the glass, the use of fruit garnish, the amount of and quality of whiskey and the taste of the sour mix (with odds weighted in favor of not-too-sweet).

We've done the restaurant rounds in Stamford (and then some) and a winner has emerged. Congratulations to the whiskey sour champion: Telluride Restaurant. Manly glass, strong and high end whiskey, appropriate fruit distribution and all around top notch showing. Cheers Telluride!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The artist formerly known as Republic Grill

Or was it so fancy that it spelled grill with an "e?" Anyhoo, driving by yesterday, I couldn't help but notice that it's renamed itself Tengda. This keeps it in line with its sister locations. We've been fans of Republic Grill since day one. Lovely presentation, prices that won't dislodge your jaw and a colorful cocktail menu. Hope the name change doesn't dislodge the selling features that keep us coming back.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On the Last Day Before Christmas, SN Gave to Me...

Best wishes for a fantastic Christmas!

(photo from Axel Bührmann, flickr.com)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On the Second Day Before Christmas, SN Gave to Me...

Real live reindeer! Neat. McArdle’s Florist & Garden Center in Greenwich (48 Arch Street) welcomes Dasher, Dancer and the whole crowd from now until December 24th. Feeding times are 9-4pm daily.

Enjoy free hot mulled cider and have a picture taken with Santa (hours during the week are 12-5:30pm). Photo ops with his reindeer buddies also available and include coupons with local merchants.

(photo from Lincolnian (Brian), flickr.com)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On the Third Day Before Christmas, SN Gave to Me...

Christmas events in Mystic, including the Holiday Sea of Trees and the Holiday Lantern Light Tours.

From now until January 4th, 9-5pm, The Mystic Aquarium will deck its tanks with 20 Christmas trees. What says Christmas more than Beluga whales?

The Lantern Light Tours are hour long performances recounting 19th century history of the area. The storyteller walks you through town as if it were Christmas Eve, 1876. Remaining dates are December 26th and 27th

More information on holiday events at Mystic available here.

(photo from David Paul Ohmer, flickr.com)

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the Fourth Day Before Christmas, SN Gave To Me...

Holiday goodies featured at the Rowayton Arts Center. Not acres of time left to check it out, but if you have some blanks on your your schedule and on your Christmas list, take the seven mile trip up the road. Remaining days are Tuesday the 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd, open from 12-5pm. The center is located at 143 Rowayton Avenue in Rowayton. You can call for info at (203) 866-2744.

(photo from ginnerobot, flickr.com)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the Fifth Day Before Christmas, SN Gave to Me...

Seasonal Events at Stepping Stones Museum. Keep your children from peeking in the gift closet by taking them to Norwalk's most kid-friendly venue. Featured in December are events highlighting the holidays as well as the home of the icicle, Russia.

Christmas characters Santa, Frosty and the Gingerbread Man will all be on-site for photo ops from Monday the 21st to Wednesday the 23rd. One of the winter superstars will be spreading cheer for twenty minutes each hour for a few hours every day. Click here for a full schedule.

Russia is the destination for the month as part of the museum's Around the World program. Events stretch through the week following Christmas, taking place at 11:30 and 2pm. On Saturday the 26th, there is an opportunity to paint artwork inspired by one of Russia's most famous artists, Marc Chagall. On Sunday the 27th, take advantage of a little language lesson where children will learn Russian words and how to write their own names. On Monday and Tuesday the 28th and 29th, learn about and decorate a Faberge-style Russian egg ($3 fee; limited spots). On Wednesday the 30th, listen to Russian Folk Tales (only 2pm, other readings that day as well).

Additional information on the museum's calendar here.

(photo from Lady Locket, flickr.com)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

There's No People Like Snow People

Went to Butterfield 8 tonight for a little holiday party. Walking down the street with the snow coming down and the trees covered in white lights - pretty freakin picturesque. Check out the snow, citizens, before it goes from a pristine white blanket to a dirty brown mess. Be careful on the roads, but don't let the lovely part of winter pass you by.

Other good signs of the season:
- At least 3 downtown Stamford Santas (+ at least one sexy elf friend) spreading cheer
- Crazy nice guys unwrapping Christmas trees and trimming branches at Stew Leonard's - Adorable 80 year old man buying diamond gift for his wife at Grunberger Jewelers
- A Christmas angel sharing her extra Bed Bath & Beyond coupons with those of us who failed to plan ahead
- Everyone behaving themselves despite ridiculous line at Liz Sue Bagels

Do you have winter pics or holiday goodness you'd like to share? Send it my way. If I like it, I'll post it.

(photo from MGShelton, flickr.com)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Won't You Lighthouse My Sleigh Tonight?

Want a little nautical flare in your joyeux noel? Take a look at Norwalk's Maritime Aquarium's Festival of Lighthouses Display. Up and running until January 18th, the event features 24 handmade lighthouses from three to six feet tall.

Some are true to life, some are more artful, but all are there for a little extra holiday sparkle. Cast a vote for your favorite. The winner receives $1,000 at a ceremony to celebrate the victory, and cash prizes are available for other top picks as well. Cost of the exhibit is covered by the general admission price tag.

(photo from howardignatius, flickr.com)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heart Art? Pucker Up!

Good: There is a new gallery opening up on Bedford Street featuring the art of Fernando Luis Alvarez.

Bad: I'm not available for the opening reception on December 17th.

However: Gallery Manager, Ivey Dennen, was kind enough to give me the lowdown.

Ms. Dennen describes Mr. Alvarez's art as influenced by heavy hitters from pop art era like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Basquiat and Julian Schanbel in addition to other modern artists.

When I asked why people should take a look inside the new gallery, the answer was intriguing. Ms Dennen responded "Once inside, you will be brought into a world that is driven by the power of female lips and if opened to it, will likely walkout no longer underestimating this powerful part of a women."

The new gallery seems keenly aware of and appreciative of the city's emphasis on art, with a plan to help make Stamford a "valid platform for the arts" and "a great hub for the local gallery market." Ms. Dennon noted that "[t]he city has done well and needs to continue that work which is why we are opening in Stamford."

I, for one, can't wait to see what's our new neighbor has in store.

(photo from snowkei, flickr.com)

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Hole

Angela Carella has a great article on your friend and mine, The Hole.

It's a history lesson that starts in the 1960s and takes us up to last Wednesday when the local powers that be met with the senior manager for the property owners, Milstein Brothers Capital Partners. On the table were the challenges of the market and the "old thorn in the side of developers seeking to build downtown -- parking."

The article suggests that zoning changes modifying the parking requirements could push development in the right direction. Perhaps that's true - I have no idea - but the twin suggestion that Stamford is all set for parking doesn't ring true. Still, if that's the wisdom we need to accept to fill the hole, so be it.

There are quite a lot of other interesting tidbits in the article. For example, one early alternative reality included a downtown Wal-Mart. Ick. Also, the Milstein Brothers cannot be forced to build because their contract does not require it. Notwithstanding the contract language, the Urban Redevelopment Commission has recognized litigation alternatives as a worst case scenario. Unhelpfully, there's no description of what those alternatives might be.

It does say that there is another meeting with the Milstein Brothers on the agenda after Christmas. Here's hoping that somebody sends them a vat of nog and gets them feeling festive.

(photo from willc2, flickr.com)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Because there's just not enough press on Tiger Woods...

Tiger! Tiger! burning to a toast,
In the forests of the NY Post,
Amazing that a story so bizarre
Began from the smashing of your car.

In what universe did you think your wife would abide
Your getting so much play on the side?
Didn't you know that tongues would wag
If you couldn't keep your nine iron in the bag?

And what lack of class you must require.
Will you be on Jerry for the children you did sire?
Who would have guessed your slide into the tree
Would reveal such tremendous adultery.

(adapted from original "The Tyger" (from Songs Of Experience) by William Blake)
(photo from Michele Eve, flickr.com)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Goodwill Buzzkill

My husband and I are doing some very late spring cleaning, and decided it was time to retire an Ikea dresser we'd bought a few years back. It's your basic six drawer dresser, solid wood on the front, particle board on the back. The drawers work and it's sturdy. We had painted it yellow. We took out the drawers to make it lighter coming down the stairs and loaded it in the truck.

Maybe it's because the drawers were taken out, but when we got to Stamford Goodwill they said were unimpressed. The guy unloading donations said "Uhh...it's yellow." Yeah, and? "I don't know," the guy said, "it looks kinda dusty. You could use it for firewood."

I could live with this comment if we had not, ourselves, been using this exact piece of furniture in our home up until that afternoon.

Perhaps the correct response would have been to use it for firewood and let the toxic burning paint fumes punish us for our unacceptable donation, but we didn't. The problem was, it was perfectly fine. So, instead, we dusted it off, put the drawers back in and aimed for Norwalk. The Goodwill a few miles up the road welcomed it with open arms.

So, in this time of cutting back and making due, don't forget - some people will still tell you where to shove it.

(photo from where are the joneses, flickr.com)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How Now Cow Brow

How'd you like your life to be saved by your birthmark? That's exactly what happened to this CT calf named Moses. Read about it on the LA Times site here.

(photo from juanRubiano, flickr.com)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stamford Museum & Holiday Center

If you are looking for free entertainment, head to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center on Fridays. On both December 11th and the 18th, admission is zero dollars and zero cents.

The Center has also revamped Heckscher Farm and offers extended hours to 7pm. Take a walk on their luminary path and sip some hot chocolate that will cost you nada. There are also crafts for kids and cookies for all!

For more information on the Center's excellent and festive events, click below:

Planetarium Show: The Star of Bethlehem

Dolls, Toys & Teddy Bears: Playthings of Yesteryear

Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects (scroll down)

Christmas Tree Sale

For those of you who need it, CT Transit will run buses to this event as well.

(photo from Pink Sherbet Photography, flickr.com)

Monday, December 7, 2009

CT Topping the Charts for All the Wrong Reasons

Was sad - and a little bit unsurprised - to read MSNBC/Forbes' story about the wealth disparity in Fairfield County. According to the author (who cites the US Census Bureau) "the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area has the most income inequality of any area in the United States."


The article goes on to note that the lowest 20% of wage earners in our area take home an annual salary of $17,000, whereas the highest 5% of wage earners take home a whopping $823,000 per year - or just under 50 times as much. Of course, this doesn't account for the rising unemployment rate in the state. The Hartford Courant reports that CT's unemployment rate has steadily risen from October 2008 to October 2009, with an October 2009 rate of 8.8%.

It's not a sustainable solution, but when you think about giving during the holidays, don't forget that there are needy people in your midst. And if you could please do something positive and get MSNBC back for a do-over, that would be awesome too.

(photo from Daveybot, flickr.com)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Heights and Lights – Ode to Bob the Vendor

You know Santa’s elf and the Grinch
And holiday cheer,
Singing children plus
Rappelling Santa and his Reindeer.

But do you recall...
The most ubiquitous Christmasy thing of all?

Bob the event vendor
Had shiny things in a row,
And if you ever bought one
Your children would press a button and watch it glow.

All of the other children
Insisted that their parents buy one,
Or two or three or six or twelve
Or any number other than none.

So this chilly December 6th
Bob set up his cart,
Your kid wanted a disco sword so bright
And it went home with you tonight.

Now all the children have them
And the streets were lit up with colors,
Kids of Stamford and their parents
You’re out a few extra dollars.

(photo from rachie lea, flickr.com)
(A la "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer," Johnny Marks, 1947)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Library

StamfordPlus reports that the Ferguson Library bookstore will reopen on December 11th. As a next-door-Starbucks regular, I have noticed they are making great strides in the space, adding new bookshelves and eliminating salmon-colored walls. The full renovation is likely to be completed by spring. For a slideshow showing pictures of the $14 million renovation, click through from my earlier post here.

For those of you who don't know, the bookstore is particularly fabulous because of their ridiculously low prices on used-but-perfectly-fine books. The article suggests, and my memory confirms, that prices generally range between one and five dollars. The store's rebirth features spiffed up furniture and greater options for children.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Wanna Wish You a Stamford Christmas

The Stamford Downtown Special Services District is Felizing up your Navidad by bringing the father of most of the Spanish I know to your backyard! José Feliciano will be featured at this year's Heights & Lights. Click here for a refresher course on the event.

Heights & Lights now features multiculturalism, extreme sports, hot chocolate, singing children and explosions - making it officially the most American thing ever.

(photo from zaxl4, flickr.com)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ho ho photo

'Tis the season and Santa has plopped himself onto his seasonal throne in the Stamford Mall. When I was young enough to take up residence on Santa's lap at Christmas, I got a grainy little Polaroid for my trouble. Nobody ever told me I'd poke my eye out, but it was a pretty unsophisticated (if charming) affair. Not so now.

According to the mall website, you can take your pic with Santa home as a flash drive, a 12-month photo calendar, personalized cards, a photo ornament and even something called a Russ Berrie Shining Stars Plush. Oh and there's also (yawn) photographs - if you're into that sort of thing.

(photo from f650biker, flickr.com)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fun with H1N1

Reverend Barbara Sexton (who adorably refers to herself alternatively as Reverend Barb and "The Biblical Biochemist") was kind enough to point out that there is an upcoming H1N1 vaccine walk-in clinic in downtown Stamford.

The clinic will be on December 7, 2009 from 1-4pm at the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut (corner of Washington Boulevard and Broad Street). There are some important limitations on who is eligible for the vaccine. The following is cut and paste from the City of Stamford website - which you should check out for additional information on the walk-in clinic:

The H1N1 intranasal spray vaccine will be available to:
• Healthy children ages 24 months (2 years) through 24 years
• Healthy household contacts and caregivers of infants less than 6 months of age

The H1N1 injectable vaccine will be available to:
• Pregnant Women
• Children and adults from 3 years to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions (examples: asthma, other lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc)
• Persons who live with or provide care for infants less than 6 months of age who are not eligible for the H1N1 intranasal spray vaccine

(photo from Môsieur J. [version 3.0a], flickr.com)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Expiration Se-date

Bloomberg has an interesting article today from the legal world, reporting that the Connecticut Attorney General has sued CVS for allegedly selling food and drugs past their expiration date.

Similar cases against CVS were brought and settled in New York and California. The article describes the AG's investigation which revealed at least 20 Connecticut stores selling products past their prime, including allergy medicine, dairy products and even baby formula.

Check those dates, citizens!

(photo from Pink Sherbet Photography, flickr.com)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reading Renovation

The $14 million renovation of the Ferguson Library is underway. New pictures have been added this month showing Stamford how much hard work they are doing behind closed doors. Check it out here.

(photo from CCAC North Library, flickr.com)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tinsel and Tutus

The Nutcracker comes to The Palace Theatre on December 5th and 6th. The cast includes 100 local children alongside dancers from American Ballet Theatre.

The Saturday the 5th, performance is part of a gala event beginning at 7pm. Sunday features two performances, one at 1pm and the other at 4pm. Tickets, priced at $20, $35 and $45, available here.

If you miss the local performance, there are two more at at the Jorgensen Auditorium at UCONN Storrs, Sunday, December 13th at 1pm and 4pm.

(photo from me, Christmas 2008)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Raise Your Eggnog to Greenwich History

Gear up for the holidays and help The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich by joining in the festivities for their biggest fundraiser events of the year at Antiquarius. As an Aquarius, I'll put aside my initial concerns that the event was somehow against me, and say that Samantha Knapp is working hard to make it a smashing success.

Her event, The Young Collectors Antiquarius After Party, promises to be a blast. Join her on December 3rd from 8-midnight at Louie's Italian Restaurant and Bar at 136 River Road Ext. in Cos Cob. For tickets and pricing, click here or here.

Antiquarius runs for a week, and events include an antique show, a holiday house tour, an opening night gala and a seasonal boutique. For a full list of events, click here.

You can get additional information by contacting Special Events Coordinator Carol Matton at 203-869-6899, ext 14 or by emailing cmatton@hstg.org.

(photo from izik, flickr.com)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks and Other Things

Happy Turkey Day, citizens! Give thanks by giving back. The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County is accepting donations to fend off hunger during the holidays.

(photo from wishuponacupcake, flickr.com)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey on Thursday, Wasabi on Wednesday

Tonight, Duo is hosting a "Respect The Bird" event featuring half price sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls. Frankly, I'd take temaki over turkey any day. If you feel the same, show them some love.

PS - their latest cocktail menu has gotten me in the mood to give thanks.

(photo from Pink Sherbet Photography, flickr.com)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Look up! It's Santa's Rosy Cheeks

Heights & Lights is back! On December 6th at 4:30pm, Santa and his Christmas caribou will clip on their carabiners. Say that five times fast.

All the season's usual suspects will be thrusting themselves over the edge of the Landmark Building for a 22-floor descent just to entertain you. Joining them will be the K.T. Murphy Chamber Singers and a host of fireworks (hopefully with a safe distance between them).

Santa then heads to Bedford Street's Latham Park to flick the switch on the holiday tree. There, he's joined by The Broadway Kids, youngsters straight off the Broadway stage. As always, the events are free - as is the hot chocolate at the First Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Society just across the street.

(photo from Per Ola Wiberg (Powi), flickr.com)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sorta Famous People in Town to Celebrate Ridiculously Famous People

Saturday and Sunday, November 28th to the 29th, the BEATexpo comes to Stamford. An event to celebrate The Beatles, it begins at 8pm with a series of Saturday concerts and continues from 11-7:30pm on Sunday.

Notable guests include Peter Tork of The Monkees, Greg Hawkes of The Cars, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster of The Munsters) and a host of other folks who knew, loved and helped make The Beatles. The event takes place at the Holiday Inn, 700 E. Main Street. Advance tickets for each day are $15.

Apparently, autographs are available free of charge - but this is evidence of the fact that I did not know that people regularly pay for autographs (really? huh).

(photo from riiveragalleryartist, flickr.com)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Images from Today's Parade

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Parading to a Town Near You - Stamford Parade Info

Lots o’ people are looking for information on tomorrow’s Stamford Parade, so I’m happy to sum it up. It starts at noon on the corner of Summer and Hoyt Streets. You can see a map of the parade route here. Balloons and bands pack it up at Atlantic Street near the train station. I’m not gonna lie to you – parking will not be fun – but you can see a map of downtown parking options here.

And…if you didn’t check out the parade quiz this week, here is a recap:

1. What are some new balloons making their debut appearance this year? (Hint: there are three to choose from)? Super Grover, Cookie Monster and Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)

2. What is the oldest balloon in the parade this year? Kermit, made in 1999

3. What is the biggest balloon in the parade this year? Also Kermit! He’s 60 feet tall and 18 feet wide.

4. How many balloons are in the parade? Seventeen (!)

5. What’s the smallest balloon in the parade? Mr. Potato Head. Dude is a mere 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide (seems pretty big to me).

6. How many marching bands are in the parade? Twelve

7. When did the parade first start? 1993

8. What is the biggest number of people the parade has ever drawn? In the neighborhood o’ 200,000

9. How many volunteers does it take to put the parade together? 1,000 (!)

(photo from chris.ptacek, flickr.com)

Christmas is Made Just Before the Parade

Well citizens, you should know by now that Stamford's Thanksgiving Parade (aka, the UBS Parade Spectacular) is tomorrow, but your weekend can also feature some more festivities. If you head to Hyatt Regency Greenwich, 1800 East Putnam Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT today (9-5) or tomorrow (10-5), you can check out the Greenwich Junior League's The Enchanted Forest.

Also known as TEF, it features trees wearing their holiday best, festive gingerbread houses and elaborate wreaths. There are activities for children and adults alike. As one of the biggest fundraisers for the Greenwich Junior League, it's a big event! Adult admission is $10 and children under 12 come in for $5. There are discounts for larger family groups.

(photo from DaveFayram, flickr.com)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Parade Trivia Four

Oh, Stamford Notes, why must you tease us – you say? Alright, alright:

7. When did the parade first start? 1993

8. What is the biggest number of people the parade has ever drawn? In the neighborhood o’ 200,000

9. How many volunteers does it take to put the parade together? 1,000 (!)

(photo from laurakgibbs, flickr.com)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Parade Trivia Three

Have you been holding your breath since yesterday, citizens? Be blue no longer! The answers to yesterday’s trivia questions are as follows:

4. How many balloons are in the parade? Seventeen (!)

5. What’s the smallest balloon in the parade? Mr. Potato Head. Dude is a mere 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide (seems pretty big to me).

6. How many marching bands are in the parade? Twelve

Is that all you got!, you say? No ma’am. Round Three - here goes:

7. When did the parade first start?

8. What is the biggest number of people the parade has ever drawn?

9. How many volunteers does it take to put the parade together?

(photo from mikecogh, flickr.com)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parade Trivia Two

I’m sure you are on pins and needles (no balloon popping pun intended), so here are your answers to the latest round of Parade Trivia, citizens:

1. What are some new balloons making their debut appearance this year? (Hint: there are three to choose from)? Super Grover, Cookie Monster and Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)

2. What is the oldest balloon in the parade this year? Kermit, made in 1999

3. What is the biggest balloon in the parade this year? Also Kermit! He’s 60 feet tall and 18 feet wide.

What else, you say? Here goes:

4. How many balloons are in the parade?

5. What’s the smallest balloon in the parade?

6. How many marching bands are in the parade?

(photo from Andreanna, flickr.com)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parade Trivia One

The Turkey Day Parade is mere moments away, and Stamford Notes is celebrating with a little quiz to keep Stamford citizens on their toes. Check back tomorrow for answers and a new set of questions. Here goes:

1. What are some new balloons making their debut appearance this year? (Hint: there are three to choose from)?

2. What is the oldest balloon in the parade this year?

3. What is the biggest balloon in the parade this year?

(photo from alexanderdrachmann, flickr.com)

Monday, November 16, 2009

NEW DATE: Curled up in the Beetle Position

Signal boxes from Grove to Greenwich Ave have been very busy being alternatively adorable and arty, but very few of them have been famous.

Just before Beetle Bailey's giant balloon hovers over the streets of Stamford for the big parade, come see the artist who made him famous sign the signal box bearing his cartoon buddy's image.

Artist Mort Walker will be on hand to sign the finished product just outside the Government Center on Washington Boulevard on Wednesday, November 18th at 10:45am.

I'm Starting with the Man who Lives Nearer

When Thanksgiving rolls around, my husband and I start to dust off our checkbook with an eye towards charitable donations...and I don't think we're alone.

Which is your favorite local charity and why is it making the community better and stronger?

(photo from Paul Wicks, flickr.com)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The City that Smirks

Interesting article a few days back from Angela Carella on Malloy's impact on Stamford. I didn't realize that he'd changed us from "Moving Forward for People" to "The City that Works" - with an emphasis on the idea that we are a city. Malloy apparently came to the office of mayor from the Board of Finance, and believed that the city workforce was "bloated and not terribly efficient." So, the phrase "The City that Works" was coined in a season of wishful thinking.

Inspired by the idea that you create a slogan for the city that you hope it will become, here are some alternatives:

- Stamford: No Holes Here
- Stamford: Now with Cool Grocery Stores!
- Stamford: The City that Perks (plug for independent coffee shops)
- Stamford: High-rises Completed in Four Years or Less
- Stamford: We Got the Guys Who Slit your Tires
- StaMford: Even Southern Californians Spell it Correctly

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Chris Preovolos has shed some light on the artist formerly known as Galangal, reporting that the space's new tenant will be a Chinese-Indian fusion restaurant called Chinese Mirch.

According to the website, the name means spicy Chinese in Hindi. Images of the NY location show a staid but elegant dining room. Eye catching items on the menu include chicken lollipops and crispy okra.

Called the NY location to see when we can expect open doors, and they could only use words like "soon" and "in the works." In their defense though, they said "ma'am" about 5 times. If you're going to not know stuff, it's good that you can do it politely.

(photo from ian_ransley, flickr.com)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Curled up in the Beetle Position

Signal boxes from Grove to Greenwich Ave have been very busy being alternatively adorable and arty, but very few of them have been famous.

Just before Beetle Bailey's giant balloon hovers over the streets of Stamford for the big parade, come see the artist who made him famous sign the signal box bearing his cartoon buddy's image.

Artist Mort Walker will be on hand to sign the finished product just outside the Government Center on Washington Boulevard on Thursday, November 19th at 10:45am.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How Do You Take Your Fury: Tamed or Untamed?

If you said “untamed,” you may want to check out the latest offering from the Stamford Symphony on November 14th (8pm) and 15th (3pm).

Come hear Untamed Fury, “the dark soul of the Russian Romantics,” when Conductor Eckart Preu welcomes Pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine in a performance featuring the works of Tchzikovsky and other Russian composers.

Those who come an hour early will get a behind the scenes tour, and there is a childrens’ program on Sunday at 1:45pm. Visit the Stamford Symphony website for more details.

(photo from debaird™, flickr.com)

Blogs on Dogs Take 2

Looking for a new friend with fur? In a down economy especially, there are lots of dogs and cats in need of a loving home. On Saturday the 14th, there are two pet adoption events you may want to attend. Closer to Stamford, the Stop & Shop at 380 Main Ave in Norwalk will be looking for worthy pet parents for a variety of animals from 11 to 3pm. Up the road in Brookfield, there will be a greyhound rescue event at 169 Federal Road from 10 to 3pm.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Partridge in a Winterfair Tree

On November 13th and 14th, 10-5pm, the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk (JLSN) will host its 31st Annual Winterfair Gift Market.

Christmas comes early to the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa with 40 vendors, childrens' activities and a silent auction for holiday wreathes decorated with donated goodies. Check out the website above for tickets and details.

(photo from dr.knitter, flickr.com)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Blogs on Dogs

Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is a Norwalk-based group that cares for and finds homes for needy dogs and cats. In July, I blogged about their Bark in the Park Walk. Help them out this month and enjoy a little wine and dine.

WINE: On Saturday, November 14th from 6-8pm, help PAWS by attending Wine Tasting and Silent Auction at the Beardsley Gallery (196 Danbury Road, Wilton CT). You'll enjoy a private viewing of "A Moment's Beauty" and the chance to walk away with a silent auction treat. Tickets to this event are $25 in advance or $30 the day of. For advance tickets, visit the PAWS website or mail a check to the PAWS shelter at the address below. Every nickel of the proceeds will help support the animals now living with PAWS.

ATTN: Wine Tasting tickets
504 Main Ave.
Norwalk, CT 06851

DINE: On Wed/Thurs, November 11/12th, three local restaurants will donate half of the profits from your tab to PAWS. They're calling the event Pizza and Pasta for Paws, and to participate, dine-in or take out from Toozy Patza Pizza, Piccolo Pizza Pasta & Catering and Wilton Pizza & Pasta and present this flyer. Don't forget the flyer if you want to do your good deed of the day!

(photo from e³°°°, flickr.com)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Writer Sighter

I've heard a lot of support for independent book stores through Stamford Notes, and ok, this is not within the strict boundary lines of our fine city, but if you head down the road just a click, you'll come across Barrett Bookstore in Darien.

Barrett is has teamed up with the Greenwich Arts Council for a free event open to the public called Literary Lights 2009 on Thursday, November 12th from 6-8:30pm. The event will be held at the Greenwich Arts Council, 299 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich. It features more than 20 authors in attendance, food and wine to share and book sales with no tax! A few nice tax-free books fill up a Christmas stocking pretty quick, penny pinchers...

You can see a full list of authors ready and willing to sign your book and shake your hand at the Greenwich Arts Council/Literary Lights site above, but they include:

-Philip Caputo ("Crossers")
-Richard Conniff ("Swimming With Piranhas at Feeding Time")
-Susan Bartlett Crater/Libby Cameron/Mita Corsini Bland ("Sister Parish Design: On Decorating")
-Florence Fabricant ("Park Avenue Pot Luck: Celebrations")
-Chuck Fischer ("Angels – A Pop-Up Book")
-Tad Friend ("Cheerful Money: Me, My Family and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor")
-William Grimes ("Appetite City: A Culinary History of NY")
-Luc Hardy ("Arctic Transitions / Greenland Impressions")
-Mary Ann Hoberman ("Strawberry Hill / All Kinds of Families / The Tree That Time Built")
-Victoria Kann ("Goldilicious")
-Joseph Kanon ("Stardust")
-Christina Baker Kline ("Bird in Hand").

(photo from kennymatic, flickr.com)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Joy of the Toy

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry dates a girl with a collection of toys from his childhood and feeds her sleep-inducing food so he can play?

Think of The Stamford Museum & Nature Center's new exhibit, Dolls, Toys, and Teddy Bears: Playthings of Yesteryear, as the same thing but for your grandmother and without the possibility of criminal charges. Ok, odds are you can't take them out for a test drive, but the exhibit opens November 7th and features playthings from the turn of the 20th Century to the 1950s.

There will also be a Visions of Gingerbread village of holiday houses beginning with a Members' Preview on November 6th. It includes a silent auction for the little cookie castles, and will not be your run of the mill fare. Organizers say the entries will include "edible replicas of a Roman coliseum, Spain’s Alhambra, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water."

(photo from The Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Scootles, a kewpie doll from 1925 who made her way onto a US postage stamp and who will be on display as part of the exhibit)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Buzz about Whirlybug

Another local artist you may want to check out is Whirlybug. Maria Scrivan picked the name because her interest in bugs and butterflies. She’s translated her childhood affection for drawing and her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts into a 15 year career in design.

Commercial illustrations, storyboards, greeting cards and t-shirts are all part of her repertoire. Her work is an expression of her sense of humor, as you can see in her drawings of bunny slippers, birds with lunch boxes and ladybugs on scooters. Her printed work features acid-free archival watercolor paper and non-fading inks. Her work also features silkscreens and American-made cotton bags.

She has lived in Stamford for three years, but is not far from her hometown of Cos Cob. She’s no fan of Stamford in March, but enjoys local cycling, the llamas and otters at The Stamford Nature Center and Kit’s Thai Kitchen. Check out her work here and here.

(photo from Whirlybug, etsy.com)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Congrats to Mayor Pavia!

Welcome to office, Mr. Pavia - now get to work filling the Hole! :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Candy Crimes

The Advocate reported that two eleven year old boys were approached on Halloween by three other young boys. One of the three approaching boys, age twelve, “carried a BB-gun and told the two 11-year-olds to give up their candy.” The eleven year olds did not have any candy, and a twelve year old shot one eleven year old in the back and missed hitting another. The child with the BB-gun was charged with second-degree assault, criminal attempt at first-degree robbery, possession of a facsimile firearm and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

By no means do I condone this child's behavior. What he did was wrong and should be punished. That being said, apart from the fact that a twelve year old has been charged with several felonies (crimes for which one can serve more than a year in jail), the following thoughts occur to me.

The only definitions of second degree assault that could apply to this child would require that he: (1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or . . . (3) he recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument… Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 53a-60.

There’s an enhancement for the same offense with a firearm, but you have to meet one of these definitions first. So which one applies? Can you intend serious physical injury with a BB-gun? My friend’s brother hit me in the foot with a BB-gun once when I was about this age. It stung a little, but it certainly didn't cause serious physical injury. I know BBs can cause serious harm to one's eye, but there's no indication that this is specifically relevant here. Is a BB-gun a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument? Is a BB-gun hit to the back a serious physical injury?

And first degree attempted robbery requires (in relevant part) that during an attempted robbery, the person: (1) Causes serious physical injury…; or (2) is armed with a deadly weapon; or (3) uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument; or (4) displays or threatens the use of what he represents by his words or conduct to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm… Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 53a-134.

Again, is a BB-gun a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument? Is it a “firearm?”

And what exactly is involved in the crime of “possession of a facsimile firearm?” Are you guilty if you own a water gun? What about a stick shaped like a gun that your kid uses for "cops and robbers?"

Perhaps most surprising is that a twelve year old has been charged with “risk of injury to a minor.” Can a twelve year old "risk injury" to an eleven year old? There are good and important anti-bullying measures being pursued in and out of schools, but are felony charges the right answer for punishment of pre-teens? Felony records can be an impediment to success (jobs, home ownership, etc.) for the rest of one's life.

I don't have the answers, but I certainly have questions. I'd welcome your input.

M8 Running Late

"Talking Transportation," a blog by Jim Cameron, Chairman of the CT Metro-North Rail Commuter Council, has an interesting post on delays for the M8 trains. Apparently the trains will not be available for use until towards the end of 2010, which is a year later than anticipated.

It seems that all of the benchmark dates have come and gone, but the Japanese manufacturer is paying hefty fines as a result. Read the rest of Jim's blog entry for more details - and you'll be in good company - even the Huffington Post links to it.

The cached version of May 28, 2008 blog entry by Station Stops includes a video of what those cars (eventually) may look like and the kinds of upgrades they feature. There's no indication (that I've seen) that these cars are faster, but they include updates in style, comfort and restroom facilities.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


One thing Stamford Notes aims to accomplish is to highlight local talent. Johanna Anderes is the Stamford artist behind 12fifteen. Her sophisticated collection includes stark prints of white trees on a charcoal background, coasters with stylized natural images, and charming seasonal notecards.

Johanna started her creative career at Parsons School of Design. She soon developed a special affection for letterpress, and she’s been refining her craft ever since. Her painstaking work, hand feeding each page one at a time through an antique printing press, is inspired by Minimalism and European aesthetics.

Her favorite creation, her son, is the source of her online store’s name (it’s his birthday). Next on her agenda is personalized stationary and limited edition art prints. Johanna has lived in Stamford for six years. She appreciates the variety of activities, but wishes for more upscale or special supermarket offerings (agreed!). Take a look at 12fifteen's online store.

(photo from 12fifteen, Harvest, letterpress coasters set of 8)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lament of a Slow Moving Zombie

Me like brains for to eat
Me want run with my feet
Me friends they run for brains
But me old school and no can explain

Why me walk slow and lope along
With speedy friends, me don't belong
Took all strength to dig out of grave
What more do when brains I crave

Other zombies pump they knees
Fast to victims and heads they squeeze
They fast, they sprint and jog
Scare people bad when coming out fog

Me try pick up pace
To eat under peoples face
But living stroll right by
Me can't even nibble thigh

Worst is people mock
Laugh and time me with stop clock
Say "catch me if you may"
Then them slowly walk away

(photo from danhollisterduck, flickr.com)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Answers from Rolf Maurer

No word yet from the Dems or Reps but the Green Party candidate, Rolf Maurer, stepped up to the plate to answer SN's questions:

1. Which local blogs do you read? The Downtown Special Services District Blog
2.    Name one thing you have learned about Stamford from local blogs? The full range of businesses and services in the Bedford/Broad Street areas.
3.    What is one thing you will preserve about Stamford as mayor? The Loft Artists Association, in one form/location, or another.
4.    What is one thing you will change about Stamford as mayor? Introduce city-wide community gardens.
5.    What is in your CD player right now? "Silent Nation" by Asia
6.    Do you seriously still listen to CDs? Yes, and LPs--never got into MP3s because they don't have album art or lyric sheets.
7.    What’s your drink of choice? Water.
8.    How are you going to deal with the empty storefronts on Bedford? It's up to the landlord. From what I understand, it's not a matter of finding tenants, but finding the right ones whose businesses complement those already on Bedford. I would like to create more opportunities, though, by converting the Mall ground floor parking area into a mini-mall for indie stores.
9.    What is your guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate.
10.    How will Stamford’s transportation system differ in five years? Hopefully, it will offer a greater range of options, in the form of bike paths, more residential sidewalks built to the standard of downtown and a combination of increased bus services, perhaps a few jitney shuttles and a trolley running from the South End to Bull's Head.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bennett's is Back?

Everybody and their mother told me that Bennett's restaurant (24-26 Spring Street) was ancient history - not so! Apparently they are reopening on Nov 6th with redesigns both in the food and on the floor. Interesting...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grab a Beer with Bill Shakespeare

Shakespeare on the Sound is celebrating their 2010 year by meeting and mingling with you.

Join them at their November 5th Open House from 6-8pm at the Greenwich Arts Council, 299 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich.

Meet Ty Jones (Bottom) and Jesse J. Perez (Puck) from last season’s "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and hear Joanna Settle, the Artistic Director, speak about the upcoming season. Full of class, but free of charge.

(photo from ell brown, flickr.com)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scared Pantless

Really, criminal? Really?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Old Town Hall

More than once, I've heard people speculating about what's going on with the Old Town Hall building on Atlantic. It's been under construction for ages, and there's a modern steel and glass structure taking shape around back. You can see what it will look like in finished form here, here, and here. The Advocate identifies a December 18th 2009 completion date.

Alright, so what's going on inside? According to the Advocate, there are plans for an on-site art museum. The search for the museum's curator is about to begin. Downtown Special Services District president, Sandy Goldstein, told The Advocate that they want the building to serve as a community "showplace for art." In addition to museum space, other creative tenants are slated to fill the space. The Ballet School of Stamford will be one resident. Talks are underway for others. For more information on the project, take a look at the rest of the Old Town Hall website.

(photo from justinbaeder, flickr.com)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dirty Diamonds are not Forever

When my hand brushed by my ear the other day, I heard a little jingling. The diamond in my engagement ring was, ever so slightly, rattling around in prongs that were no longer doing their job. It wouldn't take much for the diamond to fall out. My diamond jewelry related needs are (sadly) pretty limited, so I had no idea where to go to get it fixed.

To be honest, I picked Grunberger Jewelers out of laziness. I needed UPS and a dry cleaners, and oh look - there's a jewelry store too. Fortunately, they did a lovely job. I hadn't realized (see above reference to laziness) that not only was my ring in need of mechanical work, it also needed detailing. When you wear something every day, you don't realize that it's getting grubby. Gerard, who helped me, did an excellent job explaining my options. After a little thought, I signed up for a full remodel, and when the ring came back to me, it was just gorgeous. The facets are picking up light from all angles and the side diamonds are shining through their snug little platinum home. If and when (fingers crossed) I see an uptick in my luxury jewelry needs, I will certainly go back.

(photo from Swamibu, flickr.com)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My First Political Post

The quickest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't do it. With that in mind, I contacted the three mayoral candidates, Martin, Pavia and Maurer, with a few questions.

1. Which local blogs do you read?
2. Name one thing you have learned about Stamford from local blogs?
3. What is one thing you will preserve about Stamford as mayor?
4. What is one thing you will change about Stamford as mayor?
5. What is in your CD player right now?
6. Do you seriously still listen to CDs?
7. What’s your drink of choice?
8. How are you going to deal with the empty storefronts on Bedford?
9. What is your guilty pleasure?
10. How will Stamford’s transportation system differ in five years?

I asked that they write me back by October 30th, but I'm well aware they may have one or two other things to do...like win the election. So, if and when they write back, I'll let you know.

In vaguely interesting other news, I saw Diana Ross at CVS in Greenwich today. She seemed to think she'd been spotted when I made an "ah ha" face, but I'd just found the vitamins.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Welcome Mr. President

I've heard reports of helicopters hovering, manhole covers welded shut and giddy citizens all over our blue state. I'm off to earn my keep and maintain my non-government option supported health insurance, so if you see the leader of the free world while I am at the office, give him a fist bump for me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What do Nebraska and Japan have in common?

They are both getting me to work...eventually. The lead story in today's Advocate is that the new Metro-North rail cars start their journey to the New Haven line from Kobe, Japan next week. The Advocate reports that the first 38 cars will come from Japan and 262 will follow out of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Don't expect a fleet of shiny new trains any time soon though. The first few models will be subject to extensive testing. After the initial small shipment, we'll see 10 cars per month in the beginning of 2010. The new cars, called the M-8s, will be spacious and colorful.

Fingers crossed that the bar car comes early. I will bide my time by starting the long and tearful goodbye to the wood print vinyl paneling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stamford Magazine - First Impressions

I picked up a copy of the premiere issue of Stamford Magazine at the train station. Altogether, I found it chic and smart. As with anything, there's room for improvement. Here are my thoughts on its notable pros and cons.

Pros: The meat of the magazine is Grade A. The "Your Stamford" section is clever, dissecting the city's offerings into attractions for decorators, the fashion conscious, families and night owls. Each section includes an appealing city profile with a cutaway box for contact information. The "Downtown Rising" article puts new developments in historical and urban planning perspective and included some astute comments from Mayor Malloy. Jeff McNamara's photographs of the Bartlett garden are lush and vibrant. Always pleased to read good press on Barcelona - it's no secret that I'm a fan. There's also an artful local dining guide highlighting restaurant options from Shippan to Summer.

Cons: It suffers from a common magazine affliction - a very heavy advertisement hand. There are some noteworthy welcome messages, but they don't make an appearance until page 24. I found the Greenwich Hospital ad showing doctors spilling out of the MRI machine off-putting - do I want to put my life in the hands of folks using their expensive equipment as a jungle gym? The magazine was big on the "who's at the party" photo spreads, which always feel elitist and unwelcoming instead of community building.

The cons notwithstanding, Moffly Media does a stellar job conveying local information with polish and pizazz. We are fortunate that they've seen fit to focus on the city that works. Perhaps their sophisticated take on the town will make it work even better.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Norwich Connecticut Defenders are Now...

The Richmond Flying Squirrels!

On Oct 8th, I blogged about the former Norwich Connecticut Defenders moving to my home town of Richmond, Virginia. There was a lot of local debate about the candidates for new names - get up to speed here. Personally, I'm good with the Flying Squirrels - here's why it's the best one on the table:

Rockhoppers was cool and appropriate, but it's a pretty sucky mascot and an even suckier free giveaway. Imagine the team wasn't doing well - you just gave everybody a weapon.

Hush Puppies - ok, they're adorable, but Virginians don't need more reasons to eat fried food. Also, a little too good for throwing at players (fried balls, not dogs...but either would be bad).

It's not the Flatheads. (Really, the Flatheads?)

Hambones sound like the team is what's left over after the good parts are taken. You could make soup out of them, but you wouldn't serve them to company.

Rhinos was ridiculously irrelevant to Richmond.

So that's my opinion - and putting aside the fact that this is kind of irrelevant to Stamford - what do you think?

(photo from jack_a_daniel, flickr.com)

Things That Are Now Here!

Once upon July, I posted a little gripe about the fact that The Stamford Magazine wasn't so much in existence. Still true...but what's now on the newsstands is another newcomer worthy of our attention, Stamford Magazine (no "the").

I don't have the paper version in hand, but the website is dynamic and lively. The magazine's first issue includes a sort of Stamford 101 and profiles the lovely Bartlett Gardens, improvements at The Rich Forum, Barcelona Restaurant and an article entitled Downtown Rising.

Check out the website for a sneak peak, and I'll seek out the magazine so I can say something ever so slightly more meaningful.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stamford History's Birthday Soiree

The blog entry from The Stamford Historical Society says "100th Birthday Party – help us spread the word," so I'm doing just that.

On Sunday, October 25th from noon to 4pm, enjoy music, munchies and even a lil' magic at 1508 High Ridge Road. The event features an exhibit called 100 Years in the Making: Highlights from the Society’s Collections.

Adult admission is $10, children 4-12 $5 and younger than 4 gets in for free.

(photo from nick farnhill, flickr.com)

Stamford Studying for its Zero Degree

In the next few weeks, downtown Stamford welcomes a newcomer to 909 Washington Blvd by the name of Hotel Zero Degrees.

We know that there are 97 rooms, 8 floors and a sleek website featuring boatloads of "coming soon"s. The site reveals a few details. For instance, breakfast and Internet access are complimentary. There's a pool and a fitness center. Pets are allowed for a $10/day fee. Beyond that, lots TBD.

They've got a Facebook presence with a bit more info, including a picture and a word on the name's origin as well. Hope to learn more in the coming weeks - fingers crossed for ice sculptures!

(photo from OliBac, flickr.com)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In the Cold October Rain

Connecticut is supposed to shine in this season,
But the weather’s been awful right now for some reason.
And I don’t like it at all, this ongoing monsoon.
It feels like a fake out, like the boy in the balloon.

There’s supposed to be leaves stacked up in a giant pile.
Instead all this freakin rain is tugging on my smile.
There are leaves alright, but they are ready to mildew,
Very depressing, like the passing of Captain Lou.

Good thing that into Playboy, Marge Simpson took the leap,
Because there's not much else for the leaf peepers to peep.
I would like pumpkins to carve and a crisp autumn night
Before winter is here and all this rain turns to white.

(photo from wili_hybrid, flickr.com)