Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring Soldiers on Memorial Day

(video from docjazz4,

From Lock Maker to Ground Breaker

The Lofts at Yale & Towne, which began their industrial life as the Yale Lock Factory, are now open. Located at 200 Henry Street, this 225 unit loft style apartment complex has some pretty impressive features, like 9ft windows, nearly 12ft ceilings and exposed brick walls.

Part of the larger six million square foot Harbor Point project, the complex is designed to be friendly to pedestrians, commuters and the environment. The pictures are worth checking out, and you can see them here.

According to 60 of the units have been leased. You can apply to join the neighborhood by clicking here. The bizarrely specific prices are as follows: $1,532 for a studio, $1,659 for a one bedroom and $2,145 for a two bedroom.

(photo from rightee,

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Dancer, On Prancer, On Supporting Bennett Cancer

On Sunday, June 6th, scrape your butt off the couch in support of the Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital. This will be the 15th year of the Hope in Motion charity 5K. There are opportunities to run it, walk it, bike it - they just want you to support it. You can register by visiting the registration page.

It's one of the largest events of its kind in Fairfield County, and 4500 people are expected to join in this year. Organizers are aiming high with a one million dollar fundraising goal. Their mission is to raise money, but also to provide comfort and support to those who have struggled with cancer.

All of the proceeds support the services available at the Bennett Cancer Center for no charge to patients, including:
- An Integrative Medicine Program.
- Transportation to and from treatment.
- Financial grants to offset expenses.
- Tai chi and yoga classes.
- A Nurse Navigation Program.
- An Exercise and Nutrition Program.

And hey, a little exercise never hurt anybody!

(photo from jronaldlee,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Peekin into your Weekend

Hi there citizens! Apologies for a largely post-less week. My dog ate my willingness to write. Hoping to win you back with a jaunty little blog entry about what the "failure to plan" crowd might do to entertain themselves this lovely long weekend.

- Swirl. The tall drink of Sangria that is Swirl is playing at Barcelona a bunch o' times this weekend. You can catch them at Norwalk Barcelona (63 North Main St.) at 9pm tonight or at Stamford Barcelona (222 Summer St.) at 5:30pm on Sunday.

- Unfurl. That's what you do to the American flag at this weekend's big CT Memorial Day parade. I'm thinking there's a local event on a smaller scale as well - if you guys have info, share!

- Girl. Are you like me? Then you are a girl. As a girl, you might spend your three day spree vacay doing things that would embarrass the slightly less fair sex. You can get your nails done at You Got Nails or another local spot. If you're looking for a little extra pampering, try Noelle or Agora Spa. If you're feeling really girly, you can also check out the Ruthie Davis Shoes: Couture, Futuristic Design exhibit at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

- Hurl. Well, hopefully it won't end that way - but you might spend the weekend raising a glass at a local bar. There's a beverage with your name on it at any of my Top 8 restaurant choices.

- Twirl. A friend of a friend (aka, my DVR) told me that "So You Think You Can Dance" is back on the air. Follow their lead by learning some steps at Dance with Maria, Metropolitan Dance Center or Latin Moves Dance Studio.

- Squirrel. Hang out with your fuzzy neighbors in the nature by visiting the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Audubon Greenwich or taking a walk around one of Stamford's Parks.

(photo from wburris,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things That Should Hurry Up and Exist

1. Verizon iPhone.

2. Metro North Jet Pack Line.

3. An iron that I could call from work and it would answer and say "yes, I'm unplugged - stop freaking out. Your house is probably not on fire."

4. Downtown Stamford Aquarium / Bowling alley / Biosphere / Jet pack store (formerly known as the Hole).

5. Chocolate bubblegum.

6. Some sort of filter that would make people stop finding this blog by searching "rub and tug."

7. Downtown Stamford Indoor Skydiving.

8. A stock market that would stop sucking.

9. Rumba for your lawn (oh wait, it does exist!)

10. Everything on this list.

(photo from,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Right Said Flatbread

Check out Sandellas, the newest addition to Bedford Street. Twenty percent of their revenue from May 31st to June 6th will support Art in Public Places, It's Reigning Cats & Dogs.

Mexican Summer

It doesn't seem like long ago that we saw Hollywood style searchlights and velvet ropes on the corner of Summer and Park. I'll admit to a birthday dinner and brief detour onto the dance floor, but I didn't shed a tear over the departure of Twenty of Stamford. Get ready to welcome Riviera Maya, a new Mexican restaurant in that high profile space. Let's hope they make a mean burrito. They have a big space to fill!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Today my friend JP and I wandered into the art space on the corner of Atlantic and Broad housing the cats and dogs headed for display all over the city. The It's Reigning Cats & Dogs sculpture series is coming soon. Local artists are hard at work finishing up their creations.

One of those artists was kind enough to chat with us and pass along her charming handmade business card. Her name is Tina Fino, and she's a Stamford-born graphic designer gracing our streets with "Doggie Delirium." Although not in final form, you can see her painted puppy here. This is Tina's first time displaying her work on the summer sculpture series, and she was thrilled when one of her two designs was selected for the honor.

She was inspired to create her color blocked creature by the bright colors of summer and her own vivid aesthetic. She played up the themes of dog-dom - like hydrants and paw prints - to keep the piece approachable and not too conceptual. Tina tells me that the artists' deadline is June 1st, which means our summer display can't be far off.

You might just catch Tina or one of the other talented artists making your summer a little more fun if you poke your head into the space yourself. It's worth the trip!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Club Music

Support the Stamford Symphony on June 14 at 1pm at the ninth annual Classical Golf Benefit at the Country Club of Darien (300 Mansfield Avenue, Darien, CT).

The benefit features cocktails, food, a silent auction, a raffle - and yes I suppose there's also golf. You can learn more about the silent auction on the symphony website. Proceeds fund the symphony and its educational programs.

If you are a machine on the green, you could walk away with a prize at the cocktail reception after the event. Possibilities for bragging rights and material reward include team low gross, team low net, longest drive, and closest to the pin. As an extra prize, you get to explain to me what those mean.

Your charitable dollars and cents look like this: a foursome costs $2,400 and single golfers are $600.

If you hear "Golf" and think Volkswagen, you can sign on just for lunch from 11:30 - 1pm or the reception at 6pm for $100 per person.

For more information call 203-325-1407 x15.

(photo from chispita_666,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kick Cancer Downstream

On Saturday, June 26th, there is an amazing event on the diving platform. It's the Fourth Annual Swim Across America. The event funds cancer research, prevention and treatment through Stamford's own Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT). Good, bad and in between swimmers all welcome. Events include:

-Pool swim
-Half mile course
-1.5 mile course
-Five mile course

The most popular event is the 1.5 miler. That one starts at Tod's Point in Greenwich and takes you along the shore of Long Island Sound to Dolphin Cove in Stamford. ACGT headquarters mark the finish line. Register for the event at by clicking on the Greenwich – Stamford Swim link.

If you're interested, start now! Swimmers must raise a minimum of $500. If you would like to take part in another way, volunteer opportunities for boaters, kayakers and land volunteers are available. For more information, visit the website or email Jacque Lang at

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Battle of the Bands something I'd blog about if Streets of Stamford hadn't beaten me to it. should go this Friday night and it should be sweet!

Earn Your Wings this Weekend

Your spring fever might need a little avian aspirin. Get your cure this weekend at Audubon Greenwich no matter when you wake up. On Saturday, May 22nd, there's events for:

Early Risers
Bright and early at 7am, take a hike for a traditional bird walk. Bring binoculars (some loaners if you forget). Meet in the parking area on Riversville Road. No charge!

Regular Joes
If you want to sleep in ever so sightly, come from 9:30am and stick around until noon to take a birding class called "Birds in their Habitats." You'll learn how different bird species depend on specific habitats, and how this relates to Audubon Greenwich programs. It's a good fit for adults and interested kids. RSVP by calling 203-869-5272 x 230 (ask for Ted). Will run you $12 for adults and zilch for kids.

Snooze Button Pushers
And those who can't get out of bed too quick can still party with the birds from 2:30-4:30pm for the Family Pond Exploration. Bring the kids and learn about bugs, amphibians and all kinds of other animal buddies living in the Indian Spring Pond. All ages welcome. RSVP by calling 203-869-5272 x 221. For members, adults are $3; kids and seniors $1.50. Non-members, adults are $5; kids and seniors $3.

(photo from See-ming Lee 李思明 SML,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Don't Decline to Dine with Fine Wine

On Friday, June 4, 2010, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center will host its 13th annual Flights of Fancy Wine Tasting. A fabulous fundraiser for one of our community's shining stars, it will feature a broad assortment of wines from BevMax. All wine profits go directly to support the Museum.

What's wine without a little food? Bring your fanciest (or flightiest) friends and enjoy cuisine from:

-A Dash of Salt
-BUtterfield 8
-David’s Soundview Catering
-Frank & Julio Complete Event Planning
-Fratelli Market
-Illy Coffee
-Michael Joseph’s Fine Foods
-Napa & Co.
-Shelly’s On The River
-Susan Kane Catering
-Sweet on You
-Tawa Indian Cuisine

You'll also find live and silent auction items, including:

-An exclusive Scotch tasting for 10
-US Open tickets
-A Santa Fe getaway
-An Amazon Kindle

Dannel Malloy will host the live auction. Members get in the door for $100; non-members $125. Tickets available by calling 203.322.1646 x6533.

(photo from paulaloe,

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Walking down Bedford with my favorite neighbor today, we couldn't help but notice that the "coming soon" sign at Sandella's had been replaced by an actual factual restaurant! It looks clean and fresh. The people behind the counter were smiley and helpful. I took home a chicken panini to split with my husband. It set me back a very reasonable $6 and tasted pretty good! Check it out at 148 Bedford. Hope it means we're that much closer to the end of empty store fronts...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Come Admire Grant Squire

Looking for a little hometown music? Check out Grant Squire at Sundance Cafe & Wine Bar (105 Broad St) on May 15th at 8pm.

Described as "combining the unique edge of Jack White with the soulful ingenuity of Bob Dylan," Grant has recently released a debut album called "County Lines." He's now working on a follow up, and you can see him in your backyard before he makes it big.

You can read a little more about him on a blog called Midnight Snark.

He will be playing songs from his album and some new music as well - you can hear more by visiting this website.

Admission is everyone's favorite price: Free!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fact: Baby Animals Are Cute

Don't believe me? On May 16, 2010, from 11-4, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center proves my case during its Spring on the Farm event.

Good luck to you, my friend, disproving my theory in the face of overwhelming evidence when the spring babies display their mind numbing adorableness.

You and your family can try to work up your counter argument while also checking out the other farm themed events on site, including:

- Sheep shearing and other wool-related goodness
- Maypole dancing (and you thought a french braid was complicated)
- A working oxen demonstration
- Children's planting exhibit
- A Boarder Collie demonstration
- An incubation station (get ready to tell your kids about birds, bees and/or storks)
- Children's games, prizes, arts & crafts, story telling, hay rides, face painting
- Plant and herb sale

There will be refreshments on site and a reasonable price tag: $5 for members, $10 for non-members, "Family PLUS" members (and above levels) free, and children three and under are free.

The event will go on, rain or shine. If it's rain, escape inside for a bit and check out the ongoing Gerberich’s Gadgetry exhibit in the museum.

In conclusion, baby animals are cute.

(photo from Looking Glass,

Monday, May 10, 2010

TV Debris

If you're like me, you have a giant, ancient TV that lasted until it made the Simpsons look green making a rectangular dent in your carpet.

I've vaguely ashamed to admit that mine has been nesting into the shag since Christmas. BUT it's all in hopes of supporting the greater good, aka, recycling.

For the love of God, the $%^&* thing will leave our house on May 15th between 9am–2pm and go to a happier place called Scalzi Park. That blessed day is Electronics Recycling Day.

According to the City of Stamford website, you can put to rest the following fallen friends:
* Computers
* Monitors
* TVs
* VCRs
* DVD Players
* Cell Phones
* Copiers/Fax Machines
* Printers
* Radios
* Stereos
* Small Electronics
* Inks/Toners
* Batteries (including alkaline, rechargeable, Lithium Ion & car batteries)
* Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs)
* Linear Lamps

However, these guys are not invited:
* Home appliances like microwaves and stoves
* Refrigerators and air conditioners (those can go to Scale House at 1 Harborview Ave.)
* Chemicals
* Stuff that touched chemicals or liquids
* Commercial or institutional stuff

(photo from tombothetominator,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

See You Soon!

Hi there favorite citizens! I'm off on a lil' ol' business trip until Monday. Don't fret. I'm back soon. Until then, enjoy:

- The approximately four billion cool upcoming events at Audubon Greenwich.

- Swirl playing at Barcelona in Stamford this Sunday at a time that's pretty likely to be 7pm.

- Happy thoughts about summer plans for Alive@Five, Pops in the Park and the new Bedford Street Promenade (thanks to Streets of Stamford for the link).

- A peak at another Stamford blog I stumbled upon called Stamfordopolis.

(photo from Dave Heuts,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bello from Below

As I mentioned in my ecstatic post a little while ago, dear citizens, this summer Stamford welcomes the circus! Big Apple Circus has sent their signature clown with the sweet 80s hair, Bello Nock, to kick off the circus' Stamford season.

Tomorrow, May 4th at noon in Columbus Park, check out Bello balancing on top of a 70 foot swaying pole! He will undertake this feat with no safety wires or nets - just your goodwill to keep him from a terrible tumble - so bring plenty of applause.

(photo from Pink Sherbet Photography,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Merchants of Mirch

On Thursday night, I went with one of my favorite people to Stamford's newest restaurant addition: Chinese Mirch. In the interest of full disclosure, they were kind enough to invite me to a preview evening with a free meal, but I'd gladly have paid a pretty penny. The phenomenal and surprising food was served in a space they've transformed into a work of art.

You enter into the bar area where you are flanked by a dramatic red accent wall and a brushed aluminum bar. The modern statement pieces are surrounded by traditional elements, like slated wooden screens and hammered metal light fixtures. The screens give you a peak into the dining room beyond, an equally sophisticated space with sleek red banquette seating and graphic red, green and gold artwork on the walls.

Modern and traditional are not the restaurant's only blends. The menu creates unique combinations of Chinese and Indian cuisine. My favorite dish was an appetizer: Crispy Okra. I have no idea if okra is a common ingredient in either culture, but I couldn't care less. With a slight crunch, a mild spice and no sign of okra ooze, it's a palette pleaser no matter its origin. We enjoyed another appetizer as well: Chicken Lollipops. These were a solid version of the classic served with a choice of duck or garlic sauce. They offered a discrete little bite with a nice amount of kick.

We sampled three main courses: Spicy Black Bean Lamb, Singapore Rice Noodles (vegetarian) and Sweet n Sour Chicken. The lamb was the standout. Served with a savory sauce and green beans, you begin enjoying that dish before it hits the table. It smelled as good as it tasted. The lamb was not too hot or too tough, but tasty and tender. The noodle dish was dressed in a very subtle curry with slivers of vegetables. It wasn't a marquee selection on its own, but a tasty neutral to counterbalance so many other excellent flavors. The chicken dish won the main course beauty contest, served in a half pineapple with a bright red sauce and a complicated, lovely flower vegetable garnish. I have never been a true fan of fruit/meat dishes, preferring savory to sweet, but this would be a strong contender for those of you who like a little sugar in your entree.

I am an unashamed drinker of girly cocktails - and the two I had were pretty good with some pulpy, tropical goodness waiting to inch its way up the straw. My only compliant is that my mojito was presented a heck of a lot like my margarita. I appreciate all kinds of variations on a theme, but I like to notice the difference beyond just rum versus tequila.

For dessert, we had the Warm Chocolate Cake with green tea ice cream. My friend and I did a little wordplay on our end o'meal treat and came up with these: buttery, velvety, creamy and decadent. You often find warm chocolate cake served slightly dry with a volcano of chocolate in the center. This cake was moist through and through, with an extra dose of chocolate gush in the middle. The ice cream was sweeter than you commonly find with green tea ice cream, and it worked well with the rich chocolate contrast.

Co-owner, Sienam Lulla explained some other winning features of the establishment. Chinese Mirch Stamford builds off a successful NYC model, and the owners have taken great pains to ensure consistency. Chefs undergo a one month training to get the flavors just right. The owners have also brought in diners for a blind taste test with the NYC versions of dishes. Their quality controls have resulted in a very tasty product here in Stamford.

You can follow my footsteps starting Monday when they officially open their doors. Chinese Mirch is located at 35 Atlantic Street, formerly home to Galangal. Call 203-969-7000 or email for more information. You can join them for lunch and dinner now - and in the future - you may also be able to join them for a dim sum brunch and late night menu. Very exciting!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Girls Gone Shopping - How Was It?

I went with two of my favorite neighbors to the Women's Expo today. It continues onto Sunday, and you may wonder, (likely female) citizen, if it's worth your precious time. I, for one, liked it! Here are some of my takeaways:

- First and foremost, I won a hairdryer, which is awesome. Conair has a little wheel to spin and if you spin a "bad hair day" (which coincidentally, I was having in real life) you win a hair dryer or curling iron. Even if you get the more common "good hair" section of the wheel, you still get some swell little hair elastics.

- Second, there are some amazing things to see - and I barely scratched the surface. Standouts included makeup artists on hand to make you beautiful at the Lord & Taylor booth (I walked away with some extra bat in my eyelashes) and raffles for pretty much anything you can fit into a basket wrapped in cellophane. There is a lot of jewelry, some of it lovely and some of it awful. Good thing that we were in a beautiful jewelry booth when we spilled coffee all over it and felt so guilty that we bought some jewels.

- Third, it's completely overwhelming. The event is vendor after vendor after vendor, and they are there to vend (aka, sell!!). You'll be pitched everything from new gutters for your house to services to surgically improve your (uh) nether regions (*blush*). The disadvantage of all those salesfolks under one roof is that you'll get well versed in saying "no thank you," but there are quite a few cool products you'll want to know about. Even vendors with nothing of interest to you may give you free stuff you like in hopes of winning you over. Some other treats I got for free include a toothbrush from a dental office, a mirror/sewing kit from a limo company and playing cards from Foxwoods. Not too shabby!

Use your best judgment, but I found it to be a nifty way to spend the AM hours. Event runs on Sunday from 10am-5pm at the Stamford Plaza Hotel.

New Outdoor Allergy Alert

Cats and Dogs are relocating to the streets of Stamford for the summer with the help of the Downtown Special Services District. Although the summer's much anticipated sculpture exhibit kicks off in June, you can take a sneak peek by visiting the Artist's Studio at 1 Landmark Square (corner of Broad and Atlantic), which is open to the public.

This year, the exhibit is called "It's Reigning Cats & Dogs" and features five foot tall fiberglass models - one cat model and one dog model - that will be customized by artists from all over the tri-state area. Artists have designed and submitted mock-ups of the city's new residents: 17 cats and 23 dogs.

The not-so-furry friends will be on display all summer and then auctioned off (after a little dusting off), and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Friends of Felines, Outreach to Pets in Need and the Stamford Dog Park.

You can see the event poster, complete with pictures of a few of our new summertime neighbors, by clicking here. For more information, visit the DSSD website or email

(photo from West Zest,