Tuesday, November 30, 2010

See Dare Us

SantaLand Diaries, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and When You Are Engulfed in Flames. If these mean anything to you, you'll be happy to know that David Sedaris will be appearing at the Stamford Center for the Arts at 7:30pm on Friday, April 1st. He will be reading select portions of his books and host a Q&A afterward.

Tickets are only available through WSHU Public Radio for now (although their website wasn't crazy helpful so you may want to give them a call instead at 203-365-0425 or 203-365-6604). Tickets run from $42-57, and sale for the general public opens up on January 1st.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CTbites Always Delights

One of my favorite CT blogs, CTbites, is hosting their very own fabulous shindig THIS TUESDAY. I'm planning to attend, and I hope you do too!

Party at the Library!

The economy still stinks, everything costs a jillion dollars and the holiday season is vacuuming out your pockets, so 'tis the season to think about entertaining yourself gratis. The Ferguson Library (Bedford and Broad) has some pretty fabulous things that just may fit the bill. For example:

- On Tuesday, December 7th at 6:30pm, you can attend the Road to Recovery. It's an informational session on how to invest in this crazy market. You'll get expert tips and an opportunity to speak to those in the know. Head up to the 3rd floor to join in or call 203.351.8221 for more info.

- On Sunday, December 12th at 2pm, meet Nadia Kalman, the author of The Cosmopolitans. It's a comic novel set in our backyard chronicling the life of a Russian family making a home in suburban CT. Ms. Kalman attended Yale, Columbia and (most interestingly of all) Stamford High School. She'll be signing and selling this, her debut novel. For more info, call 203.351.8228.

- On Saturday, December 18th at 2pm, learn about Classic Cocktails from Jonathan Pogash, the "Cocktail Guru." You'll take away a history lesson, practical tips and seasonal samples. For more info, call 203.351.8239.

- Tuesday nights (November 30th and December 28th are the next dates) there are book groups leading discussions about contemporary authors. The group is moderated by Westhill High School English teacher Patricia Brown. The event is underway at 7pm and books include "Day After Night" (Nov 30th) and "Juliet, Naked" (Dec 28).

(photo from Shandi-lee, flickr.com)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gobble and Go

A little too much thanks in your belly this season? Run it off at the Pequot Runners Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Race and 2.7 Mile Fitness Walk. It's not too late to sign up for the event which is underway at 8:15am this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. The route begins about 20 minutes up the road at the Pequot Library (720 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT). You can see the walkers' course and the runners' course at the Pequot Runners website.

You can register online until November 24th at 3pm. Adult registration is $24; registration for age 7-17 is $19. It's mostly a fun run, but there are modest cash prizes ($300, $150 and $100), trophies and special T-shirts for the fastest folks. There will also be a post-race raffle, refreshments and T-shirts for the first 4,000 people to register.

Learn more on the site and happy running!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jolly Ol' St. Kick

If I was 6 years old, I'm not sure I could think of anything cooler than Santa and Rudolph dangling from a skyscraper 22 stories in the air. Is it bad that I am a LOT older and not much has changed?

The usual Christmas suspects will be up to their death defying tricks on Sunday, December 5th at 4:30pm for Heights and Lights. The event kicks off at the Landmark Building and features singing, fireworks and an elf in Yankee pinstripes! You can go from the event to Latham Park where Broadway Star Dan Micciche will preside over the tree lighting ceremony.

To help get you into the spirit of the season, the stores on Bedford Street will be putting on their holiday best in conjunction with local florists and nurseries. You can vote for your favorite at the Stamford Downtown site.

For more information, call 203.348.5285 or visit the SDSSD website (linked above).

(photo from Ana_Fuji, flickr.com)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Present Tense

Ok, ok - Santa has made his way down Bedford Street, so I suppose I am done thinking that the holidays are far away. They're not! Yes there are fabulous things ahead as the season draws near, but there is also the annual "what the %^&*$ am I buying for everyone" freakout. If you've started down that road, perhaps this will help:

- The Stamford Town Center is opening at 8am for Black Friday, November 26th (some stores earlier!).

- On both Saturday, December 4 (10am-7pm) and Sunday, December 5 (11am-4pm), Greenwich Avenue hosts the Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend 2010. Performers, musicians and carolers will be on hand and select retailers will offer holiday treats. Read more on the Greenwich Blog.

- If you're looking for something a little craftier, visit Lakeside Pottery (543 Newfield Avenue) on Sunday, December 5 from noon-5pm. They are cleaning out their closet and selling pottery for $10, $15 and $25. Pieces available include vases, bowls, boxes, pitchers and platters. For more information, call 203-323-2222.

- If you'd like to give a gift with a crystal clear conscience, go to the Fair Trade Gift Bazaar on Sunday, December 5 at Bedford Middle School (88 North Avenue in Westport). There will be bagels and coffee at 9:30am followed by the bazaar and a lecture on fair trade starting at 10 am. Products for sale include jewelry, bags, clothing, scarves and coffee. Be sure to bring small bills or checks because they won't take credit cards or make change for $20.

(photo from shimelle, flickr.com)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Support the Library!

Stamford on the Cheap, who is clearly a better person than I am, is doing a very good deed! For each comment you leave on today's post, she will donate $5 to the Ferguson Library. You can comment up until November 30th. Visit her site and help support one of our best community resources.

(photo from Horia Varlan, flickr.com)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Movember, Fuzzy Faces!

Have you caught the mo-madness? November this go 'round is MOvember, a month in which men are growing mustaches to raise awareness and moola to fight prostate cancer. I know a few Mo Joes, and it's a great cause with some amazing supporters.

Butterfield8 (112 Bedford Street) is celebrating Movember with its BU8 Movember Party -- The Great Mustashio Bashio. Join them this Friday, Movember 19th from 6-8pm. There's a $30 open bar with the proceeds supporting the anti-cancer effort. Then from 10pm to closing time, you can enjoy a drink on the house if you BYO mustache!

(photo from Orange_Beard, flickr.com)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Downtown Chaos

Driving around downtown today, a huge portion of East Main was closed off by police blockade. It wasn't clear to me what was the problem until I got home, but apparently it was an angry, angry truck driver. NBC reports that the driver had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend, then proceeded to take it out behind the wheel on 12 cars and a school bus full of teenagers! Yikes!!! The Greenwich Citizen says that two people are in critical condition. The Stamford Advocate has additional coverage of the event.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ain't No Mountain Local Enough

Perhaps you've heard of a young lady by the name o' Diana Ross. The most extreme Supreme will be appearing at the Stamford Center for the Arts on March 18, 2011. It's part of her tour called "More Today Than Yesterday." More what, you ask? You'll never know unless you see the show.

There are two ways to do that:
(1) VIP
(2) REG

Regular tickets go on sale this Friday at 11am, and they run from $85-158. VIP tickets give you admission to prime seats, a cocktail party and a dessert event following the show, but of course that comes at a premium price of $300. VIP tickets are available now by calling 203-517-3426 or emailing lcolangelo@scalive.org.

Want to test your Ross-related knowledge? Which one of these is false:
- She was nominated for an Academy Award
- She won a Tony
- She won a Golden Globe
- She has won 8 American Music Awards
- She was a recipient of The Kennedy Center Honors
- She has sold more than 100 million records
- She has recorded 19 no. 1 hits
- She invented Post-it Notes

It's the last one (although I also would accept the second to last one because it's a mere 18 no. 1 hits).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

French Quench

If you're a good chef (or just want to be), you might be inspired by Dorie Greenspan. She is the talent behind the book Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours (number 14 on the New York Times bestseller list), and she's appearing just up the road.

You can meet her - and sample some of her fare - at the Darien Library on November 18th at 7pm. You can hear her say a few words about her book and get an autograph too. The folks behind Barrett Bookstore are making the event possible.

(photo from BinaryApe, flickr.com)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On Ramp

The Rockin' Appalachian Mom Project (RAMP) is a charitable organization devoted to helping impoverished families in the Appalachian Mountains. They help support that community's nutritional needs and help them create their own streams of income.

You can help too by supporting RAMP Evening of Food, Wine, Bourbon & Charity on Saturday, November 13th at 7:30pm. The event will be held in conjunction with Whole Foods Market at Nelson Macker Fine Art, 168-A Irving Ave. 3rd Floor in Port Chester NY. It features a live auction, a silent auction and MC Bill Evans from WABC-TV. Tickets are $125, and you can learn more and RSVP by visiting the event website.

Some of the fantastic array of auction items include:
- The rare Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon
- Domaine Romanee Conti - Richebourg, La Tache, St. Vivant, Grands Eche, St. Vivant Pinot Noir and Echezeaux
- Chateau Ausone
- Harlan Estate "The Maiden" Cabernet Sauvignon
- Big Green Pizza Truck Party (for 50)
- Wine Spectator Package with tickets to the Grand Tasting at the New York Wine Experience
- Cigar Aficionado Package
- Behind the Scenes Tour at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
- ABC Tour with Bill Evans
- Concierge Pediatrician
- Diamond Pave Huggies with 20cts of Celane Sapphires - 18k Multi Sapphire Drops
- The Ultimate Closet
- Assorted Case of Specialty Wines
- Free Home Staging
- Men's Custom Made Shirt
- Winfield's Design or Jewelry Brokerage Services
- One of a Kind Necklace - Tabetin Tribal Beads with rosewood, chalcedony and pearl accents set in sterling silver

You can also support the cause even if you can't attend the event by clicking here.

(photo from Jagger, flickr.com)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Gingerbread Spread

We're regulars, and will be back again this year to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center's Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects. Who doesn't love the combination of fun, food and shelter? The event is already underway, and runs until December 5th. You can visit the whole delicious neighborhood at the Bendel Mansion Museum Galleries on the Center's grounds.

The delectable designs are the product of local chefs, including:
- DiMare’s Pastry Shop of Stamford
- SoNo Baking Company of South Norwalk
- Cake Suite of Westport
- Sugar & Olives of Norwalk

If you need more play with your pastry, you can also enjoy the Dolls, Toys & Teddy Bears exhibit, which runs from now until January 9th. You'll see vintage dolls, teddy bears and all sorts of antique toys. The items on display date from the end of the 1800s to the 1950s, but they'll get you into the modern holiday spirit.

(photo from Jeff Kubina, flickr.com)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New and Notable Restaurants

A little while ago, my husband went to the The Beer Exchange event, and he was nice enough to take note of a few new restaurant that you may want to check out:

- Most excitingly, the artist formerly known as Bennett's Steakhouse is undergoing a magical transformation into Bar Rosso. As you might know, the smart palettes behind Napa & Co. bought out the location and have big plans for its next incarnation. Their promotional materials are modern and sleek with images of truffles, pasta, meats, cheeses and wine. Their website says they will be opening in December 2010, and signals the arrival of a tapas, housemade Italian staples, and 250 wine labels. If you want to be part of the new addition, you click through on the site to learn about employment opportunities.

- Another place that's only a few months old that you may want to explore is Zayna's Metro Cafe. Their website is not yet up and running (but will be at www.zaynasmetrocafe.com), but Yelp includes one rave review. My husband and the Yelp reviewer both describe the owners as very nice brothers. Their menu includes paninis, soups, salads and wraps, and it's conveniently located at 80 Atlantic Street across from The Palace Theatre.

- Looking for local Cuban food? Try Habana Cuban Restaurant at 245 Hope Street. You can learn more about them on their Idine website here. Their menu features enrollados (rolled tortilla sandwiches) and entrees like Cha Cha Chicken ("roasted and served with corn, garlic lime mojo, with spinach and papas fritas") and Plaintain Crusted Chilean Sea Bass ("with moro rice, fried bananas and a mango wine sauce"). You can even get their "Fidel's Capitalist Pig Roast," a suckling pig that feeds at least 10 people and requires 72 hours advance notice to cook!

- I'm still weepy over Duo's departure from the sushi scene, but my husband had good things to say about Matsuri Japanese Fusion (there seems to be something wrong with their website right now, but you can read about them on this link to the Darien Patch). Up the road just a bit (390 Post Rd, Darien), they offer a mean spicy roll and live jazz every Monday night. Nice!

(photo from epSos.de, flickr.com)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parade in the Shade

Happy children, dancing majorettes and giant cartoon friends - all symptoms of the UBS Parade Spectacular! Yup, its 17th year is just around the corner, and it wouldn't be the same without you (and 200,000 of your closest friends!). The parade gets underway on November 21 at noon. It features Stamford's own John Starks of New York Knicks fame as the Grand Marshal, David Letterman Show's Alan Kalter as the Master of Ceremonies and 18 enormous helium balloons - including:

- Fred Flinstone (who is brand spanking new)
- Scooby-Doo (also fresh out the box)
- Bob the Builder
- Elmo
- Super Grover
- Big Bird
- The Cat in the Hat
- Mr. Potato Head
- Odie
- Oscar the Grouch
- Kermit the Frog

Some eye catching floats this year include:

- A Flying Pirates float with a live aerial performance
- A Wells Fargo Stagecoach
- Stamford Town Center’s Marvel Superheroes float

There will also be great bands from near and far.

You can also take an early look at the balloons at the inflation party on Saturday, November 20 from 3–6pm on Hoyt Street at the intersection of Summer Street. There will be live music, aerial performers and costumed characters.

For more information, visit the SDSSD website or call 203.348.5285.

(photo from chris.ptacek, flickr.com)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Barrage of Collage

Took this shot just a little while ago in front of the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery (96 Bedford Street).

You can see samples of Rex Prescott Walden's work here. He seems work largely in the medium of collage with elements like rulers, maps and advertising imagery. Should be an interesting show!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blues Crews

If you're going to sing the blues, it's hard to think of a cooler name than Joe Bonamassa. On November 12th at 8pm, he's the renowned singer, songwriter and guitar wielding badass you can see at the Palace Theatre.

His album, Black Rock, was released in March of this year and debuted at the tip top spot of Billboard's Blues Albums Chart and at #38 on the Top 200. The album includes songs by artists like Leonard Cohen and Willie Nelson, and features a duet with B.B. King. It's a collaboration with Kevin Shirley, a producer who has worked with some names you might know: Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, Rush, Bon Jovi, Journey, Metallica and Aerosmith.

Bonamassa has won more awards than I could lift, and if that's not enough to convince you of his awesomeness, check out this clip below:

You can get your tickets, priced from $37 to $67, by visiting the SCA website, by calling 203.325.4466 or by visiting the Palace Theatre box office.