Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Entertain the Children without the Cha-ching

photo from, Muffet
Looking for affordable ways to entertain the kids in your life?

On Thursday, November 3rd, from 5-8pm, Stepping Stones Museum (Matthews Park, 303 West Avenue, Norwalk) will open its doors to welcome folks for free! This is part of their Open Arms project to make the museum's attractions available to a wider audience. 

 Exhibits available during the event include an interactive math exhibit called Cyberchase, games and events devoted to financial literacy and a section called Healthyville on nutritious food and budgeting. The evening is sponsored by First County Bank here in Stamford.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stop, thief!

Watch those iProducts on Metro North! Apparently, theft is up on the commuter train. It's sort of odd to me. For a good long stretch the thief and the victim are locked up together in a moving metal breadbox, so why strike then? Maybe it's only at the stops or on the platform? Either way, hold tight to those pads and pods. I will!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shop 'Til You Cure

The Strike 3 Foundation, an incredibly worthy cause I've blogged about before, is doing something to to help your wallet and help fight cancer. On Wednesday, November 2nd - one day only - if you buy a $5 savings pass at Lord & Taylor, you'll receive 3 coupon savings passes worth 25%, 20% and 15% off.

 A lot of things not usually covered by L&T coupons are covered! This includes Uggs, makeup and perfume, which are eligible for 15% off. Not too shabby! The $5 goes entirely to The Strike 3 Foundation. What better time to start scratching items off your holiday shopping list?

 For more information about how to get a coupon book, email

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Improving the Community, One Glass at a Time

photo from Pink Sherbert
Last year, the North Stamford Exchange Club (NSEC) put on a great event called the Beer Exchange. My husband went and had a fantastic time. Not only did he sample beers from all over the world and meet a lot of great folks making our local scene better, he was also glad to contribute to a great cause.

The NSEC is a group designed to encourage and promote some of the best things going in our area, such as:
- The Parenting Skills Center (Prevention of Child Abuse)
- Little League
- Babe Ruth Softball
- Belltown Fire Department
- Turn of the River Fire Department
- Stamford Museum and Nature Center

The NSEC is rallying you and me around their good works again with this year's Wine Tasting Event. The event takes place at the Italian Center of Stamford (1620 Newfield Ave.) on Friday, October 28th from 7-10pm. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at Giovana’s Wine & Spirits (1492 High Ridge Rd.). For more information, call 203-252-2518.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Much is that Nothing in the Window?

photo from  antwerpenR,

Retail up and down Bedford Street has always been a mystery to me.  Some storefronts languish for ages.  Others house stores where - I swear - I've never seen anyone enter or exit.  With the throngs of people at some of Bedford's restaurants, why aren't there retail customers as well?

I got a bit of a clue about why some stores remain empty when I spoke to a friend of a friend who is opening a coffee shop.  She explained that she'd love to open it on Bedford or Main, but she simply couldn't afford it.  She estimated it would cost $6,000/month to open up shop there.  She told me it was cheaper to open her store in Greenwich or Darien. Really?!?  Clearly the rent is more than the market can bear since so many locations remain unclaimed. Isn't it in the property owners' interest to lower the rent until the spaces are filled?

The good news is that Stamford Downtown has developed a plan. Their 2011 Retail Advancement Program will award up to $50,000 from Stamford Downtown plus a $50,000 landlord contributions - which are paid through tenant improvements and other concessions (what that means, I couldn't say...). Retailers who sign on would have to agree to a 5-year lease.  Only those selling products are eligible.  In other words, no restaurants, no entertainment, no banks, no printers and no copy places. Available retail spots are street level within the Downtown Special Services District.

I'm glad to see that landlords are pulling their weight to help make this community better, and I'm thrilled that Stamford Downtown recognizes that reinvigorating our retail offerings is a worthwhile investment. Maybe all the bloggers (myself included) who have been waxing poetic (aka, complaining) about what we WISH were on Bedford might see a few things fall into place.  A girl can dream...

For information about the 2011 Retail Advancement Program, contact Jacqueline Wetenhall, Director of Retail Development for Stamford Downtown at 203-348-5285 or visit the website.