Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stars at the Stamford Mall: Who'd o' Thunk It?

Some great star sightings in the most recent Susie Costaregni (I refuse to spellcheck that name- I'm going with my best guess) Dish column in the Advocate:
Drew Barrymore was seen shooting last Friday a movie in Kona Grill at the Stamford Town Center plaza... Barrymore was seen shopping in the mall later in the day. De Niro also was spotted on Bedford Street Friday.
What do you think Drew was buying at the mall? I guess even stars need a new pair of pants, or new undies, or... an iPod shuffle? Or an emergency present for someone?

Here's a weird one:
Movie director producer and actor Wes Craven and cast and crew of "25/8" had a private kickoff party April 10 at Dragonfly Restaurant & Lounge on Summer Street in Stamford. Craven is known for horror flicks such as "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Scream" and "Freddy vs. Jason."
What is so great about Dragonfly? Both times my husband and I tried to go to DF, it was closed for a private party. That was annoying. Maybe I'll try DF again soon; I am looking for a nice Stamford resto to take a friend to, but I think I've hit them all- Market, Plateau, Duo, Morton's, Siena, Telluride, Saltwater Grille (why the extra e?), Ferrante's, Columbus Park Trattoria, Republic Grill, 122 Bistro, Chez Jean-Pierre, Egane Korean BBQ, Tawa, Dakshin... what did I forget?

Related Stamford Talk posts:
--All restaurant posts
--All posts on movies filming in CT.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thoughts on Driving in Stamford

1. Last week: It's an odd town in which, when you pointedly let someone go (even when they're being a dumba$$) that they don't wave thank you.

2. Today, 5:30: You don’t even want to know what curses I said to the Saab going 50 mph on the Merritt.

3. Today, 6:24: In the white Taurus in front of me, a man, rather than being focused on driving from point A to point B as fast as he can, is talking to his 12 year old daughter. I can tell, because he’s glancing over at her leisurely as I grip the wheel and watch the conversation.

I feel myself getting angry, but I quickly calm myself by employing one of my most reliable strategies: I imagine that the person in front of me is someone I know. If that were my dad talking to my sis, I wouldn’t want some b*!$(% behind them thinking mean things.

4. Today, 6:26, at a stoplight. The white Taurus has a little sticker on the back window that I can’t quite read. Wouldn’t it be so cool if we all plastered stickers on our cars? We spend so much time in these metal capsules; it’s such wasted space! It would be fun to show off who we are... but we want to be anonymous, right? I don’t really want to know what the person in front of me thinks; that would be overwhelming. Still, I’d like to see some pretty, decorated cars. That seems like it might be illegal though because it would be distracting.

5. I adore this time alone driving. All this time to think.

6. 6:28, I whip around the Taurus once we get into a 2-lane road, but I don’t think mean things while I do it.

Oh! Sometimes I also imagine that the slow driver has been working the night shift and is really tired so they're having trouble staying awake while they are driving. You never know what other people are going through. I try to employ empathy while I am making my way across Stamford and its numerous stoplights. I try.

Does anyone have any other good strategies for dealing with traffic/other drivers?

Related Stamford Talk Post:
--Dec: Bad Drivers: Don't Get Personalized Plates

--October 17: A Vow Against Road Rage
Click here to read more.

School Clusterschmuck Continues

The Superintendent just proposed closing a different school... kinda out of nowhere. I'm just going to give you a few quotes from the Advocate article, because I vowed never to write about the subject again.

Starr's proposal to close Stark inflames debate
By Donna Porstner 04/29/2008

STAMFORD - Elected officials are unhappy with the latest school closing plan, saying flip-flopping and indecision is needlessly upsetting residents.

Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr on Thursday night proposed closing Julia A. Stark Elementary on Glenbrook Road and moving Toquam Magnet Elementary students and teachers into the building... The plan came as a surprise to many because Stark was not one of five schools the school board's Redistricting Committee had been considering for closure...

Parents across the city worry their child's school could be next, officials said. "It's really detrimental to the well-being of the school district to have a school-closing-of-the-month theory...” said state Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford.

Starr said he came up with Stark plan because it would increase the number of magnet seats and would allow the city to have three elementary schools south of Interstate 95, where there's a large density of students. Adding a third school would mean fewer low-income students would be bused across town to attend school, he said.

"I think there are some questions to ask about who gets bused in the city of Stamford," Starr said. "I simply want to raise that issue to the Board of Education so they understand the implications. That's what a superintendent does."

...McDonald said the Stark plan only made matters worse. "It's a really unique skill to infuriate every contingent of parents in one meeting," he said.

Click here to read more.

American Idol Tour at Bridgeport

If you're a real fan, you probably know about this. I'm an only sorta fan, but I am big time rooting for the guy whose name I forget who sang that jaw-dropping rock version of Lionel Richie's "Hello." And why was Chickezee eliminated again? Anyway, I think I am free Sept 6, so I might go to this.

David Cook! That's his name. If he does not win this, I will freak out. The tour is at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. Tickets go on sale May 17.

I love you David Cook!!! If you have the performance saved in TiVo in high def, you can see, on your 50-inch plasma, glimpses of his Mom's face in the audience behind him. The love and pride in her face is just amazing. Three of the 20 times I replayed the song were to watch her reactions.

One reason I'm only a sorta fan is because it's all performance. Boring! I wish they'd show us a few clips of the singers practicing. Maybe just at the end they could show it. Paula could try to make her comments more succinct so we have a few more minutes available. I like knowing the back story on things. I've actually only watched maybe 4 episodes this season.
Click here to read more.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Silent, Always-On TV in Westhill High Library

There is an article in today’s Advocate about how Westhill High has a new 50-inch plasma TV hanging above the checkout desk. It cost $1,810 and plays CNN all day with no sound. Now, where else have you seen that? That’s right. In the waiting area at the airport.

Obviously, it’s useless to have that in the media center, unless, for some reason, that’s where kids kill time at Westhill. Even if kids are killing time, they don’t want to do it looking at a silent news show. They want to doodle in their notebooks or work on their laptops.

Some lines from the article prove that the TV is there just to soothe lonely people:

It can be used to show PowerPoint presentations and to advertise school events, [technology management services director Michael Pensiero} said.
A TV is a good idea for ads- duh- but stick it in the school’s main hall if it’s going to be used for that. And who’s going to pull up chairs to the checkout video to watch a power point? I’m sure there’s a place in the computer lab for that. In fact, the librarian confirms that later in the article.

"I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first, and now if I forget to turn it on, and I look over, I feel closed off from the world," [Westhill Head librarian Jan Benedict] said.
Well, if that’s not a clear case of TV keeping a lonely person company, what is? I have no problem giving that person some fake adult company-- I once read that the TV show Friends stimulates the same part of your brain that your real friends do—but a little 20-inch could have fit right on the counter where only she can see it. I don’t begrudge that librarian a TV.

During a mid-day visit to the school last week, dozens of students were typing on computers near the television, almost oblivious to it. TV with the sound off has no interest for teenagers; that’s an adult thing. Westhill needs to reconsider if it's acceptable to use their media center to condition kids to ignore silent, moving images. I'm sure the other high schools in Stamford don't have a plasma in their media center, and I'm sure that other schools could have probably used some new social studies textbooks.

It's the only set in the building hooked up to live television.
"It's our window to the world," Benedict said. "I think it's wonderful."
That concept is 30 years old. TVs aren’t our windows to the world; the internet is. For people over 50 or 55, TV still might provide that. If you are under 45, it’s the internet. 50-inch plasmas are for fun, and the kids at Westhill don’t need silent CNN haunting their every moment in the media center.

The TV- another duh!!!- should be put in the teacher’s lounge. Those are the lonely people stuck with kids all day who need an outside window to the world! (And I have no beef with that. They should have spent 800 bucks to get a 34-inch for the teachers.)
Click here to read more.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Girly Day in Stamford: Zen Spa and Nails

I don't want to be mean, but I have this line in my head and I need to say it: Zen Spa and Nails forces you to be Zen because they are so slow. You have to try really hard not to get impatient. My manicurist, sweet as she was, was going so slowly that I couldn't even watch. I closed my eyes, tried to slow my brain, and let my thoughts wander. ZSN is a new place in the Bull's Head shopping center that does waxes, chair massages, and mani/pedis. The good news: it was relaxing. ZSN is pretty and quiet, and the staff is nice. I got lots of massage time, and my nails turned out fabulous. I kicked off my girly day by getting the glorious blue nails I'd been fantasizing about.

The other three women there were not having any zen, and they didn't try to hide it:

Woman 1: How long will a manicure and pedicure take?
--Manicurist (in friendly voice): Twenty minutes?
W1: Really twenty minutes?
--Uh- (manicurist is confused)
W1: I mean, is it really only twenty minutes? Because I have to pick up my daughter at dance class at 12:30, and I can't be late.
--Ah yes, just twenty minutes.
W1 pauses, seeming irritated: OK, fine. I'll get a manicure pedicure.

Twenty minutes later... as my nails are still being groomed and trimmed, she's just finishing her mani and hasn't started on the pedi.

W1: You know what? Is this going to be done soon?
--Yes. Just a few more minutes.
W2: Because, I have to go pick up my daughter. It's just next door. I'll be right back. (She bolts out the door.)

Woman 2 walks in and asks for a pedicure.
--Manicure, too?
W2: No. I never get manicures.
--OK, right this way. (Man in apron comes over.)
W2: Oh. (Total dismay) Are you going to do it? (Man smiles and nods.) Ah- could I have a woman do it?
--Yes, yes. (Man is embarrassed.)
W2: It just makes me feel weird.

(I am all about sticking up for oneself, but this woman could have done it a lot more nicely.)

Woman 3 walks in.
W3: Yes, but is Patricia here?
--Oh, sorry, she's in with a client. Someone else can help you?
W3: No, it has to be Patricia. Should I stay, or should I come back? How long will she be?
--Uh... 40 minutes.
W3: Forty minutes?
--Yes, 40 minutes- maybe, 1:15? 1:30?
W3: 1:15?
W3: 1:15 or 1:30? When should I come back? (All of this in impatient tone of voice.)
--Ah, 1:30, yes, 1:30.

CALM DOWN, PEOPLE!!! What are you doing in Zen spa with all of your bad energy?

I got the blue nails because I love things that are unusual, and I like to stand out. I need a bright world. This pink shirt is another way I announce to the world, "I am a freakin' happy person!" My other girly activities today were reading gossip magazines at Borders, tutoring French for an hour and a half, watching Friday Night Lights, Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy, and eating vegetables.
Click here to read more.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Scalzi: Skateboarding and Pistol-Whipping :(

My reaction to the Advocate article about 2 men getting robbed and pistol-whipped in Scalzi Park at 9pm on Wednesday: What the EFF, Stamford!

Mental note: do not go to Scalzi Park at night! Is it really deserted there or something?

I feel very safe at Cove Island Beach Park because it's very busy. Reminder to self: go to 888 Wash with $20 to get my beach sticker. You used to be able to get it at the ice rink at Cove, but now you can't. Go to the Government Center.

Ugh. Whatever, Stamford, whatever. You disappoint me sometimes. Freakin' pistol-whipped on a Wednesday night? F that.

Here's maybe a terrible thought that I'm going to share, because I'm honest. I thought, "This better be another case of young people-on-young-people crime, like the mall, or I am freakin' scared." Maybe that's bad to say, but I'm just trying to tell myself that would never happen to me. I'm not young.

Sk8ers, help me out! What is going on at Scalzi?
Are there lights at night?

What the heck? Another post with the label "Crime?"
I need to stop reading the newspapers.
Click here to read more.

Happy Hour to Raise $ for Stamford Dog Park

This is kinda cute. Friends of Stamford Dog Park are having a Yappy hour from 3-5:30 today TOMORROW (SATURDAY) at Murphy's Townhouse Cafe (I call it a a bar) on Franklin St. Admission is 10 bucks, and, obviously, proceeds go to fund the dog park. My dog sooooooo would not enjoy this happy hour. She is sooooooo not the dog park type.

I'm actually very excited (my previous post said I was only semi-excited) about the dog park! I hope there will be lots of benches for people to sit and watch the dogs. Like, comfortable benches. Now I am totally on board with this dog park plan. A skate park and a dog park? We are getting cooler by each passing day. An opportunity to be outdoors with other people, and possibly even interact with them, is a good thing for a community, and I think Stamford needs to feel more like a community.

The announcement in the Advocate says that dogs get in free, so I am wondering how many dogs will be there. Murphy's isn't that big of a bar, is it? Well, that could cause some fun chaos. I think it's going to be another pretty day today, and Murphy's does have some outdoor seating. It might rain tomorrow.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do You Know the Adult Male Sk8boarder?

Specifically, the one who brazenly swerved into our lane on Bedford St. tonight? I know he's not the same adult male sk8boarder who I accidentally featured on the blog in August. This man had reddish hair and was wearing no helmet. He was skateboarding head on into speeding traffic, so I assume I'm not the only one who has ever noticed this man. Maybe I'll run into him at the Stamford Skate Park.

As the weather is getting nice, you must head down to the Stamford Skate Park at Scalzi Park. It's on Bridge Street, just across from the Ridgeway shopping center, aka, parking lot hell. Buy your Party City/Stop and Shop/Old Navy, then go watch the sk8ers do their fancy leaps and spins. There are lots of teenage boys, but a few adult skaters and many younger skaters who either watch or try their own little moves. I loved it when there was a 7-year-old waiting beside the big boys for his turn on the little bowl. The Stamford Skate Park has a nice website with videos and pics. There are also awesome photos of the park being built. My favorites are of guys (not teenage boys) skating on the unfinished bowls in the midst of construction. The city has diagrams like the one above.

I am proud to be in a city that spends cash on something very cool, and something that young men can do that does not involve alcohol or spending money or video games. I know that makes taxpayers mad, but people have to have fun in life. If you spend a few extra bucks for some kids to have wholesome fun, well, it pays off when they aren't all up in your beeswax at the mall.

--You can read my personal narrative about visiting the Skate Park in Sept in "Sk8 Park Report."
--You can check out actual Youtube footage of the Skate Park in an Aug 31 post, "Stamford Skate Park Looks Cool." That's where you can meet another adult male skateboarder who I think is probably a more responsible skater than the redhead.

Back to the red-headed adult sk8boarder: we also saw him an hour earlier on the way to dinner. That was on Summer St., and we were going slowly, and that's when I was close enough to see his reddish-brown hair. This man wants to be seen. Nothing wrong with that, but like, stay out of my lane when I'm driving straight at you at 50 mph.
Click here to read more.

Finally! A Lead in the Marco Paoletta Murder Case

Just this weekend I was thinking that I needed to post something to the effect of "Why have police made no progress in the investigation of the shooting death of Marco Paoletta?" It is a very sad story that I have written extensively on at Stamford Talk. The murder occurred on a road that I, and many of us, probably drive on a lot: Vine Rd., just behind the Dunkin Donuts on High Ridge. On Jan. 3, Marco finished his racquetball game at the Jewish Community Center, left the building, and was found just minutes afterward, shot on Vine Rd. Finally, finally, police have released security camera images of the person seen leaving the JCC with Marco.

I have the full Advocate article up on Stamford Talk Resources (a blog arm of ST), but here is the descrip of the man seen on the security camera: The images show a Hispanic man in his 20s between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches tall with long black hair. Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to call the police department's tip line at 977-5111.

Just writing these words creeps me out. Marco was a long-time resident of Stamford and has many family members in the area.

Related Stamford Talk articles:
--February 8, 2008- Marco Paoletta Murder Case: No Progress?
--January 17, 2008- Update, Stamford Murder: Marco Paoletta
--January 8, 2008- Stamford's Jan.3 Murder: Too Much Info?
--January 5, 2008- Stamford's First Murder of 2008
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cast YOUR Lot at a Stamford Casting Company

I'm almost all movie talked-out, but I want to follow up on a comment from Jorge, who gave a link to CT Tourism-Film Division. That site lists casting call info on current and upcoming movies, but for more (and funnier) detail on extras needed, go to the website of Grant Wilfley Casting. They’re based in Stamford and are currently casting for the DeNiro movie. It would be easy to email your headshot to GW.

The GW site makes for good reading. My favorite line:
Filming in the Boston, Mass. Specifically seeking male mental patients willing to be nude for a shoot at the end of april (pay is $759); write “nude patient” in the subject line.

The CT Film Division does give better info on one upcoming project: the movie Farlanders, starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, filming in various locations NW CT, Stamford, Bridgeport, and New Haven. Casting for college students and faculty, high-end/wealthy shoppers, National Guard (men and women), strip club patrons, etc. That etc. says, “Use your imagination.” Maya Rudolph is my favorite SNL actor. John Krasinski is funny on The Office, but I wonder if he translates well to film.

Oh coooool, I just found a website called "On Location Vacations" that gives stalker-like info on movies being filmed all over the place. I am totally adding that site to my daily RSS under the "mindless inanity" category. No, I really have that category, and I'm really going to add it.

Note: Just found on OLV: "The Untitled Sam Mendes Project is filming on Mountain Rd in Wilton, CT (near the intersection of Heritage Dr)." That's the Rudolph/Krasinski movie. So, OLV might not be mindless inanity and in fact might augment my gossip factor. Coincidentally, Grant Wilfley also does casting for the TV show Gossip Girl.

Related posts:

--April 21, 2008- Movie Action on Summer Street!
--April 20, 2008- Movie Stars in Town: Let's Keep in Touch!
--February 18, 2008- Heads Up: "Shopaholic" Filming in Stamford
--October 3, 2007- For Would-Be Actors or Extras
--September 19, 2007- Real Gossip: Travolta Sightings in Stamford

Click here to read more.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stamford: Immune to Roosters

Sadly, the joyful crowing of a rooster doesn’t translate well to the suburbs.

Today on local radio I heard that some Westport residents are at their wits’ ends because their neighbor refuses to curb his rooster. The report said that Stamford and New Canaan already have restrictions on barnyard animals. That struck me as funny but also sad. What kind of world is it where roosters can't do what they're born to do?

The news report gave no specifics about what those barnyard animal restrictions are. I’m pretty curious, but googling “barnyard animal ordinances stamford ct” produced no info. I’m content to use my imagination.

Coincidentally, I was talking about roosters at 4:45 am last Sunday morning. We were packing for our flight home from Mississippi. My husband, who has never lived outside of a major metro area in his entire life, went out to the car. He came back in, quietly arranged some clothing in a suitcase, and said, matter-of-factly, "I'll have you know, I just heard a rooster crowing... and there was more than one!" His amazement amazed me. Dude, it’s a rooster!

A rooster on vacation is annoying but tolerable. A rooster on the weekend at 7am is more annoying, but it’s a good reminder to get up and get busy. A rooster on a dark winter morning at 6am, however, is a recipe for a mysterious rooster “accident.” A rooster cock-a-doodling while you have friends over for a summer BBQ? That’s embarrassing! You don’t buy in Westport so you can feel like you’re in Kentucky coal country!

I couldn’t find info on the radio station website, but I found an article on Westport Now. Here are some lines, along with my own rooster-savvy commentary:

Residents, who were reluctant to speak on the record about their rooster-owning neighbor, said the rooster has been a problem off and on for at least four years. Did you catch that ridiculous alliteration? This is a sassy writer.

They said they confronted the rooster owner who has repeatedly rebuffed them, and got no relief after complaining to the Planning and Zoning Department... Can you even imagine what those confrontations are like? How do you rebuff people who are complaining about your rooster? What's your comeback?

...The rooster owner moved out several years ago prior to demolishing his house in October 2004 and had a new house built in its place, according to one neighbor. When the man moved back in last fall, he brought the rooster and some chicks that have since grown into hens. Hahaha, not only did the man return with his rambunctious rooster, he brought its children!!!

That would be brilliant if this were a TV show, but this is real life, so this man sounds rude, misanthropic, and out of touch with reality.

Roosters are flamboyantly bonkers, but that's their job. This weekend I saw a single, very large rooster standing regally on a porch. He might have been the type to screech at the sight of a human at 5 am... a human almost out of sight, but not out of rooster-range. You've got to love the Neighborhood Watch. Ain't nobody getting into the neighborhood without that rooster noticing.

People are the problem, not roosters.
Click here to read more.

Movie Action on Summer Street!

Cool! Two readers wrote in with info: Full-on movie trailer setup on Summer Street this morning, right outside the building where the Barrymore / De Niro movie is filming. That's 1515 Summer St. I got the tips this AM but was locked out of my stupid work account-- *RAGE*-- so I hope they are still on set.

I'm going to kick this pop stand and go ogle the filming!

Another reader mentioned that a friend saw Mark Ruffalo and Joaquin Phoenix at g/r/a/n/d. That was the movie Reservation Road last fall.
Click here to read more.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Movie Stars in Town: Let's Keep in Touch!

Last week, readers left comments about stars and film sets spotted in Stamford. I posted the tips on the blog ASAP, because, obviously, that’s good gossip. I was out of town until today, but I'd really like to see a movie set. I suggest we set up an alarm system to share info when movie filming is spotted around the city.

If you post a comment, or email me at the address in the right hand column of this blog, I'll put up the tip. Then, the gossip will be in the hands of the right people: the readers of this blog who have shown a great commitment to gossip and news around town. Together, we make Stamford a better place to live.

Note, 8/2/08: thanks to all this stalking research, I finally got to see a star. See May 16's "I Finally Saw DeNiro on Set!"

When gossip is shared, the ball starts rolling. In February, I posted about Confessions of a Shopaholic with Isla Fisher filming in Stamford. On Monday, someone left a comment on that post about spotting of a movie set in Bedford Street.

I posted that info, and readers left juicy comments. Anonymous saw Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen at Napa & Co. twice last week. (Twice? I'm jealous. Was the food good?) Mary posted info on the Bedford St. film-- Everybody's Fine starring DeNiro, Beckinsale and Barrymore. Another anonymous saw EF filming at the new lofts on Summer St. Whitemist commented that he saw a film set at Curley’s, and I put that up. We've got the city covered, but we can't relax. Please keep your eyes off the road as you're driving around town, and keep a lookout for film trucks.

The Advocate’s "Dish" with Susie Costaregni put up the same info this weekend, with a few more details:
Scene . . . Actors Isla Fisher ("The Wedding Crashers") and Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat") were seen dining last week at Napa & Co. in Stamford. Rumor is that the engaged couple have been staying at the Courtyard by Marriott in Stamford. Fisher is in town filming "Confessions of a Shopaholic." Also seen at the popular restaurant recently were Hillary Swank...
Out there . . . "Everybody's Fine," starring Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell, will begin filming this month in Stamford on Bedford Street and other areas in the city.

Stamford, you rock! People are noticing you. I want to see some movie stars. My friends saw Uma Thurman exiting Bobby V's one week. I think it was a Thursday 6 or so months ago.
Click here to read more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Film Crew at Curley's?

Reader whitemist posted a tip on Monday's post about filming on Bedford St. "Just a quick comment... Curley's was closed 2 nights ago, painting and cleaning and today it seems the entire film crew is over there." If I were you, I would go grab lunch in Columbus Park somewhere (I can highly recommend the sushi and salad at Fin II) and spy on the goings on!

I can see why Curley's would be a great place to film! And from the looks of, it looks like a nice day out.
Click here to read more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If I Read One More Thing About Closing a School...

What in the schmuck is going on with Stamford school closing/redistricting? I can't keep up. An Advocate ed letter from yesterday says, "I was absolutely outraged with what I read in The Advocate on April 11 regarding the potential closure of The International School at Rogers Magnet." What the- last week it was K.T. Murphy! I don't read articles about the schools anymore, because it's such a clusterschmuck. It's painful to watch, much like the pregnant man on Oprah.

Sister: "Did you read anything about the pregnant man?"
Me: "Ugh- no. I just avoided all of that."
"I mean, who decides that? What makes a person a man?"
"Take out your uterus."
"Yeah, but he's legally a man."
"Well, they should probably switch that back."

Doesn't that sound a lot like what's going on with the school board? Every two weeks the school board hints that they'll be closing a different school. Last month it was Toquam, last week it was KT Murphy, now it's Rogers. A casual observer can't keep up. If I ever need to know what's going on with the schools, I email my friend who is a Toquam parent. With all the rigamarole they've been through, they know what's going on better than the school board does. Last fall Toquam Magnet was one of two schools threatened, then it was out, then in January it was back on, but not for sure, then it was sure... and then the mayor stepped in to save the day, which now puts other schools up to be axed. Don't quote me on that sequence, but you get the idea. I'm not even going to bother fact-checking it, because it's absurd.

Note: nothing against the pregnant man. I just avoid things that seem like they're going to be too much trouble to get into, like Stamford school closings, or the Hillary vs. Obama debates.

Lost and Battlestar Galactica once seemed too much to keep up with, but now I am addicted, and that's probably why I don't have time for Obama and the pregnant man. It's much easier to handle things that aren't part of the real world.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Stuff White People Like" Update: I Still Hate It

Two weeks ago I went off on the blog mentioned above because I didn’t think it was about white people. Even after Stamford Talk readers posted clear-headed answers, I was still bothered by it and wanted to figure out why. I’ve rewritten and edited my opinions down to two main points.

1. The generalizations on SWPL are not about white people. Every article I read says the same thing: "Well, it's really about yuppies." So, change the name. If it’s only about say, 2 % of white people, the blog shouldn’t be titled “SWPL.”

Lander is a 29 year old (aspiring) comedy writer in LA. In a nauseating NPR interview, Lander explains that his blog is less about soccer moms than “Park Slope parents.” Ohhhhh... chuckle chuckle! I get the difference! I’m in on the joke! But Lander, those are your peers- twenty-nine year old upwardly-mobile creative types. They call those people “yuppies.” Most white people in this country aren’t like that. I’m sure Chris Lander is aware of the distinction, but he knows that “SWPL” sounds funnier. See if you can listen to the NPR interview without wanting to throw up at his smug, self-satisfied tone of voice. I only made it through 5 minutes.

Stamford Talk reader KG posted, “You can’t take it too seriously when you read it. I can see how perhaps if you think about it too hard, you can take offense, but I just get a chuckle.” I do see why people get a laugh; it’s a cute site even if it doesn’t appeal to me. I’m only thinking hard about the title of his blog. If he’s going to talk about race (which he’s not), he should know what he’s talking about (he doesn’t, so he should rename his blog).

It’s fine if someone wants to write satire about a certain demographic of white people. If you like his writing style, cool. It will be just as good when he changes the name to "Stuff Yuppies Like."

2. The media is overly-positive about the site, and are trying to make it into something more meaningful than it really is. ST reader John C commented, “You're overthinking the site. SWPL is as empty-headed as those VH-1 specials wherein people make snarky comments about daily observations...” That’s why I’m astonished and annoyed by all of the media coverage.

The media is over-thinking the site, not me. I was quite happy to ignore SWPL. When I first saw the site, I looked at one entry, got the impression from his “About” page that he was an uneducated dolt, and quit out without thinking much about it. I was surprised when friends sent me the link; that’s when I wrote the first post. When Zobot provided the link to the Boston Globe article, I realized the situation was worse than I thought. Respectable news outlets were talking about the blog’s insights on race.

From abc news: According to experts, he hit the right note at the right time, while — perhaps unintentionally — creating a forum for people to openly mock, or explore, what it means to be white. You mean, what it means to have money and privilege. I live in Fairfield County, so you can trust me on that.

The articles I read offer convoluted explanations about why the blog is such a hit. From an expert quoted on “The blog does a really good job of walking the line between provocative and offensive... I think the reason it's popular with a really broad spectrum of readers is that white readers can be the focus of the content and that's not usually the case with blogs about race." I don’t find Lander’s writing provocative or offensive. Yuppies have been joked about before; so have white people.

As the Globe says: The blog's popularity may have something to do with its singularity. Jokes about rednecks and Republicans are common. But white middle-class liberals rarely face comedic barbs unless they're the target of black comics such as Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock. Right... so how is it rare if the nation’s top comedians talk about it all the time? And, as my sister pointed out, who is this “broad spectrum?” She’s less yuppie than me, but she’s white, so her perspective has been invaluable: “I’m white, and none of these apply to me.” Straight from the mouth of a white person.

An LA Times reporter writes: Lander is doing to whites what scores of journalists and politicians do to non-white minorities every day, "essentializing" complex identities -- that is, stripping away all variety and reducing them to their presumed authentic essences. One irony-deficient reader complained that the blog was less about white people than it was about yuppies. And without knowing it, she was cutting to the heart of the joke. Lander is gently making fun of the many progressive, educated, upper-middle-class whites who think they are beyond ethnicity or collectively shared tastes, styles or outlook. He's essentially reminding them that they too are part of a group. Uh... right, but the group is not white people. I don’t think I’m irony-deficient; what joke’s heart am I cutting to when it say the blog is about yuppies?

The same LA Times article quotes Lander: "I'm writing about the white people who think they're absolutely unique and individual... I'm calling them out and poking fun of myself. The things I post are all the things I like too!"

Oh! Well, whoop-dee-doo for you, Chris! You sound super-dumb, so maybe you should keep letting the journalists speak for you. I don’t think you even have your target audience down. Yuppies don’t think they’re unique; it’s hard to miss all the other people leasing BMWs, joining book clubs, and drinking red wine. The FC is all about shared tastes.

Wait- wait! I think I get the joke. The LA Times article was titled “A blogger explores the attitudes and foibles of a new minority group.” So is the irony that we’re stereotyping yuppies? Is the joke that yuppies aren’t aware they’re part of a group? I don’t think so; anyone who watches TV and movies can figure that out. Are people not aware that stereotypes of “white minorities” exist, other than white trash?

Oh, Lander can help me. From the Globe: "This is the stereotyping of people who have tried to distance themselves from what they perceive as white stereotypes: the white trash, the Republican," says Lander, 29, who works as a copywriter at Schematic, a new media marketing company. "Well, you're still white, you still have white privilege. It still exists, believe it or not. No matter how much you donate to charity or how much organic food you eat, you still have white privilege."

Noooooooooo shit, Sherlock. Wow- this joke is as obvious as I thought, and that’s why I’ve missed it. I commend Lander for writing; writing takes guts and skill, and he’s got that. He’s missing a few key concepts, but I’ll let him slide if he renames his blog.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stamford Talk Field Trip: Cafe Moja

So. I've written a lot about Cafe Moja- drug selling, gunshots, melees with cops. I drove by that place for the 4 years I lived in Southfield. It always looked sketch but I never wanted to judge. Well, a fellow Stamford Talker who lives in Southfield said she had always wondered about that place too. "Happy hour?" she joked. I'm not a big joker, so I took her up on her offer.

I will go almost anywhere if it's going to get me a good story. I've been to a KKK rally, for goodness' sake. (Not as a participant, but as a protester. Let me give the KKK an official Stamford Talk "F You, Get a Life.") That was in Hazard, KY. Long story.  Today, on day 6 of my Mississippi visit, I said to my sister, "I kind of want to go to that taxidermy place, just because I think it would be disgusting."  I'm just wondering, where do the guts go? I tried to get a glimpse of the back of the store as we drove by, but didn't see any hints of gut-filled garbage cans. Oh well.

CM serves West Indian and Southern cuisine.  Even though I thought we'd be the only white women in the joint, I figured it would be fine, because restaurants exist for people to eat at them.  However, when we called to confirm that CM was open, we got the answering machine.  When I had driven by, it looked closed, too, with the blinds down, and more run-down than I'd remembered.  We didn't want to give up that easily since we'd already gotten our minds set on it. 

I suggested we stake the place out and see if there was any activity, and if we determined it was closed, we'd go to Crabshell for a drink.  We staked it out inconspicuously (in the parking spot four feet from the door) for 5 minutes and the place was dead as a deer about to be taxidermied.  "This is ridiculous; let's go to Crabshell.  Wait! Before we go, just pull on the door to see if it's open."  Well, it wasn't, somewhat to our relief.   "We gave it a good faith effort; let's go to Crabshell!"

We had Amstel lights and good conversation at Crabshell. Decent little happy hour group, with the requisite group of young-ish men in button-downs looking sort of cute and talking sort of loudly.
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Possible Filming on Bedford Street?

A reader just left a tip on my "Shopaholic" post: I just saw what looked like a film truck and some guys with VIP-type badges down on Bedford Street and 3rd, across from the tall Cornerstone at Bedford apartment building.

It would be reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally cool if someone would check this out and report back! I'm out of town, or I'd so be there this evening.

Near the police station doesn't sound like a site for Confessions of a Shopaholic, but it could be some other really interesting show. Who knows, maybe it's one of my favorite shows, Dogs With Jobs, and they are featuring a Stamford police dog.
Click here to read more.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wolves- I Mean, Coyotes!

The Stamford Coyote strikes again. (My husband says there is only one coyote in Stamford, and he thinks it's the same coyote as the one I saw trotting down a sidewalk in Greenwich a few years ago. He's from Long Island, so his knowledge of nature is stunted.) The Advocate reports that a coyote is believed to have carried away and injured a Lhasa Apso whose owner let it out into the yard at 5 am.

Well, she's gonna get a big Stamford Talk duh on that. Why is she leaving a little dog out in the dark? OK, OK, that's judgmental, but North Stamford-ites should know coyotes roam the woods and not leave tiny dogs outdoors and out of sight. That dog owner needs to start reading this blog so she knows about dangers in Stamford. We were gossiping about coyotes on Stamford Talk in January!

The Advocate article stresses that it is not necessarily a coyote; it could have been a large dog in the area. I'm curious why the coyote didn't eat the dog. Is it some sort of rogue coyote, or a deranged chocolate lab? The Advocate must be a dog-friendly paper, because they sure are giving this story some print.

I actually wrote and discarded this post last week, but today's Advocate had a new article updating us on the health of the dog (he's on the mend), which reminded me that I wanted to chastise the dog owner... and have an excuse to talk about wolves- I mean, coyotes.

The title of this post is a reference to the fact that in my mind, coyotes and wolves are the same thing. Last night I told my mother-in-law that not only did Stamford have a lot of deer, but we have wolves, too. "Wolves!?" she yelped. I chalked up her surprise to her growing up in Queens. Then I realized that "wolf" sounded too tough, and that what I really meant was a wily, skinny, mangy coyote: "Yeah!!-- I mean, a coyote."

Related Post:
Jan 14, 2008: Ahoooooooooooooo: Coyotes in Stamford
Click here to read more.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Italians vs. Italians on Stamford Wikipedia

In a previous post, I wrote about my surprise that Wikipedia contains a surprisingly detailed entry on the West Side. I thought the description of crime had some over-dramatic elements to it. Another part of the entry, called “ethnic groups,” struck me as funny. As you know, anyone can write and edit Wikipedia entries. This one sounds like it was written by competing Italian-American clubs.

The first paragraph says, “Many Italian-Americans in the neighborhood in the Twentieth century immigrated from Minturno, Italy and communities near it. The Minturnese Social Club, founded in 1939 and only made up of members whose families hailed from Minturno, had 120 members in 2007.” The paragraph goes on to describe the elaborate parade of Harvest Festival 2007, which included a stuffed rooster, a marching band, a float with miniature palm trees, and "men carrying a yellow throne with a portrait of the Maddona delle Grazie."

The next paragraph somewhat aggressively responds: “Another group of Italians in Stamford, came here from Settefrati, Italy. They also have a Social Club located on 23 Virgil Street, in Stamford, CT. The Settefratese tradition in Stamford is to have a Mass for their Patron Saint, La Madonna di Canneto, followed by Sagne e Fagioli at the Club.” (Italics mine.)

Italians, I'm not poking fun, but it sounds like there might be some gossip there...
Click here to read more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Weekend Planning: Yours, with the Fairfield Weekly

I tell ya, the Fairfield Weekly is where you need to go to plan your weekend. It's the most efficient way to find great events and the best resource for the local music scene.

I check the Weekly every Thursday. During the dark days when I first lived in Stamford, it was my lifeline to music, culture and creativity- the young kind. The FW led me to Green's, which led me to good music and all sorts of other things that are better off forgotten.

Scroll down a little bit to the "Leisure" tab on the right-hand side, and click on "7 Days: The Week That Is." The feature lists the top entertainment choice for each day of the week, which might be a lecture, concert, art show, or... any type of event you can think of that is legal. The wide variety of events means that you aren't only reading about things that cost 50 bucks, like tickets to shows at SCA.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Free Madrigal and Chorus Concert at SCA, and Possible Adrenaline Addiction in the FC

Let me repeat, this event is free. Tonight (Wed.) at 7:30 the choral groups from Stamford schools are singing at Stamford Center for the Arts.

With all the hoohah going on with Stamford Public Schools, it might be nice to get a look at the kids we are arguing over. A reader tells me that Madrigals from Stamford High and the Chamber Singers and Gospel Choir from Westhill are performing, but there are many other groups as well. I love any type of live music, especially ones that focus on the voice. I would have loved to go to this event, especially because the reader who contacted me is really cool, or at least, she seems so from her posts, but I leave in a couple of hours for lovely Tupelo, Mississippi.

That's right. Stamford Talk will be coming at you live, for the next ten days, from one of the poorest and unhealthiest states in the nation.

Isn't it nice to get away? When I go down to MS, it becomes clear how very demented this area has made me. When I wait in the line at the small grocery store in my sister's town, I can feel my mind racing and my heart palpitating. I'm used the the beeping and bustling energy of our Super Stop and Shop, so the quiet grocery store creates a lot of tension in me. I want to shout and scream to break the quiet. I always think of myself as a relaxed person, but obviously, after almost ten years up here, I am an adrenaline junkie.

Please tell me I am not the only one who feels this way.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Turns Out Chowhound HAS Defeated Stamford Talk, But Not in a Bad Way

Wow. The Chowhound moderators sent me an email I have to admire. It was well-written and, unlike the previous emails to me, didn't sound like the writer was gritting his or her teeth in an attempt to be civil. They made their point and shot me down dead, but in a nice way. I respect that.

Here is the story. I finally had the Napa and Co. burger last month, so when I saw a thread this week about where one can find good Kobe beef in the FC, I posted about Napa and Co.’s burger, hoping maybe this time Chow would allow it. You may recall that last month my post about the burger got rejected and I learned that Napa and Co. is banned from Chowhound for life. That post was the most-commented-on in the life of Stamford Talk, proving that this town loves to eat and gossip.

I went back to the thread later, and my post wasn’t there. I thought maybe I hadn’t actually hit “post my reply,” so I wanted to try it again. I hadn’t gotten an email to tell me to shut my trap, so I really did think I might have quit out of Firefox before my post went through. I made a new account under my other gmail account and posted. I didn’t post it under Stamford Talk, because, if the post had gone through, I didn’t want Chow to think I was being a harasser. When my second post disappeared, I figured the ban must be in effect, and I put up yesterday's post called “Chowhound Cannot Defeat Stamford!”

Well, I got a very long email from Chow today. You can read it, but basically, they firmly told me that they know I posted under a different name and that I should stop because they are trying to do the best job they can. First of all, how did they track me down!?! I used a totally different email, under the gmail account I have in my own name! I don’t see how they could do that- is it my IP address? Do they know my name? Well, now they do, because they knew my fake name was under my email. I have to admire their tenacity, although it does remind me that anything I do on the internet is obviously very easy to track.

Second of all, I think Chow is right. I do need to lay off. Their email gave a satisfying explanation about why I can't post about Napa, and now I will stop bothering Chow. (I'm the type of person that if I don't know something, I sometimes obsess over it.) I respect their hard-line approach, even if it does get my goat a little bit. I appreciate their site and I don't want to screw it up. I also don't want to get banned from Chow, because I have met some great people through it. Also, I don't like getting in trouble. I like pitching fits and being argumentative, but I don't like being reprimanded and punished.

Chow says they have banned Napa because people associated with Napa were doing fake posts. It’s their site, and if that is what makes them ban a resto, fine. I have to guess it was a higher-up that posted fake stuff, because I don’t think Chow would punish a resto if customers posted overly positive reviews. I don’t see how they can tell, but they zeroed in on me, which proves they have superhuman powers.

Chow has defeated me. I’m officially scared of them. It is frightening to me that Chow can hunt down fake people via the internet. Still, I’m impressed with their ruthless moderating, because I’m sure it’s one of the reasons their site works so well. The discussion threads are simple, easy to read, and a fabulous forum to discuss food in the FC and beyond.

I’m still afraid Chow is going to ban me, in which case I’ll have to access the board on my computer at work under a friend’s email (but I won’t post about Napa!). If they find me out, well, maybe they should get a job with the state department and hunt down terrorists.

Chowhound, if you are reading this, touche, and my apologies for riding your hienie so much.
Click here to read more.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Chowhound Cannot Defeat Stamford!

The chowhound board has a chatty thread about the closing of Zinc and possibly Hacienda on Summer St. I enjoyed reading the musings of Stamford food fans. The topics ranged from real estate, rumors of new restos, and the general nature of restaurants in Stamford. The power-crazed moderators only had to step in one time with trying-to-sound-friendly reminders to talk only about food:
Yes - please do keep the discussion focused on places that exist in the here and now! We understand that it is fun to speculate about what might open, and what you'd like to see open, as well as the direction your community is taking, but Chowhound's focus is on where to find great chow now. If anyone has anything more concrete to add about the situation, please do, but otherwise, let's get back to talking about existing chow!

Shut up, chowhound!

And, I hate to be a broken record, but I've tried to post "I had a good burger at Napa and Co, etc." twice this week on a thread about Kobe burgers in the FC. Both times, my posts appeared... but when I returned to check, my post has simply disappeared. Obviously this is part of the Napa and Co. information blackout, but I didn't receive the aggressive email I expected from the Chowhound moderators. What a letdown. Maybe they have realized that people are deliberately provoking them and have given up sending their prickly, persnickety reprimands to people who dare violate their tyrannical policy of use.

Whatever, chowhound. I still enjoy chatting about restaurants on your site, especially because the indomitable Stamford-ites still manage to squeeze in some gossip and speculation.

Read Chowhound's response to me in "Turns Out Chowhound HAS Defeated Stamford Talk, But Not in a Bad Way." I was embarrassed but flattered to get such a long, detailed email from them.
Click here to read more.

Pedestrians Not Safe in Stamford: Duh!

I love the sassy first line of this letter to the editor in the Advocate:
If Stamford police officers want to make our city safer, they need only to place themselves at the Springdale train station at the evening rush.
One of the major differences I noticed when I moved up here from Virginia was how horrifyingly rude cars were to pedestrians. I know it sounds small, but it reflects people's attitudes toward each other. Basically, in the lower FC, the default is to hate others.

A pedestrian could stand for 5 minutes by a "Stop for Pedestrians in the Crosswalk" sign before a driver decides that his or her life can be put on a 20-second hold so someone else can cross the street. In the medium-sized college town I went to, people screeched to a halt if you stepped anywhere near a crosswalk. Granted, most students went to class by foot, so it was a pedestrian culture. Still, many people do walk around here, and cars see them as obstacles rather than people to be protected.

It bothers me that I now, rather than stop, usually keep going if it looks like that's a good option. I do stop when I'm not in a hurry or if I'm feeling relaxed. Crosswalks are an easy opportunity to be nice to people, so I'd like to be better about stopping. I encourage you to do the same; it's good for your state of mind. Life is stressful around here and we need little acts of kindness to stay human. One tip: Try to ignore the driver behind you who looks like he (or just as often, she) wants to rip your head off. It's amazing how much emotion you can observe in your rearview mirror.
Click here to read more.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weddings in the FC: Not Cheap, But Doable

Getting married in the FC will cost you some bucks, but with the right connections and recommendations, you can get the best for a fair price. The key is to mooch information from recently married people. That's what I did last year, and it was a relief to know that our money was going to vendors we could trust. I'll give you the scoop and a little gossip that you can pass on to whomever needs it.

We got a good price from the Fox Hill Inn, unlike a certain place in Westport where the wedding coordinator was unable to hide her smirk when we said we hoped to have 125 guests for under $13,000 dollars. The Fox Hill Inn is near Danbury, but it’s worth the 45-minute drive. Their wedding coordinator, Nancy, ran the entire day with the patience of a total pro. I didn’t lift a finger except to cut the cake… the cake that Fox Hill provides so you have one less thing to stress over.

Our wedding photographer, Dru Nadler, kicked it out of the stadium. See her website and you’ll see why I picked her, besides the fact that she is a really cool, smart, mellow person. She took the photo above and also photographs for the Stamford Advocate. I love her. Warning: post gets very girly from here on out.

Look at this bouquet. Merrilee at Ganim’s Florist in Fairfield was flexible and friendly. She did almost everything over email, so my sister in Texas was able to help plan flowers. I visited the store only one time, but Merrilee gave me the bright-orange-and-light-blue-with-white-roses bouquet that I wanted. I must have emailed her 25 times… and she always responded quickly. (Photo by Dru.)

I got my dress from The Bridal Suite in downtown Stamford. Lynn helped me order the dress that another bridal store tried to tell me was their own custom design. No it’s not, you b@%$*s; I’m looking at it online right now. Thanks to Lynn, I avoided those liars. Lynn then deftly coordinated the fitting and ordering of 8 different bridesmaid dresses. Each of my bridesmaids chose her own style… and only 3 of them lived in the area. I think Lynn sensed I was about to freak out, and she took it from there. The Bridal Suite’s sassy tailor, Naima, will also take care of you. Don’t question her. She knows how much ribcage space you need, and she knows how keep the top of your dress where it should be. (Photo by me.)

A friend recommended the band Nite Life (Richie Vance Productions). They charged a fair price and our guests liked them. A friend used Powerstation DJs, so I can recommend that company, too.

Look at the cake, with the orange dots I'd been dreaming of! (Photo by Dru.) I love orange, and I love dots.

I never thought I could plan a wedding, but my friends and coworkers pointed me to the right vendors. The vendors worked with me to get the most for my money, and they produced a far prettier wedding than I could have pictured. I'm not going to tell you it was cheap, but I will tell you, I got excellent vendors for reasonable prices.

Click here to read more.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sat AM: Looming Crane and Road Closings

Yikes- heads up on a major traffic disaster coming up today. If I were you, I'd avoid the whole damn area. Note that there is a crane mentioned in the last paragraph of this Advocate article.
Parts of Washington Boulevard and Broad Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to noon tomorrow for construction at the Trump Parc condominiums on the corner of the two streets, according to the city Office of Operations.

Broad Street will be closed from its intersection with Mill River Street to Summer Street. Washington Boulevard will be closed from its intersection with Main Street to North Street.

The Office of Operations Engineering Bureau said the contractor of Trump Parc is completing a slab for the building's 11th story and needs to raise a crane in order to construct additional floors. The luxury condominium tower is slated to be 34 stories.

Trump Parc, you'd better be worth all the trouble you're causing me, because, so far, I am hating you.
Click here to read more.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Steak, Pool, and Excess at Dunn's Loft

Last Saturday I finally played pool at Dunn's Loft. In a previous post, I wrote,
The pool table is in great shape, maybe because Dunn’s Loft is very new and very upscale. Rather than sloppy young drunks in baseball caps, I picture nicely-dressed 30 year old couples- not married!- playing in a self-assured yet subtly flirtatious way.
Well darned if that wasn't me, except I'm married, and so was the other couple we played with. I had way too much fun. The drinks do seem to flow at Dunn's, so take it easy. Those cosmos ain't small, people.

The bar is a good place to sit and listen to Vinnie Ferrone, the guitarist who plays on the weekend. He did some Tom Petty covers that were great. I've actually got a big crush on Tom Petty due to his days in the Traveling Wilburys. That was 1988, but whatever.

Related posts:

--Stamford Steak Awards 2008- March

--Stamford Restaurant: Dunn’s Loft... Steak!- January 2008
Click here to read more.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Singer Songwriters in Greenwich!

Thataway, I am impressed.
One of the reasons I started Stamford Talk was my dismay at the lack of local music. Well, Thataway Cafe's Songwriter's Den is not in Stamford, but Greenwich Avenue is close enough. Every Thursday the restaurant has a singer/songwriter perform at 8:30. From the website, it doesn't look like it's the 'one depressing person with a guitar' type of music. The Fairfield Weekly featured tonight's songwriter in their weekly event roundup, and it sounds awesome.

Here's text from Thataway's site. Thataway, you rock, and your food is pretty well-priced. And, your burgers are good. And, I like your waitstaff.

The Songwriter's Den is a new music venue happening every Thursday Night at Thataway Cafe in Greenwich, CT. A home for Singer/ Songwriter's where they can present their own original material in a warm artist friendly setting.

Since its inception in November of 2006 it has been gaining momentum with strong performances and some of the best singer songwriter's on the circuit.

Come on by to Thataway Cafe located at 409 Greenwich Ave on a Thursday night. Have a dinner and enjoy a night of great music!

Performing Artist Schedule: April-June

* 4.03.08
Marc Douglas Berardo with Teresa Storch and Chuck E Costa
* 4.10.08
John Cain and Joe Meo
* 4.17.08
Marc Von Em and KJ Denhert
* 4.24.08
Jay Mankita and Artie Tobia
* 5.01.08
Songwriter's Den Montgomery Delaney and Rick Snyder
* 5.22.08
Trina Hamlin
* 5.23.08 - (Saturday night)
John Cain and The Blues Buster's with "Young Blood" RJ.
* 5.29.08
Jenny Goodspeed
* 6.23.08
Blues Busters

I probably can't go because it's the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica, but I haven't finished season 3, so you never know what will happen in my household tonight. I know Battlestar Galactica sounds dorky, but if I like it, it has to be OK, because I hate everything. BG is kind of like Lost, because so far we only know who a few of the cylons are, so the suspense is, who are the other cylons posing as humans?

Related Stamford Talk posts:
--Cold Stamford: No Love for the Music?- September 3, 2007

--Mystery, Power: Stamford and the Island of Lost- March 4, 2008

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Praise for Recycling and Trash Bins

Manager Mom has an informative post up about Stamford recycling. I’m not sure where the Katrina Mygatt recycling center is, or if I’m allowed in, but the info is on her blog if I need it, and I appreciate that. I am outraged that MM bashes our new garbage bins, but overall, the woman is a trusted source on many topics.

I had a big problem with our new trash bins when they came out in September, but the bin has really grown on me. I can easily fit pizza boxes in it, and pieces of small furniture. Cool.

Just the other day, I was pleased to see a uniform row of tall trash bins stretching up both sides of Colonial Ave. I felt proud to be in a city that manages its garbage in such an organized, clinical way. It’s like we’re robots, and what’s more organized than a robot?

If anyone hates their Toter bin, let us know, because I love when people go crazy over small things.

Related Stamford Talk Posts:

--Revisiting Stamford's New Garbage Cans- December 2007

--Toter, Toter, Trash and Trouble- October 2007
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

On Dog Names: Alcone Marketing Blog

Speaking of dogs... I found a local blog that is a lot cooler than you'd expect. Alcone, a marketing company based in Darien, has a blog called Consumer Lab. They post the latest surveys and studies on a huge variety of topics. A post about trends in dog names caught my attention today. Evidently dog-like names (Spot) are out and human names (Sasha, Murray) are in.

I'm totally OK with that. Lars would be a great name for a German Shepherd. My friend has a mini-dachshund named Ellie, pictured above. I have a dog named Ruby, which makes sense because she's from West Virginia and acts like an old woman. In a previous post I mentioned Laverne and her brother Gilly, short for Gilmore. Those names are perfect for eccentric, lovable French bulldogs.

What I can't tolerate are human names that obviously aren't made to do double-duty. For example, Justin. I knew a dysfunctional, aggressive shepherd mix named Justin; so wrong. The name Michelle would be another name that's not OK in my book. Gretchen would be OK, because that's an unusual name. Harry for a dog would be OK, but Bob is stretching it. Jennifer, no; Jenny, yes. I think I can generalize and say that if you're going to give a dog a human name, it needs to be a little quirky. Or, as this list of popular names shows, it should be a cute name that ends in -ie or -y: Molly, Buddy, Annie, Cody.

The Alcone site is a great resource for conversation topics. Several articles are posted a day, so it's worth putting on your RSS feed. Getting your blogs and news by RSS feed is a must-do for information hounds. I'm too lazy to explain it, so have someone at work show you how to do it.

My friend Misty, a photographer, took the picture of her dog Ellie, above.
Click here to read more.