Friday, May 29, 2009

Barcelona Stamford Open Tonight!

So go and suck down a bunch of Sangria para mi!

I'm actually in Virginia for the next week, but will still be blogging once I
a) figure out Internet here
b) find the Target and go buy a bouncy seat for Baby Stamford Talk so I can have a little more hands free time. Even 5 minutes helps!
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Block an Intersection... and Pay!

Turfgrrl at has a post up about the CT Senate passing a bill, submitted by Stamford lawmakers, that allows towns over 50,000 to fine people for "blocking the box." The bill might not pass the House of Reps, though, because Senators from smaller towns like Wilton want the bill to apply to them, too.
I'd love to see this bill pass. We all know (and hate) the drivers that do this, because it often ties up traffic in areas that are already bad. People block intersections when they are frustrated about how long they've been waiting and try to sneak through... and don't make it. I say, fine away.

Sure, we all probably at some point in time, in an unfamiliar area, have blocked an intersection and endured the withering stares of other drivers. But I'd guess the majority of offenders know the intersections pretty well, and try to sneak because of careless impatience.
At the Bull's Head intersection by John the Baker, I now make it a habit to only cross the intersection when I see that there is room for my car. That area by the bank, at Long Ridge going north, has little room for error, and I don't want to piss off my fellow Stamfordites. Or put my baby in any way/shape/form of danger.

What other areas are bad for this? Sometimes at Summer and Broad, right?
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greenwich: Golf 'n Gay Marriage

Thank you to Chris of Lunch Break Chronicles for pointing out this article about Greenwich that reinforces every stereotype of Greenwich that you can think of.
Evidently the Brunswick (all boys private school) golf team was going to be late for their match on Fisher's Island, NY because of a deadly accident on 95. So, of course, one of the kids' dads produced a charter plane in a jiff. Now, I have to tell you; I teach in Greenwich, and the kids I teach are lovely. That's why these little news items about Greenwich don't bug me; I know they are bizarre exceptions. Most people in Greenwich are normal Joes; they just happen to have really well-paying jobs that allow them to afford homes there. And the kids are just regular kids... who go on way nicer vacations than most people. I pretty much unabashedly love Greenwich.
I threw in the "Gay Marriage" part of the post title because of the alliteration, and the oddity that Greenwich is becoming known not just for wealth, but for being a same sex wedding destination. With CT legalizing gay marriage, Greenwich is the closest place to NYC, and no doubt has some great places for receptions!
Read more if you want to hear more about the golf outing. There are some funny lines. No adults would be quoted for the article; I wonder if they realized how high-falutin' this article was going to make them seem.

From the Advocate:
"We were going to have to bag it. It would have been a bummer. I just called my dad. He has a friend who has a couple of puddle-jumper planes," said Conor Kenny, 18, the team's senior captain.
Messages seeking comment from Jim Stephens, the assistant coach who went on the flight, were left at his home and office. Efforts to reach Anthony Fischetti, the team's head coach, were unsuccessful. Tim Ostrye, the school's athletic director, declined to comment about the flight.
Kenny said he didn't know how much the flight cost his dad, who is a bond salesman, but said that it wasn't that much because his dad knows the charter company owner.
"(My dad) assured Mr. Stephens it was not outrageously expensive," Kenny said. "He just kind of saved the day."
Kenny's father, Michael, could not be reached for comment Friday. His wife said he was playing golf.

Hee hee! You just have to giggle at that last line.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thai Chi, Formerly Plateau: Loving It!

We have really been liking Thai Chi, formerly Plateau and owned/run by the same people as Duo, for delivery recently. The new menu has many of the old dishes (pad thai, mango chicken), but seems to have more American-palate friendly food like sesame chicken and a more generic stir-fried beef dish. I say generic, but the food is delicious and the ingredients of very good quality. I appreciate the fact that the broccoli I steal off my husband's plate is bright green and not overcooked. There is also a bunch of sushi on the menu, 18 stir fry options, and 4 curries. Thai Chi is a great option for flavorful, interesting, and as-good-as-but-not-as-expensive-as-Duo food.

Verdict: Go to Duo (my official favorite restaurant, beating out Napa because Napa really is pretty pricy) for special meals and nice dinners, but Thai Chi more casual nights... and delivery! The pad thai is delicious. Click here for a full menu!
Click here to read more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Even If You Are Wearing Nice Jewelry, You Have to Wait to Mail Stuff

What is it about post office and post office type places that bring out the worst in people… including me?

I come in to the UPS store on High Ridge (with baby sleeping in stroller) after an old lady and before a middle aged man.
UPS Man is helping two ladies who have some complex things they need notarized. A couple more people come in; now 4 or 5 of us are waiting. As always in a post office-like place, tension is in the air; no one likes mailing stuff.

UPS Woman comes to counter: “Who’s next?”
I point: “The... lady in the vest.” (I didn’t want to say, “The old lady.”)
So, UPS Man and Woman are both busy helping people. I’m standing in between the UPS Man and Woman, feeling pretty good, knowing I’ll be next, knowing that the next guy in line knows that I’m next.
As the guy and I are waiting relatively patiently, an older-middle aged lady, dressed nicely and talking on her cell phone, comes in, glances at me, walks by me, and stands really close to the old lady.
OK…, I think to myself. Maybe she knows the old lady, and that is why she is so close to the UPS Woman.

Then I hear the UPS Woman: “I see it, ma’am, but I’m helping this lady, so you need to wait.”
The nicely dressed lady is pushing her envelope across the counter toward the UPS Woman: “But it’s just a drop off.”
“I can see that, but I’m helping this lady, and anyway, you’re talking on your cell phone.”
Me, chiming in bitchily: “Plus, I’M next.”
UPS lady: “And that lady was here first, and she also has a dropoff.”
(I didn’t even know I had a dropoff, and I wondered if the UPS Woman was just saying that to have one more reason not to help the lady decked out in all the tasteful gold jewelry- no, I’m serious, it was tasteful.)

The UPS Woman finished up with the old lady, then processed me super fast while the lady with the gold jewelry stood there (probably ready to try to cut in front of the guy who was waiting after me).

This unnecessarily tense encounter me reminded me of a time at the Riverside (Greenwich) post office, where a guy was a total jerk to the clerk, and I yelled at him when he turned around to try to get one of us to agree with him. I shouted something like, “We're all waiting too, but you’re the only one acting like a big baby.”

I think people procrastinate the distasteful task of mailing something (God forbid you have to TAPE up a box, because I don’t think all post offices have thick tape you can use), then when they finally go to mail it, they go on their lunch break when they have no time. Inevitably, someone freaks out.

You wouldn’t think mailing stuff is hard, but it kind of is, and it always seems like a customer tries to pull something crazy.

That reminds me: Last night I dreamed I found two guns in a women's bathroom. One was scary, but the other one was nice, so I fired it a couple of times in the bathroom, not really caring if I was scaring people.
Click here to read more.

Friday, May 22, 2009

People of Stamford... Trustworthy?

Something sort of funny happened when I was walking at Cove Beach last Friday afternoon. A friend and I were strolling with our babies. We stopped to feed them, then got up from the bench and put the babies back in their strollers.
Me: "OK, I have my car keys, my cell phone- I always have to check myself."
We kept walking for a few minutes, then I went to get my sunscreen out of my backpack... which I realized I'd left sitting on the bench.

I didn't panic too much- my wallet was the only valuable thing in my diaper backpack, and you can always cancel cards, but I'd rather not lose my $70 skiphop backpack with my $35 nursing cover in it, not to mention all the baby's supplies.
I jogged back toward the bench, trying to spot the backpack, only seeing empty benches, and wondering if someone had either just taken it, or taken it to one of the buildings at Cove Beach. Finally, I spotted it really far away. People were just walking right by the bench, taking no notice of the backpack. As I approached the bench, a man went toward it... and sat down and tied his shoe. No one gave that backpack a second glance, which sort of surprised me. I guess the "any unidentified bag will be taken away and destroyed" rule only applies to airports.
Me to the shoe-tier: "I remembered the baby, forgot the backpack."
Man shrugs: "Lesser of two evils, I guess."

I was happy to learn that Stamford- at least the Cove Beach walking portion- are a trustworthy (and slightly sarcastic) bunch. I guess anyone who's walking at the beach at 3:30 on Friday, rather than working, is going to feel pretty happy and not steal things.
Click here to read more.

Mexican Food In, Pier 1 Out!

People who are out and about tell me that Mary Ann's Mexican is open on Summer St. (with sangria and margaritas!) and that Pier 1, on Summer by Ridgeway Shopping Center, is CLOSING. Maybe you can get a good deal on some wicker furniture.

It just occurred to me that it's odd to have a Mexican restaurant right by a Spanish restaurant- sure the food's price point is (I'd assume) different- Barcelona is pretty pricy- but both places sell sangria... and that's the important part, let's be honest.

But finally, we have Mexican food downtown! Of course, there's always Ole Mole up on High Ridge. I got lunch there today and it was pretty tasty.
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

30 Rock's Take on the Stamford Chimp?

Did anyone else feel a little uncomfortable watching a recent 30 Rock episode called "The Natural Order" that featured a gibbon (small monkey) that ended up attacking Jenna? Don't get me wrong, it was one of the funniest episodes I've seen in a long time- it was Tracy Morgan-centric, which always makes for a great show. The gibbon was in a side plot, but it reminded me a little too much of the Stamford chimp (large monkey) attack. Here's what happens:

Tracy brings in a gibbon to replace him to make a statement about how they treat him like a child. He ditches the gibbon after the point is made, and Jenna (played by the brilliant Jane Krakowski) adopts it, names it "Little Jenna," and gives it a baby doll that the monkey believes is its real baby. Near the end of the episode, Jenna and Little Jenna are dressed up as sailors, and Jenna swings her arm, knocking off the baby doll's head. The monkey freaks and tries to "mate with [Jenna's] face." Watch that clip here.

I had to tell myself that surely writer/producer/actor Tina Fey would not condone such a crude joke. Before the chimp attack in Stamford, I never would have known a monkey/chimp/ape/whatever could be violent, and I would have found the image of Jenna fighting off the monkey funny. Instead, I felt a little awkward, wondering if they were playing off that news story.

Watch the full, hilarious episode or a partial clip of Jenna meeting the monkey.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Burger and Bordeaux Thursdays at Stamford's Napa & Co

Ohhhhhhhhh yeah! Thursdays are Burger & Bordeaux Night at Napa! For $35, you get the $24 burger (and yummy fries), a salad, and a glass of red. You can bet Baby Stamford Talk will be availing himself of this special in June, when his mommy might be a little less paranoid about germs. BABY WANTS BOOB BURGER.

You may recall this is the "Burger-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" on, the national food site, which, absurdly, won't allow mention of this burger online. It's a silly choice by Chow, if you ask me.

I think Chow might be mad at me, because my login info is not working, and I'm pretty sure I have it right.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Using a Dog Scooter to Help Abandoned Dogs

I went walking with some other new moms at Cove Island Beach yesterday. We saw this guy zooming along on his dog-propelled scooter:

His dog, Daisy, is a rescue- probably part pit bull, lab and Rhodesian. She's compact but very, very strong, and the scooter lets her take out all her energy by pulling along her very tall owner. The man stopped to talk to us, and when he gave Daisy the signal to get started again, she could not roll out of there fast enough! The dog clearly loves to run.
If I were a real journalist, I would have asked him name and planned a follow up interview, but I'm just a blogger. The Greenwich Time featured the man and Daisy a while ago, which is how I knew this was a fancy, custom-made dog-powered scooter. What's even cooler-
(Oh shoot! I just found a whole article about the guy! He's actually Craig Swan, a former Mets pitcher who lives in Old Greenwich.)

Anyway, what's even cooler is that Mr. Swan is working with dogs at Stamford Animal Control on Magee Ave to train them to use his scooter. That skill might give a dog a little boost as far as making it a more desirable dog to someone. I think it's great that he's out and about on his scooter, talking it up and talking up other dogs that need to be adopted.

Here's a better pic of Daisy:

It was actually pretty darn chilly at Cove, but the rest of the week is supposed to be beautiful. I can't think of a better outdoor place than Cove- not even Tod's Point in Greenwich, because that place has too many cars!

After Memorial Day weekend, you need your parks and rec sticker to park at Cove, so head over to 888 Wash, first floor, and bring your registration and $20 to get your sticker!
Click here to read more.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stamford Dog Park Open!

According to a friend: We walked up, construction appears to have finished, except for the water fountains. I walked around the perimeter to be sure the fences are safe. They are, so off we went. I don't know if it's officially open, but there wasn't any sign that says, "open June 1" or anything. Also, there were other dogs there. Keep reading to see pictures!

Click here to read more.

Bring Me My Sidewalk!

I live in the neighborhoods near Oaklawn Ave in Bulls Head, so I'm thrilled there's a plan for sidewalks. The public will be able to view the plan tonight at the Stamford Gov't Center. Oaklawn is really, really unsafe for anyone stupid enough to walk on the very small amount of grass beside the road, on which people drive far faster than the posted 25mph speed limit. My husband and I walked on Oaklawn one time when we walked to Dairy Queen, and it felt so unsafe that we tried to figure out if it was feasible to cut through Oaklawn Cemetery and the woods behind it. Probably not the best idea since CT is Tick Central.

More details from the Advocate news item:

Residents of Oaklawn Avenue will get their first chance to see details of a long-awaited project to install more sidewalks on the heavily-travelled street at an information hearing Monday night at the Stamford Government Center. The public information hearing is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m., in the fourth floor cafeteria of the government center at 888 Washington Blvd.

Residents contend that the sidewalks along the route are long overdue given heavy traffic stemming from the street's role as a cut-through street between Newfield Avenue and High Ridge Road, a heavily developed business area.

In the recently finalized Stamford Traffic Calming Master Plan, a citywide review of traffic problems, residents of the area ranked pedestrian safety, a lack of sidewalks, heavy traffic, and speeding as top problems for residents.
Click here to read more.

Stamford Talk Delivers 95 Traffic DUH

The Advocate tells me that "Exit 4 traffic disruptions may last until next spring." This is one of many reasons I will only ever live in Stamford or Greenwich as long as my husband and I work in Stamford/Greenwich. The year we lived in Norwalk, I almost lost my mind sitting in traffic. (I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say I'll rent in Stamford for the rest of my life rather than buy in Norwalk.) I haven't had too many problems at exit 4- I've learned to watch my back and not go under the bridge while I'm beside a speeding, huge, rickety tractor trailer who can't stay in the swervily-drawn lanes. I don't drive on 95 much these days, but for those of you who DO have to go on 95 and deal with exit 4 on a regular basis, listen to this ABSURD tip from a state cop:
DOT officials also said motorists could play a part in preventing back-ups along the interstate. "There are signs telling people to bear left because the right lanes are closed," [state cop Lt. Vance] said. "Instead you get drivers trying to get ahead, and it creates this backup where people go right to the very end and then try to sneak in at the bottle neck. If the traveling public obeyed those patterns when they saw the warning signs, there really wouldn't be as much of a problem." Well, DUH.

If human beings, with human brains, and human stress levels, didn't exist, we wouldn't have punks speeding by the long lines of people who dutifully merge when they are supposed to. I can only shake my head at him pointing out that if all people were nice and respectful, we wouldn't have so many traffic issues. Duh, duh, DUH.

The article promises another year of construction at exit 4, and that's the only advice?
Click here to read more.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Food Critic/Author Ruth Reichl in Darien

My favorite local independent bookstore, Barrett Bookstore in Darien, is hosting food critic/author Ruth Reichl this Thursday, May 21 at 7pm at the Darien Community Association. I have read all of Reichl's books, and loved Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise the best, because it was about her having to go undercover as the New York Times food critic. Baby Stamford Talk has his 2 month shots that Thursday, so I'll be home crying and watching my baby for signs of a reaction, but you foodies should go check out RR.

From the official event flyer:


Reservations recommended
Darien Community Association 203-655-9050.
274 Middlesex Road, Darien, CT 06820

Barrett Bookstore 203-655-2712

Ruth Reichl’s journey from childhood, mortified by her mother’s disastrous cooking, to her current position as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine has been chronicled in her best-selling memoirs. These accounts of her personal and professional life are told in Ms. Reichl’s signature style – a winning combination of humor, disdain for pretension, and passion for food - that has delighted her many fans for years. With her fourth book, "Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way," Reichl now looks backward and inward in an attempt to understand and explain her mother, both to herself and to us.

Ms. Reichl will be at the Darien Community Association on Thursday evening at 7:00 pm, May 21 to speak and to sign copies of her books. "Reading my mother's letters and diaries, I met her not as my mother, but as one adult woman meeting another," says Reichl. "I had to give up the mother I thought I knew to embrace this new, much more interesting person. What I discovered was that my mother was far more self aware than I ever realized, and that she had a vision of what might be possible for a woman. Life did not allow her to realize her dreams, but she hoped things would be different for me."
Click here to read more.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Empanadas y Sangria a Barcelona: Que Bueno!

Cool! Barcelona Wine Bar in Greenwich is doing an empanadas class tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm. $20 covers the class AND sangria, which I HOPE would be unlimited. Call 203-983-6400 to reserve a spot in the class. Barcelona is definitely on my "so glad I can finally drink again" list. First on that list, though, are the caipirinhas at Avenida, also in Greenwich!

Here's more detailed info:

Come Let Barcelona's Executive Chef Ulises Jimenez and Culinary Director Adam Halberg Teach You to Make Empanadas! The perfect party food, the perfect snack food, the perfect fill-you-up food of Latin America: Empanadas. Learn to make the dough, a variety of fillings and sauces as well as how to create and cook the empanadas while sipping on Sangria with your friends at Barcelona Restaurant.

$20 per person, includes drinks, dinner and instruction.
Call 203.983.6400 to reserve your spot in the class.

PS- You can follow Barcelona on twitter, like I do.

Related Stamford Talk post:
--May 29, 2008-- Best Caipirinhas of Mi Vida at Avenida in Greenwich
Click here to read more.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Emeril at Barnes and Noble This Evening!

It might be fun to swing by and get a peek at Emeril if you're at the mall today! It's shaping up to be a beautiful Friday, so be sure to get outdoors!

Emeril Lagasse's Book Signing
Today, Friday, May 15 6:00p
at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Stamford, CT
Meet renowned chef Emeril Lagasse for his eagerly awaited new book, "Emeril At The Grill: A Cookbook for All Seasons."

Thanks to my awesome, more-in-the-know reader for the tip.
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Newfield Starbucks to Close?

I heard a vicious rumor- well, I'm pretty sure it's fact- that my Newfield Starbucks is going to close. I use the term "my" loosely, because pregnancy and a newborn have limited how much caffeine I've been able to imbibe over the past year, but I really liked having a Starbucks in Stamford with convenient parking for a quick coffee run. At busy times of day, the Summer St. and Ferguson Library Starbucks only seem worth the park and walk if you are running other errands. However, those two stores, unlike the Newfield one, are busier, so I can't blame them for closing Newfield. The Newfield area seems to be crazier about Dunkin' Donuts.
The High Ridge Starbucks is often too crowded, with nary a seat for two, but they have parking- I guess I'll go there, although the 2 mile trip there can seem like 20 if the baby decides to scream!

A mom at my playgroup shared a good tip: the drive thru at Donut Delite for coffee, so you don't have to haul your kid out of the car!
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Music This Weekend: Daria Musk

Yes!!! I finally got two good 3 hour stretches of sleep for the first time in a few days, so I can stay awake while baby takes his third sleep session of, if I'm lucky, 2 hours. He could wake up any second, though, so here I go.

One of my Tweople (Twitter friends), Daria Musk, is playing at Fairfield Theatre Company this Sunday. From the FTC site: Fresh from The Paradise in Boston and The Mercury Lounge in NYC, people are talking about Daria Musk. Producer Bob Power (Erykah Badu)says, Daria is "one of the most effortless singers I've ever heard. You can hear her smile when she sings. Killer guitar-player, too." And here's what PULP magazine says about her: If there’s anyone to keep your eye on it’s her.

Plus, look at her, she's gorgeous!
If I were a guy, I would ask a girl out on a date to this show. I think it would make you look cool.
The show is Sunday, May 17, at 7:30 PM, and tickets are 5 buckaroonis. (You can't buy online, so just show up.)

Follow me on twitter at stamfordtalk, and follow Daria at dariamusk!

And here is a gratuitous shot of my perfect angel baby:

Seriously he is amazing.
Well, he's probably just an ordinary baby, but I'm enjoying him.
Click here to read more.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Napa and Co. Storms the Web!

(Do they still call it "the web"?)
Cool! Napa and Co. just followed me on Twitter, which made me realize they just started a blog. I hope they keep up their internet presence, because they are a great resto and I know there are good minds behind the place! (Unfortunately, blogging also takes time, and only the most committed tend to keep it up.)
I somehow doubt, though, that Napa will do what I most would like them to do... Twitter or blog when there's a celeb in the resto? Well... maybe they could just direct message me on Twitter! So far we've had Steve Martin, DeNiro, Billy Bob, Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen at Napa... anyone else?

Reminder to all: I am extremely subtle in my celeb stalking- I do not act like a crazy fool. You can trust me with your tipoffs. When I watched DeNiro film his scene at Stamford train station, may I remind you that I averted my eyes whenever he got anywhere near me so he would not feel like I was watching him. And I've run into Dave Matthews a bunch of times (well, 3) and I played it TOTALLY COOL every time, quickly averting my eyes so he could continue his strolling/grocery shopping/breakfast. That was in Charlottesville, Va.

So, Napa and Co, if you DM me on Twitter, I will NEVER reveal that you did so, and I'll somehow blog the celeb sighting as if I stumbled upon it myself, or pretend a reader tipped me off. Or is that unethical blogging? I really don't like lying and I am really bad at it.
Click here to read more.