Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What to Put in a Tourist Video of Stamford?

I’m blogging live from Mississippi this week, fueled by Cheezits and Sunkist!

I'm very suspicious of press releases, because it means someone wants something from me, but I got one that I'm going to share because it relates to our city and some of the good and bad things about Stamford we've been discussing here. And, most importantly, there is a prize involved.

Good Magazine emailed to suggest I tell my readers about their contest. I'll steal their very succinct words: "...Good Magazine is launching a project to encourage people to show off their hometowns and highlight what makes them stand apart from any other blip on a map. Anyone interested in serving as a tour guide for their neighborhood can submit a video to Good that showcases their favorite local spots and answers the question “What is it that would make someone want to travel to where you are?” The most illuminating tour guide will be rewarded with two roundtrip domestic plane tickets to anywhere JetBue flies."

So, what would we put in our Stamford video? Let's get a list going!

I am tempted to make one. I was also tempted to not tell you all so I could beat you out and win the tickets, but then I realized, I am probably too lazy to make the video, and it's so much easier just to have someone I know do it. With that said, I'm going to think about making a video. I'd put in Cove Beach, Capriccio, the Avon, Alive at Five, um... duh, those are all obvious...

However... not to bash Stamford... but the description says, "What would make someone want to travel to where you are?" What do we have here that would draw people in for a visit? You could certainly make a good summer weekend out of Alive at Five, lunch at Capriccio, day at the beach, dinner at Napa, but what else? We have the shore, but you can't easily rent a kayak anywhere, can you? Non-residents can get a $20 day pass to the beach, but I’ve only seen kayaks up for grabs at a Rocky Point Yacht Club in Greenwich. I fear you’d have to have some bucks to have a good time on a visit here. (Or, know someone with a boat.)

About Good Magazine. Their website looks a bit like New York Magazine, but it's not geographically focused, so it's a little scattered. I googled it and found a blurb about them from 2006: "Launching nationwide this Fall, GOOD magazine strives to elevate the level of debate among its target demographic of intelligent, ambitious, youthful people aged 21 through 35... GOOD is focused on the people, ideas, and institutions affecting change in the world. The magazine intends to examine the intersection of idealism and capitalism, and living well by doing “good”. GOOD will serve as a platform for talented contributors and writers to bring to the forefront issues and ideas that matter."

Looking at their website, I couldn't see that focus, so in your video, I wouldn't worry about trying to- well, maybe you should try to aim the video toward young do-gooders. You know, make it seem like we care about politics and/or the environment.

But um... is Stamford really the place for that population? We have got a lot of intelligent, ambitious, youthful people, but I don't see them doing much good; I see them drinking out at Tigin after making money all day. (Oh snap, did I just say that?) You can’t debate that Stamford has the capitalism covered.

About that idealism. Today in the car I said to my sis, “I wish my only job was to blog about Stamford and be a Stamford expert. If it was, I would interview people and... be an ESL volunteer.” Selfishly, I’d like to work with a Haitian person so I can practice my French and learn Kreyol. Oh man, I am so not good!

Does one have to be good to be idealistic?


maura said...

Highlight the summer sculpture around downtown and the year round proximity to NYC.

If you are looking to volunteer, the Ferguson Library has an ESL Conversation Group that meets on Wednesdays.

Mr. Z said...

Hmm, so let me get this straight.

The contest is that you create a commercial telling everyone why they should visit your town because it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The prize is 2 plane tickets so that you can leave your town and visit someplace else you'd rather be?


Anonymous said...

I'd emphasize how Stamford is comprised of so many diverse geographic areas--woodsy North Stamford, the coastal sections, the corporate-flavored downtown, the named neigborhoods (e.g., Glenbrook, Shippan)--and such a multitude of ethnic groups, all in a relatively small city.

Manager Mom said...

Hah! Mr. Z, your powers of observation are sharp indeed.

I'd put the Chestnut Hill playground, the Downtown where Napa and Co is, pancakes at the Parkway diner, Sunday afternoon soccer at Cummings Park. kind of boring for tourists,but such is my life.

Kieran Hawe said...

I would feature the wonderful transportation system - bumper-to-bumper traffic on i95, the antiquated railroad system and of course we cant forget how it takes 25 minutes to get through downtown Stamford.

Anonymous said...

This may not be applicable for the video, but I always thought someone should put together a "Walk Stamford: Kinder Gentler Urban Living" tour that would be the anti bed-and-breakfast weekend. Accomodations either downtown or v. close to downtown. Everything would be within walking distance. Avon Theatre, the Stamford Mall, the Palace Theatre and Rich Forum, Mill River Park (once it's finished, supposedly will offer kayaking as well as fishing docks), Ferguson Library, downtown restaurants, farmer's market. Little sightseeing trips could be made via SmartCar (green!)to Stamford Nature Center, Go Vertical (climbing gym), Scalzi Park, Cove Island Park, Shippan Point, Stamford Twin Rinks (ice skating!) the exclusive island where Buckley used to live, house of worship row, etc. etc. You get the idea.

Spike and Roxy said...

A tour video? Hmmmm....who would have the tools & resources to put one of those together. : )

But all you get is two plane tickets? (With the distinct possibility you'll be seated in the lavatory.)

Amanda said...

How about we do a walking crane tour of Stamford?

Anonymous said...

Cove Island Park. It's a gem,no matter what the season.