Thursday, October 30, 2008

Curses Upon Norwalk, Halloween, and Traffic

I credit my husband for shepherding me through my foul mood this evening. I've been headachy and tired the past couple of days, so by evening, I'm fried. Tonight, my husband did not fall prey to my whining and pity-partying. He did not let me ruin his mood, and then he helped me blow up purple balloons for my Halloween costume. (I'm a bunch of grapes.)

The afternoon started off innocently enough. I drove to Norwalk at 4pm- only a 6 mile back up from exits 9 to 15- not bad, because often it's a 14 mile back up! I got my purple shirt (base of grape bunch) at American Apparel in SoNo, then decided to take the Merritt home so I could swing by CRUMBS and get us some cupcakes for dessert. DISASTER!!!! The Merritt was totally backed up. (See photo- don't worry, I was at a dead stop.) It took me an hour to get from exit 40 to 37 where I exited and took back roads home to Stamford.

Here is what I was thinking as I sat in traffic:
This is why I cannot ever live in Norwalk again.
I want to ram this ATT van in front of me, because my cell service sucks.
I hate everyone.
I am never going to Norwalk again. I'm boycotting it.
I'm tired.
I don't feel good.
I am so frustrated that I feel like sobbing.
It is a miracle of self-control that I am not crying.
I have to make my Halloween costume when I get home and I don't know if I can deal with it emotionally.

It's 9pm and we sort of finished my costume. I'm going to have to have my coworkers pin my grapes on me when I get to work in the morning. I certainly can't drive with 30 balloons pinned to my torso. Yes, I'm going to work in costume. I'm not sure I could survive the day in normal clothes, because I have to spend 7 hours in a building with 750 11-13 year olds, most of whom will be in costume. All you can hope to do is to out-crazy them. That's why I'm going looking like I have 30 purple boobs. I'm also hoping my grapes will form a protective Zen bubble around me.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Psych! Stamford CRUMBS Open Right Now!

My friend said her Mom just called and is there. ALERT: My friend's Mom did NOT get free cupcakes, but she got free coffee. What the heck? This company got us worked up for free cupcakes and that was just a tease? Rrrrr. Oh well. Don't believe the hype.

I'm booked 'til after dinner tonight, but maybe I'll see if the husband wants to go there for dessert. Although, are cupcakes really for night time? Aren't cupcakes more of a daytime food? Whatever. I'll do it in the name of Stamford Talk.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Update 10/29: Chris at Lunch Break Chronicles reports that CRUMBS is opening Thursday! Rumors are rampant that CRUMBS bakeshop is opening today (Tuesday). I myself sorta doubt it, because this rain would be a bit of a bummer for a big opening, but you never know. In fact, I will not know, because I have to go to work. A cupcake store opening on a Tuesday morning does me no good. For those of you with a flexible enough schedule to stalk a cupcake store, well, I hate you, and I'm jealous, but do let me know if you see any bakeshop activity today!

I snapped a few pics of a wrapped-in-secrecy CRUMBS when I hit Starbucks on Saturday for a pumpkin spice latte. The windows are covered with brown paper so you can't get a peek inside. There was a little open space near the floor, and I did briefly contemplate getting down on my hands and knees and putting my face against the concrete to get a glimpse and/or a photo, but there were a lot of people out and about, and I did not want to look like a total freak. Actually, it was more because my husband was there, and he's easily embarrassed. Plus, I did not want to risk getting a tear on the knee of my favorite jeans.

I've gotta say, isn't this a bad time of year to open a bake shop? Aren't we all already freaking out about how much candy and baked goods that are already around? Or is it just my coworkers who inexplicably bring in bags of candy and put them out in highly trafficked areas? I've already had to cut myself off from the sugar train. I'm trying to go until Friday without eating candy. I think I'm gonna be able to do it.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stamford Area Brunches: Diner Alternatives

A lot of people love diners, but when I think of where to go for brunch, diners fall short in comparison to nicer places that are not much more expensive.

I'm on an anti-diner kick. We had friends in town a couple of weeks ago, so we went out for brunch at Parkway Diner on High Ridge. The pancakes I got seemed like they had been fried in loads of oil. Rather than fluffy and cakey, they were heavy and thin, and their edges were visibly oil-soaked. I ate them, of course, because they were pancakes, and I was hungry. The diner was packed, so I assume it's a popular place. Was this just a one-time fluke of pancake horror?
Other local diners:
--Springdale Diner: only been once.
--Curley's Diner: I'm scared of it. Is that crazy?
--Bull's Head Diner: enh.
--Lakeside Diner: a little better; tiny, but the food is good. See Chowhound reviews. Also, pics from a local blogger.
--City Limits Diner: a lot of people love it, but I just think it's OK. It's a diner. Like all diners, it specializes in large amounts of average food. That's nice sometimes, but not when you have better options.

I can recommend a few non-diners for brunch in the FC:

--Margot Cafe and Wine Bar. We haven't been there in a couple of months because my husband's disappointment when they are out of the quiche of the day is a pretty sad sight. Margot has a nice little brunch menu at what I think are excellent prices for the quality of food.

--My husband loves Tavern on Main in Westport. (We lived in Norwalk for one terrible year, so ate in Norwalk and Westport a lot.) The food is just damn good and the atmosphere is cozy. They've got fireplaces!!! It's great for the cooler times of the year.

--River House Tavern in Westport. We went there last Sunday, and despite there being 3 bees near my table, ducks with Elvis haircuts (I'm so not joking) swimming outside, and the waiter messing up my husband's French toast order, the brunch was very good. My spinach-cheese omelet was 12 bucks; compare that to 8 or 9 bucks at a diner, and the nicer, quieter atmosphere might be worth it to you. (Minus the bees.) I’ll blog more about RT later, because the crowd was so stereotypically upscale FC that I almost could not focus on my food. Let’s just say, I saw an ascot. Plus, I've got to give you a look at those ducks. I took pictures.

--Thataway Cafe on Greenwich Ave is a nice place to go for Sunday brunch. The food is quite good, and you can shop afterwards.

--I know the Greenwich Hyatt has a $55 brunch, but I can’t justify paying that. That is whack. I think Bloody Marys are included, though. It did get voted best brunch in the FC, but is it worth 55 bucks? Actually, maybe it is, if you drink enough Bloody Marys.

--I hear on Chowhound that Saltwater Grille has a $25 brunch buffet. The menu looks OK, but it doesn’t start until 11:30. Note to self: try SWG sometime, even though I have had mixed experiences there.

I rarely go out for brunch. We just eat cereal and frozen waffles, but when we have friends in town, we go out. When I want to treat myself to a decadent breakfast, I drive over to Liz Sue bagels and get a bagel with a double side of veggie cream cheese. That’s what I did this morning. Now I'm craving pancakes after this blog post, but I'll just pop some Eggos in the toaster and drench them in syrup.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Strip Mall on High Ridge a Good Idea?

Uh, isn't that obviously a bad idea? Some dudes want to build a strip mall just across from Town Fair Tire- you know, just north of the Turn of River stop light (the light by Kit's and Dunkin Donuts). If you've ever sat in the 5pm traffic that starts right at that stoplight, you may be a little PO'd that this new set of stores would necessitate another stoplight right at Town Fair. Yes, a city engineer recommended another stoplight to deal with the traffic that would need to turn into the stores. Can you imagine the gridlock on Fridays before holidays? I've seen traffic back up 1/2 mile or more.

I wonder what stores are interested in the proposed mall. I understand that something needs to go into that lot (right now it's just a vacant office building), but I just don't know if an already congested intersection is the right place to put something that will draw a lot more cars.

I do know that we need more shopping downtown, not up near the Merritt. We need to drive less in Stamford. We need to be able to park our cars somewhere where we can eat, shop and chill out for a few hours before getting back in the car. There is nowhere to do this in Stamford except the mall. Bedford St. has food, but only two stores of interest to me: glass and chocolate. (OK, and liquor and bridesmaid dresses.)

Last weekend, I suggested to my husband that we stroll around Stamford. "Stroll where?" he asked. "Bedford St.!" I answered. I wanted to eat outdoors at Capriccio, then walk around and enjoy the weather and pop my head into a few stores. However, my husband declared he had no interest in glass and chocolate. Instead, I drove to Target, then the gym, then Westport to shop. I did not get to enjoy any outdoor time in Stamford.

I reaaaaaaaaaaaaally think they should make Bedford St. more pedestrian friendly, even if only on weekends. Pedestrians need things like clothes, toys and knick-knacks to look at. Instead, we're talking about more shopping far from the center of town.

Oddly, the Advocate article ends by suggesting there is no opposition to this project:
...controversy over the development has died down since last month's public hearing, when many Turn of River Road residents who live behind the property expressed concerns over possible traffic and noise. They subsequently met with representatives of the developers.
By Monday, the handful of residents who showed up at the hearing seemed relatively satisfied. "I arranged the meetings on the first and the second," Turn of River resident Joseph Gabriele told the board. "They came through on everything."
A few still had reservations. "The road is fairly stressed now," said George Shepherd, who also worried about the new traffic light. The redevelopment of 969 High Ridge has been in the works for more than three years.
I think we should be worried about that traffic light. Do you agree, or am I being a paranoid development-phobe?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CRUMBS: No Clue When It's Opening

Most of us have seen the (out of place looking) CRUMBS Bake Shop sign up at the High Ridge Shopping Center. It's not yet open, but my fellow blogger Fairfield County Child is running a contest on her site to give away gift certificates to CRUMBS.

Evidently this NYC-based shop, unbeknownst to me, sells kick heinie cupcakes. According to FCC, CRUMBS has a tradition of giving away 1,000 cupcakes on opening day, starting at 8am. I don't think I'd wait over 15 minutes for a free cupcake (unless other fun people are in line), but not much else goes on in this town, so I'm not counting myself out yet. An opening date has not been announced for CRUMBS, but they better not keep me waiting long, not after this build up. All the hooked-in Stamford women I know will not stop talking about it. The cupcakes cost $3.75, but I hear they are very big, so you can split one with a friend.

I'm entering that giveaway right now, by the way.

Update: Chris over at Lunch Break Chronicles says it might open Tues, Oct. 28.
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Leaf Piles: Fall, FC Style

I've got a couple of posts about food ready- one about pancakes and diners and one about an Italian food face-off, but decadent food is for the weekend. You can’t think about the weekend on Tuesday morning. I’ll talk about the other obvious thing in life: the weather.

When I drive around Greenwich and Stamford in the fall and see the leaf piles start to gather, I think, This is what it's like to live in a place with money.

When I first came up here from Va., all the evidence of money was astonishing: BMWs, Mercedes, huge houses, designer clothes. I’m used to all of that now, but every fall the leaf thing reminds me that I live in a wealthy, high-powered area. Where I'm from, you bag your own leaves. The town will take them away, but you have to put the leaves in the bags first, just like you do with the rest of your trash.

The first fall I lived up here, I watched the piles build. I wasn't sure why people were putting their leaves in the road. Were they hoping the leaves would just rot there? Were they going to bag them up later? Then, one day, a town truck showed up and took away all the leaves. That seemed so luxurious to me.

In the FC, the leaf piles say, "Here are my leaves. I am too busy to bag them myself. You do it." I'm not saying that's bad. I myself am thankful that Stamford takes care of my leaves; I’m allergic to grasses, trees, pollen, and mold. I’m not eager to bag my own leaves and breath in all that dust and dirt. Other people have horrendous commutes and don’t want to do yard work at 8 at night. I think most of us are glad that our taxes pay for leaf removal.

This is New England. Leaves are in the way. I get it. People want their property to look grassy, not mucky with wet, rotted leaves. It’s easier for a town truck to collect and dispose of the leaves, and it’s probably more environmentally responsible.

I don’t begrudge us our leaf removal, but even after 10 years up here, I can’t shake my impression that the magical way the leaves go away is part of living in an area where so many people are available to do things for you: clean your house, massage you, take care of your kids, tutor your kids, wash your dog, walk your dog, make your food, clean your car. I suppose I’d seen that lifestyle on TV, but I’d never seen it in person.

The leaves were one of the first examples I saw of that when I moved up here. Fall is great for so many reasons- the smell, the chill, the football- but it also reminds me of when I first came up here and had to get used to everything.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

People-Watching at Stamford Skatepark

The Scalzi Skatepark closes for the season around Thanksgiving, so go check it out if you haven't yet done so.

It's fun to sit and watch the older (I mean, over 18) dudes do cool tricks, and the younger ones (like, 8, 11) try out their moves in the little bowl. You do sort of feel like a stalker just sitting there, but unless you really are a stalker, I wouldn't worry about it. There are skaters of all ages, from 4- 45, so it's great people-watching. Cove Island Park and Capriccio's outdoor eating area are other ideal people-watching spots while the weather is still decent.

This pic is from Bill Helene, one of the guys on the second half of that age continuum. He's regional director of Skaters for Public Skateparks. You'll often find him at Scalzi Park (location of the Stamford skatepark), skating, taking photos, and in general being a calming presence. (At least I feel better when other people closer to my age- 33*- are around.) Bill is also a photographer and has some great shots of the Stamford skatepark in progress.

You can read more about skateboarding in Stamford under my "Skateboarding" tab.

Related Stamford Talk post:
--Oct 2007-- Fall: Last Days of Outdoor Dining

*I know, can you believe I'm 33? I don't look a day over 29.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Making Spring St., Off Bedford, Two Ways?

Starting Nov.5, Spring St. will be two ways! I know that sounds boring, but since I always drive on that road to go to Capriccio or the Avon, it will affect me. (See Advocate article before it disappears in 2 weeks.)

Spring St goes between Bedford (one way north) and Summer (one way south) right at Capriccio and Chez Jean-Pierre. On Spring, there are 2 parking lots reserved for patrons of Bennett’s steak and some of the smaller stores on Bedford such as the chocolate and glass store. Those storeowners feel that if Spring becomes two way, people will have easier access to their lots. Since the on-street parking on Bedford is usually full, their patrons will be able to go left on Spring, rather than having to go all the way up to North St to come back down Summer to turn left onto Spring.

At first I thought this idea was dumb. I think it's fine the way it is; who really makes a one-stop trip to buy chocolate or glass? I usually do those things after eating at Capriccio, and I’m not sure those stores want people parking for hours in the lot. Plus, we’re going to lose 7-8 super-convenient parking spots on Spring right across from Capriccio.

But now I think, who cares?

A commenter on Topix said it best: Making Spring St. two way may be a good idea, or it may be a bad idea. It's pretty simple to implement, and pretty simple to reverse if it turns out poorly. Many times I have been bothered by having to go up to North St. to turn back to Summer. It's worth a try. If it causes problems, change it back.

Man, that is so reasonable. I love it. It will cost the city $10-15,000 to make the change, but other than that, I don’t really see any problem with the plan. There's cool stuff at the glass store-- like the amaaaaaaazing bracelets I wrote about last winter-- and a two-way Spring will make it easier for out of town glass-buyers to find decent parking. I’m only worried that if Spring is used a lot, traffic might back up onto Bedford or Summer, but what the heck. We’ll see how it goes.

Related Stamford Talk posts:
--Sept 2007-- Schakolad Means Chocolate
--Feb 2008--Beautiful Bracelets I'll Never Wear (because even size small was too big on me- this still saddens me because I love those bracelets)
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So, Can I Go to the Trump Parc Roof or Not?

The headline of this Stamford Times article is "Trump open for viewing" but nowhere does it say, "Anyone who wants to come get a look at the top floors, call 212-555-9595." The article just quotes a Trump Parc spokesman saying how great the view is, then it tells how much apartments cost.

Ah... am I invited to the roof or not?

The article ends with the spokesman saying, "Things are moving along well. With the roof open we wanted to get up there to show off these amazing views."

Show off to whom? Just newspaper reporters? Or anybody?

I have to assume we are all invited, because that is what the headline said.

Do I sound grumpy? I'm mad because my favorite Project Runway contestant did not win. And, my husband and I "disagreed" on the proper way to make grilled cheese. I can't deal with an ambiguous headline right now, especially where Trump is concerned.

You can read about Trump Parc's and my rocky relationship in my "Construction/Development" posts. In addition being angry that the Trump Parc workers let debris crash down onto cars, I once got irritated at another inaccurate headline relating to Trump in the post "I'm Mad at Advocate Headlines, Trump Meeting."
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Spider in Lunchbag: It Was Terrifying, OK?

This is not exactly on the subject of Stamford, but human distaste for spiders is universal.
Last weekend I couldn't sleep. I went into the kitchen at 5am to get a snack. I washed my apple, got a paper towel to rub off any leftover pesticide, then saw a gigantic spider in my lunch bag right beside the paper towels I had just used. (My lunch bag is a foot tall, so do you see how big this spider is?) I leaped back three feet and crouched down a little.

"Oh my god. OK. OK... how am I going to take care of this." I said that out loud, you know, to calm myself and make myself feel like I was not alone.

I'm not ultra-skittish about spiders, but this one was large enough to scare me. Even worse, it was on a soft surface, so I was unsure I could swiftly
a) smash it, or
b) cover it with a glass and use the "glass and paper" method to remove it from the house.
You can't botch the kill/capture of a large spider, because it would be loose, near your hand.

I stood for a couple of seconds, unable to think of a solution. That's rare for me; I'm usually good at spider removal. I ran and got my camera to document the dilemma. I knew I'd want to share and analyze the situation later.

I took the photo, capped my lens, then looked at the spider again. I stuck my head kind of close for a second, just to get a look at him, because he wasn't a type I'd seen before. No dramatic markings. I pulled back to a safer distance.

Here's how I handled it:

1. Gave the lunch bag a tap to assess his jumpiness. If he had moved, of course I would have screamed, but the tap also might have put him in a more capturable or killable position. The spider didn't move at all.
2. I carefully picked up the lunch bag, prepared to throw it far away from me if he budged. That also would have been accompanied by a scream. The spider didn't move.
3. I quickly carried him to the back door, undid the lock, and threw the bag out into the driveway.

Whew. For the next hour, I swore I felt spiders crawling on my neck.

I still don't feel that good about the situation. What scares the crap out of me is, How did that spider get in here? Are there more as big as he is in my house?
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Stamford Football And My Anti-Rudeness Paintball Gun Plan

Before I was struck down by a cold Saturday, I attended a Stamford High football game. Let me get my disillusioned whining out of the way: Stamford High football is nothing like the West Texas football on the TV show Friday Night Lights. There was not a huge crowd, or, at least, the crowd wasn't tightly packed because the stadium is pretty big. That's nice for personal space, but it makes it harder to get swept up in pure football madness. Reality: It was a good game. I was impressed with the QB, who threw several touchdown passes in the first half. Stamford ended up winning 38-27.

The only bad part about the game, besides the coach not being actor Kyle Chandler, was the high school kids. They were OK until halftime, when the opposing team went right through the middle of the bleachers to their locker rooms. The kids lined the bleacher railing by the locker room entry, screamed horrible things, and spit at the other team (photo below). It was a pretty nasty display. It made me worry about the pent-up aggression of Stamford teens.

I'm pretty sure we never did that when I was in high school, but then again, we were in a chill, kinda rural Virginia county. In the FC, as you know, people are aggressive, stressed out, and angry. You don't have to drive around long enough to see people get ugly. I was surprised to see that at a football game though. Kids were shoving past me to go scream in the faces of the other team. I'm fine with a little "You suck!" but spitting is disgusting, and I really don't appreciate big high school boys bumping into me. I don't mean like, they brushed my shoulder. I mean like, I got kneed in the back by some kid who was in a huge hurry to go shout at other teenage boys.

I'm sick of Stamford people pushing me around. I might have to start fighting people. No, I wouldn't do that. I will, though, think about asking the Stamford police for a special dispensation to carry and fire a paintball gun in public. Did I ever blog about that? I got that great idea in August. I'll blog more about it later, but it involves me being a trusted public servant who gets to shoot a paint gun at say, cars who are rude to pedestrians, or people who kick my seat on purpose at the movie theatre. That way, I get the pleasure of physically assaulting people without actually hurting them, and mean people get the message: "That was mean. I saw you. I don't like you. This is your punishment. Don't do it again. Be nicer."

It might seem like I have a little pent-up aggression of my own. But that paintball gun would solve it, and perhaps help bring about a more civil Stamford. Note: I'd make sure that the gun did not look like a real gun. It would look like a happy gun.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stamford Columbus Day Parade Pics

There are great photos of and commentary on the Columbus Day parade on the Advocate's In Sight photoblog.

If I can't make it out to all of these events, I can mooch off Advocate photographer Chris Preovolos and direct you to his exuberantly colorful pics. I'm a bit jealous of CP's mad photog and writing skills.
Click here to read more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Um, Guys? I Think We Just Got Called Uncivilized By the Greenwich Time

A Greenwich Time editor made an odd comment about bloggers- or, it may have been about you, the people who leave comments on blogs. I wasn't sure, so I thought I’d ask what you all thought.

In an op-ed, Greenwich Time managing editor Jim Zebora writes:
With all due respect to bloggers, people who write to newspapers are just the best. Our letter writers show the courage to share their views with the world - whether opining about the financial bailout, the presidential election, downtown parking or Henrietta the turkey - and they do so with their identities known to all. It's a more civilized way of making a statement than hiding behind a conjured-up screen name.
… It's especially heartening to see the informed, thoughtful give-and-take on this part of the editorial page. Reasonable people can and do disagree, and in their letters to the editor they do so in what I believe is an extraordinarily civilized way.
Unlike many blog-posters.

I’m confused about who he’s calling uncivilized. He starts out talking about bloggers (that’s me) then ends by cracking on “blog-posters.” I have no idea what “blog-posters” are. I post to my blog-- a blog is made up of posts-- but readers also post comments on blog posts. Is he busting on bloggers or commenters?

Since most local bloggers aren’t that anonymous (my photo was on the front of the Advocate this summer in an article about bloggers), and since most of the local bloggers are quite civilized, I think he’s busting on commenters.

Commenters do tend to be anonymous. However, the uncivilized, anonymous comments appear not on local blogs, but on the Greenwich Time’s own Topix discussion site. Topix is a news aggregator service that also offers a comments forum for articles. I guess the Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time use the service because it's easier than running their own forum, but I think the quality of the comments suffers. The Topix website, for some reason, attracts raging xenophobes and people who you can tell are 45 but write like petulant 14 year olds. So, those must be the uncivilized blog-posters, right? Nope. Topix isn’t a web log-- aka "blog."

People, I think he’s busting on you- and me, since I comment on other blogs. I think we are the “blog-posters.”

However, in my year of reading Stamford and Greenwich blogs, none of the discussions have gone into wacko, racist, libelous territory like the ones on Topix. Therefore, I think Zebora must be confused about the word “blog,” and is really referring to the Topix commenters, not us.

Or, maybe he wanted to bust on Topix, but didn’t want to offend those people since they read the paper online, so he instead insulted bloggers. (?)

Basically, I’m telling you I have no clue who Zabora is busting on.

I do know that the “blog-poster” talk distracted from his main message, which was his admiration for the passion of local people who proudly sign their names to letters to the editor. I also know that by mentioning blogs as the opposite of civilized discussion, he misrepresented local blogs. I think he was off-topic and off-target.

I'd write a letter to the editor about this, but I'm still too confused to know what to say.

What do you raging, crazy commenters think?
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Female Comedians Tonight in Stamford!

I haven't yet been the the new Treehouse Comedy Club in Stamford, but an event tonight- "Ladies of Laughter" sounds fun. Three female comedians will perform. One, Tina Giorgi, has performed on Conan O'Brien and Comedy Central, and the other two have also been on national TV. See the site for more details. I've already got plans tonight, but if you don't, it would be cool to round up some friends. The show is at 9pm. Tickets are $17.50 (not bad!!!) and $ 22 with a pre-comedy buffet.

Buffets freak me out, especially since my doctor friend told me she had a pregnant patient come down with listeria from one. Not to scare you or anything.

If anyone has reports on the buffet, I'd love to hear. I always like gossiping about food, whether it's bagels, cookies, or a resto.

The comedy club is at Hiberian Hall, at 186 Greyrock Place. The photo above is of two of my friends laughing. I imagine this is what many people in the audience on Friday will do. My friend on the right should really have her own comedy show.
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cookies. Cookies. Cookies. Another Bakery!

I am a huge fan of cookies, and this photo took my breath away. I share it in hopes that it will make you feel as joyous and optimistic about life as it made me feel. The photo is from a post about Matthew's bakery on the Advocate's food blog, The Lunch Break Chronicles, run by photographer Chris Preovolos. I'm going to try to find this bakery today. (71 West Broad St.) I'll get a huge sampling... in the name of learning more about Stamford, of course.

Now, I'm also very picky about cookies. I don't waste my time on crap cookies with no flavor or poor flavor, but I can tell that the cookie in the photo is going to be amazing. I hope that filling in the middle is caramel flavored. I hope it's sweet but not too sweet.

Chris also contributes to the Advocate's local news-oriented photoblog In Sight. I subscribe to the feeds of both In Sight and Lunch Break Chronicles, and if you are interested in Stamford, you should too. The blogs provide a little extra inside scoop on what's going on around town.

I have to mention that the Advocate's photographers are eerily cool. I've met 3 of the 4 that contribute to In Sight, and they are totally the types you'd invite to dinner or a party at your house. One, Dru Nadler, photographed my wedding, and I officially love her. Dru is as cool as Manager Mom, if that tells you anything.

There is also an Advocate political blog, Political Capitol, and a local sports blog, Overtime. The Stamford Times also has a local sports blog called Stamford Sports Scene.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Local Dude's Movie Premiere! Thursday.

Stamford resident Paul Anthony is premiering his short film "Friendship" (25 min) at the New Caanan Library this Thursday at 7pm. A lot of the scenes were filmed in Stamford. There's an excellent article about Paul and his film in the Stamford Times.

In the film, a guy discovers his friend has committed suicide and struggles with whether or not to carry out his friend's dying wishes. So, not a film for the youngsters. I wish the movie was premiering in Stamford, because I am lazy, but I'm going to see if I can persuade my husband to go with me. He's even lazier than I am, so we'll see how it goes.

I've never been to the New Canaan library, but according to google maps, it's right in the down town area; I think you go right at the T where rt. 124 hits all the stores.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Local Bloggers Compete in Charity Smackdown

Two of my blogger friends, Manager Mom and Fairfield County Child, are participating in a national blogger competition to get people to donate to school projects through a charity called Donors Choose.

Donors Choose lets teachers post proposals for things that they need in their classrooms. Anyone can go onto the site and donate as little as $5, and the money goes directly to fund the teacher proposals. Manager Mom and Fairfield County Child both picked projects to benefit local schools, like new instruments for music education or a projector for an ESL classroom. If you know anything about public education, you know that often, schools cannot afford anything beyond basic supplies. This blogger challenge is a great way to have a direct impact on our local schools.

Both Manager Mom and Fairfield County Child are my friends in blogging and real life, so I won't take sides- I want them both to do well in the challenge. I know the economy stinks right now, but even a $5 donation will mean a lot to the teachers and kids. It will also help our own Stamford bloggers make a good showing against all of those West Coast mom sites. I like competition. Even if you don't care about education, consider donating in the name of beating other people. I'm sure that's in the spirit of Donors Choose, right?

Here are the links to check out the school projects that they're promoting:

Manager Mom's page:Manager Mom's Educationpalooza

Fairfield County Child's page:Fairfield County Child giving page

Thank you for considering! I myself have been too lazy and/or stressed out and/or unorganized recently to donate, but now that I have this post up, I'm feeling like I am going to get my act together and donate today. Hm. I'm feeling preemptively proud of myself... but I'll post a comment when I actually do donate.

Forgive the ridiculous photo above (courtesy of Manager Mom). It's Manager Mom along with two other local bloggers, Always Home and Uncool and Adam B. of Adam's World. I was there that day, but I guess I didn't make it into that particular photo.
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stamford Restaurant Notes: Aria, Crumbs, Egane Korean BBQ, Napa, Republic Grill, Duo

I know, that's a lotta restos, but it was one of those weeks. You know, where you need a mood lift in the form of someone else preparing fancy food for you?

I tried Aria last weekend, the new Italian place Wash Blvd. right by Curley's. I give it a mixed but mostly positive review. My risotto was not very risotto-y, but my eggplant parm rollup appetizer was good. Service was friendly and prompt, and the place has a nice feel to it. There were plenty of people dining there at 7 ish on a Friday; the place was over half-full. Louuuuu has an extensive review up on Chow; I just went and added my two cents if you want to read more.

I have not yet tried Crumbs, the new bakery in the High Ridge Shopping Center by Border's. I eat so much crap as it is, I can't justify driving out of my way to buy more calorie-laden stuff. The Advocate has an article that says that this is the same as the Crumb's in NYC. If anyone has been and has feedback, please comment!

On trips to Republic Grill and Capriccio this week, I noticed a sign that said something like "Try the new Egane and Clive's." Egane is the Korean BBQ place on Bedford that, when I pass it, is always empty. I went once a couple of years ago, and got a beef entree for 20 bucks that was a miniscule amount of food. That didn't appeal to me, so I have not been back. The gossip on Chow is that the Egane owners decided to join up with a place called Clive's that I've never heard of and add burgers to the menu. I'm intrigued, and am going to try that place next time I go out. Someone on Chow said the Guinness burger is great.

Speaking of burgers, I had burger cravings last week and wanted to get a good one, so we popped into Napa early on a Saturday evening and got a table (with the alert that they'd need the table back by 8- no problem). The burgers were a teeny bit overcooked, and not as nivana-ish as I remembered, but I think that was because my burger, tragically, did not have enough gouda on it. My husband's was less well-done and he said it was good, which, for him, can be considered a ringing endorsement. At $24 bucks though, I expect an amazing burger. On the plus side, the fries totally rocked, and Napa is a really pretty resto.

Republic Grill on Bedford is a great place to go if you want sushi but the person you're with doesn't. RG has sushi and a bunch of Thai dishes. Last Wed., my girlfriends got pad thai and sushi, and I got spicy mango chicken that was very good. The resto is upscale but I think prices are reasonable.

I almost forgot. My husband and I hit Duo on Friday to celebrate surviving the work week. The beef entree was out of this world as usual, and my green tea pasta entree (angel hair with calamari and crab-stuffed tortellini) was super-delish. I love Duo, and have loved it from the first moment I ate there a year ago. I love it so much I feel like crying.
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Friday, October 3, 2008

B!tch Alert at Stamford Movie Theatre

Some lady called me a bitch tonight! Even the people I’m bitchiest to know I’m not a bitch, so obviously, that lady is a bitch. Damn. Bring on the teenage boys. They’re way more polite than 45 year old ladies. And, that bitch kicked my chair.

Right as the movie started, I got up to move two seats over because I noticed that the girl behind me had her feet up on the chair beside me… with no shoes on. Ewwwww. As I clambered over my husband, the lady I was moving in front of muttered loudly, “Oh, don’t do that.” (Her feet were on the arm rest of the chair I was moving to.)

“I have to,” I hissed. “That lady near me has her feet up and her shoes off. It’s gross.” I plopped down as she heaved her feet off. A second later, she gave my chair a pronounced kick. I turned and said, “What?!? I’m allowed to change my seat.”

That’s when she goes, “Bitch.”

I could have said, “I’m not a bitch. You’re a bitch.” But any adult who will kick the chair of another adult is clearly coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. Why bother engaging a crazy bitch? I work with children, so I’m used to restraining myself from expressing the strong emotions I’m feeling. Adults are a piece of cake. You bitches can’t get to me. I’ll just talk about you behind your back later. You suck, and you’re not worth my time. Gossiping about bitchy people, though, is fun. I’ll do that instead.

Actually, the one thing I wanted to ask this lady was if she was from Stamford. I don’t want that bitch in my town.

Oh! We saw Burn After Reading and it was pretty good. It’s a Coen brothers film, so of course there are a couple of bloody killings.

Me to husband, after movie: “Want to go home?”
Husband: “Aren’t you going to get in a fight?”
Me: “No, that lady was crazy.”
Husband: “I know, but your job is to entertain me.”
Me: “Nah. I have bigger things to worry about than that lady.”

One more thing: Maybe she kicked my chair by accident, but I don't think so. It was a hard kick, so I don't think it was from clumsiness. Plus, from the way she said, "Oh, don't do that," in a bossy, annoyed, entitled way, clearly, she was nasty.
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Suspicious Package...

Almost a week ago, Stamford police found a suspicious "package" on Hope St. It was a huge jug of yellow liquid. Oh, come on. You know what that is.
From the Advocate: STAMFORD - Police closed a section of Hope Street Sunday to investigate a suspicious package, officers at the scene said. At about 4 p.m., emergency officials wearing white protective suits and gas masks were seen next to a large bottle such as those used for water coolers. The bottle was filled with an unknown yellow liquid.

The area was cleared by 5:30 p.m., a police dispatcher said. A police supervisor did not offer details about the incident, deferring questions to the department's public information officer, who did not return phone calls.

I do not think definitive results have been released yet, but I bet that came from a bunch of teenage boys.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Hour Tonight, Monster B's

If you want to meet people, go to Happy Hour tonight at Monster B's. Not only will there be a bunch of 22-35 year olds from the Fairfield County Happy Hour Club, the band Short Bus is playing. They are a cover band and I hear they're good. Monster B's has an awesome outdoor patio, pretty good food, and lots o' beer. The Happy Hour Club isn't a dorky, forced get-to-know-you club; that's what someone I mentioned it to recently thought. You can meet people easily, though, if you want, because you're wearing a funny name tag.

Info from the FCHHC site:

Happy Hour- Thursday October 2nd at Monster B’s with THE SHORT BUS

The final details regarding this week’s happy hour are in… We will be at Monster B’s in Stamford this Thursday, October 2nd at 7:00pm! As we mentioned before, Monster B’s has been so gracious as to bring in Connecticut’s number one cover band, The Short Bus, just for you! To make things even better, they have also put together a slew of drink specials:

$3 Drafts
$4 Heineken Bottles
$3 Wine
$4 Martinis
$4 Short Bus Shots
$4 Malibu Green Monkeys!

If you were trying to remember where you have heard the term “Green Monkey” it was from Legends of the Hidden Temple with Omec. If you were ever a participant on Legends, please feel free to write us an email recounting your experiences battling temple guards and visiting the shrine of the silver monkey. Seriously email us if that was you (

If the specials were not enough, there will also be “representatives” from both Malibu and Heineken handing out a ton of free stuff! Boo Yah!!! (we just always wanted to use that)

In closing, we will be running a charity event next week for the American Heart Association at the Ash Creek Saloon in Norwalk, so mark your calendar now and come down to socialize and support a very charitable cause!

Monster B’s is located at 489 Glenbrook Rd, Stamford, CT 06906 Click here to read more.