Monday, June 28, 2010

Infiltrating the Greenwich Croquet Club

I stumbled upon the most amazing thing yesterday: REAL CROQUET.

We were leaving Bruce Park Playground in Greenwich, and rather than hop directly on the highway to go back to Stamford, I drove through Bruce Park to show it to my visiting sister and parents. Once we spotted the fancy green lawn and people in fancy white clothes playing what looked to be a very serious match, I pulled over to investigate.

“Is this a croquet league?” I asked a lady sitting off to the side.

I ended up doing an impromptu interview with the woman, Donna Dixon, who, in addition to being one of the top women croquet players in the US (she’s from Houston), was a great source of info.

She told me that some of the players were from California and Canada, and that the croquet match was run by the Greenwich Croquet Club. There are other tournaments in Locust Valley NY, Palm Beach FL, and California, but the Greenwich Invitational is known as being on of the best, both player-wise and for the social aspect.

“Where’s the wine?” I asked. Donna looked at me bemusedly, and I realized I was insulting her sport. “Oh- I guess you wouldn’t drink during a match, but I expected to see people sipping white wine at something like this.”

“Well, some of the younger players were drinking beer in the afternoon while they were playing yesterday, but we save that for later!”

Thank you Donna, for being so willing to talk to me!

You can see more of my photos after the jump. Or, click here to see last year's Greenwich Invitational photos for some good closeups of what the wickets look like.

You can also read this article about the tournament from the Greenwich Time (or it newstimes? I can't keep track of who owns what paper), or see the Greenwich Time's short blog entry about it. There's also a United States Croquet Association website.

Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Celeb Gossip: Near Napa Sightings 'n Awkward Stuff

I LOVE "The Dish" by Susie Costaregni. I hope I am spelling her name right. I refuse to spellcheck it, because if an excellent speller like me can't get your name right, well, there is something wrong with your name.

First cool tidbit from Susie:

Scene ... Actor Michael Douglas, his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their two children, son Dylan and daughter Carys, who are renting a home in Bedford, N.Y., were seen last Sunday night in downtown Stamford near Napa & Co. Zeta-Jones won a Tony Award last week for Best Actress in a Musical for her role of Desiree in "A Little Night Music" on Broadway.

What the hey! Why couldn't I have spotted them? I wonder what they were doing. Were they at Napa and Co?

Second tidbit:

Scene ... Riverside residents and TV personalities Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford and son Cody were recently seen having dinner at Terra Ristorante on Greenwich Avenue. On the other side of the restaurant were TV personalities Regis and Joy Philbin, who came in for dinner but left shortly after being seated.

Toooootally awkward. I love it. I love awkward stuff.

Oh and also? Is Terra really that great? I've been there once and it was OK... but that was for lunch. Maybe for dinner, with the wine flowing, it's a beautiful romantic little space. Because really, the appeal of Italian food, no matter how good... is the wine that goes with it!

Click here to read more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Laura Linney Blocks Off Long Ridge...

For her Showtime series "The Big C" (C as in cancer) filming in Stamford.

And I'm totally ok with it even though it was tooootally the evening rush hour!

Tuesday, as I was picking up the kid from daycare, the light at Roxbury and Long Ridge was blocked by cops. I figured it was an accident, knowing how fast people drive on that road, but a friend told me via a comment on the blog that she had actually seen a blond woman being filmed in a car that was on a flatbed truck and that it was probably Laura Linney... cool!

So this is a probably, not definitely Laura Linney, but I bet it's right, because none of the characters in the Kevin movie are blond.

Plus Suzy what's her name from the Advocate gossip column said Laura Linney was spotted at- where else?- Napa recently!

I don't want to trash talk Laura Linney in case I actually get to meet her in my set stalking this summer, so I'm just gonna say I could not STAND her character in Love, Actually, which is otherwise the best chick flick/Christmas movie ever. Click here to read more.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stamford Police Publicly Endorse Glenn Beck: I Wish I Were Joking

I read on the Advocate's 411 blog that SPD chose Glenn Beck to speak at their Officer of the Year ceremony. What's even more absurd is their stated reason why. Keep reading.

I don't know much about Glenn Beck, but here's what Wikipedia says:

In response to the president's remarks on the Henry Louis Gates controversy, Beck argued that President Barack Obama has repeatedly shown "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture," saying "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people. I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."

Here's what the SPD has to say about why they chose him as a speaker:

Sgt. Joseph Kennedy, president of the Stamford Police Association, said the choice of Beck as a keynote speaker makes the awards ceremony appeal to a broader base of people, and also his membership.

“Most police officers are conservative by nature,” Kennedy said. “I can’t say everyone is a Republican but we seem to have more conservative views when it comes to global issues.”

“We know from people we’ve spoken to and from hearing Beck in the past, he has a good appreciation for law enforcement,” Kennedy said.

THAT MAKES NO SENSE. Police are civil servants, just like teachers. I keep my political views out of the classroom (my students don't have the choice to avoid me), and my police should keep their political views out of my face (I don't have the choice to pick and choose who protects me and my fellow Stamfordites). When you have chosen, like teachers and police officers have, to serve a community, you also give up a little bit of how much of your politics you can express. That's because to do your job well, you have to have the full respect of the community, and to do that, you need to not publicly endorse people who many people find terribly offensive.

I believe the police have a responsibility to portray themselves as fair-minded, caring people. Having Beck as a speaker suggests that he's their role model, and I prefer to think my police aspire to a higher model of balanced thinking- don't they need that to make good decisions in their daily task of protecting us? I hope the SPD cares enough about its reputation enough to cancel this guy's speaking engagement.

I'm gonna have to give this whole situation a big Stamford Talk "DUH."

Click read more to see excerpts of Advocate readers’ comments that prove that the SPD’s choice of speaker offends the community:

geez with all the problems in the Stamford Police Department–A cop slugging a woman in the face, another showing photos of his genitals and not too long ago another buying fenced goods perhaps the SPA would find someone less controversial and dare i say progressive. The recent problems are a sign of arrogance

I served the City of Stamford for 32 years as a police officer and lived and raised my family in this beautiful City my children attended and graduated from Stamford Public Schools and very proud of it….not in my wildest dreams would I be a part to honoring the officer of the year by bringing a racist, anti-social bigot individual as guest speaker. The Stamford Police Association is sending the multicultural community of Stamford the WRONG message….but, then again what else is new. Shame on you SPA.

No matter how you slice it, this does not make the STP look good. They are a professional organization. They should not be promoting a speaker who is perceived as a divisive political demagogue by a significant percent of the population that they serve. It is bad community relations, and makes them look very unprofessional. It is an uneeded public distraction to any good work they do.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

John C. Reilly Mentions Stamford Karaoke on Daily Show!

I was pleasantly surprised last night during dinner (I wasn't feeling good so was letting John Stewart entertain the toddler) to see John C. Reilly stroll onto the show... and shocked when he mentioned doing karaoke in Stamford CT. It seems like he likes Stamford, if you ask me! Maybe the karaoke crowd was cool, like they let him do his thing and didn't act like a bunch of dorks.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
John C. Reilly
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Butterfield 8 Stamford: Date Night, Bacon

Whoa. On News 12, I just saw the chef at Butterfield 8 and he said they have macaroni and cheese... with jalapeno and bacon. I am so there!!!!
(Is this a good time to mention that my friend's friends make Bakon Vodka? Random, but they do, out of Seattle, where I visited last summer before the ill-fated California leg of the trip where the baby puked for a week straight and I had to syringe-feed him around the clock for several days, find a pediatrician, and go to the ER twice.)

The chef, Masekela Jones, also said they have date night Thurs- 50 bucks for appetizer, entrees and dessert, PLUS a bottle of wine. I am also- SO THERE.

He said they get their seafood from New Wave Seafood in Stamford so it's always fresh.

This is why I love News 12 for local news. It's such a great idea to have local chefs come in and show off a few dishes.

Ooh- Butterfield 8 also got Best Singles Scene in the Fairfield County Weekly, as well as Best New Bar. See text below, from Butterfield8's press page.

Best of Fairfield Weekly 2010
Whether it's happy hour or late night, there's always big groups of young women and big groups of young men at Butterfield 8. There's lots of room, so you can roam and mingle, says Doug Newhook, regional manager. On Thursday nights, guys have been known to invite girls they've just met to join them right away for the Date Night special, a shared appetizer, individual appetizer, shared dessert and a bottle of wine for $50.

Best of Fairfield Weekly 2010
Date: 05.14.10
The bartenders are friendly and energetic at Butterfield 8. The bar area is spacious and attractive, with planks of Brazilian chestnut rising seven feet up the wall. Adding to the comfortable feeling are the specials on food and drinks, $3 beers, $4 wine glasses, $5 mixed drinks, and $8 appetizers during the lively happy hour (5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday). The place draws people in their 20s and 30s who work at the corporate headquarters in downtown Stamford.
Click here to read more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Greek Festival This Weekend!

Sounds totally awesome and I am going to try my darnedest to get there. It's on Newfield Ave. Food, alcohol, sounds good to me! I'd say more but I've got a tired punchy baby throwing his milk cup at my laptop! Just threw it so he could fetch, so now I have a second to give you the link to the church's homepage with info about the festival! It's rain or shine. I like that spirit. Click here to read more.