Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The South End is dead

Death, taxes, banks, and CVSs.  You can always count on those four things in Stamford, and the South End is not immune to the CVS scourge.  Coming soon, right across from Fairway:

My main issue with this isn't that it's yet another CVS in Stamford (the 1449th, by my count), or even that it's a generic, boring CVS that looks like every other CVS.  My biggest issue is that it's a one-story standalone building with a huge parking lot in a part of town that should have much higher density in its buildings.

The city and BLT essentially have a blank slate down there, but instead of creating new and interesting buildings and neighborhoods, we get this.  I can't believe the city planners approved this bland suburban box in such an urban setting.  Why couldn't this CVS be incorporated into an apartment building like the Walgreen's on East Main Street?  Ugh.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The (new) Old House comes to East Main Street!

What's the one thing that could bring me out of winter hibernation? Food! Especially good food! And The Old House's new location will definitely have good food!


The Old House on Selleck Street serves up awesome Peruvian and Guatemalan food, but it's kind of hidden in an industrial part of town. This new second location on East Main Street (near Casa Villa's second location) will put it right on a main road with plenty of eyes (and stomachs) passing by every day.

The most well-known Peruvian dishes are ceviche and lomo saltado, but my favorite meals from The Old House are the tallarin de pollo (stir-fried chicken, veggies, and spaghetti) and the chaufa de pollo (same thing but with rice instead of spaghetti). They're savory and delicious without being greasy. I've only had a few Guatemalan things from The Old House, and I liked the pupusas (corn cakes topped with combinations of cheese and meats).

The new restaurant is slated to open in April, but I'll post a follow-up when it's up and running.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Food truck fundraising fiesta - tomorrow!

What's better than eating good food?  Eating good food for a cause!

Tomorrow from 11:30 am-2 pm, the local all-star food truck lineup will be in one place for the first time!  Maddy’s Food Truck, Melt Mobile, The Local Meatball, LobsterCraft will all be in the circle in front of The Beer Garden at Harbor Point, and each truck will donate a portion of their proceeds to The Food Bank Of Lower Fairfield County.  Maddy’s and The Local Meatball will be donating 10%, and if their sales are over $500 they will donate 20%!  Melt Mobile & LobsterCraft will be donating 10%.

To recap:
Step 1: Eat awesome food.
Step 2: Help the Food Bank.
Step 3: Return to work, sleep off food coma under desk.


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Friday, November 15, 2013

Don't be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins - come see Elf at the Avon!

There are certain traditions that signal the start of the holiday season: Christmas music in the stores (in August), people trampling each other for $200 HDTVs, the first snowfall, me complaining about the first snowfall, and watching unforgettable Christmas classics like "A Christmas Story" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

This year, everybody's favorite theater theatre, the Avon, gets into the holiday spirit with a free screening of "Elf"!  Watch as Buddy the Elf searches for his long-lost father in the concrete jungle of New York City.  Will Buddy's new family accept his odd, sugar-fueled ways?  Will he find love with a pre-"New Girl" Zooey Deschanel?  The only way to find out is to come to the Avon on Saturday, December 7, at 10:30 a.m.!  Or you could just rent the VHS from Blockbuster.  Oh, wait...

The Avon also has some awesome Cult Classics to get you through the cold, dark months of winter and beyond:
Thursday, Dec. 5, 9 PM - Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Thursday, Jan. 28, 8:30 PM - Wayne's World
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 8:30 PM - Zoolander
Tuesday, Mar. 25, 8:30 PM - Back to the Future
Tuesday, Apr. 22, 8:30 PM - The Dark Crystal
Tuesday, May 27, 8:30 PM - Army of Darkness*

*If you've ever wanted to meet me and tell me how much you love this blog, I'll be at this movie.  I'll be the guy dressed as Ash.  I'm serious.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My mayoral endorsement

The Stamford electorate has been clamoring to hear who I'm endorsing in the upcoming mayoral election, so here ya go.  To help me decide who to pick, I sent the set of questions below to both the Martin and Fedele campaigns.

1) What steps would you take to earn your place in Stamford history as the mayor who finally filled in the infamous "Hole in the Ground"?

2) How would you promote smart urban initiatives such as walkable communities, bike lanes, mass transportation (including the possibility of light rail), etc.?

3) Do you have any intention of trying to bring a minor league baseball team to Stamford?

4) I think Stamford needs a first-class entertainment complex (like New Roc City, only nicer), so if you agree, how would you go about attracting such a development?  On a related note, the Majestic movie theater is a one-story building in the densest part of downtown Stamford; would you promote redeveloping that site into a taller mixed-use building that still housed a movie theater?

5) Stamford has plenty of affordable housing for the lower-income people, but how would you keep Stamford affordable for the middle section of the income range?

6) Metro-North has built additional stations in Fairfield and New Haven while Stamford has debated the construction of the East Main Street station for years.  What would you do to move this project along?

Their responses:

Martin: ______________________________.

Fedele:  ______________________________.

I didn't forget to type their answers - they never responded.  Not even a "we'll get back to you as soon as possible" auto-reply.

So as a result of this blatant snub of my mildly popular local blog, in the 2013 Stamford mayoral race, Streets of Stamford is endorsing...Mayor Goldie Wilson!  He cleaned up Hill Valley, so I'm sure he'll do the same for Stamford.

Feel free to voice your opinions of Mayor Goldie Wilson in the comment section, but keep it civil.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Want to buy your very own island? Now you can!

Are you tired of making plans for world domination at Starbucks?  Do the librarians at the Ferguson always shush you when you cackle maniacally while stroking an albino cat?  If so, you're probably a supervillian in need of a private island where you can make your plans for world domination in peace - and you're in luck, because you can buy one right here in Stamford!

All you need is $12,800,000.

Loyal readers may remember my post from 2008 about the private island off the coast of Stamford: The most exclusive neighborhood in Stamford.  Well, I came across this real estate listing the other day: Seriously, there's an island for sale.

Some highlights:
Even if you somehow get past the gates, that water is teeming
with sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads.

Here's a lovely outdoor setting for your steal-all-the-world's-gold planning sessions.

Behind that painting is a video-link to the U.N. for issuing demands.

What a lovely parlor/enemy agent interrogation chamber.

One of these books opens the passageway to the secret laboratory, but which one...?

After a hard day of scheming, even megalomaniacs need to relax by the pool sometimes.

This island was once valued at over $25 million, so $12.8 million is a steal.  Heck, you could use all the money you saved on a submarine dock to get to your secret underwater lair that much quicker!

Anyway, if you need me, I'll be out shopping for a satellite-mounted multi-directional full-range ultraviolet ocean evaporation ray.  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

From the back burner: beer and meat!

Now that I'm caught up on 2 Broke Gossip Gilmore Gastineau New Girls Next Door, let's cover some topics I've been meaning to get to!

Half Full Brewery
You're all aware by now that Stamford has its own booming micro-brewery, Half Full Brewery.  They've been all over the local press and blogosphere, and even got a visit from Governor Malloy.  They also just celebrated their first anniversary!

They started with one simple IPA and they've just kept creating quality brew after quality brew.  It's amazing how consistently good their beers have been!

I had a chance to sit down with Conor Horrigan, founder, owner and "Chief Beer Philosopher" of Half Full Brewery to chat about his beers, his passions, and basically the whole story behind Half Full.

To Conor, it's all about "living life with the glass half-full" and "chasing the dream."  Based on how Half Full has exploded in its mere one year of existence, I'd say Conor has succeeded at both.

But it's not just about the business at Half Full.  Conor is also committed to making Half Full an active, positive part of the fabric of Stamford, which includes donating brewery tours as fundraisers, organizing park cleanups, and other community-oriented initiatives.

Conor wants to focus on his employees' passion projects; for example, Chief Beer Artist Jen wants to encourage more women to learn about craft beer.

There's no doubt about Conor's desire to build a community around the brewery.  For instance, Half Full recently hosted a "Craft over Craft" meeting as a complement to Ignite Stamford.  It was a lively discussion about how to make Stamford "the greatest city on Earth."  Ideas included: light rail, bike lanes, more trees, and more art and culture.

Fun fact: Half Full's building used to be an eggplant-frying factory.  Yum!

One of my main questions for Conor was, why Stamford?  They could've found a warehouse anywhere else in the state for much less.  Here's his answer, paraphrased:  "I saw all the development, and a lot of excitement.  This is a densely populated area - it's where the customers and accounts are.  It's also a great community that would support a local business; people are proud of Stamford, and this is important to breweries, since they make a super-local product.  There are also lots of new restaurants here with new and unique concepts, and I wanted to be a part of that excitement.  Also, there are no breweries down here, so I saw the opportunity for craft beer here and for people to learn about better beer.  The people are hungry for something like that here - they'll pick it up strictly because it's local.  We brew right here - you can smell it - the community can come in and see the people behind it.  Beer is a very communal product."

All I can say to that is Prost!

Also - pumpkin beer!

Dinosaur BBQ
I don't have enough superlatives to describe Dinosaur BBQ.  Every meal I've had there has been simply awesome.  It's a giant temple to all things smoke and pork.  Your experience starts in the parking lot, since the smell of all that deliciousness hits you the moment you get out of your car - or when you walk over, if you're one of those people lucky enough to work down the road!  The ribs are the best in the area, and the pulled pork is heavenly.  Speaking of Heaven, Dinosaur BBQ is pretty much how I imagine it would look - BBQ, beer, football...yeah.

Since I work in the general neighborhood, I've used their takeout service plenty of times as well, and it's always been a great experience.  They get every order right, even if you make substitutions, and they're always willing to split the bill when everyone pays on their own, unlike some places that give you a hassle about doing so.

Also - temporary tattoos!

Plan B Burger Bar
Yup - more awesome meat!  Plan B makes the best burger in town, hands down.  And the variety!  You can get so many different kinds of meat and so many toppings!  I'm slowly working my way through their checklist, I mean menu, and I've loved every burger so far.  The service is also top-notch - everyone is friendly and knowledgeable.

Also - Parmesan tater tots!  I loved them so much, I found a recipe online and made them at home!