Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It's like Christmas in January!

What kind of amazing news could pull me out of blog hibernation? Only the coolest thing to come to Stamford since, well, me.


Stamford go-karting complex set for 2018 opening

I cannot overstate how excited I am about this. I've been complaining for years that there are not enough entertainment options in Stamford, and this place fills that need perfectly. Racing, video games, virtual reality, and bowling - all in one place! If you need me later in 2018, I'll be here. (Now if we could just get a new movie theater with stadium seating...)


I've also complained for years that there aren't enough Bavarian bier halls around here, so you can bet your lederhosen that I'll be spending a lot of time at Harlan Haus!

Harlan Haus Brings Steins & Schnitzel to Downtown Bridgeport

The arrival of Harlan Haus is as awesome as Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer, and Diane Kruger inviting me to an Oktoberfest bikini party.

Between this place and The Archive, a cult movie and vinyl record store, there might be hope for Bridgeport yet! (I kid our neighbor to the northeast. I'll never forgive the mayor for booting the Bluefish, but there are still a lot of great things to do in the BPT. Plus they have Vietnamese food!)

Monday, September 19, 2016


Guess what, dear readers.  It appears that my post from 2009 has finally paid off!

Not only will our beautiful 1916 post office survive, but it will now mail food directly into my tummy! The new plan is for this landmark building on Atlantic Street to house a Chelsea Market-style food hall.  If all goes as planned, we will finally have a cheese shop here in Stamford!!!  As much as I enjoy flying to Paris every few weeks to purchase fresh fromage (I live in Fairfield County, so I just assume I'm wealthy enough to do that), it'll be much more convenient to be able to buy it right here in town.

Since my wish for a cheese shop has come true, I think my next post will be about turning the vacant UBS building into America's largest bierhall.  Prost!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Some great gift ideas for the kids! All new items best quality high performance!

Forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's Engrish Wednesday!  What's Engrish?  It's the delightful mangling of English seen mostly in Asian countries. is a vast repository of hilarious examples.

I found these at a certain store here in Stamford that will remain unnamed, but if you look around the old block, Buster, I'm sure you'll find it.  Then you can take care of all your holiday shopping with these oddly-translated products.  The kids love 'em!  Even if they have no idea what they are.

First up, is it a truck?  No, it's a Toys King!  Or maybe it's a car, as the decal on the hood says, right under a record-spinning grunting face.  Um...what?  You can usually judge these toys by how many periods they put at the end of a sentence, so you know this is a good one...........

Life can be stressful in the city.  There's a lot of pressure.  Once in a while you need to feel some power & steady freedom on a blue double-decker bus.

Now trending: #StyleCityCulture

If you're still unsure about this bad boy, just remember that the car headlamp is bring while go forward.  Sold.

This next car is so awesome it's endorsed by Perkins!  Yes, everyone's favorite place to stop on the interstate, hit the bathroom, and eat some soggy pancakes put their stamp of approval on a car so wonderful 100% and the best design new thing.

Heck, this car is so superioir powered that it even mitzte the sound of horses!

Maybe your son or daughter wants something a little more realistic.  Well, it doesn't get more realistic than an emulational car, does it?

Perhaps Emulational Car is a little too high-octane for your kids.  If that's the case, you can get them Top Grade Dance Racing!  Does it dance?  Heck yeah it does!  Come on, it says "dance" three times on the front of the box!

What goes better with a dancing truck than Jazz Drum Rock Instruments?

Your kid can put on their own cool open dream concert with some tide music fashion by you and new music touch function!

Your little drummer's band will need someone jamming on a Guitar Excellent!  All new items , it cannot be missed!

Is your little prodigy more into Rachmaninoff than rocking out?  Then they'll surely love a musical instrument piano.

Over in the girls' section you'll find this totally legitimate and not at all bootleg Princess Kitchen!

I can't figure out this next box at all.  The Engrish on here is just complete nonsense!  It's like they made up their own silly language.

Well, at least Jenifer approves.

Enough girlie stuff - let's see what they've got for the boys.  Oh heck yeah, it's Super Ninja, the Ninja Turtles' beefy cousins!

What do boys like more than roided-up turtles?  Robots!

Especially ones with glary light and sound effect!  Wait, just the one?  I guess Falcon makes up for it with his Super Heighten power and finger that can curve.

Here's a game the whole family can enjoy.  It's Happy Stitching! Who's This?

Wait - if it's a self-correcting puzzle, do you even have to do anything?

Finally, a little something for the moms.  After a long day of shopping for your family, treat yourself to this fine item.

Remember the meaning of the holiday season: Month is ch! Where yerymaryer to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ghost Signs II: The Return of Ghost Signs

Since my first post about ghost signs was such a big hit, I figured I'd do the Hollywood thing and make a sequel!

Starting in the South End, we find this great wall-sized ad on Pacific St.

This laundromat on Shippan Avenue has a nice, big Coca-Cola sign on the side.

A few weeks later, the "laundromat" sign broke, revealing that this used to be Vic's Cycles.  Was Vic's a motorcycle shop?

I'm sad that Chinese Mirch is gone, but the demolition of its building on Atlantic Street revealed this classic sign for a long-gone antiques store.

Continuing the demolition theme, I'll never again get to enjoy Plateau's lacy Malaysian crepes, but the site of its former home revealed another subtle ghost sign.

Any clues on where that arrow used to lead?

Up above the Plateau site on the side of the Montana for Men building, you'll find this large, faded ad.  If you squint, it looks like it says "(something) stores and hamsters."  That can't be right.

On the other (west) side of the building, all the way at the top, you'll find another sign that's impossible to make out.

This sign is at street level on the same wall.  It might be the same logo or name, but it's been painted over, too.  COM-something?

On the other side of the BarBQ/McFadden's building, all the way at the top, you can just make out a sign with "Martin" in script below "ANK."  Any guesses?

On Main Street near Bobby V's, you'll find this awesome sign inside the front door of an apartment building.  It's doubly awesome that the building owner kept this sign intact.  I'd love to find out what restaurant was advertising its blue plate dinner.

I found this barely legible sign on Summer Street in the alley next to Barcelona.  Any clues as to what it said?  It looks like a jumble of letters painted over each other.  I want to believe that it said "The A-Team Parking Only."

I don't think this sign on Washington Boulevard is that old since Seasons Too is still around, but it still counts!

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, some old signs saw the light of day for the first time in probably decades.  Here are a few on West Broad Street near Matthew's Bakery.

Sandy also uncovered this "Veterans" sign on Cove Road, across from Pat's Hubba Hubba.  Was this a VFW hall back in the day?

While they aren't ghost ads, these old signs on the First County Bank building next to the Stamford Town Center are cool.

Over in Glenbrook, some old train or trolley tracks have poked their way out from under Taylor Reed Place.

I saw this old-school classic in the Wall Street section of Norwalk.  It looks like it had lights on it at some point.  I'm sure the American Pickers guys would try to buy it.  The best part is that Norwalk Luggage is still around!  As a side note, I'm fascinated by the Wall Street area in Norwalk.  I'll write a dedicated post about it soon.

Port Chester has a few ghost ads as well.  Here's one that says "RANGES HEATERS".

Here's another one for a product that undoes something.  Maybe it was some kind of correction fluid or adhesive remover.

I saw this massive building from the train many times before I finally walked around all sides of it and figured out what it was.  It used to be the Embassy Theater, a classic vaudeville and movie theater - heck, a movie palace.

Here's a link to some photos of the once-magnificent interior of this historic theater: After the Final Curtain: Embassy Theatre.  I hope the Embassy gets the restoration it deserves, much like its neighbor The Capitol Theatre did.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this round of ghost ads and other urban artifacts.  If you see anything else that looks old and cool, drop me a line and I'll check it out!