Friday, December 26, 2008

Stamford traditions

Taking a cue from my buddies at Stamford Talk and Blog Stamford, I wanted to compile a year-end list of something, but since I only launched Streets of Stamford this year, I don't have enough back posts to make a list. So instead, and in no particular order, here are some Stamford traditions and whether or not I've done them.

Colony Pizza (check!)
I've been there twice, and it's good pizza, but far from the greatest thing I've ever tasted; then again, I'm from Long Island, where the pizza is second only to NYC's. They do have some cool varieties like the Stinger (hot peppers and spicy oil), which goes great with a cold mug of beer.

Stamford vs. Westhill (not yet)
I know not everyone is into high school sports, but there's nothing like a local rivalry for excitement and fun. I missed this year's football game, so I'm shooting for basketball or hockey, and because I live right near SHS, I guess I'm rooting for the Black Knights!

The revolving restaurant atop the Marriott (check!)
It's closed now, but I ate at this restaurant when it was Vuli. The food was very good and the revolving floor was nice (though it made it hard to find your table after visiting the restroom!). However, I guess they were going for views of the Sound, because it faces the South End, which is less picturesque than the other end of Stamford (at least for now).

See the balloon parade (check!)
Extra credit: be in the balloon parade (check!)
Partial credit: see Santa rappel from Landmark Square (check!)
I was a balloon handler two years ago and it was AWESOME! Check out my pictures from beneath a Rescue Heroes firefighter:

Dairy Queen (check!)
If it's warm enough, the DQ on Summer Street opens in February!!

Pellicci's (not yet)
Pellicci's is the very definition of a Stamford landmark. According to local legend, it was opened in 1497 by one of Columbus' cooks. Another legend says that they once tried to demolish the building, but every bulldozer they used had its bucket snapped off on contact with the building. They say that all the other Italian restaurants in Stamford were born when the chef from Pellicci's walked around town delivering samples and bits of his food fell on the ground like acorns. Every mayor since 1903 has held his or her inauguration there, and Joe Lieberman loves Pellicci's so much that he eats their prosciutto on Yom Kippur.

Honorable mention list:
Fort Stamford
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Stamford Observatory
Seeing a play at Curtain Call

Past traditions:
Stamford Theatre Works


I haven't lived here that long, so I'm sure there are traditions I don't know about. Please add any others in the comments!

Happy New Year, everybody!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mayor Malloy on NPR

Mayor Malloy appeared on WNPR's "Where We Live" on Monday morning as part of their State of Our Cities series, where they're talking with the mayors of Connecticut's cities.

Here's the show's site:

To download the MP3 of this episode: Download.

Here are some of the things he discussed:

He expects to see further layoffs in the financial industry, which, as we all know, comprises a large portion of Stamford's business sector. Financial sector employees in CT should be spared the worst of it because the cost savings of being in CT make them less vulnerable than people in more expensive cities like New York London. RBS is still coming, with employees expected to be in the new building on April 1. GE Money will see "changes," though their operations are more centered in London, so we'll see.

He expects the next state budget to be "disastrous" for CT's cities and poorer areas, and criticizes the "lack of leadership in Hartford," specifically targeting Governor Rell's budget projections and her failure to react to this "predicted" financial situation.

CT is last in job production and growth, and 80% of CT's best students leave the state. The host asks how recent graduates can afford to live in Stamford. Mayor Malloy mentions the old "10 percent of new housing must be affordable." (I have to add my two cents here. To qualify for affordable housing, you need to be at or below 50% of the area's median income, which was $75,840 in 2007. That means that you need to earn less than $37,920 to qualify. Granted, there are people who need this assistance more than I do, but even if either my wife quit her job or I quit mine, we'd still make too much. Thankfully, we got a great deal on our current apartment, because we don't make enough to afford Stamford's inflated market rate rents, let alone buy something, even with the current real estate crisis.)

On education: We need to concentrate on math and sciences, where America trails the world, as well as close the achievement gap between blacks and Hispanics and the rest of the students.
He'd like it to be easier for people to move to CT and become teachers. He thinks that because so many of the people running CT's educational system are UConn grads, there's a lack of diversity of opinions.

On Obama's proposed new infrastructure spending: How do you prioritize infrastructure projects (needed vs. "shovel-ready")? He advocates direct allocation of federal money to cities, to cut out the state-level bureaucracy. Governor Rell wants the state to get the money, but Malloy says to take a ride on 95 or the Merritt to see how well the state is tending our infrastructure, and that most driving is on local roads, not interstates.

That said, he would also like to see state-level projects such as longer train platforms: the new train cars (340 of them) each hold ten fewer people than the ones they'll be replacing. Some underpasses are over 100 years old, so they make traffic flow difficult. We also need improvements on 95, the Merritt, and Route 1 to create freer traffic flow.

Good question from a caller: How would he close the disparity between the West Side and North Stamford? He mentions a $4 billion remake of the South End (Antares, etc, adding 4000 units of housing, 400 of which will be affordable, and the two buildings on East Main, both with 10% affordable. He says the disparity was much greater twenty years ago.

One interesting tidbit: he says he lives close to the New York border. I thought he lived in Shippan - maybe that BB drive-by incident convinced him to head for the hills.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sayonara Sabatiello's

Well, it's official: the Advocate is reporting that Sabatiello's is no more (here's the article). I wonder where they heard about its possible demise...hmm...

They did mention us in the article, referring to how Sammy "stirred gossip among local food bloggers."

Some other highlights:
- "The right person with the right concept, other than another Italian restaurant, will do very well there."

- Sammy owes someone their deposit for a Christmas party. Yeah, good luck with that.

Oddly enough, is still active as of December 10. At least somebody's getting paid by Sammy.

Friday, December 5, 2008


On my way to the Avon last night to see Chuck Norris save America in Invasion U.S.A., I walked past Sabatiello's and saw this:

The place was dark and empty at 7:30 on a Thursday night. Is it closed?

It would appear so. Is our favorite culinary punchline no more?

Maybe the Advocate can get all the details (even though I scooped them on the story!).

UPDATE: The only number I could find for Sabatiello's just gives you a busy signal. More to come...