Monday, March 29, 2010

Motown in Stamford Downtown!

Everybody look cool - Smokey Robinson is coming to the CTW!

Smokey Robinson, the Grammy® Award winning member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and “King of Motown,” will be performing a one-night only benefit concert for Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART) on Friday, May 14, 2010, at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Conn. A Gala Cocktail Reception including celebrities will be held prior to the concert at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the full Gala Reception and Concert start at $300 and are available by invitation only. Invitation requests can be made online at, by emailing, or by calling DART at 203-861-2063. Tickets for the general public to the concert only will be $95.00, $75.00 and $50.00 and will be available online at

The Smokey Robinson DART Benefit Gala and Concert will be co-hosted by Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, who are long-time supporters of DART and who have co-hosted previous DART benefits. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the Gala reception preceding the concert and there will be a live and silent auction with fabulous one-of-a-kind items to bid on.

Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART) is a charity dedicated to funding medical research, education, and care for the treatment or cure of Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC) and other similar genetic diseases. NPC is often called children’s Alzheimer’s. DART’s efforts may help millions of people (adults and children) suffering from NPC, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke, and other disorders that appear to be related to the metabolism of cholesterol. Although children and some adults worldwide are afflicted, research has been extremely limited primarily because of insufficient funding, the smaller population of those affected, and a lack of public awareness. Currently, children with NPC rarely live past their early teens, and there is no cure for NPC. Today, there are limited treatment options, with experimental therapies and medications being tried with hope that there will be progress. DART was founded by the Marella family of Greenwich. Two of the Marellas' four children, Dana and Andrew, are afflicted with NPC.

To date, DART has raised close to $1.5 million toward the search for a cure for NPC. DART is particularly proud of its commitment to a unique therapy development approach for additional NPC treatments called SOAR-NPC or Support Of Accelerated Research. Working with other NPC families and organizations, SOAR has created a multidimensional collaborative drug development program searching for an effective cocktail treatment for NPC. The ambitious goal is to have at least two or three new NPC therapies ready for clinical trial in 2011. In addition, in January of this year, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended the medication Zavesca to treat NPC. Phil Marella of DART, Cindy Parseghian of the Parseghian Foundation, and Barb Vorpahl of the NNPDF spoke during the public portion of the hearing. The drug's sponsor, Actelion, said the agency is expected to decide in March whether to approve Zavesca for treating NPC.

Friday, March 19, 2010

No Vet Left Behind!

That mind-reader over at Stamford Notes already beat me to it, but since this is for such a great cause, I'm posting it anyway.

On Friday April 9 at 7PM, the Unitarian Universalist Society in Stamford will be hosting a concert to benefit No Vet Left Behind! Tickets for the concert are $30 each, and are 100% tax deductible.

The concert will have two acts. The opening act will be Superband, a local group who plays regularly in the Stamford / Bridgeport area. They have a monthly gig at Tracks on Hope Street. They play a wide range of music, from Pink Floyd to the Beatles to the Allman Brothers!

The main event will be recording artist Grayson Hugh. Grayson had two successful albums released in the early 1990's. His album "Road to Freedom" was named one of Billboard Magazine's Top 10 Albums of 1992. His hits "Talk it Over", "Bring It All Back" and "How 'Bout Us" can be viewed on YouTube. After a long hiatus from the recording industry, he is releasing his first album in 15 years this March. Grayson will play some old hits, new music, and several songs he wrote and never released during his break. He will be available after the concert for a meet and greet and autographs, and we will be selling his new CD as well! Grayson will be performing with his wife and long time backup singer Polly Messer.

Advance ticket purchase requested! Email Joe Gonzalez at or call 203-348-0708 for information on reserving tickets and receiving payment instructions!

NVLB is a CT-based organization dedicated to providing transitional housing to homeless veterans. They will be taking over occupancy of the housing unit on UUSIS' property most likely in the late spring or early summer. See for more info.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Need some ugly clothes? Head on over to H&M!

Just in time for spring, H&M at the Stamford Town Center has all your ugly clothing needs covered!

Remember that classic from 1997 that looked like a cross between a Members Only jacket and a bomber jacket? They were all the rage with that Kirk Cobain and his band, Melvana, and they're back in style (at least according to the buyers at H&M)!

Do you admire the fashion sense of one Dr. Cliff Huxtable? You do? Then I've got some good news! Now you, too, can wear a sweater that makes blind people puke and gives sighted people seizures!

Maybe you're from Greenwich and got lost on the rough, gritty streets of Stamford on your way back from a polo match in Westport. Slip on the snappy number below and you'll be loitering in Veterans' Park in no time!

Speaking of streetwear, remember Cross Colors? They were in style for a two-week period in 1994, sandwiched between Malcolm X hats and L.A. Raiders gear. Well, thanks to H&M you can relive the best two weeks of your life!

Don't worry ladies, H&M hasn't forgotten about you! Check out this fake leopard-print jacket - guaranteed 100% synthetic and 100% flammable. I dare you to wear it without any irony!

But wait! There's even something for the kids! That's right - hurry in and get your daughter some purple short shorts with a sparkly silver belt!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Stamford fills the housing "donut hole"

I guess someone finally realized that there are people in Stamford who make more than $20,000 but significantly less than $1 million, so the Zoning Board passed an amendment "that will permit developers to expand the affordability range to include families earning between 25 percent and 80 percent of the area median income." Here's the Advocate article.

The upside is that middle-class people (like me) will actually have a shot at staying in Stamford. The downside, at least for the frou-frous, is that when they're not polishing their marble countertops, they might run into riff-raff like Stamford bloggers. The horror!

All joking aside, this is a good move by the city. It should allow more people to afford all the gleaming new apartments and reverse the trend of sticking all the poor people in housing projects in not-so-great neighborhoods. Here's hoping the developers don't try to pay their way out of letting us regular folk into their ivory towers!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Highgrove, Shmighgrove

In yet another sign of the deflated housing bubble, contract holders at Highgrove, the overpriced condo tower in downtown Stamford, are getting tired of the delays in construction, and some are demanding their money back. Here's the Advocate article.

Despite developer Jason Schlesinger's assurances, the facts don't look too good for Ceebraid-Signal: they've pushed back their completion/occupancy date several times; Schlesinger has been sued for defaulting on a $6 million loan; and he and his company have been sued by the Florida attorney general. He's even asked the city for a "partial-occupancy" certificate, even though YOU CAN'T GET INTO THE BUILDING FROM THE STREET. (Minor detail, there, Jason.)

On a personal note, though I don't usually speak ill of anyone on this blog (unless they deserve it), we lived in an apartment building in Stamford managed by Ceebraid-Signal ("The Townhouse" at 65 Prospect Street), and they were the worst. Every time I had to call the management office with a question, I was handled by the rudest, least helpful people on the planet. They even tried to mess with our parking space rental contract (yes, we had to pay extra for parking). I called to cancel one of our parking spaces, but they told me that I couldn't because the contract had been revised to run concurrently with our apartment lease. I said that they couldn't have revised a two-party contract without the consent of, you know, the other party. The woman from Ceebraid-Signal continued to insist (with increasing anger) that they could and that it had been changed. I persisted with my case that what they did made no sense, until she screamed at me that the contract was canceled and hung up on me. Customer service at its finest!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fondue your part to help PAWS!

PAWS, the Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk, is having a fundraiser benefit at The Melting Pot in Darien on March 25 from 5-10 p.m. There will be a special prix fixe menu for the evening which includes appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for $45.00 per person, $10 of which goes to PAWS.

No word on whether you can bring your cat and dip his/her Fancy Feast in cheese.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The City that Yuks

Hold onto your whoopee cushions, because we've got TWO famous funnymen on the way to the Palace this spring and summer!

First, Jim Gaffigan is playing two shows on Saturday, April 10th. Here's a clip!

Then Craig Ferguson, co-star of The Drew Carey Show and host of The Late, Late Show, is playing on Wednesday, July 7th. Here's a clip!

Go to SCA's website for tickets: Stamford Center for the Arts.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Eats of Stamford: Navaratna

It's never a good sign when you are the only patron in a restaurant when you walk in, and still the only person there when you walk out. To Navaratna's credit, it's definitely not the food keeping people away.

Navaratna is in the old home of Mona Lisa's, on Atlantic Street between Mojito's and Dunkin' Donuts, and they serve vegetarian Indian food. As I've ranted before, the west side of Atlantic Street suffers due to its proximity to, well, the east side of Atlantic Street, a long gray-and-brown wall of nothingness. It has to be hard to establish a foothold in a city already teeming with restaurants when your location doesn't get much foot traffic.

As for Navaratna itself, the interior is rather nondescript, and the only thing vaguely Indian is a painting hanging on the wall. I like the exposed brick, but the other Indian restaurants in town put Navaratna's decor to shame.

Now for the food. I had the Mirchi Ka Salan, or "authentic hydrabadi cashew and tamarind and southern spices." I didn't see any cashews and I would've liked a warning that the big peppers still had their stems attached, but overall, it was a very tasty dish. It had a warm spice to it along with a subtle sweetness from the tamarind.

I would've liked some kind of lunch special, but they just have one menu, so prices that are fine for dinner range a little high for lunch, especially when it comes to appetizers and side dishes.

Overall, I'd like to try Navaratna again. I just hope they're around long enough for me to make a return trip.