Digging Up a Bit of Stamford History!


(Thanks to the Stamford Historical Society’s website for the photos.)

During the weekend of July 16th and 17th 2016, the Stamford Historical Society as well as volunteers from the public (including myself) will be descending upon the Hoyt Barnum House to take part in an archaeological dig. With it being Stamford’s 375th birthday this year and the house getting ready for its move up to the Society’s grounds, the dig is the perfect opportunity to take place in a piece of genuine Stamford history. This will be the 4th dig taking place at the house in 50 years…one having taken place in the 1960’s, one in 2002 and one done this past Spring by the Public Archaeology Lab.  Having written about Stamford’s oldest house before and being a lover of local history, I’m personally very excited and honored to be taking part in this dig.

As I previously wrote in my post The Stranger Side of Stamford: “Built in 1699 on land once owned by Munsee Indians, the Hoyt-Barnum house is the oldest home in Stamford. A true testament to the city’s founders, this wooden structure has held up through the roughest of New England weather for over 300 years. While the house itself is wood, the chimney was created of stone and (as per Stamford Historical Society) held together with such materials as mortar with clay, straw and animal hair.” This house, being only 58 years younger than the founding of Stamford, it has survived though hurricanes, floods, harsh Winters, wars and even the over development of the city itself.

Past digs on the property turned up such things as hand forged nails, shards of pottery and glass and even bones and shells. According to the Historical Society’s website, any larger items unearthed are preserved and housed at their location.

Why dig?

Stamford has an amazing history to it. This city was founded only 21 years after the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Think about that! It really puts it into perspective doesn’t it?

So the question should be, why NOT dig?

With so much development going on around our fair city, there are few places left where we can unearth the secrets of our past. To find traces of how our founders lived their lives here. For example, I mentioned that shells were found in a previous dig on the grounds. Why is this significant when we live in a coastal city? Because even though the waterfront extended further inland in those days, the house itself was not located right on it and seafood such as clams and oysters were considered a ‘poor mans’ meal in those days. While you may go to your favorite restaurant now and freely order oysters as a mere appetizer for your dinner, back in the 1600’s, this was how they survived. And because they did, we have this city to call home now.

With the house moving to another location, this is the perfect time to explore, to learn and as is often said here at WOTM, to LEARN WHERE YOU LIVE! Learn how Stamford came to be. Learn who lived here before. Learn about who we have to thank for settling here and creating this place that is such an important part of our lives.

I’m including the information below from the Stamford Historical Society with the details on the dig and how you too can sign up to participate. There are limited spots, so please get your RSVPs in as soon as you can and come and get dirty with us as we dig deep into the past!

Hope to see you there!!

hoyt-Barnum House-pc



(July 2016) Stamford, CT- Here’s your chance to experience hands-on archaeology in lower Fairfield County.  The Stamford Historical Society will be carrying out an archaeological dig at the Hoyt Barnum House property, 713 Bedford Street in Stamford, on Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th from 9AM- 3PM each day.  The Historical Society will provide trowels for digging, buckets, and basic instructions on how to dig.  You will be using 1/4″ mesh to screen all dirt.  This dig will be held by Executive Director Thomas Zoubek, who has a PhD from Yale University and has led multiple archaeological explorations.  Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and should bring work gloves to keep their hands clean.  Call 203-329-1183 or contact info@stamfordhistory.org to reserve a place in this historic dig.

A professional dig by the Public Archaeology Lab (PAL) this spring located a number of interesting artifacts including 18th century pottery and an Indian Head Penny.  Who knows what you might uncover?  All finds will belong to the Stamford Historical Society and will contribute to the record and understanding of the Hoyt Barnum House (built 1699) and its inhabitants over the years.  Please bring your own refreshments/snack/lunch.  Sunscreen and a hat are recommended.  The dig will not take place if there is a thunderstorm and there will be no raindate.  Get ready to dig into history and get your hands dirty!

The Stamford Historical Society, located at 1508 High Ridge Road, is an educational and research institution whose primary functions are to collect, preserve, conserve, interpret, and exhibit materials relating to Stamford, Connecticut and the surrounding area.  As the City of Stamford’s history center, the Society is dedicated to providing opportunities for the community to understand and experience the past through the presentation of exhibits and displays, lectures, demonstrations, special events and participatory programs. For more information, call us at 203-329-1183 or visit our website at www.stamfordhistory.org.


Info on the 2002 dig: http://www.stamfordhistory.org/adv_arch1.htm

#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamfordct #stamford375 #stamfordhistory #stamfordhistoricalsociety #hoytbarnumhouse #history #dig #archaeology #learnwhereyoulive #stopandlookaround


Greenwich Wine + Food 2016 Announces Celeb Chefs and Music Acts!

So you’re here on WOTM who prides themselves on Keeping it Local STAMFORD and you’re wondering why we’re here posting about the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival…right?  Well, besides being a great event for a great cause, every year, Stamford is VERY well represented! Many Stamford restaurants and businesses participate and share their creations with those who attend. Here is the latest on this fabulous event:


Ziggy Marley and Old Crow Medicine Show to Co-Headline

at the Saturday Festival

The Bacon Brothers to Perform at Master Chef Dinner with Adam Richman

Celebrity Chefs Featured Throughout the Festival Include Michel Nischan and Marcus Samuelsson

Greenwich, CT – The sixth annual GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL, presented by Serendipity magazine (www.serendipitysocial.com) and benefitting Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Wholesome Wave and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation, has announced the headlining musical talent and celebrity chefs who will appear at this year’s festival.

“We wanted to give our guests an extra special night of music to cap off Saturday’s festival this year, so are featuring two co-headlining acts that are sure to get the crowd on their feet,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Serendipity magazine and the GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL. “The combination of Ziggy Marley’s reggae with the American string band Old Crow Medicine Show will entertain everyone in attendance.”

“We are also excited to once again welcome back Connecticut’s own Kevin Bacon, along with his brother Michael, to join in our celebration and offer their unique blend of folk, country and rock music to an intimate group of attendees at the Master Chef Dinner on Friday night,” added Unger.

In addition to the musical acts, celebrity chefs Michel Nischan, Adam Richman and Marcus Samuelsson will participate in this year’s festivities, conducting cooking demos, mingling with guests and signing cookbooks.

At the Master Chef Dinner on Friday evening, Adam Richman will award Serendipity’s Most Innovative Chefs from across Fairfield and Westchester Counties (honorees TBA) who will serve their signature dishes. Festival Ambassador Chefs will also be in attendance, preparing their best cuisine. The special evening is rounded out with renowned wine selections, creative cocktails and an auction.

The celebration of local and national talent continues on Saturday, the signature day of the GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL. The lineup features tastings and demonstrations from more than two hundred of the area’s finest food, wine, spirits and product vendors in the Grand Tasting Tent, as well as the Burger & Brew Tent, Grill Master Tent and Taco Party! There will also be a number of lively competitions, including the first annual Ultimate Sandwich Take-Down, the fifth annual Burger Battle and the third annual Top Bartender’s Showdown. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy sommelier presentations, celebrity book signings, and Q&A sessions with top culinary experts.  

Saturday VIP ticket holders ($375 per ticket) are invited to the Sustainable Dinner with three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner Michel Nischan, highlighting exquisite, locally-sourced ingredients, served under a private tent with premium liquor, wine and beer. Ticket holders also have access to exclusive lounge areas (open throughout the day), private restrooms and a premium viewing area for the evening’s musical performance. 

The Saturday VIP Pass with Intimate Dinner, featuring Marcus Samuelsson and Red Rooster Harlem, will give attendees the opportunity to sample the best of Harlem in a stunning waterfront setting. Award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson will prepare a meal inspired by the roots of American cuisine at a seated dinner with table service (6:30-8:30pm). Attendees can take in the evening’s musical performance from private tables on an elevated stage ($525 per ticket) or from reserved, lawn table seating ($450 per ticket). Table packages will be available as well.

Visit www.serendipitysocial.com for more information and updates about the event schedule, participating celebrity and local chefs, musical talent and more. 

Tickets will be available in the coming weeks via http://serendipitysocial.com/or by calling 203.588.1363. The event’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GreenwichwinefoodFestival will announce restaurant participants and schedule updates.

The festival will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted. Pets are also not permitted.country influences. 


The GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL is a multi-day event that benefits The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses, as well asWholesome Wave and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation. The festival is sponsored by Serendipity magazine in partnership with Pepsi.

Here are 5 Things Going on This Weekend in Stamford:


Before we get to the list, just a reminder that Saturday the 30th is the FINAL day you can head to the beaches and parks that require the beach stickers for free! Make sure to get your stickers for the 2016 season: http://www.stamfordct.gov/cashiering-permitting/pages/beach-sticker For most folks, you can do it right online.

Now, onto the 5 things happening this weekend:


Curtain Call: Only three shows left to catch some amazing local talent perform in the one and only Little Shop of Horrors! This comedy has awesome music by Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, etc) and has a giant, singing, talking plant. What else could you ask for in a musical?! Final show dates are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For tickets and info: http://www.curtaincallinc.com/shows/little-shop-of-horrors-3/


Curtain Call Inc.


Sheraton Stamford Hotel: 18th Annual Pez Convention hits this weekend! From the trip to the Pez Visitors Center on Thursday, to the children’s costume contest on Friday to the convention floor opening on Saturday…if you like Pez this is where you need to be! Times, ticket prices, agenda and more: http://pezconvention.org/


Avon Theatre & Film Center: To honor a music legend we lost just last week, the Avon will be showing Purple Rain on the big screen! Prince won an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score and if you’ve ever heard the soundtrack for this movie, you’ll understand why. It will be shown on both Friday and Saturday night at 9pm. http://www.avontheatre.org/films/345/purple-rain-(1984)


Avon Theatre & Film Center


Ferguson Library:  On Saturday, meet the raptors of the Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center.  This is a drop-in program for everyone 5 yrs of age and up and is FREE! 2-3pm on Saturday.  http://fergusonlibrary.org/event/horizon-wings/

On Sunday at the library, they will be having a documentary screening at 2pm called: Healing Voices.  “HEALING VOICES challenges us to rethink our cultural understanding of “mental illness” by bringing a message of recovery, and charting a course for effective alternative treatments that enable people to live productive and meaningful lives.”  http://fergusonlibrary.org/event/healing-voices-documentary-screening/


Stamford Historical Society:  Cozy Sundays are back at the Historical Society and what a great opportunity to learn more about where you live! Starting at 2pm, come and see the “Spare these Stones” presentation on Cemetery Inscription in Stamford.  Learn about the preservation efforts of Stamford’s older cemeteries and how these folks meticulously documented the graves of local veterans and inscriptions of stones that are no longer legible. For more information: http://stamfordhistory.org/event/cozy-sunday-2/



There you go guys! Have fun, be safe and as always…KEEP IT LOCAL STAMFORD!!!


#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #learnwhereyoulive #saveourhistory #littleshopofhorrors #curtaincall #pez #candy #convention #sheratonstamford #fergusonlibrary #beachseason2016 #purplerain #prince #legend #paisleypark


Stamford375 Has Begun!


Stamford is Celebrating!

This past Sunday, myself and over 200 Stamford-ites went down to the Old Town Hall steps and helped to celebrate the opening ceremony of Stamford375! This year the City of Stamford turns 375 years young and the Stamford375.org committee have months of events scheduled to mark the occasion.

In 1641, 29 Puritan settlers and their families came to Rippowam (Stamford’s former name) from Weathersfield after a rift within the congregation of the Church of Christ. These intrepid folks decided to come to Southwestern Connecticut to farm, raise their families and start their own sect of The First Congregational Church.  Its first meeting house was built in the area of what is now known as Veteran’s Park and this is what brings us to Sunday’s ceremony!

While this ceremony was billed as a ‘multi-faith’ event in honor of our founding fathers, you needn’t be of a particular faith to go and enjoy a wonderful few hours in the Spring sunshine learning about our history and hearing some inspirational speeches. The tagline of: Many Faiths, One Community: Stamford Proud was quite apropos for such an event.

It began with Sandy Goldstein of DSSD taking the mic to welcome everyone there and with her usual enthusiasm introduced to us all committee members and participants of the day’s event. She served as emcee and with Stamford’s first meeting house established just yards away from the Old Town Hall steps, it was truly fitting to have Downtown Special Service District open the months-long celebrations.

Mayor David Martin took to the podium next to fill us in more on the vision of Stamford375. This was the first time I had seen Mayor Martin speak in person and you could truly see how excited he is about this city-wide project.

From the Stamford Historical Society, Ron Marcus gave us insight on the Religious Faith in Stamford from 1641 to the present. The Historical Society is such a great resource for all of us who live here and it was an honor for me to hear Ron speak.

We had inspiring talks given by both Rabbi Daniel Cohen and Monsignor Stephen Giovanni that I personally took a lot from. While I am not of any religion, inspiration and learning come from everyone around you. This day had many voices to be heard. The message of paying it forward or as Rabbi Cohen referred to, “Finding your Elijah” was definitely something that everyone could get behind no matter who you are.

Speaker Mark Levine got up and surprised many of us with a short list of names of celebrities, sports icons, writers and more who have/had lived in Stamford over the years. From Jackie Robinson to J.D. Salinger to Joseph Lieberman…the list goes on and on. While he limited the list for speaking purposes to but a few, if you’d like to see a longer list of those who both called and presently call Stamford their home: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Stamford,_Connecticut

The Union Baptist Church Choir graced us with their voices and gave us beautiful renditions of The Star Spangled Banner, My Country Tis of Thee and God Bless America. They were truly wonderful and later, led everyone in the ‘faith walk’ over to Veteran’s Park for the wreath laying ceremony.

After everyone gathered around in the park area, Mayor Martin and Reverend Dr. Todd Grant-Yonkman, Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stamford laid a wreath commemorating the spot where the first meeting house was assembled 375 years ago. With the choir singing in the background, it made for a moving moment that I was proud to be a part of.

If you’ve followed WOTM for any time, you know what a passion I have for local history. It was inspiration for my post (around Halloween time) called The Stranger Side of Stamford. After I posted it, I had a number of folks thank me for posting it as they didn’t know a lot about the history of the city. That’s what is so exciting to me about the Stamford375 project! It’s getting residents interested in learning more about where they live!!

I often say in posts and in hashtags: learn where you live and stop and look around. I think it’s important, I really do. This was a great day to do both!

While at Veteran’s Park the other day, I took the time to really look at the monuments and memorials that reside there. Many of us walk through that park on a daily basis or run through it to get to the mall or maybe to catch a bus. How often do you stop and look at what has been placed there?

One that I’ve never seen before was the most fitting for the day we had just had. It was a tablet set in a large stone commemorating the spot where the 29 Puritan settlers made their home 375 years ago. And THAT is what we are going to be celebrating for the rest of the year. Whether it was the celebration downtown, or future events in North Stamford at the Historical Society, down at Mill river Park, Fort Stamford, Cumming Park, etc, the rest of this year will be packed with fun activities that everyone can attend, enjoy and maybe learn a thing or two!

Our tagline here on WOTM is KEEP IT LOCAL. You can’t get much more local than this!!!

~ ~ ~

For the pics I took during the event, please see our album on WOTM’s FB page: http://bit.ly/1S9QsP1

For more information, schedule of events and more: Stamford375.org


1641 Monument at Veteran’s Park

#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamford375 #stamforddowntown #dssd #learnwhereyoulive #stopandlookaround #saveourhistory

Historical address, delivered in the First Congregational Church in Stamford, Ct.
Historical address, delivered in the First Congregational Church in Stamford, Ct.

Fairfield County Women’s Expo 2016


This past weekend saw the annual Fairfield County Women’s Expo at the newly renovated Crowne Plaza hotel. Having been to quite a few of these events, I was excited to share this event with a friend and have a ‘girl’s day out’. The Women’s Expo is a fun time out with tons of exhibitors that are both local (as from here in Stamford) to outside our area. While mostly from the CT area, I have to say, today was the first time I saw a few from as far away as Lake George, NY.

As you walk through the maze of booths, you never what each one will be showcasing. From jewelry to gutters to skin care and yummy samples, there is something for everyone…including any guys who tagged along! They offer lots of fun happenings to participate in at the Expo itself. This year’s offerings included: free yoga, pilates,  Zumba and ‘stroller pump’ classes, makeovers, talks and book signings with some special guests, raffles, giveaways and more.


Welcome to the Expo!

As I’ve said earlier, I have been to a number of these and have seen them both packed and somewhat busy, but with room to explore. This time around, the Expo is competing with some spectacular weather that Stamford has been lacking on weekends. So when we arrived, shortly after the doors opened, it was still waiting to get into the groove of the day. Have to admit, I liked it like this. We really got to meet some wonderful vendors and they had the opportunity to take their time with us as we asked a ton of questions and tried samples of everything from gluten-free vegan chocolate to some wonderful skin care items that I’ve already searched online for!

With Mother’s Day coming up soon, the folks that put this event together each year have the timing set up perfectly. You can do some serious shopping at this place! Get mom a bottle of her favorite perfume, cozy slipper socks to veg out in, buy a lovely handcrafted scarf or hell, get an estimate on new windows for her house! (I am not joking about that last one.)


One of the many jewelry vendor’s displays.

If you’re into a healthy lifestyle or even looking for inspiration to get you jump-started to a better way of eating or exercising…you’ll definitely get it here. Free health screenings, juice and healthy treat samples and even lifestyle coaches are waiting for you!  I’ll admit, I tried a few of the snacks and while the aforementioned special chocolate didn’t do it for me (but that’s because I’m not a dark chocolate person, sorry), the special juices I tried were fantastic!  Honestly, you just never know what you are going to find at this thing.


Himalayan Salt Lamps

Whether you go on Sunday or are already looking forward to the 2017 Fairfield County Women’s Expo, here are my (personal) suggestions:

  • Take a friend or two. It’s great to have someone to tag along with so you can cover more ground, fill out more raffle entries (hey, you never know right?) and bounce help you decide if that scarf you just picked out looks better on you or should be given as a gift.
  • If you are like me and have trouble with large crowds, go early. Not only will it not be as crowded but you’ll also have the full attention of the vendors. You’ll be able to take your time at each table you hit instead of feeling rushed by others waiting their turn.
  • If you bring small children, definitely bring a friend with you. This is what we did. We spent a good amount of time at some of the tables and if you are the only adult with a little one, they are going to get bored quickly. They don’t want to hear about investments or what botanicals are good for helping your sleep pattern! So if you have another adult with you, they can keep the tiny person occupied and happy. Then at the next table, switch roles! Everyone wins!! (and if you’re lucky, you’ll stop at one of the tables with the free lollipops)
  • If you’re looking to take one of the free classes, remember to bring your gear. Don’t get caught wanting to take an exercise class and not having proper attire and footwear. BE SAFE!
  • It’s held right on Summer St. so why not plan about 2hrs at the Expo (to start) and then head to a great restaurant for lunch or an early dinner?! OR, go have a nice brunch with the girls and then hit the Expo after? Either way, you’ll have a fun day!!
  • While the opportunity to shop is certainly there, you can get away without spending a dime other than the entry fee. Oh and the parking is free for the weekend as well!

All in all, this is a fun time. We walked out with our free gift bags filled with free goodies, catalogs and lots of business cards so we can look up some places to shop online. I do that a lot. This way I can take my time browsing the websites and still support some great small businesses as well!!

One more thing…there are wonderful non-profit organizations represented here as well. From animal care to  Stamford-based soup kitchen New Covenant House, there are groups who could use your help and you can learn more about them and ways you can help at the Expo!

The Fairfield County Women’s Expo runs one more day, Sunday April 17th from 11-5 and for all the info on exhibitors, guest speakers, ticket discounts and classes for the day: http://fcwomenshow.com/

Keep it Local Stamford!!


Time to shop and explore!!

#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #womensexpo #fairfieldcounty #girlsdayout #supportlocalbusinesses #supportsmallbusinesses #stamfordct #crowneplazahotel #summerstreet


5 Things to Do This Weekend in Stamford



It’s the weekend and we’re supposed to be getting some WONDERFUL Spring weather! So let’s get out there and have fun over the next couple of days!!! Here’s 5 things going on this weekend around Stamford…


Fairfield County Women’s Expo:  Held at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday and Sunday, this annual event has become a great girl’s day out for women of ALL ages! (ok, guys can go too)  From 11am-5pm, you can walk through the aisles upon aisles of vendors and shop for jewelry, clothes, soaps, lotions and tons of awesome gift items. HINT: Mother’s Day is coming up soon! There’s also services to try such as massages and spa treatments, services to get ideas from like travel pros, painters and contractors as well as health services as well. There are classes to try, raffles and prizes, free samples and health screenings, special guests to see and just so much more! Truly a great way to Keep it Local as many of the businesses represented are from Stamford.

For info on tickets and the whole event:   http://fcwomenshow.com/

PS. Parking is FREE!


Stamford375:  2016 marks the 375th Anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Stamford. It was in 1641 that 29 Puritans settled on the land that was once named “Rippowam” by the Native Americans who once lived here. STAMFORD375.org will be celebrating this historic milestone with 9 months of happenings all around our city!!

This Sunday at 3pm, the opening ceremonies will take place at Old Town Hall followed by a ceremonial wreath-laying across the street at Veteran’s Park. Can’t think of a more LOCAL way to Keep it Local than this!

For information and a list of events happening over the next months, please go to: http://stamford375.org


Stamford Museum & Nature Center:  The Sunday drop-in program returns for another year of Sunday Fun for the whole family! Check out the hiking trails, explore the farm, help feed the animals, help plant the garden and make sure to see some of the babies that have been born so far this season!! There’s also crafts and so much more. What a great way to get outside and un-plug for the day!!

For more info: http://www.stamfordmuseum.org/


Ferguson Library: There is always something going on at the library! Check out the calendar for Saturday April 16th alone and you’ll see a full day’s worth of events for kids who are 3 to kids at heart who are 83! Always check back on the Ferguson Library’s (brand spanking new) site to see all of the events that go on all week long.

For Saturday info: http://fergusonlibrary.org/events/2016-04-16/


Park Time:  Like I stated earlier, the weather is supposed to be fantastic this weekend. Get away from the tablets, phones, computers and whatever you are normally plugged into on a daily basis and head outside! There is still time to enjoy a lot of the parks without a sticker, so take advantage of it!

Fly a kite at Cove Island Park, throw a Frisbee or play some Whiffle Ball at Scalzi, check out the blooming trees at Mill River Park and be sure to head down the Shippan way and maybe catch a glimpse of the bald eagles that were sighted there this week!!



There are so many places to go and so little time in a weekend, but I hope I’ve given you some ideas on where to head out either with friends or the little ones and spend some time together.  Our weather has been so bizarre so far this year let’s take advantage of it while we have it warm and sunny!!

Of course no Spring weekend would be complete without getting on the Dairy Queen line! It may be in the 60’s Saturday and Sunday, but the Blizzards will be churning up on Summer Street!!



#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #springinstamford #greatweather #stamfordct #womensexpo #SMNC #flyakite  #parks #fergusonlibrary #stamford375 #happybirthdaystamford

A Sparkling Talk at the Stamford Historical Society

Happy to share this press release from the Stamford Historical Society regarding an event taking place this Sunday, April 10th from 2-4pm:


If you are tempted by glass display cases filled with fanciful rings and brooches, you will want to attend the Stamford Historical Society’s next “Cozy Sunday” on April 10thNagi Osta will discuss Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro Moderne styles during his talk entitled JEWELRY: VICTORIAN to ART DECO. Discover the history of jewelry and how designs and ideas from early civilizations have influenced and contributed to the modern age of this wearable art form.  Mr. Osta will share special period examples with the audience.

This “Cozy Sunday” event will be held at 1508 High Ridge Road in Stamford from 2 – 4 pm.  Tickets are $15 per person by cash or check.  Refreshments are included.  Since seating is limited, please contact the Stamford Historical Society at 203-329-1183 orinfo@stamfordhistory.org to make your reservation.  You can also learn more online at www.stamfordhistory.org.

Your ticket price includes admission to the Historical Society’s current exhibit, How We Say Goodbye: Funerary and Mortuary Practices in Stamford.  It charts what is known of how Stamford treated the dear departed from the time of the first settlement to the present era. The exhibit includes gravestones, mourning dresses, fans, parasols, jewelry made of jet, jewelry using human hair, embalming equipment and many photos.  How We Say Goodbye is generously sponsored by Bosak Funeral Home.

The bulk of the material of the exhibit dates to the 19th century, and especially to the later Victorian era. It was during this time that the cult of death spread across the United States from England. Large amounts of money were devoted to procuring fashionable mourning dresses and gowns with a host of accessories including fans, parasols and jewelry. It had been the practice even in the Colonial era to have locks of hair enclosed in lockets or rings to be kept and worn by the living as keepsakes in memory of their deceased kin. During the Victorian era, this practice continued and jewelry was also made from human hair. Women bore the brunt of the cult of death and many spent from months to years in funeral garb. The colors varied based on how long the women had been in mourning, starting with black and graduating to shades of purple, dark blue and brown.

Alongside the clothing, death inspired many decorative arts. In addition to the gravestones themselves, which in Colonial Times bore winged skulls, hourglasses and bones and later depicted a Neoclassical Willow/Urn pattern, embroidered and watercolor pieces were executed showing the grave and people in mourning. Such patterns could even be found on china tea sets specially created in memory of the deceased.

Nagi Osta is a long time jewelry professional and owner of Nagi Jewelers on High Ridge Road in Stamford, having started his business in 1980 and now extended to a second generation.  He is both a G.G.A. and CGA, and his favorite place is on the sales floor with his customers. Nagi and his team celebrate the beauty of jewelry both old and new in his showroom.  They take pride in educating and guiding each customer in all of their products, including diamonds, exquisite gemstones, antique, estate, new and custom made jewelry, design services, expert jewelry and watch repair and restoration, insurance replacement and appraisals of all types.

The Stamford Historical Society, located at 1508 High Ridge Road, is an educational and research institution whose primary functions are to collect, preserve, conserve, interpret, and exhibit materials relating to Stamford, Connecticut and the surrounding area.  As the City of Stamford’s history center, the Society is dedicated to providing opportunities for the community to understand and experience the past through the presentation of exhibits and displays, lectures, demonstrations, special events and participatory programs. For more information, call us at 203-329-1183 or visit our website at www.stamfordhistory.org.


#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamfordhistoricalsociety #learnwhereyoulive #stopandlookaround #stamford375 #cityofstamford #nagijewelers #cozysundays

Free Ways to Enjoy Stamford This Spring!



Spring is here and you’re getting the itch to get out and do something fun. Well, whether you’re a long-time resident, new to Stamford or are like me, always broke, there are things you can do around the city  that you may not have known or thought about.

Here are some ways you can Keep it Local that are both fun and FREE!


Parks:  Stamford has so many great parks you can lose count! From ball fields, to beaches, to playgrounds and more, there are parks for everyone in the city…including the dogs!  Until May 1st, ALL parks are free to enter. However, (from the Stamford Government site) parking permits are required at Cove Island, Cummings, West Beach, Southfield, Dorothy Heroy & Newman Mills Riverbank Walk, from May 1st through September 30th. Especially if you’re new to Stamford, now is the PERFECT time to check out these parks and see if they are places you think you will want to keep going to over the Summer. (you know, to see if it’s worth it to get the parking permit) Permit info: http://www.stamfordct.gov/cashiering-permitting/pages/beach-sticker

If you head to Scalzi Park, be sure to talk a walk along the Scalzi Riverwalk Nature Preserve. This spectacular peaceful bit of nature is home to many types of bird, animal and plant species that are just waiting to be seen and photographed. The volunteers work tirelessly to plant and replant, to clean and keep clean this bit of serenity in the midst of our crazed city.  http://www.scalziriverwalk.org/


Egret taken from Scalzi Riverwalk
(Photo taken by Me 2015)

Go and check out the progress of the restoration project and beauty that is Mill River Park. Also, check out their website to find upcoming events and updates on STEM programs and other activities: http://www.millriverpark.org/  Over the Summer, they hold free exercise classes, movies in the park and much more!

Looking for a place to take your four-legged furry child? The Stamford Dog Park on Courtland Ave is a great spot for your dog to have a play date!  If you have kids, you can bring them to look at the dogs playing and then head to the playground area where they can go on the swings and other equipment. There’s also a nice big field area for Frisbee or wiffle ball and picnic tables too. http://www.stamforddogpark.com/index.html


Ferguson Library:  I love libraries and yet (I’m ashamed to say) haven’t visited one in quite some time. We tend to take these hidden-in-plain-sight gems for granted and forget that they are not just about the books!  We have an invaluable resource in our library system and are lucky enough to have three branches of it as well as the Bookmobile that serves our city. A great way to ‘unplug’ for a while is to get back to reading. Why not check out a book and head outside on a nice day! Raining? Why not take some time to rediscover the library itself and soak in some peace and quiet away from your everyday chaos? (Remember, you can also check out ebooks and more on their website as well.)

The Ferguson Library has packed calendars of events for kids as well as adults that you can attend for free! From story hours, baby time and afterschool programs for the kids to knitting circles, computer classes and discussion groups for the adults, there is always something going on. (Please note: While most programs are free, some special events such as guest lectures may require you to purchase tickets.)  Ferguson Library Website: http://fergusonlibrary.org/


Ferguson Library Main Branch
(photo courtesy of  StamfordCTRentals.com)

Exercise: Stamford is home to two great shops that run free events around the city for runners, walkers and bikers (the Schwinn type…not Harley). First up, Fleet Feet Stamford on Bedford St. offers weekly fun runs that are free to join in and they have several to choose from: http://www.fleetfeetstamford.com/group-fun-runs

The second, Pacific Cycling & Triathlon, now on High Ridge Rd. also offers free events for those looking to get out there and get active. Hit up their Facebook page for events, updates and more: https://www.facebook.com/PacificSwimBikeRun/


Bartlett Arboretum:  Over 100 years old, the Bartlett Arboretum is a treasure trove of gardens, wildlife, hiking trails and so much more. While you can go and discover so much of this on your own, they also offer classes and events for kids and adults alike. Among their many collections of trees, be sure to check out the Nut Tree collection!  Where else are you going to find a collection of growing pecans, walnuts, chestnuts and others around Stamford?

Be sure to take your camera. If you’re a birder like I am (and if you follow WOTM on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about), there are many photo ops for all kinds of birds and other critters hanging out in the trees, ponds and along the trails.  Kids will love the outdoor play area complete with some funky instruments they can bang out a tune on! http://bartlettarboretum.org/Home


Bridge–Bartlett Arboretum
(Photo Taken by Me 2014)

Avon Theater:  The FTMA (Film and Television Masters Program) Talkback Series will be held at the Avon on Bedford St. presented by the Avon and Sacred Heart University. This FREE series will take place on the following four Wednesdays:  April 6th, April 20th, May 4th and May 18th.  The screenings will begin at 1pm on those days and here is the lineup of films to be shown: The Yazuka, Cape Fear (the original 1962 version), Something Wild and Married to the Mob.

Each screening will have Q&A’s with either Professor Justin Liberman or Professor Damon Maulucci depending on the film. For more information: http://www.avontheatre.org/index.php


Photo Courtesy of Avon Theater

Trolley Ride:  You may have seen the old fashioned looking Harbor Point Trolley around downtown Stamford. Well next time you see it, HOP ON! The trolley makes 14 stops every 30 minutes going from downtown to the South end/Harbor Point area. Running 7 days a week, stops include the transportation center, Fairway Market and more.  By the way, one of the stops is the UCONN Stamford campus. So if you’re new to the area and a student or work at the University and live on the trolley route, you now have a way to get to the school for free!

A ride on the trolley is also a great way to look at the city in a whole new way. You can ride it the whole loop and just take in the area. Maybe head down to a restaurant you haven’t been to before at Harbor Point or when the ARTWalk pieces are out over the Summer, the trolley ride can help you check off more sightings on your map!

For information on the Harbor Point Trolley, it’s route/stops map and info on the tracking app: http://www.harborpt.com/harbor-point-trolley/


Harbor Point Trolley
(Photo Courtesy of Stamford HamletHub)

There you go Stamford—just a few of the many great ideas on how to take in the city in new ways and for FREE too!



#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stopandlookaround #learnwhereyoulive #stamfordct #funandfree #getoutsidect #stamfordmag #fergusonlibrary #stamfordparks #scalziriverwalk #millriverpark #harborpointtrolley #avontheater #bartlettarboretum #ctvisit #connecticutmagazine #connecticuttourism #stamforddowntown #walkbikerun #hikingtrails #nature #wildlife #coastalct




Chef Judith Roll Embraces a New Concept in Her Hometown of Stamford, CT

Press Release– March 31, 2016, Fairfield County, CT: Chef Judith Roll first introduced her vibrant Middle Eastern Cuisine to Stamford, CT in 2009. Her fresh and flavorful menu, which featured grilled meat kabobs, traditional shawarma, creative salads, creamy hummus, tabouli, baba ghanoush, chicken schnitzel, and scrumptious falafel soon worked its way into an already robust local dining scene. In 2011 Tabouli Grill headed north and opened a sister location in Southport, CT, once again acquainting consumers to this delicious and healthful cuisine.

This week Judith closed the doors of her Southport location, making the decision to head back to her home town of Stamford and concentrate her efforts on her newly opened neighborhood restaurant, Judy’s Bar & Kitchen. Judy’s, and American comfort food respite, includes house smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, wings, and turkey, in addition to fried chicken, juicy burgers, overloaded sandwiches, and hearty salads. Judy’s from-scratch philosophy carries over into her decadent dessert menu. Faves include North Carolina lemon tart, pecan pie, and chocolate peanut butter cake. Wines on tap, extensive beer selections, and craft cocktails round out the menu.

New menu items: Pickled Shrimp Cocktail with house quick pickled veggies and avocado, Laird’s Applejack Chicken Liver Pate with grilled buttered brioche, Shaked and Baked Chicken with baby arugala, corn and tomato salad, and Crispy Chicken Sandwich on bacon cheddar waffle with siriacha maple mayo.

Judy’s is looking forward to the beautiful weather and the opening of their large patio where a front seat to a bustling town at work and play can be viewed while enjoying a smoked chicken reuben with gruyere, house smoked chicken breast, cole slaw and Russian dressing on grilled rye bread, along with a cold IPA.


Judy’s Bar & Kitchen

927 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT



Tabouli Grill

59 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT


Community Plates’ Food for All 2016

Hey guys, VERY proud to share the following–please check this event out:


Fairfield County’s Newest Restaurants and Craft Cocktail Bars

A Benefit to End Food Insecurity in Fairfield County

Wednesday, May 4, 2016,   Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock, Stamford, CT


March 16, 2016, Norwalk, CT: Community Plates, the technology-fueled, direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending food insecurity in America, is thrilled to present their signature fundraising event, “Food for All”. The event highlights Community Plates’ goals for the coming year, celebrates its accomplishments, and pays gratitude to the many volunteers and supporters who share in the desire to put an end to food insecurity in our community.

Food for All, in keeping with Community Plates’ forward thinking and innovative practices, features Fairfield County’s newest restaurants and artisans who have just recently entered onto the local dining scene. Also included within this unique format are Food for All’s signature craft cocktail bars, which this year will be presented by the mix masters of The Restaurants @ Harbor Point Stamford; Paloma, Sign of the Whale, and Fortina.

“Since launching in 2011 Community Plates Fairfield County has already picked up and delivered over 8 million meals at a value of over $13 million to local food insecure people. This means over 12 million pounds of food has been kept out of landfill and gone to where it’s needed most. Powered by our proprietary  technology and our innovative hunger relief model,  every bit of this food has been rescued by over 320 volunteer food runners from our area., “ says Kevin Mullins, Executive Director and co-founder of Community Plates, “This event is a double whammy of fun and impact. Last year we were able to rescue and deliver over 1.5 million meals with the funds we raised at the event and we are hoping to make an even larger dent in Fairfield County hunger this year.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Community Plates and their software application, the organization’s award-winning web and smartphone enabled interactive food rescue scheduling tool. The technology connects food-service organizations that gather and donate food that would otherwise be wasted; to food runners, who give of their time to pick-up and deliver food donations; to the receiving agencies that ensure donated food gets to those in need throughout the community. 

Event Details:

6:30-9 PM

Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock

375 Fairfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902

Ticket Price: $100 , groups rates available


Featured Restaurants: (as of 3/16/16)
A New Vietnamese Noodle & Breakfast House Matt Storch


Blind Rhino

Boothbay Lobster Co.

Chez Vous

Del Frisco’s Grille

El Segundo

Franklin Street Works Café

Judy’s Bar & Kitchen


Noir Stamford

Old Greenwich Social Club

Tavern 489


Craft Cocktail Bars:



Sign of the Whale


About Community Plates

Founded in January 2011, Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help feed those in need. This volunteer-driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other food-service organizations who have foods destined to be thrown away and delivers the food to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families. Community Plates currently operates in Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Albuquerque, NM; Fairfield County, CT; New Haven, CT; Hartford, CT; New Orleans, LA; with plans to open seven additional sites in 2016.


Keep it Local Stamford!

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