Norwalk's HamletHub http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk Fri, 24 Feb 2017 05:26:31 -0500 HamletHub.com Garden Party Gala http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43557-epndc-1487616774-148761677543557-epndc-1487616774-1487616775 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43557-epndc-1487616774-148761677543557-epndc-1487616774-1487616775

Saturday, March 11 7-11PM

Help our garden grow at the Garden Party Gala!  The annual Earthplace auction will be a magical night filled with amazing auction items, great food, drinks and lively music all in support of Earthplace education programs. $60 per person. Adults only.

For Addition Information and Tickets:  Visit earthplace.org or call 203-557-4400

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j.richardson@earthplace.org (EPNDC) Events Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:59:47 -0500
Music at New Canaan Library Presents the Karkowska Sisters Duo: Golden Age of Virtuosos http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43567-music-new-canaan-library-presents-the-karkowska-sisters-duo-golden-age-of-virtuosos-148778588543567-music-new-canaan-library-presents-the-karkowska-sisters-duo-golden-age-of-virtuosos-1487785885 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43567-music-new-canaan-library-presents-the-karkowska-sisters-duo-golden-age-of-virtuosos-148778588543567-music-new-canaan-library-presents-the-karkowska-sisters-duo-golden-age-of-virtuosos-1487785885

Enjoy a celebration of the "golden age of virtuosos," when the Karkowska Sisters Duo perform the glorious music of Chopin, Paganini, Wieniawski, and Liszt, among others. The duo will perform at New Canaan Library on Tuesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. Please register online at newcanaanlibrary.org.

The Karkowska Sisters Duo is an award winning, internationally acclaimed ensemble. Anna is a virtuoso violinist and Kasha is a Julliard and Chopin Academy trained concert pianist. They have played at the most prestigious venues: Carnegie Hall (New York City), Gusman Center for Performing Arts (Miami, Florida), National Grand Theater (Warsaw, Poland) and National Center for the Arts (Mexico City, Mexico). The sisters have toured throughout North America and Europe, performing to rave reviews and standing ovations.

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kblance@newcanaanlibrary.org (KatherineBlance) Events Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:14:50 -0500
Free Open House for Educators at the Maritime Aquarium http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43528-free-open-house-for-educators-at-the-maritime-aquarium-148703661843528-free-open-house-for-educators-at-the-maritime-aquarium-1487036618 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43528-free-open-house-for-educators-at-the-maritime-aquarium-148703661843528-free-open-house-for-educators-at-the-maritime-aquarium-1487036618

Educators are invited to a free after-hours open house on Wed., March 1 to learn how The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s programs and resources – including a new STEM-focused IMAX® movie – will enhance lessons to their students.

The event, called “Fish School,” runs from 4 to 7 p.m. The purpose of the free evening is to show teachers and other educators the many ways they can connect their students and curricula with the Aquarium’s unique educational programs, which help to fulfill state, Common Core and Next Generation Science standards.

“Our goal is for the Aquarium to be an extension of every classroom in the region,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of education. “We consider teachers and students to be our priority audience, and our catalog of programs is designed to support and extend the school curriculum.”

Naiman added that educators of every variety are invited, including those who present educational content at libraries, community centers and other resources apart from schools.

During “Fish School,” educators can sample some of The Maritime Aquarium’s most popular programs, from microscope discoveries to squid dissections. They also can tour the Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound – the only research vessel in the country with hybrid-electric propulsion – and learn about opportunities with their students out on Long Island Sound. These include new “Oceanography” and “AP Environmental Science” programs for high-school students.

IMAX movies can be incorporated into classroom lessons through educational guides created by the films’ producers. On March 1, teachers can preview two films in Connecticut’s largest IMAX Theater. Showing on the six-story screen will be “Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean” at 5 p.m. and the new “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” at 6 p.m. The first giant-screen film made with a STEM focus, “Dream Big” celebrates engineering marvels around the world and also some of the inspired engineers tackling new challenges.

Admission, a light dinner and parking are all free for “Fish School.” However, advance registration is required. (As this is a professional event, for educators only, no children or spouses, please.)

Register now at reservations@maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206. Or find the link to register online by going to maritimeaquarium.org and clicking on “Upcoming Events.”

 

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gina.zammit@gmail.com (Gina Zammit) Events Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:43:29 -0500
Norwalk Resident Meghan Hopkins Promoted to VP, HR Business Development at OperationsInc http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/neighbors/43566-norwalk-resident-meghan-hopkins-promoted-to-vp-hr-business-development-at-operationsinc43566-norwalk-resident-meghan-hopkins-promoted-to-vp-hr-business-development-at-operationsinc http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/neighbors/43566-norwalk-resident-meghan-hopkins-promoted-to-vp-hr-business-development-at-operationsinc43566-norwalk-resident-meghan-hopkins-promoted-to-vp-hr-business-development-at-operationsinc

Human resources outsourcing and consulting firm OperationsInc (OperationsInc.com) has announced the promotion of Norwalk resident Meghan Hopkins to the position of VP, HR Development Services. The Norwalk-based consultancy provides HR, Payroll, Training & Development, and Talent Acquisition related services to over 1,300 clients throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Meghan Hopkins has been promoted to the role of VP, HR Business Development after succeeding in several different roles since joining OperationsInc in 2013. Hopkins brings 20 years of diverse HR experience to the HR consultancy, and serves as an initial interface with new clients, providing strategic support plans and project outlines.

“In our 16 years in business, we are proud to have developed a tremendous team of leaders,” stated OperationsInc CEO David Lewis. “In the three years Meghan has been with OperationsInc, she has transitioned into several key roles seamlessly, all tied to our evolution and growth,” Lewis said. “I am extremely proud of her efforts and this well-deserved promotion.”

Hopkins earned a B.A. in English and Management from Fairfield University.

About OperationsInc

Founded by CEO David Lewis in 2001, OperationsInc specializes in HR solutions for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. OperationsInc's portfolio of offerings includes Human Resources Outsourcing, HR Consulting, Talent Acquisition Services, PEO Exit Services, Compensation Consulting Services, Organizational Development Services, Affordable Care Act Reporting & Consulting Services, Benefits Administration, Exit Interview Services, Payroll Administration, and Management and Staff Training.

OperationsInc is located at 535 Connecticut Avenue, Second Floor, Norwalk, CT 06854 and can be reached at (203) 322-0538 or info@OperationsInc.com.

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bdriscoll@operationsinc.com (Brienne Driscoll) Neighbors Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:51:34 -0500
RMACT Doc to CT Legislators: Choosing Life Saving Cancer Treatment Shouldn't Mean Being Unable to Have a Baby http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/43569-rmact-doc-to-ct-legislators-choosing-life-saving-cancer-treatment-shouldn-t-mean-being-unable-to-have-a-baby43569-rmact-doc-to-ct-legislators-choosing-life-saving-cancer-treatment-shouldn-t-mean-being-unable-to-have-a-baby http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/43569-rmact-doc-to-ct-legislators-choosing-life-saving-cancer-treatment-shouldn-t-mean-being-unable-to-have-a-baby43569-rmact-doc-to-ct-legislators-choosing-life-saving-cancer-treatment-shouldn-t-mean-being-unable-to-have-a-baby

Dr. Joshua Hurwitz, Partner and board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), tells about his experience discussing a fertility preservation bill at the State Capitol in Hartford Connecticut. - Lisa Rosenthal 

It is tremendously difficult for me to leave the office even for an afternoon due to my heavy patient schedule.  On Wednesday, February 15th, however, I was actually excited to move my calendar around at the last minute- even though it felt like moving heaven and earth to make it happen- in order to meet with our Connecticut state representatives in a closed door session in Hartford.  I joined Melissa Thompson, a fellow passionate activist and cancer survivor, in our shared mission to get fertility preservation procedures covered by insurance carriers for patients newly diagnosed with cancer.

There is a psychological “double blow” for these patients: their doctor first tells them they have cancer, then informs them that the life-saving treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can also leave them infertile afterwards.  This is a lot to take in all at once and often a decision needs to be made in a very short time about treatment.  On top of that, most insurance carriers do not cover the medically necessary treatments like oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) or embryo cryopreservation that cancer patients need to build their families after their treatments. 

Fertility preservation for cancer patients is something I am extremely passionate about in my everyday practice and I was very excited to be part of the process to compel insurance carriers to cover it before the initiation of cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.  This was my first experience with the legislative process.  There is a whole world of lawyers, lobbyists and elected officials and I was  never aware of how they get their jobs done.  It was eye-opening to say the least.  While much of our discussion centered on fiscal responsibility, when it comes to preserving fertility and reproductive autonomy for men and women with cancer, that all goes out the window for me. 

I am happy to say that our group was able to share our passion for family-building with our elected officials.  Medical need and the human conscience requires us to act and help right now to secure fertility and reproductive rights for everyone, and today we were able to advance the cause.  I am proud to have been part of this mission.

Read more on the RMACT blog here.

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Tarad@hamlethub.com (RMACT) Life Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:38:40 -0500
7th Annual Wine & Whiskey Tasting Benefit at Stew Leonard's http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43527-7th-annual-wine-whiskey-tasting-benefit-at-stew-leonard-s43527-7th-annual-wine-whiskey-tasting-benefit-at-stew-leonard-s http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43527-7th-annual-wine-whiskey-tasting-benefit-at-stew-leonard-s43527-7th-annual-wine-whiskey-tasting-benefit-at-stew-leonard-s

7TH ANNUAL WINE, WHISKEY & LOCAL CRAFT BEER TASTING AT STEW LEONARD’S TO BENEFIT NORWALK EXCHANGE CLUB

Tasting & Drinks Menu Inspired by the Emerald Isle

Join the wine specialists from Stew Leonard's Wines of Norwalk as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our seventh annual Wine, Whiskey and Craft Beer Tasting benefitting the Norwalk Exchange Club!  More than 50 wines, whiskies, and beers will be featured, as well as a menu of St. Patrick’s Day-inspired fare freshly prepared by Stew Leonard’s culinary team.

The event takes place on Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Stew Leonard's food store, located at 100 Westport Avenue in Norwalk.  Tickets are $50 per person and all proceeds will benefit The Norwalk Exchange Club, which will use the funds raised to help fight and prevent child abuse in Fairfield County. Stew Leonard's Wines and Spirits of Norwalk will additionally donate $1 to the Exchange Club for each bottle of wine, spirits or 6-pack of craft beer that is tasted at the event and then purchased at the store (55 Westport Ave. in Norwalk) on the evening of the event.  

“The Norwalk Exchange Club’s past events have raised in excess of $25,000, all of which has been returned to our community to support the Club's mission for the prevention and treatment of abused children,” notes Norwalk Exchange Club president Jerry Toni.  “We appreciate the continued partnership with Stew Leonard's Wines and the entire Leonard family.”

Stew Leonard's Wine specialists have hand-picked a selection of wines that complement the flavors of early spring.  Notable wines to be tasted include:

  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva ($34.99): A muscular and complex Rioja from the traditional producer, La Rioja Alta, with brooding dark fruit and cherry aromas and a distinctive smoky and spicy nose. Rated 94pts by Robert Parker.
  • Rombauer Napa Chardonnay ($34.99): This Chardonnay is a rich wine with layers of tropical fruit, peaches and pears.  A customer favorite!
  • Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon (sale $49.99/reg. $59.99): This wine needs another 4-5 years of cellaring and could keep 30 years. A beautiful nose of white flowers, graphite, blueberry and blackberry liqueur; great intensity and full-bodied.  Rated 93pts by Robert Parker.
  • Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino (sale $29.99/reg.$39.99): A gorgeous Brunello!  Sweet red cherry, plum, tobacco, mint, sweet spices and orange peel are all front and center. Rated  94pts by Vinous.

The wine offerings will be accompanied by a number of outstanding Jameson whiskey favorites, including Caskmates Whiskey and Black Barrel Whiskey.  A selection of local and American craft beers and hard ciders will be available as will a number or Emerald Isle beers, including Guinness Stout, Guinness Blonde Lager, Guinness Rye Pale Ale, Harp Lager, and Smithwicks Ale.  Those with a St. Paddy’s Day sweet tooth will also enjoy Bom Bom Irish Car Bombs and Espresso Martinis, courtesy of Greenwich, Conn.-based Bom Bom Liqueur. 

To complement the array of fall flavors offered by the wine, beer, and spirits, Stew’s Chefs will offer a chef’s station featuring potato Gnocchi with Pommery Mustard Cream Sauce with Smoked Ham, Green Cabbage, Carrot, Red Onion and Bacon.   Additional menu items include:

  •          Corned Beef Rueben Flat Breads
  •          St. Patrick’s Day Sushi Rolls
  •          Mini Lamb Shepherd’s Pies
  •          Guinness Beer Batter Chicken with Green Hot sauce
  •          Jameson Irish Whiskey Shrimp
  •          Bangers on Mini Colcannon Pancakes
  •          Gourmet Cheese Display with Imported Irish Selections and Assorted Fruits

Stew Leonard’s bakery team will additionally offer a selection of sweet treats at the end of the night, including freshly baked Mini Irish Bailey Cheese Cakes, Shamrock Cup Cakes, and Irish Potato Candy.

Tickets can be purchased at Stew Leonard's Wines of Norwalk located at 55 Westport Ave. or via the Exchange Club's website: exchangeclub.com.

About Exchange Club
Exchange, America's Service Club, is a group of men and women working together to make our communities better places to live through programs of service in Americanism, Community Service, Youth Activities, and its national project, the Prevention of Child Abuse.

About Stew Leonard's Wines of Norwalk
Stew Leonard's Wines of Norwalk, a four-time winner of Moffly Media’s Best of the Gold Coast, is known for the personal service it provides to customers and its knowledgeable staff, many of whom are certified wine professionals. The store carries 2,600 wines from around the world, including more than 200 bottles of hard-to-find, highly rated wines in the fine wine cellar. Sign up to be notified of future events via email by filling out a form at the store. Visit stewswines.com for more information.

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gina.zammit@gmail.com (Gina Zammit) Events Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:35:36 -0500
Fund for Women & Girls Annual Luncheon http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43564-fund-for-women-girls-annual-luncheon43564-fund-for-women-girls-annual-luncheon http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43564-fund-for-women-girls-annual-luncheon43564-fund-for-women-girls-annual-luncheon

April 20, 2017
11:30AM - 2:00PM
Hyatt Regency Greenwich
1800 East Putnam Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
Tickets: $275

When you support a girl to find her voice and claim her strength, you are helping to shape the future for our next generation. When you support a woman to reach her full potential and sustain her family, you are making our community stronger. Join our annual Fund for Women and Girls Annual Luncheon and discover how, together, we thrive.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

A role model and trailblazer for women, Andrea Jung was Avon’s first female CEO. She is credited with defining Avon as more than just a cosmetics company, leading it to become the company for women and enabling economic independence and self-sufficiency for millions of women worldwide. Jung is currently the President & CEO of Grameen America, where she is working to scale the organization to solve economic issues for women and their families across the country through microloans, training, and support.

OUR PROGRAMS

FAMILY ECONOMIC SECURITY PROGRAM (FESP)

In partnership with Housatonic Community College and Housatonic Community College Foundation, the Fund for Women & Girls helps low-income college students to attain degrees, secure living-wage jobs and build brighter futures.

Net proceeds from our Annual Luncheon will benefit FESP.

THE FUND FOR WOMEN & GIRLS

The mission of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls is to engage philanthropists and invest in sustainable solutions that lead to economically secure and healthy women and girls throughout Fairfield County. Since 1998, the Fund has helped thousands of women and girls develop confidence, find their voice and achieve economic security.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE: events.r20.constantcontact.com

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kjohnson@fccfoundation.org (Khalilah Johnson) Events Thu, 23 Feb 2017 04:56:25 -0500
Women in the American Revolution: Putting the ‘Her’ in Heroics http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43515-putting-the-her-in-heroics43515-putting-the-her-in-heroics http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43515-putting-the-her-in-heroics43515-putting-the-her-in-heroics

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Norwalk Historical Society will be presenting a new lecture entitled: Women in the American Revolution: Putting the ‘Her’ in Heroics by local researcher and Norwalk Historical Commissioner, Eric Chandler, on Saturday, March 4,  at 1:00pm at the Norwalk Historical Society Museum. 141 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT.  Women in the American Revolution: Putting the ‘Her’ in Heroics will introduce some of the women who risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to lift the yoke of British control of the 13 Colonies. Women who are missing from our history books, their stories as soldiers and spies left untold.  Admission is $5, payable at the door.  An RSVP is required as seating is limited. RSVP to: info@norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.  Parking is available at Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue.  The museum is in the red brick house with blue double front doors, next to the Norwalk Health Dept.  If there is inclement weather, the lecture will be rescheduled for Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 1:00pm.

George Washington, Paul Revere, the Marquis de Lafayette are all names taught in school as having been heroes of the American War for Independence. Molly Pitcher is a name we see given to a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. But who was Molly Pitcher? Was she one person or a composite of two or even three women who performed similar acts of courage? Whether one, two or three, “Molly” was not the only example of women who served the cause of independence between 1775 and 1783.  There are many tales of courage to be revealed in this 45-minute illustrated talk, about these largely unsung heroines of the American Revolution.

About Eric Chandler
Eric Chandler has been involved in American Revolutionary War Living History since 1974. Mr. Chandler has portrayed infantry, light infantry, whale-boat raider and both mounted and dismounted dragoons. He is a resident of Norwalk, CT, a Norwalk Historical Commissioner and a retired land title insurance underwriter. Mr. Chandler's artistic endeavors have included cartooning, working in local theater and decades as a musician playing saxophones in area Rock & Roll and Blues bands.

For more information: visit norwalkhistoricalsociety.org, e-mail info@norwalkhistoricalsociety.org , or call 203-846-0525. The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

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info@norwalkhistoricalsociety.org (Norwalk Historical Society) Events Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:18:00 -0500
Arts & Adventure in the Catskills http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/43568-arts-adventure-in-the-catskills43568-arts-adventure-in-the-catskills http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/43568-arts-adventure-in-the-catskills43568-arts-adventure-in-the-catskills

Drive two hours north of New York City and find yourself nestled in the idyllic Catskill mountains.

Vogue wrote a piece on this region last year, and I was intrigued by how a ski/summer getaway destination turned notorious hippie haunt, has transitioned into more modern times.

From the peculiar billboards dotting Rt. 28, it seems the bohemian generation, for the most part, has stuck around, but with the influx of a younger, more urban population, it could also be described as a more mountainous and green Williamsburg. 

While there are several small towns throughout the Catskills with plenty to offer, with just an overnight stay Walter and I chose to anchor our exploring in Phoenicia, NY, but traveled within an hour to explore different points of interest. 

Stay:

The Graham & Co. is a former motel turned boutique hotel with a minimalist design. It's set at the foot of Hunter Mountain (fun fact: where my high school ski team practiced), just two blocks from Phoenicia's downtown. 

The tiny (cozy?) rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi, but encourage unplugging by eliminating TVs. Free Irving Farm coffee and fruit is available in the lobby, and in the warmer months, it's converted to an open air room with a few picnic tables.

Some rooms offer kitchenettes, and for the budget conscious, there are a few bunk bed rooms with shared bathrooms.

Upon check in, we were offered two cans of beer on the house, explored the outdoor pool, lawn game area, fire pit (where movies are shown on select weekend days, but you can find s'mores nightly), and the three walled common room stocked with board games, seating areas, and a fireplace. Parking, bike rentals, and all outdoor activities are free for guests.

As I will explain later, we were so wiped out (literally, well, at least I was) from tubing that we, unfortunately, missed the community experience of the hotel, so I highly suggest pacing yourself throughout the day.

My one big complaint about the hotel is the style of doors and windows in the deluxe rooms. As high maintenance as it is, I require pitch black sleeping conditions, and even with my trusty eye mask that I never leave home without, a strange ambient orange glow penetrated through the frosted panels that were charming earlier in the day, and quite a nuisance at night.

Eat:

From our room, it was about 40 paces (really) to Tavern 214, an independently owned farm to table bistro. The tavern-esque dining room (open for dinner only) has a more upscale feel, while the relaxed seating on the porch was a perfect choice for our mellow holiday.

On the menu is new American cuisine classics like burgers, lobster mac and cheese, and - my favorite dish of the night - the filet mignon Philly cheesesteak. The beer and wine list features many local varieties, and the atmosphere and service made us feel calm and well taken care of. The menu prices are a bit high, but consider the fact that if you stay at The Graham & Co. you will not spend a dime on getting there.  

For breakfast, we traveled a few miles down the road to the highly recommended Phoenicia DinerThe atmosphere is a nod to vintage diners, with a brighter, cleaner appearance, full bar at night, and a more creative/New Yorker friendly menu.

Hearty breakfast options are served all day, most in mini cast iron skillets. Walter and I both chose a local smoked trout variety (his an egg and cheese scramble, mine an upstate version of lox and cream cheese).

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the trout, and after noticing the supplier listed on the menu board, I proposed stopping there to take some home, but sadly, the shop is closed on Mondays.

American Glory specializes in wood smoked BBQ and classic, stick-to-your-ribs, American comfort foods. However, for the health conscious diners, there are plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu. Whether you choose to dine alfresco (like we did) on the cozy, enclosed porch overlooking a babbling brook, or venture inside to hear local music acts, American Glory is a great choice for a weekend out, as long as you don't skip dessert.

Adventure: 

Since Phoenicia is (almost) famous for its summer/fall river tubing, that was our first activity upon arrival. Besides boat tubing many years ago (and it doesn't really count), I am a tube neophyte.

It was this lack of knowledge that made me snicker (internally) when the safety instructor informed us about the possibility of falling out the tube. I also wasn't sure what class 2 rapids really meant, so I boarded the bus blissfully unaware of the possible hazards.

My suggestion is to bring nothing with you. There are strange open air "lockers" available (basically a trailer with one person handling the distribution of items), so leave your keys, wallet, and sunnies (unless you don't care if they don't return with you), and wear a bathing suit with some breathable clothes over (the water is rather cold).

I had a lot of fun, but it seems the rocks had it in for me and I was thrown from my raft two times, and was wedged between a few large boulders for what seemed like a long time until a kind gentlemen behind me helped get my tube back into the flowing rapids.

It took about an hour and half to finish, and along the way I noticed I wasn't the only one ejected over a few steep spots, and several people had to stand up to clear the shallow areas.

We arrived right where we began (no bus necessary this time), and after a very short walk back to our hotel, we proceeded to sleep for a few hours. Who knew tubing was such a workout?

Our last athletic endeavor was a hike on one of the several trails located 30 minutes or less from downtown Phoenicia. 

The menus at the Phoenician Diner detailed a few of the best ones, and given our exhaustion and time constraint (we wanted to arrive home at a reasonable hour) we chose to hike at Giant Ledge. It’s a steep climb, but one of the most amazing views I've seen in a very long time.

Our hike took about two and half hours roundtrip (including our gazing time at the ledge), but if you're looking for a bigger challenge, you can continue on to Panther Mountain and bump up the hike time to four hours.

Arts:

Set on 500 acres of rolling green hills, you'd be remiss to skip the Storm King Art Center. Known worldwide for being one of the best sculpture parks, Storm King has been in operation for over 50 years. Pack a picnic, and plan to spend several hours here exploring the vast landscape and indoor art center.

Another indoor/outdoor gem is the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Leader of the highly regarded Hudson River School, Thomas Cole's unique landscape works are displayed around his former residence, Cedar Grove, built in the 1815. 
 
If you have a gift for the ivories (or not), head to the Piano Performance Museum. The Catskill Mountain Foundation’s museum showcases the history of pianos, without the velvet ropes or glass found in most historical museums. Try your hand at any one of the pianos collected from over the past four centuries in both Europe and America. If you're musically challenged, ask the helpful staff to play you a tune. They usually oblige. 
 
Onto the cutest arts performance, the National Dance Institute (NDI) Mountaintop Summer Residency. Over the course of two weeks in July, children aged 9-13 practice their skills and perform an annual recital for their parents and the local community. The show was incredibly uplifting, fun, and yes, adorable, and if you're in town for it, you should definitely attend. 
 
Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts is located in the scenic hamlet of Maplecrest. Its mission is to create a center for the study of studio arts, and to offer a beautiful mountain setting for artist retreats. The center offers housing, and a rotating roster of art professionals leading workshops in ceramics. Although I am not gifted in pottery, we had the opportunity to stay at the center overnight, and chat with the workshop artists.
 
The two gentleman leading the weekend, Randy Brodnax and Don Ellis are two of the most respected and entertaining ceramic instructors working today. They have incredible energy and passion in their teaching and all with amazing humor that reaches students on many different levels. The students seemed relaxed, and happy with their newfound skills and confidence gained from the weekend, so if pottery is your calling, this a great opportunity.
 
For more information about the region, the arts community, and more visit Discover the Catskills .
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gina.zammit@gmail.com (Gina Zammit ) Life Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:00:04 -0500
South Norwalk Residents Invited to Free Celebration at the Maritime Aquarium http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43552-south-norwalk-residents-invited-to-free-celebration-at-the-maritime-aquarium43552-south-norwalk-residents-invited-to-free-celebration-at-the-maritime-aquarium http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43552-south-norwalk-residents-invited-to-free-celebration-at-the-maritime-aquarium43552-south-norwalk-residents-invited-to-free-celebration-at-the-maritime-aquarium

Residents of South Norwalk can come together for a fun, free evening of community unity on Sun., Feb. 26 in a “South Norwalk Celebration” at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The special event, open to all South Norwalk residents, runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and will include all Aquarium exhibits, an IMAX® movie, food, performances by neighborhood groups and individuals, and the chance to hear from community leaders.

The Norwalk Police Department is co-hosting the event with The Maritime Aquarium. It’s funded through a planning grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance to the City of Norwalk, with the purpose of helping to create safer, revitalized neighborhoods.

“I want to thank The Maritime Aquarium and the Norwalk Police Department for so generously hosting this ‘Safer South Norwalk’ event, and invite those of you who live South Norwalk to come out and celebrate your community, meet your neighbors, and enjoy the Aquarium. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, February 26th,” said Mayor Harry W. Rilling.

From 4 to 5:15 p.m, residents can tour the Aquarium, view community art, and stop by booths of local businesses. Neighborhood musicians, dancers, poets and others will perform from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., followed by positive words from community leaders, including Mayor Rilling, Councilwoman Faye Bowman, State Rep. Bruce Morris, Aquarium President Dr. Brian Davis, and Janet Evelyn of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on the Arts.

The event concludes with a screening of the IMAX movie “Dream Big,” starting at 7:10 p.m. on the Aquarium’s six-story screen. (Seating is limited to 310 on a first-come, first-seated basis.)

South Norwalk residents should enter for the event through the Aquarium’s main entrance.

Sponsors of the “South Norwalk Celebration” are the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on the Arts, the NICE Festival, the Foundation of Hope, Saraswati’s Yoga Joint, and AT&T. 

 
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gina.zammit@gmail.com (Gina Zammit) Events Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:59:37 -0500
Drawing Workshops at Loft Artists Association http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43556-2017-drawing-sessions-148761212343556-2017-drawing-sessions-1487612123 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43556-2017-drawing-sessions-148761212343556-2017-drawing-sessions-1487612123

LOFT ARTISTS ASSOCIATION IN STAMFORD

TO HOLD ANNUAL 2017

 “DRAWING SESSIONS

FREE COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS

SATURDAY MARCH 11TH & 18TH from 12 – 3:30 PM 

The Loft Artists Association invites people of all ages to participate in two drawing workshops to be held Saturday. March 11th and Saturday, March 18th from 12:00 to 3:30 pm at 575 Pacific Street. 

“We are thrilled to invite the public back year after year to this wonderful event, and are excited that this year’s workshops include vanish point perspective instruction plus portrait models for those wanting more formal instruction.” says LAA president Ellen Gordon. 

Paper and all supplies will be provided in LAA’s West Gallery, as well as a variety of set-ups including live models from the Ballet School of Stamford and portrait models in various studios. New for 2017 will one point vanishing point perspective instruction.

There is free parking, and handicapped access is available by appointment. For directions and information visit or call 203-247-2027.     

Now in its 39th year, the Loft Artists Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to building connections within Fairfield County’s visual arts community and exposing the general public to artists and their work. Their grassroots events attract thousands of visitors throughout the tri-state area and have been recognized by funding agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, corporate and private sponsors, the City of Stamford and by visitors who return year after year. 

The mission of the LAA is to provide artists with a supportive environment, opportunities to exhibit their work, and networking opportunities while reaching out to the community at large with education and artistic expression. LAA members exhibit their work locally, nationally, and internationally.  

Sponsored in part by Louis J. Kuriansky Foundation, Laurel House Inc, Bob and Pat Phillips, and Stanwich Congregational Church.

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fcolivera700303@gmail.com (Loft Artists Association) Events Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:05:36 -0500
Rare Buffalo Trace O.F.C. Vintage Bourbon Being Auctioned By Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. As Fundraiser http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/charities/43565-rare-buffalo-trace-o-f-c-vintage-bourbon-being-auctioned-by-acts-4-ministry-inc-as-fundraiser-148770741243565-rare-buffalo-trace-o-f-c-vintage-bourbon-being-auctioned-by-acts-4-ministry-inc-as-fundraiser-1487707412 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/charities/43565-rare-buffalo-trace-o-f-c-vintage-bourbon-being-auctioned-by-acts-4-ministry-inc-as-fundraiser-148770741243565-rare-buffalo-trace-o-f-c-vintage-bourbon-being-auctioned-by-acts-4-ministry-inc-as-fundraiser-1487707412

The non-denominational Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. in Waterbury is currently auctioning a rare, highly-distinguished, historic 1980 Buffalo Trace O.F.C. Vintage bourbon as a fundraiser for their non-profit organization.

For a very limited time, bidders interested in purchasing this distinctive bourbon can do so up until 12:00 PM on Sunday, February 26th. The bidding began at 12:00 PM on Sunday, February 19.

Buffalo Trace Distillery, one of the oldest and most renowned distilleries in the United States, is partnering with a notably-select group of non-profit organizations across the nation to provide an uncommon opportunity for these organizations to raise money for their cause. Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. was one of only three non-profit organizations selected in Connecticut to receive one of the only 200 bottles produced of this limited edition bourbon.

As the first release of its kind, this rare bottle is part of a collection that cannot be purchased in any stores and features whiskey from 1980, 1982 and 1983. The bottle is a replica of an O.F.C. decanter dating back to the early 1900's found in the Buffalo Trace Distillery archives, and the recipient of this rare, new bottle of vintage bourbon will receive a certificate of authenticity.

The exceedingly rare bourbon will be delivered to the winning Acts 4 Ministry auction bidder in a strong protective box with a branded canvas bag to conceal the display case from any scratches. The smooth dark wooden case prominently bears the O.F.C. name in copper, along with a copper plaque depicting the year 1980 the bourbon was distilled. The bottle is proudly displayed in the wooden case on a small riser, and a provenance card inside the case contains the same information found on the back label.

The packaging for O.F.C. matches the splendor of the whiskey itself, in lead-free crystal bottles with detailed fluting engraved into the mold. Glass artisans cut the shoulder facets using equipment created exclusively for Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each bottle was manually polished to achieve maximum glass brilliance before inlaying cut copper lettering to spell out “O.F.C.” on the front.

A paper label was hand-applied below with the vintage prominently noted, along with a label on the back of the bottle noting the milestones for the vintage year of the bottle. The bottle received one final polish for the ultimate premium presentation, while a cork stopper with a copper top adorns the top of the stunning bottle.

For more details about the auction and to place your exclusive bid to receive a piece of history, visitcharityauctionstoday.com/auctions/buffalo-trace-1571.

For information on Acts 4 Ministry, Inc., visit acts4.org, or call 203-574-2287.

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brancom@westnet.com (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Charities Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:30:01 -0500
New Canaan Library Hosts Talk on Connecticut's African American Heroines http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43561-new-canaan-library-hosts-talk-on-connecticut-s-african-american-heroines-148768685043561-new-canaan-library-hosts-talk-on-connecticut-s-african-american-heroines-1487686850 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43561-new-canaan-library-hosts-talk-on-connecticut-s-african-american-heroines-148768685043561-new-canaan-library-hosts-talk-on-connecticut-s-african-american-heroines-1487686850

In recognition of Black History Month, New Canaan Library is pleased to present a lecture by Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame (cwhf.org), highlighting the accomplishments of  African American women of Connecticut. The event will take place on Thursday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. Please register online at newcanaanlibrary.org.

From women's rights advocate Marie Miller Stewart and Civil Rights catalyst (and legendary contralto singer) Marian Anderson, to current State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, African American women have contributed to Connecticut's history since its founding. Yet these major players in the development of Connecticut are often downplayed or ignored. Remember those who helped make our state great this Black History Month with an interactive presentation by the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, a branch of the acclaimed nonprofit Connecticut Forum, and learn about some of Connecticut's most remarkable African American heroines.

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is an educational outreach organization whose mission is to honor publicly the achievement of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls.

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kblance@newcanaanlibrary.org (KatherineBlance) Events Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:13:32 -0500
Art Reception Honoring Gigi Barrett Debuting at Atria Darien http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43551-art-reception-at-atria-darien-featuring-gigi-barrett-148735891543551-art-reception-at-atria-darien-featuring-gigi-barrett-1487358915 http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43551-art-reception-at-atria-darien-featuring-gigi-barrett-148735891543551-art-reception-at-atria-darien-featuring-gigi-barrett-1487358915

An art reception in honor of artist Gigi Barrett will take place from 5 to 7 PM on Thursday, March 9th, at Atria Darien, 50 Ledge Road, Darien.

Although primarily a portrait artist, her latest collection expanded her focus to include the beauty of nature. Born and bred in Bushwick, Brooklyn, she is moved by the bleakness of New York City of the 70's with its haunting Black, White and Grays. Many works are in charcoal, stressing the lines, flaws, light and shadows while her bright acrylic and oil work has definitive characteristics one might see in a sketch.

Her work has been shown in galleries in New York and throughout Connecticut. She has participated in several national juried art shows receiving awards for her charcoals. Most of her work is privately commissioned.

Many of her works are donated to local non-profit organizations focusing on animal care, rescues and education. Her love of nature has become her recent obsession, and charity of choice. Half of all proceeds from this reception will be donated to The Darien Nature Center. Please view GigiBarrett.com for other works, progress on NATURE AND ME – LAND, AIR AND SEA pieces, or contact Gigi@GigiBarrett.com.

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kleong@drbank.com (Kaye Leong) Events Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:54:50 -0500
Two Exhibitions Opening Feb. 26th at Silvermine Arts Center http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43524-two-exhibitions-opening-feb-26th-at-silvermine-arts-center43524-two-exhibitions-opening-feb-26th-at-silvermine-arts-center http://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/43524-two-exhibitions-opening-feb-26th-at-silvermine-arts-center43524-two-exhibitions-opening-feb-26th-at-silvermine-arts-center

Reception, open to the public, Sun., Feb. 26, 2-4 p.m. A legacy exhibition that celebrates Silvermine luminaries and an exhibit of William Kent’s large-scale slate prints will open together on Sun., February 26 with a reception from 2-4 pm for the artists and the public. 

As Silvermine Arts Center moves towards its 100th anniversary, the institution is taking a moment to reflect on and celebrate some of the current Guild members who helped to shape what Silvermine is today. With The Legacy of Silvermine: Artists, Art, and Community, Silvermine introduces a new annual series honoring some of the lions of the Silvermine community.  All were born in the first half of the twentieth century.  Their work is known regionally, nationally and internationally. All of them found at Silvermine an artistic home that embraces new ideas and forms--and a community of artists from which to draw camaraderie, constructive criticism, and inspiration.

Jens Risom (1916-2016), originally from Denmark, was a pioneer of modern furniture design in the U.S. He moved to the U.S. in 1939, and to New Canaan in 1949. He joined the Guild in 1954. Sculptor Jean Woodham, who was a life-long friend of Louise Nevelson, makes bold and monumental abstract works that show the influences of Nevelson, David Smith and Isamu Noguchi. Carole Eisner creates large-scale steel sculptures that appear gestural and light. She loves color, but her primary concerns are form, line, space, and balance. Liana Moonie (1922-2016) merged the sensual and the abstract in her paintings and prints, which explore the emotional impact of the natural world. Several in this group have recently exhibited in solo shows—or are working toward large exhibits in 2018.

The 18 artists in this first Legacy Exhibition are: Linda Adato; Suzanne Benton, Rosamond Berg, Ann Chernow, Alberta Cifolelli, Carole Eisner, Arthur Guagliumi, Constance Kiermaier, Liana Moonie, Enid Munroe, Jens Risom, Lucy Sallick, Florence Seurig, Susan Sharp, Judith Steinberg, Marjorie Tomchuk, Bonnie Woit, and Jean Woodham.

In addition to her own work, Bonnie Woit created the Institute for Visual Artists in 1984 and ran it through the 1980s. The IVA gained a reputation as a prestigious lecture series that was important to artists, writers, and museum curators throughout the region. After Woit, Alberta Cifolelli directed the organization, then Susan Sharp—each for five years. Artists Benton and Steinberg were among the Guild members who participated in its programs. In the tradition of the IVA, the Silvermine Galleries will host a panel discussion on Arts and Education on Sunday, March 19. 

Suites of work by some of Silvermine’s most influential and accomplished artists will fill the Silvermine Galleries during The Legacy of Silvermine. The exhibit runs through April 9. The Anonymous Donor Advised Fund, New Canaan Community Foundation, generously provided funding for the exhibition catalog as well as local group visits and the panel discussion on March 19. Silvermine Arts Center is grateful to the Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for contributing its oral history film on Jens Risom to the exhibition.

William Kent’s large-scale slate prints on fabric and rice paper fall into the various categories of political satire and commentary, erotica, prints from gravestone etchings, and prints that appropriate the border designs of traditional greeting cards. Vibrant, original and out-of-the-box, they were first noticed by the art world in 1966 when Kent’s work appeared alongside work by Philip Guston, Jasper Johns, and Robert Motherwell at the Whitney Museum’s Annual Show. A critic for the Herald-Tribune called them “large, highly amusing and inventive prints that look like Pop posters but really go deeper in their social significance and satiric overtones.” In the late seventies, Kent stopped making the prints and turned to carving wood sculptures as masterful and astonishing as any of his prints. The artist, who worked out of a barn studio in Durham, Connecticut, died in 2012.

“The prints are the strength of this exhibit,” says Silvermine Gallery Director Jeffrey Mueller. “They have gravity and humor, and his materials are interesting—almost inappropriate fabrics paired with poignant subject matter. His choice of imagery and phrasing is timeless and has the power to resonate even today.” A selection of Kent’s work, curated by Mueller and James Reed, manager of Silvermine’s Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection, will be on view at Silvermine February 26 through April 9.

Silvermine Arts Center is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Its five­acre campus in New Canaan, Connecticut, consists of a nationally renowned artist guild, an award­winning school of art offering classes for all ages, an arts and fine crafts shop, and a gallery offering over twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. Silvermine is a non­profit organization that also offers an educational outreach program, Art Partners, and hosts lectures, performances, film screenings, and special events.

Gallery Hours: Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966­9700 ext. 2 or visit the website: silvermineart.org. 1037 Silvermine Road, New Canaan.

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gina.zammit@gmail.com (Gina Zammit) Events Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:40:45 -0500