Newcanaan's HamletHub Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:32:56 -0400 Authors @New Canaan Library Presents Kumiko Makihara, Introducing her Memoir, Dear Diary Boy

Author and journalist Kumiko Makihara will discuss the competitive Japanese school system, as well as the questions all parents face regarding education, when she introduces her memoir, Dear Diary Boy. Join New Canaan Library in welcoming Ms. Makihara on Tuesday, September 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the Curtis Gallery. This program is presented in partnership with Elm Street Books; copies of the book will be available for purchase. Please register online at

When Makihara’s five-year-old son passed the rigorous entrance exams for a top Japanese school, she assumed that the hard work had been done. But her free-spirited son failed to thrive in the highly competitive primary school while the exacting mother kept pushing him to meet the school’s requirements. At times humorous, but sometimes quite dark, Dear Diary Boy chronicles the battles between mother and son as they face the challenges of the school in their different ways. Dear Diary Boy offers a look deep inside a highly selective Japanese school and the demands it places on both parents and children, while posing universal questions of how best to educate children and what is truly in their best interests.

Kumiko Makihara writes about her impressions of life in Japan and the United States, two countries she has been traveling back and forth between most of her life. Her columns have appeared in the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post and Newsweek, as well as in the books Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works and Tsunami: Japan’s Post Fukushima Future. She previously was a reporter for Time Magazine and the Associated Press and a features editor at the Moscow Times. Her book Dear Diary Boy was published by Arcade in July 2018.

]]> (KatherineBlance) Events Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:24:40 -0400
Author Lauren Acampora Speaks at New Canaan Library, Introducing Her New Novel, The Paper Wasp

The dark side of two young women’s friendship against the backdrop of Hollywood glitz frames The Paper Wasp, the debut novel from Lauren Acampora, author of an acclaimed short story collection, The Wonder Garden. Join New Canaan Library in welcoming Ms. Acampora on Wednesday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb room. This program is presented in collaboration with Elm Street Books. Please register online at

The Paper Wasp, Acampora’s electrifying debut novel, tells the knife-edge story of two women’s dark friendship and twisted ambition set against the backdrop of contemporary Hollywood. In small-town Michigan, Abby Graven leads a solitary life, far from the promise of talented artist she showed in high school. When Abby encounters her former best friend, Elise, who is now a rising celebrity, she is surprised and warmed that Elise still considers her not only a friend but a brilliant storyteller and true artist. Elise’s unexpected faith in Abby reignites in her a dormant hunger, and when Elise offhandedly tells Abby to look her up if she’s ever in LA, Abby soon arrives on her doorstep. The Paper Wasp is a thrilling, unexpected journey into the psyche and imagination of a woman determined to fulfill her destiny.

Lauren Acampora is the author of The Wonder Garden, which won the GLCA New Writers Award, and was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, an Indie Next selection, a New England Book Award finalist, and one of Amazon and NPR’s best books of the year. Her fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and Antioch Review. Raised in Connecticut, she now lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and their daughter.

]]> (KatherineBlance) Events Tue, 20 Aug 2019 06:35:00 -0400
Unite to Fight in New Canaan on Sunday Helps Locals Struggling with Childhood Hunger

Unite to Fight 5k run to benefit Filling In The Blanks on Sunday, August 25

On August 25, 2019, Filling in the Blanks will host the Unite to Fight 5K, which will be held at the idyllic Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT. The race will seek to build community and raise funds to help end childhood hunger in our local neighborhoods. Filling in the Blanks is a 501c3 nonprofit which fights childhood hunger by providing children in need with meals on the weekends.

The 5k begins at 8:00 am and prices (now $30) increase after August 24. There is no cost to participate in the kid's Fun Run. 

Register for this 5k run and learn more here.

Schedule of Events:  

7 AM Arrival check-in and registration  
7:30AM-7:45AM Kids Fun Run  
8 AM RACE START (Starting Gun) 

Early check-in at New Balance in New Canaan:  
Noon – 6:00PM Friday, August 23  
10:00AM – 6:00PM Saturday, August 24
The race will take place rain of shine 

In Fairfield County, more than 33,000 children are not sure where their next meal will come from. Mo0st will get breakfast and lunch from school every weekday, but many will go from Friday lunch until Monday at breakfast without a decent meal. Filling in the Blanks is an organization that fills in those weekend gaps by providing each child in its program with a bag filled with healthy food for the weekend. When the obstacle of food insecurity is removed, children experience increased academic achievement in school and increase opportunities for success in their lives. 
Founded in 2013 by two Fairfield County residents, Shawnee Knight and Tina Kramer, Filling in the Blanks is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has grown from serving 50 kids to serving more than 1,600 kids in Fairfield and Westchester counties.  
The Unite to Fight event was inspired through the memory of Kristen Reynolds Ruth, a local kindergarten teacher, mother, and friend, who passed in 2011 after a 7 year battle with cancer. The event was created and is directed by her daughter, an NCHS alumni, Britt Gardella.  

]]> (HH) Events Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:37:22 -0400
Eversource Night Work in New Canaan this Week

Eversource Gas in New Canaan Week of  8/18 - 8/23/19

Crew 1  Old Stamford Rd toward Park St  8/19 - 8/23  8:30 am - 4 pm

Crew 2  Cherry Street  8/18  8 pm - 5 am
Crew 2  South Ave from Cherry St to Elm St  8/19 - 8/22  8 pm - 5 am

Crew 3  Hoyt St, Old Stamford Rd, Main St  8/19 - 8/23  8 am - 5 pm

Click here for more information

Click here for information about Downtown Nightwork

]]> (Town of New Canaan) Life Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:39:32 -0400
Otis and the Hurricanes at Waveny on Wednesday!

Waveny Summer Concert - 2 more summer performances!

Otis and the Hurricanes, a New Orleans funk, delta blues band, will perform at Waveny Park on Wednesday, August 21 from 7:30 to 9:30pm.

RAINDATE:  Thursday, August 22, 2019  7:30 - 9:30 pm  

The final concert of the season will be held on August 28, FAIRFIELD COUNTS BAND- Miller, Dorsey, Goodman.

Click here for additional information.

]]> (HH) Events Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:37:58 -0400
CT Towns Hop On the Chowdafest Bandwagon

Westport, Conn – Not just any restaurant can enter the New England Chowdafest, only those who are invited.   “About six years ago, chowder lovers started telling us that Chowdafest was the best such competition in New England” said executive director, Jim Keenan. “We knew what they meant but it made us wonder how we could be the best if the rest of New England wasn’t in the competition.  Soon after that we started searching for great chowder, soup and bisque from restaurants from all over New England.” 

Restaurants frequently ask to compete in Chowdafest and Keenan is happy to consider them after he’s samples what they want to enter.  “Just having a good chowder doesn’t mean it’s good enough to be invited.  As a rule, we don’t invite anyone if we don’t think they can win one of our four categories.  One of our competing restaurants who literally travels all over the country participating in chowder events probably says it best, “when you win the New England Chowdafest, you’ve earned it”. ‘”Every year the bar is raised and the level of completion gets better and better”.

About 50% of those invited this year are new to Chowdafest and joined by those chefs & restaurants who have already distinguished themselves in prior years.  “I call it the hunt for next October,” said Keenan as he explained the annual event is usually held on the first Sunday in October.  The hunt includes those who have won local events or received great press but he puts an emphasis on word of mouth Keenan says.  “When we hear people tell us about great restaurants, we listen. Foodies know what they are talking about.  It’s why Chowdafest is a true people’s choice event and why they determine our winners.  We don’t have celebrities or trained pallets determining who is best.  It’s people who love chowder and soup, just like you and me."

Keenan’s search covers all six New England states but 80% of the competition he says comes from Connecticut.  “Connecticut is spoiled” said Keenan amusingly.  “So many great chefs call it home." The incredible concentration of culinary talent in Connecticut lead this annual event being held at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. People travel from all over the country to Connecticut to determine the best chowder, soup & bisque in New England.  Chowdafest has made Connecticut the chowder capital of New England.  To reinforce this distinction, the state includes a Chowdafest Cafe  in their Connecticut building at the Big E, the fifth largest state fair in the U.S. Over 1.6 million people visit the building and can purchase a cup of great chowder, soup & bisque, just a small example of what they can try at Chowdafest in October. 

This year, restaurants from New Canaan CT (Gates), Danbury (21 Lake Restaurant), Redding (Redding Roadhouse), Georgetown (Milestone), New Hartford (BLT), Old Saybrook (Saybrook Soup & Sandwich Co. and Penny Lane Pub), Ansonia (Crave 102) and Westrook (Braise & Brew) are among towns represented in the New England wide competition for the first time. “You never know where you’ll find a great chowder or soup,” said Keenan. “I think everyone will be more than impressed with this year’s lineup."

Chowdafest, presented by Stop & Shop, will be held on Sunday, October 6 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.  CT The event benefits Food Rescue US in the ongoing fight against food insecurity.  Over 2 million meals have been funded through Chowdafest in the past 4 years.  For additional information about Chowdafest, please visit or email event director, Jim Keenan at  

Chowdafest is presented by Stop & Shop and sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-operative, Chabaso Bakery, Chica de Gallo, City Carting, CT Bites, Copp's Island Oysters, Dave’s Planet Pizza, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Even Hotels,  Foods of the Vine, Hood Cream, Local Food Rocks, Lowe's, Lucy’s, Michele's Pies, Mi Nina Tortilla, MINI of Fairfield County, Natalie’s Juices, New England Dairy Council, People’s United Bank, Polar Beverages, PKF O’Connor Davies, Silly Cow Farms, Tetley Tea, Toast, Wades Dairy, WEBE 108 and Westminster Crackers. 

]]> (Jim Keenan) Events Sun, 18 Aug 2019 03:06:00 -0400
Katelyn Alain’s Vision and Metaphor: A New American Epic is Next Art Exhibition to Open at Curtis Gallery, New Canaan Library

Steeped in the academic tradition of painting, but with a unique contemporary perspective, Katelyn Alain draws from the compositional structure, historical motifs, and virtuosic brushwork of master painters across a diverse range of genres. Her most recent work can be viewed within her one-person show, Vision and Metaphor: A New American Epic, set to open on August 27, 2019 at New Canaan Library’s H. Pelham Curtis Gallery. The show runs from August 27 – October 7, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 5 at 6 p.m. A Q & A with the artist begins at 6:30 p.m.; all are welcome to attend.

Employing a palette of rich hues to deep blacks and browns, Alain references both traditional master artists as well as contemporary images to equate visual context with well-known history paintings. Alain upends a tradition that glorifies and romanticizes the male figure and gaze. Her new work is a singular and vital response to the current times, touching on a deep uneasiness- often depicting children isolated on the water- yet also heroically in charge of their own destiny or in moments of epiphany. In her new work, Alain presents an allegorical and turbulent vision, drawing from Emanuel Leutze’s iconic Washington Crossing The Delaware (1850) and various American history paintings.

]]> (KatherineBlance) Places Fri, 16 Aug 2019 12:38:28 -0400
This Old House Idea House Grand Opening in New Canaan

2019 Idea House | Grand-Opening Celebration!

In partnership with Karp AssociatesCAH Architecture, and our valued Sponsors and Contributors, we invite you to join us as we unveil the TOH 2019 Idea House in New Canaan, Connecticut!

Saturday, September 14, 2019 | 12:00p.m.—4:00p.m.
Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 1:00p.m.—5:00p.m.
4 Main Street, New Canaan, CT

  • Meet TOH crew members (Saturday Only!)
  • Discover new looks and the latest home products
  • Free admission & free parking 
  • Click here for a map of nearby lots; we recommend Train Station, Lumberyard, Park Street, and Playhouse

keaways, innovative products, and how-to instruction that home enthusiasts can incorporate into their own remodels and new-builds.

]]> (This Old House) Events Fri, 16 Aug 2019 10:16:08 -0400
Red Cross Blood Drive at New Canaan Library Fines Waived for Donors

Red Cross will be holding a Blood Drive at New Canaan Library on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. To support participation the Library will, on that day, waive any existing overdue fines for the presenting blood donor.

The need to maintain a reliable blood supply is constant and vital; by donating you are helping to change, and perhaps save, a life.

To participate in this blood drive please register online at Donors must bring a positive form of ID.

For a complete list of requirements and helpful tips for potential donors please contact the Red Cross Donor Client Center at 1-866-236-3276, open 24/7. Information is also available at

]]> (HH) Neighbors Fri, 16 Aug 2019 10:11:05 -0400
Boys & Girls Village Receives Grant from DCF to Support Parents and Families

Boys & Girls Village received a $550,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) to support delivery of a Parenting Support Services (PSS) Program. The service supports and enhances positive functioning for families with children 0-18 years-of-age.

Families enrolled in the program receive one of two PSS interventions, the Positive Parenting Program, which helps parents become resourceful problem solvers and create a positive and safe home learning environment, or the Circle of Security Parenting program, designed to build, support, and strengthen parents’ relationship capabilities.

The program’s interventions are combined with case management services provided by Boys & Girls Village using the Wraparound philosophy and approach. The service will be offered at the organization’s Bridgeport and Norwalk locations.

“The Parenting Support Services Program seeks to help parents build and strengthen positive, nurturing relationships with their children, and to learn parenting skills for managing developmental and behavioral challenges,” said Dr. Kimberly Shaunesey, Boys & Girls Village President. “Helping parents create a safe and secure environment for children to develop emotional, behavioral, and cognitive strengths is the end goal.”

The grant funds the majority of costs associated with the program, but Boys & Girls Village will need to raise funds to cover the full costs associated with all of the program’s elements.

For more information about the Parenting Support Services program, please contact Carra Conlan at or call 203-877-0300. To make a donation to Boys and Girls Village please contact Development Associate Marie Pelaccia at or call 203-713-7775.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Charities Thu, 15 Aug 2019 07:12:27 -0400
Many Connecticut Cities Ranked Highest for Number of Nonprofits

New Canaan and other nearby cities data can be seen on the chart below.

The Bridgeport Region ranks 20th for the US regions with the highest concentrations of nonprofit organizations according to Governing Magazine.  The Bridgeport metro area has a total of 1,391 nonprofits, which translates to 14.7 per 10,000 population.

The number of nonprofits in towns near New Canaan are:

City # of Charities Value of Assets
Cos Cob, CT 58 $211,491,215
Darien, CT 224 $538,642,219
Darlen, CT 1 $11,084,872
East Norwalk, CT 1 $108,667
Georgetown, CT 16 $5,607,875
Glenbrook, CT 1 $645,793
Greens Farms, CT 11 $148,933,167
New Canaan, CT 235 $1,093,350,329
Noroton, CT 1 $7,042,063
Norwalk, CT 437 $1,194,597,542
Old Greenwich, CT 77 $124,884,526
Ridgefield, CT 202 $462,275,790
Riverside, CT 53 $139,003,304
Rowayton, CT 22 $12,606,132
S Norwalk, CT 1
South Norwalk, CT 5 $25,145,008
Stamford, CT 809 $4,561,483,886
Stanford, CT 3 $300,185
Stmaford, CT 1 $1,815,471
West Redding, CT 6 $11,993,703
Weston, CT 93 $61,920,069
Westport, CT 314 $1,463,592,749
Wilton, CT 170 $4,853,979,403

The magazine studied all of the regions in the United States to try to determine why some regions have more charities than others, and they found some interesting results. "What we found was that the concentration of locally focused nonprofits doesn’t just vary from one part of the country to another -- it varies a lot. The top 10 metro areas on our list have more than twice the number of nonprofits per capita as all those in the bottom quarter."

Other regions in the top 20 according to Governor Magazine include:

Metro Area Nonprofits
Nonprofits Per 10k Pop
Barnstable Town, MA 517 24.2
Pittsfield, MA 286 22.6
Santa Fe, NM 285 19
Missoula, MT 219 18.4
Ithaca, NY 187 18.2
Springfield, IL 358 17.2
Trenton, NJ 634 17.1
Bismarck, ND 222 16.7
Burlington-South Burlington, VT 366 16.6
Madison, WI 1,094 16.6
Napa, CA 231 16.6
Boulder, CO 538 16.5
Duluth, MN-WI 447 16
Fairbanks, AK 157 15.9
Great Falls, MT 130 15.9
Glens Falls, NY 198 15.8
Jefferson City, MO 234 15.4
Portland-South Portland, ME 813 15.2
Anchorage, AK 595 14.9
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 1,391 14.7


Other Connecticut regions on the list include:

  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford with 1,576 nonprofits
  • New Haven-Milford with 1,082 nonprofits
  • Norwich-New London with 318 nonprofits

The governing analysis is based on data published by The National Center for Charitable Statistics.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Charities Thu, 15 Aug 2019 04:30:00 -0400
It’s Time to Explore New Canaan

Hoping to bring foodies to downtown New Canaan and welcome residents back after summer holidays, the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce is hosting Explore New Canaan Taste Tours on Thursday August 22nd from 5-8pm. Replacing the Taste of the Town Stroll, this event will entice participants to discover our town and its vibrant restaurant scene. 

Rock Paper Scissors Events (formally Treasure Hunt Tours) which is owned and operated by New Canaan Moms Rachel Lampen and Kristin Mitrakis has designed the routes for the four tours: Taste Crawl, Dessert Dash, Wine Tasting Trail, and Beer Tasting Trail. Each tour will have between six and twelve stops. “These explore New Canaan taste tours are the perfect way to get out, reconnect with friends and neighbors and support our local economy while having lots of fun” said Mitrakis.

Tickets for the event range from $10 to $20, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the New Canaan Food Pantry. Advance tickets can be purchased online via the Chamber and Rock Paper Scissors’ Facebook Pages or by clicking on Eventbrite

Starting at 5pm on Thursday August 22nd participants will pick up their pre-paid tickets and tour location map in front of the Movie Theater on Elm Street. Tour tickets will also be available for purchase the night of the event. Look out for Explore New Canaan Posters in the windows - you will not be served unless you are wearing an appropriate wristband!

Taste Crawl Bites - Ally Bally Bee, Benefit, Berkshire Hathaway, Chef Prasad, Club Pilates, Dolce Italian Cafè, Elm Street Books, Gates Restaurant, New Canaan Diner, Pesca, Press Burger, Sole.

Dessert Dash - Dolce Italian Cafè, New Canaan Diner, Press Burger, Waffle Cabin

Wine Tasting Trail - Against The Grain (featuring Red Grape), Ally Bally Bee, Baldanza, Franco’s, Stewart’s Spirits, Studio Elan

Beer Tasting Trail - Baldanza, Chef Prasad, Gates Restaurant, Pesca, Stewart’s Spirits, White Buffalo.   

In conjunction with the Explore New Canaan taste tours event, the Chamber of Commerce has introduced, a website which was developed to help visitors, as well as residents discover all the shops, restaurants, services, and attractions New Canaan has to offer. 

Christa Carr, the Communications Director for the Glass House, said her team is happy to direct visitors to the website. “ has already proved effective in introducing our visitors to the town and its local businesses” 

Tucker Murphy Executive Director of the Chamber is excited to introduce to residents “The website is a resource for all of us to discover the shops, services and amenities our town has to offer,” she said.

Should you have any additional questions feel free to contact the Chamber of Commerce office 203-966-2004 or

]]> (New Canaan Chamber of Commerce) Life Wed, 14 Aug 2019 12:04:41 -0400
New Canaan Land Trust Celebrate Dogs and Families with Dogs of New Canaan Event

Join the New Canaan Land Trust as we celebrate National Dog Day on our dog-friendly Watson-Symington Preserve on Saturday morning August 24th.

Enjoy coffee and bagels, have a (free) portrait taken with your best friend, participate in a fun scavenger hunt designed for the whole family... and, of course, walk our wonderful Preserve! Free for all. Thanks to the support of Canine Company, Grove Street Veterinary and Pet Pantry Warehouse and Venture Photography.

Saturday, August 24th 8 am to noon. Entrance on Wellesley Drive (72-110 Wellesley Drive).

]]> (New Canaan Land Trust) Events Wed, 14 Aug 2019 09:11:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in New Canaan: Jane Beiles Photography

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Jane Beiles Photography!

When did you start your business?

I started my business eight years ago, 2011 when my youngest child (I have three children at NCHS) was in first grade at East School. I studied Marketing and Art History at the University of Michigan and worked for a decade in the fashion/apparel industry in Manhattan prior to founding my own company.

Finish this sentence in regard to your business. “I wish I could…” ...

I wish I could travel to foreign destinations la "I Dream of Jeannie" with a blink and head nod.  I love shooting different cultures and places but at this stage of life with three teenagers at home, I have to limit time away. Luckily, New Canaan is full of beauty and an appreciation for arts, so even when I can't stray too far from home, there is plenty of amazing material to document close at hand. 

What is your best selling product/service?

Photo home tours shot in the style of a magazine feature of projects by interior designers, architects and builders are my most in-demand category of business.  I have half and full-day packages for design professionals looking to document their work for their own portfolio, design awards, and editorial features.

How many people do you employ? Any youth or seniors from the community?

I have one office manager (another New Canaan woman) and have served as a mentor for the NCHS Senior Internship Program since 2012. You can learn more here.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

My most productive days start with a barre or yoga class at StudiO on Park Street. I love the friendly staff and amazing teachers. Our favorite nutrition "on the job" comes from Green & Tonic, CT Sandwich, Zumbach's, Walter Stewart's, Rosie, Baldanza, elm, South End Uncorked, fjord and Organika to name a few!  We recently held our annual holiday gathering in December at Heather Gaudio Fine Art. In the past, we have hosted events at Pimlico, Elm, South End and at my home with catering by Gates.

Our home renovation - including my office - was an all New Canaan design and building crew - architect Louise Brooks of Brooks & Falotico, designer Melissa Lindsay of Pimlico and Rich Rosano of RR Builders. Megan Wunderlich of the Design Dot did a bathroom renovation for us as well. Our home has been published by HGTV Magazine, Lonny Magazine, athome in Fairfield County Magazine and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. When I need to dress up for a work event such as Moffly Media's athome a-list, I usually shop at Togs and love the unique accessories at Found. And have to give a shout out and sincere thank you to Elyse Shapiro, at Silvermine Art School, who was my first Photography teacher and an amazing mentor.

You can reach Jane Beiles by phone 203.858.6841, email or online here.

You're IT RR Builders!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible! 


]]> (HH) Places Wed, 14 Aug 2019 08:27:13 -0400
New Canaan Bag Ordinance Effective August 27

A new Town ordinance governing single-use carryout bags by retail establishments goes into effect on August 27, 2019. Carryout bags include any bag provided to a consumer at the point of sale.  

Under the ordinance, no retail establishment may sell, provide or distribute carryout bags made of plastic or kraft paper other than reusable carryout bags made of cloth, fiber or durable plastic.  Exceptions under the ordinance include bags for bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or hardware items; bags containing frozen food, meat or fish; newspaper and laundry/dry cleaning bags; or bags sold in packages (e.g., garbage bags).  

Retail establishments with more than 10,000 square feet may elect to provide paper carryout bags and charge the consumer 10 cents per bag at the point of purchase.  Enforcement of this ordinance lies with the Director of Health.

A State of Connecticut statute that applies only to plastic bags with limited exceptions went into on August 1st.

]]> (Town of New Canaan) Life Tue, 13 Aug 2019 12:46:59 -0400