Newcanaan's HamletHub Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:39:53 -0400 Save the Date! New Canaan Sidewalk Sale Heats Up Summer on July 13!

Mark your calendar and plan your getaway, New Canaan! The much-anticipated Sidewalk Sale is slated for Saturday, July 13! "This is a fun-filled family-friendly day filled with great bargains, food, music, and family-friendly entertainment!" says New Canaan Chamber.

Check out memories from the 2018 New Canaan Sidewalk Sale courtesy of Stephanie Conti Photography 

Visit the Chamber online here for additional information.

]]> (HH) Events Thu, 25 Apr 2019 13:10:39 -0400
Pacific House Thanks Supporters At 11th Annual Food & Wine Experience

Hundreds of community leaders, food and music enthusiasts and community-minded area residents gathered together at the Pacific House Food & Wine Experience Thursday night at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel. The event raised nearly $40,000 to help homeless youth and the Pacific House Young Adult Program.

This beloved community tradition offered delicious tastes from award-winning local restaurants, top chefs and sommeliers. Music, a fun photo booth and moving remarks rounded out this inspiring evening of caring for our community.

“Pacific House plays a vital role in our community,” said State Representative Matt Blumenthal. “Stamford is a place that cares for its own, and that can’t happen without Pacific House.”

The evening raised funds for the Pacific House Young Adult Program, which helps homeless young adults in lower Fairfield County find housing and connects them with employment, education and support services that prepare them for adulthood. Specialized case managers, programs and a dedicated living space at the Pacific House shelter helps these young people avoid a lifetime of homelessness.

“I’ve been involved in helping the homeless community for over 20 years,” said Jerre Skeats of Darien, “Pacific House does a great job in executing their vision for transitioning people out of homelessness.”

“We are grateful to our community partners, sponsors and supporters for making this event a success,” said Rafael Pagan, Jr., Executive Director of Pacific House. “The people here tonight are the reason we’re able to accomplish the life-changing work that we do.”

Pacific House is grateful to the evening’s generous sponsors, First County Bank, Webster Bank, ShopRite, Joan A. Connor, and the Fred and Joan Weisman Fund. Additional thanks are extended to the vendors including, Bareburger, The Cakery, Columbus Park Trattoria, DiMare Pastry Shop, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Kashi Stamford, Longford’s Ice Cream, Peter Chang, Stamford Sheraton, Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, Triangles Eats, Westfair Productions and Unbakeables.

Pacific House is the only regional men’s emergency shelter, serving the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien and beyond. Since 1985 the organization has served our area by providing food, temporary shelter and an array of support services to homeless men and young adults, including workforce development, recovery programming, and job readiness training. Shelter case managers work with each individual, helping them obtain housing and becoming more self-sufficient.

Visit www.PacificHouse to learn more, or to make a donation.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Life Thu, 25 Apr 2019 12:48:40 -0400
Town of New Canaan FY 19-20 Adopted Operating & Capital Budget

The budget season comes to a close in early April with the Town Council public hearing on Tuesday, April 2 and the vote on Thursday, the 4th.

View the Town of New Canaan and Sewer District FY 19-20 Adopted Operating & Capital Budget  for Fiscal Year July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.


]]> (Town of New Canaan) Politics Wed, 24 Apr 2019 13:08:25 -0400
New Canaan's Clean Your Mile Now Through April 28

The Town of New Canaan, Departments of Inland Wetlands and Watercourses, Parks, Highway and Public Works are joining forces with the Chamber of Commerce and Planet New Canaan to organize New Canaan's Clean Your Mile

 For the last several years, the Clean Your Mile effort has included three key components: New Canaan citizens individually tackling their neighborhoods; community groups scouring public spaces including parks and schools; and the Chamber's efforts with merchants to clean up sidewalks, storage areas and parking spaces surrounding the shops and restaurants.  New this year, Planet New Canaan will be cleaning the Five Mile River area on River Street on Saturday, April 27 with Surfrider Foundation from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon.  Volunteers are welcome to join.

The Clean Your Mile effort is scheduled for the week of April 22-April 28.  More than 250 individual volunteers and members of numerous community organizations will be asked to help give New Canaan its annual spring cleaning to help beautify our Town and environment. Parks, parking lots, schools and public areas will be designated to youth groups and civic organizations.  Individuals, families or groups who are willing to clean up roadside trash on their street can email Lola Sweeney, Administrative Assistant at or call, 203.594.3089 to sign up for a location and provide a contact email.

Garbage bags are available at either the Public Works Department or Inland Wetlands at Town Hall.  Dumpsters will be located in the train station commuter lot Friday-Sunday. In addition, Public Works can be contacted at 203-594-3054 for pickup of objects too large for volunteers to remove.

(L-R) Margot Bright (PNC), Kathleen Holland(Director-Inland Wetlands), Tucker Murphy(Chamber of Commerce), Robin Bates-Mason (PNC), Tiger Mann(Director-Public Works)

]]> (Town of New Canaan) Life Wed, 24 Apr 2019 11:56:00 -0400
Maritime Aquarium Mourns the Passing of its Black Dragon

The staff of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is mourning the death of its Asian water monitor lizard, more commonly known as its black dragon.

The 7-foot lizard died overnight Monday.

“We’re always saddened by the death of any animal at the Aquarium, but the black dragon was appreciated as a very special creature by staff as well as by our guests,” said Barrett Christie, the Aquarium’s director of Animal Husbandry.

Cause of death is unknown. A necropsy will be performed at the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at UConn. Although the 6-year-old lizard had shown a loss of appetite over the last several days and was receiving veterinary care, Christie said, the death was unexpected.

This lizard was rare because it had a melanistic gene that made the animal nearly solid black. Normally, Asian water monitor lizards are brownish-dark gray with small yellow dots underneath.

The black dragon had been a featured animal at The Maritime Aquarium, first in the “Dragons: Real or Myth” exhibit that opened in February 2015 and then moving up into the “Just Add Water” exhibit that debuted last August.

The world’s second-heaviest lizard (after Komodo dragons), Asian water monitor lizards are native to Southeast Asia. They’re known to live to 10 to 15 years old in human care; less in the wild.

]]> (Dave Sigworth) Life Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:51:00 -0400
Stamford's Half Full Brewery Opens Redesigned Tasting Room

STAMFORD, Conn. – Half Full Brewery, Connecticut’s hoptimistic local brewery since 2012, announced the opening of its redesigned tasting room in Stamford, Conn. The 1,000-square-foot space embodies Half Full’s free-flowing positivity and passion, and features a 500+ beer can art installation as well as an eco-friendly wall.

The renovated urban space includes living room-style seating with modern sectionals from Lovesac, as well as traditional picnic table and high top seating. The casual and inviting environment nicely complements Half Full Brewery’s 12 rotating beers on tap.

“Nearly seven years after pouring our first Bright beer, we are excited to give our tasting room a refresh,” said Conor Horrigan, Founder & Chief Hoptimist at Half Full Brewery. “The local community has embraced our positive philosophy, spending time with their family, friends and four-legged friends in our tasting room. We hope to continue to deliver a positive, relaxing and enjoyable experience in our redesigned tasting room.” 

The official debut of the newly redesigned space aligns with the launch of Half Full Brewery’s new website designed by web solutions company Craftpeak. The sleek new site provides up-to-date information about upcoming events, beers on tap as well as Half Full apparel. Photos for the site were taken by @beerswithshim photographer Paul Shim.

Half Full Brewery’s tasting room is located at 43 Homestead Ave, Stamford, CT 06902, and is open Thursdays and Fridays 4-10 p.m. ET, Saturdays 12-10 p.m. ET and Sundays 12-7 p.m. ET.

About Half Full Brewery

At Half Full Brewery, we believe that together we can make the world a closer, more positive place and community. We bring the community of Stamford, Conn., together daily through audacious beers and experiences. Visit our Stamford facility, listen in on our podcast, or check us out on the web at and @halffullbrewery on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

]]> (Zach Kyte) Places Wed, 24 Apr 2019 07:33:50 -0400
E.B. White’s Stuart Little comes to The Ridgefield Playhouse April 27

From the loving heart of E. B. White comes this merry musical about a noble mouse who jumps headlong into adventures big enough to match any imagination! Stuart Little, performed live by Virginia Rep on Tour, comes to The Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday, April 27 at 1pm.

By turns funny, tender and exciting, Stuart Little mixes child-size puppets with live actors and catchy songs to work theatrical magic. This performance is part of Ridgefield Academy Family Series with support from Hamlet Hub, sponsored by Dr. Blaine Langberg, Orthodontist, and partially underwritten by Books on the Common, Noah’s Ark & South and Salem Animal Hospital. The Leir Foundation Arts for Everyone recipient for this show is Out and About Club. Additional sponsorship provided by Union Savings Bank. Visit Dimitri’s Diner (16 Prospect St • Ridgefield) before or after the show and enjoy 10% off your meal when you show your ticket! Media partners for this event are 98Q and Macaroni Kid.

The play brings to life the E.B. White fantasy classic in which Stuart, a mouse, is born into the Little family. Although he is quite different from other members of the family, Stuart is loved by all - except perhaps Snowbell, the family cat. Stuart’s adventures include getting caught in a window shade, sailing a boat, making friends, and embarking on the journey of a lifetime.

E.B. White was born in 1899 in Mount Vernon, New York. After college, he worked as a reporter, and in 1927 he became a writer for The New Yorker magazine; later he wrote a column for Harper’s magazine. Even though E.B. White was already a successful writer, he wanted to try something new. He decided to write stories for the children in his family. In 1945, he started publishing these stories as books. In addition to Stuart Little, he wrote Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte’s Web. Today these three books are considered classics of American Children’s Literature. Parents are encouraged to have kids read the book then compare it to the stage play for lively discussion. Books are available at Books on the Common on Main Street in Ridgefield. Additionally, The Ridgefield Library will host a Stuart Little-themed storytime on Saturday, April 20 at 10:30am.

Virginia Repertory Theatre, Virginia’s largest nonprofit, professional touring theatre for young audiences, produces exciting, award-winning, national caliber plays and musicals that support teaching to the whole child while supporting the core curriculum.

For tickets ($15) call or visit the box office, 203-438-5795 or go online at ridgefieldplayhouse.orgThe Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

]]> (Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Wed, 24 Apr 2019 06:28:00 -0400
Greenwich Polo Returns June 9

Greenwich, CT - The 2019 summer polo season at Greenwich Polo Club is right around the corner, and we could not be more excited to welcome players, fans, and guests alike back for another incredible season of polo. Greenwich Polo Club's 39th season features nine Sunday matches open to the public, with four exciting tournaments and a one-of-a-kind polo experience that offers something special for absolutely everyone. 

This season's Opening Day will take place on Sunday, June 9th, with the first match of the Shreve, Crump & Low Cup (June 9 & 16). Huntsman team (Dillon Bacon, Segundo Merlos, Toro Ruiz and Tomas Garcia del Rio) won the title in its inaugural year. The tournament season continues with Monty Waterbury (June 23 & 30) and the new American Cup (July 14 & July 23), and crowning the season will be the East Coast Open® (August 25, September 1 & September 8). 

Mark your calendars for a family friendly and action packed way to spend your Sundays this summer. Greenwich Polo Club promises an unforgettable experience for each guest. Check out the news items below for more of what to expect this season.


]]> (Greenwich Polo) Events Wed, 24 Apr 2019 05:13:00 -0400
Authors @ New Canaan: Colin G. Calloway presents The Indian World of George Washington this Sunday

New Canaan Library is pleased to welcome Colin G. Calloway, PhD, Professor of History and Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. Professor Calloway will speak about his book, The Indian World of George Washington, on Sunday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, courtesy of Elm Street Books. Please register online at

In his compelling biography, Colin G. Calloway examines the complex relationship between the great Native American leaders of George Washington’s time – Shingas, Tanaghrisson, Bloody Fellow, Joseph Brant, Red Jacket, Little Turtle – and our founding father. Calloway returns these Native American leaders to their rightful place in history and sheds light on the vital role they played in the nation’s foundation. Tracing decades of Native American leaders’ interactions with Washington, from his early career as surveyor of Indian lands to his military career and later his presidency, Calloway invites us to reexamine the story of America’s beginnings.

]]> (KatherineBlance) Events Tue, 23 Apr 2019 13:35:10 -0400
Spring Discovery Fair in New Canaan (for children ages 3-7)

Children ages 3-7 and their parents are invited to the Spring Discovery Fair for a morning of fun and guided exploration. 

A variety of age-appropriate activities will be offered including: science (maker-lab, innovations and wind experiments), art (clay, wire and watercolors), paint mixology, paper making, woodshop, transparent collage, an obstacle course and musical games. Dress for mess! The event will be held Saturday May 5 from 9:30- 11 a.m., rain or shine. It is free of charge and open to all children ages 3-7 and a responsible caretaker.

Registration is encouraged, but drop-ins are also welcome. Attendees will receive a complimentary tote bag to carry home their creations.

The Spring Discovery Fair will be held in and around New Canaan Country School’s Early Childhood building & lawn located at 635 Frogtown Road in New Canaan. For more information, please visit: or call (203) 801-5608.

]]> (Communications at New Canaan Country School) Life Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:26:24 -0400
On Stage and On Netflix, New Canaan's Birnbaum Sisters Shine

There is no shortage of artistic talent in the Birnbaum family of New Canaan.

“As a friend who spent quite some time at their home on Old Studio Road growing up, I can attest that music and performance have always been at the center of life for Mary and Flora Birnbaum, in both formal and informal settings,” says Holly Donaldson Casella, who caught up with the sisters recently in her role as Director of Alumni Affairs at the Pre-K through Grade 9 school.

“As girls, Mary and Flora sang in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and our playdates often consisted of elaborate performances, usually with full costume and set design!” recalled Ms. Casella. “They also performed at Country School — in musicals, select chorus and a wide range of other venues throughout their collective 15 years here.”

Mary, a member of New Canaan Country School’s Class of 1999, remembered this time period fondly, and cited specific teachers as having made a lasting impact upon her.

“Rhythms class with Francine Piggott in Lower School, concerts with Marsha Whitman in Middle and Upper School and winter musicals with Mr. Garrison in Upper School, as well as the time that Mr. Berwick and Mrs. Purcell let our ninth grade class make DNA: The Musical, rather than take a final exam,” she said, “For us, it was the dedication of the teachers at NCCS who fostered a creative learning experience that furthered our love of the arts.”

Flora, a member of the Class of 2004, added. “The Christmas pageant in the Lower School, the sense of community, and the way each Country Schooler was encouraged to march to the beat of their own drum helped us find who we were as people and how best to express ourselves!”

Their artistic prowess continues today as both women find success in the performing arts world. Mary is the Associate Director of Opera Studies at The Juilliard School where she teaches acting to opera singers. She is a freelance stage director of theater and opera regionally and internationally. Mary was nominated for “Best Newcomer of 2015” at the International Opera Awards in London and, this year alone, is set to direct three major shows: Dido and Aeneas at Juilliard this winter, Empty the House at the Curtis Opera Theater in Philadelphia this spring, and La Bohème at the Santa Fe Opera this summer. Mary brings an avant-garde style to her directing and is committed to helping young artists develop through her work at Juilliard and the Orchard Project Greenhouse, an arts accelerator that Mary helped found.

Flora has been involved in some of the buzziest projects of 2019 so far. After starting out at a talent agency and transitioning to writing and directing her own independent work, she recently landed an exciting opportunity on the writing team for the new Netflix series Russian Doll, which premiered on Feb. 1; Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland are the executive producers and it stars Natasha Lyonne. Flora is also writing for the third season of the Showtime series SMILF, and is working on a feature film, which she will direct.

It all begs the question: will Mary and Flora find an opportunity to collaborate in the coming years? As it turns out, there is already a musical in the works — about sisters, of course! Keep your eyes on these two, and check out their impressive work while you are at it.

New Canaan Country School is a co-ed, independent, day school for students in Pre-K (ages 3 & 4) through Grade 9. Located on a 75-acre campus in New Canaan, the school offers transportation to families living throughout the region. For more information about the school, please visit

]]> (Holly Casella) Neighbors Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:25:40 -0400
New Canaan is Going to the Dogs on May 4!


Dog Days at New Canaan Nature Center on May 4 from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The 10th annual New Canaan Dog Days presented by Pet Pantry Warehouse will be hosted at the New Canaan Nature Center, 144 Oenoke Ridge ( on Saturday, May 4. 

This year's event is a celebration of dogs and features a marketplace filled with quality food, treats, toys, arts, crafts, and local services. 

This year, the New Canaan Dog Days event is kicking off with a fundraising Pet Pantry Paws Walk through the Nature Center trails beginning at 10:00 am. Participants are required to register for the Paws Walk and a $20 fee will benefit both Adopt-a-Dog and the New Canaan Nature Center [check back for the registration link]. 

Following the Paws Walk, there will be demonstrations, lectures, and meet-and-greets beginning at noon. The New Canaan Police Department Canine Unit; New Canaan Nature Center Wildlife; professional dog trainers, dog behaviorists, and veterinarians will be in attendance to educate and entertain attendees. 

This year's activities and special event features include but are not limited to the following: 

· The Doggie Fun Zone, last year’s runaway hit, is a lure motivated obstacle course. 

· The Fur-tastic K-9’s from Texas is a performance and stunt team that will give two performances and teach a trick workshop. Participants will learn how to transform their dog into a "trick star" ( 

· An animal communicator will be on site for pet psychic sessions by appointment. 

· The new Radar Run will clock the speed of the dog using an official police department radar gun. The fastest dog will receive a gift certificate and a speeding citation. 

· A kid zone with a face painter, caricature artist, and a bouncy house.

· A dog spa where attendees can watch a “Doodle” get groomed and learn how to properly brush and maintain their dog while consulting with grooming product experts to find the best products for their dog. 

· The Pet Pantry Bone Bar with tuxedo-clad Bark Tenders. Event attendees can get the top of the line treats, chews and cookies for their dogs. 

· A family scavenger hunt. Participants can join forces and work together to solve clues and complete the hunt. Anyone that solves all of the clues can select a reward from a prize-filled table packed with pet toys and supplies. 

· A rescue village with area rescue groups available to discuss adoptions.

· Family and pet portraits with Venture Photography.

Visit the Facebook Event Page here for additional information.

]]> (New Canaan Nature Center) Events Tue, 23 Apr 2019 07:44:00 -0400
Happy Earth Day!

April 22 marks the celebration of Earth Day! It is a day where people around the world take a closer look at protecting our environment and appreciating the world we live in. 

Find out more about Earth Day through the Earth Day Network. Here is an excerpt from their site:

Earth Day Network works year-round on projects, programs, and campaigns that support environmental conservation, environmental protection, climate activism and advocacy, and advancing the green economy. Our education work focuses on efforts to green schools — from energy efficiency upgrades to improving school food — and supporting educators with resources to teach and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders. Our conservation and greening efforts include planting trees to reforest environmentally critical areas of the globe and increase the urban tree canopy, and protecting clean air and water. Our advocacy efforts focus on engaging local leaders and global citizens of all ages and from all walks of life with campaigns: to end plastic pollution, to protect our species, to act on climate and advance clean energy, and more.

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In honor of this milestone, Earth Day Network is launching an ambitious set of goals to shape the future of 21st century environmentalism. Learn more here

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Life Mon, 22 Apr 2019 07:52:29 -0400
Ridgefield Independent Film Festival Presents First Annual Kids Film Fest Saturday, April 27


The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival, (RIFF), now in its fourth year, will launch its first ever Kids Film Fest on Saturday, April 27, 2019. An impressive lineup of award-winning films tailored for children, tweens, teens, and families, showcasing imaginative animation, live action, and documentary films from around the world. All films are adult-friendly!

Liyana directed by Aaron Kopp and Amanda Kopp, will be the evening Spotlight Family Feature. This internationally acclaimed South African film is a genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five orphans in the Kingdom of eSwanti (formerly known as Swaziland). The children turn past trauma into an original fable about a girl named Liyana who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves her animated journey together with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance and hope. 

Executive produced by Emmy-winner Thandie Newton, and produced by Oscar-winner Daniel Junge, Liyana features innovative animated artwork by Shofela Coker and an original score by Philip Miller. Liyanahas played at festivals around the world, including the British Film Institute's London Film Festival and MoMA's Doc Fortnight, and to date, has won 28 jury and audience awards. London’s The Sunday Times describes the film as “Part documentary, part animation, and pure magic.” Liyana screens Sat, Apr. 27 at 7:00pm at Ridgefield Theater Barn. (Appropriate for ages 10 through adult)

Also featured in the festival is RIFF Redux, two live-action short films created by Ridgefield students in grades four to six, that screened at RIFF in the fall—The Misadventures of Goldilocks and the Three Boys and Let’s Not Forget About Little Red Riding Hood. Former Nickelodeon producers and area residents Dave Goldberg and David Herman oversaw every stage of the film projects from inception to completion. The shorts feature numerous Ridgefield locations, including the Ridgefield Library, Planet Pizza, Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shop, and even a local graveyard. There are also several cameos by familiar faces to people in town. Herman will participate in a post-screening audience Q&A. RIFF Redux will run as part of RIFF RePLAY Sat., Apr. 27 at 1:00 pm at Ridgefield Theater Barn and will include other family favorite shorts from the RIFF archives. (Appropriate for ages 7-12).

Megan Smith-Harris, RIFF Festival Director said: “Exposing children to imaginative, age-appropriate films from around the world is integral to engaging them in the arts, helps to build empathy, and expands their world view.”

In addition to film compilations, the festival will present two East Coast premieres. First, Band Geeks, directed by Canada’s Morgan Elliot, a fun and uplifting documentary about a high school youth marching band preparing for their appearance at the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Next, a narrative short To Remember Me By, by up and coming Mumbai filmmaker, Rahoul Daswani. The film tells the story of family, memory, and buried secrets discovered inside an 8mm camera. Both films screen on Saturday, April 27, at the Ridgefield Theater Barn. To Remember Me By at 3:30pm followed by Band Geeks at 3:45pm.  (Appropriate for ages 8 through adult)

To see the complete line-up of films showing at Kids Film Fest and to purchase tickets visit


Watch the Trailer for LIYANA here (ages 10 - adult)


Watch Trailer for BAND GEEKS  here (age 8 +)



NYICFF Kid Flicks Tour 2018

]]> (Marlea Willis) Events Sun, 21 Apr 2019 03:12:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in New Canaan: JMD Sealcoat

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 JMD Sealcoat!JMD Sealcoat!

Three questions with Ryan Vindas, owner of JMD Sealcoat.

Why did you start your business?

I started the business so that I could achieve a certain degree of financial freedom in order to provide a better standard of living for my family. I chose this type of business because I enjoy working with my hands. I get great satisfaction out of seeing the improvement in the driveways and end product.

Best selling product/service?

My best selling service is driveway sealcoating.

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

I support the following local businesses:

  • Hardware store - Weed and Duryea
  • Gas stations - Mobil and Gulf
  • Bank - TD Bank
  • Automotive - Napa
  • Post office - USPS

Visit JMD Sealcoat online here or call (203) 252-6750.

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

]]> (HH) Places Fri, 19 Apr 2019 12:58:44 -0400