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Visit Stamford, CT via

The Stamford CT motto – “The City That Works” – suggests more of the Puritan Work Ethic than the Pleasure Principal. The world headquarters of Pitney Bowes and Starwood Hotels, and trading floors of UBS and RBS, among many other multinational corporations, mark Stamford’s skyline.  Worker-bee commuters with commerce on their minds swarm into Connecticut’s 4th largest city (after Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford), just 45 minutes by Metro North train from Manhattan. But there is another side to Stamford – which happens to be this Maven’s home – one that has less to do with profits and more with pleasure. And sometimes weirdness.  We’ve got Jerry Springer, a church in the shape of a fish, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and a surprisingly vibrant nightlife. Vibrant enough to bring New York City dwellers out to the burb’s.  These contradictions are what make Stamford so intriguing as an Offbeat Getaway: that and the fact that the culinary scene is so darn amazing. Of course I’ll let you in on my favorite haunts:

What to Do In Stamford CT

VISIT: The Stamford Museum and Nature Center. This treasure of a local attraction is worth a morning or afternoon, if only to engage in meaningful eye contact with two acrobatic otters that implore you to stay in their homey enclosure.  “Don’t leave us,” their antics beseech. But you must, in order to see all there is to see in this complex that includes an art museum lodged within the former country home of retail mogul Heni Bendel, a “heritage breed” farm housing a corps of barnyard animals from bygone days including a dozen breeds of chickens, pigs, sheep and bovines, nature trails that feature sculptures and wildlife, a “Nature’s Playground” that allows kids (and kids at heart) to sprawl out in an “hawk’s nest,” and an observatory with a 22 inch telescope open to the public most Friday nights.

There’s always some goat or lamb, piglet or calf being born in the Spring, a season that also brings the popular Sheep Shearing Festival.  Programs abound, for kids and adults, but if time is short, stare down “Big Sis” – the resident 800 lb pig, and of course, be sure to say goodbye to the otters when you leave. Heckscher Farm, Daily 9 am – 5 pm; April – October, Daily 9 am – 4 pm; November – March, Bendel Mansion & Galleries,Mon.- Sat., 9 am – 5 pm; Sun., 11 am – 5 pm, $10 adults, $5 kids. 

WALK: Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens. Trails throughout the 91-acre tree sanctuary lead past lawns, woodlands and brooks.  If exotic species of plants and trees are your thing, an afternoon here will offer pure bliss. Open daily from 9am until sunset, $5 donation.

VISIT: First Presbyterian Church AKA “Fish Church.” Yes, this church was built in the shape of a fish, and this out of the ordinary edifice is what most people see when they pass by on busy Bedford Street.  But step inside and you are suddenly in the center of a massive kaleidoscope.  Designed by Wallace K. Harrison – the architect who led the multinational team that designed the UN Building in New York, and who also had his hand in building Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center  – the stunning sanctuary opened in 1958.

For more on what to do and where to eat in Stamford, CT, you’ll find it on  

Free Travel Photography Seminar at Stamford Italian Center, Brought To you by Camera Wholesalers,Thursday September 12 @ 7:30PM

Learn about the ins and outs of travel photography from expert David H. Wells.

David’s work has been featured in one-person exhibits at Brown University, U.C. Berkeley and Harvard University. His work has been part of group exhibitions at the Houston FotoFest and the Visa pour l’Image Festival in Perpignan, France. He has been an Artist in residence at the Visual Studies Workshop and the Light Works Photography Center.He has taught classes at the University of Pennsylvania and workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and Maine Media Workshops. Recently he was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”

His photo-essays have been funded by fellowships from Nikon/NPPA, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation. His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As an Olympus Visionary, Wells has been contracted by the camera company to produce images and provide feedback on new product lines & he will share his use of the Olympus PEN cameras in his work.

All are welcome to attend at the Italian Center, Thursday September 12 @ 7:30PM, sponsored by Camera Wholesalers. 


Who Needs Expensive Vacations in Foreign Lands When A (Relatively Inexpensive) Local Getaway Can Be As Rewarding For the Adventurous Traveler

What is a Maven?

Someone who knows a lot about one thing; an expert.

Who are the Getaway Mavens?

Travel journalists who know quite a bit about Northeast Travel.

Have only a few days and want a break from the ordinary (and perhaps learn a thing or two)?

These “Curated” trips give you specific game plans for what to see, which tours to take, where to eat and stay.  Check out

Chess Club, Kid Entering 2-5th Grades, Ferguson Library Main Branch, Saturdays, January 12 & 19 from 10:15 to noon, Free But Registration Required

Chess Club

Saturdays, January 12 & 19 from 10:15 to noon

Main Library Third Floor Auditorium

Learn the moves in just two classes with instructor Alex Eydelman. For beginners entering grades 2 to 5. Space is limited and preference is given to Stamford residents. Participants should attend both classes. Registration required. Call 203 351-8242.

Terry Walters, Author of Clean Food and Clean Start, To Appear at Ferguson Library Main Branch, Reading, Signing and Refreshments, Thursday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m., FREE

The Ferguson Library, in partnership with Purdue Pharma, continues its Healthy Living Series with two author events in January. The series is focused on educating the public about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Call 203 351-8231 for information.

Terry Walters

Thursday, January 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Main Library Third Floor Auditorium

At the forefront of the clean-eating lifestyle movement, Terry Walters is the author of Clean Food and Clean Start, cookbooks that teach how to eat closer to the source of food for the maximum nutritional benefit. A book sale and signing will follow the program. Refreshments will be served

Arbitrage, Wednesday Movies At Noon, Ferguson Library, Wednesday January 9th at Noon, FREE

Enjoy a great movie at The Ferguson Library. Films will be shown at the Main Library Third Floor Auditorium, Bedford & Broad Streets, Stamford. Call 203 351-8231 for information.  All programs are generously supported by the Friends of The Ferguson Library.The Andrew Gale Film Series — Winter

Wednesdays @ Noon

January 9


A billionaire hedge fund manager is desperate to unload his company before his fraud is revealed. With Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth. Directed by Nicholas Jarecki.  Rated R. 2012. USA. 100 minutes.


Sleepwalk With Me, Thursday Night at the Movies, Ferguson Library Main Branch, Thursday January 3 at 6pm, FREE

Enjoy a great movie at The Ferguson Library. Films will be shown at the Main Library Third Floor Auditorium, Bedford & Broad Streets, Stamford. Call 203 351-8231 for information.  All programs are generously supported by the Friends of The Ferguson Library.

Thursday Night @ The Movies

January 3 at 6 p.m.

Sleepwalk With Me

When an aspiring comedian chooses to ignore his true feelings, his anxieties manifest themselves in increasingly hilarious sleepwalking incidents. Directed by Mike Birbiglia. With Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose and James Rebhorn. Rated PG-13. USA. 90 minutes.


January Computer Classes at Ferguson Library Downtown Branch include Facebook and Job Hunting Strategies, FREE But Reservation Needed

All classes at the Main Library will be held in the Third Floor Computer Lab, Bedford & Broad Streets, Stamford. Generously supported by the Friends of The Ferguson Library. Call 203 351-8221 or 203 351-8222 for information.

One-on-One Computer Instruction

Main Library by appointment.

Individualized lessons on the computer available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Haitian Creole. To schedule an appointment contact the World Languages and Literacy Librarian at 203 351-8228.


Thursday, January 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Set up an account to start networking and re-connecting with old friends. Must have an email account. Register online.

Consumer Health Resources

Thursday, January 10 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Learn about our consumer health databases and other online resources. Must be familiar with Windows. Register online.

Learn English on the Computer

Saturdays, January 12 & 19 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Practice your English with the library’s interactive software. Call to register.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Saturday, January 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Learn how to name worksheets, enter data and write formulas. Must be familiar with Windows. Register online.

Basic Computers

Thursday, January 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

No experience required. Call to register.

Job Hunting Online

Thursday, January 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Learn about our career databases and some of the best online resources for finding a job.

Microsoft Word 2010

Saturday, January 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Learn basic features of Microsoft Word. Mouse and keyboard skills required. Call to register.

Basic Internet

Thursday, January 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Introduction to the Internet. Must be familiar with Windows and have basic mouse and keyboard skills. Call to register.

Find it Online: Best Strategies

Thursday, January 24 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Become a Member of Stamford’s Avon Theater for $120/Year (Couple), Get Perks, Freebies and Discounts on Indie Films All Year Long – A Great Gift!

Our own Independent Theater House, The Avon Theater, is a Community Treasure.  For just $120 a year per couple, you are entitled to nearly half off each movie ticket; $6 members, $11 non-members, and invited to special free previews and celebrity events.  A GREAT GIFT!

From Avon’s Webpage;

Your membership support makes such a difference! Ticket revenues cover less than half of our operating expenses. You can join at either the Primary or Carte Blanch levels. There are myriad benefits to becoming a member of The Avon.

Support your local, non-profit, independent cinema

· Reduced general admission

· Invitations to sneak previews

· Members-only events

· Discounts on special events

· Free Admission on your birthday

· A free general admission ticket when you join or renew

Become a member today!

For questions about our membership program, please contact Louisa Greene at 203-661-0321 or email us at

MEMBERSHIP application

Host A Jewelry Design Girls Night Out or Birthday Party For Up to 10 at Stamford’s Own Kif Jewelry for $225 (includes materials, instruction and use of space for 1 1/2 hours)

Here’s a great idea for a unique girl’s birthday party.  Gather nine friends and make a beautiful bracelet or necklace to keep under the direction of a local jewelry designer. Order delivery pizza and ice-cream cake (food not included), and you’ve got yourself a party!

Rachel Leslie, owner of Kif Jewelry offers use of her studio space – an hour for beading and half hour for food and cake – for up to 10 people for just $225.  Additional kids $15 each up to 15 (studio capacity).

652 Glenbrook Road, Suite 3-302

Stamford, CT

call (917) 216-7630