Summer is a time for adventure and escape, when we look for opportunities to leave our lives behind — if only for a little while — and see what surprises are lurking around the bend. And as much as we love our little state, there's no denying that there are treasures to be found just beyond our borders, as well. Take a look at our suggestions for some short-range summer getaways you might otherwise overlook, from destination towns in the Hudson Valley, to island getaways and hotels for book lovers in and around Connecticut — and don't forget the casinos, where there's much more to do than play the slots. We also look back at the tragic Hartford Circus Fire, for which the debate over the cause is still raging 75 years later; plus the annual Alice Washburn awards celebrating outstanding home architecture.
In This Issue:
For the past few years, I’ve been having the travel equivalent of an extramarital affair with the Hudson Valley region of New York. Don’t worry, Connecticut, I still love you … the Hudson Valley is just, well, different.
In a world where everyone accumulates so much stuff, beautiful built-ins serve as a creative way to organize it all.
You don’t have to fly to the tropics to enjoy the remote charm of an isolated island. These picturesque escapes are all within striking distance of Connecticut, so head to the closest ferry and get ready to kick back, crack open the rosé and disconnect from mainland stresses.
The nearly $1 billion MGM Springfield opened last summer just up I-91 in Massachusetts with hoopla, media buzz and local pride for a downtown on the rise from the ruins of a 2011 tornado.
Put the words “road trip” together, say them out loud, and they open a small door into the American soul.
On vacation, readers and writers often attempt to settle down with a good book or an unfinished manuscript, respectively. A few hotels in New England are perfect literary retreats and ideal for vacationers hoping never to stray too far from the page or pen.
My wife and I recently spent the night at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and sampled a portion of what the resort has to offer. Here’s a snapshot of our trip.
When I get the assignment to spend a weekend at Foxwoods and write about it, I start to wonder which category gambling losses would go in on my expense report. But it’s going to be tricky to get to the tables. There’s a lot to do here.
Robert Segee remembered the day in 1944 the children burned in Hartford. The day black smoke rose over Connecticut and the smell of burning canvas mixed with human flesh. It was a day that had haunted the capital city and the circus for decades and had become inextricably linked with his own…
The award is named for distinguished Connecticut residential architect Alice Washburn, an early-20th-century Connecticut designer and builder, largely self-taught, whose work is known for its thoughtful, stylistic and programmatic invention.
This & That
Fundraisers, galas, charity balls and other events where people have been seen around the state.
Just in time for the Fourth of July, a nearly four-story piece of Americana has returned to Danbury in the form of a 38-foot fiberglass statue of Uncle Sam.
It was the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people back on Earth that made one giant leap for mankind possible. Two of those people are former Greenwich First Selectmen Jim Lash and Richard Bergstresser.
Spending time on Candlewood Lake as a kid, I heard the rumors. Supposedly, beneath the lake’s pristine surface were the remains of an old town called Jerusalem. In addition to buildings and homes, the story goes, the town’s graveyard had been swallowed by the waters.
A monthly look at new books with a Connecticut connection.
Christine Cummings and Todd Secki have put into action what Cummings calls “a shared passion for birds” by transforming their Killingworth property into a rehabilitation and education center for birds of prey.
Where & When
Thanks to the Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic, on July 12 and 13 residents and visitors can visit some of these homes and gardens, several of which have never been open to the public.
Since the 1960s, Amherst Early Music has been transporting amateur and professional musicians a few hundred years into our musical past.
The prolific comedian and actor will bring his stand-up act to Hartford for a one-night show.
After many years under the sun at the Goshen Fairgrounds, the Litchfield Jazz Festival is heading indoors this summer.
Also: UConn alum Forrest McClendon in Cabaret at the Connecticut Repertory Theater; Madison’s Juliet Brett on her role in FX's Fosse/Verdon; Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin at the Hartford Stage.
Eat & Drink
Noodles are the new sushi, says Kim Pak Chai, chef and co-owner of Mama Chow.
Most chefs don’t want to see their customers grimace when tasting their food. But Pamela Paydos, the chef-owner of Popover Bistro & Bakery in Simsbury, wants to see just that when people try her lemon bars.
Foulkes’ English-style pub delivers on the food with a fresh-ingredient-driven menu of classic pub fare.
Greg Caucci and his business partner Bruce Staebler did not initially envision opening a brewery with a large taproom. But when they saw the sprawling factory space in the Milldale section of Southington, everything changed.
What Pepe Burby and Carly Tyrrell felt their neighborhood needed was a farm-to-table option that would bring more healthy food into the community.