West Cornwall Scenery, Shopping & More

There are many reasons to visit the bucolic village of West Cornwall. The West Cornwall Covered Bridge is a wooden lattice truss bridge built around 1864 that spans the Housatonic River. This is one of two bridges that can actually be crossed by auto traffic. Many visitors to West Cornwall take photos of this iconic covered bridge.

west cornwall covered bridge

In the heart of the village there are several interesting shops to explore. Cornwall Bridge Pottery http://www.cbpots.com owned by Todd Piker, one of the country’s most prolific potters produces high quality wood fired pots for everyday use. In his shop you will find lamps, planters, mugs, plates, bowls and much more. In addition to pottery, you will also find an official Shaker Furniture Room.

If you are a book lover, don’t miss Barbara Farnsworth Bookseller http://www.farnsworthbooks.com. This shop is located in an old masonic hall and has over 45,000 books ! There are large selections in literature, biography, poetry, diaries and letters, art, architecture, photography, fashion and costume, natural history, cookbooks, children’s books, and many other categories.

The Wish House is a gorgeous shop that offers a wide array of gift items and clothes. The gallery at the Wish House exhibits the artwork of local artists and hosts author events. The West Cornwall Farmers Market is also held here on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through October. The Wish House often hosts book signings with local authors.

George Geary, Award-Winning Cookbook Author, TV Food Judge and Educator to teach at the Silo Sept. 20 and 22

Do you want to learn what its like to be a Critic Judge for ABC’s “The Taste” with Anthony Bourdain – and to work on television productions like “America’s Next Best Baker” with Jeff Foxworthy, “Hells Kitchen” and many others?

Do you want to meet an award-winning world-traveling cookbook author?

Do you want to take classes with the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2014 Culinary Educator of the Year?

You can do all this and more at The Silo Cooking School in New Milford, CT.

Join Chef George Geary on Saturday, September 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and again on Sunday, September 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Novice and experienced chefs alike will learn to prepare amazing and elegant dishes.

Silo_Exterior_440w-1

Chef Geary is passionate about cooking and sharing that passion with others. His tenth and newest book, “Hollywood Restaurants of the Gold Age,” will be the focus of Saturday’s class and will feature classic dishes including Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Sauce from Spago’s, Paul Newman’s Red Potato Salad, and Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing from Clifton’s.

On Sunday, September 21, participants will be “Baking with the Best.” Recipes include Mini Fruit Cheesecakes, Five-Chocolate Brownies with dusting of Bittersweet Ganache, Mini-Apple Crumb Tarts with Grated Cheese Crust, and Pucker Up Meyer Lemon Bars with Raspberries.

When not in a kitchen or television studio, George leads culinary tours of major cities in America and Europe and teaches aboard Holland America Lines.

The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm, named “Best Cooking School” in the state by Connecticut Magazine, is located at 44 Upland Road in New Milford. Housed in a converted barn, c.1800, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places it is surrounded by hundreds of acres of open space, and active farmland, stonewalls, and woodlands. The school is part of the Smithsonian Institution affiliated Hunt Hill Farm, a non-profit organization, which provides the public with diverse opportunities to explore the culinary, musical and visual arts amid historic farm buildings and protected open space in the heart of Connecticut’s northwest corner. It is conveniently located – just 90 minutes from New York City and a short drive from Fairfield
and Hartford counties.

The cost of the class is $90 per person. Enrollment is limited. For more information and to register for the class, or to learn about other upcoming classes, call (860) 355-0300 or visit http://www.hunthillfarmtrust.org. Registration is also available at The Silo during regular business hours. The Silo Gallery and Store are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.

Coffeehouse at the Westport Historical Society salutes Peter Seeger

On August 29 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. join -songwriter Suzanne Sheridan and other local musicians for an evening of Civil Rights and Vietnam War protest songs in tribute to the late folk icon Pete Seeger.

Suzanne-300x199

The writer of such Sixties anthems as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “Turn, Turn, Turn,” Seeger was also an environmental activist and co-founder of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater project. He died Jan. 28 at the age of 94.

The evening kicks off with a set by Weston’s Bruce Taylor, a retired teacher and maker of string instruments who was a friend of Seeger’s. Taylor specialized in the “Seeger- style” 12- string guitar and the long-neck five-string banjo that he created just for Seeger. He and Seeger collaborated on a few songs and also performed together, usually in support of the Clearwater project.

Sheridan, who began her music career writing jingles for such companies as Pepsi, Hasbro toys and Texaco and writing music for The Electric Company and PBS television, has been traveling the world the last three years doing tributes to the music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. In addition to Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer,” she will perform other favorites of the Counterculture era.

Also joining the songfest will be Westport keyboardist Bob Cooper. Cooper played piano in the John Mooney Blues Band from 1978 to 1981, and keyboard for Harvey Robbins’ Doo-Wop Hall of Fame concerts from 2000 to 2009.

So, if you were wondering where all the flowers had gone back in the Sixties, or just love great music, come out to the Westport Historical Society on August 29 for an evening that combines Seeger’s songs with a bit of recent U.S. history.
Admission is $15 and reservations are recommended. Light refreshments will be served. For more information and to reserve, call (203) 222-1424.

For more information on the Westport Historical Society http://westporthistory.org.

Lorikeets will be eating out of your hand!

There is still time to visit the Lorikeets and step into a lush aviary to share a laugh and a squawk with beautiful tropical birds that will sip food right out of your hands. The “Lorikeets” returns is the special summer exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk through September 1.

Aquar.lorikeet_smile

The exhibit will feature more than 50 free-flying lorikeets, which are colorful medium-sized parrots native to the south Pacific (SE Asia, eastern Australia, Polynesia). The birds come in a dazzling rainbow of colors – with feathers that almost radiate an iridescent glow when seen in full sunlight. Lorikeets are naturally found in rainforests and woodlands, but also in wooded urban areas, where they primarily feed on the nectars of various blossoms and fruits.

Aquar.Lorikeets.family (1)

Visitors are invited to purchase a cup of nectar for $3 that will attract lorikeets to land on you while drinking creating an unforgettable experience and photo opportunity.

Lorikeets are specially adapted to their sweet nectar diet through their specialized tongue. Tiny hair-like appendages called papillae form a U shape on the end of the tongue. When the tongue is extended, these papillae stand up like bristles on a brush, expanding the tongue’s surface area and allowing the birds to easily soak up nectar. Unique to lorikeets, these papillae have earned the birds the nickname “brush-tongued parrots.”

Aquar.Lorikeets.on_head

Some other important items to note about “Lorikeets”: • It will be handicapped-accessible but no strollers, please. • Guests will be asked to sanitize their hands before entering. • To encourage the birds to rest, the exhibit will close for a half-hour at 1:30 p.m. daily. • The exhibit will close 30 minutes before the rest of the Aquarium: at 5:30 p.m. in July and August.

Aquar.Lorikeets.on_sign

Get more details about “Lorikeets” and other summer offerings at The Maritime Aquarium, including the new IMAX movie “Journey to the South Pacific” by calling (203) 852-0700 or logging onto www.maritimeaquarium.org.

History comes alive in Litchfield Connecticut this August!

The Litchfield Historical Society located on the corner of the village green and Rte. 63 south has planned a trio of events for lovers of this historic town. On August 20 for example, the Leather Iron Book Club meets at the society from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. and will discuss this month’s book, Remembrance written by Theresa Breslin. This activity is perfect for kids 9 years or older. Remembrance is set in 1915 Scotland, and chronicles the experiences of young Red Cross nurses as they struggle with changes brought on by the Great War. Following the discussion of the book, games and crafts relating to the story will be offered. Register by August 9th to receive a copy of the book.

Tapping Reeve House & law SchoolJPG

An event not to be missed on August 23 at 10 a.m. is the walking tour of West Street, a centerpiece of Litchfield History. The walk begins at 10 a.m. at the Historical Society and is $10 for non-members. Participants will find out about the playhouse that was once on Litchfield’s West Street and learn about this bustling business center and the surrounding area. A tour guide will discuss the street’s residents, summer destinations, stores, and how the area has changed over time.

lvl2_lawschool-1

On August 29 at 6 p.m. the Historical Society is offering a lecture and guided tasting of the Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England. The lecture will take place on the lawn of the Tapping Reeve House and Law School located on 83 South Street (Rte. 63 south) and is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Corin Hirsch, award-winning food and drink writer, will be discussing about her new book “Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England.” Tippling was a common activity in colonial New England, and Hirsch has resurrected some of these delicious libations in her new publication. She will mix up drinks like flip and grog for participants to sample.

The Litchfield History Museum’s exhibit, The Lure of the Litchfield Hills through November29, 2015 explores the Colonial Revival Movement in Litchfield. This exhibit explores what was behind the Colonial Revival Movement, how the residents of Litchfield embraced their ancestral past and how the community came to look the way it does today. Visitors are invited to join in exploring his social movement that touched all aspects of American life from architecture and landscaping, to fashion, home decoration and beyond.

lvl2_museum

For more information about the Litchfield Historical Society visit www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org. For information about Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Being, Nothingness and More: Roz Chast Beyond the New Yorker at the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum located on One Museum Dr. in Greenwich is presenting a new exhibiton of 30 works by the well known Roz Chast. A highlight of this exhibition will be examples of of Chast’s iconic work from The New Yorker magazine, as well as prints and drawings from other projects. Also on display will be tapestries and painted eggs in the pysanky tradition decorated with the artist’s signature images. The Show runs through October 19.

Roz Chast Painted Egg © Roz Chast

Roz Chast
Painted Egg
© Roz Chast

Roz was born in Flatbush Brooklyn and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her cartoons first began appearing in New York City in publications includingThe Village Voice.
Since the late 1970s, her work has been featured frequently in The New Yorker, and in 1986 her work was featured on the cover of that magazine for the first time. She has written or illustrated more than a dozen books, includingUnscientific Americans, Parallel Universes, Mondo Boxo, Proof of Life on Earth, The Four Elementsand The Party After You Left: Collected Cartoons 1995–2003 (Bloomsbury, 2004). In 2006,Theories of Everything: Selected Collected and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978–2006 was published, collecting most of her cartoons from The New Yorker and other periodicals.

Roz Chast Peas and Carrots Textile © Roz Chast

Roz Chast
Peas and Carrots
Textile
© Roz Chast


Her most recent book, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant (published in May), chronicles her relationship with her parents as they each approached the end of life.

The Bruce Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm, Doors close 1/2 hour before closing, and the last admission 4:30 pm. For more information about the Bruce Museum visit www.brucemuseum.org

19th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival

The Litchfield Jazz Festival continues a time honored tradition of showcasing jazz legends and fostering up-and-coming talent that has been in place since our first festival in 1996. The Litchfield Jazz Festival is taking place once again this year on Friday August 8 – Sunday August 10 at the Goshen Fair Grounds, Rte. 63 Goshen Connecticut.

LitchfieldJazzFest_Tent_byStevenSussman

Celebrate the kick off of the 19th Anniversary of the Litchfield Jazz Festival at the Goshen Fairgrounds on Friday, August 8th. The party is the event of the season where you’ll enjoy fine foods, private reserve French wines courtesy of Vandoren Vineyards, microbrews by the Olde Burnside Brewing Company and music all night long.

The Gala begins at 5:45 p.m. and the music starts at 7:45 p.m. with Cécile McLorin Salvant who was the youngest finalist ever in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010. At 9:15 p.m. the virtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s hard swinging, soulful sounds have become a staple in the jazz community. Blending contemporary and traditional jazz with gospel and occasional seasonings of Latin and samba, Chestnut gives himself plenty of freedom to explore different emotions, while keeping his music in recognizable form.

On Saturday, August 9 the day begins at 12 noon with Carmen Staaf the winner of the 2009 Mary Lou Williams, t Women in Jazz Pianist Competition. Most recently she was chosen as the pianist in the prestigious Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music for the fall of 2014. She was featured on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, with clips of her Kennedy Center performance at the 2010 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival and She was the guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on a Jazz for Young People program about Duke Ellington.

At 1:45 Grammy-nominee Claudio Roditi takes the stage and plays both the trumpet and the flugelhorn with power and lyricism. Rodti integrates post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts into his palette with ease.

CurtisFuller2-photo-by-Steven-Sussman

At 3:30 Curtis Fuller performs. Fuller has close to 100 recordings on major labels with Kenny Dorham, Gil Evans, Jimmy Heath, Clifford Jordan, Quincy Jones, Art Blakey (he appears on the iconic Ugetsu), Lee Morgan and others too numerous to list. Fuller will be accompanies by Drummer Joe Farnsworth, Kris Jensen on sax and Rick Germanson on piano.

Anthony Strong performs at 6 p.m. and makes his US debt at the festival. He is a product of London’s renowned Guildhall School of Music where he paid his way with gigs and sessions with artists like Michael Bolton, Marti Pellow and Beverley Knight. He also spent nine months in the West End as Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet, performing to thousands of theatre-goers, one of them Rod Stewart, who came back the following day and called Strong’s performance “(expletive) Amazing!!” BB King called it, “Real great music.”

Saturday ends with a performance at 7:45 p.m. with Kirk Whalum, well known for his smooth jazz saxophone. With a career that spans decades, he is an 11-time Grammy nominee and the winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song (Its What I Do, featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside his lifelong friend songwriter, Jerry Peters.

photo: antonio monteiro

photo: antonio monteiro

On Sunday, August 10 at 12 noon Doug Munro takes to the stage. The LJO features-a who’s who of the biggest names in the music industry including: Trumpets -Dave Ballou, Russ Johnson and Nick Roseboro; Trombones – Peter McEachern, Nicole Connelly, Daniel Simms; Saxes – (alto) Kris Allen, (alto) Caroline Davis, (tenor) Don Braden, (tenor) Tom Finn, (bari) Andrew Hadro; Bass – Avery Sharpe; Drums – Robin Baytas; Guitars – Doug Munro, Ken Ross; Violin – Andrei Matorin.

At 1:45 p.m. Bassist/composer Mario Pavone takes to the stage. He has 17 recordings as a leader/co-leader, including his acclaimed 2006 release, Deez to Blues, on Playscape Recordings. Among his awards are a NewWorks grant from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation and a Distinguished Artists Grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. In addition to his ongoing activities as a bandleader, Pavone’s artwork and photography have graced the covers of dozens of recordings.

LitchfieldJazzFestAudience_byStevenSussman

The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs at 3:45 p.m. The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs regularly in jazz venues, festivals and clubs worldwide. Jimmy appears on over 70 albums as a sideman, and has toured and/or recorded with Horace Silver, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Harry Connick, Jr., Avishai Cohen, Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, Steve Turre, the New Jazz Composers Octet and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, among many others. As a member of Harrell’s quintet, Greene was featured on CBS’s news magazine, 60 Minutes. As a member of Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band, he is a featured soloist on two DVD releases, Harry for the Holidays, and Only You, and NBC He was holiday special and the Today Show.

At 5:30 p.m. Mike Stern band featuring Janek Gwizdala on bass, Bob Franceschini on sax, and Lionel Cordew on drums takes to the stage. Stern has been in the jazz business three decades and he has played with everybody anybody in jazz would have loved to have played with. He is a multi-Grammy nominated guitarist and was named one of the 75 best guitarists of all time by DownBeat Magazine in its 75th anniversary issue.

The festival ends with a performance by Jane Bunnett and Maqueque at 7:15 p.m. Soprano saxophonist/flutist/bandleader Jane Bunnett has built her career at the crossroads of Cuban music and jazz. A two-time Grammy nominee and multiple Juno Award winner, and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University, Bunnett has turned her bands into showcases for the finest talent from Canada, the U.S., and, particularly, Cuba. She is responsible for introducing, over two decades, Cuban musicians who are now almost household words for American Jazz audiences– Dafnis Prieto, Pedrito Martínez, David Virelles, Hilario Duran, among others.

To reserve your tickets visit http://litchfieldjazzfest.com/festival. For area information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Photo: Steven Sussman