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December November 2018 Complimentary

publications

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www.inkct.com

Vol 14 Issue 157 2018

A guide to finer living in Connecticut & abroad.


THE SMARTER CHOICE FOR

Robot-Assisted Joint Replacement That Hasn’t Lost Its Human Touch The orthopedic surgeons at Middlesex Hospital are experts in the latest robot-assisted joint replacement procedures. And the nurses who care for our orthopedic patients scored in the 99th percentile for patient satisfaction—among the highest in the country. So, you get the most advanced treatments available, combined with a level of personalized care and attention you just won’t find anywhere else. middlesexhospital.org/motion


www.inkct.com

Features

DECEMBER 2018

Columns, Reviews, Events

ISSUE CONTENTS

The Cheesemonger

Cheese for the Holidays with Angelini Wines

The Blue Horse

On The Vine

Continues to Dominate the Landscape in Downtown Mystic

The Cupping Room

pg. 10

Piemonte

pg. 66 pg. 68

Nilgiri...the great undiscovered gems of the tea world

pg. 72

Food Thoughts From Italy Tartufo, Porcini e Cinghiale

pg. 74

December Events Cheers to 50 Years of Feliciano!

pg. 76

Upcoming events in Connecticut

pg. 18

The Voice in the Bubble Bath The Inspiration, Intuition, & Intention of Artist Anne Gaffey

pg. 26

Eastern Connecticut Ballet: Celebrates the Seafaring Past in the Nutcracker

INKY May, 13 2005 - Nov. 20 2018

pg. 36

INK staff Contributors:

Advertising:

Jeffery Lilly- originator/ founder/webmaster Contact us to receive our media kit complete with

Jeweler Nick DeDo: All That Glitters Is Silver and Gold

pg. 48

Stephanie Sittnick - founder/publisher/sales design/account receivables A. DiMartino - edioirial/photography Alison Kaufman - music, mirth and mojo Nancy LaMar-Rodgers - editorial Barbara Malinsky - editorial Rona Mann - editorial Paul Partica - The Cheesemonger A. Vincent Scarano - photography

Slow Fashion – Designer Cait Shea Clark is in no Hurry

detailed advertising information including ad rates, demographics, and distribution in your area.

Please direct your advertising inquiries and questions to: Stephanie Sittnick - Director of Advertising advertising@ink-pub.com - 860-227-8199 Cheryl Powell - Greater Connecticut cheryl@ink-pub.com - 860-608-5749 Rona Mann - Greater Connecticut six07co@att.net - 401-539-7762 Jacki Hornish - Litchfield jacki@inkct - 860-488-0393

pg. 60 Every issue is printed using 100% Soy based ink.

We encourage the public to submit stories, poems, photography, essays, and all things creative. If you know of a person or place of interest, please submit your ideas to: submissions@ink-pub.com We will do our best to put your ideas in INK.

All content of INK Publications including but not limited to text, photos, graphics and layout are copyrighted by INK Publishing, LLC. Reproductions without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. Ink Publishing, LLC is not responsible for images or graphics submitted by advertisers which are not copyrighted or released for use in this publication.

INK PUBLISHING, LLC 587 Grand Ave Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 email: info@ink-pub.com www.inkct.com


p 6 n e ys 11a p O Da Su 7 p|

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Shop local for the Holidays!

Alice in the Village - 26a Angel Haven - 2a Becca Rose - 8c Bestemors - 12a The Boardwalk - 11 Dharma Jewel - 27e Franklin’s General Store - 4c Fun & Easy - 8b Garden Specialties - 8g Gineva Murano Glass Jewelry - 13 Irish Eyes - 8a

NEW NEW

NEW

Kitch - 19a Kelley’s Pace - 15c Mara Lunas - 15e Munson’s Chocolates - 14 Mystic Kite Shop - 27c Mystic Silver & Company - 27a Penguins, Otters & Others - 4b The Plant Boutique - 15f Pop on the Block - 23 R. A. Georgetti & Co. - 7a Raining Cats & Dogs - 1e

NEW NEW

NEW

Skull And Moon Mystic - 8j Smith’s Boutique - 2b So a’s Mystical Christmas - 17a Sticky Situations & Extra Virgin - 15d Sunglass Paradise - 28 Taylor’s Sports - 1f Tiger Lily Tea - 8h Toy Solider - 9 UNA Boutique - 12b

Enjoy great food & services

Bleu Squid - 16 The Boardwalk - 11 Go Fish - 22 Jealous Monk - 20 Mango’s Homemade Ice Cream - 6 Mango’s Wood Fired Pizza Co. - 8e Pink Basil - 3b

Steak Loft of Mystic - 24 Vault Coffee/Deviant Donuts - 7b ABC Photolab - 1a Attorney Neal M. Bobruff - 3a Lee & Company Salon - 10 Liberty Bank - 21 Mystic Visitor Info Center - 1d

NEW

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management - 22b Mystic Luxury Cinemas - 18 RE/MAX Coast and Country - 1b

Coming in December: 12/1 Holiday Carnival 12/7 Festival of Lights

860.536.4941 | oldemistickvillage.com | Exit 90 off I-95 | 27 Coogan Blvd. Mystic, CT


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WRITTEN BY

DONALD MARGULIES

DECEMBER 13 - 23 F O R T I C K E T S , V I S I T I V O RY T O N P L AY H O U S E . O R G

103 MAIN STREET | IVORYTON, CT 06442 | 860.767.7318

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Luxury Gifts • Home Décor • Design Services

i*OTQJSFECZPVSMPWFGPSUSBWFMBOEJOUFSJPSEFTJHO NZIVTCBOEBOE*IBWF DSFBUFEBVOJRVFCPVUJRVFJOEPXOUPXO.ZTUJD $5u%FC,PMMNFZFS

www.adore.world /adoremystic 26 West Main St. Mystic, CT • (860) 980-3908

Visit

this Holiday Season

HILL-STEAD MUSEUM

35 Mountain Road, Farmington, CT 860.677.4787 | hillstead.org

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Kids + Quality = A Gift Horse... The Blue Horse Continues to Dominate the Landscape in Downtown Mystic by Rona Mann / Photos by Stephanie Sittnick It’s a funny thing about retail shops. First and foremost they are there to make money because we do live in a capitalistic society; and in order for a store to continue providing merchandise to its customers, there must be a profit. Sometimes we eschew the idea of being in business to make money as though it were a bad thing, but it is a necessary part of how it works. Retail shop owners will all tell you they excel in customer service, but in practical application the definition of same is all over the map; and if customer service is not top notch in every

respect, it is the customer, and ultimately the business, which suffers. Ah, but then there are those rare business owners, the ones whose eyes fairly dance when a customer comes into their store; not because they see dollar signs, but because they want so much to show off what their shop offers, and they want the customer to love it as much as they do and find exactly what they are looking for. Those retail owners are rare, but wonderful... like Margaret Macris. Since 1992 Macris has been sole owner and

Owner Margaret Macris

proud purveyor of children’s clothes and accessories at The Blue Horse Children’s Shop in downtown Mystic. She had already been a customer at the store for a number of years, shopping for her own children there, since The


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the academic background, she also had a sincere appreciation for fine, well made quality clothing. Macris had taught classes in the Psychology of Dress, was an Assistant Buyer in Chicago, an Assistant Manager in Providence, and a Manager in Waterford, so she had well earned her chops in the retail clothing field. But Macris believes you have to continue to earn your chops every day with every customer. “I don’t carry what everybody else does,” she says. “I don’t even carry denim because everyone else does. My inventory is not found anywhere else.” As if to underscore her statement, she begins to show off the high quality, beautifully made children’s clothes in sizes from preemie to size 14 for both boys and girls. Blue Horse had been an institution in Mystic since 1976. Her desire to own the shop provided a touch of serendipity when coupled with the fact that the present owner wished to retire. This was no spur of the moment whim from an uninitiated customer...not at all. Margaret Macris held a degree in clothing and textiles from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in Illinois. Not only did she have

A look around the well stocked store is tantamount to a trip around the globe as Macris features among other fine lines, Petit Bateau, Sarah Louise, Mayoral, and Joules. If you don’t yet know these names, you just haven’t shopped in Europe or closer to home, at The Blue Horse.

are timeless, passed down from one generation to another. They never go out of style! Mayoral is a Spanish designer of more than 75 years and a manufacturer of high end clothing from newborn through junior sizes. Their clothing is notable for casual styling and is durable as well as good looking. Joules is also a British company, and customers ooh and aah right along with Margaret when she shows them the one-of-a-kind dresses, sweaters, nightwear, and footwear.

Petit Bateau is a French clothing manufacturer that is over 120 years old. Their lines are classic, frequently trademarked by a design of Breton stripes on many of their styles. Did you ever marvel at the perfectly colorful and tailored outfits when observing the well dressed children of the Royals in the UK? Well, chances are they’re wearing outfits from Sarah Louise, the United Kingdom’s leading children’s designer. Known for both christening gowns and all-occasion wear finished with smocking and hand embroidery, Sarah Louise clothing is wonderfully tailored, lined, and best of all, lasts for many years. This gives you a good return on your investment as the styles

The Blue Horse has been known for years for both their christening and communion outfits, all of which will be on sale during the entire month of January, a wonderful time to come in and shop after you’ve already delighted the young ones with holiday gifts from The Blue Horse. But it’s not all clothing that makes Margaret Macris smile. We’re not sure how she manages to place so much inventory in her


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know what to get, I’m right here with suggestions and samples. We even provide free gift wrap, and we can mail their gift anywhere they’d like for an additional charge. And if they want the receiver to the gift to pick out exactly what they want, we have gift certificates in any amount.” Macris is a big proponent of women in business. “I try to take advantage of local talent as well...knitters, crocheters, people here in Connecticut who are doing something different and doing it well.” store without making it look overcrowded, but then again, the lady’s a pro. So in addition to the clothing for babies, toddlers, boys, and girls, The Blue Horse features a full Melissa and Doug toy line, picture frames and jewelry, slippers, music boxes, books with matching bibs, Sesame Street toys and plush, stencils, stickers, hair ornaments...what doesn’t The Blue Horse have in store for you and the little people you hold so dear? If you’re not sure of a size, or what to send for the shower, birth, birthday, or other occasion, this is where Margaret shines as a retailer. “I love to do personal service. I love talking to my customers, finding out exactly what they want and helping them find it; and if they don’t

But always the watchword is “quality.” Whether it’s a tee shirt or a communion dress, Macris insists it be well made and not found in every other store down the street or in the mall. This is what sets The Blue Horse apart and keeps generations of families returning year after year, occasion after occasion, season after season. “Suzy,” the blue horse “who came with the shop,” serves as the shingle hanging proudly outside, directing inside those who love children and want to dress them well. And inside is where the customers will find at the helm that special someone with those dancing eyes, wide smile, and a gentle manner. Someone who feels the same way about little ones, having dressed them for almost 30 years, looking forward to the next generations. It’s as though each time she helps a customer find exactly the right thing, she’s doing it for herself, so invested is Margaret Macris in what she does.

“We’ve had people grow up here, and I have loved watching that happen.” The Blue Horse is located at 1 West Main Street right at the bridge in downtown Mystic www.thebluehorse.com (860) 536-4895 Just look for “Suzy” hanging outside!


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Cheers to 50 Years of Feliciano!

Conversations with a legend and his Lovely. by Ali Kaufman

This is a love story. It’s about love that the world has for José Feliciano, the love we feel for a song that unites us all during the holidays but also the love that José and his wife Susan have for each other and the life they share. I first met this globetrotting couple at the show in Willimantic that christened the brand new Shaboo Stage with a performance that lit the night on fire, just like José’s 1968 Grammy winning rendition of the Doors song. It is impossible not to be stunned by how welcoming and kind they are. You would think that after 50 years in the music business with legions of fans vying for their time and attention they would be tired of it but this could not be further from the reality. José is funny, really funny and this is not just because I was hearing his jokes for the first time. He has a mischievous smile and a joie de vivre that is palpable. His beautiful blonde wife has a laugh that fills the room like sparkly confetti but don’t think for one second that this woman is about fluff, she is strength, smarts and a dash of sass, you could not find a better gal to have your back or share a glass of wine with. We spoke that night in Willimantic and also granted another lengthy conversation this fall, both Mr and Mrs Feliciano were present and their affectionate banter was the thing I will remember most about them. They have the juice, the stuff that gets you through the tough times and makes the good times all the more sweet. Left: Feliciano’s “Concerto Candelas” guitar donation to the National Museum of American History.


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Their story began back when Susan was a mere teenager in Detroit, walking home from High School during the 1968 World Series. The Tigers were down and she thought the buzz on the street was about that, but even though the Tigers pulled it out and won, the BIG story was 23 year old José Feliciano’s rendition of the National Anthem. It was the first time ever anyone had taken creative liberty with the performance and Jose was lambasted for it. That night Susan saw him for the first time on the news and while her first thought was, Wow, he is cute! Her second emotion was to support him, too many were taking liberties at his expense, so the feisty teenager went for it! First writing to RCA to get permission to start a Fan Club, then after 9 months of waiting, and driving her Mom crazy, she contacted Ernie Harwell the legendary play by play announcer responsible for booking Jose’s performance at the game. Ernie gave her the contact informa-

Photo by - DAVID BRAVO

tion and the Official José Feliciano Fan Club was born, eventually they would have groups all over the world, including Japan, England and Poland. José gets wind of this crazy girl in Detroit that has been Alison Kaufman sitting with Jose Feliciano. 2018 growing his fan base and during a stop back in Michigan they met and pleted his biography that will be out sometime became friends. Their love blossomed over in 2019. Certainly there could be no better time, Jose had been married before and Susan author to have penned it. did some growing up, but not before José escorted her to her Senior Prom! Their idea of While that national anthem performance him going incognito was for him to not wear brought Susan to him, it also caused his glasses. Eventually the two became a family tremendous upset. José was in Las Vegas, or of five with the birth of their 3 children, a as he likes to call it Lost Wages, opening up for daughter and two sons, Jonathan their eldest, Frank Sinatra when he was asked to do it. One is Jose’s tour manager. Susan has been José’s of his favorite releases, High Heel Sneakers, biggest fan ever since and has recently com- (written by Tommy Tucker), was climbing the


20 Wonder, Bob Dylan would become his peers and people whose bodies of work he admires. 2018 has also included an honor that is still resonating with José, his incredible contribution to the music world has been recognized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Feliciano gifted the museum his Concerto Candelas that was built specifically for him in 1967 and used to record Feliciano! his 1968 release that won a Grammy for Album of the Year 1968. This is also the instrument he played the now infamous rendition of the National Anthem on. “I thought, here’s a kid from the hills of Puerto Rico in the Smithsonian! I was thrilled and still am!” say José of the induction. You will also find a few other objects of his including the Braille writer which he and Susan used for many years.

Jose Feliciano and his wife Susan with his guitar

charts, and suddenly it all came crashing down, the public rebuked him and radio stations pulled his music, certainly NOT what he had intended when he delivered his passionate rendition. The tides turned a few years later when he wrote the theme song for and appeared on the 70’s hit show Chico and the Man. While he was grateful for the entrée back into the spotlight the womanizing character that he appeared as couldn’t have been further from who he really is. There was another series, Love at First Sight, that he was involved in but it's pilot episode about the blind jingle writer never made it to TV.

There have been many accolades along the way, 9 Grammys, 19 nominations to date, the Lifetime Achievement Awards, 45 Gold and Platinum records, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and so many more but I asked about the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award he received in 2004. José had this to say about it, “I had read about her, (Helen Keller), as a child, it was amazing to me that she was not only blind but also deaf and able to do so well amongst her peers. It encouraged me to get my act together and not be a blind person but just be a person”. What a person he is, later in life Ray Charles, Stevie

Faith plays a big part in the life José leads, both at home in the area Fairfield of CT, where he is affiliated with Spirit Joy Children’s Music Ministry as well as on the world stage playing in the Vatican’s Christmas Concerto di Natale. Spirit Joy is a music ministry that facilitates youth outreach to the sick and elderly, Jose says of founder, Sister Marie Roccapriore, M.P.F, “It is I that is lucky to be connected with her, I’ve said it for a long time, I truly believe we are in the presence of a saint. We love her very much.” On the global Vatican stage, José will once again play for a sitting Pope on December 15th and is very much looking forward to meeting Pope Francis, especially since they share a Hispanic connection. 2018 has been a great celebration of Feliciano’s 50 years in the music business but he has not for one second rested on his laurels An extensive tour schedule, recording new music like the release of As You See Me Now with Jools Holland and The Rhythm & Blues Orchestra keep him going forward. Or going back to his musical roots with a collection of original and new interpretations of personal favorites, plus filming a video in support of.


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Photo by - DAVID BRAVO

Stretching himself to perform each piece of the Mozart Castrato Arias album on a classical acoustic guitar, partly due to his passion for Wolfgang Amadeus. I know, it all makes me wonder too about what the heck have I been doing with my time here on earth!!! Before we wrapped up I asked Mr. Feliciano what he might want his great, great, great grandchildren to know about him, “I hope they will know I was an honest person, that lived cleanly” he also made sure to throw in

National Museum of American History Music Curator John Troutman, Jose Feliciano, David Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

“DON’T SMOKE, it will make you sound like the exorcist!” I told you he was funny! But of course it all rings true. So during this holiday season when strains of Felize Navidad, a song that has been covered by everyone from The Three Tenors to The Wiggles, drift from your speakers, I hope you will think a bit about the man behind the dark glasses and the richness of his soul. A Connecticut resident that loves our state but not the cold, a native of Puerto Rico blending

his traditions, like Roast Pork on Christmas Day seamlessly with his wife’s buffet of delicacies from the sea on Christmas eve served infront of a roaring fire. A man that left me with this thought, “ I don’t have sight but I do have vision and can see things as they are.” Thank you José Monserrate Feliciano Garcia for the gift of your time and talent. Happiest of Holidays to you and yours and of course, Felize Navidad!!!!

Photo by - DAVID BRAVO


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HAPPY HOLIDAYS

DENNIS SIRRINE GALLERY 155 Water Street

Stonington CT 06378

860.287.9320

weekends 12 noon - 5 pm

weekdays by chance or app't


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75 Main St., Old Saybrook, CT 860-661-4661 / dagmarsdesserts.com

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The Voice in the Bubble Bath The Inspiration, Intuition, & Intention of Artist Anne Gaffey by RONA MANN/ Photos by Lis Rock Teachers can do wonderful things. However, sometimes their harsh words directed at an impressionable young person can deeply wound, negatively influencing the rest of their life. That nearly happened to young Anne Gaffey. Gaffey’s fifth grade art teacher was no diplomat. Matter of fact, he was a rather insensitive individual who nearly turned off a ten year old from what would eventually become her life’s work and passion.

“he stifled my creativity. I wanted no part of art after that.”

suddenly I heard this voice that said just two words, ‘Be creative,’” Gaffey remembers.

“The teacher was tall and thin,” Anne Gaffey remembers. “He stood in front of the class and said, ‘Draw me.’ So, I drew a stick figure.” The teacher so excoriated the young girl that,

Her abstinence lasted until Gaffey married and one day heard a voice that would dramatically change her course. “I remember it distinctly. I was taking a bubble bath, and

Although creativity takes many different forms, Gaffey immediately thought of painting and started taking art classes at a local arts and crafts hobby store in San Diego. Before long,


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the real deal, that she sees the glass half full, that light and color are as important to her world as to her work. In her own words, “I paint with intention from a dream, a memory, a conversation, a feeling, an open heart. I use texture, a bright palette, collage, and layers of paint to express emotion. I hope to bring light and resilience to the world perhaps through a shared life experience. My paintings have the power of helping to move beyond and reject old stories to embrace new possibilities.”

she was teaching those very same classes; yet she took a deliberate hiatus to start a family with her broadcast news writer husband. After having her second child and waving the young ones off to school, Gaffey thought she’d have the time to get back to her art. “But it didn’t work that way,” she laughed. “I didn’t have the time I thought I’d have, so I started painting again, but slowly – one project at a time for one client at a time.” She worked mainly with designers at first, creating custom pieces of art that included decorative furniture, floor cloths (painting on commercial grade flooring), and mosaic tables.

Gaffey is not the “typical artist,” fiercely rooted in one media and uber-serious. Her work is a reflection of who she is, a bright, sunny multilayered individual with a gentle, easygoing manner. As one speaks with her, the layers peel away, revealing different aspects of her personality and sensitivity, and this is what Anne Gaffey’s work directly reflects as well. Her approach to a blank canvas is unique, almost addressing it as though it were another human. “I write positive intentions on the blank canvas in charcoal first,” Gaffey begins. Then, as she proceeds, she adds textures with different media: paper, glazes, and a wide variety of thick bright paint. She scrapes the surface to create different layers in her work, much as she has personally scraped the surface of her own personal creativity over the years, revealing its many facets and layers. There is a positive aura about Anne Gaffey. You know instinctively upon meeting her that she’s

Much of Gaffey’s work is commissioned and nearly an equal amount is pro bono, as she finds real purpose in donating her art to select non-profits and worthy causes. She has donated paintings to the High Hopes


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Santa Barbara Rooster

XO Rooster

Santa Barbara Morning

Love That Bird

Late to the Show

California Skiing


31 were here last night and kissed the painting.’” When Anne and her husband moved to Massachusetts from Connecticut, she felt she needed an agent in order to get into galleries in Boston and build her resume. “It gave me confidence.” But she didn’t need an agent for long. “I have a voice now and can represent myself.”

Therapeutic Riding program for people with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities; Make-a-Wish; the Ocean House Arts’ Program; and the Junior League among many others. “I’ve given away more than I’ll ever sell. It means more to me than just giving money because I’m truly giving a piece of myself. It warms my heart, makes me feel good.” Gaffey admits, “some paintings just paint themselves, while some are a real challenge. Sometimes I leave something for a bit, then come back to it, and there’s a whole new perspective. That’s when I say, ‘the angels

Yes, she is serious, but also playful, and this comes out in her work. Anne’s style is nothing if not whimsical, a good example of that being the baby beluga she painted in 2005 as part of the Whale Trail public art project in southeastern Connecticut. Anne created “Celeste,” who is still in residence outside the Niantic Cinema in downtown Niantic and is both a recognizable and popular town figure. One of the more intriguing abstract works installed and hanging exclusively with her other work at the Bee & Thistle Inn in Old Lyme is titled, “Full Circle,” dedicated to victims of abuse, whether physical, from gender bias, or other causes. It is a collage incorporating many layers, scrapings, brilliant colors, mark making, and a spirit of enlightenment. Gaffey says her work is influenced by a multitude of artists, among them Jackson Pollack,

Jasper Johns, and French-American sculptor, painter, filmmaker Niki de Saint Phalle, but one thing is certain. Even though she no longer has to produce one painting at a time as she did when her children were small, the work of Anne Gaffey is one of a kind, and that’s what everyone from the one time buyer to collectors seems to like. Her work has been prominently featured at Williams Sonoma, Loew’s Coronado Resort (California), and the showcase homes of the American Society of Interior Designers. She has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, San Diego Design and Decor, and shows in Boston, Connecticut, and New York. Kind of makes you wonder what that fifth grade art teacher would say today..the rigid stick figure who was so unbending and criticized the artistic attempts of a ten year old, but whose vitriol created Anne Gaffey, Artist...a person of inspiration, intuition, and intention who found her voice after listening to the one in the bubble bath. You may contact Anne directly at (860) 912-0829 Visit her online at www.annegaffey.com Anne’s studio is located in downtown Hudson, Massachusetts at 14 Main Street. Or stop by the Bee & Thistle in Old Lyme, the only Connecticut venue for the work of this unique and whimsically wonderful artist


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An Ivoryton Playhouse Christmas Hour

WITH DAVID PITTSINGER AND FRIENDS CELEBRATE AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS WITH HOLIDAY STANDARDS AND SACRED SONGS

DECEMBER 5 - 8 F O R T I C K E T S , V I S I T I V O RY T O N P L AY H O U S E . O R G

103 MAIN STREET | IVORYTON, CT 06442 | 860.767.7318

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Original Art

RIGINAL GIFTS |

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Eastern Connecticut Ballet:

Celebrates the Seafaring Past in a New Production of the Nutcracker By Barbara Barbara Malinsky Malinsky By


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Photo by Mark Ross Photgraphy

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t’s that time of year again, The Nutcracker time, that is. This 125year-old classic, choreographed by Len Ivanov to Tchaikovsky’s score, premiered in 1892 at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Although Russian in origin, this holiday classic has become a piece of Americana. As surely as Santa arrives in every town in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, so arrives The Nutcracker in just about every ballet company throughout the country. Given the number of performances nationwide, it is likely that each one will be interpreted by its company’s artistic director. Eastern Connecticut Ballet’s artistic director, Gloria Govrin, will be at the helm again this year directing a unique production reflecting New London’s seafaring past. There will be spectacular new scenery, additional special effects, and a glimpse of New London during the 1850s. Theater goers will revel in an entirely different interpretation of the ballet including sights like tall ships in port, a sea captain’s Victorian home, lighthouses, and other well-known landmarks. The new scenery will transform the Garde Arts Center’s stage into a wintry day in New London. In fact, even the ice fields of the Arctic will be recreated as a historical reminder that the city’s whale ships once ventured there on dangerous voyages.

All of the new backdrops are by Fufan Zhang, an accomplished young set designer and artist who received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama. She has designed sets for some of the Northeast’s leading theater companies. The connection with Yale is always a bonus for Connecticut. These giant backdrops were built at the Yale School of Drama’s set design shop. Left: Fufan Zhang - Street Scene Drop


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Photo by Tina Rupp

The Nutcracker has been casting its spell on both young and old for over one hundred years but ECB’s version is like none other performed by ballet companies from coast to coast. Its Victorian setting makes it unique among productions and is the starting point for Clara’s magical voyage around the world. Special effects include a flying Christmas tree, a clock with an owl appearance, and other sleights-of-hand including a full-blown snowstorm onstage. The production requires a huge cast of characters, mostly students of Eastern Connecticut Ballet as well as members of Miami City Ballet. Like stepping forth and graduation ceremonies, each performing season is a rite of passage toward professional status. First, there is a part in the Christmas Eve party scene where ballet companies employ scores of young hopefuls; then, perhaps, a

minor role as a snowflake and finally, a cherished solo in the Land of Snow or Sweets – all in pursuit of a professional’s dream. Ballet parents share in the saga as only someone

host of family members cheering in the audience. For older children, the stakes are higher. Homework, study for exams, and book reports are frequently done in dressing rooms between acts or during intermissions but none of this matters because the end result is an ensemble determined to create magic.

Few know this cherished ballet as well as Gloria Govrin. As a soloist with New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, she performed it for decades. In fact, in 1964, Balanchine created an entirely new dance set on Govrin that has become known as Coffee. Govrin once shared pleasant memories of working with him Photo by Tina Rupp when they collaborated and behind the scenes could. For the youngest improvised a variety of possibilities. “It has a children, The Nutcracker provides the opportu- split and backbend; we experimented with nity to perform gloriously costumed, coiffed, taking my leg and reaching for it with the and made-up to the approving applause of a opposite hand, going through it, twisting on


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Fufan Zhang - House Interior Drop with Decor

Photo by Tina Rupp


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Photos by Thomas Giroir


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Fufan Zhang - Ocean Storm Drop

the floor, and ending seated like a pawing cat. What we finally set is still done today.” Somewhat later, she learned that the entrance in Coffee is based on a Georgian folk dance drawn from Balanchine’s native roots. In this production, audiences will meet memorable characters like Clara and her brave nutcracker, the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer, the clownish Mother Ginger, tiny mice, the Snow King and Queen, sailors, pirates, waltzing flowers, dancing snowflakes, and many more. They will also meet the Sugar Plum Fairy performed by Sara Mearns, a guest artist from New York City Ballet. Mearns is often called ‘the great American ballerina of our time,” and Jared Angle as the Cavalier who is also a guest artist from New York City Ballet. Francis Veyette

from Pennsylvania Ballet will perform the roles of Drosselmeyer and Mere Gigogne; Chloe Freytag of Dimensions Dance Theater will appear as the Snow Queen. Even the town of New London is getting into the spirit with New London Mayor Michael Passero making a special cameo appearance.

Fufan Zhang - growing tree

This annual tradition is a must for everyone. It renews itself year after year. Go for the performance on stage but also go for the theater in the audience. Some children are mimicking the movements of the dancers while others stare wide-eyed at the stage in front as well as the incredibly high ceilings. Everyone is caught up in the magic. Somewhere in that arena is the

Fufan Zhang - Star Landscape Drop

next generation of dancers – the girls with their dreams of becoming a Princess and the boys imagining themselves as the Prince. The appeal is ageless. Could Tchaikovsky have ever imagined! The curtain rises at The Garde Arts Center, Saturday December 8 at 1:30 and 7 PM, December 9 at 1:30 PM. A discount of 50 percent off regular ticket prices is offered to active military personnel and their families for the Saturday evening performance only. Call the box office at 860-444-7373, extension #1.


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Jeweler Nick DeDo: All That Glitters Is Silver and Gold By Barbara Malinsky

A thing of beauty is a joy forever Its loveliness increases It will never pass into nothingness But will keep ... John Keats

To unlock the secret of Nick DeDo’s success as a jeweler you need the key – his name Nicholas Carmine DeDominicis. Nicholas is his given name. Carmine is in honor of his grandfather, Carmine DeDominicis, an Italian immigrant who was a master stone carver of monuments and came to the United States in 1961 to work in Quincy, Massachusetts eventually forming his own company there. DeDominicis is his ancestral name representing hundreds of years of stone carvers from the town of Fontanarosa (Fountain of Roses) in Italy. Coincidentally, the Patron Saint of Fontanarosa is Saint Nicholas.

The legacy of stone carving relates to his jewelry because each piece is carved by hand and then cast. Nick’s story began as a student at Southern Connecticut University when he needed to take an elective unrelated to his Exercise Science major. He chose an art course which would change the trajectory of his life. An assignment led to his sculpting a bust which had an uncanny resemblance to himself but also to his grandfather. He had no knowledge of his grandfather or his legacy. Coincidentally, a newspaper article and photo of his grandfather was discovered. He then understood that he was part of a lineage of artists and why he had always had a passion for the arts. “It’s a funny thing; I always liked art. In Old

Saybrook High School I always enjoyed drawing and watercolor painting. In fact, I won first prize for my watercolor of a bird perched upon a tree. I was surrounded at home with paintings and my family often went to museums but I considered myself an athlete and was a First Dan Black Belt in Judo. I thought that my career would be based upon these experiences; learning body mechanics, anatomy, and the dynamics of sports leading to a position in the sports field.” It was the construction of the bust which changed his life’s ambition. “When I experienced making the bust, I knew that this is what I’m here for.


I had to go backward to go forward because this became my passion.” “I love to work in three-dimension with wood, steel, and found objects but I love plaster because it is the least restricting material to work with; you can add to and subtract from it. I make my jewelry using the lost wax method. I start with a block of wax and use wax pens. I

begin with creating the wax form of the object which is the piece of jewelry. Then, that is encased in plaster which is baked in a kiln which melts the wax creating a negative space which is then filled with molten precious materials like gold and silver.” The finished jewelry cast must then be cleaned and refined by burnishing, polishing, soldering, and adding details to achieve the final patina. Nick’s studio has a variety of hand tools to accomplish this stage. The final result is a piece of jewelry sculpted in silver or gold which is three dimensional and might include semi-precious and precious stones and signed by the artist. “The piece is made from the finest materials on earth; all my silver pieces are solid silver and the gold is 14 karats.” Nick can often be seen at the

Essex dock where he sketches designs for his creations. “I can make jewelry so many different ways – lost wax, hand built, and others. There are always problem-solving issues and it is


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always changing which helps keep it fresh. When you hold it in your hand, you can feel the weight of it. This is an affordable luxury that will last forever and has cuttingedge design.”

His next challenge was to find a way to do something that he loved and make a living doing it. “I became a jeweler and business man at the same time.” Nick decided that his niche would be the middle market of jewelry sales, a step above commercial costume jewelry. “That is what elevates our brand. I bring it to Main Street America where shopping should be enjoyable. I don’t sell online because you can’t feel or touch my jewelry. I want to be in brick and mortar stores because we get supported and the store is supported. We want consumers to have something finely crafted. We now have a presence in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and are growing.” Owning a Nick DeDo piece is a climb up from costume jewelry. His company’s mantra is “What starts at the bottom is meant to rise and shine”. Nick is always reaching upward and pushing forward to better ourselves and the world around us. His work has evolved from being an artist to creating a company and building a brand. His designs are recognized by the iii signature (letters

derived from the name DeDominicis). Nick DeDo is fine jewelry at an affordable price made in the United States and he is an advocate for things to be made here. He also feels that

throw away cheap jewelry, which mostly comes from overseas is a thing of the past. “It’s not good for the environment or our personal well-being.” He realizes that affordability may be the reason people swarm towards cheap adornments so he began his company with a commitment to preserving craftsmanship, quality, and intrinsic value that is financial accessible. Nick DeDo purposely sells exclusively to brick and mortar stores supporting Main Street USA. “It is important to keep America’s shopping community thriving and alive.” Nick believes that he is at the forefront of a new movement in providing an affordable product to the general public. In closing, he believes… I WILL BE MODERN, I WILL BE UNIQUE, I WILL BE REMEMBERED. Go to nickdedo.com for further information and to find the retailer closest to you.


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INSTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT>>

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61 always had creative tendencies that were encouraged and fostered by her family, particularly her mother, Cait's biggest fan. Seeing Star Wars Episode I, with its elaborate and structured costumes made Cait curious to explore fashion and design.

Slow Fashion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Designer Cait Shea Clark is in no Hurry Photos and profile A. DiMartino

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magine your clothing closet for a moment. You may even have multiple closets (no judgment). Does it contain only the essentials, or is it a myriad selection of tops, blouses, pants, dresses, scarves, coats, shoes, handbags and accessories? What if there was another way? A closet with far fewer items, sustainably made by hand, environmentally friendly, designed and crafted with skill, love, and care, all meant to last a lifetime, and with comfort in mind. Is this idea preposterous, a far-fetched fantasy, a unicorn found at the end of a rainbow? No, this defines the Slow Fashion movement; idealistic, thoughtful, well-intentioned and ultimately, a return to how clothes used to be made before mass manufacturing and distribution existed. Cait Clark of CAIT SHEA Designs and Sprouted Coffee Bar in Chester CT is passionate about many things. Her life of creative tendencies has culminated in her own slow fashion line that "aims to return to the days of cottage industry manufacturing of small capsule collections; intentional, well-designed pieces meant to a last a lifetime." Cait, a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) alumna, recalls knowing she wanted to be in the world of fashion as early as 11 years old. Growing up in Columbus Ohio her grandmother taught her needlepoint and crafts at a young age. She

When Cait was 12 she moved to Ivoryton with her mother and stepfather and went on to attend high school at Valley Regional. There she took Home Economic classes that shaped her creativity and future. Her teacher, Margaret Kangley, was a positive influence in Cait's development as well as building her creative confidence. Kangley, a painter, taught at Valley Regional as well as Wesleyan University. Although Cait wanted to attend Parsons School of Design in NYC, Kangley wanted her to attend RISD and knew she would need a portfolio of her work to accomplish this. Kangley converted an old garage into a workshop for the students. Here they were able to get "dirty," work with charcoal and other mediums, liberating her young students' creativity. She brought live models for the art students to draw life from three dimensions. She actively encouraged Cait to dream big and pursue her dreams, to turn her passion into a career. Cait even began designing and hand sewing a line of women's handbags while she was in High School. This was when CAIT SHEA Designs was born, and she started selling her bags while still a student, solidifying her desire to make this into her career.

Cait enrolled at RISD after graduation and found herself attending intense full-day classes. Three days a week she attended 8-hour classes with an hour break for lunch. Her major in Apparel included courses on drawing, studio pattern design, sewing, draping, and tailoring. The other two days were liberal arts classes and the history of fashion. RISD and its instructors were intense, critical, challenging â&#x20AC;&#x201C; excellent preparation for "the real world." In the world


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on a small scale. Unsure of her path forward she took a position at Dina Varano's Gallery in Chester, CT working in design and sales. All along she had been designing and creating as time allowed. The Chester coffee shop and gallery hosted Cait's first fashion show at a First Friday event. It resulted in a wholesale order from Khaki & Black in Madison, and an order from Salt in Mystic soon followed.

of modern design, students can expect to learn to design clothes on a computer and then the designs are manufactured overseas, such as China or India, where labor is less expensive. This was not something Cait had envisioned for herself or her fashion. Cait knew she wanted to draw her own designs, cut, tailor and sew them herself, as early as her college days.

The stars began to align, and in the Spring of 2018, a retail space opened in Chester. Cait jumped at the opportunity and opened her quaint women's "atelier." Her store has since expanded to a second floor when more retail space became available. She has since added Sprouted Coffee & Tea Bar, serving artisan coffee and tea, as well as locally made baked goods from The Drunken Baker of Deep River.

After college, she worked in Brooklyn at Alexis Bittar as their Public Relations intern as well as doing visuals and sales for J.Crew. Both jobs solidified her desire to create quality clothing

Besides designing functional pieces for your wardrobe, Cait adheres to the values of the "Slow Fashion" movement. The leading proponents of slow fashion are sustainability, eth-

ically made clothes without the use of slave labor (a sad reality of the majority of mass manufactured clothes), a focus on quality materials and construction to create items that

last a lifetime, as well as recycling of old clothes and materials. This is a socially conscious movement, with a focus on where and how the items we wear were made, and how


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this affects the environment and humankind. This can be seen in the materials used in designs as well as the manipulation and dying of fabric. Cait only designs with natural fibers like wool, cotton, silk, bamboo, and linen. She loves to let the fabric speak to her as she feels it in her hands, seeing what it wants to become. Her pieces are hand dyed in her home kitchen using plant-based dyes. Yellows are from a powder form of weld, or Dyer's weed, which derives from the Reseda plant. Blue comes from the Indigo plant, Rose madder creates the reds in her collection and green comes from soaking nettles. The pinks and oranges are some of the most interestingly built colors as they come from the pits and skins of avocados. The avocados are from The Villager restaurant owners next door in Chester, who grow their own (naturally!). Soaking the different avocado parts result in varying hues and intensity allowing for more varied color gradations. The natural dying process ensures that each article of hand-made clothing possesses its own unique signature hue and character, a true one-of-a-kind design. Pretreating the clothes to dye, as well as boiling and soaking the individual plants is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. This is a real labor of love and speaks to the passion Cait has for creating sustainable clothes.

The clothes you see on the hangers in CAIT SHEA Designs appear at first glance to be simple, minimal designs yet the quality and love in each piece shine through. The gentle colors create harmony, and her design has exceptional focus. Her clothes are a marriage of creativity, vision, a conscientious point of view and a desire to create something without causing harm. For Cait there was no other way but to follow her dream, and what a beautiful dream it is.

Visit Cait and see her designs at 1 N Main Street, Chester, CT and online at www.caitshea.com


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Photo by Paul Partica


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The Cheesemonger Paul Partica, The Cheese Shop, Centerbrook CT

Cheese for the Holidays with Angelini Wines Cheese for the holidays, what could be better? Add a bottle of wine from Angelini Wines for perfection.

Cheese Pairing: Goat cheese like Humbolt Fog, Piave Vecchio, Parmigiano Reggiano, Cave aged Gruyere, Triple crèmes like Delice D’Argental and Cambozola blue.

Angelini Wines, Ltd. is not just a local supplier of wines, they are a local supplier of imported wines from Europe as well as their own family wines which just happen to be grown and produced in Italy. So here we have the perfect blending of the old and the new world. I’ve enjoyed their wines very much over the years so I thought I would share this with those of you who have not been so fortunate.

Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa Albarino 2017 SRP - $15.99 Adegas Gran Vinum is a family owned winery that started working in 2002. They planted new vineyards on steep, sandy, south-facing slopes, near the ocean in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. This location minimizes temperature swings and extends maturation times giving more spice, saline and fruity varietal character to the finished wines. Soils in the vineyards are enriched in the traditional manner by digging in shells of local mollusks.

The Angelini two-hundred-acre farm has been in their family for three generations. This Farm is located in the Marche region of Italy. The vineyards are located 900-1100 ft. above sea level. The wine is made only from grapes grown there. After four years of research on grapes grown in the area, including studying root stock, vineyard training methods, and vinicultural equipment, they tore down ten acres of existing old plants and planted their new vineyard in 1999. After verification of the results, they planted two more vineyards in the same manner in 2003. Together they have seven and a half acres of specialized vineyards destined for high quality wine production. The varietals they produce are Sangiovese, Pergola Rosso and Merlot.

A few chosen wines from Angelini Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco Superiore ConeglianoValdobiadiane DOCG- SRP $19.99 Carpenè Malvolti is the original producer of Prosecco sparkling wine and one of the most prestigious houses noted for helping to form the great Italian wine making tradition. It was founded in 1868 by Antonio Carpenè, a forerunner in the application of biology (a then newly-acquired knowledge) to the art of wine making. Antonio, in contact with the great scientists of the century, Pasteur and Koch, published practical and theoretical articles on the subject of wine making, which for many years were considered classical texts on the subject. In 1873, at Conegliano, he established the first Oenology school in Italy dedicated to the study of grape growing and wine making. Today’s custodian of the family traditions and expertise is the great-grandson of the founder, Etile Carpenè . Carpenè Malvolti was the first, in Italy and in the world, to perfect and promote the production of “method charmat”, or sparkling wine, in large vats. Prosecco is that universal wine that goes with everything. We even use it often in making fondue instead of white wine. It yields a lighter, almost fluffier consistency. This Carpenè Prosecco DOCG has a fresh bread note, finer bubbles, and a delicate, clean finish. Cheese Pairing: In addition to almost any cheese, it’s great with Fromage D”Affinois, any other soft ripening cheese, all goat cheeses, and excellent with English Ford Cheddar. Domaine Matthias & Emile Roblin Sancerre Origine 2016 SRP - $28.99 Sancerre wines are known for their zesty taste of citrus and minerals and are produced from vines as old as twenty-five years. Sancerre is a French wine produced in the eastern part of the Loire valley. Great care is taken to preserve the terroir which includes removing excessive vegetation and even growing grass among the vines. In 2000, Matthias took over the family estate and was soon joined by his brother, Emile, in 2006. They represent the 4th generation of winegrowers at Château de Maimbray. The estate is composed of 19 hectares of vines divided among approximately forty parcels located primarily on the Terres Blanches (white earth) terroirs of the SANCERRE appellation. This Roblin Sancerre is fresh citrus, pear and white flowers on the nose, with a mineral accent. Fresh and zesty but attractively fleshy, too, with bright pear, apple and orange zest flavors showing excellent focus and depth. This has impressive length, finishing on a bright, dusty, citric note.

They exclusively grow Albariño, the internationally recognized, high quality grapes of Galicia. It is an intensely aromatic grape with thick skins uniquely suited to the cool, damp growing conditions typical of the area. In addition, this Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa Albarino maintains excellent natural acidity leading to a fresh, balanced wine. Cheese Pairing: Fromager D’Affinois, goat cheeses, mild cheddars, Cambozola Blue, Tres Leches, washed rind cheeses loie Epoisse, Diva, Oma, Chaumes. Angelini Estate Vino di Vittorio 2012 SRP - $20.99 This wine is named for the Patriarch of the Angelini family, Vittorio Angelini. The farmlands and vineyards from which this wine is produced were originally owned by Vittorio’s uncle, Michele, and worked by his father, Aurelio on the 1920’s. Vino di Vittorio is an homage to Vittorio’s foresight and dedication to keeping the Angelini family’s heritage strong into the 21st century. Vino di Vittorio is produced in the Marche region of Italy (east coast in the middle of the country). It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 8 % Merlot, and 2 % Pergola Rosso, and spends twenty-four months in oak barrels. It has a dark robust red color with inky tones appearing with age. Its flavor is reminiscent of blackcurrant layered with tobacco and cinnamon tones. Total production is only 416 cases. Cheese Pairing: All Cheddars, washed rind cheeses, Blues, and aged Goudas, Manchego Ewephoria. Pasetti TenutaRossa Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC 2013 SRP - $35.99 The long rich Pasetti history dates back to the late 1860’s, in which present owner Mimmo Pasetti’s great-great grandfather Silvestro began purchasing various plots of land from the wealthy Marchese Farina family. From battling the phylloxera plague that wiped out most of Europe’s vineyards to an untimely post wartime death by a landmine planted in the vineyard, the Pasetti family has endured much to produce their exquisite wines. From the beginning, the results were impressive. At the time, Abruzzo’s unwritten rule was to mass-produce lesser quality wines at a high volume. Since the Pasettis owned their land, their overhead was lower and they could focus on producing higher quality wines. This became their reputation. The Pasetti TenutaRossa is a deep ruby red color that smells and tastes of ripe red fruits, blueberries with aromas of cocoa, licorice and leather. Warm and full bodied with elegant tannins. Cheese Pairing: Washed rind cheeses, Stilton, Gorgonzola and other blues, and aged Goudas, aged sheep cheese, Pecorinos, Ewephoria, Swiss Challerhocker. I’d like to thank Julius Angelini for all of his help, his time, photos, and information allowing me to write this article. Please look for these wines in your local wine shop, you will be glad you did.

Paul Partica, The Cheese Shop www.cheeseshopcenterbrook.com


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Piemonte Piemonte is a spectacular area for growing grapes in the northwest part of Italy. This area being most famous for the big reds of Barolo and Barbaresco. The climate is a big controlling factor for growing the grapes. Being close to the Alps the temperature remains somewhat cool which leaves the grapes with moderate to high acidity and big tannins. The soil is clay, sand, and also bit rocky, with some limestone. The grapes are grown on the steep hills and mountainside, which makes it difďŹ cult for harvesting, it must all be done by hand. Barolo and Barbaresco are produced from the grape

By Art LiPuma, General Manager SeaSide Wine & Spirits, Old Saybrook, CT

Nebbiolo, which produces a bold, dry red with lots of tannins and acidity which shows excellent age ability for cellaring for many years. Baroloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s show a combination of red and dark fruits, blackberry, plum and licorice tones. The minimum aging is 2 years in the bottle and one year in oak.


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bold and intense red wine. Although a little less popular this wine should not be overlooked. All of the above wines come from the region of Langhe. Other famous areas are Barberad’asti and Barbera d’alba. The grape Barbera in these two areas produces a medium to full flavor wine with a little spice in the finish. These wines are great with sauce dishes and barbecue meats. Due to the inexpensive price the wines are great values. Although Piemonte is known mostly for their big bold red they also produce some fantastic white wines. One of the most popular grapes is the Cortese grape from Gavion the east side of Piedmonte. These wine are light and refreshing wines although these have a little more body than Pinot Grigio, with interesting characteristics of lemon and citrus flavors. Another white varietal is Arneis sometimes called Barolo bianco. It was once used for softening Nebbiolo. This white is soft with low acidity for the most part. It is unoaked which pairs well with swordfish and light dishes. Last but not least is probably the most popular wine and the average person doesn’t realize that this wine comes from Piemonte. Martini & RossiAsti Spumante. Although there are other sparkling Asti this is the most famous. Made from the Moscato grape, that produces a slightly sweet wine and lower in alcohol. Moscato d’ Asti are lighter with a little less bubbles but still have a bit of sweetness to them. As you can see the region of Piemonte has a wine for everybody, from big bold reds to dry and sweet whites. With this selection you have wine for almost any meal so enjoy your wine from Piemonte! Happy Holidays! Art LiPuma, General Manager at SeaSide Wine & Spirits, 118 Main St, Old Saybrook, Connecticut www.seasidewineandspirits.com

Barolo is a wine paired well with hearty meat dishes. Some of the famous producers of Barolo are: Pio Cesare, Piazzo, Bongiovanni, and Batasiolo. Barbaresco a slightly lighter wine than Barolo which partakes more flavors of red berry fruit rather than the darker fruit of Barolo. The wine is aged for 1 year in oak then 1 year in the bottle. Cerretto, Castello Di Neive, Pio Cesare, and Gaja are excellent examples of Barbaresco. There are wines that contain the Nebbiolo grape and are produced in Langhe, but for a lower price because they come from just outside of Barolo. This allows you to sample a slightly lighter style of this big wine at half the price. Another outstanding area just south of Barolo is the area of Doglina, growing the grape of Dolcetto , producing another


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Nilgiriâ&#x20AC;Ś the great undiscovered gems of the tea world

Philip Parda, Savvy Tea Gourmet Most of us who enjoy a soothing cup of Black Tea, and that have moved into the realm of steeping loose tea leaves are likely to recognize the classic name of Darjeeling. This famous tea growing region has developed a global reputation for the black teas produced there from plants originally smuggled from China during the Opium Wars that were planted in the Himalayan foothills. Darjeeling lovers delight in the golden tones evident in the cup and the hint of a muscatel note (of the Muscat grape variety) that has landed Darjeeling the distinction of being The Champagne of Black Teas.

Some, too, might recognize another most famous tea of India which was discovered growing naturally in the furthest northeastern region of India, know as Assam in 1823 by Robert Bruce. Even if you did not pickup on the name of this bold and malty Assam tea that produces rich red-brown tones in the cup, you likely have


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experienced it often either in loose-leaf breakfast blends you’ve enjoyed, or even in tea bags that you have joyfully steeped, never knowing what the producer had packed in that tiny bag with a string for your tea drinking pleasure.

In the Nilgiri Hills of South India, Artisan technique is applied to the high quality local leaf material, by adopting and modeling after Chinese hand technique to produce high quality healthy teas uniquely different from any others in the world. Nilgiri Goodness from Green to Black…

A Long Way From Darjeeling & Assam… In the Western Ghats, a mountainous rainforest region some 3000+ kilometers south west of the well-known and world famous tea growing regions of Darjeeling & Assam you will find not only incredible tea to delight you, but there you will find a most remarkable place. For the Teas of the Nilgiris are grown in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, located in the Tamil Nadu District of South India. In this region, conservation is a way of life and is embraced to its fullest in the production of tea. The uniqueness of this piece of heaven on earth forms all the ingredients needed to reach excellence in tea by allowing Mother Nature to work her magic transforming the pure healthy elements of this local terroir into luscious plump and vibrant leaves ideal for processing with state-of-the-art equipment and hand technique into remarkable tea. Not only is the uniqueness of this pristine place a core ingredient to the ultimate success of the finished teas, but special too, is the application of hand processing to create teas of both distinction in the cup and beauty in the leaf. The Value of Artisan Tea… The most wide-spread technique for processing tealeaves in India incorporates equipment especially designed to efficiently process the leaves while intending to remove labor from the process and the cost. Having equipment process the leaves allows processors to handle large volumes of leaves in short periods of time and to produce reliable consistent results. The very hand technique that large commodity tea producers have desired to eliminate is the same technique that contributes to the quality of Artisan Teas and actually is what makes them the amazing teas they are. The result of skilled hand technique plays a role in preserving the size, shape and beauty of the leaf by attempting to avoid leaf breakage during the processing. Beyond the beauty of the whole leaf however, it is the nuance that is added during the hand process.

The insightful tea producers of Nilgiri are not only incorporating forward thinking in terms of preserving their ecosystem, focusing on organic teas, and maintaining the uniqueness of Artisan Teas through hand technique, they have also chosen to offer a range of teas. From unoxidized greens to partially oxidized oolongs and fully oxidized black teas, there are superb teas from this wonderful place for every tea drinker. I find these teas deliver the characteristics I am looking for in a quality cup of tea…aroma, flavor, mouthfeel and sensation. Try them for a most enjoyable variation to your healthy tea experience. Add Nilgiri to your Tea Garden Journey. Philip Parda Tea Purveyor Savvy Tea Gourmet Madison, CT


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blizzard of freshly shaved tartufo bianco as the garnish. (It only added $17 dollars to the plate.) We also ordered Penne alla Vodka for the entire table. Penne alla Bettola as they call it here– progenitor of Penne alla Vodka in America – coats striated pasta tubes in a simple sauce of roasted tomatoes, a touch of garlic, deglazed with vodka and finished with heavy cream. Take a look at my plates before and after I wolfed down my portion.

Written and Photos by Bob Zemmel, Owner of Alforno Trattoria Bar

Autumn in Italy Tartufo, Porcini e Cinghiale Autumn in Italy means white truffles, porcini mushrooms and wild boar. They are among northern Italy’s premiere food delicacies and a singular reason for planning a trip in the fall when these ingredients appear all over local menus. Truffle hunters bring their dogs, trained from puppyhood, to find and dig up the “tartufo bianco.” The hunter heads deep into the forest, to his own secret location, where he hopes to find these edible jewels. He finds them only in October through December, connected to oak and beech trees by microscopic fibers. The dogs sniff them out from under 6 to 12 inches of dirt.

The next night we were off to Trattoria Sostanza, a tiny 150-year-old familyrun, communal table restaurant. It is an open secret among the food crowd in Florence. In a small open kitchen, two cooks stationed at a wood-fired grill and a tiny stove turn out three of the greatest courses you will ever eat. The Tortino di Carciofi is a frittata like no other. Bright orange egg yolks enrich the partly fluffy, partly runny center of the omelet, which is filled with baby artichokes sautéed in Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. Sostanza serves grilled Bistecca alla Fiorentina for a minimum of two people. We heard and watched the cook whack off the steak from the entire beef loin. Our steak, over 2.5 pounds, was presented for approval, then went onto the iron grill. The lean, dry-aged T-bone steaks from the locally raised Chianina breed of cattle are different, but equal to the best of our American prime beef. Petti di Pollo al Burro, which we have renamed “the greatest chicken breast in the world,” is the third dynamite dish here. A local chicken breast, coated in flour and dipped in beaten egg, goes into a small straight-sided pan containing an inch of melted butter. The chicken cooks in the hot butter, which turns a nutty brown. The pan is placed in front of you with the butter still bubbling. The best way to eat this chicken is right from the pan, dabbing each bite in more of the butter for a ridiculous flavor experience. Sostanza serves just one dessert – an outrageous meringue and whipped cream layer cake, garnished with tiny wild strawberries. The same bakery, Pasticceria Sieni, has been making “La Meringa” for Sostanza non- stop for 47 years.

While the white truffles are not cheap – typically $2800 per pound – barely a fifth of an ounce shaved over a plate of buttered pasta or risotto brings an explosion of unique aroma and flavor to the diner’s senses.

Our trip took us to the hills of Emilia-Romagna outside of the city of Parma. This is the land of Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and pasta fresca or fresh pasta.

Porcini mushrooms, “boletus edulis,” are edible wild mushrooms. The Italians eat them raw, sliced over a salad, or grill the large caps, called cappelli, over a wood fire as an entree. These cappelli alla griglia have the meat flavor of sirloin steak. Chopped and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, the porcini become a ravioli filling or an earthy pasta sauce.

We stayed in the tiny village of Campora where the sole restaurant was open only on weekends during the off-season. Our bed-and-breakfast host asked the proprietor to cook for us – and she did, for three evenings.

Cinghiale, wild boar whose meat represents a gorgeous deep pork flavor, is essentially a feral pig that arrived in Italy 1000 years ago from as far away as Siberia. We typically eat the meat in a tomato-based pasta sauce known as Ragù di Cinghiale. Traditionally served with pappardelle, wide noodles of fresh egg pasta, it is a terrific introduction to the world of Tuscan wild game. On a recent trip to Italy, we headed to the historic trattoria, Alla Vecchia Bettola, which dates back to the 19th century. This place is pure Florentine casual pandemonium, serving real Tuscan food without fancy architectural flourishes. The gnocchi in cream sauce looked and smelled too delicious to pass up. Since I had pledged to eat as many truffles as possible, on went a

Platter after platter of tortelli, half-moonshaped ravioli, made from hand-rolled, paper-thin pasta that enveloped fillings of potato and Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta and spinach, and butternut squash, all served in simple butter sauces. After two days of so much butter, we were overdosed on butterfat. We asked for a simple tomato sauce to cut the fat and give us a bit of acid. La Signora obliged, and we gorged ourselves for the third night on more of these featherlight ravioli. The trip continued to Venice, but alas, we are out of room in this column so we will share these details in the next issue. Bob Zemmel Alforno Ristorante 1654 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 860 399 4166


DECEMBER EVENTS

76 Dcember 1 – 31 An art exhibition featuring works by members of Shoreline Artists’ at the Valentine H. Zahn Community Gallery at Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center. Meet the artists at a reception on Thursday, November 8 from 6 – 8 p.m. The Gallery is open during regular business hours and is located at 250 Flat Rock Place, Westbrook, CT. For more information, contact Middlesex Hospital at 860-358-6200 or zahngallery@gmail.com.

December 1-29 Madison Annual Holiday Show. This is our 10th Annual Holiday Exhibition, featuring a select group of nationally acclaimed, award-winning artists. A varied range of painting sizes, styles, and subjects, including landscapes, seascapes, figurative, still life, and city scenes, are offered in this exciting new show. Exhibiting artists include: Kathy Anderson, Del-Bourree Bach, Julie Beck, Peter Bergeron, Kelly Birkenruth, Dan Brown, Deborah Chabrian, Grace DeVito, David Dunlop, Eileen Eder, Loretta Fasan, Vincent Giarrano, Neal Hughes, Sarah Lamb, Sarah Stifler Lucas, James Magner, Anne McGrory, Leonard Mizerek, Deborah QuinnMunson, Larry Preston, Carlo Russo, Dennis Sheehan, and Jeanne Rosier Smith. The gallery is located at 679 Boston Post Road, Madison near the fire station. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-5 pm, Sunday by appointment. For further information, please call (203) 318-0616, email us at susanpowellfineart@gmail.com and visit www.susanpowellfineart.com to see works in the show. December 1-23 Santa Special. All aboard the Santa Special for a one-of-akind, daytime holiday experience. Make sure you’re camera-ready for that “special moment” when Santa and Mrs. Claus visit each child! Enjoy the spirit of the season as you relax with family and friends aboard festive railway cars adorned with vintage decorations. Rudolph and Pablo the Penguin will be on board to spread holiday cheer. Plus, each child will receive a small holiday gift from Santa’s Elves! December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, One Railroad Ave. Essex, CT 06426 (860) 767-0103

Month of December- Westbrook Saturday, 12/1/18 – Annual Tree Lighting. Free event open to the public. Fun for the whole family including pictures with Santa, cookie decorating and complimentary Christmas cookies, hot cocoa and coffee, Christmas carolers. 4:30-6:00pm. Call 860-399-5901 for more information. Saturday, 12/1/18 – Dinner with Dickens – A Theatrical Performance of “A Christmas Carol” performed by the great-great Grandson of Charles Dickens. 6pm-10pm. $59++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. Sunday, 12/2/18 – Brunch with Dickens - – A Theatrical Performance of “A Christmas Carol” performed by the great-great Grandson of Charles Dickens. Brunch begins at 10am, and the performance begins at 11am. $59++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. Saturday, 12/8/18 – Cabaret Style Dinner Show: A Tribute to the Greatest Pop Divas through the Decades with the Chiclettes . 6pm10pm. $49++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. Sunday, 12/9/18 – Brunch with Santa. Brunch will be served from 9am to 3pm, with Santa visiting from 11am-1pm. Brunch is $39 for Adults and $22 for Children under Ten. Saturday, 12/15/18 – Cabaret Style Dinner Show: A Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor. 6pm-10pm. $49++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. Saturday, 12/22/18 – Cabaret Style Dinner Show: A Tribute to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 6pm-10pm. $49++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. Monday, 12/31/18 – New year’s Eve Celebration! - Early Dinner Seating. Four-course dinner with champagne toast. 5pm and 5:30pm. Adults $59++ / Children under 12 $29++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. - Dinner & Dance Party. Reception and four-course dinner with champagne toast. 7pm – 1am. $140++ Tickets available online or by calling the front desk 860-399-5901. Trivia and NFL Football every Monday night Live Blues every Tuesday night Live Jazz every Wednesday night Live music every Friday and Saturday night Award winning Brunch every Sunday Water’s Edge Resort and Spa, 1525 Boston Post Road, Westbrook, CT For info, call 860-399-5901 or visit www.WatersEdgeResortAndSpa.com Month of December "Painting Clinton- An Artist's View" Bruce Lighty of Clinton will be showing some of his beautiful watercolor paintings in the gallery this holiday season! Stop by and see scenes of Clinton painted by Bruce and Cindy Steven's. Bruce has some paintings of Clinton's historic past as well. They will both have some prints available. Stop by and see what's new... art makes an awesome gift, and the gallery has many unique gift ideas! Cindy Stevens Fine Art  is at 30 East Main  St.  In Clinton, Ct. For hours call 860-304-1666. For events check the gallery Facebook  page or www.cindystevensfineart.com.


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Dec 1 - 29 Madison Annual Holiday Show Susan Powell Fine Art This is our popular 10th Annual Holiday Exhibition, featuring a select group of nationally acclaimed, award-winning artists. A varied range of painting sizes, styles, and subjects, including land and seascapes, figurative, still life, and city scenes, are offered in this exciting new show. Exhibiting artists include: Kathy Anderson, Del-Bourree Bach, Julie Beck, Peter Bergeron, Kelly Birkenruth, Dan Brown,  Deborah Chabrian, Grace DeVito, David Dunlop, Eileen Eder, Loretta Fasan, Vincent Giarrano, Neal Hughes, Sarah Lamb, Sarah Stifler Lucas, James Magner, Anne McGrory, Leonard Mizerek, Deborah Quinn-Munson, Larry Preston, Carlo Russo, Dennis Sheehan, and Jeanne Rosier Smith. The gallery is located at 679 Boston Post Road, Madison near the fire station. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-5 pm, Sunday by appointment. For further information, please call (203) 318-0616, email us at susanpowellfineart@gmail.com and visit www.susanpowellfineart.com to see works in the show.

OUR

MAKING

MARK

December 5 - 8 "An Ivoryton Playhouse Christmas Hour with David Pittsinger and Friends" An Ivoryton Playhouse Christmas Hour with David Pittsinger and Friends The Playhouse is proud to present an old fashioned Christmas celebration of holiday standards and sacred songs featuring David Pittsinger and Patricia Schuman, Carly Callahan, Ryan Bloomquist and Anna Fagan. Musical Director is Eric Trudel. Baby, it’s gonna be cold outside – come to the Ivoryton Playhouse to warm your heart with the wonderful voices of David, Pat and friends. Tickets are priced at $50 adults; $45 seniors; $22 student (over age 12); $17 children (12 and under) and are on sale now. Wed.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Thu. 2 p.m. Ivoryton Playhouse 103 Main St. Ivoryton, CT 06442 (860) 767-7318 www.ivorytonplayhouse.org info@ivorytonplayhouse.org

DECEMBER EVENTS

Month of November - Branford December at Lennys Indian Head Restaurant! December 2 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Bill Welch and Friends Live music 1-4 pm. December 9 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Greg Sherrod - Live music 1-4 pm. December 16 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am Breakfast with Santa - Enjoy a casual breakfast buffet with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles and fresh fruit. Included will be a Hot Chocolate Bar with a wide variety of delicious toppings. Santa will be on hand - bring your camera! December 16 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Timmy Maia - Live music 1-4 pm. December 21 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Christmas "Carol-oke" - Dress warmly! We're heating things up on the deck with holiday karaoke, a hot chocolate bar (boozy additions available), and s'mores! Even Santa will visit, and he'll find out who's been naughty or nice. December 23 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Four Barrel Billy - Live music 1-4 pm. December 30 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Java Groove - Live music 1-4 pm. - Monday - Night Football and Trivia @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Enjoy the game and trivia! Gather a team of up to six players and match wits with other teams. Our players arrive by 7:00 pm and settle in for six rounds of questions.  Participants enjoy $2 Bud and Bud Light Pints as well as free buffalo wings at "half-time" and prizes! - Thursdays - Ladies' Night @ 5:00 am - 10:00 pm $5 House Wines, $6 select martinis and reduced select appetizers - at the bar only. - Friday - Happy Hour @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Enjoy $2 Bud Light bottles and free Buffalo wings from 4-6 pm. Lennys 205 South Montowese St (Rt. 146) Branford, CT 06405 www.lennysnow.com 203-488-1500

December 2 January 31 Making Our Mark. Contemporary Artists at Work. Opening Reception with the Artists Sunday, December 9. Curated by C. Dianne Zweig, Making our Mark is a unique group exhibit that features abstract artwork by Contemporary Artists at Work multi-media artists DECEMBER 2 – JANUARY 31, 2019 | CHASE FAMILY GALLERY who revel in the art of Contemporary Mark-Making. Using both conventional and improvised tools, this show celebrates the creativity, ingenuity and skill of "master scribblers." Inspired by mid-century designers, the dynamic rhythms and movements found in music, dance and nature, this diverse collection of artwork is an exciting celebration of artists who have "made their mark" in fine art. JCC of West Hartford C. Dianne Zweig, who teaches “Mark Making in Contemporary Abstract Art” at The West Hartford Art League will be showing her artwork accompanied by 11 outstanding artists from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York at the spacious Chase Gallery, which is part of the Mandell JCC in West Hartford. What all the exhibiting artists have in common is their passionate and skillful use of marks, lines, scribbles, scratches, layers and textures in their abstract work. Artwork shown include works on paper, fiber, canvas and board and include a variety of sizes and formats including framed, murals and series. Participating artists include: Debra Cantor, Jennifer Davies, Jon Eastman, Anne Doris-Eisner, Nancy Eisenfeld, Amy Furman, Lynn Gall, Sue-Ellen Landwehr, Jill Pasanen, Michelle Peterson, Susan Spaniol. JCC Chase Family Gallery West Hartford , Contact: C. Dianne Zweig Dianne@cdiannezweig.com 860-655-3825


DECEMBER EVENTS

78 December 7 Munchkin Morning with Santa. Delight in this Aquarium holiday tradition that your child will remember for years to come. Enjoy a memorable morning filled with fun seasonal and animal-themed crafts and activities, as well as a visit with the man in red himself, Santa! Be sure to bring your camera to capture the joy of morning! 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. The program begins before we open to the public and is a great way to experience the Aquarium without the holiday crowds. Older siblings are welcome to attend at the child rate; however, the activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5. Mystic Aquarium 55 Coogan Blvd. Mystic, CT 06355 (860) 572-5955 Adult $35, children $20 www.mysticaquarium.org/event/munchkin-morning-with-santa December 8 Salem All Day Workshop: Owl Tapestry Felting Class with Lori Neumann from 9am-1pm and Wire Wrapping a Cabochon Class with Pauline Clifford from 2-5pm. Lunch is provided between classes. Take one or both and get a discount! The Red House, 22 Darling Road, Salem. Visit salemredhouse.com for more info. (860) 608-6526.

December 9 Guilford Holiday Makers Market, Sunday, December 9th 10-5PM. Featuring recent works in oil, watercolor, mixed media, photography, prints, greeting cards, assemblage, pottery, glass, jewelry, and woodwork by our eclectic and distinguished family of talented gallery artists and artisans. Light refreshments served. This event is free and open to the public. The Bird Nest Gallery, 25 Water Street Guilford, CT. Please reserve your seat @ 203-689-5745 as space is limited Lisa Fatone, Gallery Director art@thebirdnestsalon.com

December 13 Guilford Flourished Ornament Workshop With Lisa Fatone Art & Design Thursday, December 13 6-8PM At The Bird Nest Gallery, 25 Water Street Guilford, CT. Please reserve your seat @ 203-689-5745 as space is limited Lisa Fatone, Gallery Director art@thebirdnestsalon.com

December 13-23 Ivoryton CONEY ISLAND CHRISTMAS introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays. This is a holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths and all ages and ethnicities are encouraged to audition. info@ivorytonplayhouse.org Box Office Phone: 860.767.7318 Theatre Address 103 Main Street Ivoryton, CT 06442 December 15 Salem Make your own water-marbled silk scarf with Shibumi Silks. This is a fun, creative, and slightly messy workshop that yields stunning results! $50 for your first scarf and $40 for any additional scarves you make. Just in time for Holiday giving! Choose a time slot 11am-Noon, Noon-1pm or 1-3pm. The Red House, 22 Darling Road, Salem. Visit salemredhouse.com for more info. (860) 608-6526.


Tree

Lighting

Saturday, December 1

Celebrate the Holidays at Waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Edge A theatrical performance of

Decades of Divas SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1

Dinner with Dickens SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2

Brunch with Dickens

performed by

the chiclettes

Saturday, December 8 A Tribute to

Santa

Sunday, December 9

New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve

Dinner Dance Party

Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor

Monday, December 31

performed by Good Acoustics

Saturday, December 15

Brunch with

performed by Ornament

Saturday, December 22

For Details and Reservations: WaterEdgeResortandSpa.com 1525 Boston Post Rd Westbrook, CT 06498 (860) 399-5901

Featuring live bands, open premium bar, and a spectacular four-course dinner


for the HOLIDAYS

Profile for Ink Publications

December 2018 Ink Publications  

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