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Issue no. 2

2014 westhartfordmagazine.com


OASIS Home & Garden • Mens Fashion • WEDDINGS • Food • TRAVEL • Finance

Archbishop Blair Sitting Down With

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Issue TWO 2014



Spotlight on West Hartford’s upcoming Mayor’s Charity Ball


Notable events and spectacular galas worth celebrating


Tips to jumpstart your retirement savings


Smith & Abrams Biella & Tyler



Discovering Alaska…the final frontier!

ArchBishop Leonard P. Blair

31 FOOD The Twin Tasters at Black

by Keith Griffin

Spending a day with the new leader of the state’s Catholic Community.


Bamboo Chinese Restaurant

43 Saint Brigid School

The Classic Man

Advertorial: Welcome to SBS

by Bob DeGemmis

Casual, business and formal wear fashions for men of style.


OASIS Home & Garden by Karla Dalley

All things Gardening for spring!

BeAuty 47 True Beauty begins with a Beautiful Mind

16 ON THE COVER Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, the newly appointed Archbishop of Hartford. Photography by The Defining Photo, definingphotovideo.com




Allyson’s continuing weight loss journey-part 2

INSERT Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home


A WHMedia, Inc. company

Publisher Thomas P. Hickey, II tomh@westhartfordmagazine.com Chief Operations Officer Joy Brigham Taylor joyt@westhartfordmagazine.com Managing Editor Lisa Lelas editor@westhartfordmagazine.com Publication Designer Jennifer Inocencio graphics@westhartfordmagazine.com Marketing Consultants Michael Conway mikec@westhartfordmagazine.com Alex Stoner c/o garretth@westhartfordmagazine.com Taylor Tavarozzi Publishing Advisor Jonathan Moffly Contributing Writers & Columnists Lydia Brown, Karla Dalley, Keith Griffin , Tammy Kroll, Nancy Roy, Twin Tasters




998 Farmington Ave., Suite 205, West Hartford, CT 06107 P.O. Box 271835, West Hartford, CT 06127 www.westhartfordmagazine.com westhartfordmagazine.com office 860-508-4032 office 860-523-1800 West Hartford Magazine is published six times a year by WHMedia, Inc. Subscriptions:

Contributing Photographers Brian Ambrose Photography, Cheyney Barrieau, Kim Bova, The Defining Photo, Todd Fairchild, Trenton Jackson, Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer, Ira Nozik Photographers, Twin Tasters Print Advisor

One year for $29. Newsstandsix $4.95 each. West Hartford Magazine is published times a year by WHMedia, Inc. SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year for $29. Newsstand $4.95 each. Bob Carr To subscribe,To renew or change address West Hartford Magazine, 998 Farmington Avenue, Suite 205, West Hartford, CT 06107; subscribe, renew or changewrite: address write: West Hartford Magazine, P.O. Box 271835, www.westhartfordmagazine.com. EDITORIAL & LETTERS: editor@westhartfordmagazine.com – please include full name, town and phone West Hartford, CT 06127; number (for verification only, not for publication). ADVERTISING: 860-523-1800. ©2012 WHMedia, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this www.westhartfordmagazine.com. Website periodical may be reproduced without express permission of the publisher. West Hartford Magazine is a registered trademark owned by EDITORIAL & LETTERS: editor@westhartfordmagazine.com – please include name, townMagazine are not necessarily those of WHMedia, Inc. The opinions expressed by writers commissioned for articles published by full West Hartford Mike Roy/Roy and phone number (for verification only, not for publication). ADVERTISING: 860-508-4032. the magazine. ©2014 WHMedia, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without express permission of the publisher. West Hartford Magazine is a registered trademark owned by WHMedia, Inc. The opinions expressed by writers commissioned for articles published by West Hartford Magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine.

CASTING Look out for our “Casting Call”. We will be casting a kids editorial for an upcoming issue - make sure you “like” our Facebook page to be among the first to know about it!

Web Design

Bookkeeper Debbie Roberts bookkeeping@westhartfordmagazine.com Proofreader Barbara Gordon

Corrections & Clarifications: In the Spring Issue, ‘Unique Healthy Therapy’ feature, it was stated that Sharon Sklar was one of just a handful of certified Rolfers ® in the country, but to clarify, there are now about 1600 worldwide. Sklar remains the only practitioner in central Connecticut of about four in the state. Sklar’s corrected quote: “We become the accumulation of everything…even every injury we ever had. Rolfing® brings us back to neutral.” Travel columnist, Norma Spadola’s new positon/contact information: Sales Director, Northeast USA & Eastern Canada, Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC. Email: NSpadola@abercrombiekent.com. 


Principals: Thomas P. Hickey, II Joy B. Taylor James H. Gould,III WHMedia, Inc.: Publishers of West Hartford Magazine, Dazzle and Palette. Custom Publications include: CCAOH “Help & Hope Magazine”; Monarch Jewelers; Stanger & Arnold “Times Have Changed” and The New Children’s Museum “Explore. Website Development includes: www.ccaoh.rg, www.thechildrensmuseumct.org, and www.monarchjewelers.com.









Dot Shugrue, executive director of HopeWorks, Inc., Mayor R. Scott Slifka, and Tracy Flater, co-founder/ executive director of Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc.

As I mentioned in our Holiday Issue, for 2014, my Publishers Column will spotlight a non-profit organization/event in each issue. West Hartford Magazine has been the Media Sponsor for The Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball since it began. This year, we celebrate its 15th Anniversary event on Saturday, May 10th. (still plenty of time to get involved! Visit themayorscharityball.org.) The Mayor’s Charity Ball was founded by Rob & Dorothy Bouvier, dear friends of mine, my wife, Shevon, and West Hartford Magazine. Since then, when Rob was serving as acting Mayor of West Hartford, we have been a media sponsor. The goal has always been to raise money for needy, non-profit organizations. Beginning with The Bridge and HopeWorks, later including The Grounds when The Bridge moved to a dedicated Ball (which we spotlighted in our last issue, The Children’s Charity Ball). Then, it went on to include the Playhouse on Park when the Miracle League focused their attention elsewhere. HopeWorks has always been involved and a beneficiary. The profits from the evening are shared among these non-profit organizations, understandably so, since the non-profit organizations do all the work. Our mayors lend their name to the event, each year. I was delighted to be involved in the BIG MOVE from the Golf Club to the front lawn of Town Hall under the grand tent (a shout out to John Wilper, Taylor Rental Party Plus and Rich Rosenthal, MAX Catering for their continued support of this event because it wouldn’t happen without people and businesses like them supporting it). HopeWorks offers counseling services for teens, families and small groups, and is a resource for those needing help coping with many topics including: stress, cheating, and addictions as well as exploring attitude, spirituality and they even have a program called “Taming the College Frenzy.” They do a tremendous amount of work in our local schools. See www.hopeworkscentral.org for more. The Playhouse on Park provides quality entertainment at an affordable



cost to all of us, as broad an audience as possible, providing opportunities for professional, emerging and community artists. This unique theatrical company offers educational and outreach opportunities through visiting and/or resident artists and educators and creates opportunities to collaborate with other existing arts organizations. All of this right here on Park Road in the AC Petersen building. Contact Executive Director, Tracy Flater today and see how you can get involved (tflater@playhousetheatregroup.org). We hope to see you at the 15th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball on May 10th so we can continue to support these fine non-profits, together as a community. If you have subscribed to West Hartford Magazine in the past (the only way to guarantee delivery of every issue to your home or office), you will receive an invoice to Join Our Club (if you haven’t already). Our mail house, coordinating our subscriptions, is doing a great job and thanks for your vote of confidence by subscribing … we’ll make each issue worthy of a corner on your coffee table! As always, our Subscription Club Members (see Page 50) are acknowledged and thanked in each issue. Worth noting that if you JOIN the CLUB you get lots of perks like FREE tickets to events. Your next issue of WEST HARTFORD MAGAZINE will be on-line and in your home just as we end our school year before we head off for much needed summer vacations! Regards,

Thomas P. Hickey II Publisher


photograph by Todd Fairchild.

15 Years Later…MAYOR’S CHARITY BALL going strong!


Mark McGovern, Town of West Hartford. Mike Casparino, People’s United Bank. Cindy Cicchetti, People’s United Bank. Steve Litchfield, People’s United Bank. Peter Lisi, University of Hartford (and Board Chairman, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce).



Economic Development

West Hartford Construction Projects Unveiled At the annual Economic Development Luncheon on March 26, hosted by the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Director of Community Services, Mark McGovern updated business leaders on commercial and residential building plans to unfold in the near future. “It’s not just development, but re-development,” McGovern explained as he unveiled construction projects at various locations around town, and added “Get ready for construction!” From landscape improvements and re-zoning approvals to retail expansions and new structures, nearly every section of town will see some type of construction upgrade, from the Center and Blue Back Square to Bishops Corner, Elmwood and Park Road. Event sponsored by People’s United Bank, Whole Foods, Comcast Business, and DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse. West Hartford Magazine media sponsor.


15 North Main, considered the “gateway to the Center” will have 18,700 square feet of Class A office space.



2432 Albany Avenue, at Bishop’s Corner - convert now vacant nursing home to 64 market-rate apartments. westhartfordmagazine.com



24 North Main will have 18 units, with a target market of young professionals.

photography by Ira Nozik Photographers

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Positioning ourselves for the

FUTURE! ike “The Little Engine That Could,” The New Children’s Museum has proven that with hard work and a focused approach, we can rise up from some tough times, balance our budget, and position ourself for an exciting future. In its last fiscal year, The New Children’s Museum has climbed that mountain, earning a small surplus for the first time in many years. Yes, you read that correctly, we made a profit. This is an institution that is facing the same challenges that other museums and cultural institutions have been facing since 2008. When I assumed my role in September 2011, I was tasked with charting a new course for the 21st Century and orchestrating a financial turnaround – a major challenge in a time of decreased discretionary consumer spending for family recreation and tight public school education budgets reducing the number of field trips. At the same time, non-profits are competing for the available pool of corporate and foundation funds – which have been faced with lower earnings as well as increased demand on their endowments.

Peter Stevens President JCJ Architecture

Welcome to the New Board Alan Lazowski CEO and Founder LAZ Parking

Part of this new course involves building new board capacity. Join me in welcoming new Chairman of the Board Peter Stevens, (President of JCJ Architecture); Board Member Alan Lazowski (CEO and Founder of LAZ Parking); Board Member David Jepson (Retired Founding Partner of JCJ Architecture); and Richard Wong (Chief investment strategist for HIMCO – a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hartford).

We are moving beyond STEM and charging “

David Jepson Retired Founding Partner JCJ Architecture

We are inserting an “A” for Arts. The institution is renewing its focus on exhibits and programs that stress creativity and support the adult-child partnership to foster life-long problem-solving learners. We believe that the ART of critical thinking is enhanced by the inclusion of training in the arts. As we know, Einstein played the violin, da Vinci was a Renaissance artist and inventor, and John James Audubon, ornithologist, was an illustrator.

Visit us and Celebrate the 18th Annual Gala on May 15th We are continuously realigning our resources in order to ensure that The New Children’s Museum is not only relevant but fundamental to the region, and continues to have programming that will attract repeat visitors to our West Hartford facility as well Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton. Please come to our Annual Gala, on Thursday, May 15, as we move “ ” Robert R. Griesmer President and Chief Executive Officer The New Children’s Museum

Richard Wong Sr. Vice President HIMCO

A Child’s World:

Imagine the Possibilities

950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford I 860.231.2824 I www.thechildrensmuseumct.org


Thursday, May 15, 2014 Contact us for Ticket Information: 860.231.2830 x48 www.thechildrensmuseumct.org

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THEY ARE COMING BACK! The butterflies are coming, the butterflies are coming! This is one of our most exciting and popular exhibits of the summer. Our butterfly oasis provides all wide-eyed children and adults with a happy place to take in the natural world. Like us on Facebook and watch our website for details on the winged-wonders’ arrival!

Preschool In the neighborhood? Stop on by anytime between 9:00a.m. and Noon during the week. Take a tour of our facilities and see our teachers and kids in action. Please ring the doorbell and a staff member will be right with you. Or call ahead to schedule a tour with the head of our preschool: 860-523-7449. We look forward to meeting you! The NEW Children’s Museum 950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford, CT www.thechildrensmuseumct.org 860.231.2824 THE NEW CHILDREN’S MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm • Sunday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Closed Mondays

Active Minds Wanted! Calling all explorers, tinkerers, creative kids, and kids who want to be more creative... Come to THINKER LINKERS, IMAGINATION PLAYGROUND, and our brand new ELECTRICITY interactive exhibits to build, play and explore to your heart’s content! Get out and create, solve problems and have fun! “ !”

Roaring Brook Nature Center 70 Gracey Road, Canton, CT www.roaringbrook.org 860.693.0263 ROARING BROOK NATURE CENTER HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm • Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 pm Closed Mondays


How’s your Nest Egg? 7 Tips to Jumpstart Your Retirement Savings

by Thomas J. Filomeno, CPA


hen you are young, saving for retirement can be a difficult habit to adopt. The means (socking away and investing earnings) requires immediate action, but the end (a healthy nest egg to support you later in life) is often decades away.

1. Start early. Too many individuals don’t begin their retirement savings until later in life, and thus neglect to capitalize on their most powerful tool: time. To spotlight the importance of beginning early, it would serve young savers well to study the following math. Assuming investors earn a compounded seven percent rate of return, here’s how much one needs to save monthly in order to reach $1,000,000 by age 65: Age 25: $380/month Age 35: $820/month Age 45: $1,920/month Age 55: $5,755/month When it comes to saving for retirement, start early to take advantage of compounding.

photography by BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

2.Don’t leave dollars on the table. If your employer has a retirement benefit plan they may make a matching contribution. If you’re not enrolled, it’s tantamount to turning away dollars. If possible, max out your retirement contributions to receive the full match. If you can’t afford to part with the full amount straight away, consider an incremental increase each year – chances are, you won’t even miss it.

3. Evaluate Roth options. Within retirement plans, investors have the ability to control when their savings will be taxed

– the difference is between traditional 401(k)s and IRAs, and Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRAs. With traditional accounts, all money is contributed before tax, meaning you get a tax benefit now, but when the time comes to withdraw your funds, you pay taxes on the distribution. With Roth accounts, all money is contributed after taxes are paid – so when the time comes to withdraw funds, the entire amount will be tax-free.

4. Consider your options when changing jobs. When you change companies or careers, make sure to dedicate time and thought to the future of your current retirement holdings. Options generally include rolling your 401(k) into an IRA; keeping the money within your employers account; or taking a current distribution. Each option has advantages and disadvantages and differing tax consequences, so research which option best meets your retirement needs. Additionally, remember that your employer’s matching contributions may “vest” over time, meaning you do not get to keep that portion unless you stay with the company for an allotted period of time.

5. Calibrate investment strategies. No single investment strategy works for everyone. When deciding where and how to invest your funds, take into account a couple of critical bullet points: When do I plan to stop working and how much money will I need? What other sources of income will I have? How long will I need these funds? How much risk can I afford to take? Younger investors with a longer time to invest may be willing to take more

risk while older individuals may be more conservative.

6. Combine small changes with time. Be a believer in the power of incremental change. Since retirement saving takes places over the course of decades, even minor changes to your spending and saving habits can add up. Additionally, conservative spending habits and carefully tweaked investment strategies can pay off big time in the long run. With Americans living longer and healthier lives, it’s crucial that you take all steps now to maximize your retirement plan and evaluate your saving, spending and investment strategies accordingly.

7.Have a plan and update consistently. A financial planner will work with you to develop retirement planning strategies that factor in different options to help you create a plan that works for you. Each year you should revisit your plan, update it and make changes as necessary. n

Thomas J. Filomeno, CPA, CEO/President of Filomeno & Company- for business advising, succession planning, accounting, auditing, tax planning, and estate planning. www.Filomeno.com This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the sole basis for an investment decision. Consult your financial advisor/ tax/legal consultant regarding your personal circumstances before making any investment decisions.

ISSUE NO. 2 2014

west hartford magazine




by Keith Griffin

Just moments into meeting Archbishop Leonard

P. Blair, the newly installed head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, you like him. He’s a warm, engaging man along the lines of TV’s late Fred Rogers. Beneath that avuncular exterior, though, lies a strong intellect and deep commitment to his faith. And it’s all delivered with a twinkle in his eye and a flat Midwestern accent that comes from having grown up in Detroit.



Archbishop Leonard P. Blair gives the Mass at his installation as the Archbishop of Hartford, at the St. Joseph Cathedral. photography by Bob Mullen, The Catholic Photographer ISSUE NO. 2 2014

west hartford magazine


As a salute to the first Catholic church in West Hartford, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair and Superintendent of Catholic Schools at Archdiocese of Hartford Dr. Dale R. Hoyt met with Saint Brigid administrators and students. Front row: Youngbin Lim, Nathan Rinaldi, Thalia Portugal and Justice Mills. Back Row: SBS Principal Shevon Sweeney Hickey, Superintendent of Catholic Schools at Archdiocese of Hartford Dr. Dale R. Hoyt, Archbishop Blair, Monsignor Douglas Clancy, SBS Advancement Director Andrea Austin Thompson. photography by The Defining Photo, definingphotovideo.com


rchbishop Blair, who resides in town, sat down with West Hartford Magazine to talk about his role, the challenges of the Church, Pope Francis, and his limited free time. In some respects, Archbishop Blair is like Pope Francis in that he was relatively unknown when he came here from the Toledo, Ohio diocese to replace Archbishop Henry Mansell who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. Local Catholics are still curious about their new spiritual leader. The Archbishop had this to say about the new Pope and his rock star popularity. “This is a two-edged sword, this popularity. On the one hand, the Pope has put his finger on some neuralgic points about how the Church is perceived, not only the Church, but the teaching of the Church. It’s a twoedged sword because some of his popularity



is based on a misperception or false impression that somehow the Pope has any desire to change Church teaching on some very fundamental points that are very difficult for some people in the world today and they don’t accept. I think they’re going to be disappointed. I hope that doesn’t create some further difficulty,” the Archbishop said. “Pope Benedict [the predecessor to Pope Francis] was a scholar, he was a theologian. He was a humble and rather shy man. Pope Francis is certainly not shy. Priests and bishops are not all cut from the same cloth and neither are Popes. We always pray God will give us the right man to be Pope for the times and each Pope makes his contribution. Now Pope Francis is making his and it’s very welcome,” Archbishop Blair added. His humility is apparent when asked about his role as the CEO of the Archdiocese, which comprises Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven counties and includes approximately 700,000 Catholics out of the three counties’

population of 1.9 million. He’s an influential man yet doesn’t project that image. “I know I have to be vigilant about the temporal goods of the Church. This means getting the very best people to administer these things. The buck stops with me as far as the ultimate responsibility but it wouldn’t be proper nor am I qualified to actually manage or administer all of these things personally,” said the Archbishop, who turned 65 on April 12. But then his spiritual side comes to the fore as it does with everything he will discuss during the one-hour interview. “The chief role is to be a pastor of souls and principally as a bishop to be a teacher of the faith. That’s the principal job of the bishop as a successor of the Apostles to hand on with integrity the deposit of the faith, the faith of the Church in Christ. “There are many other things the bishop has to do be a spiritual leader and provide for the Church. But you have to appreciate being a teacher of the faith is the most important.”

“As long as I could remember I wanted to be a priest. I suppose as a kid I probably wanted to run off and join Rin Tin Tin on the TV at Fort Apache,” Blair said, “but my most abiding memory is wanting to be a priest, adding that his vocation was inspired not only by his parish priests but the nuns who taught him. Archbishop Blair also sees as a challenge the “great crisis of faith” facing his Church. “We speak of various programs and methodologies we’re trying,” he said, “to draw people back to church, to try to attract other people to join the Catholic Church. All these things are well and good as outreach. But ultimately in our society today what we are facing is a great crisis of faith. Many people question the need for religious practice as a member of a believing community that lives by an authoritative creed that includes moral teaching and sacramental worship. For many, religion is reduced to philanthropy--doing good, trying to be decent people and helping others materially. They think that the practice of faith, attendance at church, is not essential for happiness in this world or the next. “So when it’s a question of what to do to bring people to church, it’s a combination of many things but mostly it’s a question of asking God to give people the gift of faith. Then, of course, on our part to make that gift of faith credible in their eyes, because we’re practicing what we preach. If we say join us, come to church, go to Mass, and then when we leave church we don’t act in a very edifying way, we contradict the Gospel. Young people in particular are quick to see any hypocrisy. Of course we’re all weak, we’re all sinful, none of us lives the Gospel perfectly, but we try with God’s help,” the Archbishop said. “And just as with the Judas the mystery of iniquity was at work even among the Lord’s own apostles, so now the scandal of iniquity can be found whenever the faith is betrayed, as in the tragedy of clerical sexual abuse.” A touch of sadness comes to his voice when he posits that the crisis is driven by more than just a loss of faith. “A lot of the traditional ways that brought people together, for example, close family life and the extended family, neighborhoods—for Catholics all of these things revolved around

“As long as I

could remember I wanted to be a priest. That’s my most abiding memory. …” –Archbishop Blair

A young Leonard Blair at his first communion in 1957. photography courtesy of Archbishop Blair.

ISSUE NO. 2 2014

west hartford magazine


Archbishop Leonard P. Blair with students from West Hartfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Saint Brigid School. Front row left to right: Justice Mills, Shaun Martin, Jr., Nathan Rinaldi, Thalia Portugal, and Trinity Martin. Back row left to right: Youngbin Lim, Melanie and Joshua Grajales, Evan Thompson, and Dylan Errico. Saint Brigid School families come from all levels of the socio-economic scale and represent Catholic, Baptist, Protestant, Hindu and Jewish faiths. photography by The Defining Photo, definingphotovideo.com



the practice of the faith. Today family life is in crisis for many, and family and neighborhood ties aren’t what they used to be. All of these things make it more difficult to hand down the faith. So we have to work in new ways to create a sense of community,” he said. “The personal element, personal contact will always be essential. It’s not just the Church but also other voluntary groups and organizations that are experiencing real challenges in bringing people together. Much of today’s society tries to go it alone. People have the mobility and the communications now, and often spend time on their cell phone rather than talking to the person next to them. That kind of thing is a challenge for all of us,” he said. But then the Archbishop demonstrates he is not a man mired in the past. Technology can and is being embraced to help the Catholic Church in its mission. “We are very blessed to have excellent resources on the web today. All you have to do is Google something about the faith and you will find some very good Catholic resources for answering questions and getting guidance. Not that it’s any replacement for personal

contact, but it’s a great resource,” he said. The Archbishop embraces technology in his daily life – to a degree. “Most 10 year olds are more savvy than I am, but I do use the web, and actually get most of my news off the web– church or secular. I use it a lot for communications. I have my iPhone to communicate. But if there is anything lengthy to read, I find it hard to do so on a computer screen. I still have to print it out and read it.” Another challenge for the Church is the education of children in the Archdiocesan schools – a challenge many parents find difficult because of the cost. There are 16,000 students attending the Archdiocese’s 53 schools, including nine high schools where 98 percent of graduates attend college. Catholic school students consistently test two grade levels above their public school peers. “I acknowledge that the costs today are high and not everybody can do it. Catholic schools grew in the United States because immigrant Catholics came who were not well received by their Protestant fellow citizens. The public schools were basically Protestant and not very favorable to Catholicism. In the big cities, at least, the Catholic people made

Northwest Catholic President and Chief Administrator David Eustis, and Principal Margaret Williamson, with Archbishop Leonard P. Blair and Northwest Catholic senior and a Matthew 25 recipient (a scholarship program run by Catholic Charities) Marlon Bailey, with Superintendent of Catholic Schools at Archdiocese of Hartford Dr. Dale R. Hoyt.

“I do use the web, and actually get most of my news off the web– church or secular. I use it a lot for communications. I have my iPhone to communicate. “ –Archbishop Blair a great financial sacrifice to send their kids there so they’d get a really good education and also preserve their faith. “I’m not saying our public schools are anti-Catholic today. Without prejudice to public education, which we all want to succeed, I hope that Catholic people would still be willing to make a sacrifice for the added dimension that the Catholic school can give. It’s always been a sacrifice. “Ultimately we’ll only have Catholic schools to the extent that the Catholic parents are convinced of the importance of a Catholic education. That necessarily includes the religious dimension. In that sense it’s in their hands how well we will survive and flourish,” he said. The Archbishop has praise for programs in place to help with tuition. The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal has a tuition assistance program that helped more than 1700 people last year. There is also Matthew 25, which provides aid to Northwest Catholic students from individuals or foundations willing to support four years of education. The program identifies gifted students and monitors their progress throughout their high school experience. It’s a program run by Catholic Charities, which the Archbishop praised for its scope. “I was very impressed with the Hartford Archdiocese,” he said. “The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, for example, is remarkably generous on the part of Catholic people. That includes a whole array of Catholic Charities outreach

photography by The Defining Photo, definingphotovideo.com

ISSUE NO. 2 2014

west hartford magazine


Many very special

people, places and causes have graced the covers of our magazine over the years, but rarely do we get an opportunity to have a one-onone with the spiritual leader of our largest faith-based community. Please join me in welcoming Archbishop Blair to West Hartford (his residence is in town). I am not the lone Catholic on our staff, but even in our religious diversity, members of my team West Hartford Magazine Publisher Tom Hickey at WHMedia were equally with Archbishop Leonard P. Blair in his office. impressed with this experience. We welcome your comments via our website or email. After we first inquired about the possibility of obtaining an interview with the new Archbishop and Maria Zone, the Communications Director for the Archdiocese of Hartford, replied that the Archbishop had agreed, we knew this was a rare opportunity to have our own local version of “The Pope on the cover of Rolling Stone.” The new Archbishop of Hartford is Leonard P. Blair. He came to Connecticut from Toledo after the retirement of Archbishop Henry J. Mansell. As we spent time with the Archbishop in his office and around the community, I think we were able to capture a unique view of the man who leads the area’s Catholic community. Watch for even more about Archbishop Blair in next month’s Help & Hope Magazine (the magazine of Catholic Charities).



services and other charitable activities. Catholic Charities also gets grants and other support to conduct this work. It’s extremely important. Archbishop Mansell was fond of pointing out that after the federal government the Catholic Church is the largest provider of social services Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, with his niece Annie Jones and his sister Patricia Jones at his Installation Mass at in the country.” St. Joseph Cathedral, Hartford, for his installation as the Archbishop Archbishop of Hartford. photography by Bob Mullen, Blair is a man who The Catholic Photographer knows his limits and realizes the need to step back from the work that can easily swallow up all seven days in the week. “As a bishop or a priest, I always try to take a day off – one of the seven. I don’t have the weekends off so one of the seven. Some weeks it doesn’t happen,” he said. Being outdoors is very appealing for him whether it’s walking or riding a bike. Those are the kind of things I do to unwind. A while ago the weather warmed up a bit and I took a ride down Route 44 to the reservoir for a long walk. Doing that, I unwind a bit. I think about the Archdiocese but not in a hectic way, and I don’t just think about work. We all need that.” “I also love the water. I grew up around the Great Lakes in Michigan. I’m happy that Connecticut is near the Sound and the ocean and there are some nice inland bodies of water. I was attracted to the walk at the reservoir because of the water there. It is very peaceful on or by the water. “The Lord said to keep holy the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath was meant to show among other things that everything doesn’t depend on us and our work. You have to give a day to God to show that ultimately things are in His hands. I’m not saying my day off is the Sabbath – far from it. But the idea of activism, that one has constantly to be doing things, it not healthy for the body or the soul. “I realize that many of our fellow citizens are working very hard and don’t get any time off. Some are even pursued by their employers on the cell phone or web after hours and on holidays. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing.” His humor comes through even when discussing his growing knowledge of the Archdiocese after four months as the archbishop. “When Father Romans, [then his secretary] and I are driving to various events, he often points out churches and some favorite restaurants to me. He claims that I seem to remember the restaurants better than the churches. Maybe that’s not a very edifying thought.” n

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a life of meaning.

:: 23 top-performing NCAA Division II athletic teams

Find your light at Assumption, and learn how to share it with the world.

:: 11:1 student/faculty ratio :: Merit scholarships up to $20,000 annually :: Located in the 2nd-largest city in New England, Worcester

500 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA 01609

has more than 30,000 college students overall


:: Our Rome campus turns the entire “Eternal City”


into a living classroom

Worcester, MA | Rome, Italy ISSUE NO. 2 2014

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WEDDINGS brought to you by:

Bella Bridesmaid Gala Prom & Special Occasion Dresses

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Brittany Biella & Chris Tyler photography by Cheyney Barrieau barrieaustudios.com Brittany and Chris are the classic high school sweethearts who found their happily ever after. They met at Rocky Hill High School while student athletes, playing on various teams. With a back-story they will always share, destiny intervened to give them their future together as they wed in October at the very same location where they attended their senior prom together! The bride is the daughter of James and Debra Biella, of Rocky Hill. After high school, Brittany attended the Paul Mitchell School. The groom is the son of Barbara and Clyde Tyler, of Rocky Hill. Chris graduated from SUNY, Stoneybrook. The fall wedding ceremony and reception was held at Aqua Turf in Southington. Guests enjoyed dinner and dancing and the bride and groom took to the dance floor during their first dance song, “Carried Away” by George Strait. After the big day, the couple enjoyed a honeymoon in Puerto Rico and a cruise through the Caribbean Islands and currently reside and work locally. n

Left: Wedding cake by A Little Something Bakery, West Hartford .

Visit westhartfordmagazine.com for more WEDDINGS

Left: Groomsmen from left to right: Chris Tyler, Tommy Nevico, Sean Burgwardt, Emmett Phillips. Right: Chris’ family from left to right: Barbara Tyler, Kelley Tyler, Chris, Brittany, Clyde Tyler.

Right: Bridesmaids/junior bridesmaids from left to right: Brielle Ganci, Lindsey LeConche, Brittany, Alison McNeil, Amanda Biella, Havyn Ganci . Far Right: Brittany’s family from left to right: Debra Biella, Chris Tyler, Brittany, James Biella.

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Rachel and Ben (above and right); Rachel and her mother Donna Smith (left). Bridal party below.


Rachel Smith & Benjamin Abrams photography by KIM BOVA kimbova.com

Ben with Rabbi Adler (above); Ben and his parents Joanne Rogin-Abrams, and Ronald Abrams.

Since first meeting as graduate students at Washington University, Ben and Rachel felt an immediate attraction and their bonding continued to develop over their mutual love of movies, animals and classical music. Ben proposed to Rachel at the beautiful and romantic Elizabeth Park, and of course, Rachel said yes! The bride is the daughter of Marc and Donna Smith, of Stockton, California. Rachel holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Northern Colorado and is currently employed at the Hartt School Community Division in West Hartford and Simsbury. She also sings opera and musical theater and teaches private voice and piano out of her West Hartford home. The groom is the son of Ronald Abrams and Joanne Rogin-Abrams, of Minnetonka, MN. Ben holds a bachelor degree in Finance and History from the University of Minnesota and a J. D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is employed with the Connecticut Superior Court, and is licensed to practice law in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Their September wedding and reception took place at Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford, officiated by Rabbi Yitzchok Adler. A fun filled evening of dinner and dancing was enjoyed by all of the guests. The brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother, Aaron, surprised the couple with a song he specifically composed for the occasion. The couple resides in West Hartford and plans to honeymoon in Quebec this summer. n Visit westhartfordmagazine.com for more WEDDINGS.




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monarchjewelers.com 838 Farmington Avenue, Farmington CT 06032 (860) 679-7700

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Travel Tips

“The Last Frontier”

T by Lydia Brown

he Aleut word “Alyeska” means Alaska, which translates to “The Great Land.” This Great Land was purchased from Russia in 1867 and was awarded statehood in 1959. Alaska boasts 17 of the highest peaks in the United States (Mt. McKinley being the biggest and most famous). Five percent of the land is covered by glaciers (29,000 square miles) and it has more than 70 active volcanoes! While oil is the main source of income, tourism has become just as important to many of the towns. The largest influx of tourists come by cruise ship, including large luxury liners such as Princess Cruise Lines, Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean, to the smaller adventure ships. No matter what 28


form your trip takes, it’ll be a lifetime adventure. From dog sledding to whale watching, excursions abound. There are no limits in Alaska! A favorite spot is the Kenai Peninsula in Southeast Alaska. The Kenai River is turquoise blue like the Caribbean Sea (I am told the color is from the glacial sediment) and boasts some of the finest fishing, horseback riding, hiking tours and wildlife viewing in the world! Juneau, Alaska’s capital (named for its founder Joe Juneau, an early settler in the 1800s seeking his fortune in gold) will give you the option to board a helicopter and land on a glacier or experience a flightseeing plane over the glaciers with spectacular views. Whitewater rafting is very popular here as well, and luckily you won’t have to row as they do all the work for you. You’ll get right up close to the

glacier! Salmon fishing abounds here, canoe trips and kayaking, as well. If you want to stay landside you can take a cog rail up the side of Mt. Roberts and do some hiking. Ketchikan is the remnant of a true Indian village….the Tlingits Indians. Here at the Saxman Village they depict the history with Totem poles and folkloric shows. You will also find Totem Bight State Park, all of which depict the native culture of the times. You can see lumberjacks in action and visit Misty Fjords National Park with its two million acres of sheer cliffs and 1,000 foot waterfalls. Oh yes, and don’t forget to visit the historic boardwalk of Creek Street and its famous “red light” district for a little local color. Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it

photography by BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

• There are no limits in Alaska! From dog sledding to whale watching, excursions abound. • Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. • Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city is modern and surrounded by spectacular wilderness. You can enjoy some world-class attractions, native Alaskan culture, shopping and dining • Juneau, Alaska’s capital will bring you right up close to a glacier! • Be sure to coordinate your vacation for best viewing of Mt McKinley, which is not visible most of the year due to weather conditions and clouds.

rich. Skagway was the shortest route to the Klondike, but it wasn’t the easiest. Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. In its hay-day, Skagway was Alaska’s largest city with over 20,000 inhabitants. Today there are a mere 1,000 residents. If you do stop in Skagway, stop by the “Red Onion Saloon” for a pint and some folklore about its days as a “bordello”. Most folks coming to Skagway arrive by cruise ship and walk across the rail tracks from the dock to board the “White Horse Yukon Railways” and travel over the route followed by the many who sought their fortune in gold. The train follows the old gold rush route on new tracks but from the viewing platform you will see the original tracks with 2865 foot drops and realize what it took to build this by hand, without the benefit of equipment. This is one of my favorite journeys and I highly recommend it! Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city is modern and surrounded by spectacular wilderness. Here you can enjoy some world-class attractions, native Alaskan culture, shopping and dining. The nearest port is Whittier, located

about 65 miles southeast of the city. The old port of Seward used to be home to the major cruise lines but Whittier replaced this about 5 years ago. The Seward highway links Anchorage and Seward and is a National Scenic byway and of the 15 routes designated as an “All-American Road” in the United States. Dramatic views of the wild abound. This area is home to Prince William Sound which has the most tidewater glaciers in the world and boasts a rich marine life due to the depth of the sound. There are so many ways to experience Alaska and not everyone wants to see if from

the comfort of a luxury cruise-ship. Many prefer the “road less traveled”. Enter the small ships, able to dock in isolated bays and smaller cities like Petersburg and Wrangell. They provide a more intense experience. Life onboard the smaller ships (about 100 passengers) is far more relaxed. You wake up to the sound of the birds instead of noise from the balcony next door. Your days consist of kayaking or hiking rather than shopping and taking helicopter tours. Evenings are spent reading in your room or listening to a naturalist talk. No need to buy a new cocktail dress, although you may spend as much on outdoor gear. However you choose to see this vast land it will forever be embedded in your memory. I hope that you will get to experience the beauty of Alaska some day in the near future, so in closing I say to you, “Go west young man, this is the last frontier!” n Lydia Brown lbrown@sanditz.com Sanditz American Express Travel West Hartford (860) 523-5224

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FOOD Vegan BBQ Boneless Ribs Sauteed (fresh) Green Beans

Restaurant: Black Bamboo Chinese Restaurant 844-A Farmington Ave. West Hartford, CT 06119 860.236.8888 myblackbamboo.com Open 7 days

Shrimp with Chinese Vegetables including generous ginger

We felt like “regulars” in minutes! by The Twin Tasters

Pork dumplings

You never know where The Twin Tasters will pop up in their quest for good food in town. Contact: editor@westhartfordmagazine.com

Before we even get to the food, hats off to Sonny Chen, general manager of Black Bamboo Chinese Restaurant, for well deserved accolades as “the best” Chinese food in town! Sonny, a Watkinson and Hall High grad, has built quite a faithful following at his small Farmington Avenue restaurant which has some seating, but mostly serves take out and caters as well. We approached this tasting with wide open minds and we let the chefs prepare their specialties and most popular items. The Scallion Pancakes, or Asian Flatbread as Sonny called them, were crispy, hot and delicious. Made from rice flour, these appetizers are gluten free (as long as you Scallion avoid the soy sauce). The Vegan BBQ Boneless Ribs could almost fool a meat eater. Made with Seitan (also called wheat meat or wheat gluten), they have a slightly chewy texture that hugs the savory sauce. We were happy with the plentiful fresh ginger slices in the Shrimp with Chinese Vegetables, and the organic green beans in our veggie side dish were cooked just right. The sauces were light and flavorful. Oh, almost forgot the pork dumplings – handmade to perfection. n


Best decision i ever made.

This is the world I CHOSE.

I have the freedom to do whatever I

want, with whomever I want. I get to

enjoy great food and fun activities. And

if I need some extra help down the road, I can get that too. This is my world, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real community.

2021 Albany Ave, West Hartford www.TheMercyCommunity.org | 860-570-8400 Founded by the Sisters of Mercy




Classic man. The world of Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fashion is on fire this year and thanks to Dressed To The Nines, of West Hartfordâ&#x20AC;Śthe bar has been raised! Coupled with a few hot cars, the message is clear: Classic never goes out of style!

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Casual. Stroll the Center or take a weekend get-away in this custom sport coat in tan plaid with jewel tone highlights, in silk and wool by Dormeiul/England. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a classic two-button style with side vents and is pic stitched. His shirt is 100% 2-ply 120s cotton, in a light blue end-on-end by Thomas Mason/England. Ed completes his look with a pocket square in 100% silk, hand rolled print, made in Italy.

Ed MacDonald , of West Hartford, can be spotted strolling the Center with his family on weekends.

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Business. Classic doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go out of style... this custom-made business suit with a two button style jacket, notch lapels, side-vented with pic stitching and a ticket pocket is always in style. Sam is wearing super 1205 worsted wool in marine blue sharkskin with an overplaid by Vitale Barberis/Italy. The trousers have a plain front and are cuffed. Samâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shirt is 100% 2-ply 120s cotton, in summer white by Stoffa of Italy. His tie, in powder blue print on silk, is hand made in Ireland by Atkinson. The pocket square is 100% cotton, made in Italy.

Sam Fulginiti is a funeral director from Essex who travels to West Hartford Center for his custom business suits.



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Formal. The trend now is to invest in a custom made tux for your wedding so you have it for black tie functions in the future! Tuxedos can be made-to-order so they fit like a glove with total comfort, whereby the suit simply moves with your body!

Brandon Dufour , of Watertown, wanted an unforgettable wedding when he recently tied the knot with his wife, Theresa Labarbera Dufour (New 8â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Good Morning Connecticut traffic reporter, and host of Connecticut Style). So, he decided on classic tails in Loro Piana Super 130s wool worsted with an all cotton pique vest and matching tie. His shirt is a classic formal shirt by Thomas Mason/England in 2-ply 100s cotton.

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Men who are looking for a classic new look will love Dressed to The Nines. During your initial consultation, Bob will focus on creating your personal style by selecting clothing that best flatters your features and enhances your appearance. For example, you’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the various coat options, whether you prefer single or double breasted, center or side vents, two or three buttons, and trousers that are pleated, flat front and plain or cuffed bottoms.

Bob DeGemmis , owner of Dressed to The Nines, has been helping gentlemen look their absolute best for generations! He works out of his West Hartford Center headquarters. Bob grew up in the business and is the third generation of the DeGemmis family to offer custom tailored suits, shirts, sport coats, pants, topcoats, and formalwear. While Bob has made a few ties in the past, he doesn’t want to compete with an expanded tie market globally. He stocks a large assortment of ties. Bob’s grandfather, Alfredo, a custom tailor in Italy, immigrated to Connecticut in 1916, bringing his bespoke tailoring skills with him. Since then, the DeGemmis family has been providing wardrobes to gentlemen in Connecticut and New York.



CUSTOM-MADE PRICE RANGES: Suits $895-$4,000, Shirts $150-$500, Trousers $345-$750 n

Shoes All by Carlo Pazolini, including a casual brown driving loafer, a versatile oxford, and a black tuxedo oxford. Carlo Pazolini, 500 Westfarms Mall, Farmington, CT shopwestfarms.com

CREDITS: Casual and Business Photography by Cheyney Barrieau Photography barrieaustudios.com

Luggage Bosca Tribeca Stringer Bag and Tumi Tegri-Lite Continental Carry-On Plimptons 991 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford Center plimptons.com

Formal photography by Brian Ambrose Photography brianambrosephoto.com Styling by Bob DeGemmis Men’s Clothing from Dressed To The Nines. Custom clothing price ranges: Suits $895-$4,000, Shirts $150$500, Trousers $345-$750. Bob DeGemmis Dressed to the Nines, 998 Farmington Ave., West Hartford Center. bobdegemmis.com Watches Shinola - The Runwell, Made in America; Rolex - Oyster Perpetual Yachtmaster, and Patek Philippe - Calatrava Lux Bond & Green 46 LaSalle Road, West Hartford Center lbgreen.com Sunglasses Robert Marc Plastic, and Oliver Peoples Shaefer Central Optica, 33 LaSalle Road, West Hartford Center centralopticaeyes.com

Cars: 2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Executive Edition Color: Basalt Black on full black leather. 2013 Porsche 911 S Cabriolet. Color: Anthracite Brown on full espresso leather. Hoffman Porsche 630 Connecticut Blvd, East Hartford hoffmanporsche.com


When are your Tires Worn Out?


AW by John DeSimone

re your tires worn out? What is the standard for our CT streets? How can you tell on your minivan foreign+domestic? While there may be legal requirements for the Hartford area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates. 2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there’s just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It’s that level of wear that’s been called into question. We’re referring to the Consumer Reports call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32 of an inch, or 3.2 millimeters. The issue is braking on wet surfaces in and around Hartford. Most of us think of our brakes doing most of the work, but if you don’t have enough tread on your tires, the brakes can’t do their job. When it’s wet or snowy, the tread of the tire is even more critical to stopping power. Floating on the surface of water is called hydroplaning. So if there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane. In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths: New tire tread depth: 4/32 of an inch, 2/32 of an inch So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds. Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires. Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck. How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln’s head.

moderntire-autoservice.com MODERN TIRE MODERN TIRE MODERN

Head to Tread...

a Word From NAPA. Those auto service schedules in your owner’s manual are there for a reason. If ever you don’t understand a recommended service, just ask your West Hartford service advisor at Modern Tire of West Hartford. We’ll be happy to explain. he function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around West Hartford CT use fuel filters.

Full Service Auto Repair Shop Blue Back Square At West Hartford Center (Across from Whole Foods)

Modern Tire

Of West Hartford

Andy Rizzo, John DeSimone, Brian Hajdasz

860.233.5177 | moderntire-autoservice.com | Book appointments online! | ISSUESpring NO. 2 2014

west hartford magazine


Why Miss Your own Party? Together we have over 25 years of bartending & event experience and offer our services to you for any type of occasion. Along with our staff, we are licensed, T.I.P.S. certified, and fully insured. John: 203-215-6701 Bob: 860-299-6161 twopourguys@yahoo.com




True beauty

begins with a

Beautiful Mind Old age wisdom that has lasted centuries!

W by Tammy Kroll

e ‘ve all heard “You are what you eat” and I can’t stress enough how important that is. But have you also heard, “As a man thinketh, so is he”. So, how does that relate to beauty? Take stress, for example. When we experience it, a chemical process happens within us, producing cortisol and wreaking havoc with our health, showing up on our faces with breakouts, dry flakiness, sallow complexion, worry lines, etc. We cannot avoid stress but we can train our thoughts to counter-balance this sneaky skin zapper with happy chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins to soothe our souls and smooth our skin. As you would with your face, start the process of cleansing, toning and nourishing your mind.

photography by BIGstockphoto.com

Cleanse – To rid of impurites. Take Inventory. Rid your mind of any impurities that are clouding your thoughts. Anger and bitterness towards others are as destructive to your mind as toxins and dirt are to your body. Consider the media you choose. Negativity from certain TV shows, news and internet all can have adverse cumulative effects on the brain. Are there people in your life, work situations, relationships that are constantly bringing you down? De-clutter and sort. Box up clothing you don’t wear and other items just taking up space. Grab a huge garbage bag and start filling it with all the accumulated

paper around your desk. Don’t put it off. Start journaling. Just the simple act of writing down your angry feelings, fears and hurts, can free up your brain. Cut back on TV time or even cut it out altogether. See how you feel - even after a short time. Allow for creativity to fill the gap. Let Go. Forgive those who have hurt you. It doesn’t mean you open yourself up to further wounding – set boundaries if you must. The act of forgiveness is enough. Right the wrongs that have been weighing on you – perhaps calling on or sending a note of apology if necessary. And forgive yourself. Give yourself the gift of a fresh clean start.

Tone – Give greater strength or firmness to. Set New Patterns. Learn to interrupt old negative thought habits. Have tools such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku or other games at the ready when those bad patterns creep back. Pick up an uplifting novel and spend time getting swept up in a beautiful setting and story. Keep in mind it takes about 30 to 45 days to set new habits so give it time. It will be worth it in the end. Be Productive. Start planning a garden or decorate a room in your house. If you are on the creative side, paint a picture, knit a scarf, dust off that old guitar and crack open your Beatles anthology. Creating and being productive is a great way to counter negativity and

exercise your brain. Learn Something New. Whether it’s taking a college course at a local campus or looking up something you’ve always wondered about online. Learning, as well as creativity releases positive chemicals in the brain so go ahead and learn to paint! Challenge yourself and learn to fly!

Nourish – To supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth. Be One With Nature. Break from the angular world of desks and office cubicles and step out into the fresh air and onto the soft flowing curved paths of the reservoir or park. Just a 30 minute stroll can change your mood for the better. Experience the Arts…stroll through a local Art museum or attend a poetry slam. Expand your perspective. And finally, Love Somebody… beginning with yourself! Be grateful and compassionate. Give to charity. Hug someone…and give yourself a pat on the back! n Tammy Kroll is a District Manager with Arbonne Skin Care & a licensed Zumba instructor. Contact her: TammyKroll2@ yahoo.com .

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FITNESS Special Continuing Series

On the Road to

Better Health Allyson’s weight loss journey continues!

W by Nancy Roy

hen Allyson first came to me for help with losing weight and getting fit, I was impressed with her determination and knew that she could accomplish any goal she set! We began working together in the comfort of her home living room at a slow pace since she hadn’t exercised in a long time. I knew she needed to incorporate regular cardio workouts since she was hoping to eventually drop 20 pounds or more. She began a strength training and stepping program a couple days a week with me and was also diligent about adding ‘homework’ assignments on those days she wasn’t working out with her trainer. Getting outside more, even to walk the dog everyday, is a huge part of getting fit. There are so many physical activities people can easily work into their day, such as taking the stairs, dancing, walking more, and so on. After working with Allyson during phase one of her new fitness plan, in 8 weeks, she has lost over 5 inches of body fat and lost over 4 pounds, despite gaining some new-found muscle! Her overall body fat count dropped from 39.1 down to 36.2. I was really impressed and Allyson was excited at her results, which only motivated her

even more to continue her journey! She is headed in the right direction. Taking weight off slowly and safely (1/2 pound-2 pounds a week is ideal) so she’ll be more likely to keep it off. And the best thing about her results is that she accomplished them with just two one-hour sessions with me each week, right in her own home! How easy is that to get started?! Her workouts now consist of 20-30 minutes of cardio (depending on how intense the strength training workout is for achieving toned muscles and a strong core). We now do various forms of step aerobics (low impact/high intensity) such as jumping jacks, mountain climber, burpees, etc. As time progressed, Allyson was able to handle longer cardio work-outs due to her increased endurance and stronger heart. Now, during phase 2 we have pumped up the weights! During this time it’s important to stay away from the scale because muscle weighs more than fat…so even if she may gain a few pounds in muscle she will be increasing her metabolism to burn fat longer, which will eventually show up in losing inches and seeing her clothes get looser! Did you know that 45 minutes of cardio burns fat for 8 hours just sitting in a chair? Adding weights to that workout and the time increases to 12 hours! This will achieve muscle definition and a flatter core (visible in one’s abs). Allyson is also doing sit-ups, crunches and planks during this phase of her fitness journey. Next phase will be focused more on increasing balance and flexibility along with longer cardio workouts and heavier

Allyson’ s measurements: Body Starting at: Now at: Waist 35 33 Hips 44 43 Chest 36.5 36 Thighs 23 21 Arms 10.5 11 * *From weight lifting/gaining muscle

weights for toning. “It’s been wonderful!” smiles Allyson, “I already feel better and my clothes are looser. I can walk my dog longer and also think about what I eat everyday to maintain and continue to lose some weight!” The key that a fitness program is working is when you are physically and emotionally ‘feeling better’ and Allyson certainly lives up to the challenge! Find out how Allison is doing on her fitness journey and what she looks like after phase two of her workout program in the next issue of West Hartford Magazine and perhaps you’ll start moving more and join Allyson on her quest to get fit! n

Nancy Roy Owner of Fitness on the Run Cthometraining1@gmail.com ISSUE NO. 2 2014

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Home & Garden issue of


Nurturing Your Garden


Tips and Tricks Brought to you in part by AQUA POOL

Oasis Editor:

Principals: Thomas P. Hickey, II Joy B. Taylor James H. Gould,III

Karla Dalley is a garden writer and speaker from West Hartford. kdalley@comcast.net. gardendaze.wordpress.com



WHMedia, Inc.: Publishers of West Hartford Magazine, Dazzle and Palette. Custom Publications include: CCAOH “Help & Hope Magazine”; Monarch Jewelers; Stanger & Arnold “Times Have Changed” and The New Children’s Museum “ Explore. Website Development includes: www. ccaoh.rg, www.thechildrensmuseumct.org, and www.monarchjewelers.com.

Nurturing Gardening Relationships... To Help Nurture Your Garden!

Let’s face it, it’s been a long, hard winter. And, for

those of us who love gardening, it’s probably been even harder! There are only so many times we can find beauty in snow on tree branches or nicely pruned hedges before we get anxious to be back into the garden. As the weather begins to warm up, let’s remember not to rush out into the garden too soon. As excited as we are to get back to our gardens and plants, there’s nothing more harmful than working in wet soil. And many of us in this area have clay or compacted soils already

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so we need to take extra care not to work in those wet soils or we will have a much worse problem. What can we do on those lovely warm early spring days? If we have garden paths, we can take those to tour our yards and see what needs to be done once that warm sun dries the soil a bit more. Surely after all the snow and ice this winter, we will need to prune broken branches at a minimum. While it may not be apparent immediately, some of our plants may have died this past winter. While this can be heartbreaking, it can also be an opportunity. If the gardens are too wet to work in, head out to your favorite garden center. Spend some time now, in the early spring, before the mad rush in May when it may be difficult to get as much individual attention as you’d like. There are always new plants coming onto the market but sometimes the “tried and true” plants are better for your location. I know from a lot of experience that variegated plants don’t do well for

me--they can be genetically weaker and I have a very tough site to begin with. So I either avoid them altogether (a tough decision because there are some great

spend with you. You’ll find it a rewarding experience and you’ll understand the value of shopping locally as well as coming away with a better understanding of some plants. While you’re at the garden center, pick up some early spring flowering plants for a patio container. They don’t have to be pansies, although they could be. There are lots of great choices like nemesia, alyssum and diascia. Or, try some early perennials like hellebores. In fact, you don’t even need to have flowers. You can put together a great container of edibles that will take some frost and still give you a great looking planter. Plant some decorative leaf lettuces--a 6 cell pack of mixed leaf lettuces will do so long as you have a nice mix of textures or leaf colors. Pick up a 3 cell pack of parsley (flat leaf or curly leaf, which ever you prefer) while you’re at it. And if you can find an alpine strawberry to tuck in there, that’s good too. And I would add in some small-flowered violas-organic, if I could find them (or calendulas) so that I’d have some color and some edible flowers for my salad. All those things go into a shallow 8” container so you’ll have lovely color and some fresh greens to augment your salads right into June or so! Meanwhile, you will have learned about some plants, trees, shrubs, perennials, or maybe roses for your garden (or whatever you were asking about when you were talking to the garden center staff ). And once your soil dries out, go back and purchase some of those plants you learned about. Maybe you’ll see some new ones to ask about. June and July are great times to wander around garden centers too. This is how gardening relationships are born. n



ones out there) or I put them in a sheltered location to give them a real chance to thrive. What I just said is “I’ve killed an awful lot of variegated plants to come to that conclusion.” But in early spring, the great folks with lots of experience at your local garden centers can help you avoid the same adventure--unless you like that sort of experimentation. Spend some time talking to them about what your conditions are like: sunny, hot and dry; shady and dry; shady and wet--you get the idea. If it’s possible--and often it is because many of these places stay open late at least one evening--try to go during a slower time so they have some time to

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Start with container gardens. You don’t even need to have flowers. You can put together a great container of edibles that will take some frost and still give you a great looking planter.

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Prime Time Gardening Tips and Tricks for planting in Prime Season!


his is the time of year that gardeners live for…even those who just purchase a few packs of annuals or a hanging basket or two! Everywhere you go, the world is a riot of flowers, plants, flowering trees, fruit and berry bushes, herbs, vegetables plants, some with full grown fruit already on them. The bounty is overwhelming! By making some thoughtful choices now at the garden center, your garden upkeep for the rest of the season can be made much easier. First, decide on the type of gardening you will be doing. Do you need to replace some plants that have died over the winter? Are you filling some spots with annuals for color? Are you planting edibles (herbs, vegetables or perhaps some berry bushes)? Are you renovating an existing garden? Knowing this will help you focus on what you need at the garden center and keep you from getting distracted by all the alluring choices. Check the sunlight in your garden area. Due to a rough past winter, many trees have come down in yards and what might have been a shade garden in the past, could now be a full sun garden. Different plants might need to be chosen for that spot, and some of the existing plants may need to be moved. Plan your bloom time. When thinking about purchasing plants for a new garden, (or any that you might be renovating) make

several trips to the garden center at various times of the season. If you purchase all the plants in April or May, you’ll have a lovely, spring blooming bed that will be nothing but foliage for the rest of the season. Even if all of the plants you’ve chosen do bloom in spring, this type of garden can be lovely for the rest of the season if you choose some plants with ‘colorful’ foliage: variegated leaves, chartreuse leaves, or darker burgundy or purple leaves. Plan accordingly. When planting, remember to leave proper spacing between the plants to ac-

shrub can be. Nursery pot size can sometimes be deceiving with shrubs. Those shrubs that look cute and dwarf can still grow large, if that is what the cultivar is designed to do! Edibles are all the rage now and most are colorful and decorative enough to be incorporated into existing landscape beds or planted into pots. Just be sure that no pesticides are used in these gardens…you don’t want to go through all the trouble of growing your own food and then mistakenly spray it with poisonous herbicide! Herbs grow beautifully in pots and some even prefer to grow this way. Basil, as well as some of the other Mediterranean herbs like thyme and rosemary seem to love container culture. Best of all, as long as you have a sunny spot near the kitchen, the herbs are always in reach. And, as far as decorating with fresh flowers, remember that many perennials have a long bloom time, and of course, annuals bloom through most of or all of the summer. Fresh flowers are an easy summer decoration both indoors and on the patio or porch. If this is something that appeals to you, choose flowers at the garden center accordingly. My home is rarely without cut hydrangeas from my garden, for example. And while flower arranging isn’t my strong suit, they do look lovely with a large cut hosta leaf or two behind them. Finally, family owned garden centers are becoming a rare commodity these days. As gardeners, we need to do all that we can to help them thrive. n

Edibles are all the rage and most are colorful and decorative enough to be incorporated into existing landscape beds or planted into pots. commodate their mature size. During the first season the garden may look sparse. Mulching in between the plants will help unify the bed, or planting smaller annuals in-between for a year or two might allow the plants to fill into their mature size without being over-crowded. Remember a few things about newly purchased plants. Take those size and spacing requirements liberally. Sometimes a plant straight from the garden center will behave differently the first year in the garden than it will in succeeding years. A plant may grow taller, or shorter as in the case of mums and asters, for example, than the tag indicates. With respect to ultimate height, remember how big a 6’

ISSUE NO. 2 2014

west hartford magazine


Growing older together

shouldn’t mean living apart. You want to keep your lifestyle as a VœÕ«i°Ê œÌ…ˆ˜}ÊŜՏ`ÊiÛiÀÊV…>˜}iÊ Ì…>Ì]ÊiÛi˜Êˆvʜ˜iʜvÊޜÕʘii`Ãʅi«°Ê ÌÊ/…iÊiˆ}…ÌÃ]ÊޜÕÊV>˜ÊLœÌ…ʏˆÛiÊ ˆ˜`i«i˜`i˜ÌÞʈ˜Ê>ÊLi>ṎvՏʜ˜i‡ÊœÀÊ Ìܜ‡Li`Àœœ“Ê>«>À̓i˜Ì°Ê-…œÕ`ʜ˜iÊ œvÊޜÕʘii`Ê>ÃÈÃÌ>˜Vi]ʘÕÀȘ}]Ê«…ÞÈV>Ê ̅iÀ>«ÞʜÀÊiÛi˜Êœ˜}‡ÌiÀ“ÊV>Ài]ʈ̽ÃÊ>Ê part of our senior living community — ˜œÌÊ̜ʓi˜Ìˆœ˜ÊœÕÀÊÃÌ>Ìi‡œv‡Ì…i‡>ÀÌÊ w̘iÃÃÊVi˜ÌiÀÊ>˜`ʈ˜`œœÀÊ«œœ° 7iÊÜ>˜ÌÊޜÕÊ̜ÊviiÊVœ“vœÀÌ>LiÊ>˜`Ê ÜiVœ“i°Ê/…>̽ÃÊ܅ÞÊÜiÊ`œ˜½ÌÊV…>À}iÊ an entrance fee like other senior living Vœ““Õ˜ˆÌˆiðʘÊv>VÌ]ʈvÊޜÕʍœˆ˜Êܜ˜]Ê Üi½Ê«>ÞÊÕ«Ê̜Ê$1,500 towards a Moving Specialist and Moving Company Services PLUS one month’s free rent.

Come explore The Heights! Join us for our Open House and Luncheon: ->ÌÕÀ`>Þ]Ê>ÞÊ£ÇthÊ>˜`Ê7i`˜iÃ`>Þ]Ê >ÞÊÓnth°Ê-Ì>À̈˜}Ê>ÌÊ£ä\{xÊ>°“°

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West Hartford Magazine, Issue No. 2, 2014  

Sitting down with Archbishop Blair, Oasis Home & Garden, Weddings, Travel, Food, Finance, and more.

West Hartford Magazine, Issue No. 2, 2014  

Sitting down with Archbishop Blair, Oasis Home & Garden, Weddings, Travel, Food, Finance, and more.