So many afternoons I've walked along Bedford street in Stamford and stared, nearly pressing my face into the glass of the art gallery that's two doors down from Butterfield 8. It's usually too early in the day for Fernando Luis Alvarez to be open.
However, one evening around seven the door was open and I met the artist himself. He talked about his signature woman's lips on each painting, plus explained his pieces that predicted the fall of Wall Street.
Alvarez is a Greenwich born artist who also has a studio there.
He also hopes to be chosen for the latest Stamford Downtown Art in public places show. This year they will have decorated fiberglass dogs and cats across the city.
Stay tuned for more exciting news from this local artist.
Before you can play, you have to get into the game.
Students and recent graduates who are hoping to make a career in sports, might want to attend an upcoming program at the Bobby Valentine Sports Academy in Stamford.
"The PreGame Show" will feature a panel led by former Mets Manager Bobby Valentine to discuss sports industry trends and future developments, internships, and tips and techniques on career preparation and planning. Speakers will represent the United States Tennis Association, Bridgeport SoundTigers and NeuLion Media.
The event is February 10, 2010 at 7:00pm. The cost is $20.00.
For more information, visit DiamondSportsCareers.com.
Tickets for 2010 tours of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan are now on sale. Even if you've already visited the 47-acre site, now you can see the house and landscaping in a whole new light.
Tours will now be offered at dusk, called "Twilight Tours". You can see by these pictures how lighting makes the house almost take on a new shape.
"Twilight Tours" is an extended two-hour guided tour that costs $45 per person. This tour allows photography. The 90-minute standard tour, which is $30, does not allow photos.
The lighting was designed by Richard Kelly, considered one of the pioneers of architectural lighting design.
Photo credits: top: Michael Patrick Finley
bottom: Robin Hill, courtesy Philip Johnson Glass House
For tickets, go to PhilipJohnsonGlassHouse.org or call 866-811-4111.
The 2010 Glass House tour season begins in May and runs through November (closed Tuesdays).
"Exotic Encounters: Art, Travel and Modernity in the Collection of the Bruce Museum" is the latest exhibition at the Bruce in Greenwich. Basically the curator says he went into the stored permanent collection, and came out with the idea for this show.
Some people were baffled this year when I explained that I celebrate my birthday all month long. Why not? It's my special month.
On the phone with Bobby Valentine, he tells me he's having a little bit of reverse culture shock being back in the states fulltime now from Japan for just under two months. He does, however, rave on about how thrilled he is to be back in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.
"Excited to see all the good things that are happening in the community. Even with the recession the way it is, I see things perking up and people starting to get a sparkle in their eye again."
The former Mets manager is home after nearly five years managing the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. Despite his job taking him across the Pacific Ocean, Bobby always made it back to organize and host the Bobby Valentine Celebrity Wine & Food Experience.
"I've been a lot of places in my career of 40 plus years- the constant has been Stamford, Connecticut. The charities that I deal with, and my friends and family. That's what keeps you going."
The 8th annual Bobby Valentine Celebrity Wine & Food Experience is coming up Monday, January 11th.
This is a picture with Bobby from last year's event along with New York Yankee executive, Brian Cashman (on left.)
"We learn from founding fathers who gave all their energies though their life."
Former Stamford coach Mickey Lione, Junior is remembered as a man who taught, by his example, to strive for personal excellence and to make a positive impact on the world around us. Bobby says the organization won't let his name pass away. He says he's proud of how the Mickey Lione, Jr. Fund is branching out, with the inclusion of honoring a coach, a Merritt Award and a female division.
On whether Bobby will miss managing baseball, (this is the first season in years he won't be at the helm of a team,) Bobby says not until mid January- that's when his "motor starts revving again for the next season." But he adds, "it's going to be kinda nice to just enjoy my surroundings. I don't know how long it's going to last, but I'm going to enjoy it as long as I can."
One challenge Bobby says he's looking forward to is his new role as the number one analyst for Baseball Tonight on ESPN this season. He says it's quite an honor, but brings a lot of responsibility. He says he's been away from Major League Baseball for six years, and is trying to "get up to snuff here with these 30 teams." Watch for him as soon as spring training begins.
Bobby also praises the work the coaches at his Sports Academy in Stamford.
I told Bobby I feel like I'm following him around. I used to work at the NBC station in Dallas and cover the Texas Rangers. He laughed and said he was there a few years before me. Okay, he's right. He managed the Texas Rangers from 1985 to 1992. I moved to Dallas in 1992 and worked at KXAS from 1996 to 1998. But soon after I moved to New York where Bobby was back managing the Mets. Isn't it fun to try to make similarities out of nothing?
Monday, January 11th you can tell Bobby your personal similarities at the 8th Annual Bobby Valentine Celebrity Wine & Food Experience. It's at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich Grand Ballroom 6 to 9 pm. Tickets are $150 per person. Along with tasting food and wine, there is also a live auction hosted by Valentine.
While a trip to Japan with Bobby isn't on the list of items like in years past, he said a trip to the All Star Game with ESPN hospitality will be a new and fun prize for the lucky bidder.
This past weekend my partner in crime here at News 12 Connecticut got married! Here is a short iPhone video of her being fed cake. Look how beautiful and happy she looks!
And here is a picture of the bride the night BEFORE her wedding, on Halloween, when we took the kids trick-or-treating.
(Believe me, she got all of her witching out, because she was the most calm and happy bride the day of her wedding.)
She was engaged on Halloween so it was very special for her to get married the day after Halloween, on All Saints Day a year later. Actually, do you remember the blog I wrote a year ago about her engagement? Click here to read it.
I have to admit I was double- sometimes triple fisted at her wedding! By this I mean with cameras. The video posted here is with my iPhone. I also taped the wedding and reception with a camera she bought for the occasion, as well as with my Flipcam. The best video is on her cam- but she has it with her on her honeymoon in France! Since I was shooting video, I don't have many still photos to share. She does, however, and I'm sure she can't wait to post them on her fabulous blog.
So Lori, Congratulations!!!! Enjoy France! But hurry and get back so we can get back to work! We have holiday cards to put together :)
Check out the new M-8 rail cars soon to be on their way to Connecticut from the Kawasaki plant in Japan.
In a press release, Governor Jodi Rell says the first pair of these cars will be ship out on October 28th.
She says over the next four months, three additional pairs will be shipped to Connecticut.
Before Metro North commuters will get a chance to test them out, Rell says all cars will undergo rigorous quality-assurance tests lasting several months. During the testing, Kawasaki will be producing and shipping ten cars every month to fulfill Connecticut's 300-car order.
Charles Grodin says he doesn't like to leave his home very often. He does his CBS radio commentary and newspaper columns from his home in Wilton, Connecticut. He also writes his plays and books from home, saying working from home is the key. He also says he doesn't like to travel, and that the reason he keeps an apartment in Manhattan is so his son and wife can get away from him.
What does get Grodin out of the house is his charity work. Actually, from all he told me he's involved with during an interview at the Red Barn Restaurant in Westport, I'm not sure he is ever at home. The night after the interview, Grodin served as Master of Ceremonies for the Children's Cancer and Blood Foundation. The following Monday night he said he had a reading of a play he worked on with the boy he mentors through Mentoring USA. Grodin is also donating all the sales of his 2009 book, "How I Got to be Whoever it is I Am," to the charity.
Then coming up October 30th, Grodin will serve as MC for the Malta House Celebrate Life Concert in Norwalk. He also mentioned work with Road Recovery and various other charities. I first met him in 2004 at a Human Resources Council charity event where I hosted the live auction and he was the key note speaker. I was told to try to raise as much money as possible, but keep it tight because Grodin doesn't like to be out late.
Here we shot a little video with my iPhone. He was very much "in character" here. Remember when he used to go on Johnny Carson and refuse to answer certain questions? That was his act.
Of course, the fling with Miss Piggy he speaks about in above video happened in The Great Muppet Caper. I asked about it because of something in "How I Got to be Whoever it is I Am" that made me laugh. He said once he thought this major politician was going to ask him to run for office. Instead, he asked what it was like to work with Miss Piggy. The lesson, Grodin writes, "Watch out for delusions of grandeur."
That actually lead to the chapter on Co-ops which outlines his experience of trying to buy a place on Fifth Avenue in New York City and his experience of being asked to sit on the board of directors. It was so unpleasant, he says he found it riveting. He also wrote the play "The Right Kind of People" based on his experience. His play will open the Square One Theatre Company's 20th anniversary season this November in Stratford. Grodin says the play is universal in how it looks at the power private organizations sometimes feel they have. Grodin isn't in the play, but he will host a question and answer session Saturday, November 21st. The theatre will also show a double feature of "Midnight Run" and "The Heartbreak Kid" on Saturday, November 14th.
Grodin says he really doesn't have much of an interest in acting anymore. Instead, he says his main focus right now is the justice system. He says he was involved with repealing the Rockefeller Drug laws and now he's working on the Felony Murder rule. He says the United States is the only country that still has it. He says he is working to raise awareness, and hopefully get it ruled unconstitutional.
In the meantime he's keeping busy writing. He says he has a play about Shakespeare that Jerry Zaks is supposed to direct starring John Lithgow. He says "The Right Kind of People" is being considered for runs in other theaters, plus he has another play about male friendship and boundaries. He has another play that he says he's turned into a screen play that would star Carol Burnett and Rosie O'Donnell that they're trying to sell as a cable movie. He says he also has a musical that no one has even seen. He describes it as a two-person comedy, of which he says he'll do a reading of eventually.
Grodin is also known to talk excessively. He was impeached as class president in fifth grade for talking too much. He says his family gets aggravated with him, and that his son recently said to him, "say 1/8th of everything that comes to your mind."
While his act may get old to those always around him, Grodin says his life purpose is to use his voice for those who can't be heard.
Every weekday morning, From 5:30 to 8:00, you can watch Heather Kovar anchoring the News 12 Connecticut morning newscasts.
After that, you never know where you may see her out and about in southwestern Connecticut, as she looks for local stories to tell.Reach Heather, via email, at [email protected].