Monthly Archives: September 2012

Art and Martinis Collide at “ARTini”

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From Judy Dworin Performance Project’s whimsical dancers hanging off the stemware to Mark Twain House & Museum’s bedazzled glass inscribed “When I Drink You Look Fabulous,” it was a creative collision of art and libation that had the crowd smiling at the Greater Hartford Arts council annual  “ARTini” party Thursday at Hartford’s Union Station.

“I just love it,” said Jen Landini, as she perused the Wadsworth Atheneum’s fan and tulle creation while sipping a peach and pomegranate “Seasonal Segue” martini created by Cuvee, one of several restaurants serving up cocktails . “It is so frivolous and girly, it’s just fun,” said the Southington resident who works in Hartford. “I mean the glass,” she grinned referring to the “fun” part. “Although the drinks are pretty fun too.”

About 240 people attended the party including Greater Hartford Arts Council marketing man Tim Yergeau whose favorite art glass was one from the Hartford Symphony featuring sheet music and plants.

“I think I’d put a cucumber martini in it,” he said assessing the environmentally friendly themed glass and what bartending concoction  would best suit it. “It ties in with the plant theme and all the green.”

Noodles Alert West Hartford!

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Noodle lovers… Noodles & Company Opens Wednesday In Connecticut!  And you could go to the VIP party Sunday or Monday!


     “Noodles & Company, the fast-casual restaurant that serves noodles, soups and salads inspired from around the world, is opening its first location in the state of Connecticut and New England region at West Hartford’s Bishops Corner on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

 Noodles & Company’s menu features fresh, made-to-order Asian, Mediterranean and American noodles, soups and salads that range from healthful to indulgent and spicy to comforting. There is something for everyone from kids to adults, and every dish is customizable to please even the pickiest eaters. Favorites include the sweet and spicy Japanese Pan Noodles®, veggie-filled Chinese Chop Salad, creamy Penne Rosa and rich Wisconsin Mac & Cheese®. Noodles & Company also serves beer and wine.

Those who join the Bishops Corner E-Club here will receive an invite to one of the pre-opening VIP events on Sunday, Sept. 30 or Monday, Oct. 1. E-Club members can then sign up via an RSVP system for either lunch (11am-2pm) or dinner (5pm-8pm) on one of the days. E-Club members also receive special offers, news and free stuff.”

McLadden’s Adding A Third Location

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McLadden’s Irish Publick House, that popular downtown West Hartford Irish pub and grill, is growing again.

And again, in Massachusetts.

It’s been a year since Mike Ladden decided to open a second McLadden’s, that one in Hampden, Massachusetts. Now he is set to open a third location in Northampton.

“We have been looking for a setting similar to West Hartford and found it there,” Ladden said Thursday. “We found this space, the former Pleasant Street theater, and it was perfect.”

Ladden said he expects the new place to be ready by the end of the year.

Known for its sophisticated tap system, Ladden said the new location will feature 90 draft beer lines, compared to 33 at the West Hartford location, and seats up to 100 patrons in the 1,500-square-foot space which is being totally renovated.

Noting that he is also eyeing a couple of new locations in Connecticut, Ladden said he believes his restaurants are a good fit for the economy.

“McLadden’s is a vibrant, fun, casual traditional Irish pub with a good price point.” Ladden said.

FOX Business Liz Claman Coming To CT For Breakfast

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The very economics savvy Fox Business anchor, Liz Claman, will be the featured speaker October 1 at the Tunxis Community College Foundation breakfast, “How the Smart Money Succeeds.” Claman, who has interviewed political and business powerhouses including business magnate Warren Buffett, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, will share her insights as part of the program that begins at 7:30 a.m. at Farmington Gardens. A California native who lives in New Jersey, Claman, who anchors “Countdown to the Closing Bell,” and co-anchors “After the Bell,” hinted at how to succeed with money even in these economic times when she Spilled the Beans with Java.

Q: Let’s get to the bottom line. How does the smart money succeed in this economy?

A: It is very difficult. The smart money is succeeding by zigging when everyone else is zagging. The most successful people, where Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, run toward an investment when everyone else is running away from it. During the height of the financial crisis, Starbucks was at $8 a share as they were closing 600 stores, there was a change in management and there was great concern. It looked like a company in a total utter state of confusion. It brought Howard Schultz back and that $8 a share is up to $51. The point is, just when it feels uncomfortable, the best of investors are saying ‘has anything changed within company?’ And while yes the exterior forces, the financial crisis and the store closures are disconcerting, this was a case of a great company going through rough time. Good investors saw that.

Q: Is this something the average American can buy into?

A: It is time when there is no average American. We all have to take financial bulls by the horns and take control over our own investments. Any American can assess whether this is a company that has the ability to grow. You can be completely enamored with company and its product. You want to avoid high price to earnings ratio. You want high cash flow, low debt. Put in the time, education yourself. It is a simple as walking into Lululemon, currently a hot stock and see how they are doing, how you are treated. And do your research on Wall Street.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you have interviewed and would like to interview again?

A: Buffet is the winner clearly but his vice president, Charlie Munger, is one of the most brilliant people I have spoken with. You can see his mind working. In this day and age when everyone spits out answers, you ask Charlie a question and he stops and thinks and then blows out the most unbelievable concepts and ideas. We were talking about the United States and becoming energy independent and Charlie stops and thinks and says “This is the stupidist idea. Why wouldn’t we want to conserve our reserves and use up the other guy’s first?” Charlie is one of a kind.

Q: Connecticut has the less than stellar reputation as being one of the most unaffordable states in the nation. What do you think?

A: If you had a choice to live in Indonesia or Connecticut, and you were told you would have to pay more taxes in Connecticut, 99 percent of the people would choose Connecticut.

Q: What makes you so good at what you do on Fox?

A: I am very good at extracting information although not so good at putting it to work for me. I am very engaged in getting the guests and producing the pieces. I am going to Cleveland next week. It’s part of a series FBN is doing called “Open for Business,” where it looks at the economies of various cities throughout the U.S. Ohio’s Cleveland, in my opinion, is one of the greatest American cities. It is alive and kicking while other guys are chasing Facebook shares. It’s an American city open for business

Q: And  Connecticut?

A: Connecticut is the heart of the hedge fund world. Different states each have a personality that will contribute to a vibrant economy.

Q: How would you characterize people’s mindset today compared to 15  years ago?

A: People are much more serious and much more focused. Pre-2000, the world was an inflated balloon that was stretching and stretching then in 2000 it popped. That was a wake-up call for a lot of folks. It affected everyone. I pointed it out and received hate mail, that it was unpatriotic and that I was trying to step on something good. I can spot a fraud when I see one. Examine the local news. It tells a lot.

Q: Are you an expert on the economy?

A: I am still enrolled in the Liz Claman School of Business and to this day, every night, I still study. It is very arrogant of people to think they are going to grasp something like the market without studying.

Q: Your advice to people who are struggling to make smart financial choices in these tough times?

A: They are sorely mistaken if they think they should not be planning for future. I wish I had started investing right off a college. To young people, take 30 cents a week and start funneling it into broad base or mutual funds. Over time, the stock market has always had better returns than anything else. But that’s not all you do.  Finance is intimidating, a mystery language, but guess what? You better start learning how to translate because it will make the difference between a comfortable retirement and a nightmare.

Q: Something no one knows about you?

A: I am obsessed with chocolate. I eat it every single day, cheap or expensive, I don’t discern. I will steal it from colleagues’ desks and step on peoples’ backs to get to it.

Ready For Fall Fun? It Is So Ready For You Hartford!

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The best of fall begins this weekend with parades, martinis, brews,  parties and arts festivals.

Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. head over to Union Station in Hartford where the Hartford Arts Council will host its annual ARTini, the city’s most creative cocktail party. One of a kind martini inspired sculptures will be featured as well as cocktail concoctions to please the palate. Tickets are $40. Information go to


Hartford Stage will present “A Grand Night for Singing,” Thursday at 7 :30 p.m. The evening of cabaret and fundraising will benefit the downtown theater. Held at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the party features composer Steven Lutvak and the cast of the world premier musical comedy “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which opens at the stage on Oct. 11. A meet-and-greet with the cast will be held at a dessert reception follows the show. Tickets are $75 for the show and $125 for the show and reception. Call 860-520-7241.


The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Connecticut Chapter will holds its annual awards meeting Thursday night at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.  Award winners are Charles Firlotte, president and chief officer of Aquarian Water Co.,  Chandler Howard, president and CEO of Liberty Bank and David Doebler, president and general manager NBC Connecticut.

Also on Thursday The ING Hartford Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 13,  will hold a VIP kick-off reception at the governor’s mansion beginning at 5 p.m.

On Friday, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford  will hold its Fifth Annual “Tapping into Twain” Oktoberfest from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. A selection of locally produced beers and artisanal ales, as well as food from several local restaurants, will be served at the very popular event that was sold-out last year. Daniel Heath-Ringrose will be performing Irish Music with Jeffrey Willard Mainville III doing deejay duty. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.  Tickets for designated drivers are $20.

It’s apple time in Southington as its annual Apple Harvest kicks off this weekend and continues through Oct. 7.  The festival is located in downtown Southington.  Activities include local entertainment, a variety of contests, and on-stage music.  A children’s play area and carnival are also featured.  There is a wide variety of  food, including those famous Apple Fritters sold as well. the theme this year is “Ripe with Possibilities.” The parade is held  Sunday at 2 p.m.


On Saturday head to Bushnell Park for EnvisionFest, a city-wide event featuring a variety of free activities celebrating the best of the city from pop-up art exhibits, lawn games,  an attempt to break the record for the world’s largest Zumba class and a quilting workshop. Information:









QU Guest Charles Gibson Predicts Obama Win

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If you did not attend the lecture last week at Quinnipiac University featuring former “ABC World News” anchor Charles Gibson last week, you missed a tip. Democratic President Barack Obama is going to win in November.

That’s what he predicted in front of 800 people  anyway.

“Folks, Barack Obama is going to win,” Gibson said. “I don’t say that just because Mitt Romney is running an inept campaign which he is. He made a very maladroit statement on the Middle East and his 47 percent on the dole, etc. You now hear backstage rumblings from prominent Republicans who have basically written him off. But I say it because Barack Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008. That’s 95 more than he needed for election. He can lose states like Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina, all of which he won four years ago, and still be elected comfortably. Every electoral map projection I’ve seen puts 237 electoral votes pretty solidly in the Obama column this year. That means he only needs to pick up 33 more.”

Watch the entire lecture. Gibson makes his prediction at the 23:10 mark of the video.


“Cliff” To Stump For GOP In Bristol Saturday

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Republican state senator Jason Welch is bringing in some big guns to his campaign Saturday.

Actor John Ratzenberger will be stumping for the senator at a reception at the New England Carousel Museum Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Ratzenberger, best known as Cliff , one of the regulars barflies on the television show “Cheers,”  is a Bridgeport native and a strong advocate for manufacturing in America. (Java interviewed him  a few years ago when he was on “Dancing With The Stars”  )

Ratzenberger, who has also provided the voices for several characters in Pixar movies, has been promoting manufacturing in appearances across America. Ratzenberger co-founded the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation,  dedicated to raising awareness of skilled trades and engineering disciplines among young people.

Welch is running against Democrat Dave Roche.


Fifty Shades Fan? Get Spanked At The Bushnell

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I’ll admit it. I read the books twice! And just when I thought I was over the intrigue of  it all, this arrived from the Bushnell.


“SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody will take place at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts on October 25-27. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($35.00/$45.00) are on sale now and can be purchased at, (860) 987-5900 or at The Bushnell Box Office. The show is produced by Mills Entertainment.

The new show is a musical parody of Fifty Shades of Grey, the risqué novel which recently surpassed Harry Potter to become the fastest selling paperback of all time. Michael Mills, producer of SPANK!, says audience members can expect “a laugh-filled evening that captures all the escapist fun and absurdity of the novel. The Fifty Shades characters are brought to life with sexy and fun musical numbers.” Part Second City, part Chippendales, SPANK! delivers big laughs, sexy fun, and lots of surprises.

Ticket buyers are encouraged to arrive early (lobby doors open at 6:30 p.m.) to enjoy the company of friends and partake in a signature SPANK! cocktail being concocted especially for the occasion.  Fans can take a photo with the handsome and seductive star of the show, and meet and greet the entire cast following each performance.”

If memory serves me right, isn’t there a red room at the theater?


MADD About Dancing?

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The new season of “Dancing With the Stars” has kicked off. How about some dancing a little closer to home for a good cause?

Mohegan Sun, with WCTY and Arthur Murray Dance Studios, will present the fourth annual ‘MADD About Dancing’ competition in The Cabaret Theatre on Friday, September 28.

Connecticut celebrities will put on their dancing shoes and hit the floor to help raise awareness and funds for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The group of confirmed celebrities includes: Jocelyn Maminta, WTNH anchor and co-host for CT Style; Rudy Pauls, The Biggest Loser Season 8 contestant; Olessa Stepanova, Traffic Reporter for WFSB; Steve Sigel, executive director of the Garde Arts Center; Judith Green, Connecticut fundraising consultant; Jim Reed of Kool 101; Emily Audibert, Miss Connecticut 2012; Al Daniels of the Norwich Board of Education and Jaine’ Coann LeFebvre, Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen 2012.

The evening also includes a special performance by country artist and former American Idol finalist, Casey James.


Doors to The Cabaret Theatre will open at 7:00pm fpr  hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction before the celebrities take the stage at 8:00p.m.

Tickets to “MADD About Dancing” are on sale now $50.00 per person and benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They can be purchased through or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office.






“Sally’s” Flo Consiglio Passes

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We have all faced the same dilemma when it comes to pizza in New Haven, Sally’s or Pepe’s?

At our house, it was a compromise. I was the one who liked Sally’s better, and a lot of the reason for that was matriarch Flora “Flo” Consiglio, who passed away Monday.

It was she and her husband, Sal (Sally) Consiglio, who owned and operated the Wooster Street landmark that, along with neighbor (and relatives)  Pepe’s, made New Haven’s Little Italy a “must go” when it came to fresh brick-oven-baked tomato pies.

If you were lucky, Flo, who could be a little crusty herself sometimes, would take a minute to chat while she was looking over receipts or keeping an eye on the line of hungry customers  who wait hours for a booth.  Stepping up when her husband passed away in 1989, she was a kind, community-spirited woman who did much for others, but was also a shrewd, hard-working businesswoman who kept Sally’s on the map by turning out those beautiful pies.

Condolences to the Consiglio family. She was a celebrity for sure.