Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Signing at the Book Bower on Friday, July 3, 5 pm

Come for the book signing and stay for the fireworks!

Locus Amoenus
by Victoria N. Alexander, PhD

In this dark comedy, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, have retreated from Brooklyn to the idyllic rural countryside upstate, where for nearly eight years they have run a sustainable farm. Unfortunately their outrageously obese neighbors, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture, shun their elitist ways (recycling, eating healthy, reading).

Hamlet, who is now 18, is beginning to suspect that something is rotten in the United States of America, when health, happiness and freedom are traded for cheap Walmart goods, Paxil, endless war, standard curriculum, and environmental degradation. He becomes very depressed when, on the very day of the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, his mother marries a horrid, boring bureaucrat named Claudius.

Things get even more depressing for Hamlet when his friend Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, claims Claudius is a fraud. The deceptions, spying,and corruption will ultimately lead, as in Shakespeare’s play, to tragedy.

Middletown Art Walk this Thursday!!

First Thursdays are still going strong here in the North End now that the warmer weather has returned!

Be sure to stop downtown this Thursday July 2 for your monthly free dose of the ARTS!
Afterwards grab a map to find a list of Restaurants who are offering a discount to attendees.

For more info and to stay connected, please go over to Facebook and LIKE the event page, and subscribe to our events!

Free music in the Luis Lopez Herb Garden starts at 6 PM

Venues to see art include:

Green Street Teaching and Learning Center
  Nancy Eisenfeld  - On the Diagonal
Eisenfeld's work, alive with the energy and activity of diagonals is inspired by nature's dynamic forces and rhythms . Her paintings and glass collages capture the slant of light and echo the crackle of ice under foot. On the Diagonal  will be on exhibit at Green Street from July 2nd- July 29th with an opening reception on Thursday, July 2 from 5-8 p.m.  The gallery hours are Monday-Thursday 9a.m.-5p.m. and Friday 9a.m.-3p.m.

Corner Pocket 
  Tim Wengertsman
SOLO ART SHOW Tim Wengertsman
I am an artist, printmaker, woodcutter, beer drinker, hell raiser from Hartford CT involved in the punk community.

Middletown Framing 
  Dianne Tuttle

MAC 650
  5PM Marc Pettersen - Shadows: Process and Performance
Using footage of people shot on green screen, Marc Pettersen will be creating an ever changing landscape of moving silouttes projected on the walls. Workshops during the month will concentrate on creating performance art with inprov, music and dance that will be performed at the closing.

  8PM on
Open Mic and Home Brews (Featuring spoken word by Metapoetik and brews by Sean Gaura)

Buttonwood Tree

5-7 PM
Jennifer L. Misseri is an emerging artist in central Connecticut. Art has been her lifelong passion and has become her chosen career path. Her enthusiasm for art knows no bounds and has led her to establish a business focused on photography. Striving to create a connection between the viewer and her pieces, Misseri often takes photographs using a macro lens, which engages the audience by bringing them closer to the subject. This aspiration of audience engagement has led to an exceptional perspective that is evident in the elegant images that beautifully capture the world around us.
Jennifer describes herself as “an emerging local artist chasing a dream.”
Open Mic with Bob Gotta
Sign up starts at 6:30 $5 donation
Meets EVERY First Thursday
Come play and be heard. Bring your own instrument or play our piano or congas… join the fun, express your self!
Refreshments Available!

Tesoro Artisan Gift Boutique & Gallery
Works on display by Mark Pegtmeier
Along with a  collection of handmade gifts, artworks, jewelry, furniture, fabrics, soaps, and more gathered from local and regional artisans and from around the world.

Also at Tesoro -  Open Drum Circle on the sidewalk, come and play along!! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

A New Play in Middletown

Tomorrow the World is a new, immersive play adapted from Aldous Huxley's thought-provoking 1931 novel, A Brave New World
The performances, on July 3, 4, 10 and 11, take place at the Kidcity Children's Museum in Middletown.  The cast, crew, and design team - working together as The Mad Generation Theater Company - are all recent high school graduates from throughout New England.
Set in the fictitious World State, in the year 632 After Ford, Tomorrow the World uses movement, media, original music and dialogue to explore the future of technology and humanity and the things people do to protect it. During the show, audience members will choose which characters and story lines to follow as scenes happen simultaneously in Kidcity's wild and colorful exhibits.
The show is for mature audiences. Tickets are free and performances are July 3rd, 10th, and 11th at 8 pm, with a special performance on July 4th at 9 pm. Kidcity is at 119 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets can be reserved at www.MadGeneration.info.
Learn more about the show and follow the characters on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (/madgenerationtheatre). 

Music at The Mansion 2015

Summer's here and Middletown jumps to a different beat - there are concerts by the River, concerts on the Wesleyan campus and there's Music at The Mansion.

As you see by the picture, the back lawn of The Wadsworth Mansion is lush and green. For the next 4 Wednesdays (7/01, 08, 15, and 22 - in case of rain, 7/29 is a makeup date), the Lawn will covered by blankets and chairs, filled with people listening to music that, in its own ways, covers a lot of territory.

The series, sponsored this year by the Friends of the Long Hill Estate along with a generous donation from Middlesex Hospital,  commences this Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. with the funky sounds of Avenue Groove. The sextet, in existence since 2007, plays rhythm 'n' blues, funk, soul music and more in a show that makes one want to dance.

The following Wednesday, the US Coast Guard Band, 50 persons strong, return to The Mansion.  Based at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, the Band was formed in 1925 and, in its 90-year existence, has performed throughout the United States and around the world.  Many of the musicians who perform go on to play in symphony orchestras and big bands.  The ensemble has recorded a number of CDs, the latest released in 2014 and featuring the movie music and more of John Williams.

The Latin jazz sounds of Goza also makes a return appearance in the Series, this time on July 15.  Led by guitarist David Giardina, the sextet plays a repertoire from Central and South America, from Spain and, on occasion - if you ask - will play spirited Gypsy Swing.  They also add Latin rhythms to songs by Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and others.

Greg Fahey photo
The final show in the series also features an artist returning to town.  Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood with the Jeffettes is one to the area's premier blues bands. The guitarist is getting rave reviews around the country for his spirited playing and singing with a repertoire that pays tribute to blues greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Otis Rush. Pitchell is also getting notice for his songwriting abilities. Texas Flood is as solid a band as you'll hear anywhere and The Jeffettes add soulful harmonies to the proceedings.

The Wadsworth grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for the who wish to bring picnic suppers and close 30 minutes after the last notes fade away.  Parking is available at Snow School and in the lot at Mercy High School.  These concerts are free and open to the public - The Friends will solicit donations at all shows save for the Coast Guard Band.  For weather updates on the afternoon of the shows and more information, go to www.wadsworthmansion.com/events.php.

Naturalization Ceremony at City Hall, July 1

An estimated 50 people from 30 countries will be naturalized in a ceremony at Middletown City Hall on Wednesday, July 1 at 1pm.  The Oath of Allegiance will be administered by the Honorable Stefan R. Underhill, U.S. District Court Judge for Connecticut.  After the Oath is administered, the ceremony will continue with the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of The Star-Spangled Banner, followed by remarks from federal, state and local officials.  After the ceremony, new citizens will have the opportunity to register to vote courtesy of the Registrar of Voters, City of Middletown.

Arthur Meyers, Director of Russell Library, is the organizer of this annual ceremony. “It’s always moving, especially being from a family of immigrants,” said Meyers last year, “It’s been going on for 17 years here.” This event brings together officials at all levels of government, veterans’ groups, and other organizations to honor and celebrate the country’s newest citizens, and to reaffirm the values and commitment that are shared by all citizens of the United States.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and celebrate the rights and opportunities of all citizens of the United States, old and new!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ GRETCHEN 062415

Cat Tales presents... Cat of the Week

This Weekend at The Buttonwood

It's another wonderful weekend at The Buttonwood Tree! Friday we have a very special show with The Hollands!, a traveling family of Americana Folk musicians who delight in entertaining audiences of all ages. Then, on Saturday, come to see the Red Hots; a sizzling quartet of performers who bring back old favorites with a modern twist. These are two shows guaranteed to entertain and excite! Don't miss them!

605 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457


Click below to learn more!

Thunderstorm Topples Trees; 2,700 Middletown Customers Lose Power

UPDATE: At 10am on Wednesday, reported outages were down to 691. 
Uprooted tree, Wesleyan CFA
An uprooted tree on the Wesleyan campus.

Eversource crew on Country Club Rd about 8pm.
A quick but fierce summer thunderstorm blew through town Tuesday, uprooting trees, snapping power lines and snarling rush hour traffic.  Just before 5pm, thunder rumbled and the skies darkened. Twenty minutes later the storm was gone, but danger and chaos remained in its wake.

Mayor Dan Drew said some minor injuries from car accidents and other storm-related incidents were reported, but he was not aware of any serious health threats.

"The outages are slowly but steadily coming down" he said. "We're hoping everyone will be restored by some time in the morning. We'll have to see."

As of 10:30 pm, the Eversource energy company listed 2,262 customers (about 10% of Middletown customers) as without power. That was down from a peak of 2700 according to the mayor, who told The Eye that the South Farms section of town was particularly hard hit. Route 9 southbound near CVH was blocked due to storm damage, with reports of traffic backed up from Silver Street all the way into Cromwell.

But damage was widespread. Shortly after 5pm, Westfield Street was closed, with east-bound traffic diverted to Route 66/Washington Street at Ballfall Road. Drivers headed downtown soon found out that Washington Street was also shut down, between Butternut St. and Newfield St (Route 3). A normally 20-minute drive across town became an almost hour-long crawl through side streets.

Tree branches litter Veterans' Green.
(Click to embiggen.)
Drew said he ordered the city's Emergency Operations Center opened about 5:15, just after the storm hit the city. By 7pm, city dispatchers had handled 496 calls about situations that required police, firefighters, or other emergency services. The 496 number includes multiple calls for the same incident (for instance, several calls for one downed power line). Still, it was an intense rush of serious calls, spread throughout the city, and virtually all at once.

The EOC was closed down at about 10pm. The mayor said extra police were called in to safeguard hazards and direct traffic. He said Eversource had told him they were sending additional line crews to speed repairs.

(Click to embiggen.)
Trees branches littered Veterans Green along Washington Terrace, and large trees were snapped or uprooted near Wesleyan's Center for the Arts.

Surrounding towns were also hard hit.  The Middletown Press reported that Coginchaug High School's graduation ceremony was postponed due to the widespread power outages in Durham.

Looking for a silver lining? The forecast for Wednesday is beautiful.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wesleyan Summer Films: Jimmy Stewart

The Center for Film Studies at Wesleyan University is pleased to announce this year's summer film series!

Tuesdays in July 2015
Start time:  7:30pm
Free Admission

  • July 14:  HARVEY
  • July 21:  REAR WINDOW
  • July 28:  WINCHESTER 73

All films will be introduced by Marc Longenecker, Programming and Technical Director, Film Studies and will be held in the Center for Film Studies at Wesleyan.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cat Tales Needs Help With Feral Colony - Newfield Street

Volunteer for a rewarding experience helping outdoor cats!

Cat Tales is desperately seeking assistance with feeding a small feral colony in Middletown that Cat Tales cares for.  The person who feeds them is moving, so we are looking for one or more people to step in to help.  You should be committed to visiting feral colony daily -  feed each morning (by 11 a.m.).  Cat Tales provides all food.  This would also include days of inclement weather.  If you're interested, please email Becky at beckyski1@gmail.com.  If you need to call, note that it would take a couple days.  (860)344-9043.  We need someone by June 30th!  Thank you!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ HEIDI 061815

Cat Tales
Cat of the Week!

Wesleyan Potters Chintz-zee Patron Party Tomorrow

The Wesleyan Potters have been cleaning out their closets, finding handcrafted treasurers, prototypes, firsts and one of a kind seconds.  These beautiful, found pieces of art all will go to new homes on the 19th of June,   during the Chintz-zee Patron Party at Wesleyan Potters.  At this flower powered event, every ticket holder will choose a handcrafted art piece to take home.     Pottery, jewelry, baskets, sculpture and more ,valued up to $150, will be available.

 “Got to Have It,” $25 ticket holders will get first pick of the art available from 6-7 pm.  “Need It,” $15 ticket holders get to shop from 7-8 pm.  “Want It,” $5 ticket holders will surely find a treasure to take home in the 8 to 9 o’clock hour.   Multiple tickets may be purchased for any hour.  
Optional Attire for this party:  Chintz-zee-iest (flower covered) clothes (think of this as summer’s response to the ugly sweater party).  As ticket holders await their entrance time, they will be treated to light refreshments and live music.

Limited tickets for each hour are available.  Stop by Wesleyan Potters at 350 South Main Street (Rte. 17) Middletown to purchase tickets.  Tickets can also be reserved by calling 860-347-5925 or emailing wesleyan.potters@snet.net.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's another wonderful weekend at The Buttonwood Tree! Join us Friday as Folk Rock/American Roots veterans Joe Flood and Bill Gross team up for a spectacular show full of country grit and blues charm. Then, on Saturday, come to see the amazing Olivia King; a new artist turning heads with her own style of R&B and Soul. These are two shows you don't want to miss!

605 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457


Click below to learn more!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Program at The Buttonwood Tree: Sound Healing


Crystal Bowl Sound Healing - New Monthly Event

Join us at Buttonwood for the first session (June 16) of our new monthly event: Crystal Bowl Sound Healing with Lou Sorrentino! Come to relax and heal your body and mind. If you've never tried it, now is the time!

605 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457


Click below for more.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Strawberry Heaven Served Again

Volunteer Lorraine Andrews and her apron
The Ladies Aid Society of the Third Congregational Church served up over a thousand strawberry shortcakes to grateful residents yesterday. Starting on Monday, they made 1555 biscuits (all from scratch), then they topped them with 680 quarts of strawberries (from Pell Farms in Somers), and 115 quarts of real whipped cream.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cruise Night Brings Huge Crowd To Main Street

The annual closure of Main Street for cars and their admirers was a big success this year. The good weather brought out hundreds of proud car owners; thousands came to admire the old, the shiny, the customized, and the just plain unusual cars on display.

More photos after the jump.

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ WAILEN ~ 061015

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week


Gender:  Male
Breed:  Domestic Short Hair
Color:  Brown Tabby
Age:  3 years old

 Hello! My name is Wailen. I was rescued in East Hampton as a stray. I was named Wailen because I wailed all the way, to and from the vet in the cat carrier. I am a very vocal boy who loves to carry on a conversation with you. I am a super affectionate guy and I love to be pet and any type of attention. I'm a pretty laid back boy who would love to come home with you! I am 3 years old, so I know how to behave, yet, I'm still a youngster with a full life for us! I would probably be better with kids 6 or older. Please call or email to make an appointment to come visit me. I would love for you to adopt me!


FedEx Meeting Canceled

The FedEx community information meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 11th at 7pm in the council chambers at City Hall has just been canceled.

The meeting had been planned as an opportunity for FedEx Ground to present its proposed plans for a package distribution center on the old Aetna property to the surrounding community.

There are no current plans to reschedule the meeting.

This Weekend at The Buttonwood Tree


Come join us for another wonderful weekend at The Buttonwood Tree! Friday, the stunning Cynthia Holiday brings a charming mix of jazz, blues, and pop to Buttonwood in a show you will not want to miss. Saturday we have Lillie and John & Mark Wayne Pollard, two acts that so amazed us at open mic night, we had to have them back! Sunday winds down the weekend with something a little different: a reception for our currently featured artist Karen Stein, whose beautiful series "Imagine" currently adorns our studio. Expect refreshments and great music!

Don't miss out!
Click below for more information!

Strawberry Shortcake Festival Tomorrow

Every year, the second Thursday in June brings Middletown's greatest early summer gustatory bliss (not just my opinion), in the form of the Third Congregational Church's Strawberry Shortcake Festival, in Westfield.

Strawberry Shortcake!
June 11th
11AM until they're all eaten (about 4PM)

Third Congregational Church, 94 Miner Street
This Festival is one of my family's most treasured events all year long. The church serves enormous mounds of biscuit, strawberries, and real whipped cream. A large plate costs $8.00 and a small one $5.00 (large really does mean LARGE, beware).

Members of the Ladies Aid Society will be  baking all day today in preparation, the biscuits are entirely from scratch. They will be whipping real cream all day tomorrow to serve with the strawberries.

This is one of the best Strawberry Shortcakes you can get anywhere.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Heroes & The Historical Society June 19

Dione Longley and Buck Zaidel will give an illustrated lecture at a reception being held Friday June 19 at 7 p.m. in The Inn at Middletown, 70 Main Street.  The purpose of the event is both educational and practical as the admission will go to to raise funds for the maintenance of the Middlesex County Historical Society’s headquarters, the General Joseph Mansfield House. As for the educational component, Longley and Zaidel are the co-authors of "Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories", recently published by Wesleyan University Press. The book presents the war straight from the minds and pens of its participants: rich passages from soldiers’ letters and diaries complement hundreds of outstanding period photographs, some from the Historical Society’s collection. Rare war artifacts pictured make a connection to the men and boys who once owned them. While so many books written about the Civil War feature the activities of generals and politicians, Heroes for All Time tells the stories of the men in the trenches and the families waiting at home for news of their loved ones.

Dione Longley is an independent historian and writer. For two decades, she served as the director of the Historical Society and curated a number of exhibits chronicling the history of Middletown, including the award winning Civil War exhibit, "Hard-tack, Salt Pork, and Faith." Buck Zaidel, a dentist and longtime Civil War enthusiast, collects objects and images related to Union soldiers’ daily lives. He has exhibited at Civil War and antique arms shows across the country and contributed items to museum exhibitions, including "Photography and the American Civil War" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

The price for the event, including a dessert reception following the talk, is $35.00 per person. The book will be available for purchase and inscription. Those wishing to purchase the book in advance and having it inscribed prior to the event for pick-up at the event may do so by purchasing a ticket for $80.00. To purchase tickets, call the Historical Society at 860-346-0746. Join us as we commemorate the end of the bloody conflict that took roughly 6000 Connecticut lives in the struggle to save the union and abolish slavery.

Main Street Closed For Cruise Night Tomorrow

From the Middletown Police.
On June 10, 2015 the City of Middletown will be hosting the 18th annual Cruise Night on Main.
Main Street will be closed from Union Street to Washington Street from 3:15 P.M. till 9:00 P.M.

Busy Board Of Ed Meeting Tonight

The regular meeting of the Board of Education promises to be a long one tonight.

Under the Consent Agenda, the board will hear a presentation entitled "Redistricting Study Milone and MacBroom," a presentation on "Cafe Services - Healthy Food Certifications," and on "Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Grant."

The Superintendent's report will include discussion of a proposed new bus loop for Farm Hill. The proposed loop would require the removal of trees in front of the school, and their replacement with paving.

The action items include consideration of the Sodexo Contract for school services, adoption of the 2015/16 budget, and consideration of a portable classroom to alleviate overcrowding at Farm Hill.

The meeting begins at 6PM (earlier than usual), in the Common Council Chambers.

Here is the full Agenda.