Thursday, February 27, 2014

Article in the Newtown Bee

Check out the article in the Newtown Bee on my beautiful wife and her new book of poetry! For those who don't know, she grew up in Sandy Hook and loves to go back to visit. She'll be in Bethel at Byrd's Books on Saturday, March 1, at 7 pm.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Philly's Cheesesteaks, Norwich, Connecticut

Stopped by Philly's Cheesesteaks in Norwich the other day. Recommended by the Travel Channel and many other outlets, Philly's is acknowledged as the best cheesesteak east of the Hudson River. 

I can say that it probably is. The place itself is charming and the owners are delightful.

The steak is the best part of these sandwiches - super tender and delicious. The cheez whiz is solid, but I liked the one on the right, which had both cheez whiz and regular cheese. The other elements were all excellent. The only part where they fall short of the great cheesesteaks of Philadelphia is the roll. They need to import a firmer, more toastable roll. If they had that...well, I think they might be BETTER than the cheesesteaks I've had back in my original home state.

One more note. We had the barbecue chicken fries (see below) and they were fantastic. The reason was that the chicken pieces you can see there were absolutely tender and melt in your mouth good. They care about the quality of the meat at Philly's, and it shows. Keep up the good work, guys!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Four Blue Eggs

Time to run out and get a copy of my wife's new book, Four Blue Eggs. It's a beautiful collection of insightful, crisp poems. Here's what the cover says:

"Four Blue Eggs is sense music, an exploration of beginnings and of endings. In this collection of poems, Amy Nawrocki intuits fireflies and sapphires, observes gardens rooted in glasses of water, and tests the bindings of old books. Solace abounds-in winter's white, in the hefty doors of an Oldsmobile, in half melted candles. Stick figures walk in this terrestrial moonscape, birds nest in improbable trees, daughters survive without mothers and fathers. Her poems propose that though "we earn the favor of being by breaking," the pieces are salvageable; bruises heal from the inside through the universe's infinite surrogacy. The collection contemplates how to tether the salty wounds of sadness, how to find our treeness, and how to say good bye."

Thursday, February 13, 2014


He came from the north. He lived a brief, passionate, unhappy life. He wrote magnificent poetry. And he introduced a new word for 'kiss' into the European languages. Although he was a superb poet, only one solitary copy of his poems survived the Dark Ages - a single, battered manuscript, preserved in his home, Verona. Yet, even if that lonely copy had perished and all his poems had been lost, one of his creations would have remained. Whenever a Frenchman says baiser, whenever an Italian speaks of un bacio, when a Spaniard says besar or a Portugese beijar, they are using the word which this poet picked up and made into Latin to amuse his sweetheart. The woman was unworthy. The poet died. The word lives.
                                           - Gilbert Highet, Poets in a Landscape

Monday, February 10, 2014

Interview on Homebound Publications

A few questions for Eric D. Lehman, author of Afoot in Connecticut.

1. What books are on your nightstand?
At this moment – Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Lionel Casson’s Travel in the Ancient World.
2. What book are you an evangelist for—what book do you feel that everyone needs to read?
Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. I didn’t read it until I was an adult and fell in love with it then. So I make sure to nudge adults into reading it, and of course give copies to all my nieces and nephews.
Read the rest of the interview here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

East Haddam Congregational Church

Connecticut is full of wonderful white clapboard churches, but this is one of the best - huge beyond the current population of East Haddam, and beautifully conceived. A real gem, on a road that few drive on these days, unless you are driving from the northeast to Gillette Castle...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nathan Hale Schoolhouse

Stopped by the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse in East Haddam, on the hill above the Goodspeed Opera House. It is the smaller and less important/impressive of the two surviving schoolhouses that hosted state hero Nathan Hale (the other is in New London). Also on the hill, the grave of General Joseph Spencer, another Revolutionary War hero.