Thursday, June 26, 2014

American Library Association Annual Conference

Best of the best - my book Becoming Tom Thumb will be featured at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas this year!

I will not be there, unfortunately...I guess its a little much to fly me out to Las Vegas for that book event. I'm not that popular an author yet!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nathan Hale Homestead

Stopped by the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. Although Hale never lived there (his parents were building it while he was serving in the Continental Army), it has a number of his relics, and is definitely worth a stop.

This monument is actually the grave of the historian George Seymour's horse, after he bought and restored the house in the early 20th century. Seymour is partially responsible for bringing Hale forward into national consciousness with his work gathering documents and preserving sites.

This plaque marks the original home site, where Hale grew up.  Of course, things like doors and whatnot were reused in the second house, and on the back of one, what may be a drawing of Hale's head by his sister is one of the cool things you'll see on the house tour of this American hero.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cassidy Hill Vineyard

Stopped at Cassidy Hill Vineyard in Coventry the other day. Use your GPS - it isn't easy to find! The wine was very good - they clearly have the process down well. Only 9 acres of a 150 acre farm are under cultivation right now (they just started a few years ago), and I hope they expand that significantly. Then they can have more AVA wines and Connecticut label wines. Keep going, guys!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bidwell Tavern

Stopped by the Bidwell Tavern to try their amazing wings, which we stupidly forgot to take a picture of. They were great. However, I must say I like a little more 'sauce' on my wings in general. Archie Moore's buffalo version might be better. But the appeal of the Bidwell is that they have so many different KINDS of wings, so many different flavors. That's a rare treat, and worth going to Coventry for.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Farmer's Markets France and United States

It was a pleasure to experience the outdoor markets of France again this spring. They are full of delicious food that has a clear origin, something the French desire more and more. I was told by several French people that they have 'rejected' the foods from the supermarkets.

We have farms and farmers' markets here in America, and they are getting more popular. I hope that trend continues.

They are willing to pay a couple dollars extra for good food, and we should be, too. But in some ways it is a Catch-22. I can't get everything I need at the markets here, so I go to the supermarket. But if I go to the supermarket, the markets don't get my money and can't grow.

We have come a long way with the quality of our restaurants in the past decade. Let's hope that the quality and diversity of our other food follows.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

French Travel Literature

As you know, I teach (and write) travel literature at the University of Bridgeport. Apparently the French have a great appreciation for this art form. This was not the only Paris bookstore dedicated to travel that I saw, either. Unfortunately I don't read French...although perhaps it is for the best, because otherwise I would have spent my entire vacation browsing shelves.

In fact, the number of bookstores in Paris was simply astounding. A literature culture, to be sure. I mean, only cafes outnumbered bookstores as far as I could tell. Well, perhaps boulangeries...bread and books, what more do we need?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tom Thumb's Walking Stick

I was consulted on the authenticity of this walking stick. I believe it was used in Charles Stratton's portrayal of Frederick the Great, whom he lampooned as an old, tottering man.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Back From France

More soon, but I'm back from two weeks in France - revisiting some old places from our honeymoon in Paris, and seeing lots of Normandy and the Loire Valley. Had a great time of course.