Friday, October 8, 2010

Bridgeport CT

I know that I'm a few days behind in keeping you all up to date on our explorations of new vistas, but I will try to rectify that in the next few days.  We flew into Hartford as the Sweet Hubby has three clients out in the area (NY as well as two in CT).  While he went to visit two more clients in CT, I had a pleasant morning and afternoon lazing about the motel and taking myself out to lunch with my latest novel (Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver-highly recommended) within walking distance.  It was late by the time I got there so there weren't too many folks in the cafe which afforded me the opportunity to spend some time chatting up the manager - a personable guy from El Salvador who had moved to NYC and then to Bridgeport.  After Sweet Hubby got back from his appointments we took another tour of the area and visited this restaurant/pub in the nearby town of Fairfield.

There is so much history in this part of the world.  After a cocktail there, we went to dinner at an Irish bar-restaurant called The Field in the Black Rock district of Bridgeport.  I had the MOST excellent potato leek soup as well as some salmon served with a pea and leek risotto.  Not only was the food excellent, but we got there in time to see a comedy show with a couple of local guys and two from NY.  As most comedy shows go, there was some genuinely funny stuff and some pretty gratuitous, far too easy "humor".

The following day we toured the area more and went to the Housatonic Museum, founded by art professor Burt Chernow at the Housatonic Junior College which had a special show featuring some of Andy Warhol's work.  Most of the other work in the show was by artists I had never heard of and liked and the others... meh.  But isn't that the way it goes, as art is so subjective.  I did see this piece that I really liked, but there was no ID tag on it and it was hidden away near the theatre space.

I liked the conceit of the work being a soft sculpture but portraying what looked to be like a stone sculptor at work.  We then traveled down to Norwalk to the Center for Contemporary Printmaking where they had a show featuring Grace Shanley and Ron Pokrasso.  I found the Pokrasso work more interesting than the work by Shanley.  It was located in an old carriage house at an old mansion in Matthews Park.

 That evening we checked out another Black Rock District (an alleged arts redevelopment area of Bridgeport) restaurant called Viale.  It was wonderful with some of the greatest garlic rolls that have ever passed these lips, made in-house.  Sweet Hubby had a terrific Saltimbocca while I relished the Chicken with Mushrooms in a Gorgonzola sauce. 

After much exploration of the area we've come to the conclusion that we don't want to live in a bedroom-suburb type community.  It seems as if when you're about an hour outside a "big" city, the local arts scene has no tooth to it.  There were only a few community theatres featuring what I consider pretty boring and pedestrian entertainment.  We're looking for a more vibrant local arts scene - so we'll see what Portland brings.

But speaking of proximity, we did take the train into NYC the following day - look for the next post featuring work from MOMA and the guy with the rat on his head!

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