Stamford Announces Fourth of July Fireworks Program

Here are details of the annual show that draws thousands of residents.

Stamford Announces Fourth of July Fireworks Program

Stamford’s 2015 Independence Day Fireworks event will be held on Thursday, July 2.

The event will include more firework shells than the 2014 show and feature entertainment by DJ More than Music throughout the evening at Cummings Park and West Beach beginning at 6 p.m. The fireworks show will be put on by Bay Fireworks sat 9 p.m.

The rain date is Friday, July 3.

With several Stamford corporations expressing a willingness to sponsor the event, the city expects the event to be supported by the Stamford business community, Mayor David Martin said in a statement. T

“The fireworks show is one of the city’s signature events of the year and I am pleased to see residents, city officials and our corporate community coming together to celebrate our nation’s independence,” Martin said.

Admission is free.

Parking Information

  • No parking either side of Shippan Avenue from Wallace Street to the Magee Avenue intersection as of 3 P.M.
  • No parking on the left side of Iroquois, Wampanaw and Rippowam roads as of 3 P.M.
  • No parking on the south side of Myrtle Avenue from the intersection with Elm Street to #162 Myrtle as of 3 P.M.
  • At 8 P.M. the intersection of Shippan/Magee will be closed to southbound traffic. Resident only access at that time. At 8:30 P.M. Magee Ave. will be closed to traffic.
  • At 9 P.M., Shippan Avenue from Wallace St. north will become one way northbound only (2 lanes). Magee Avenue will be one way northbound only (2 lanes).

After the Show

  • Traffic exiting Shippan Point will be directed north onto Magee Avenue and west onto Jefferson (Urban Transitway) for access to Canal St., Atlantic St. Washington Blvd., I-95.
  • Traffic exiting Cummings Park via Shippan Avnue. will be directed north onto Shippan Ave to access Elm St., Myrtle Ave, I-95, E. Main St.
  • Traffic exiting Cummings Park via Soundview Ave. will utilize Soundview Ave or Willowbrook Ave to Cove Rd.
  • Foot traffic at Cummings Park will be released first, followed by vehicles.

15 Eating Habits That Make You Live Longer

By Dan Buettner

For more than a decade, I’ve been working with a team of experts to study hot spots of longevity — regions we call Blue Zones, where many people live to 100 and beyond. They are the Greek island of Ikaria; the highlands of Sardinia; the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan; and Loma Linda, Calif., home of the highest concentration of Seventh-day Adventists in the U.S. Remarkably, we’ve learned that folks in all these places share similar rituals and practices surrounding food. (Hint: They don’t count calories, take vitamins or weigh protein grams!) After analyzing more than 150 dietary studies conducted in Blue Zones over the past century, we came up with a global average of what centenarians really eat. Here are 10 age-old diet tips to borrow from the longest-living people on the planet.

1. Get 95 percent of your food from plants

mediterranean diet brain

Produce, whole grains and beans dominate meals all year long in each of the Blue Zones. People eat an impressive variety of vegetables when they are in season, and then pickle or dry the surplus. The best of the best longevity foods are leafy greens. In Ikaria, more than 75 varieties grow like weeds. Studies found that middle-aged people who consumed the equivalent of a cup of cooked greens daily were half as likely to die in the next four years as those who ate no greens.

2. Consume meat no more than twice a week

Families in most of the Blue Zones enjoy meat sparingly, as a side or a way to flavor other dishes. Aim to limit your intake to 2 ounces or less of cooked meat (an amount smaller than a deck of cards) five times a month. And favor chicken, lamb or pork from family farms. The meat in the Blue Zones comes from animals that graze or forage freely, which likely leads to higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Eat up to 3 ounces of fish daily

sardine

The Adventist Health Study 2, which has been following 96,000 Americans since 2002, discovered that people who ate a plant-based diet and included a small portion of fish up to once a day were the ones who lived the longest. In the Blue Zones overseas, fish is a common part of everyday meals. For the most part, the best fish choices are middle-of-the-food-chain species such as sardines, anchovies and cod, which aren’t exposed to high levels of mercury or other chemicals.
4. Cut back on dairy

The human digestive system isn’t optimized for cow’s milk, which happens to be high in fat and sugar. People in the Blue Zones get their calcium from plants. (A cup of cooked kale, for instance, gives you as much calcium as a cup of milk.) However, goat’s- and sheep’s-milk products like yogurt and cheese are common in the traditional diets of Ikaria and Sardinia. We don’t know if it’s the milk that makes folks healthier or the fact that they climb the same hilly terrain as their goats.

5. Enjoy up to three eggs per week

eggs

In the Blue Zones, people tend to eat just one egg at a time: For example, Nicoyans fry an egg to fold into a corn tortilla and Okinawans boil an egg in soup. Try filling out a one-egg breakfast with fruit or other plant-based foods such as whole-grain porridge or bread. When baking, use a quarter cup of applesauce, a quarter cup of mashed potatoes or a small banana to sub in for one egg.

6. Add a half cup of cooked beans every day

Black beans in Nicoya, soybeans in Okinawa, lentils, garbanzo and white beans in the Mediterranean: Beans are the cornerstone of Blue Zones diets. On average, beans are made up of 21-percent protein, 77-percent complex carbohydrates and only a little fat. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and are packed with more nutrients per gram than any other food on earth. The Blue Zones dietary average — at least a half cup per day — provides most of the vitamins and minerals that you need.

7. Switch to sourdough or whole-wheat

sourdough

In three of the five Blue Zones, bread is a staple. But it’s an altogether different food from the loaves most of us buy. Breads in Ikaria and Sardinia, for example, are made from a variety of 100-percent whole grains, including wheat, rye and barley — each of which offers a wide spectrum of nutrients and high levels of fiber. Other traditional Blue Zones breads are made with bacteria that “digest” the starches and glutens while helping the bread rise. This process creates an acid that lends the sour flavor to sourdough. The result is bread that actually lowers the glycemic load of meals. (It also has less gluten than “gluten-free” breads.) To find true sourdough, visit a bakery and ask about their starter. If they can’t give you an answer, they’re probably not making their sourdough in the traditional way.

8. Slash your sugar consumption

Blue Zones dwellers consume about a fifth as much added sugar as we do. Centenarians typically put honey in their tea and enjoy dessert only at celebrations. The lesson to us: Try not to add more than 4 teaspoons of sugar a day to your drinks and foods. Have cookies, candy and bakery items only a few times a week. And avoid processed foods with sweeteners — especially when sugar is listed among the first five ingredients.

9. Snack on two handfuls of nuts per day

brazil nuts

This appears to be the average amount that Blue Zones centenarians are eating. A recent 30-year Harvard study found that nut eaters have a 20 percent lower mortality rate than those who don’t eat nuts. Other studies show that diets with nuts reduce LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels by up to 20 percent.

10. Stick with foods that are recognizable for what they are

Throughout the world’s Blue Zones, people eat foods in their entirety: They don’t throw away the egg yolk or juice the pulp out of their fruits. They also don’t take supplements. They get everything they need from whole foods that are often grown locally. The takeaway? Avoid products with long lists of ingredients and shop at your farmers market when you can. Scientists are only beginning to understand how the elements in whole plants work together synergistically to bring forth ultimate health.

11. Up your water intake

drinking water

Adventists recommend having seven glasses daily, pointing to studies that show that being hydrated lessens the chance of a blood clot. Plus, if you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking a sugar-laden or artificially sweetened beverage.

12. When you drink alcohol, make it red wine

People in most Blue Zones have one to three glasses per day. Wine has been found to help the system absorb plant-based antioxidants. But it may also be that a little alcohol at the end of the day reduces stress, which is good for overall health.

13. Drink this kind of tea

Okinawans nurse green tea all day long, and green tea has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and several cancers. Ikarians drink brews of rosemary, wild sage and dandelion — all herbs with anti-inflammatory properties.

14. Get your caffeine fix from coffee

coffee cup

People who live on the Nicoya Peninsula and the islands of Sardinia and Ikaria all down copious amounts of coffee. Research findings associate coffee drinking with lower rates of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

15. Perfect protein pairings

Worried about getting enough protein on a plant-based diet? The trick is to partner legumes, grains, nuts and veggies that supply all nine of the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own. Try these match-ups in the ratios described below.
1 1/3 parts chopped red peppers to 3 parts cooked cauliflower

1 part cooked chickpeas to 3 parts cooked mustard greens

1 part lima beans to 2 parts cooked carrots

1 1/2 parts cooked broccoli rabe to 1 1/3 parts cooked wild rice

1/2 part firm tofu to 1 1/4 parts cooked soba noodles

 

50 SHADES OF GREY’S LEAD SET DESIGNER ON SETTING THE MOOD FOR THE SEXIEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson aren’t the only ones bringing the heat.

BY COLLEEN EGAN

 

For design geeks, set designer C. Scott Baker has without a doubt one of the coolest jobs in the film industry. He’s insanely impressive resume includes movies like Avatar and Bridesmaids (which, as expected, was “a blast”), and soon you can see his work in the hotly-anticipated 50 Shades of Grey movie, out on Valentine’s Day. Baker is currently working on the third installment of the Divergent triology, Allegient, but he took some time to tell us what it was like to design for the movie version of E.L. James’ beloved naughty novel about the extreme love affair between high-powered CEO Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele.

ELLE DECOR: Had you read the book when you were approached about the project?

C. Scott Baker:I actually read the script first. Often when a book is adapted into screenplay a lot of things have to be glossed over or skipped, and I didn’t want to taint my idea of what the idea of the vision of the movie should be. I read the book after.

ED: How did you get involved with the movie?

CSB: I initially spoke with [Production Designer] David Wasco in July of 2013, and we went back and forth on the phone for a bit. I was excited to work with him. He and his wife [Set Decorator Sandy Reynolds-Wasco] are phenomenally talented.

ED: How do you approach the design process?

CSB: I would say one of the most important things is to understand who these people are who are going to inhabit the spaces you’re designing. One of the things I do is write a design brief, get to know the characters, and do a little psychological study about who they are. Often the sets can become characters in their own right, so it’s important to understand the backstory of the spaces you create. Christian is very interesting and compelling character. Understanding who he is and what they story is saying about his person informs his environment.

ED: What kind of feel did you want for Christian’s apartment?

CSB: Definitely an incredibly modern — I wouldn’t say cold, but impersonal — controlled environment. The interesting part was creating enough clues to his personality in the design so it doesn’t feel completely static, like a model house. [Director] Sam [Taylor-Wood] is an artist, and she was particular about what kind of art Christian would have. Everything on screen is a very deliberate choice.

ED: What about the Red Room of Pain?

CSB: The color is a lot stronger there than in other rooms. The main thing is we wanted it to feel both sensual and masculine — the things he likes in his heart more than the projection he wants to portray. It was very important that we got it right, and it was the longest design work on the movie from beginning to completion. I think the time we spent paid off. I don’t think anyone is going to be disappointed.

ED: How did you make sure you got it right?

CSB: A couple of advisers in the BDSM scene were brought on to work with the director and production designers. We were very interested in making sure we weren’t doing things that the [BDSM] community would flag as wrong. We wanted it to feel authentic.

ED: Was Christian’s home a set or was it in an apartment building?

CSB: Those were all sets we built on a soundstage. His apartment and living room and kitchen were on one stage, the bedroom suite on another, and the hallway to redroom and Ana’s room on another.

ED: How do you make a room sexy?

CSB: As a designer, I feel that design is very sexy, but a lot of people may not have the same response when they see something well designed. Modern design is typically a very reduced style, I think when it’s done well it’s sexy. Most of the choices in his apartment were made to reflect his character more than make a particular design statement. In the red room we used leather tiles on the floor, which is a little unexpected. If I had his apartment to design for myself or a client, I would have made very different choices. But you’re designing for the camera instead for a client, so there’s some freedom and restrictions there. The most interesting spaces to me are ones that lead your eye.

 

 

 

Top 10 Reasons You Should Date or Marry a Real Estate Agent

mike-bell-authorBy Mike Bell

marry-an-agent

Having a real estate agent as your significant other definitely comes with perks. So if one asks you out on a date, or for your hand in marriage, you should definitely say yes!

Here are the top 10 reasons why:

  1. You can ditch your shrink and save the money. There’s no better therapist than a real estate agent.
  2. Tax deductible dinners. No need to feel guilty about ordering that bottle (or 3) of Screaming Eagle Cab. Write-offs are an agent’s best friend.
  3. Real estate agents are tough. They don’t give up easily. When the “honeymoon stage” fades, they’re not likely to scram.
  4. Since there’s no such thing as a “sure thing” in real estate, an agent’s hopes are tempered by realism. They take nothing for granted, and they’re practically immune to let downs.
  5. Real estate agents are great negotiators. If you want to vacation at the beach, and he or she prefers the mountains, guess what… yep, go pack your flannels. Which is better anyway — you’ve been to the beach too many times already.
  6. Real estate agents work with multiple vendors, so they’re great coordinators. Think: parties, weddings, reunions, etc. This will lighten your load down the road. You’ll thank me later.
  7. Real estate agents know beauty is more than skin deep. On that note, if one ever tells you that you have “good bones”, it doesn’t mean what you think it does.
  8. Real estate agents are easy to reach at a moment’s notice. They keep their phones on them at all times. Their livelihood depends on it.
  9. Never worry about awkward social situations. Real estate agents are dripping with charm and can relate to all walks of people.
  10. They’re skilled at breaking down complicated stuff into simple terms (ever read a sales contract?!). So when it comes time to talk about feelings and emotions, you’ll know exactly where they stand.

Have you ever dated or married a real estate agent? Or are you one yourself? If so, what would you add to this list?

Zoning Issues Complicate Plan For Oscar Hammerstein Museum in Doylestown

(A 1948 aerial photo of Oscar Hammerstein II's "Highland Farm."  Photo provided by Will Hammerstein)

(A 1948 aerial photo of Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Highland Farm.” Photo provided by Will Hammerstein)

By Brad Segall

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A development battle could be brewing in Doylestown (Bucks County), Pa., where the grandson of legendary lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II has visions of a museum and theater on the five-acre property where his grandfather once lived.

(Oscar Hammerstein II, in publicity photo from about 1940)

Hammerstein wrote many of his famed words at Highland Farm, which is now a bed-and-breakfast.  Will Hammerstein, the grandson, heads up a nonprofit group that wants to buy the farm and turn it into an education center that would offer house tours alongside a 400-seat theater and museum.

Saving the property, he believes, is something people understand and can get behind.

“We have an opportunity to present these pieces of Americana in a way that no one can, anywhere else in the world, and they will never be able to — because we have the power of the place,” Will Hammerstein says.

But not everyone is on board yet.  Three township supervisors have concerns about the theater, and the parking area that would go with it.

Hammerstein goes before the zoning board in two weeks, hoping to get the variances he needs to move forward with the project.

Chris Maroc-Please support this worthwhile endeavor. My grandfather, Rex Stout was a close friend and worked tirelessly with Oscar Hammerstein for numerous causes. Oscar Hammerstein was one of our greatest American librettists, theatrical producers, and theatre directors of musicals for almost forty years. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards.

How to Choose and Prep a Christmas Tree

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20831515,00.html

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook gives tips for picking the perfect Christmas tree.

The Best of Thanksgiving: Appetizer

Before the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, you should consider snacking responsibly with this amazing appetizer.

There is a feast waiting for you in the afternoon, but who doesn’t want some snacks to prime the pump for the big turkey dinner? I’m a sucker for appetizers. Dips, finger food, you name it. I want to eat it. Especially on Thanksgiving. But two years ago, I got introduced to the best Thanksgiving appetizer of all time. Yes, all time.

Picture this. It’s 12:30 in the afternoon. You’re sitting down to dinner probably around 3 or 4 pm so you’re not really wanting a full lunch, but you need (yes, need) a snack to help tide you over. You’re about to watch the Packers and Lions kickoff and it’s just irresponsible to watch football on Thanksgiving without some snackage. Yes, snackage.

Do you break out vegetables and dip? No. Do you reach for some crackers and cheese spread? Nuh uh. Instead you make some bacon wrapped  jalapeño tater tots.

baconwrappedtots

Now I’ve got your attention. Tots. Bacon.  Jalapeño. Oh and there’s a ranch dipping sauce too. My mouth is watering as I type this.

How do you make such a heavenly treat? Simple. Take a tater tot and a little jalapeño and put them together. Then wrap them in bacon and skewer them with a toothpick so everything stays together. Just drop them into some oil in a pan and fry them up for a bit and you have the ultimate Thanksgiving appetizer. For those who like to dip, grab a little Hidden Valley Ranch dressing to put on the side and hurry over to your favorite seat on the couch to watch some football.

Happy snacking on a very happy Thanksgiving.

12 Absolutely Hilarious Real Estate Signs

by Grace Murano

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. So when her husband left her for a younger woman, Elle Zober decided to use that as a ploy to sell the family home they once shared.

The sign says: “Husband Left Us for a 22 Year OldHouse for sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner … Adulterers Need Not Apply“.

This realtor likes to make things clear. (Source)

Full disclosure is always appreciated.

Uh…is it contagious?

Your cat will love it.

First Thanksgiving? Consider This Your Stress-Free Guide to Hosting

Real Simple

First Thanksgiving? Consider This Your Stress-Free Guide to Hosting

So you decided to have everyone at your home this year. It’s a big undertaking, but we’re here to help.

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest family holidays of the year—and maybe the most delicious. There’s nothing like the after-dinner food coma that evening, and knowing you have leftovers to get you through breakfast, lunch, and dinner practically until Christmas. If the hosting baton has been passed to you this year, we know your first instinct is to panic.

“It always feels overwhelming and very stressful,” says Debi Lilly, owner and chief planner at A Perfect Event. “There are a lot of details that have to be fairly synchronized.”

Not to worry: We’ve mapped it out. Here, a foolproof timeline and checklist so no detail goes forgotten.

TWO TO THREE WEEKS BEFORE:

Make a plan.
“Start planning out simple things, like event flow,” says Lilly. Think about where you want guests to sit, and where you want to set your food (if you’re doing buffet style). With more than eight guests, buffet is the easiest way to go—especially if you’re short on space.

“You can do a beautiful party in a small space by utilizing all of your sitting areas,” says Lilly. This means you may want to purchase cheap lap trays for older guests or young children who might have trouble balancing dinner on their knees.

Create a menu:
When creating a menu, go for recipes that are simple and trusted—like these easy stuffings, or these colorful sides. While it’s fun to have one unique item at your meal, go for a signature cocktail, not a stuffing recipe that requires bizarre ingredients and three days of prep. Once your menu is set, write out grocery lists. You should divide the list into perishables and nonperishables to make shopping and storing easier. Need menu inspiration? Find it here.

Pro organizing tip: “Print out a blank November calendar, and then fill in with when you will shop, when you will make certain dishes ahead, and any pick-ups you may need to make or deliveries coming to the house,” says Diane Phillips, James Beard Award nominee cookbook author and cooking teacher.

Order your turkey.
“For the turkey, you will need three-quarters to a pound of turkey per person,” says Phillips. This will still leave you with a day’s worth of leftovers. Buy the bird as early as possible and freeze it. Just remember: You need one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey.

While you’re at it, consider ordering prepared h’ors doerves trays from the grocery store or desserts from the bakery that you’ll also want to serve. One more thing checked off your list!

Confirm your guest list.
Take note of how many people are coming to your house, and in that list, how many are children. From there, ask people to help. It’s not unreasonable to ask guests to bring a dish—and often, they will offer!

“There’s a time and a place for doing it all, but I don’t think Thanksgiving is the place,” says Lilly. When you ask guests to bring a dish, be very specific, so you know exactly what is heading to your home. Phillips takes it one step further:

“If you are having people bring a dish, give them the recipe,” she says. “They will appreciate having something they can easily put together.”

ONE WEEK BEFORE:

Set the table.
Taking care of this task in advance saves you a little bit of stress on the day-of. If you can’t set it an entire week in advance, shoot for a few days ahead. Have place cards ready if you’ll all be sitting at one table to avoid any confusion.

Place yourself closest to the kitchen, and not necessarily at the head. It’s best to split up couples for a livelier dynamic, but keep small children between their parents. Bonus tip: Seat lefties at corners, where they’ll have room to eat without banging elbows.

Grocery shop.
Consult your grocery lists and get your shopping out of the way. Does anything sound worse than a last-minute trip to the local grocery store on Thanksgiving Day? If you shop about five to six days in advance, you should have little-to-no issue with your perishable items.

To ease your burden, consider passing off dessert to a guest or a local bakery, says Lilly. Offer up recipe suggestions to the family member who can bake up a storm, or visit the grocer to order ahead.

Prepare for overnight guests.
Make sure you have fresh towels and linens on hand for overnight guests, and their room is ready to go. If you have a small home and no guest room, there are plenty of ways to make guests feel comfortable without their own space.

THE WEEK OF:

Take inventory.
Do you have a thermometer? Enough casserole dishes? What about plates and silverware? Ensure that you have all of the essential turkey tools before diving into cooking.

Start cooking on Sunday.
Here lies Phillips’ secret to a stress-free holiday:make-ahead dishes. Gravy bases can be frozen, and casseroles and vegetables can often be cooked ahead and refrigerated for up to two days. If it can’t be cooked in advance, maybe it can at least be prepared. For example: your potatoes can be washed and ready to peel and mash.

THE DAY OF:

Wake up early.
On this holiday, there is no sleeping in. Make a schedule, and stick to it. Most importantly: You want to be ready up to an hour before guests are scheduled to arrive.

“Someone always arrives very early,” says Lilly. “There’s nothing worse than the doorbell ringing while you’re in the shower.”

What does this mean? The table or buffet should be set, and more importantly, the drinks should be chilled. If you give yourself an hour-long buffer, you’ll save yourself a lot of scrambling.

Keep food warm.
Use the microwave—it’s insulated, so it will keep dishes warm for up to half an hour—just don’t turn it on. Pour gravy into a thermos to keep it steaming. Spoon mashed potatoes or rice into an insulated ice bucket or Crock-Pot.

Prepare every room in the house.
Start your holiday with a clean kitchen—this means empty dishwashers and trashcans. Line your bins with more than one bag so that you have a fresh bag ready to go when one becomes full. Remove precious objects from the living room to save them from hyper nieces and nephews. If coats and bags are going on your bed, cover your duvet and pillows with a sheet to protect them from the elements. Finally, light a candle in the bathroom—it’s just a nice touch.

Roast the perfect turkey
To know it’s done, use a meat thermometer in three spots: breast, thigh, and stuffing. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, and in the center of both the breast and the stuffing. If your turkey is unstuffed, cooking times are different—see this handy chart for answers to all of your turkey cooking questions. Brining your turkey will make it even juicier, and it’s an easy skill to master.

If something goes wrong, don’t panic. Call mom, consult these turkey tips, or phone one of these helpful Thanksgiving hotlines.

Get your stain-removing arsenal ready.
When you crowd family members into a home, and couple that with delicious dinner, food will fly. White cotton cloths can sop up spills; white vinegar can handle coffee splatters; white wine can overpower its evil twin, red wine; a pre-treat stick like Tide to Go will handle major food slips.

Have fun!
This holiday is all about being grateful for what you have—even if the turkey is burnt and the tablecloth is a mosaic of stains, enjoy the time you have with family and friends, and take note of funny stories to tell at next year’s dinner.

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