Simple Belgian-style Overnight Yeast-risen Waffles

The waffle is a childish thing, an ethereal dream that wins the race more often than it should when eating out. At home, as children, we bought them frozen, popped them in the toaster and soaked them in Log Cabin syrup and butter. I loved them anyway — at least the idea of them. Later as a young adult I bought my first waffle iron, an Art Deco Arvin, at a tag sale and learned that making waffles at home was a very simple task — if you can measure a teaspoon of salt, you can make a waffle from

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Deerhoof Bring the Noise to Hamden’s Space Ballroom

In numerous incarnations since the mid-1990s, San Francisco noise punks Deerhoof have taken an experimental approach to music touching on psychedelic, jazz, atmospheric and pop styles evident in the band’s 18 studio albums, a few EPs, a handful of live albums and numerous collaborations. The quartet of bassist and co-vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, drummer and co-vocalist Greg Saunier and dual guitarists John Dietrich and Ed Rodriguez — most recently released “Actually, You Can,” last October, and are appearing at the Space Ballroom in Hamden on Saturday, May 7 with indie rock trio Editrix to support the release. Saunier and I talked

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Los Charros Cantina Celebrates Reopening and Cinco de Mayo

Guitarist Ron Murray is performing at Los Charros Cantina in Centerbrook for a celebration of Cinco de Mayo planned by Chef Colt Taylor. The popular restaurant, which Taylor describes as an “homage to authentic Mexican street food,” is fully reopening, after suffering a burst pipe and devastating flooding in January 2021, with a new game room featuring foosball, darts and shuffleboard, and an ages 21-and-over bar area called Coco X. Bar Manager Nancy Wood mixed up for us a Jalisco-style punch of tequila, Prosecco, squeezed lime, orange and pineapple, and Jarritos Mandarin soda, that she describes as a “sangria, but

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Study in Science Finds Personality For a Dog is Not a Matter of Breed

Beagles are scent hounds, prone to wander as they follow their noses. But Bonnie the beagle is a couch potato. Beagles are known for chumminess. Clyde the beagle, however, enjoys his independence. Beagles are noted for their gentleness, but gentle would not describe Mikey the beagle’s rapid-fire high-jumps. Beagles, reportedly, don’t make good watch dogs. But Rocky the beagle alerts his family to the slightest disturbance. Such discrepancies are explained in a sweeping study published Friday in the journal Science. It found that, despite conventional wisdom, breed doesn’t much predict personality traits in an individual dog. The research on the

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Connecticut Storytelling Festival Performs in Downtown New London on Saturday

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NEW LONDON — What happens when a proofreader fails at the one job she has to do? “I would wake in the night in a sweat, wondering, is ‘kick off’ one word or two words? With a hyphen or no hyphen? And which one did I use? Oh my god, I don’t know!” ChaChanna Simpson told a rapt audience at the “Cabaret,” the first event of the 40th annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival at Hygienic Art Park Friday night. When her boss asked her to check an important logo for a major event, Simpson was mortified when she found out she

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Myles Bullen to Make Hip Hop Poetry at New Haven’s State House on Friday

The past few years have witnessed a hip hop resurgence across New England. And every city from New Haven to Providence, Burlington to Portland seems to have at least one up-and-coming rapper making their presence felt. In Portland, Maine, that’s Myles Bullen, who brings a style that separates him from his contemporaries — heartfelt, genuine and chock full of prose, while he’s either performing with a ukulele for an intimate vibe or over some cool beats. On April 29, Bullen will be appearing at the State House in New Haven with local folk-rap staple Ceschi Ramos, fellow Portlandians The Bumbling

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Connecticut East This Week Takes Awards, Hits 100th Episode

On Saturday, Brian Smith releases the 100th episode of Connecticut East This Week, an award-winning weekly news podcast that Smith describes as an effort to bring back long-form storytelling and longer-form reporting to listeners in eastern Connecticut. The 30-minute episodes – which have included interviews recently with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the group Puppies Behind Bars, artist Bill Dougal, and a smattering of local politicos – are aired by the Hall Radio Group, and can be downloaded on Apple Podcasts. “I’m asking the questions that I think people would want to ask if they can have access to those people,” explained

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The Nth Power Get Soulful at Bridgeport’s Park City Music Hall

Ever since guitarist and vocalist Nick Cassarino, bassist Nate Edgar and drummer Nikki Glaspie joined up for an impromptu late night jam during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival back in 2012, The Nth Power has been showing that soul music can be greater than just a power trio. With funk and groove, the band has a habit of making people dance and move around whenever they perform live. They also like to leave the door open for collaboration, which is evident in their latest album Reverence that came out last September. The Nth Power will be coming to

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Sugar Kelp on the Menu as Underwater Harvest Underway 

OLD SAYBROOK – After finishing off a scallop dish with cucumber-kelp salad and a white chocolate custard dessert topped with candied kelp at Liv’s Oyster Bar Thursday evening, Jessica Hampton was ready to try the Shark Bait cocktail – also infused with the sea-cultivated vegetable. “Smells so refreshing,” she said before taking her first sip on the outdoor patio. “Like you’re at the shore.” It was the popular restaurant’s first night of serving kelp-inspired recipes during a New England Kelp Harvest Week promotion that runs through May 1, and coincides with the annual harvest.  Nearly 50 venues in Connecticut and

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Two Brothers Talk Coffee, Custom Cars and Maybe a Nightclub in New London

NEW LONDON — Two brothers with a strong sense of loyalty to each other — and some pretty wild tales to tell — are pursuing a new endeavor, a coffee shop in Union Station. Java Joe’s Grab & Go is named for the younger brother, Joe Colaluca, a former marine in his 60s. He’s a mechanic who worked on cars and now likes building motorcycles.  The older brother, Fortunata — who goes by “Lucky” — is a kind of visionary who sees possibilities beyond the present circumstances. In the 1960s as a young teenager he left Connecticut for Hollywood where he

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80th Whitney Biennial Reflects “Precarious and Improvised Times”

NEW YORK — The sidewalk in front of the Whitney Museum was teeming with visitors last Wednesday — the ticket queue reached almost all the way to the High Line as sunlight bounced from the Hudson River to the museum’s quadruple-height glass atrium walls.  Inside the 80th Biennial was underway, after a year’s delay due to the pandemic. It’s been a hiatus of three years instead of two but that period of time “has expanded, contracted, suspended, and blurred—often in dizzying succession,” said co-curators David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards in their introduction to the show. The show title, “Quiet As It’s

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Latin American Artists-in-Residence Create Sculptural Ecosystems in New London

NEW LONDON — Two fragile ecosystems populated by imaginary animals and shifting polygonal forms create a small-scale yet monumental world in a new sculptural installation at the Expressiones Cultural Center at 84 Bank St., on view through April 30.  The collaborative show, called “Trailblazing,” is the culmination of artists Iliana Scheggia and Ramón Ostolaza’s 3-month residencies at the center, which promotes Latin American culture.  The couple —from Lima, Peru — said they’ve been asking each other questions about the structure and nature of the universe for the 12 years they’ve been together. In this show, they probe those questions, each

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Marian ‘Bing’ Bingham, Artist and Alumna, Shows Chinese Ink Paintings at Connecticut College

NEW LONDON — In Marian “Bing” Bingham’s Chinese ink paintings, the steady practice of brushstrokes reflects centuries of tradition and bolsters her creation of works that are personal, modern and ancient.   “I think the wonderful thing about Chinese painting is that you study —  you look at the bamboo and you absorb the way it grows — and then you paint it,” she said. “You don’t have it in front of you — you do it from the practice of the stroke and just more from the feeling of how it’s growing.”  Bingham, a former longtime resident of Connecticut, spoke

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Castello in Aria

Child of the Weather is building castles of sand scooped out of the beach, all around the boulders of the groins and the breakwaters, from beneath the bulkheads until they reach, a toppling, geometry. Child takes and makes: A deep moat near shore. Then a long linear battlement of sand bars. Another moat… Another bar… That’s as far as she got, this time. Because the Weather Herself climbed down from those seventy knot gusts in a fifty knot blow to a normal small craft warning. And took the Child home. Well I tell you what. The house has stopped swaying

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‘Season of the Osprey’ Filmmaker to Speak in Live Zoom, Presented by Estuary Center in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — As pairs of osprey return to their nests this time of year, a film about the cycles of their lives will be the subject of a live Zoom presentation at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center on April 7 at 6 p.m. “What makes the film unique is it’s a portrait of a family — a male and female lifelong-bonded pair and their offspring — told over the course of one a year,” said Jacob Steinberg, a Connecticut native and wildlife cinematographer who produced and directed “Season of the Osprey.” The return of the osprey is a

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A Noob’s View of CT Gamer Con at Mohegan Sun

UNCASVILLE — When I walked into the lobby of the Sky Convention Center at Mohegan Sun on the first day of CT Gamer Con, Providence-based video game rock trio Lame Genie was performing on stage to my right.  The talented act shredded music from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Mega Man X, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest and Chrono Trigger to clips of each game projected on a screen behind them. Guitarist Jeff McGowan, bassist Mike Costigan and drummer Kyle Sawaia were wearing fluorescent neon visors, similar to ones worn by Geordi

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Connecticut Marks ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day’

Frank LiVolsi’s obituary pegs him as Greatest Generation. Its members are known for hard work, sacrifice, personal responsibility, integrity, community service, faithfulness to family, loyalty to friends, and a love of country that propelled victory in World War II. True to the model, LiVolsi’s childhood friends were lifelong. He was a standout football and baseball player in high school. He was a distinguished graduate of a military college, commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.  He graduated law school then reported for active duty and was assigned to the 11th Armed Cavalry Regiment. Once deployed, he served as

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War Sparks Search By New London Man for Family Roots on the Borders of Ukraine

NEW LONDON — For Keith Kimball, a question mark had always hovered around his maternal lineage. He knew that his great-grandfather had immigrated to the U.S. from somewhere in Eastern Europe, bringing customs that Kimball learned from his grandfather and his mother. But the family’s country of origin and ethnic background remained unknown.  “He was a mystery, always, to the family,” said Kimball of his grandfather.   The pieces of information that Kimball did have were confusing. His grandfather’s aunts would claim different things — one would say they were Polish, the other would say Ukrainian. But the family spoke an

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One Week in, Port Of Call Shows Polish

MYSTIC – Blindfold me, sit me down at a bar, and serve me a drink, and 10 times out of 10 I guarantee you I can pick out the ones shaken, stirred or built by Port of Call Beverage Director Jade Ayala and Sebastian Guerrero, who heads up the bar program. Whether I am drinking boozy variations on a Manhattan or Negroni served ‘up,’ or jewel-toned Caribbean-inspired sweet-tart cocktails served on pebble ice, there is nothing loud, slick or perfunctory about the drinks here. The bar shows polish — classic formulas, sensitive subbing in of the oddball spirit or two,

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Musical Masterworks’ 31st Season is Back in Person in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Its 30th season was held virtually, but Musical Masterworks is back in person this year, presenting the second concert of its 31st season on March 26 and 27 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The program will include Artistic Director Edward Arron on cello along with two Musical Masterworks veterans — Grammy nominee Adam Nieman on piano and two-time Grammy nominee Tara Helen O’Connor on flute. This year will be Arron’s 13th and final season leading Musical Masterworks. He will pass on the reins to violinist Tessa Lark as Artistic Director Designate.  When: Saturday, March 26

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A Battle in Stamford to Preserve the Stories of ‘The Kids’ Who Won WWII

STAMFORD – Joe D’Ademo was standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific Ocean when out of the clouds came a kamikaze – a Japanese plane, loaded with explosives, on a suicide mission. D’Ademo, a teenager, had been aboard the USS Lexington one week. He heard the plane careening toward the ship and dove into an opening on deck. “It’s one of those things I don’t like to think about,” D’Ademo, an aviation mechanic, said 50 years later when asked to recount his World War II experience. “(I) hurt my shoulder, but a guy

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50 Years of Pictures and Stories, a New Book from Lyme Photographer

LYME — From photographing the President of the United States to hanging off a helicopter miles from the coast of Crete, Skip Hine has pictures to show and stories to tell. “The helicopter hatch was open and my feet were hanging in the air. We kept circling the ship and I kept shooting, then we landed on the tanker — I think of that as one of the most thrilling jobs I ever had,” said Hine about being hired by a Greek shipping company to create a photo library of their oil tankers.  “At the time I was thinking, I can’t

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Jane Bunnett and Maqueque to Bring Cuban Sound to Old Lyme

OLD LYME – Over the past seven years, renowned Canadian jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Maqueque – a group of five musicians from Cuba – have become one of the top jazz groups in North America, and in the past year have brought their vibrant sound to festivals from Newport to Monterey. On Saturday, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque will stop in Old Lyme for a one-night-only show at The Side Door Jazz Club at the Old Lyme Inn. Bunnett – winner of five Juno awards and nominated for three Grammy awards – first began digging into Cuban music after visiting

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Cocotte Turns Out Top-Notch French Cooking Without Pretense

Since Cocotte opened last June on Main Street in Old Saybrook, chef Jeffrey DeFrancesco has begun turning out some of the least pretentious, best food east of New Haven from a tiny kitchen with a young understudy, while his French wife Isabelle works the front of the house (apart from her other job) with a parttime staff of servers and an ethic that is as uncompromising as it is convivial. “The other side of French food is a very communal thing,” Isabelle, the more voluble of the two, explained to me the other day. “Your favorite restaurant – it’s usually

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Robert Cray Brings His Blues To Garde Arts Center

Robert Cray has a timeless approach to the blues that takes the roots of the music and makes it fresh, captivating and enjoyable to dive into. The Grammy award-winning guitarist & singer has been leading his own band for over 40 years and he’s one of the top blues artists around. You could even say that he’s reached legend status at this point in his illustrious & prolific career. He and his band will be performing at the Garde Arts Center in New London on March 11. Nashville singer-songwriter, activist and music therapist Kyshona will be starting off the show

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Milton Avery Show Opens at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

HARTFORD — The evolution of Milton Avery as a figurative and abstract artist — and notable colorist — can be traced from his early landscapes to his late works in a wide-ranging retrospective of his paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art that opens Saturday, March 5.  Arranged in chronological order, the 70-piece show reflects Avery’s personal life and artistic influences, culminating in the richly-colored figurative and abstract pieces he was later known for as a modernist painter.  The show is a kind of homecoming for Avery (1885–1965), who grew up near Hartford, where he took his first art

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A Remarkable Showing Of Twenty-Something ‘Volcanic Wine’ at Mystic’s Shipwright’s Daughter

Even at elevation, 2019 must have been a scorching summer in Egra, the spiritual home of Bikaver, Bull’s Blood, a Hungarian red blend dating back to the 19th century or earlier, that leans heavily on Kékfrankos, a local variety of Blaufränkisch. Across central and southeastern Europe it was the hottest summer in more than a century. In the glass, the 2019 Gal-Tibor Bikaver was spicy, dried fig and raisin, with enough acidity to keep things lively – a bargain for around 22 bucks from Spencer and Lynn in Mystic, and by the glass at Shipwright’s Daughter, where Sommelier Kathleen Standridge

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Slambovian Circus of Dreams Kicks Off 2022 Tour in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK — The Slambovian Circus of Dreams will return to Connecticut for its first show of 2022 at the Kate on Sunday as they present their sixth album, “A Very Unusual Head.”  “We were mixing the album when COVID hit. The whole album has to do with thinking outside the box and that’s how we can really solve our problems,” said Tink Lloyd, who plays accordion, cello, theremin and flute in the band.  Josiah Longo, singer and songwriter for the band, who’s married to LLoyd, said the songs are about finding ways to bring people back together, especially after

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Transformational Stories of Hope, Inspiration and Purpose

Growing up without his biological father left Ryan King with a void that he desperately tried to fill. King, who found inspiration from his namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., says he wants others without a father in their life to see their gifts, talents, passions, separate from that bond. “I used to say he was my father … His last name was King … and not only that, we had the same background. He was dedicated to community, and I was. He was dedicated to the church, I was – as a deacon, as an usher,” said King.  

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Sunflower Bean Bring Their Brand of Glam to Hamden’s Space Ballroom on Saturday

Brooklyn’s music scene is one of the most esteemed on the planet and for good reason. It’s a place where a ton of musicians and bands cut their teeth before making it big in the mid to late 2000s. It was the epicenter of the indie rock universe. But with gentrification, the high cost of living and the closing of a few important venues, the community has been in a bit of an ebb lately, but there’s still always great music coming out of the New York borough. A fresh example is Sunflower Bean, a trio putting their own spin

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