Rail-Bikes, the Latest Hit Attraction for the Valley Railroad Company in Essex

The Valley Railroad Company in Essex has halted operation of its popular Essex Stream Train and Riverboat rides while the state adjusts to life with COVID-19, but is instead offering, for a limited number of dates this summer, a novel rail-bike experience along the scenic lower Connecticut River. “The rail-bikes were going to be one of our season opening events, but it was originally slated to just be in an addition to the things we’re already doing,” said Valley Railroad Company Vice President Rob Bradway. “It was never anticipated that the rail-bikes would be the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

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New Haven-based Therapist Launches Online Dungeons & Dragons for the Young and Autistic

Talking to Daniel Allen, a 37-year-old recreational therapist with a short but remarkable history of working with children, in Ethiopia in the Peace Corps, for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang and at Yale New Haven, you pretty immediately understand that this is a person who loves the offbeat imaginative side of childhood learning. A self-described “proud nerd,” Allen took the leap from part-time work at Yale New Haven’s Child Psychiatric Inpatient Unit to start Dragon Haven, a new online service that uses games like Dungeons & Dragons to help children build social skills and cope with anxiety. “I

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The Garde Arts Center Launches Virtual Screenings for Audiences in Southeast Connecticut

NEW LONDON — The giant screen of its movie house went dark mid-March, but the Garde Arts Center is now offering a virtual program that lets audiences screen specially curated films at home. Steve Sigel, executive director of the Garde, said that the new Garde Virtual Cinema is an unusual arrangement benefiting both the venue screening the film and the studio that made the film. “There are a number of studios that are partnering with movie theatres and art houses, who share the proceeds,” he said. “Magnolia Pictures contacted us. We’ve done screenings of their films in our theatre so

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Puzzle

Congratulations to Renwick Griswold for the win! All the prizes are delayed with COVID-19, but they will fabulous! Have this week’s solution? Send it to editor@ctexaminer.com Last week’s solution

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Music at the Red Door Hosts an Intimate Pop-up Recital with Christa Rakich on Harpsichord

In a stirring noontime pop-up concert on a recent Wednesday, Christa Rakich performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s French Suite #5 in G, BWV 816 on the harpsichord as part of Music at the Red Door, a series of online performances hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford, CT. Rakich, a masterful interpreter of J. S. Bach’s work on a variety of keyboard instruments, has a lifetime of experience performing this piece. Rakich first learned it as a high school student. “It is a very old and very dear friend,” Rakich says. “Having grown up with it, it has revealed

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Crossword

138 clues — and every letter in the alphabet with the exception of Q and X — in a 21 by 21 square. Every Sunday, each week’s winner receives a fabulous prize (eventually). Send your completed puzzle to editor@ctexaminer.com Solution for May 3, 2020

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The Holy Grail of Backyard Pizza

On my fourth go – with supermarket dough no less – I had achieved (or at least glimpsed) the Holy Grail of backyard pizza, a Neapolitan-style pizza in just under 90 seconds, telltale leopard-spotting on the cornicione, a bit of char on the undercarriage. As a personal expression, I was turning out in these first attempts pizza competitive with the best in the state. After twenty years of pizza making and all sorts of stoves and stones and grills – none actually better than a cheap grad school Magic Chef that melted the kitchen linoleum each time it came up

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