Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bands & Brews: Final Fridays at New England Brewing


Here at CT Scenic we love a good party at the brewery, so when DH invited me to go hear a friend's band play at New England Brewing's monthly music and party night I was totally in. New England Brewing brewery is an unassuming building in Woodbridge (almost New Haven) in a lot amidst a cat vet, a teen center and various restaurants. The monthly party happens on the final friday of the month. For five dollars at the door we were issued three beer tickets and a disposable plastic cup.


Our friend Gerry was sitting in (shredding in, really) with the Mold Monkies, a power pop band featuring old guys from the New Haven-ish scene, including a guy from the Jellyshirts (who we've totally heard of). They were catchy and great, and though Gerry feigned embarrassment over his lack of familiarity with the material and resultant mis-notes, nobody noticed. Everyone was happily drinking and rocking out. We were sort of half-assedly drinking, but we're the media, we don't really relax and have fun. DH was probably thinking about Bikram yoga, and I was wondering what is the point of drinking a beer without any pictures on it (or fancy glass bottles to drink it from). Unfortunately they ran out of beer - which really makes no sense, because I don't know what else all those vats were full of - before we had a chance to redeem our remaining tickets. But the event was quite a lively, happening thing, and the music was great. Actually, I thought the beer, which their website says is their Alpha Weizen summer brew was kind of blah. But whatevs, I'm excited about CT product and monthly parties.


Compared to our other frequented brewery party, the Hooker open house nights, this party was not as smelly and had much cooler entertainment (as the Hooker party has no entertainment but that which you bring in with you), but had less and less tasty beer (we love Hooker). If brewery parties are really really your thing, you could go to Hooker the first and third Fridays of the monthy AND New England Brewing for "Final Fridays." We don't know who will play at next months event, because their website is horrible. But apparently the boss is a man of musical taste, so it will probably be fine.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The GLBT Sandwich: A Dream Come True

I've been forming a joke/idea about a GLBT sandwich for months now - DH Scenic can vouch for this, we've totally discussed it. It would be a sexy twist on a BLT, obvs. So it kind of lit a fire under my ass (OUCH!) when I read this from a Jezebel post about 10 Inane Kelly Bensimon Quotes (whoever she is, right?):
1.) "I was at Mohegan Sun for the opening of their Mohegan Sun Days event, it's their [monthly] GL — GLBT night. I always think that sounds like BLT."

Well, yeah, it does! And great minds obviously think alike. I had to seize the moment and make the GLBT sandwich happen at it's peak of cultural relevance.

We had discussed possibilities for the "G." Like guacamole:


And gouda:


Tonight I went for both, cause why not. The more "G" the better around here!



It was fucking delicious.

Was it worth it, Laurel?

Amongst her other dirty laundry laid out for all to see in this week's Advocate, one Laurel Touhy - if that even is your name - professes that she chooses the freedom of freelance over such failed ventures as full-time work and long-term monogamy. But we've freelanced (and fucked around) a bit ourselves, and know how much (little) it pays. So we're mystified as to what compelled Laurel to spill her guts about such deeply personal shit as her past cheating, her boyfriend's retaliatory Facebook and bank account terrorism, and how weird it was (is?) sharing a home with him in a lousy real estate economy. Ohhh... this is an article about the times we live in.

Actually, there's probably a lot of humor, pathos and insight to be mined from such experiences, but Laurel lacks the grammatical prowess to pull it off, and a paragraph or so into her story I'm basically lost by her artless shifts in tense from present to past and put off by her trivialization of parenting (a nu-journalistic cliche in itself) via cheap shots about gluten-free diets (er, some people really need them) and redundancies like "cohabitate together" and "Today, I now believe in." Um, obviously.

What could essay writing for the Advocate possibly pay? $150? Less? Maybe it's not about the money and she just needed to get this off her chest. We hope it was worth it, but wouldn't save this one for our portfolio.

Psyched for Scharisma

Thursday, July 29: Scharisma @ The Hungry Tiger, Manchester


Virginia Scharisma is this gorgeous chick who is one of our favorite peeps to run into at RAW's Creative Cocktail Hour... she's also the singer with her band, Scharisma. We're excited to see her do her thing this Thursday at the Hungry Tiger in Manchester. The band's page appears to be overdue for a revamp, but you can still check out some of their tunes there.

Here is a youtube vid with not-so-hot audio, but we're told the kids today like moving pictures to go with their blog posts:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tisane's Milkshake brings all the bloggers to the...


It's Tisane week here on the blog (and in my life). I can't really stay away though. If it isn't Asian-esque lunch and geography, it's a coffee on the way to work, or a drink on the way home. Today was weird. I woke up early and the room was spinning. Totally alcohol unrelated, by the way. The feeling took pretty much all day to pass - which involved lots and lots of napping and not going to work. So when I briefly ventured out to promote the Blogaversary Party this evening, I was not looking to drink, lest I set my equilibrium off kilter again. I thought I'd like a nice milkshake instead, but I didn't see any on the menu. I commented to a friend, "Man, I really feel like a milkshake, I can't believe there's no milkshakes on the menu..."


I dint even know this handsome fellow at the same table was actually the general manager! Well, he's a guy who aims to please, and he was all "Fix this lady a milkshake immediately!" I don't know exactly what they whipped up for me, but I think it may have had some actual coffee in it and it was totally delicious and made me feel ok about how fat I'm getting. And General Manager Guy was like "Any time we don't have what you want, ask, we can probably put something together." And I was all "Thanks! I'm so gonna blog about this!"

Blogaversary Buzz: OMG we got blogged up!

Thanks for the plug, longtime Advocate contributor and fellow scene-star Dan Barry! You may know him from his Local Commotion or Ear Might blogs. So we're blogging about him blogging about us and then we're gonna Facebook this post, it'll be one big...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Under the Vagina Tea Leaf: CT explained at Tisane

This afternoon a little coffee meetup at Tisane between Katie and Laura "SuperLula" turned into a full-on Scenic outing when Jackie Scenic and some DC friends and Librarian Mike were all looking for someplace to lunch at the same time. We love Tisane for their kid-friendly martini menu, but we often overlook them as a pretty awesome dining establishment. We ordered up some of their Asian-esque offerings, including soba noodles with tofu, a tofu appetizer and the salmon burger with sesame noodles. Anything we can eat with chopsticks is generally fine. Tisane is definitely one of our top fake ethnic establishments!

Jackie's DC friends had lots of questions about Connecticut. We told them about our "blue laws" and how bars close relatively early relative to some other parts of the country (but, seriously, who can actually afford to keep drinking in NYC til last call, eh?). They wanted to know if the early closing fosters much of an after-party scene. We explained that it's really more of a 'get too drunk to drive and crash at your friend's place for an awkward sexual encounter' after hours scene.

Librarian Mike tried to show them where we are relative to other places they've heard of, like Boston, and drew this map on a napkin. We overheard him explaining about Route 84 and drawing in "that state that's below Connecticut."


Excuse me? Well, damn it people, he's a librarian, not a geographer. But we haven't heard about that state "below" CT and what the fuck happened to Cape Cod and Rhode Island, and why is CT's penis on the wrong side. We drew them a better map.

Friday, July 23, 2010

CT Scenic's First Blogaversary Party!

We are pretty excited to announce that we've been blogging Scenic style for nearly one year. August 7th will be one year exactly from our first post, and we are putting on a party to celebrate. We've been pushing other people's events all this time, and now we've got our own. Check it:


We'd love to meet all our readers. If you would RSVP to ctscenic@gmail.com or to the Facebook event page (aren't you our friend yet?), that would help us to have enough drinks and donuts to go around.

We have a very cool venue for the night - the Monster Lab Studio in New Britain, which is right off Route 9, impossible to miss and just minutes away from Hartford. We've blogged about Sidewalk Dave before, and we are psyched to present them live in concert at our party. Check them:



And our old friend we mention constantly, CT punk legend Matt "Injection" Mullarkey and the Midnightmares will be there too:



See you there!

We can't quite decide whether it's a "blogaversary" or a "blogiversary." The former looks better, but the latter seems more linguistically correct. So we'll just go both ways - like we always do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Update: Guerrilla Queer Bar v.1


Location will be The Spigot Cafe @ 468 Prospect Ave, Hartford. It's tomorrow night, Thursday the 22nd, starting around 9pm.

They have 18 beers on tap and 150ish bottles, a great jukebox and some dart boards. (Lesbians love darts). Come cause a commotion at this hipster/townie bar. Or just play darts and drink beer. Whatever floats your boat.

If you haven't already, join the facebook group so you can stay in the loop for future events!



Monday, July 19, 2010

Breakfast at Dom's


Much to our chagrin, we must admit to having dropped the ball a bit in terms of our exploration of Windsor, CT, as our staycation there included excursions into Hartford for Monday Night Jazz (and more) and the monthly Creative Cocktail Hour at Real Art Ways, and we've been busy busy busy planning CT Scenic's First Blogaversary Party (see you there!).


Knowing that nothing takes care of a hangover like greasy American food, Sunday morning we breakfasted at Dom's Broad Street Eatery. Inside Dom's felt like a blast from the past with a casual, generic "family restaurant" quality. The joint was busy and bustling with activity. Patrons were mostly senior citizens and couples with screaming kids. Our kind of place.

We briefly considered the signature breakfast special, which includes 2 pieces of french toast or pancakes, 2 eggs, choice of meat, potatoes, coffee and toast (and possibly even more crap), which sounded like an amazing deal for $8. But then we recognized that that is actually kind of obscene, and no one really needs to eat all that at once, but maybe next time?


Katie got a luxury omelet, splurging for four items - tomato, spinach, cheddar and sauteed onions, which came with toast and potatoes. Jackie got a breakfast sandwich and side order of potatoes. Jackie made the clean plate club, while Katie made the nearly-clean plate club.


Compared to other breakfast places we frequent, Dom's was decent enough, but not anything special - the potatoes were better than those stupid mammoth homefries they serve at everybody's favorite Hartford joint, Mo's, but the omelet didn't really do anything special - we recommend Mo's for their giant portions and interesting filling, or the Harvest Cafe in Simsbury for their fluffy texture and more sophisticated menu. We know of a lot of upscale restaurants that do Sunday brunch, but our repertoire of actual and affordable breakfast specialists is rather limited, so all in all we are pleased enough to make Dom's acquaintance.

Guerrilla Queer Bar: CT Edition


Wait for it...

This Thursday, the G, L, B, T and Qs of CT will descend upon an unexpecting bar in the Hartford area. This is done in many other cities, and according to Facebook, there was a short-lived New Haven chapter sometime last year. Let's give it another go!

The goal of GQB is many-faceted:

*In it's most radical sense, GQB is a way to bring attention to the queer community by taking a "straight" bar by storm. I personally have not experienced too much homophobia in this area, but occasionally I do get a reminder that the douchebags are still out there. Let's find these douchebags, and make out in front of them.

*One reason I may be oblivious to homophobia, is because I tend to only go places where I feel comfortable. Let's expand our scene by going to the places we usually avoid, and mingling with people we might not talk to otherwise. Maybe we can all make some new friends. (Or just make fun of douchebags?)

*GQB is also just a new way to meet fellow queers. With only a few gay bars and monthly parties in the area, some of us may be bored, or even feel left out by the available options. GQB is for everyone!

*Finding new things to do in CT! Any place is fun as long as your friends are there, and maybe we can even find some new fun spots. (eg. a bar with a mechanical bull?)

So, whatever your deal is, come out this Thursday and have a drink with us. Traditionally, the location is announced the morning of the event. Since we will be covering this whole scenic state, the city will be announced in advance, and the exact venue will be announced the day before. Info can be found here on CT Scenic, or on the CTGQB FB page. Hope to see you there, and don't forget to spread the word!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bettie White is an Attention Whore


It has just come to our attention that THIS is happening tonight:




At Club Annex in New Haven. You should probably go, if you know what's good for you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Epic Monday in Downtown Hartford

Good thing we don't have real jobs, or we probably couldn't be posting about how much fun we had in Hartford tonight right now, much less having so much fun on a Monday night. Lucky us!

It all started with trying to be a little more cultured and checking out the Hartford Jazz Society's "Monday Night Jazz" in Bushnell Park. Tonight's performers were the Fela Kuti Tribute Band featuring various folks we "totally know" (Margaux Hayes, Jim Matus, Steven Haynes, etc.) and the Nat Reeves All Stars.


We got there a little early and decided to check out the notoriously bad public art on display in various empty store fronts around downtown. Apparently this shiz is supposed to reveal "the inherent dignity and promise of [Hartford's] people." But frankly, it just looks like some Sears portrait studio hack work, and we can't figure out why they didn't at least use the laser background. There's more inherent dignity in a one night stand. (We would totally know.)


I mean, no offense people in those portraits, but how is that any different that this?

(bank advert, btw)

While the art left us flat, we were encouraged by the large crowd of peeps on the lawn at Bushnell Park in front of the ever-so-scenic capitol building. We weren't sure the legal status on drinking at the park, so we "recycled" some Dunkin Donuts cups from some coffee drinking friends.


We're pretty sure you're not in this for our ability to critique Afrobeat. Let's get to the good stuff. The band featured an all-star cast of CT musicians, but so did the audience! Probably the very best thing that happened, ever, in our lives, was coming across Rob the Drummer's motorcycle after getting wasted on barely any Woodchuck Cider and that Hunter S. Thompson beer. We pointed the shit out that thing. Rob is pretty famous around these parts for being on Sesame Street one time and also having a big, you know...*



One of our friends from the band had plans at Tapas after the gig, so we tagged along and checked out live music by The Shinolas. We've heard of that stuff! We enjoyed their sophisticated country vibe, but more than anything, in the world, ever, we enjoyed talking to some actual fellow bloggers from My Left Nutmeg, our new favorite blog, after CT Scenic.



Alas, that party ended too, but the night was young-ish (like us?) and a magical text message told us some friends were down the block at McKinnon's fake Irish pub. Hey, look, it's all our karaoke friends! Singing karaoke! The karaoke set-up there is pretty horrible - performers facing away from the audience, but the super casual vibe invited plenty of audience participation. Perhaps best of all was the classic Pac-Man game. Our friend Cambria hooked us up with some quarters, and shit got pretty intense. We also tried our hand (with less success) at the ATM machine. We lost. Our buzzes. And went home.


Dewer's? I barely knew her.

*Ego

Monday, July 12, 2010

(More!) Indie Donuts: Luke's of Avon


This morning Jackie and Katie forged bravely ahead in their mission to find the best indie donuts in CT and tell the world about them.

Actually, the "world" (i.e. our Facebook friends) told us about Luke's Donuts in Avon, and how they are fantastic, but actually, a little less fantastic than they used to be - back when they were nutty religious fanatical Luke's "Praise the Lord" Donuts. But may we say right off the bat, that they were plenty fantastic.


We opted for a jelly donut, a cinnamon sugar donut and a maple glazed and couple of iced coffees, which ran us about $6. We were impressed with the ten year-old counter help. Is that legal? Who cares? We sat down for some newspaper, gossip and hardcore taste testing. We totally discussed the donuts and compared them to donuts past while we were eating. It's not like we just enjoy eating stuff and then say "Oh, we should blog that up." This is work.


In between bites and palate-cleansing sips of iced coffee, Jackie completed the jumble:


And drew this excellent diagram of her sleeping arrangement with a certain mattress hogging dog:


Luke's donuts stood out for their simple "donut purity" - the flavor and texture (especially the cinnamon & sugar one) was just like carny fried dough (which we love, and so do you). Good New Englanders that we are, we love maple stuff in general. The maple frosted was great, though perhaps a little overwhelmingly sweet. We got the non-powered sugared jelly donut - again with the donut purity - and the dough part was great, but we were not impressed with the jelly, which was just kind of bland and sweet, rather than real-fruity. We are still jonesing to revisit the Apple & Spice. Luke's also serves breakfast and deli sandwiches and pizza, which looked good, but we didn't try.

Our tipsters advise that Luke's makes an exquisite pumpkin donut seasonally. Check that out for sure, but why wait? Donuts are cheap and easy (like us?). Try Luke's today. Or tomorrow. Then swing by our new favorite packie, the Liquor Depot, which is just down the street (we did).

Seasonal Avon, CT pumpkin idea: get pumpkin donuts together with J. Foster's delicious autumn-only pumpkin ice cream.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Packies we like: Liquor Depot



(Pointing)
It started as an innocent Scenic outing. As we buzzed by this emporium of delights on Rt 44, we realized it may indeed be a point of interest to some of our readership. A U-turn was made.

Liquor Depot first came to my attention through a friend who is much more into wine than I. Bottom line, this place has got wines on special like you wouldn't believe. Not just cheap Chilean or California stuff, but everything. For those who have no idea how to choose a wine, there are plenty of fun labels to base a decision off of. We noted that one could do an animal theme wine tasting, we saw Penguins, Kangaroos, Cats, Dogs. There was also one with a huge Cock.
(That's a 47 pound rooster on a 1.5 liter bottle)
We also noticed that this raging bitch...
was hanging out with this arrogant bastard.
Unlike real life, when one of these headaches always seems to be attached to that intriguing someone. Speaking of intriguing someones, here is an IPA tribute to Lenny Bruce at a whopping 20 proof:
(get it, RIPA)
And Thelonious Monk:
Katie Scenic was excited by the extensive Mead collection.
You will notice all the way on the left is the usually unavailable "Viking Blood".

Another tribute caught my eye, to Hunter S Thompson, who could be considered a patron saint to bloggers everywhere. It's quite an enjoyable drink for those who enjoy the gonzo experience.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Indie Donut Week Continues: Windsor Donut & Deli


We don't know about the rest of you, but Katie and Jackie Scenic are summering"in Windsor, CT and we're just kvelling over the town's bounty of charm. We've really only scratched the surface, but we're excited about spending some time exploring CT's "oldest town" (apparently there's a bit of a feud with Wethersfield on this point). And by exploring, we basically mean "eating our way around."

Since we had donuts on the brain already this week (and by "on the brain" we mean "in the stomach"), we kicked things off with a visit to Windsor Donut & Deli on Broad Street in Windsor Center. This shop is supposedly the sister shop to the Sugar Shack, which we've already blogged up most enthusiastically, so we had a good idea of what we were getting into. So we were most disappointed that the shop was sold out of the apple & spice donuts we loved so much - guess this means we aren't the only ones! We did try an apple stick, and elongated version of the same formula, but it wasn't quite the same, since the stick format doesn't allow for an obscene helping of pie-like filling the way a donut does. We also tried a chocolate honey dipped and a sour cream.


The D & D has cute donut and Windsor historic themed murals on the windows ,and inside has an old-time diner feel with a counter and a few booths. We had a little trouble with the napkin dispenser at the table.


Jackie enjoyed the local news (haven't you heard - we're bringing back print):


The Windsor shop has the same great prices as the Sugar Shack. There were big bags of what we assume were assorted day-olds available for $2 apiece. We were so thrilled with the "dollars-to-donuts" conversion rate, not to mention duty-bound to our readers to experience as many donuts as possible, that we took a few more for the road - raspberry and lemon jellies. After an exhausting afternoon of lounging in the swimming pool, we were hungry enough to sample them. They were awesome and generously jellied, as expected. We'll be back soon, looking for those elusive apple & spices. And we're already planning our next Windsor mission, to Nat Hayden's Real Pit Barbecue, which taunted us on the street with an aromatic assault. Truly, we suffer for our blog.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

CT Scenic announces a new print edition

During today's perusal of the Onion website, my finger carelessly brushed the trackpad of my laptop, inadvertently opening this link. Aha, our future was suddenly clear: CT Scenic would engage in old fashioned print journalism, handling the local angle while the main office cooked up the national stories and handled the big picture.

(the future CT Scenic/Onion CT HQ)

Reports of the death of print journalism are surely greatly exaggerated, right? Actually, the free weeklies are doing fine, it's the more traditional papers that are faring weakly. I mean come on, everyone loves newspapers, right?


Actually, I view newspapers as vital to our American way of life. After all, how are we supposed to get the fire going in the fireplace, pack our dishes when we move or stay warm at night when sleeping on a park bench without the newspaper. I understand that they can also be read.

That seems boring, but whatever.
In any case, I was sizing up candidates for the demanding editor, you're familiar with the stereotype, I'm sure.



Katie Scenic handles the job now, which is fine for a newfangled internet thingy....

Just like any good reporter, I began my research, which turned up this infernal document.

Seems like this is just a half-baked franchise scam, for a mere $100k you get to publish what they send you, and by the way, don't you dare write anything. Actually, why don't you run along and get me a cup of coffee?


And so it goes, dreams of gainful employment while providing service to the community dashed. Those notions seem as antiquated as the newspaper itself.


All this has given us an idea, watch out for an exciting new 'zine....

(cutup by William S Burroughs)