April 13, 2009

CT Travel: Slim Food Options at Union Station


This food disaster brought to you by S'barro. Yeh, S'barro, the most wretched chain of 'pizza' slingers in the northeast. Yet, when I'm heading home from Connecticut, it's the best of some truly foul options available at Union Station in New Haven. What irritates me about this is that I've spent enough time in New Haven to know at least a couple places to get a good bite, but none of it is convenient to the train station.

When I was in school, I passed through this station semi-regularly and loved the D'Angelo's steak shop that served what was my favorite steak and cheese sandwich until I finally visited Philadelphia.

Now, there's a Dunkin Donuts, whose doughnuts are even chalkier and staler by the afternoon than they are in the morning. And there's Subway, which produces an odor that nauseates me half a block away.

And then there's S'barro, amazingly the lesser evil.

April 11, 2009

CT: The Great Outdoors


Whenever I go out to the hinterlands, I'm struck by the irony of suburban life. For all the talk of being 'closer to nature' and having tree and whatnot, I find that the only time anyone spends outside is going to or from their car.

In the office park, you may take 5 minutes to walk from building to building, but now you even have bridges between buildings so you don't even have to do that.

April 8, 2009

In The Sticks

_MG_7137 - Version 2

Co-op City, seen here, is always my marker when I'm entering or exiting the civilized world from the hinterlands. I'll be up in Connecticut for work for a couple days. Back in a bit.


July 17, 2008

Photo of the Day: Gimmie Shelter

Gimmie Shelter, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Downtown Hartford. 2006.

June 26, 2008

Photo of the Day: Act-O-Matic

IMG_4918, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

My hotel room, CT. 2008.

May 19, 2008

Hartford: Cheap Drinks

Hartford: Cheap Drinks, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

The benefit having a Business district that completely shuts down at 5pm nearly every weeknight is great deals.

I'm sitting at this bar with the $2 drafts, the Pour House right now. The space is huge. It's a double wide storefront that goes all the way through the building.

It's just around the corner from the big convention center and stadium, so it probably packs them in on game days. Today though, I'm the only customer here.

It's awesome.


May 10, 2008

Graffiti of the Day: Society Isn't Reality

IMG_5365, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

New Haven, CT. 2008.

May 6, 2008


IMG00848.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

On a recent trip up to my company's headquarters, I discovered these decoy foxes around campus. Apparently, there's a bit of a goose problem up there. They've gone and nested near the parking lot and wild, defensive father geese have been going after anyone they perceive to be a threat to their newborns.

So, my company, in its infinite wisdom, decided to post decoy predators everywhere to scare off the geese. Clearly this isn't a problem we run into in New York.

February 22, 2008

Winter Storm

IMG00667.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Oy. More snow. This time I was on the road this time out in CT. It wasn't a lot of fun, but ultimately I managed to get home without too much of a hassle. ::c::

October 26, 2007

Photo of the Day: Foggy Hills

IMG_8316, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

No Fall Foliage here.
Bristol, CT. Fall 2007.

October 9, 2007

Fall Has Returned

IMG_6867, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

And like -that- it's Autumn again.

Yesterday Tammi, Dorla and I spent all afternoon sitting outside hanging out and drinking at The Red Lion, today, I'm wishing I had brought my jacket up to Connecticut. Seemingly this is it, I can't imagine it's really going to go back up to the 80's again before the end of the year. We'll see.

April 19, 2007

Hartford: Bin 228

Bin 228 is an Italian inspired wine bar in Hartford. Last week I had dinner with Eli, a friend from college. I liked it enough to go back last night, when I returned to CT. I had heard about it a while back, but didn't know how extensive the food selection was, so I never bothered to go. I'm glad I finally made it.

The menu is made up of small plate antipasti and panini with a few larger dishes. Last week we had some panini and charcuterie along with some bruschetta. The flavors were all familiar. Prosciutto with fresh mozzarella and basil, spicy meats with hot peppers and cheese and so on. They even had a bruschetta made with parmesan, asparagus and truffle oil, reminiscent of the truffled egg toast at 'ino and 'inoteca back home. It wasn't nearly the transcendental experience, but then few things are.

That's sort of how I felt about the whole menu. It was all very good, but then it's not hard to put meat and/or cheese on bread. This week I went for something more complicated. One of the specials was Wild Boar on parpardelle. I had just been ogling some game meats online, so I couldn't turn it down. The server described it as almost like a beef stroganoff in composition. The meat was braised and served in shreds and chunks on the pasta. The sauce tasted of sweet gaminess. In the end, it was much heavier than what I had planned on eating, but it was well worth it.

Last week we drank a Tuscan Merlot we were recommended by the waiter. I ordered some more of that to start off. I don't know much about Merlot and I've never seen Sideways, so I have no preconceptions about it as a wine. I've never really gotten a hang of Italian wines. I've had good ones, but I can never really track which ones they are. I just need to pay more attention. I usually just ask for a rec. One day I'll just have to go to Italy myself and learn first hand. In any case, the wine was everything I wanted. It was a little more tannic than most wine I have, but it balanced out very well.

I think this place is going to have to move up on my list of places to grab lunch while waiting for the train from now on. The portions are very well suited to a snack as well as dinner.

Bin 228
228 Pearl Street
Hartford, Connecticut

March 30, 2007

Hartford: Mayor Mike's Cheese Balls

IMG_2752, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I've got another trip up to Connecticut coming up, so I'm contemplating Hartford food again. One of my favorite individual dishes up there is at Mayor Mike's, a semi-casual bar and restaurant a few blocks from Union Station.

By far, the best thing I've eaten there is the Mozzarella Cheese Balls. They're not the frozen sticks you get at Chotchkie's, which look like they popped out a machine months ago. These seem to be made fresh in-house. The cheese is gooey and wonderful. I like the sauce too. It tastes like there are actually tomatoes in it, unlike the generic marinara sauce you'd get in other places.

They always have a good beer selection, including a few New England beers that I can't always get in New York.

Mayor Mike's
283 Asylum St
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 522-6453

March 1, 2007

Escape from the Land of the Office Parks


I've survived my trip up north. Right now I'm waiting for my train back home. Few things make me appreciate the comforts of home more than a visit to the 'burbs. One of the most unsettling aspects of life out here is the phenomenon of the office park. I can't speak of all office parks, as I've only been to a few. I only know one fairly well.

It's nearly as big as my college campus and locked down like a fort. IDs must be worn at all time and cameras are on you at all times. The campus is out in the middle of nowhere, so we are all sequestered from the world. You can't walk out for 5 minutes to grab a snack or run an errand or go to the ATM. You have to drive if you want to get off campus. There's a shuttle bus that takes you to the cafeteria if you want lunch.

This is all particularly uncomfortable for a New Yorker like me who doesn't drive. I could go on, but you get the idea. It's isolated from the outside world and there's no privacy within.

What amazes me are the people who are in their 20's and early 30's who are there for the job. I can't imagine a job important enough for me that I would voluntarily live like that. I just don't understand it.


Continue reading "Escape from the Land of the Office Parks" »

February 26, 2007

Hartford: Sally's Fish Camp


On my way to dinner at Trumbull Kitchen, I stumbled across a new restaurant called Sally's Fish Camp. With fond memories of Mary's Fish Camp and it's sister spot Brooklyn Fish Camp in Park Slope, I decided to cancel my res at TK and give it a try.

The decor is thankfully not buried in fishing schlock. The requisite oversized fishing lures and hanging fishing poles are as tastefully placed as possible in the modern dining room.

(The food, after the jump...)

Continue reading "Hartford: Sally's Fish Camp" »


Hartford: New England's Poorest City

I'm heading up to CT this evening to spend the week up at my company's headquarters. I'll be in the land of suburban office parks for the next couple days, which is tons of fun, I assure you.

In anticipation of evenings at Chili's and Outback Steakhouse, I like to get one last taste of civilization in Hartford.

Now Hartford is no Chicago or Philadelphia. It's in the third or fourth tier as these things go. But it is a city, which means I can actually walk from point A to point B and there are a couple restaurants that are a cut above the casual dining spots prevalent in the area.

Details after the jump...

Continue reading "Hartford" »

February 10, 2007

Wilton, CT

December 2003

My first business trip was to Wilton, CT. It was somewhat anticlimactic, since I was scheduled to spend a week in San Francisco for the company a couple weeks away. My boss at the time had insisted that I represent our group for a big project in Wilton. I decided to head up there the night before because there was no way I was going to make it up there on my own in the morning. In the end it was nothing particularly exciting or relevant. The memory of it stays with me years later because of what happened the night I arrived.

Continue reading "Wilton, CT" »

January 1, 2007

2006 Travel Recap


(This entry is backdated.)

2006 was one of my better years for travel. I saw 2 new countries and 6 new cites. I tried to get a fresh look at the places I'd been before, exploring new neighborhoods and seeing new things.

I hope to find a way to include all or most of these trips in the blog one way or the other. For now this will have to do.

After the jump, my photo rundown of the places I went last year.

Continue reading "2006 Travel Recap" »

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