Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Hyping in Connecticut

As you all might be well aware, the movie The Haunting in Connecticut opens this weekend. It stars Virginia Madsen as a woman whose family is besieged by nefarious otherworldly forces, and from the commercials and trailers, it looks like your standard Amityville Horror-type scarefest.

The story is based on "true events" that allegedly occurred in the 1980s in a Southington house that had been a funeral home -- a family claims that their son started seeing all sorts of unusual things in the basement, which led them to calling in renowned ghosthunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, which in turn, led to claims of a haunting. Some accused the family and Warrens of making up (or embellishing) the story, which eventually led to the book (In A Dark Place), a TV special and now the movie.

It's been interesting to watch the story unfold in the past few weeks as interest has mounted, from the family currently living in the house now saying they've never had any problems in the house (aside from nosy curiosity seekers) to others speaking out against the veracity of the original claims to discovering that U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy used to live in the house. It's been all over the local news, and has generated quite a bit of web-based discussion over the "truthiness" of the story.

As matter of fact, the only question that I haven't seen asked about The Haunting in Connecticut is one of the most important ones: Is the movie any good?

Of course, the answer to that probably won't stop the majority of horror aficionados who will go to see the film this weekend (myself included). As they famously say in Hollywood, "Any publicity is good publicity."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Curb the Destruction

At the risk of sounding like a cranky old man -- has anyone else noticed that this winter has been especially harsh on Connecticut curbs?

From the parking lot here at the magazine's office in Trumbull to my street in Shelton and on lots of the roads in between, it seems as though there has been an especially high level of curb carnage -- curbs that have been torn up and knocked asunder by snow plows. Why?

Is it because of all the snowfall this past winter and the multiple plowings that have come with it, regular curbs just wore down and gave way? Or do they just not make 'em like they used to (all asphalt, no concrete, nothing below the road's surface)? Or are snowplow drivers not as careful any more? Or is it a combination of all these reasons? It seems as though there are lots of potholes this year, too, so I don't doubt that it was an especially rough season on roads.

I know in my case, at the request of my neighbor, the city has said they may come out and repair the section of asphalt curb in front our houses -- I don't want them to bother because unless they do it with a solid concrete curb (unlikely in this economy) or they can guarantee it won't snow next winter (come on global warming!). Otherwise, we'll be right back in the same spot next spring.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Connecticut Specialties to Try

In conjunction with an upcoming article in our May issue, we're running a survey to find Connecticut specialties that everyone who calls themself a proper Connecticut resident should try at least once. We're looking for particular dishes from Connecticut restaurants -- from the white clam pizza at Pepe's in New Haven to the steamed cheeseburgers at Ted's to the clam hash at Pat's Kountry Kitchen.

Have any suggestions? Please click here and share what local dish you think everyone should try.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Scare Headlines

Lots of scary headlines today about the number of Connecticut residents either way behind on their mortgage payments or actually in foreclosure. Ignore them. The fact is that even in this tumultuous economy, the number of such delinquencies is 24,230 out of a total of 922,957 owner-occupied homes in Connecticut. The number of delinquencies represents 2.6% of the total. That means that 97.4% of all Connecticut homeowners either have paid off their mortgages or are doing so on time and in an orderly way. This is perspective you aren't finding in the local paper these days. When so many are feeling uncertain about the economy (with good reason), it can be a little comforting to understand what the real numbers are.