Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | December 16, 2010

The Granite Is Pink, I Tell Ya

None of us was around hundreds of millions of years ago, but Stony Creek Quarry’s pink granite was. Some think this molten concoction got pushed into this region of Branford, Connecticut from South Africa. Imagine that?

These 55 acres owned by the town of Branford and leased this time around for the next several decades by some folks in state, is one of just two quarries in Connecticut that are “dimensional quarries” that can cut huge 25 ton pieces of rock to be used at the bases of monuments and such. For instance you can find Stony Creek “pink” granite at the base of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Tiffany & Co., The Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central and Penn Stations in New York City.

In the nation’s capitol in Washington D.C., you will see it at the Smithsonian Institute and the War College. In Connecticut you will find it at the Peabody Museum, Hartford’s Bulkeley Bridge and Yale and Quinnipiac Universities. Of course you will also see this in counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms around the world too.

In the photos, you’ll see some variations in the stone, streaks of black. While some would call that a flaw and not use it in a sculpture or in a counter top, I would use some of those grains as an interesting talking points about how the different types of materials formed the rock found near Long island Sound.

Those mining the quarry go down as far as sea level and it’s estimated that there might be another 200 years of work here. The water that you see in the video below is merely rain water and it gets pumped out. I of course suggested that a real cool commercial for this place would be to put a synchronized swim team in there and have them do a routine to music. Can you say viral You Tube moment? That’s just how my brain works, always outside of the box.

My tour guide in the quarry was Darrell Petit, a Canadian, who is a sculptor. Darrell first came to the quarry thirteen years ago because he wanted to get closer to the medium he was using and find out all about it. Well he did, and does and now is promoting this pink granite wherever he can aside from what he does.

So you will see a tour in the video and you will also see an octogenarian, an old school sculptor making a rock water fountain. To do that, you have to melt the stone. So a torch is fired up to more than 3,000 degrees and the work begins, I found that fascinating.

Enjoy the videos.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 12, 2010

Attention: Knitters

There are knitters everywhere. On Thursday evenings at Panera’s in Hamden, Connecticut you can find a whole table full of gals knitting and chatting away about their various projects, having dinner, solving the world’s problems and finding their zen all at the same time.

If you’re a knitter like I am, you find this kind of scenario just glorious. Creating something handmade that is all your own. Knitters are notorious for doing for others. Much of the time they are making something for others. That’s how we roll.

These artists have to find their yarn somewhere and one place to do that is at Saybrook Yarn, in yes, Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It’s right down the street from the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. I serve on the theater’s board of trustees and don’t even get me started about how much I love that 250 seat venue, that’s for another post.

Anyway, at Saybrook Yarn you will find this to be a place that you will return to over and over. The owner and her employees are so friendly and so helpful. If you’ve dropped a stitch and it’s dropped down to who knows where, they’ll help you find it. The place is huge.

Is I continue on with my Annie Mame blog, I will post about other yarn shops that I love in Connecticut, they have to be friendly or forget about it.

There are pattern books and needles and metallic threads in this shop. It’s just a great place to spend some time, hours really. It’s a soft cozy spot.

When you’ve had your fill of knitting for the day, don’t forget to spill out onto the streets of Old Saybrook, there’s a lot going on there, and again don’t forget to check out The Kate and it’s museum to the 4 time Academy Award winning actress.

Kathrine Hepburn was a knitter. Hepburn called Old Saybrook her paradise.

Oh by the way, my favorite site on the web for finding thousands of knitting patterns for free is Knitting Pattern Central…it’s all right there for you, truly, you’ll find every pattern known to man or woman. Just as many crochet patterns as well.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 11, 2010

Swoon…the Music is so Grand at the Bee and Thistle Inn

I could spend every evening at The Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme, Connecticut, but Saturday nights are especially fun. Owners David and Linnea Rufo have built such a special mood at this beautiful New England Inn. No matter what the occasion, weddings, a special dinner out, just hanging, this is a gem of a place. For Valentine’s Day, forget about it, it’s perfect for romance.

Linnea has put together a beautiful package for Valentine’s Day Weekend dinner and spa treatments, and her rooms are cozy and warm.

Linnea is a friend and she is a dear and quite the little singer, yes, you see her in the video. Linnea loves everything vintage and that comes through at her Inn.

Kip Sturgeon who is the leader of the pack as far as the music goes, is usually dressed in something vintage as well. No matter what tunes you’re in the mood to hear, Kip and company can play it. I know that for a fact, the last time I was there I threw out a Sinatra song, no problem, it was delightful.

Many of the items on the menu are Linnea’s from her family and she is one heckuva cook too. She loves to put on weddings and other events. You’re going to want to check this place out.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 11, 2010

Blooms for Your Valentine at “Roses for Autism”

This beautiful idea was started by a father, Jim Lyman, whose son, Eli, has autism. He wanted to help his son and others grow in independence in the business world.

In his search for just the right place to put his ideas to work,  Jim Lyman partnered with Tom Pinchbeck of Pinchbeck’s Rose Farm in Guilford, Connecticut.

Growing Possibilities” was born… a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to growing independence in the business world for those with autism and other disabilities.

When you buy your flowers from the picturesque New England farm, you’ll put a smile on the face of the person you’ll give them too and you’ll help the young adults learning to make their way in the world. As is customary your roses are always wrapped in newspaper, the old fashioned way…just charming.

There is an original 1928 boiler in this place that is not to be believed…looks like something out of Harry Potter. I told Tom Pinchbeck they need to put the place on the list for movie shoots since the state is doing so many films here. What a background that would be, actually the whole farm really.

My tour guide for the morning as Lori Gregan, retail manager for Roses for Autism, though she wears many hats. She exudes passion and compassion. She told me about the universal symbol for autism, it’s a puzzle piece.

I can tell you when I bought my bouquet of lavender roses, the fragrance filled my car, that never happens when you buy flowers from a grocery store. Pinchbeck knows what he’s doing and so do his employees.

That organization’s first business, started in 2009, is “Roses for Autism.”

Currently about 40% of the workers are on the autism spectrum, that will grow to 60% in time.

Since the late 1920’s when the Pinchbeck Farm first opened, tens of millions of roses have been grown and sold in it’s 50,000 square feet of heated greenhouse space.

Some fun facts about the farm:

There are at least 32,000 roses bushes and soon a variety of lilies will be added.
There are more than one dozen varieties of roses grown the majority of which are red.
Contact for Roses for Autism:

Julie Hipp
203-284-1200 ext. 232 (phone)
203-294-4800  (fax)

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 9, 2010

Jacklyn Greenberg’s Wonderful World of Photography

Welcome to the wonderful world that is JagStudios in Hamden, CT.

Jacklyn Greenberg has a great eye for photography, she’s featured in the winter edition (2010) of Martha Stewart’s Wedding magazine for a wedding she did recently that she is more than tickled about.

There is a photo of  Jacklyn at the top of the post alongside her 4-month old puppy, Koda, as in Kodachrome film. When you walk into her home studio you’ll see Koda…so darn cute.

Jacklyn is kitschy and fun and shoots with her heart, she’s an excellent observer of emotion and she knows how to capture it on film.

Take a walk inside her blog on  her web site and you’ll see what I mean.

So yes, this Greenberg family of Connecticut it very talented.

When you click on the link above and click on “enter” you will hear music from photographer Jacklyn Greenberg’s very talented brother, Michael Greenberg.

I’ve been reporting and talking about Michael since he was in high school and had a band called “Bunji”…now he’s off on his own.

Hmmmm John Mayer is a Bridgeport native…these two should hook up. Come on back to Connecticut John and meet Michael…give him a little help. You know, Connecticut musicians, helping Connecticut musicians. Just a thought.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 8, 2010

55 Years Later, Auntie Mame is a Hit Again

For much of my life, I have loved the movie “Auntie Mame” but only the film staring actress Rosiland (Roz) Russell. Russell, a Waterbury, Connecticut native played Mame in the 1958 movie. It impacted me to the point that I have mimicked Mame’s lifestyle and that is to bring everybody into “the party” and see what happens. Think big, no matter what, help others, let life unfurl.

I also own the book from which the film was made. Written by Edward Everett Tanner III under the pseudonym of Patrick Dennis, it was first released some 55 years ago. The cover of the first printing of the book looks like the photo below. Do you love that braceleted gloved hand or what?…the pink and black, love it! The cover is very en vogue today.

So low and behold I see today in 2010, that Tanner’s book is a very hot commodity in Italy, in fact it’s a best seller. Gosh maybe I’ve been ahead of my time with embracing that whole “Mame” thing. In Italian, Auntie Mame is translated Zia Mame, cute right?

The New York Times says after 15 reprints and sales of more than 280,000 copies, 30,000 of which were sold in the pre-Christmas rush,  many are puzzled.

Some believe people are harkening back to a more simpler time because the economy is so tough right now. The novel is one of the Depression era about a glamorous, free-spirited Manhattan socialite. She teaches her nephew, for whom she becomes a surrogate mother after he was orphaned, to live life to its fullest.  I highly recommend this fun film, who couldn’t use some of Mame’s strong-spirited nature right now.

Is there an Auntie Mame in your life? I’d love to hear your story.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 7, 2010

Oh La La Valentine Fashion Show


A Valentine’s bridal fashion show at a vineyard? Sure why not? This is a great example of out-of-the-box thinking at a time when all small businesses are struggling, safety in numbers, this has to continue to happen all over Connecticut.

I’m a champion of small business, it’s how this country was built and we need to figure out a way back to that thinking.

In this event many businesses came together helped each other and had a great time to boot. So yes, down in Clinton’s Chamard Vineyards wine seller, among the vats and kegs of wine, an Oh La La French burlesque kind of show.

There were pink and red and white hearts drawn in chalk on the cement floor, there were beautiful bouquets which included feathers, the lighting was in red, music right out of some you’d hear during Fashion Week in New York City, photographers, wine, chocolate, cigar rolling and voila et voila!! there you have it. Tres magnifique.

What company planned this delicious event? True and Wesson of Clinton, CT


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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 6, 2010

A Fairy Tale Ball

The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut outdid themselves this year at their annual Fairy Tale Ball. I mean look at these pictures. Yes, I took the shots, not bad for an amateur.

It was a fairy tale alright just being there. I got there early and walked around and around the room looking at all the details in each of the tables which signified a different fairy tale. This event was chaired by my very creative friend, Josh Chalmers. Josh is so talented. His slogan; “Change the World Before Bed Time.” Think about that for a minute, won’t you? Pretty good idea if you ask me.

The event was held on sound stage 15 at Sonalysts in Waterford, Connecticut. I know, who knew there were 15 sound stages there? I mean you see that big Sonalysts sign from I-95, but there’s a whole world  behind the marquee.

This was an ideal spot for the fundraiser because there are many bars across a sound stage studio for lights so for those doing the decorating, they could really use their imaginations and hang all kinds of items from the rafters.

Cascading waterfalls as seen at the top and origami cranes below and in the middle, an ice sculpture that ran the length of a very long mirrored table. By the way, the ice was a castle for “The Snow Queen” that was done by a brilliant guy, yes in Connecticut. his web site is Ice Matters. Look him up! The Snow Queen table was designed by Karen Bussen who is an events planner and author from New York City, but she’s been spending a lot of time in the Nutmeg state these days for a number of reasons because she’s just so darn good at what she does. Karen, whom I met about a year ago will be on News Channel 8 Saturday morning, February 13th to show you how to treat your Valentine on that special day. Don’t miss this, she’s amazing.

So if you haven’t trekked out to Niantic to visit the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, do yourself a favor and go see what it’s all about, you’ll be glad you did.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 5, 2010

Savannah Jane

So this is my dog, Savannah Jane. She has a million nicknames of course which include, Nanna, Schmoopington and Bun. None of these names makes any sense of course, they are just terms of endearment.

She’s a 7-year old yellow, make that white, lab. The joy this dog, or “hog” as we also like to call her, has given us is immeasurable. Of course I know all dog lovers feel that way, but truly our lives are enriched by her presence.

The great thing about labs is that they just want to be around people all the time. She has been great company to my three daughters and to my husband, she really is his little buddy.

In the evenings, while I’m at work, Savannah and Mark have their routine.  In the winter when Mark goes out for wood for the fireplace, Savannah has to follow with a stuffed-animal in her mouth. Her “babies” by the way are all over the house and we could care less. At 75 pounds plus, she also enjoys sitting on Mark’s lap. Do you have this visual in your mind?

If there is outdoor grilling going on, each time there is a “check” on how things are coming along out there, Savannah has to accompany Mark. It’s a riot.


We have a pond in our back yard that Savannah uses as her pool When she is in it treading water, she becomes Esther Williams Hog (of course a reference to the Hollywood actress who dove and swam her way into stardom). Family and friends get such a kick out of this scene. The rocks around the “pool” are designed to allow easy in-out access for the hog. We would not want her to be stressed in any way.

At any rate, life with a dog is so much better and much richer than life without one.

Savannah, you are one lucky gal!

P.S. This post is also on my friend Helen’s blog called Tesla Love. If you love animals you’ll want to bookmark this for a lot of really sweet stories.

P.S.S. And if you have time you can watch this Pooch Parade in Santa Barbara, California.

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Posted by: Ann Nyberg-News Anchor | February 5, 2010

Fore! Make Way For Hollywood Types Including Hepburn

An article in the New York Times talks about the upcoming golf tournament, the Northern Trust Open, at the famed Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. This was a place way back when the biggest of Hollywood’s stars would come out to drive a few.

The photo of Bob Hope, Dean Martin and Big Crosby seen on this post, actually hangs outside the men’s locker room in case you ever get in the joint to take a look around.

Connecticut’s Katharine Hepburn, who was quite a golfer in her own right, filmed much of her 1952 film “Pat and Mike” with her paramour, Spencer Tracy at Riviera.

Hepburn, quite the tomboy ,could really whack the ball. She played the links all the time at Fenwick in Old Saybrook, Connecticut near her mansion on Long Island Sound. As legend goes, Hepburn hit a whole in one at the Fenwick course on the day of the 1938 hurricane. That wicked storm wiped out her home which at the time was made of wood. She rebuilt it a year later out of brick.

According to the NYT, Hepburn ,during the filming of “Pat and Mike” made a 15-foot putt at the 18th hole to win a tournament right in front of Tracy. My point in writing this post is to get you to take notice of Hepburn and slide in a plug for the theater in Old Saybrook, Connecticut named after the 4 time Academy Award winner.

I’m on the board of trustees there and love every minute of it. We like to say it’s “a gem of a place with a movie star name.

Come over and check out the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. You’ll be able to see Hepburn memorabilia and a show I guarantee you’ll like.

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