The annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven is scheduled for June 15-29, where more than 100,000 usually attend to take in events, more than 80 percent of which are free. The theme this year is “Dreaming New Worlds,” which organizers say reflects the imaginative, inspiring and innovative elements of the programs.<
Additional attractions include dozens of tours throughout the city, ranging from urban cycling adventures to culinary tours, as well as master classes and workshops. Headline acts include Aaron Neville June 15 in a free show on New Haven Green; Box City June 15-16, an interactive crafts activity for kids who build a miniature city from found boxes, a free event; and a free performance of the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet with Wu Man June 22. For complete info and tickets, visit www.artidea.org or call 203-498-3758.
New Haven, Conn. hosts the 10th installment of its restaurant week April 21-26, with deals on meals offered at 29 city eateries. Participating restaurants off three-course, prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner, costing $18 and $32, respectively, not including beverages, tax or tips. Reservations are encouraged.
New this spring at the bi-annual event, the city offers parking at the Temple Street or Crown Stree garages for a cut rate of $3.75 during the week from 4 p.m. to midnight. The event coincides with New Haven's 375th anniversary, and the city is ffering historical tours to tout its heritage. Anniversary events include visits to the Grove Street cemetery and Trinity Church, and a variety of community and children's programs, free, on April 27 from 1-4 p.m. on the lower New Haven Green.
There will also be a laser-light sculpture, "Night Rainbow/Global Rainbow," by artist Yvette Mattern, originating from the summit of New Haven's East Rock Park, with colored beams soaring over downtown New Haven and Route 95, fading into a glow over Long Island Sound. The installation will be a major part of the 375th anniversary celebrations, and will light up the sky April 24-27 from dusk to 1 a.m.
For details on restaurant week, visit www.infonewhaven.com/restaurantweek
By Necee Regis, Globe correspondent
Pamper yourself and a loved one with the Winter Bliss Special at Rock Hall, a 23-acre estate in northwest Connecticut. Add this deal to your accommodations and enjoy an essential oil couple’s massage in front of your in-room fireplace. Includes afternoon “Snowball” cocktails, and a cocktail shaker to take home (through April, $175). At this year-round country-style hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places, luxury accommodations include down duvets and pillows, European linens, and en-suite bathrooms. Savor a Mediterranean breakfast before venturing out for nearby downhill and cross-country skiing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing, ice fishing, antiquing, fine dining, shopping, and more. From $325. 860-379-2230, www.19rockhallroad.com
By Kari Bodnarchuk, Globe Correspondent
The eagles have landed in western Connecticut’s Litchfield County. Each year, bald eagles journey from the frozen north to the Housatonic River in Southbury. They hang out around the Shepaug Dam, where the running waters prevent ice from forming and therefore keep the fish accessible. Visit the Shepaug Eagle Observation Area, where you can look through telescopes to get an up-close view, then chat with Connecticut Audubon volunteers. You may see up to a dozen eagles a day. Viewing runs on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March 13. Entry is free, but reservations are required to avoid overcrowding. 800-368-8954, www.shepaugeagles.info
Chef Jacques Pepin joins the fifth annual New Haven Food & Wine Festival this year, on Aug. 22, with events taking place during the 2012 New Haven Open at Yale, presented by First Niagara, and featuring more than 20 of the city's top restaurants.
"In its fifth year, New Haven Food & Wine Festival has a fan following of its own," said Anne Worcester, tournament director of the New Haven Open at Yale. "Tennis fans and foodies can indulge in tasty and inventive cuisine and meet the chefs who contribute to New Haven's renowned dining scene."
The food and wine event's grand tasting on Aug. 22 will be hosted by Pepin, and feature dishes from chefs at restaurants such as 116 Crown, Basta Trattoria, The Cask Republic, Geronimo, Kitchen Zinc, Union League Cafe and others. The tasting runs from 5-7 p.m., with tickets going for $125 each, which includes a box seat for the Wednesday night tennis matches.
To fill fashion plates, check out the Vineyard Vines Ladies Day Luncheon and Fashion Show, hosted by Island Time, Aug. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with luncheon created by local chef Claire Criscuolo, said to be a pioneer in the city's organic and sustainable food movement, who operates New Haven's Claire's Corner Copia. After lunch, the show will highlight back-to-school styles for fall. Solo tickets are $100 and include a box seat for tennis, gift bag and door prizes.
For tickets and info, visit www.newhavenopen.com.
The inn is no stranger to the luxury-accolade world: It is a long-time recipient of the Forbes 5-Star and AAA Five Diamond awards. Check it out at www.mayflowerinn.com
The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, a two-week showcase of music, dance and theater in New Haven runs June 16-30. This is the 17th annual event, one that routinely brings 100,000 to the Connecticut city to take part in the festivities, organizers say. This year's event includes performances by Grammy-nominated Carolina Chocolate drops, Red Baraat & Noori, Mark Morris Dance Group, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and Roseanne Cash. Many of the events are free.
Mary Lou Aleski, executive director of the festival, said, “The collection of artists and thinkers that we have gathered for Festival 2012 proves once again that we offer a nationally unique combination of top-notch performances and accessibility, from free concerts on New Haven Green and the best in contemporary theater and dance, to free lectures and conversations with the world’s brilliant minds, we offer a little of everything for everyone to enjoy.”
Other highlights include the American premier of a new production from the National Theatre of Scotland, “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.” The festival will also offer a classic performance of works from Mark Morris Dance Group “A Lake,” “Jesu Meine Freude,” and “Gloria,” with Morris conducting the performance of orchestra and chorus.
Philippe Petit, the wire walker who committed what has been called the “artistic crime of the century” in 1974 when he walked a wire between the World Trade Center towers, is the opening speaker of the festival series of lectures and conversations. Cash closes the festival with a free concert on New Haven Green.
For information and scheduling, visit www.artidea.org
Mark Morris Dance Group/Photo by Stephanie Berger
A pair of New England thrill rides found their way onto Complex's wide-ranging list of the 50 best roller coasters in the world.
Coming in at No. 44 was the "Boulder Dash" at Lake Compounce, in Bristol, Conn., a wooden coaster that was designed based on its natural surroundings. Agawam's Six Flags New England's "Bizarro" came in at impressive No. 12 with a 221-foot drop that takes riders down on a 70-degree angle.
Complex's No. 1 roller coaster was the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J., a ride which is the world's tallest coaster at 456, has the longest drop (418 feet) and goes from 0 to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds.
You can check out each of the coasters below from an armchair perspective.
At the Long Wharf Theatre, from March 7-13, $70 per person gets you tickets to "Bell, Book & Candle," and a three-course prix fixe at Thali, L'Orcio or Sage American Grill & Oyster Bar. For show tickets and dinner reservations, call the box office at 203-787-4282. For show info, visit http://www.longwharf.org/
Buy a ticket to "South Pacific" at the Shubert Theater from March 8-12 (ticket prices from $15-$78), and for another $32 per person, you get a prix-fixe dinner at Pacifico, Zinc or Oaxaca Kitchen. Diners must show their "South Pacific" ticket stubs for the deal, which is only valid for the same night of the show you attend, and dinner reservations must be made prior to the show. The Shubert box office can be reached at 203-562-5666 or http://www.shubert.com/.
A prix-fixe dinner at Union League Cafe or Ibiza, is available for $32 per person with ticket purchase ($20) to Yale Repertory Theatre's "The Winter Tale," March 19-21. As in the Shubert offer, diners must show their Yale Rep ticket stubs and the deal is only valid for the same night you attend the show. Also part of the deal: A coupon to park for $5 at the York and Chapel Street garage. Call Yale Rep at 203-432-1234 or visit http://www.yalerep.org
All dinner deals are for appetizer, entree and dessert. Beverages, taxes and tip are not included. For more info on New Haven by night, visit www.infonewhaven.com/makeanightofitNH
Megabus.com, which offers fares from $1, said that it would give away 200,000 seats for travel Jan. 4 to March 1, 2012 starting today.
The free seats will be subject to availability for travel anywhere megabus.com goes in the United States and to Toronto. Travelers will need to use the promo code GOFREE to book their seats online.
From Boston's South Station, Megabus, which offers travelers free WiFi and power outlets, travels to New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Phildelphia, Hartford, New Haven, Portland, Me., Burlington, Vt., and Secaucus, N.J. The company, a unit of Coach USA, serves more than 70 cities in North America.
Even before the Ben Stiller fantasy comedies about after-hours life in museums, a number of institutions hosted nights for children to tuck in next to a T-rex. And the programs, which run from just after the museum closes until just before it opens the next day, tend to be remarkably similar. Typically, children must be accompanied with an adult. Many programs only allow groups to sign up for overnights, but some just schedule dates and invite individual child-parent pairs to roll out a bag. There is a fee for the night, which covers specially-planned activities and at least one meal -- usually a continental breakfast but some places also serve dinner. Here is a list of some places locally and around the nation that offer sleepover programs:
AROUND THE US
JetBlue Airways will begin daily nonstop flights between Hartford-Springfield's Bradley International Airport and West Palm Beach International Airport on Jan 12. West Palm will be the fourth destination the carrier has added from Hartford since beginning service there last November. To promote to the new route, JetBlue will sell one-way fares for as low as $79 through Thursday Oct. 6 for travel between Jan. 12 and March 31.
The Great American Road Trip has been a part of our national psyche at least since the days when Huck Finn decided to ''light out for the territory'' to stay one step ahead of Aunt Sally's efforts to ''sivilize'' him. Samuel Clemens, Huck's creator, knew a thing or two about hitting the road.
The stewards of Clemens' memory, the Mark Twain House & Museum, have wed the road trip with Aunt Sally's civilizing influence in a delightful Literary Pilgrimage through the Northeast. It takes about six days and touches bases with Washington Irving, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wallace Stevens, Noah Webster, Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, William Cullen Bryant, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Since Philip Johnson’s Glass House first opened to the public in 2007, the demand to step inside one of the landmarks of modern architecture has been overwhelming. Tickets for the 2011 tour season, which runs from May through November, go on sale at 9 a.m. on Feb. 15, and if the past is any indication, they will sell out quickly. The good news for those who want to visit Johnson’s New Canaan, Conn., property — which includes fourteen architectural structures and a world-class art collection — is that the Glass House is introducing three new two-hour tour options for 2011.
The Architecture tour will offer guests the opportunity to learn how the Glass House campus serves as a fifty-year diary of architectural history by exploring the architects, theories and history; buildings, materials and technologies; and preservation challenges of modern architecture.
The Art tour will illuminate how Johnson and his partner, David Whitney, played significant roles in cultivating and commissioning the work of world-renowned creative talent that defined an era. Visitors will examine works featured in the Glass House collection including those by Frank Stella and Andy Warhol.
The Landscape tour will feature a walk through the grounds and a discussion centered on the history, design, flora and fauna of Johnson’s forty-seven-acre landscape.
In addition to the newly added tours, which cost $45 per person, visitors may also choose from the following options: 90-minute guided Site tour ($30 per person); Two-hour guided Extended tour ($45 per person); Glass House Modern Friends Tour ($100 per person); Twilight Tour ($150 per person, October only); Private Tour ($250 per person); Glass House Private Tour + Four Seasons Dinner Package ($450 per person); and Group Tours (beginning at $30 per person).
Tickets may be purchased online at www.philipjohnsonglasshouse.org or by phone at 866-811-4111.
Photo of Glass House by Eirik Johnson
If the bright lights of Broadway in New York City are a little too far to go to enjoy great theater, consider New Haven. The city's long-standing theaters are offering some pretty cool shows this fall. The Yale Repertory Theatre is hosting two world premieres, the Long Wharf Theater has an East Coast premiere and there's a launch of a national tour at the Shubert Theater.
Yale Rep, which has produced more than 100 premieres in its tenure, is holding a world premiere Nov. 26-Dec. 19 with "Bossa Nova,'' a work by playwright Kirsten Greenidge that chronicles Dee Paridis's struggle between familial expectations and those of a lover. Yale Rep is finishing up its first world premiere with "We Have Always Lived in the Castle,'' which runs through Oct. 9.
In addition, Yale Rep is staging "A Delicate Balance'' by Edward Albee, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, who makes his debut at Yale Rep with the show, running Oct. 22-Nov. 13.
Check it all out at www.yalerep.com.
The national tour of the Tony Award-winning revival of "Hair'' starts its eight-month, 21-city run with four shows at New Haven's Shubert Theater Oct. 22-24, before leaving for the Kennedy Center in Washington. The Shubert is a not-for-profit performing arts center and has been a staple of the New Haven arts scene since 1914. For info, visit www.shubert.com.
Long Wharf Theatre, an intimate, local playhouse, brings the East Coast premiere of "The Train Driver'' to the stage Oct. 24-Nov. 21, continuing a long association with playwright Athol Fugard. The play explores the guilt and complicated emotions of post-apartheid South Africa and features Broadway performers Harry Groener and Anthony Chisholm. See www.longwharf.org.
Anyone wishing to combine an overnight stay with theater may look into the Yale Repertory Package, which starts at $239 a night and includes overnight accommodations, tickets to an opening-night performance, admittance to the opening-night party with cast and crew at The Study at Yale's Heirloom restaurant, and breakfast at Heirloom the next morning. Details at www.studyhotels.com.
Posted by Paul E. Kandarian, Globe correspondent
Painter beside the Housatonic River in Great Barrington. Photo by Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe.
If you're looking ahead for a reason to get outdoors and enjoy the fall weather, the Upper Housatonic Valley Natural Heritage Area has more than 40 to offer. Designated by Congress in 2006, the Heritage Area organizes an annual series of Heritage Hikes to highlight the historical, cultural, and natural resources along the 60-mile stretch of the Housatonic River from Kent, Conn., to Lanesboro, Mass. This year's walks (along with a couple of train rides and canoe trips) are scheduled for the weekends of September 18-19 and October 2-3. Walks range from 1/4 to 3.5 miles. They explore the history of former mill towns, follow the paths of old stone walls, or retrace Native American hiking trails. You can also visit a historic apple orchard, watch for migrating birds in a wildlife sanctuary, or visit some of the area's noted estates and gardens. Most events are free, but some require advance registration.
Check www.heritage-hikes.org or call 413-394-9773 for information and a schedule.
Visitors will be able to sample a selection of craft beers and chilis ranging from hearty, meaty, and spicy, to many-beaned, vegetarian, and everything in between. Over 40 breweries and 15-plus Connecticut restaurants have signed up to kick off the event. Participants include Saranac, Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada, and the Willimantic Brewing Company, Eli Cannon's of Middletown, The Society Room of Hartford, and The Brew Pub at Mohegan Sun.
All-inclusive tickets are $45 for general admission and $30 for designated drivers. There is also a VIP early entrance general admission ticket for $75 and a VIP early entrance designated driver ticket for $60. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 877.77.CLICK (25425) or visit cpbn.org, keyword: Beer and Chili.
Fourth of July travel in New England is likely to outpace travel levels nationwide as more than 1.7 million New Englanders are projected to take some kind of trip over the three-day weekend, AAA Southern New England said.
Both regional and national estimates are up this year because of the improving economy, AAA Southern New England said.
AAA said it is projecting the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend will increase 17.1 percent from 2009, with approximately 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.
"The landscape of the US economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago,” Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England senior vice president of public and government affairs, said in a statement. “It’s encouraging to see such growth this summer as Americans take to the road to visit family, friends, and great vacation destinations.”
AAA noted that the Fourth of July is typically the busiest travel holiday for roadside assistance calls.
"As temperatures rise, vehicles are put to the test," the press release.
AAA said its projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight, an economic research and consulting firm headquartered in Lexington.
Just in case it slipped by you: New federal rules that took effect in April require American carriers to let passengers exit planes stuck on airport tarmacs after three hours, and they must provide drinking water and snacks such as pretzels after two hours or face fines of as much as $27,500 a passenger for violations. There are exceptions but they mostly involve passenger safety and security concerns.
The rule was pushed by consumers, angry about being abused by airlines who wanted to minimize hassle for themselves in the event of a delay, If we needed a reminder about why we needed the rule in the first place we've just been provided one by the experiences of passengers on a diverted Virgin Atlantic flight stuck on the tarmac at Bradley International outside Hartford.
This from AP:
Bad weather grounded the flight from London to Newark, N.J., at Connecticut's Bradley International Airport on Tuesday night. Passengers told CNN they landed at about 8:20 p.m. and were kept on the plane until about 1 a.m. Wednesday without food or water.
"It was like four hours on the ground without any air conditioning. It was crazy. Just crazy," passenger Beth Willan told CNN. "There were babies on the plane. And we are in dark and hot. You try to be patient but people were yelling and screaming."
The airline's London office said the 300 passengers on Flight VS001 were being bused to Newark on Wednesday morning.
"Virgin Atlantic would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience cause," the airline said in a statement.
In this case Virgin escapes without penalty. Why? Because it isn't an American carrier.
Got any stranded on the tarmac stories to share?
Photo of grounded Virgin Atlantic plane by Jim Michaud of Journal Inquirer via AP
Thirty-six of them, to be exact. As a kind of birthday celebration to mark its own centenary, Historic New England is opening all of its properties free to the public on June 5. Hours run 1-5 p.m., with tours on the hour (last tours at 4 p.m.). The houses really do run the gamut (to borrow Tom Wolfe phrase) from our house to Bauhaus. The oldest is Portsmouth's Jackson House (1664), the newest the Gropius House (1938) in Lincoln, home of the former Bauhaus director Walter Gropius. The first house acquired by Historic New England (then the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) was Swett-Ilsley House in Newbury (above), normally only on the first Saturdays of the month.
The nifty thing about Historic New England is that the organization does not merely preserve houses--it interprets them. While real estate brokers running an open house want you to imagine yourself living there, Historic New England conjures up the lives of the houses' past owners, building an understanding of how we have inhabited New England over the last four centuries. For example, the building of Cogwell's Grant in Essex (below) dates from 1728, but the house is shown filled with the amazing folk art collections of 20th century owners Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little. Additional special programs will take place at Beauport (1907) in Gloucester, where a staff member will discuss preservation projects at that site, and at the Codman Estate (c. 1740) in Lincoln, Mass., where a staff member will discuss work on the extensive gardens and landscape.
Posted by David Lyon
Photos courtesy of Historic New England