CULTURE

Wine and Dine

Around the area there are many very fine restaurants.  Sad to say,  we lost one of the nicer restaurants on the Lake.  The Boulders inn is now closed and I understand it was sold to be a private residence.  But on the North Shore we still have a very nice inn with excellent  Austrian cuisine.  I’m speaking of Hopkins Inn.  Hopkins vineyard is across the street and they make all their own wine.  Tasting can be enjoyed anytime, and occasionally they make a special occasion out of it.  They boast a unique and very sweet wine called Ice Wine made by first freezing the grapes on the vine.  This one is best enjoyed as more of a dessert as it is VERY sweet.  At the inn you can spend a night or just enjoy  lunch or dinner.  Fresh baked bread is served with every meal.

Up the road about 12 miles in Litchfield is the Haight vineyard.  They offer annual special events, private events, and wine tasting along with fine dining.  Reservations are usually required and always suggested.

There are many other wineries throughout Litchfield county and twenty four altogether scattered around CT.  For more information on the CT wine trail visit the web at www.ctwine.com.

Fine Dining

For fine dining, there are numerous choices.  In Litchfield, we have the Litchfield inn, Tollgate inn and many nice sidewalk cafes.  In Lakeville, we have the Wake Robin Inn, and Salisbury offers the White Hart Inn.  Kent, CT has many fine, family type restaurants, and sidewalk cafes, and in Torrington, we have the Yankee Peddlar Inn.   All have that appealing New England atmosphere and excellent food.

Theater

For those interested in live entertainment with a cultural aspect, we have the Warner Theater in Torrington.  There you can enjoy a live play, music, comedy and more.  Such names as Shirley McClaine, Celtic Thunder, Fresh Beat Band, Bon Jovi, Monty Python, and Neil Diamond are all featured, just to name a few.  Check their calender at www.Warnertheater.com for upcoming performances.

Next, we have the Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, CT.  This is a teaching theater where young actors and actresses are mentored by those more experienced in the trade.  Their productions are Broadway inspired and many top name and well known plays are performed, such as Altar Boyz and The Sound of Music.  Stop in for a real treat in live performances.

Native American Culture

I’ve mentioned Indian lore in previous pages, and what would culture be without mentioning the local Native Americans?  In Washington, CT we have the American Indian Archeological Institute.  Several digs that contributed to the artifacts were done right here in town.  Pottery, arrowheads, and many tools were uncovered in Steep Rock park and other areas around the lake and around town in general.  This museum is located off Rt. 199 in Washington Depot.  A call to Parks and Rec at the town hall should get you more information.

In the town of Kent, located along the Housatonic near Bulls Bridge is a live Indian reservation.  You’re welcome to take a drive along Schaghticoke Rd. and see it first hand.  The influence of local tribes is all over New England with names of towns, lakes and rivers, such as Lake Waramaug, named after the chief, Lilinonah, named after his daughter, Aspetuck River and the longest name of a river that I have yet to see: The Naromiocknowhosunkatankshunk river.     The sign, (In Sherman) was taken down as it was too long to print up.

Astronomy

For those of you with an “astronomical” thirst for adventure, there is a relatively new, local space observatory located in New Milford at the New Milford High School.  The McCarthy observatory is completely run by volunteers, and  has a “Second Saturday” open house on the second Saturday every month.  Each month, one of the volunteers hosts a presentation in the observatory classroom on various topics.  The telescope is open to the public anytime anyone is there.  Just sign in and they’ll show you around the universe.  There are also computers which show what is being seen in the scope so you may not have to wait for the telescope.  It’s a small observatory and there’s not much room in there, but it’s well worth seeing.  Occasionally, a group of the volunteers  bring their own telescopes to share the “walk through the stars” and have a space party that can last well into the night.  I’m told that sometimes the smaller ones give a better picture than the big one on a night when there is a lot of breeze.  The atmosphere distorts the picture and the bigger the scope, the bigger the distortion.

Space Weather

For updates on space events and free subscriptions to email updates of upcoming events, you can visit www.Spaceweather.com.  This is not a local point of interest, but rather an enhancement to the above mentioned observatory.  Anything that is going on in space; asteroids, auroras, solar flares, eclipses, planetary alignment and displays will be posted there, as well as pictures of some events.  If you’re interested in astronomy, it’s a great site.