The Mercurial’s Top 20 Articles of 2011


IN HONOR of reaching over 20,000 readers in 2011, here are the top 20 Mercurial articles of the past year, as decided by you.  Your readership is so appreciated. Keep reading, keep commenting and keep emailing.

All the best to you and yours  in2012!



IN HONOR of reaching over 20,000 readers in 2011, here are the top 20 Mercurial articles of the past year, as decided by you.  Your readership is so appreciated. Keep reading, keep commenting and keep emailing.

All the best to you and yours  in2012!




New Danbury Art Gallery Pulls Artists “Out of the Woodwork”

Arts and Music Preview
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:28
by Amanda Bloom

"The Road to Pompeii" by Erin Walrath. 7" x 9", 2008.

The Mercurial Collective, a new downtown Danbury art gallery located at 11 Library Place, will be holding its grand opening for “Out of the Woodwork” on Saturday, April 30. The Collective also serves as office space for The Mercurial, and the gallery aims to bring the magazine’s popular “digital galleries” off the web and into the three-dimensional world.

Along with The Collective, neighboring artists Erin Walrath and Chris Durante will be opening their studios to the public and showing their work.  This trio of creative minds and spaces will be lighting up Library Place with a beautiful, fun-filled family event for all to enjoy.





Farewell to a Big Heart
Local News
Thursday, 08 September 2011 09:24

The Danbury community has lost a great friend.

“Big Jeff” was a constant smiling fixture in the downtown Danbury scene, a staunch supporter of local and independent art and music, and a trustworthy, hilarious friend to many.


Farmer’s Market Coming to Danbury Mall

Food Local
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 10:31
by Alica Ghio
from Local Food Rocks

YES, there will be a new farmer’s market in town!

Starting on June 1, the Elite Farmer’s Market will be at the Danbury Fair Mall every Wednesday and Saturday from 10am to 2pm throught October 29. And it’s going to be big. With 35 to 40 vendors, it will be the largest farmer’s market in the state.



A New Direction for Danbury

Local News
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 12:04

by Amanda Bloom

ON DECEMBER 8, 2010, Danbury’s Main Street Renaissance Task Force released Downtown Danbury: Issues and Recommendations 2010, a comprehensive plan to revitalize downtown Danbury.  The Task Force was formed in 2008, and the report has been highly anticipated.

The Mercurial will be publishing a series of in-depth analyses of the report, in which key issues and policies, economic development, urban design, public improvements, and finally, implementation, are covered.  This first installment will introduce the report and provide a general overview of its contents.  The Task Force’s report is available on the city’s website here.


Another Business Deterred from Danbury

Local News
Friday, 20 May 2011 11:24
by Amanda Bloom

“John will have a brewery – depending on where it is, that’s the question.”

This is what Mark Tambascio, owner of My Place Restaurant and Tap Room in Newtown, Connecticut, has to say about award-winning homebrewer John Watson.

Danbury was one place that Watson scouted for his brewery, specifically an industrial location on East Liberty Street.  Ed Blasco, the owner of the East Liberty property, attempted to amend the building’s zoning so that Watson could open his business there, but there was no support for the amendment in City Hall.  Blasco’s site is set to be rented by a bakery, and Watson is looking in Litchfield and New Haven County for a suitable location for his brewery.


Car-Free Celebration to Benefit Inner City Youth Center

Local News
Monday, 21 March 2011 11:44
by Amanda Bloom

In honor of a decade’s worth of getting around without a car, Danbury cyclist Dave Bonan is celebrating with a weekend of music, dance and plastic bike sleeves taped above urinals.

Bonan’s 10th annual Car-free Bicycle Anniversary will take place at Heirloom Arts Theatre and 1Bar in Danbury, and all of the event’s proceeds will benefit the Harambee Center, an inner city youth center located on West Street.





“You must think that I’m some kind of gay blade.”

Arts and Music Preview
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 08:28

by Joshua L. Durkin

Riotous rock duo The Gay Blades came to Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury on Thursday, April 14.  The Blades were accompanied by Vuvuzela, a new project born from the orchestral thrash of Boston’s Kiss Kiss. I got in touch with New Yorker James Dean Wells, TGB singer/songwriter, who is on the road.

I learned that I need to look up certain words in the dictionary more often, like “wacky”, which, James correctly pointed out, has no place in the description of the band. Perhaps “manic” would have been better.  No matter.





Hockey Cereal, III

Local News
Friday, 11 March 2011 16:13

A Danbury Whaler’s Serial, part 3
by Mikey Lisek

in December. I showed up early at Two Steps. No one was there when I arrived. I set up the mixer and microphone I had bought so the sound would come through better on the stereos. I was excited it worked, because by the time Whalers CEO Herm Sorcher, then-Vice President of Operations Chris LaRocque and Coach Firriolo showed up, everything was ready to go. I even had an iPod hooked up to play music when the guests were introduced.





#34: Matikhan the Great

Local The 325 Project
Friday, 18 February 2011 12:30

The local music scene lost a legend and one of its founding members this past Saturday, February 12.  Matt Medina, also known as “Matikhan the Great”, was someone who cared greatly about his art form, family, and friends.





The Occupants of Wall Street

Health and Humanity News
Friday, 30 September 2011 13:15
by Joshua L. Durkin

Pungent curry stink hovered overhead in Zuccotti Park. I turned to see three men and a woman in their early twenties, I guessed, carry paper plates holding clumps of food. They looked weary, especially a grungy man of indeterminate age who walked after them, picking at his plate the way that tired or worn people will do. His beard was matted in places that mat when you sleep on something other than a pillow.

It was Tuesday, September 27, the 11th day of the protest known as Occupy Wall Street.


What a Wunderful Class

Health and Humanity News
Friday, 07 January 2011 14:20

by Amanda Bloom


“In the mid-16th century,
Wunderkammern, so-called cabinets of curiosity, began to appear in Europe. The objects contained in these sometimes beautiful collections included works of art, fossils, unusual biological specimens and reputedly mythological objects, such as horns of unicorns (later revealed to be the horns of Narwals). The cabinets emerged at a time of rapidly expanding engagement in scientific inquiry and represented an intersection of many disciplines around the rich concept of ‘wonder’.”

THESE ARE THE FIRST FEW SENTENCES of the course description of “The Wunderkammer of Knowledge”, an honors course offered for the first time this past semester at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.  The course was built around the idea of  Wunderkammern as metaphors for learning, and the result was a class which, to an outsider, might have looked more like an intellectual orgy than your typical state university course.  But to an insider, the class was a rich stewpot of remarkable experiences, newfound relationships and broadened perspectives.


The Last Video Store Standing
Local News
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 10:51
by Kristin Hankins

Diana and Naldo of Ultimate Video in Brookfield, Connecticut have been in the video business for about 30 years.

“We’ve had other stores in Danbury, but we’ve been in Brookfield for about 18 years,” said Naldo in an interview.

Located in a standalone building at 246 Federal Road in the Brookfield Commons, Ultimate Video has not only stood the test of time – the store has come full circle by being featured in a supernatural/thriller movie.


Danbury Faces

Arts and Music Digital Gallery
Monday, 03 January 2011 11:38
by Cathy Vanaria

THESE PORTRAITS are from a larger series of photographs concentrating on the history of Danbury.

Cathy is investigating her own place in town by looking at its people, industries and culture.


The Cult of Loko

Health and Humanity News
Monday, 24 January 2011 11:41
by Joshua L. Durkin

BLACKOUT IN A CAN: the four words to start the great American novel of the twenty-tens. Guarana. Caffeine. Alcohol. Taurine. And twenty-four ounces of 12 % alcohol by volume malt beverage.

Four Loko is an alcoholic energy drink known for it’s absurd content of chemicals that, ingested separately, would either dull or heighten the senses. But Phusion Projects, started by three friends from Ohio State University, crammed into one cheap drink the power of four herbal substances. They had all the reason to do so, because they followed the trends of good, successful American entrepreneurs.

And Four Loko was an American drink, whether Phusion Projects intended it or not. American because it combined four popular drugs into one brightly packaged debaucherous 24 oz aluminum fuel cell.





Something Awesome for the Gay Community

Local News
Friday, 21 January 2011 11:42
by Amanda Bloom


This is the feel Jaime Randle and Jes Bengston wanted to create when they were first brainstorming about starting “something” over the summer.  The two young women met while working at a restaurant, and both were itching to do something more for the community.  They both also connected on the fact that there is little for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) community to do outside of the bar and nightclub scene.

So they stuck with “something awesome” and went to work on The Something Awesome Project (SAP), a movement dedicated to providing a safe, positive and supportive space both online and off for the GLBTQ community.





A Whale of a Game

Local News
Monday, 17 January 2011 11:56
by Joshua L. Durkin

The pre-game warm-up in the Danbury Arena began innocently enough. A fan commented that the Thousand Islands’ logo looked like a small Furby with a bad hat, and then someone yelled “you skate like old men fuck”. For all the verbal harassment that would be thrown at them during the night, the Thousand Islands Privateers didn’t acknowledge the crowd.


5th Annual MS Benefit Changes Venue But Holds True To Mission

Local News
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 10:18
by Kristin Hankins

Although Gretchen Brinkerhoff’s birthday was in June, August 6 happens to be a great time for an additional party.

Saturday, August 6 is the date of the fifth annual MS Benefit, hosted and created by Brinkerhoff’s son, Jeffrey Goresen.  Brinkerhoff suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic central nervous system disorder, and for the past four years, Goresen has hosted the benefit at Cousin Larry’s in downtown Danbury.

Larry’s closed this past spring, and O’Brien’s Pub, located at 83 Lake Avenue in Danbury, has come to the rescue and offered its space for the benefit.





Ital is Vital, and Other Lessons from da Jamaican Bush

Health and Humanity World
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 09:28

by Lindsay Chimileski

I knew I would be in for an unique education when I enrolled at University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, but I did not know that a few test-cramming months later, I would be in the Jamaican bush…


A Museum of Many Hats

Local News

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 10:28
by Allie McConnell
photos by Catherine Vanaria

There is something in the air:

feathers, ribbons, curlicues, bows…

From the royal wedding to New York charity galas, women’s hats have captured the popular imagination. The Danbury Museum adds to the zeitgeist with its new exhibit, “Magnificent Millinery”, opening Saturday, June 4.





Senior Citizens Will Bear the Burden of Main Street Post Office Closure

Local News

Monday, 04 April 2011 10:43

by Dave Bonan

A number of downtown Danbury businesses have recently closed their doors, and now there is discussion of the Main Street Post Office following suit.  The closure would leave only the main Backus Avenue branch on the West Side of Danbury in operation.

The amount of daily foot traffic using the downtown branch is significant, especially considering the large senior citizen population from a multitude of downtown buildings, including Kimberly Place and Ives Manor. Older residents who may not drive are generally downtown walkers and users of public transit. Without a nearby branch, seniors would have to commute to the Backus Avenue branch, a 2.4-mile trip.


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