Guest Writer Winners


We love contests! In our latest, we asked our readers for their favorite Shoreline secrets. Entries had to be under 100 words (lots of you had trouble with that one!), cleverly written and interesting to our The E List audience. Here are the top two winners and six honorable mentions. Thanks to all who entered!


1. Pizza By the Sea: Stony Creek Market, Branford by Wendy Renz
Enjoy the sunset over Long Island Sound and the cool breeze on the outdoor patio while you join local “Creekers” for an hour or two. Offering a spectacular view of the Thimble Islands, located in a tiny section of Branford, the Stony Creek Market is open year-round for a tasty breakfast or lunch; but it’s the summertime pizza for dinner that is my favorite. We often arrive by boat, tie up at the town dock, and walk to the Market with BYOB cooler in hand. The pizza is delicious with a unique robust crust, light sauce and fresh toppings, Fancy it’s not, and that’s part of the appeal. Paper plates, plastic utensils and pizza pies by the sea…can’t wait!

2. Get Framed: Sachem Card and Party, Guilford by Amy Peters
We all have unframed treasures gathering dust in our homes: vintage photos, children’s drawings, Playbills signed by favorite actors, each calling out to be framed. And, as Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh put it, “a picture without a frame is like a soul without a body.” So, go ahead and give soul to your unframed treasures at Sachem Card and Party Shop in Guilford. Here, master framers Tom Konishesay and Chris Capezzone offer expert guidance and a trained eye to guide their customers when choosing frames and mattes. They offer an extensive and interesting selection. Prices are reasonable, too.

Honorable Mention

3. Magic Fingers For Your Sofa, East Haven by Clo Davis
Are you sitting on a sagging cushion? Losing jewelery behind open seams? Contact Al Marino of A&J Upholstery at 203-469-3934 for a magical re-do of a favorite upholstered piece. Al, the third generation owner of this enterprise, is creative, a blast to work with and his old European style workmanship rocks. He will arrive at your home with fabric samples or you can visit him at his home-based workshop in East Haven. Check out the new Yale Art Gallery for examples of his talents.

4. Estela Wilderness Education, Clinton by Sherri Estela
Have you ever wanted to learn how to start a fire without matches? Are you curious about finding edible plants? Clinton, CT resident Kevin Estela founded Estela Wilderness Education, LLC. It provides instructional services for the wilderness and urban/suburban survival industry. From private instruction to group seminars and freelance writing, Estela Wilderness Education teaches real skills developed over the years as an outdoors professional and survival instructor with the Wilderness Learning Center.

5. What’s “Mine” Can Be Your’s, by Cynthia Kopcsay
Let me tell you about a store that sells everything but the kitchen sink: NO WAIT!! It also sells the kitchen sink! In fact, it sells everything, yes,folks, I do mean EVERYTHING you could possibly want, even if you didn’t know you wanted it when you walked in. So what does “MINE” on Route 1 in Mystic sell? Where to begin? Gorgeous old furniture, glass, knickknacks, clothes, jewelry, tools, books, indescribable objects made of tin, metal, plastic, you name it. Hand painted artisan mirrors, boxes. Oh, did I mention rocks, whale-bones, fossilized fish poop and geodes? Scrabble pieces? Original art work? Baskets, drums, postcards, shutters, doors, bean pots, …are you getting the picture? All this amazing stuff is brought to you by owner Mike Walsh, an affable giant of a man, with a twinkle in his eye, and an unequaled ability to spot a gem and price it to sell. And if you are lucky, you will be greeted by the worlds cutest and friendliest King Charles Cavalier spaniel:“a boy named Fern”. Folks, I am NOT kidding. This store is positively addictive and every time you visit it will be a different store, as thing flyyyy in and out. I have to confess, I loved this store so much that after being a devoted customer, I now work there two days a week, and could spend every penny I earn on the goods. Check it out – like I said: what’s “MINE” can be yours!

6. Blissworks Yoga and Healing Arts, New London by Lisa Crowley
We all live in the same stressful world, with the added fun of our own private stresses and pressures working on us all the time. Blissworks Yoga and Healing Arts in New London is the place where I go to ensure that those stresses and pressures somehow stay in the background. Tricia McAvoy is the founder and owner of Blissworks, which opened in 2004. There are a variety of types of yoga classes to choose from including classes geared towards the beginner, intermediate, and advanced yogini (and this year, teacher training as well!) Types or styles of yoga include Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa flow, Bliss Inspired Yoga, and Restorative Yoga. Blissworks also offers “Healing Arts” in beautiful and calming spaces including a range of massage therapies, Reflexology, Thai yoga therapy, Divine Openings sessions, and Reiki sessions. They also do workshops on a regular basis like Kirtan (devotional yogic chanting), Yoga Nidra (a form of deep yoga relaxation, akin to getting 8 hours of sleep (!) and dance, writing, and meditation workshops. Tricia also offers private yoga sessions. But the real secret at Blissworks Yoga and Healing Arts is that it’s a little oasis in the city, a beautiful yoga studio just one flight up from State Street but somehow a world away from it; when you see people hurrying down that street with their yoga mats over their shoulders and that…look, on their faces (the one that says they’re running a little late, and you probably better not get in their way ; ), I highly recommend sticking around for about an hour and half and taking a look at those same people coming out of class. Now everybody’s smiling, sticking around to chat with one another for a few minutes on the street before heading home, maybe suggesting a cup of coffee or a trip to Fiddleheads to one another. What I really love about this place is the community building that Tricia has done here: if you want to just come and take some yoga classes, or get a massage, or sing your heart out at a Kirtan, that’s great. But if you want to meet interesting (and de-stressed)people, maybe make some friends and become part of an open and welcoming community: this IS the place. Tricia’s energy, exuberance, and vision are the engine behind it all and I can guarantee that, while there are yoga studios popping up all over, there is no place like Blissworks anywhere on the Shoreline, (and probably not anywhere else, either).

7. Maple Breeze Farm, Westbrook by Jane Lederman
The history of Maple Breeze Farm in Westbrook dates back to 1710 with ties to the King of England. Fast forward four generations later and you arrive at the current day version complete with the all important grown local 3 acres of superb vegetables and the absolute best sweet and hot sausage you will ever eat. This praise coming from someone who generally chooses fish over meat! To complete this healthy and gastronomic treat are in residence Devon cows which entertain the children while you get to know proud and friendly owners John and Bonnie Hall.

8. Unique Art by Dawn King
“Can she fly?” “How does she do that?” “Very Cool!” Children and adults from Norma Terris and Katherine Hepburn Theater to Niantic’s Winterfest have enthusiastically exclaimed! See Living Statues in Motion come alive with beauty and artistry to hand out a customized fortune. Hire Venus the Goddess of Love, Heavenly Angel, Enchanted Fairy and Vineyard Goddess for your wedding, conference or special occasion! Create the “Buzz” needed to change your event from “special” to a “Unique and Magical” one everyone will remember! Call this new local business today 860 304-4244 or and see if she really can fly!