Autism Awareness Day

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The meaning of Autism Awareness Day has a very personal meaning to me. Back when I was in high school I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, therefore I am on the spectrum. I don’t plan on going into details on how I was diagnosed. But, what I can tell you is no two people on the spectrum are the same. There are many things people with Autism have been able to do that they were told they couldn’t. I know there are many challenges I have overcome that others found easy, many of them are social skills. None the less,  I hope you all had a wonderful day. Light it Up Blue!

 

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Happy Easter

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Happy Easter! On this day Jesus fulfilled His promise to rise again on the third day. Remember, today is a day of joy and celebration as He has risen.

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I hope you all enjoy today and the Easter Bunny was good to you!

Holy Week

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“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”- Matthew 6:1

This past week is known as Holy Week as the final week of Lent. As this week comes to an end it is a time of reflection of the days since past from Ash Wednesday. Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday all have come and gone and I still think back to the question I asked on my Ash Wednesday post about people understanding John 3:16.

To be honest, I don’t think many people fully understand the significance behind John 3:16. This bible verse commonly comes up around this day (Good Friday) as a reminder of Jesus on the cross. However, how many people actually understand why He did this? He did this for us.

Another question that comes up is how many people use the Lenten season to brag. How many people brag about why they can’t eat meat on Fridays? It is one thing to say why you are not eating meat on Fridays and this gives you the chance to explain. However, how many people bring up the subject themselves as a way to look prideful and better than everyone around them?

As the season of Lent comes to a close there is a constant reminder that many people do not understand the meaning behind John 3:16. Also, the pride some take in themselves for practicing throughout the season of Lent by bragging to others. Lent is a time of reflection. The forty days are a time to remember what Jesus did for us.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Ah yes, St. Patrick’s Day! The one day a year when I enjoy corned beef and cabbage. Yes, this is one of my favorite meals, however for some reason I only eat it once a year. Each year I always say I am going to have corned beef and cabbage more than once and before I know it, it is St. Patrick’s Day again!

Coming from Irish descent, I enjoy partaking in the activities that come with St. Patrick’s Day, like parades and celebrating my Irish heritage.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone out there! Luck of the Irish! Éirinn go Brách!

A Simple Carnation

One of my favorite thing to photograph is flowers. A few weeks ago a single carnation came home. A simple white carnation in all of its simplicity in a vase of water. So, my new found love for photographing flowers just happened.

For some reason a simple thing as a carnation can brighten my day. Photographing flowers has become a new hobby of mine. Flowers don’t seem to fail to make me smile. Hope you all had a wonderful week!

I, Tonya

One of the most infamous skating scandals in history came to the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. The hit movie I, Tonya follows the story of competitive figure skater Tonya Harding as she climbs her way to the top of the skating world against all the odds. Her life tends to be going in the right direction to becoming an Olympic champion until the infamous Nancy Kerrigan attack. On February 18th, the Garde Arts Center brought this to life bringing in people from all over.

On a bright sunny and unusually warm day in February, there was chatter in the lobby between the ushers getting in their position as the popcorn was popped. There was chatter among everyone about the hit movie coming to life. When the doors opened many more came in talking more about the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan story. Not only was the movie I, Tonya being talked about, but upcoming movies Phantom Thread on February 28th and Darkest Hour on March 1st. Some people were stopping looking at some of the posters hanging in the windows at the Garde for upcoming movies Loving Vincent on March 7th and Call Me By Your Name on March 4th.

When the theater opened everyone was welcomed into a theater while popular figure skating program music played. While they made their way to their seats photos of upcoming events like Andrew Bird on March 2nd and Lyle Lovett on March 3rd flashed on the screen. There were photos of popular events that took place in the past, as well as sponsored events the Garde had hosted. There were some photos showing the some of the employees hard at work to keep the Garde up to date for patrons coming in. There were even photos of the Garde from before the renovations like World War II campaigns and the bar during the 1950’s.

Back in the lobby, while people stopped to grab food and drinks at the bar there were some people who had stopped and looked at future posters for future events like Popovich on March 16th and David Sedaris on April 14th. But, there was a special table that showed the Garde’s active involvement in the community. Together with Bethsaida Community Inc. and Safe Futures a purple donation box was set up. Both of these fantastic outreach programs help out victims of domestic violence and homeless families who have fallen on hard times. Adorned with a bouquet of orchids many had stopped to look at the box to help out these organizations for struggling families.

When the time came for Steve Sigel to take the stage a flood of people made their way in the theater. After giving a word of welcome he made a few light jokes about the movie I, Tonya before announcing the BANFF Mountain Film Festival for Winter sports fans. He proceeded to talk about the awards and nominations I, Tonya has earned. Many people were intrigued to learn the choreography done in the movie was done by the same woman who choreographed the 2002 Winter Olympics. Then he announced the audience was in for a special treat; a short film about Wally Lamb. The popular author has written books that take place at the Garde.

When the lights went down advertisements for sponsors for the Winter Cinema Series at the Garde Arts Cinema played: Secor Subaru, Atlantic Broadband, and the Thames Heritage Museum. All of these sponsors are proud to sponsor the Garde Arts, not only for the cinema series, but many other events. Then the Wally Lamb movie had played. In this short movie filmed at the Garde he talked about his life growing up around women and how it influenced his work. He spoke about his books that take place at the Garde and popular female silent director Lois Weber. When the film finished a preview for The Shape of Water on March 9th played and the movie began.

Following the harrowing story of Tonya Harding’s life as she overcame the odds to become a champion figure skater. Remade interviews with Tonya, her mother Lavona, and ex-husband Jeff Gillooly flashed on the screen leading many to laughter and sighs of shock at the same time. When the movie had ended many people stayed in the theater to watch the credits as they were intrigued by Tonya Harding’s untold story. As people made their way outside they talked about I, Tonya along with the story. Only the Garde Arts Center could bring to life a movie like I, Tonya. The legendary movie palace in New London, Connecticut was able to bring a story like this to life.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

There is no place in the world, to me, that can show a movie like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The only place in the world that can deliver the classic old fashioned movie palace atmosphere is the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. On February 16th, this critically acclaimed and award winning movie brought in people from all over to see the film in this of a kind atmosphere.

While the ushers were receiving their final instructions the popcorn was being popped as the bartenders prepped their stations. The patrons started to fill up the box office lobby anxiously waiting to get inside. Several of them had stopped at the box office to pick up a ticket for the movie. In the box office lobby they were looking at advertisements for upcoming events like Lyle Lovett & Shawn Colvin on March 3rd and Air Supply on March 10th.

When the doors opened the lobby filled with people where they were delighted to see advertisements for upcoming shows like David Sedaris on April 14th and Popovich Pet Theatre on March 16th. While others spoke about the upcoming movies coming to the Garde like Phantom Thread on February 28th and Darkest Hour on March 1st. Several people were walking by the Garde to see posters for upcoming movies leading many of them to stop and look at posters for The Shape of Water on March 9th and I, Tonya on February 18th.

In the lobby, as well, were representatives from Atlantic Broadband. The sponsors of the Garde Arts Winter Cinema Series were wearing royal blue shirts handing out mini basketball stress balls to patrons. Some of them stopped to answer questions about what Atlantic Broadband had to offer and the movie they were about to see.

As they made their way into the theater country music played while photos of upcoming events, like Andrew Bird on March 2nd, flashed on the screen. When the time came Phil Micalowski, president of the Board of Trustees for the Garde, came to the stage. He gave a warm welcome to the seven hundred and fifty three audience. After announcing the future movies for the weekend, The Post on February 17th and I, Tonya on February 18th, he took his seat leading to the movie to begin.

Once the movie started everyone was glued to the screen. There were people who were laughing at times, then crying at others. When Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ended there was applause by the audience. When the lights came back on many people in the audience stayed behind to watch the credits to see all who were a part of making this masterpiece.

In this traditional movie palace there were people who were pleased with a night out at the Garde Arts Center. The local nonprofit arts center was able to give everyone a movie to watch in a traditional movie palace. There truly is no place like the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut could provide.

The Disaster Artist

On a rainy cold day the Garde Arts Center opened its doors for the hit movie The Disaster Artist. The movie following Tommy Wiseau making the “worst movie ever made” called The Room brought in many from all over. The cold and rain did not stop people from walking to the Garde to see the critically acclaimed film.

As people made their way in out of the cold the aroma of popcorn filled the lobby. There were many who were buying cups of Harney and Sons tea where hot water, honey, and milk was set up for them, while others stopped to get a hot cup of coffee. In the lobby there were many people talking about the film they were about to see.

In the lobby with advertisements for upcoming events at the Garde like author and humorist David Sedaris on April 14th and the Australian iconic singing duo Air Supply on March 10th. Some people showed interest in the hit family musical The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd and the unique Popovich Pet Theater on March 16th. All of these events and more are coming to the Garde in the coming months much to the delight of patrons around Connecticut and beyond.

However, the most chatter came around the upcoming movies that are part of the Winter Cinema Series at the Garde Arts Center. Sponsored by Atlantic Broadband, Secor Subaru, The Thames River Heritage Park Tour and many local business come together for this event. In fact, this year there have been two movies added to the list: A Fantastic Woman on March 29th and Loving Vincent on March 7th.

When three o’clock came the lights dimmed with the previews for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri on February 16th and I,Tonya on February 18th played. After both of these previews there was some small talk about the excitement of these two films as both are critically acclaimed. Then the main event started The Disaster Artist. The audience was glued to the screen laughing when it was funny and sighing when it was said. The critically acclaimed film that has received a nomination for an Academy Award and James Franco won a Golden Globe Award for his role as Tommy Wiseau.

Ultimately, the film about the making of the worst movie ever made was a hit with the audience. After the film there was much chatter about how The Room became a cult classic after a terrible film debut and being critically slammed. In the movie The Disaster Artist the story was there about how it all came to be. At the Garde Arts Center some people lingered in to lobby to talk about the film they had just seen.

The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut on February 11th was able to bring to life a film like no other theater. A local legendary movie palace The Disaster Artist was shown here for all to see in a one of a kind experience only the Garde Arts Center can offer. This windy and rainy day came with happiness and joy at there for who came to see an uplifting story about a man and his vision.

The Florida Project

There is something about movies that bring people together. Whether they make us laugh or cry there is a hidden meaning behind each of them that leads to people wanting change through discussion. In the hit independent film The Florida Project, the message was clear and the meaning powerful. On February 10th, the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut brought this film to life.

In the lobby filled with paintings by local artists part of The Constantine Art Group patrons came in after waiting patiently in the box office lobby. While some sat at tables munching on popcorn, others were admiring posters for upcoming events like Popovich on March 16th and The Wizard of Oz on March 9th. However, they all had one thought on their mind which was The Florida Project. There was small talk about the film as many have not heard of the film before.

As photos of past events were flashing on the screen of past events like parties and children musicals in the theater patrons made their way in looking at brochures for local community programs, like Lighthouse Community Center and the Thames Yacht Club. Others were holding brochures that had the dates for music acts like Rodriguez on April 13th and An Evening with Andrew Bird on March 2nd. The chatter about these upcoming events at the Garde seemed endless.

When the time had come for Steve Sigel to take the stage the exciting chatter about upcoming events seemed endless. Before welcoming everyone to the Garde he revealed that a cellphone had been found in the bathroom. After some comedic banter about the lost phone, the woman managed to find her phone because her friend had called it for her. He then proceeded to talk about Tape Face appearing on Febraury 15th, the hilarious mime from America’s Got Talent will be making an appearance at the Garde Arts Center. After lightening the mood, Steve explained the name for the film came from Walt Disney’s original name of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Florida Project, as an independent film, received critical acclaim with Willem Dafoe receiving several nominations for his performance as the motel manager Bobby. With a film about families living in motels in the shadows of Disney World this was a film that would be remembered.

The lights went down and after previews for Call Me By Your Name and A Fantastic Woman, both coming to the Garde in coming weeks the film began. There was laughter and tears as the movie came to a close. When the film ended many stayed behind to watch the credits as well as talk about the ending of the film that inspired many.

The Florida Project came to the Garde Arts Center providing a unique atmosphere for everyone all over. In the film we follow a precocious young girl as she looks beyond her surroundings through friends and bonding with her mother. Living in a hotel in the shadow of tourists who come from all over to Orlando, Florida, only the Garde could provide from a legendary movie palace.

When the film was over many people were talking in the lobby about the film they had just watched. A magical night was brought to life with tears and laughter at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut with the independent critically acclaimed film The Florida Project.

Tape Face

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A mime with noise, stand up with no talking, and drama with no acting are the three lines America’s Got Talent finalist Tape Face uses to describe himself. On February 15th, Tape Face brought his show to the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. There were many people who came from all over to watch this interesting, yet comedic, man put on a one of a kind show.

From the moment you walked in the door you could tell there was something different about Tape Face. There were a few people waiting in the lobby to go to a meet and greet with the one and only Tape Face. As they are waiting a table of souvenirs was being set up with red tape roses made by Tape Face earlier that day, signed photographs and posters, and T-shirts for sale. There was much buzz around this table and people taking photos next to the poster announcing Tape Faces arrival to the Garde.

The families coming to the show with children were intrigued by the upcoming events The Wizard of Oz on May 3rd and Popovich on March 16th. Other ads that popped out for several other patrons were Air Supply on March 10th and David Sedaris on April 14th. On top of all these other events there was much talk about the Garde Winter Cinema Series currently going on. All the movies part of the Atlantic Broadband sponsored Cinema Series are critically acclaimed with all receiving nominations for Academy Awards.

When the doors opened for the audience in they were welcomed into the theater where a stage was set with two chairs and many props for the show. With whimsical music playing there was chatter about upcoming events and even more so the show. There were questions about what Tape Face was going to do in his show. All of these questions were soon answered.

After David Keller, who is part of the board for the Garde, welcomes the audience. After telling the audience he was there with his family he left the stage and Tape Face walked on. Literally, he just walked on stage to applause, then walked off only to come back on stage to applause. After he came on stage the second time, the fun didn’t stop.

In this show there was much audience interaction with these “I-don’t-know-where-I-am” acts. There was a Western skit with red balloons and staple guns followed by a Star Wars parody with a tape measure. Several skits using pop culture references like the Rubix cube and a horse race with stick horses. All of this lead up to a finale wit several red balloons.

At the beginning of the show he brought up a patron who pressed a button with a sign saying “Do Not Push.” Every fifteen minutes the lights would show just on the button announcing the countdown. When the time finally came, the same man came back on stage only to be blindfolded while red balloons were being handed out to the audience to be blown up. The lights came on to an audience holding red balloons in their hands. When the blindfold came off the patron laughed leading to red balloons being thrown on stage followed by more red balloons coming from the ceiling. All of this was happening to the hit song “99 Red Balloons” by Nena playing.

When the show ended the audience headed out to the lobby to meet the one and only Tape Face. There was a long line of people waiting to get photographs and autographs from him. Ultimately, there was only one place that could bring this type of entertainment, The Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut was able to make a one of a kind experience with a one of a kind act.