February 19, 2012

Talks of the Town

Sound advice: Go see this movie.
I've mentioned before how cool some of my co-workers are. They are, in fact, the wise folks who urged me to start this blog in the first place.

Luckily, in addition to getting me through the workday, they have also proved to be fun outside of the office, during book clubs, happy hours, and game nights.

Most recently, a handful of us decided it would be cool to plan occasional trips together to movies, plays, museums, and other fun, arts-and-culture-type outings.

So we've created what we're now referring to as our very own Culture Club. (Mr. Burdique, you so get credit for the genius name.)

Today's Stefcations Highlights:

For our first outing - this past weekend - six of us ventured out to Bow-Tie Cinemas in Hartford, Conn., to see The Artist, a French movie that's gotten a lot of hype - for good reason.

But take note: Although it's been nominated for an Oscar in 10 different categories (including Best Picture) and honored with a 97% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, The Artist has also reportedly been a major source of outrage for many moviegoers worldwide.

That's because it's 100 minutes worth of film without spoken dialogue.

Beer lover? Pub lover? Dog lover?
This place caters to all of you.
I know it might sound hoity-toity, but I swear to you this was a shockingly enjoyable movie to watch - even if there was no (or well, almost no) talking to speak of.

Of course, Bow-Tie Cinemas is worth a trip no matter what movie you're going to see. It's clean, less crowded than some of the other mainstream theaters in the area, and shows current releases in addition to one or two older movies (Right now, Dirty Dancing is on the listed showtimes!).

What's fun, too, is that there's a designated space for moviegoers to write their own personal movie reviews on a slip of paper and tack it to the communal bulletin board. (For the record, The Artist appeared to be a crowd-pleaser.)

Of course, our silent movie night wouldn't feel right without some kind of dialogue ... and, uh, beer. (What better to fuel a lively discussion?)

The Corner Pug, where you can
always get some hair of the dog.
So the Culture Club headed to The Corner Pug, one of the most delightful drinking establishments I've visited in quite a while.

I'm 100 percent ashamed to say I'd never been there before, even though I've lived within a half-hour of the place for most of my adult life.

Yet my newbie status proved surprisingly useful. Upon arrival, I checked in via Foursquare (Note to the uninitiated: This is a smartphone app that these same wise co-workers got me into last summer) and unlocked a special deal for newcomers: Free onion rings! Woot!

These onion rings were no joke, either. They were practically the size of doughnuts, and there were a whole lot of 'em.
Newcomers: Foursquare will make it
worth your while with free onion rings! 

Our table gobbled them up no problem before turning our attention to the menu, which features 12 worthy beers on tap and plenty of mouth-watering food options: mac and cheese, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, Philly cheeseburgers, and the list goes on. You really can't go wrong.

Black and tan happiness.
And as the name suggests, The Corner Pug isn't just about a love of food and drink.

Along every ledge and in every corner, you'll find framed photos of customers' pooches - pugs, of course - conversation pieces that add just one more dimension of warmth to the cozy booths, exposed brick walls, Irish flags, and twinkling lights that gives this place so much character.

So even if you're without cool co-workers or a Culture Club of your own, there's no reason not to spend a couple of hours here chowing down on some great food, enjoying a pint or three, and talking all you want.


  1. Yay for foursquare! The only thing that saddens me is after I leave we decide to have these "culture outings" to the movie theater?! Maybe we can branch this club out into Chicago now because I went Friday and Saturday by my lonesome. (Rampart is amazing by the way)

    Hahah enjoying a pint or three...

  2. I see no reason why the Culture Club can't travel ...