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Archive for December 2010

>A case for Torrington as Connecticut’s Christmas capital

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My 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter “gets” Christmas for the first time this year, and the excitement is building.
She decided that Christmas was finally coming last night when she saw the first real snow of the year. She started singing “Jingle Bells,” and pointed out every set of storefront Christmas lights on our drive through town.
Then we drove by the famous “Christmas House,” and, unplanned, stopped, got a closer look, and went inside. She was blown away, and I was blown away. It was magical, even for an adult, and a stick-with-you-for-a-lifetime experience for a child.
Reading RegisterCitizen.Com later that night, I came to this firm conclusion:
Torrington is the Christmas capital of Connecticut.

Sorry, Bethlehem.
But Torrington has the snow.
Torrington has the Christmas House, which to the unfamiliar, is the home of a private resident who has gone over-the-top nuts decorating the outside and inside of his home with Christmas light displays, Nativity scenes, moving Santa Claus figurines, rooms full of nutcrackers, snow globes, running train sets and more.
Torrington has Christmas Village, which opened for its 63rd year yesterday and features Santa and Mrs. Claus and live reindeer, and has delighted generations of children in Northwest Connecticut.
Torrington has the 1900 Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, which is decorated in turn-of-the-century Christmas style and offers tours throughout the season.
Torrington has the world-class Nutmeg School of Ballet and its annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the historic and beautiful Warner Theatre.
The Warner Theatre has a bunch of other Christmas programs on the schedule also, including “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and “A Very Merry Doo Wop Spectacular.”
Torrington has the amazing “Christmas Angelicus” concert at Trinity Episcopal Church Dec. 19.
Plus, the downtown and Coe Memorial Park are decked out in lights.
Don’t forget ice skating at Major Besse Field, and one of the best sledding hills around.
And shopping.
Torrington has Christmas shopping opportunities galore. There’s East Main Street, and every big box store you could need, of course, but there are more small business shopping opportunities this year in our beautiful downtown.
Main Street mainstays such as Libby’s Torrington Furniture, one of the best small toy stores in the state, Toy Jam, newcomers such as Barking Dog Guitar Traders and Bender Showrooms, and “shopping experiences” such as Brazen Betties, where you’re bound to see something that presents a unique gift opportunity.
Come for Christmas Village and the Christmas House, enjoy the snowy scenery of the Litchfield Hills and check some hard-to-buy-for people off your shopping list.
And tell me if there’s another community in Connecticut that has this much to offer for Christmas.

Written by mattderienzo

December 6, 2010 at 5:37 pm

>City Views to discuss Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe project

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>I will be a guest on Tim Driscoll’s and Sam Slaiby’s “City Views” cable TV call-in program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 7) on local Cablevision Channel 5 to discuss The Register Citizen’s Newsroom Cafe project.

We’ll see about possibly getting it live-streamed on RegisterCitizen.Com as well, for those of you who do not have cable or live outside Channel 5’s coverage area.

Please call in with your questions.

Written by mattderienzo

December 6, 2010 at 3:03 pm

>Register Citizen’s Newsroom Cafe concept turns heads

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>Our announcement on Thursday about The Register Citizen moving its offices to 59 Field Street, with an “Open Newsroom” concept that welcomes the community to be part of the process of local journalism at any step in the process, got lots of attention within the newspaper industry.

Here’s a roundup of some of the coverage, in case you missed it:
– From our newspaper, “Register Citizen to move office, open Newsroom Cafe”
– My column, “Come by for a cup of coffee, and a lot more”
– From the tech blog, GigaOm, “For newspapers, the future is now: Digital must be first”
– From Bud Wilkinson’s blog, “Two kinds of tips at Newsroom Cafe?”
– From the Republican-American (most of the article is behind a pay wall), “Register Citizen to move headquarters”
– Journal Register Company CEO John Paton’s presentation at the Transformation of News Summit, “Channeling Change”
– Our company’s press release on the announcement, “Journal Register Company unveils open community newsroom concept at Connecticut site; Register Citizen welcomes audience inside”
– From Hartford Business Journal, “Torrington paper to offer newsroom cafe”
– From Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green, “Cup of Joe with that news story?”
Finally, there’s lots more on our Newsroom Cafe and related new office plans at RegisterCitizen.Com/newsroomcafe, and we’ll be updating with more details as the date of our move approaches and in the weeks following our opening.
Any questions or ideas, please feel free to call me at 860-489-1877, email me at mderienzo@registercitizen.com or find me on Twitter at Twitter.Com/mattderienzo.

Written by mattderienzo

December 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Newsroom Cafe

>LATEST COLUMN: Come by for coffee, and a lot more

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Come by for coffee, and a lot more

Well, in case you missed our announcement yesterday, The Register Citizen will be moving its offices in a few weeks. We’re not going far, to 59 Field Street, just down the street and around the corner from our longtime headquarters on Water Street. But we’ve come a long way. The Register Citizen has published from its building on Water Street for 110 years. And for 108 years or so, the business model was pretty much the same.

Written by mattderienzo

December 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Newsroom Cafe