CTMQ Frustrations List

Don’t They Know Who I Am?! List
Originally compiled in June, 2011

*A few have been removed from this list! See bottom.

Please know up front that my subtitle is tongue-in-cheek. I’m a clown and this is a hobby for which I do not get paid and I really don’t ever want “special treatment.” That said, I do expect returned calls/emails and/or places to be open when they are supposed to be open. Even worse, I really expect places to be open when we’ve agreed to meet at a certain date and time. You’d be shocked to learn how apparently difficult these things are for some of the below.

Some on this list are here for different reasons (as explained below). So what’s my point? Two-fold; to vent and to possibly get some help from the vast and knowledgeable CTMQ readership and Facebook crew. Thanks in advance.

Frustration Level is measured on a 10-point scale.

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Traveler’s Tower
Hartford

They still offer free tours up to the (near) top and I even know some lucky people who have done it. Not me, however, despite numerous attempts at calling the phone number and leaving messages. Note: the voicemail clearly states that it is for those who wish to make appointments for the tower tour. It’s enough for me to reconsider moving my home and auto insurance to a different company. Jerks.

Try your luck: 860-277-4208 or 860-277-0111, weekdays May through October
Attempts: Have left approximately 10 voicemails over the years.
Frustration level: 10

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Regina Laudis Abbey Cheese
Bethlehem

How can I possibly be mad at nuns? When they never, ever, ever have their said-to-be-wonderful cheese available. We’ve called ahead only to arrive to no cheese. I’ve stopped by several times to find no cheese. I was once offered cheese, but told I had to buy a whole freaking wheel! Most recently (June 2011) I was given a very nice explanation as to their decided lack of cheese and it was suggested I try again in a few months. This better be some good cheese; it’s not like Bethlehem is in my backyard.

Try your luck
Attempts: Have stopped in six or seven times over three years
Frustration level: 8

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Museum of Andover History
Andover

When in the world is this place open? Is it ever open? No “official” website exists and the town’s website provides no help. Now, I get that this is Andover we’re talking about, but I’ve driven by the building many times so I know it exists. So please, if you’re in Andover, help a brother out.

Unofficial museum site
Attempts: Several drive-bys over the years
Frustration level: 5

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Bristol Old Tyme Fiddler’s Club Museum
Bristol

Hello? Can you hear me or are your fiddles too loud? I’ve tried contacting you – if you’re real – many times to no avail. Your museum, if it actually exists, is EXACTLY the type of museum that I love. Now please, put down your fiddles and stop diddling for a moment and answer an email. Or at least someone tell me this place never actually happened.

Try your luck
Attempts: Several emails over the years
Frustration level: 7

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The Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum
Cheshire

This one is frustrating for a different reason. They are open when they say they are and I know exactly where it is and they’ve never done me wrong. But they have a hardcore “No Photos” policy that I know will drive me nuts when I go. So I’m just mentioning that now. I’ve been able to sneak and convince docents elsewhere, but I have a feeling I won’t be so lucky here. We’ll see.

Their website with pictures I’ll be stealing someday.
Frustration level: 6

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Farm Museum at the Durham Fair
Durham

So the CTMQ family drove down to Durham, sat in traffic for 45 minutes in order to pay five bucks and park 5 miles away, walked 20 minutes to the hour-long line for busses to the fair only to hear tell that once AT the fairgrounds that the wait to get inside the expensive grounds was another hour-plus. Are you kidding me?! For what? The same crap you can see at 50 other town fairs around the state? Since there’s a museum there I’ll have to go at some point, but it’s going to be on a weekday morning. Screw this.

Attempts: 1
Frustration level that day: 10

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Old New-Gate Prison and Coppermine
Granby

If you care about such things, this one will make your blood boil. Run by the state and charging 10 bucks a head, this really (really) cool museum shut down in 2009 for “renovations.” Yeah, right. It shut down because the government screwed up royally and drove a once-great museum into the ground. It’s now shuttered and falling apart because of someone’s incompetence or lack of caring. I see their website now says it’ll be open again in 2012. We’ll see.

Re-opening watch
Frustration level: 9

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Adath Israel Synagogue Museum
Middletown

I have exchanged over ten emails with the guy who runs this joint. He is unfailingly nice and has tried to be accommodating, but he doesn’t seem to understand that I have a full time job and can’t just show up on a Tuesday morning. When I once did just show up on a Wednesday morning, no one would answer the locked door to the synagogue. This displeases me greatly.

Try your luck

Attempts: Many emails and 1 visit
Frustration level that day: 10

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The Occult Museum
Monroe

Sigh. So much to say about this and so little space. These con artists are charging ONE-HUNDRED AND NINE DOLLARS to see the museum now. (This includes a hokey graveyard tour and get this – dinner!) Unfortunately, it also would require me to hang out with a bunch of morons for a few hours and listen to crap about possessed dollies and ghosts and stuff. Hence, its inclusion on this list. I would have fun eviscerating these people, but I can’t justify the price. Maybe I’ll take up a fund-raising effort or something. Ridiculous.

Update: I’ve been told they DO offer tours of just the museum for somewhere around 12 bucks. Okay, so why do they never answer my emails?

Their website is certainly scary
Attempts: 0
Frustration level: 10 for 10 different reasons

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The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art
Montville

First, the name is really annoying to me. But really, they make this list because of their a la carte pricing. Not as ridiculous as the Occult Museum, but if you bring a few kids who “need” to do everything, it’s right up there. Plus, it all looks kind of hokey to me anyway.

check it out
Attempts: 0
Frustration level: 5

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The Freedom Schooner Amistad
All over the world

Let’s get back to Connecticut one of these years, thanks.

Not in Connecticut
Frustration level: 1

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Air National Guard Mini-Museum
Windsor Locks

To me, this looks really cool. So why won’t they reply to my emails? I pose no national security threat, do I? So please, if anyone knows anyone who knows anyone in the ANG, hook me up. I can get there in 7 minutes from my work and I’d love to go.

Here it is
Attempts: 5 emails over 2 years
Frustration level: 7

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Tour of The Bushnell
Hartford

Long story short, I set up a tour with some guy via email; meet at noon on such and such a date. I arrived – no guy. I went to the box office and despite the sign proclaiming free tours right next to her (at top), the box office lady told me she had no idea what I was talking about. She gave me a number that went unanswered. I was not happy.

Update: This has been sorted out and I’ve been extended an invitation for a super duper tour when I can reschedule. Wish me luck.

You see
Attempts: 1
Frustration level: 10 the day I was shunned. SHUNNED I tells ya.

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Tower on Fox Hill
Vernon

I know this is open at some point, but no one appears able to tell me when that is.

You figure it out
Attempts: 1
Frustration level: 5


The locked Fox Tower door

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Olde Burnside Brewing Company
East Hartford

Home of the excellent Ten Penny Ales, I was confronted with a locked door at my appointed tour time. A follow-up email went ignored. I know it’s a small operation that really gains nothing from tours, but this was still frustrating.

And their bubbling website is annoying
Attempts: 1
Frustration level: 5

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Sally’s Apizza
New Haven

Okay, I get it. You’re great because no one can actually eat your pizza. Fantastic. But you know what? That’s really, really frustrating for people like me who don’t know the owners and/or who aren’t regulars. I know it doesn’t matter a whit, because you’re so great, but it’s just really stupid to my mind. Answer your phone once a week, try opening before 5 PM a couple days a week and move your clientele faster than snails. Please?

I’m sure it’s delicious
Attempts: 5
Frustration level: 8

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The Geographical Center of Connecticut
East Berlin

I have a very good idea where this is and I’ve even spoken with the owners of the land about it. They were super nice and even offered to allow me to explore their property. However, they dispelled the notion that there’s a stone monument down in the swampy lands where there is supposed to be a monument, so I never really mucked around. And I don’t really want to unless I know there’s something there worth mucking around for. A woman at the Berlin Historical Society assured me there’s a marker down there. I’d really love to find this, if it exists.

See comments on this post for more.
Attempts: One, though half-hearted at best
Frustration level: 3


Oh so close to the center

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Removed from List 2013!

Mashuntucket Pequot Museum
Ledyard

You know how Native Americans are warriors? And how they toughed it out through the elements winter after winter with little resources? Yeah, me too. So imagine my shock back in January 2011 when Hoang and I stayed the night at the MGM Grand at the casino to celebrate my 200th museum visit the next day here, at the Pequot Museum only to find that they closed due to the overnight snowfall. All 3 inches of it. Boy, was I steamed. Adding to this silliness, this place is another strict “no photography” museum which I’m sure will drive me nuts when I do actually get to go inside.

*I went with my family with no snow on the ground and took a ton of pictures. I just didn’t happen to see any of the “no pictures” signs. Sorry.

They have some pictures on their site
Attempts: 1
Frustration level: Was a 7, now a 0.

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Removed from List 2012!

Easternmost Point in Connecticut
Ekonk (Sterling)

Okay, I know absolutely exactly where this one is. I know exactly how best to get there and I know there’s a nice stone marker there. The problem is that the route requires driving into a private horse farm and obtaining permission from the owners to walk back in their woods. I’ve sent a couple emails and have never received a reply. I could just knock on their door someday, but that’s just not my style.

*I just drove there during some sort of festival and no one noticed me walking into the woods.

Attempts: Two emails
Frustration level: Was a 3, now a 0.

e most
The easternmost point of Connecticut

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Removed from List 2012!

The Whole Lebanon Thing
Lebanon

All the museums are easy to find and adhere to their schedules. And upon just checking, it appears they’ve fixed their previously egregious error. While the six different museums along the green (the longest green in the US, by the way) are actually owned by four different entities (town of Lebanon, Lebanon historical society, DAR and SAR), I see that you can actually visit all six within four hours on Saturdays in the summer. This didn’t used to be the case. They all do have different hours otherwise, but that block of four hours is MY time to go. Amen Lebanon.

Frustration level: previously a 10, now a 0.


Some historic house on the Lebanon Green

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14 responses to “CTMQ Frustrations List”

  1. Soundbounder says:

    Amistad was in CT quite a bit last summer. I saw her in Mystic and New London several times. Rarely is she in New Haven.
    She’s had some financial troubles in recent years. I’m not sure if that has been resolved, or not.

    I’ll make a note to let you know when she returns again.

  2. Soundbounder says:

    Re: Sally’s
    Don’t waste your time phoning, you need to show up. Pick a Tuesday which follows a three-day weekend or holiday and just go there. There will be a waiting time, but not as bad.

  3. EmGee says:

    Don’t bother with the Nature’s Art dinosaur thing. Totally hokey.

  4. kerri says:

    Growing up about five minutes from Fox Hill Tower, I can’t say I remember seeing it unlocked once.

  5. SageAlum says:

    Fox Tower – spoke to a friend whose brother used to be a “park ranger” for Vernon, and was required to check the tower in the evenings during the summer for vandals. She suggested you could try Vernon Parks and Rec office.

  6. SageAlum says:

    Museum of Andover History- maybe try Scott Yeomans at 860 742-5473
    looks like he’s the town historian? [email protected] Just pulled this off the website, so I have no idea of its accuracy.

    I have an email in to a friend who works at Travelers to see what he knows about the tower…

  7. Peter says:

    Regarding the easternmost point, if you can’t obtain consent from the owners of the horse farm, what about trying from the Rhode Island side? It looks to be just woods on that side, albeit with a longer walk. Even though it’s most likely private property there’ll be less chance of being chased off by an angry landowner.

    Sally’s sounds quite like Grimaldi’s Pizza in Brooklyn: around for decades, famous reputation, massive lines, endless waits … but the actual ‘za is nothing special.

    It’s ridiculous to imagine that just getting into the Durham Fair is such a lengthy process. Even the gigantic state fairs in the Midwest are nothing like that.

  8. Dave says:

    Next time you go to Vernon, bring a pair of bolt cutters.

  9. Dana says:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cemeteryrodeo/sets/72157627776261950/
    Here are some pictures of the Durham Fair. The Farm Museum pictures are in the middle of the bunch.
    The trick may be in getting there early; but I know that’s wishful thinking with the wee ones in tow.
    Even though they arise at dawn….
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    I was glad to be a small part of removing the frustration for the easternmost point.

    You should consider adding a “degree of difficulty” ranking for those items that have been removed from the list. I’d say you probably deserve at least a 2 or 3 for the heart-pounding nervousness of pretending we fit in with the horsey crowd.

  11. k says:

    I have been in the artifact museum at Adath Israel in Middletown many times and it really is quite amazing and worth a visit. I am surprised to hear you’ve had trouble getting in there because the office is generally open during weekdays and will answer the buzzer. I guess i can see where if you’re coming from out of town you want to know for sure and not waste your time. If you live or work in Middletown it is definitely worth a random drop-in on a weekday. maybe try to call the phone number on their website instead of emailing

  12. overAndoverAndover says:

    HAHAHAAA! Hey, they SAID the museum “can be seen from route 6.” Seriously, I think the dates the museum opens *might* be published in the local paper (the Rivereast), which one may or may not recieve in enough time to make a visit…usually, I find out it’s open when I drive down rt 316 and see the little signs they put by the side of the road. And then I say “D@##IT!!” because I’m on my way somewhere else.

    Get this though–I’ve been inside! There was an art show there once, and I wandered in; it’s a cute space. But really–I live TWO SECONDS from that place, and I never know when it’ll be open. The delightfully whimsical hours of operation are probably due to the fact that it’s run by people who have day-jobs.

    So now you know: as you drive up rt 6, look up rt 316 (try to overcome the inevitable awe from viewing our splendid covered bridge)and see if there are any MUSEUM OPEN signs. They might put one in the Veterans’ Memorial Park, but I’m not sure there’s any room left now they’ve installed the GIANT SIGN. Yes, that is the entire park.

    By the way, the museum parking lot is also used for rail-to-trail parking. Pretty good for kids, esp on bikes–they usually love the tunnel where the trail passes under rt 6.

  13. William Hosley says:

    Some of these sites – I presume are poor, small & dumb and hardly could be said to be in any kind of business (though folks should keep appointments if you made one). Could agree more about Old New-Gate Prison and Coppermine – closed for 5+/- years and they’ve never known what to do with it. It should be privatized with State ponying up to care for the plant and doing it. There is a group in town chomping on the bit to take over.

    The Whole Lebanon Thing – a perversity that has, finally, I hear, been solved. This is a topic lots of areas could think about. The #1 factor in destination development is stakeholders that mesh well together, help one another, coordinate – duh

    The Freedom Schooner Amistad – I worked in New Haven (where it is allegedly moored- but largely because NH has a legislative delegation that gets it state $$ – and don’t suppose it was there and accessible 5 days/years. I should be at Mystic Seaport- PERIOD

    Sally’s in New Haven – caught it open once – while its alleged competitor Pepe’s – a block away – seems never to close. What’s that about.

  14. Gary says:

    For Fox Hill Tower – In high school in the 80s I got caught by the cops in the Tower at night drinking a beer with a girl… Had to dump the remaining beers and leave – very nice cops! Haven’t been there in years though…

    Geographic center of CT – There is a geocache for the center of CT which I have been to and do recall a marker :)

    http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2E0HJ_center-of-the-universe

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