Panera Bread Entrance Fairfield, CT
Hours: Mon-Thurs 6am-9pm, Fri-Sat 6am-10pm, Sun 6am-8pm

Do you have a favorite fast food restaurant? Mine is a special fast food restaurant, Panera Bread. I had hoped it wasn’t hearsay, that Panera Bread was coming to town. After Uno left, we had two, maybe three more restaurants open and close before you could say . . . fast food.

ummm. Panera’s hot chocolate cafe mocha

I felt a quickening in my pulse when shopping atTrader Joe’s and I could watch the old come down and the new go up. I knew the time was near when I saw the new sign “PANERA BREAD” looming over their salmon colored awnings. Join up and you get a delicious present from them on your birthday. And it has free WiFi.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a bread bowl

They are first choice for fast food and then some. it’s cozy and friendly, and they have delicious coffee. This is the best you can get for food served fast! Fresh baked breads, sandwiches, soups and salads are on the menu. Whole grains, free range chicken, hearty soups, and unique sandwich flavors make this a hot spot for me when I’m in a hurry or not. The zesty flavor of the Chipotle chicken with melted cheese when I sink my teeth into it….A sandwich cannot get much better than this…..and a healthy one , at that…..Goodbye Delis…. Panera Bread is taking over my town.

Pick 2 lunch: soup and sandwich

Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,591 bakery-cafes as of June 26, 2012, under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. Panera Bread bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on their website,

A thank you goes to Tina Lemelin, Joint Venture Partner of
Panera Bread LLC  for providing the delicious food images.

Do you have a favorite fast food place or a favorite restaurant? Come on to Fairfield, CT. We’ll break some Panera Bread together.




A true story by Joanne Ingis

Magic Marker is the only pet turkey in Joanne Ingis’s family. When Magic Marker was hatched, she squeaked like a marker pulling across a white board. That’s how she earned her name. She has visited many libraries and many zoos. Everyone loves Magic Marker. She isn’t anything like a wild turkey. She doesn’t bite or snap, but Magic Marker does like to peck. She likes to peck on Grandma’s toes.

Magic Marker pecking on Grandma’s toes

It could tickle, but Grandma did not like the tickle. Grandma’s toes were her favorite, after all she loved Grandma. Who doesn’t love their Grandma? Grandma fed her, and walked with her, and talked with her.

Shooing Magic Marker away

Magic Marker didn’t like anyone else’s toes, not as much as she liked grandma’s. But grandma was not sympathetic to her pecking, she shooed her away everytime.

Now that Magic Marker is grown up, she doesn’t squeak anymore, but she makes lots of other noises. Some are funny, some  not-so-funny. She clucks and clicks, and sometimes she can sound like she is barking. She purrs when you cuddle her, but she isn’t so cuddly now that she is grown up.

Flight of the turkey

Magic Marker can’t really fly, but she thinks she can. Occasionally she tries and the neighbors call to come get her. She is careful how she comes down off the roof.

Magic Marker comes off the roof safe and sound

Joanne visits libraries, zoos and nature centers where she reads her book about Magic Marker. Everyone likes hearing the story. Sometimes she takes Magic Marker along.

This book is very unusual. There are not too many pet turkeys around. And not too many stories about how a turkey can be born into a human family and become their pet. Magic Marker lives in a special pen, built for her, in the backyard. She doesn’t mind the change of weather, or even the snow. Magic Marker is very loveable.

Can you imagine having a turkey for a pet? Do you have a pet? What kind do you have? Does it squeak, does it bark, does it cuddle with you?

Joanne Ingis reading her Diary of a Pet Turkey


Front cover “Diary of a Pet Turkey”




The new Steeplechase

Coney Island is not actually an island, but a small peninsula that hangs from the southernmost edge of Brooklyn. It is accessible by car and by subway. The neighborhood includes high-rise apartments, two-family and single-family houses and some retail businesses along Surf Avenue, Mermaid and Neptune Avenues: and the centrally located amusement area.

It is all new, the rides, the signage, the smiles

Cozy ride in the new Steeplechase

Since the early 1800s, Coney Island, “playground of the world,” has played many roles in the lives and imagination of New Yorkers and the world. From its beginnings as a quiet seaside town, Coney Island went on to boom years in the 1880s, as entrepreneurs rushed to stake their claims and make their fortunes.    In 1929 with the Great Depression, Coney Island transformed.

The area became a “Nickel Empire” of cheap amusements; a nickel paid the fare on the new subway line, and visitors were greeted by the original Nathan’s, famous home of the five-cent hot dog. The amusement parks struggled to stay afloat and Coney Island began to experience hard economic times. The historic amusement area spans from West 8th to West 24th Street, and from Surf Avenue to the Atlantic Ocean. This area contains a three-mile beachfront boardwalk.

The Wonder Wheel is old, it has a long history. When I played there in the 50’s, it was my favorite ride. It doesn’t only go around, the cars slide to the end and swing way out, to and fro, with nothing beneath you. Thrilling.

Today, Coney Island is in the midst of a revival, spurred by public, private and community initiatives.  In addition to amusement parks, rides and concessions, there is the New York Aquarium, KeySpan Park-home of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team-and Asser Levy Park and Amphitheater.

Home of the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team. That structure in the back of the stadium is the famous Coney Island Parachute Jump. This is my 14×17 watercolor of the park.

With the creation of the Coney Island Development Corporation, the area is poised for further positive change, in which the Parachute Pavilion Design Competition, will play a vital part.

Sadly, Storm Sandy ripped the Island apart. It will have to be restored once again.

Have you been to Coney Island? Have any of you been there in the 50’s or 60’s? Have you indulged in Nathan’s famous hotdogs and curly fries. Ummm. Tell me your story.



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