Monday, June 11, 2012

Dear Stamford Downtown: Or Please Light Up That Solar Horse

Dear Stamford Downtown,

The Three Beans and I were very excited to see that the annual Art in Public Places exhibition was up and running. And while I am no friend of real horses, I don't mind giant, decorated, metal ones that are up all over town and that the Lady, in particular, is super excited about.

The Lady and I have seen every exhibit since she was not quite 2 (although I will say last year's sculptures were too abstract-y for us and since QT was just born, we only drove past them a couple of times). We do still talk about the It's Reigning Cats and Dogs exhibit and are always glad to drive by the dog in front of the Library. 
The Lady at the It's Reigning Cats and Dogs Exhibit, 2010
Since we were up super early on Saturday morning we decided to head towards Lucky's for some breakfast and then walk around and see the horses around Bedford Street. We got to see quite a few horses before the rain started and we had to head towards the car. The rain, however, did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the Ladies about these horses. We drove around a little bit and saw a few more before we made our way home.
QT on "The Freedom Horse"

The Lady and I then booted up the computer and checked out the Exhibit Booklet and Map. This little booklet was a godsend. We got to find out the names of the horses we did see. Are you sure that one by the Library with the Stamford skyline on it, that had the movie theater that was playing--I kid you not--"Dark Shadows" with Johnny Depp painted on it, and the sparkle wings is NOT called Princess Sparkle? Oh, it's Soaring Over Stamford? That is a super good name too.

"Princess Sparkle," the Ladies, the Wild Woman and QT

We also got to see photos of horses we didn't see. A mermaid horse? A seahorse horse? A horse that is lit by solar energy? This is the stuff of little girl's dreams. We were hooked.

So at 7:15 pm, I strapped the Ladies in Minnie-Ru and headed out. First stop: gas. We had to fuel up if we were going to drive around the streets of Stamford for our equine evening. By the time I was done filling up the van the Little Lady was passed out in her car seat. This did not deter the Lady and I one bit.

Seahorse Horse? Saw it. Mermaid Horse? After figuring out that you actually have to drive into the Marriott entrance we saw that too. Solar Energy Horse? Well, we drove by it at 7:45 and it wasn't lit up.

What is a mom with a very interested and engaged 4.5 year old to do? That is right Stamford Downtown, we drove around some more. We went back by Polka dot Pegasus, we found the ones we were calling "Knight Horse" and Fire horse" on Spring Street. We drove by the Mermaid Horse again, and then headed down towards the train station.

"Polka dot Pegasus"

It was after 8 pm, well into what I would consider past-dusk. There was a low gray haze in the air and with the windows open we could smell the Sound. There was a pulse about the city at night, people moving towards their individual destinations, the clank of plates at the outdoor cafes, the frenzied rush of the trains, a smatter of conversation, a woman's laugh, an energy that we were a part of.

Know where there wasn't any energy? In the solar-powered horse that was supposed to light up at night.

Seriously, what time were these Christmas lights-slapped-on-black-horse going to start to glow? I am not an expert in solar power, but the solar-powered lights my parents have on their walkway start to give off a little glow as the sun starts to set, and don't solar powered houses still heat up even in the dead of night?

Where then was this magic glow? When we consulted the booklet there was a clear photo of that horse alight. What the eff time do these lights come on? I contemplated just parking the car and waiting. We even got out and stood next to it for a few minutes and I was hoping beyond hope that it would magically just turn on. Could you imagine the pure joy that would have brought the Lady? I could have been mother of the year! By now it was 8:45. No, it wasn't pitch black, but really, you would have to agree that it is considered nighttime.

So I ask you again Stamford Downtown, what the eff time do these lights go on? I had both Ladies last night try to convince me to leave QT sleeping so that we could go out and see this light-up horse. What were they doing up well past 9 pm last night? Well they had both fallen asleep in the car on the way home from--yes, you guessed it--looking at the horses again with the Wild Woman. We spent another 2+ hours roaming the streets of Stamford, frequenting your shops and running in your parks.
The Little Lady dancing in front of "Mechanical Horse Power"

I wrangled four kids around the streets of Stamford all in the name of art. All the Lady wants to see is that one horse aglow in the summer night. I guess if I was a late night reviler returning to the Hilton in the wee hours of the morn, then perhaps I would see "Solar Horse Power" (very clever name) in its full glory, but alas, I am just a hardworking mom trying to introduce art into the lives of my children without having to disregard not-so-strict bedtimes or wait for a full-on solar eclipse.

Yours in all things horses (except pony play--google it--it is way weird) and solar-powered,



  1. Linking your post to the DSSD Blog - loved it.

    1. Very cool! Thanks so much. We love the horses this year!

  2. VERY funny Bean- You are the Erma Bombeck of the Digital Age!