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Published weekly since August 2017

Thursday, January 2, 2020

By popular demand, and to kick off another new year, we present our second annual --  and intentionally idiosyncratic -- A-to-Z glossary of people, places and things that help make Manchester special, that help make Manchester Manchester. Also, scroll down to find out how you make suggestions for next year's list. And, finally, if you think this is fun, there's plenty more on the way, so go ahead and subscribe to this here newsletter.
Manchester, A to Z
Angry Egg, The 
  • Manchester has a bunch of restaurants that not only offer a great breakfast, but also have a catchy name. We’re thinking of you, too, Center Perk, Cosmic Omelet and Taso’s Eggsellent Adventure.
Better Manchester magazine
  • For 10 years, Chris Silver’s team has been diving deep, exploring All Things Silk City, from personalities to policies, all while putting a wrap on a seasonal programming guide.
  • Billed as the official Connecticut state groundhog, Chuckles is expected to again emerge from hibernation on Feb. 2 to let us all know Lutz up.
  • Since 2016, volunteers (including lots of Boy Scouts) have been planting daffodils in Center Springs Park. Another 5,000 bulbs were planted in October and come spring there will be 10,000 in bloom.
Filomena’s on Main
  • The bar is nice and Mamma Lina’s wine room is a treasure, but for many, Filomena’s identity is and always will be the 32-slice party pizza.
Garden (Spruce Street Community)
  • Veggies just taste better when you grow them yourself, and Bettylou Sandy, who oversees the green scene opposite Nathan Hale school, will advise and then be rooting for you.
Highland Park Market
  • It opened in 1886 as a small general store and has been run by the Devanney family since 1958, and after all these years Highland is known not just for top-quality food and service but for its commitment to community.
Ice Cream, Royal
  • The Royal Wich -- a heap of vanilla ice cream snug between two delicious chocolate chip cookies blanketed by a coating of chocolate -- is a staple of the Orfitelli family business.
JCPenney Warehouse
  • At almost 2 million square feet, it’s among the largest buildings in the state, and an upgrade (new roof, more loading docks) is bringing a new tenant, and hundreds of more jobs.
Lincoln Center
  • Sure, meetings can sometimes be boring. OK, meetings often are boring. But they are necessary and important, and in Manchester, the horseshoe at Lincoln Center is where the town’s most crucial decisions are made.
  • The non-profit Manchester Early Learning Center has since 1976 offered programs designed to support children in preschool and before-and-after-school settings. “M-E-L-C, it’s fun to stay with the M-E-L-C …”
Northwest Park
  • Lighted baseball fields for both big kids and little. A covered, open-sided pavilion with a concrete floor that can accommodate up to 130. An adjacent 50-foot pier that extends out over Union Pond. A boundless playground and children’s butterfly garden. Northwest Park is truly a jewel.
OneManchester newsletter
  • In an information overload era, it’s the one place where everything intersects. As they (well, we) say, “If you really want to know what’s going on in Manchester but don’t subscribe to OneManchester, you really don't really want to know everything that’s going on in Manchester.”
PJ Day
  • On a Friday in December every year, students and staff throughout the district wear pajamas to school to raise money for, and awareness of, kids battling cancer.
Queenie Foundation
  • Named after a dog she rescued years ago, Enid Breakstone’s Manchester-based non-profit aspires to alert the public about animal issues, particularly those that are homeless and wind up in shelters.
Red Hawks
  • Some people are still (and probably always will be) upset that MHS changed its nickname from Indians after all these years, but current students and athletes seem to be overwhelming on board.
Shady Glen
  • To step into either store (and if you were wondering, the Manchester/Bolton town line site opened in 1948 and the Parkade site in 1965) is to step back in time.
Urban Lodge
  • Beer drinkers have so many options these days, what with all the stouts and IPAs and such on tap -- and in Manchester the chin-scratching starts first with the question, ‘Where we gonna go?’ Urban Lodge is on a long list of popular destinations that include Labyrinth, and Elicit, and The Main Pub, and the Tiger, and ...
Valedictorian Matt Barnwell (MHS '19)
  • The student at MHS with the highest GPA earns this honor, and last year it was Matt Barnwell, who is now one semester in at UConn. Matt’s majoring in statistics but thinking about picking up a double major in communications starting next semester. 
Westown Pharmacy
  • With the closing in July of Lenox Pharmacy, there are two independents left -- Westown (by exit 2 off 384) and Manchester Pharmacy (on Main Street near the hospital). Westown, which has been in business since 1947, promises to ‘treat you like family.'
Xylophonist Grace Reid (MHS '22)
  • A sophomore at MHS, she was introduced to the instrument in sixth grade, when there was a winter concert piece that had a xylophone part and the director needed a talented, flexible musician. Grace filled in nicely, just as she’s done here when we were in an alphabetical pinch.
Yoga, Moonlit
  • Charter Oak Park just keeps getting better (have you seen the new pavilion?) and among the many neat things that happen there are, on a few Friday nights, a free outdoor yoga session.
Zingler, Kevin
  • He’s the president & CEO of MARC, and a former member of the town’s Board of Directors, and the longtime coordinator of Pride in Manchester Week, and -- we are proud to add -- one of more than 550 people who’ve been featured in our Humans of Manchester gallery.
We're Not Done Yet: We've just launched a new OneManchester Facebook page, and through January 26, you'll find a different letter in the spotlight each day -- and you can even let us know what people, places and things we might include in this glossary next year.
Friday, Jan. 3 Saturday, Jan. 4  Sunday, Jan. 5 
Monday, Jan. 6 Tuesday, Jan. 7 Wednesday, Jan. 8 Thursday, Jan. 9  Friday, Jan. 10 
Saturday, Jan. 11  Sunday, Jan. 12 
  • Sunday (1-4 p.m.) -- Open House at the Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Rd.
MORE MEETINGS: We list BoD and BoE meetings above but there are more meetings on the town events calendar and in the BoE events/meetings calendar.
IN OUR LIBRARIES: We include a few key events in listings above; there are lots more in the libraries' comprehensive event calendars.
And Further Down The Road
Tuesday, Jan. 14 (6-7:30 p.m.) -- The town's 35th annual Martin Luther King Celebration, at Bailey Auditorium
Saturday, Jan. 18 (1:30 and 7:30 p.m. performances) -- Silk City Chorus presents Night of the Singing Dead at Bailey Auditorium
Saturday, Jan. 18 (7 p.m.) -- LTM's 60th season begins with a 1960s concert featuring Nightshift at Cheney Hall
Wednesday, Jan. 22 -- Spring semester begins at Manchester Community College
Saturday, April 25 --  Rebuilding Together in Manchester
Note: All of the calendars above are compiled based on things people submit as well as what we find on social media, in the Town Events Calendar and anywhere else. For space purposes we post some things in our 'OneMan Central' log. If we are missing anything, just email
Around And About
The Journal Inquirer and Hartford Courant both have regular town news coverage (but monthly free-read limits). You'll also find stories in Manchester Patch. Published recently:
  • Manchester High School students are learning about careers in manufacturing -- and getting on-the-job experience. The JI has the story.
Keeping Track Of It All
We gets lots of newsletters and try to link to the latest of each:
OneManchester Sports
Yes, there are lots of Facebook pages competing for your attention, and now there's one more: Our portfolio:
Books? Yep, That Too
A New Year's countdown to noon (above) and winter craft projects kept kids engaged during the week off from school. Check out the Manchester Public Library FB page for more.
Published weekly since August 2017, always free, and not hacked since Sept. 12, 2019, OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell and Paul Ofria of the school district's communications office based on contributions from people and institutions throughout town. Jim, the district's communications director, can be reached at or 860-268-6377.