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Chester, CT Midsummer Night Stroll

by Michael Marsden

The Merchants of Chester proudly carry on their tradition of celebrating the arrival of summer with the 18th Annual Midsummer's Night Weekend Art Gallery and Shop Opening Reception Stroll on Friday evening, June 19, 2009, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

"Every June we keep our doors open late on the Friday night closest to the summer solstice to celebrate summer and the longest day of the year. We have receptions in our galleries, shops, studios and restaurants", says Leif Nilsson, artist and owner of the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery. "It is a festive evening, where townspeople and visitors are welcome to stroll the streets of an antique New England Village to see the latest paintings, photographs, sculptures and jewelry, to sample baked goods and fine food and drink, and to discover handcrafted decorative accessories and furnishings."
Chester, Connecticut is a unique town that holds the past, present, and future in delightful balance. A storybook New England village, Chester is located on the beautiful Connecticut River, about 10 miles north of Long Island Sound on the left (port) bank. The town is renowned for its quaint shops, artist galleries, award winning theatre and a variety of fantastic restaurants for everyone in the family to enjoy. Easy to reach by car, bicycle, rail, air, or boat, Chester is conveniently located just a two-hour drive from both New York City and Boston, Massachusetts at exit 6 on Route 9 off of I-95 or I-91. Free parking is available at the Maple Street and the Water Street lots.

The following Chester Merchants participating in the Midsummer's Night Reception on June 19, 2000, will be open that evening from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

For general information about the event, contact Leif Nilsson at 860-526-2077. For specific information about particular merchants, call them directly, visit their websites, or consult for an ongoing listing of weekend and special events.

Peekabooquet n. cupcake
4 Water Street  860 526-2225
Visit our unique boutique for babies and kids - home of the original baby clothing bouquet for new arrivals.  Clothing, books and hats for twins, babies and kids of all ages.  We are forever evolving with new styles, new books, new stuff.  Store hours Tues/Wed 11-5  Thurs-Sat. 10-5  Sunday 12-5.  Come by  June 19 from 5-8 for a cupcake and enter our raffle for a clothing rose bouquet.

3 North Main Street 860.526.3284
Unparalleled Apparel. Seasonal and Timeless. Let us dazzle you with our eclectic collections.
Wednesday-Sunday 12-5

Caryn B. Davis Photography will showcase photographs from Italy, Portugal, the CT River Valley, Mexico, Martha'a Vineyard and Old San Juan. The photographs will be on display at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery. For more information contact Caryn B Davis at 860-526-5936, via email at, or visit her website at

Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery
One Spring Street, Chester (860) 526-2077
Opening of the Midsummer exhibit of oil paintings and drawings of the Lower Connecticut River Valley, the village of Chester, CT, the artist's garden, interiors, figures, portraits and world travels by Leif Nilsson with a reception on Friday June 19th, 2009 from 5 - 8 pm. Gallery hours: Saturday & Sunday Noon - 6 pm. Other times by chance or appointment. Visit anytime on the internet at

The Art Gallery at The Mill House
5 West Main St.  860 526-5575
Dianne Gorrick - of East Hampton and Jacqueline White - of Glastonbury are sharing an oil painting exhibit under the title of "Visions of The Beautiful and Sublime" June 1-28. Artist Reception is Saturday, June 6: 2-5pm.

The CT River Artisans
5 West Main St. 860 526-5575  Hours in June: Wed. thru Sun. 12 noon - 5pm
The CT River Artisans presents "Body Jazz" June 1-30. Bead and glass artist Marcia Moore exhibits new styles and techniques of wearable art and glass art for your home! Artist Reception is Saturday, June 6:

The Waterfall Room at CT River Artisans features paintings of: Chien Fei Chiang of Old Saybrook, Martin Trehub of Waterford, Susan Carden-Flicker of Shelton, and Phyllis Bevington of Chester.

Join CERAMICA and Lisa Tiezzi of Tutti Amici Imports Friday evening, June 19th from 6:00 to 8:00. Enjoy a sip of wine while you sample Lisa's 'Il Magnifico' olio di oliva...Close your eyes and imagine that you're strolling in a sun-drenched olive grove in Tuscany !

eo art lab
69 Main St 860.526.4833
Currently on display at eo “Syncopation”, the art of Thomas Stavovy. His latest work is latent with primordial energy.  Don’t miss it! Tue - Sun 10am – 6pm.

The Colt House Gallery
43 Main Street 860 526 9375
Please come and visit one the newest Galleries in Chester. The Colt House Gallery will primarily be exhibiting works by Chester artist Bill Vollers, including his box constructions, wall reliefs, and digital imagery. Antiques including a collection of antique toys will be also be for sale. Enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers. For more information please contact Bill Vollers at 860 526 9375 via email Gallery hours are by appointment or by chance. Thank you.

4 Water Street (860) 526-8022
Mystic Sisters of Chester Antiques and Artful Wares
Please join us Friday evening, June 20th, for light refreshments and to browse our diverse collections of antiques, original artwork and decorative 
accessories for your home. We also have a selection of vintage and antique jewelry along with original, handmade designs by CT artisans. You'll also LOVE our  goat milk soap. So come on in and refresh your home and your senses with  something special from Mystic Sisters. You can also get in touch with us through our web site

Rachel Ryan Fitness
15 North Main St, Chester (860) 227-0348
Come join us for an open house Friday evening, June 19th from 5-8 pm to celebrate the grand opening of rachelryansfitness.  This unique, “semi-private” fitness center offers a limited number of memberships, personal training, group exercise, and nutritional classes for all ages.  Sample rachel’s   infamous appetizers and put your name in for a raffle to win a free personal training session. Become a member and you can enter rachel’s version of The Biggest Looser Contest which starts June 1st.  This is your chance to get the “fit” you want, through a guided weight loss and exercise program.  Weekly weigh-ins, fitness challenges and raffle drawings will keep you motivated to “go the distance”!
Interested in touring the center before June 19th?  Contact Rachel to schedule an appointment at (860) 227-0348 and visit us at  …. An updated version coming soon!

Dina Varano
27 Main Street 860.526.8866
This marks the 14th year anniversary of our store in Chester!! Come celebrate with us on Friday the19th, starting at 5p.m. We will be showing contemporary jewelry designed and hand-crafted by Dina along with a hand picked collection of beautiful objects from around the world. Open
Tuesday-Sat 10-5:30 and Sunday 12-5 or any time at

Stop by and celebrate the Coming of Summer with glass of wine on June 19th. from 5 to 7.  Enjoy the delightfully,whimsical work of Patrice Nelson guaranteed to make you smile, Richard Ziemann's etchings and engravings and Sosse Baker's baskets.  Tues. thru Sat. 10-5
76 Main St.  860-526-9822

Carolina Studios
16 Ridge Rd. Chester 860 526 1669
is an inspirational, imaginative and motivational painters studio.  Carolina Marquez-Sterling owner and creative artist says
this is intentional.  Her studio is a multi-dimensional garage converted into a studio for four seasons. 
It is a place for me to create but it's is also designed to be gently provocative and to induce visitors into the concept that art can be playful. 
The studio is just an extension of my work. Paintings and assemblages are for sale as well as posters and postcards.
Summer hours W - F 10: am - 2: am and Saturday through Tuesday by appointment only.
Her discerning use of distortion, hue and bold lines reflect her experiences and remarkably connect to viewers
Don't miss this studio!

Where to buy your Nikon D700

by Michael Marsden

If you're anything like me, when it's time to buy something you want at the best possible price. Most start on the Internet and start googling the product name and model number and start drilling down into different sites that are offering the product to find out where the catches are especially on those sites offering the product you're looking for at a significantly lower price.

I am a semi-pro-photographer and was in the market to buy a Nikon D700 to complement my Nikon D300 that I have liked very much. The Nikon D700 is sold on a multitude of websites in the big hitters like B&H photo video, Adorama camera, and the like all offer this camera at its list price last an instant $300 rebate essentially selling the camera for $2700. So when you happen upon a website that offers a product at $2079 one wonders if it's legitimate and what the catch is. Many of the sites I researched and even tried to order from that offered a similar price were lowlife, bait and switch, foreign national merchants that exclude the included accessories where they then tried to sell you a $50 battery for $280. When I ordered a body from one site where it stated it was in stock at a great price it became out of stock when I refused to buy exorbitantly priced extended warranty or package of crap nobody wants.

I happened upon the legitimate online merchant who was selling my product at an unbelievable price quite legitimately. The first thing I do is pick up the phone and call the sales department to gauge their legitimacy. The site in question is It's for real. When I spoke to one of the company representatives I asked him the obvious question: "how are you selling this product for so much less than others? What's the catch?" The response was simple: "I am simply making less of a profit margin."

While I had him on the phone I substantiated that the product I was seeking was in fact a genuine Nikon USA product with all of its components and accessories intact and came with a full warranty. He assured me that the product was not refurbished or gray goods. (Gray goods in the business are products intended and produced for other countries that are diverged from their intended delivery location in those countries and brought in illegally to the United States. These products, although manufactured by Nikon, have no warranty in this country.)

I took my research further and visited several sites were other online customers rate their experience with the various merchants that sell online. When I read that seven people had stated that this purchase was for real and in fact ship the product that they advertised at the price they advertised I felt confident to try to purchase my camera here.

If you're in a hurry to receive the product, move on to another site. I am happy to wait a little longer to receive the product I want for a substantial discount so this was not a problem for me. I placed my order, my credit card link through PayPal was debited, and in about a week the product was shipped. The merchant was extremely good at communicating with me in answering my questions any time I asked via e-mail. When I got the notification that my order was processed I e-mailed the individual who I spoke to on the phone and asked if I could upgrade my shipping from ground to overnight as I was quite anxious to get my hands on my new baby. The reply was fantastic in that he told me he upgraded my shipping at no additional cost to standard overnight. When I received the shipping e-mail he told me that he included an 8 GB CompactFlash card at no extra cost as a courtesy.

All this blew me away. He was a merchant that I found online who gave me a great price, great customer service, and kept his word. This merchant sold me my camera for $600 less than anywhere else I could find and threw in the extras to boot.

I have my new Nikon D700 in hand and am delighted. It's the best camera I have ever owned or worked with. It's FX CMOS image sensor in lowlight performance is a mind blowing. The idea of using a flash or tripod is now a distant memory. I highly recommend this camera to any serious photographer, like me, who was wishing for Nikon to drop the price of their flagship D3 or D3X Pro cameras. The 700 has the majority of what is offered in the D3 and 3X models for third the price. It's lighter as well.

In short, I am enthusiastically endorsing who offers other products besides cameras for those looking for a serious and legitimate discount online merchant for the products that they offer. In cameras they offer a good selection of both Canon and Nikon products, a short selection of flatscreen TVs from Sony, and the like. Their selection is not deep, but if they have which are looking for, rest assured they will beat the pants off any other merchants prices you'll find.

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