Editor's note: The latest reports from United Illuminating (10 a.m. Wednesday) say that 13 percent of Stratford is still without power. If you are one of the 3,058 customers living life pre-electricity, Stratford Patch has unearthed this article, originally titled "The Hunt for Stratford Wi-Fi," for your Wi-Fi welfare. If you have a neighbor without power, it may be helpful to forward this information to them.
In this day and age, the need to connect with each other has become more than a convenience -- it is a necessity. Be it a face-to-face interaction or an excursion into the World Wide Web, it’s safe to say that nothing is more paralyzing than an inability to get the hookup that you need to stay in the loop.
This week’s hunt, therefore, takes us around Stratford looking for places where you can get both the Wi-Fi and Human-Fi that you need to stay in touch with the rest of society.
Now, in most towns the first stop when hunting down an Internet portal is a coffee shop -- a convenient hub where caffeine and elevator music flow endlessly from open to close. Stratford does not have many of these. There is Dunkin' Donuts for those on the go, and coffee available at just about every deli in town.
There is, however, a Starbucks. Stratford's Starbucks, located at 1106 Barnum Ave., offers you both the consistency you deserve out of a coffee shop and a place where you can waste countless air-conditioned hours getting hopped up on all sorts of roasts while the rest of the world swelters outside.
And what is better than working or procrastinating in the midst of your fellow citizens? I ordered a dark roast and enjoyed the light jazz drifting over the speakers while Stumbling around the Internet. I learned that ancient Scribes were trained to write on clay tablets in a practice called cuneiform, and with this strategy were able to record many of the various ancient languages spoken in the Near East. I browsed a video of baby pandas frolicking in the snow. I learned ten facts about Spartan women.
But all of this information wasn’t enough. I decided that it was time to seek a place where I could get more facts -- the Stratford Public Library. This meant more air conditioning, and more resources -- all on the tax dollar dime.
I got down to business right away, putting on my headphones and linking up to Javier Colon performing “Man in the Mirror” live in Los Angeles on July 27. I grabbed a stack of books and began Stumbling the Internet at the same time. I learned that carbon is the most congenial element in the universe due to it having four electrons in its outer shells. I downloaded pictures of the most exotic and opalescent jellyfish, and the peculiarities of all of the marvelous caffeine I had just consumed.
My stomach began to growl, and so I got in my car in search of more Wi-Fi as well as a fix to my aching stomach. The caffeine had begun to take a toll on me. I was traveling down Barnum Avenue when I spotted a breakfast joint suitable for my liking -- Sunny Side Breakfast & Beyond.
Sunny Side had the Internet, coffee and pancakes I was seeking. The chocolate-chocolate chip cakes came in a stack of three hearty, chewy pillows of cocoa-infused grains. There were melted chocolate chips on top and in the middle. The pancakes were brown, which meant that the batter had cocoa cooked right into it. What I liked was that the butter was served in a small tin cup, so as not to overtake the plate.
And the red plate that the cakes were served on created a wonderful background for me to enjoy my food on. If I were eating home fries, Cholua Hot Sauce is right on the table -- no need to ask. And for those looking for a lunch fix, their menu includes a range of soups, salads and sandwiches. I was particularly intrigued by the meatloaf burger sandwich with roasted peppers and mozzarella. All the while, I chatted on Facebook and caught up on A-Rod’s most recent poker folly. Sunny Side, located at 1200 Barnum Ave., is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As for the Internet: We can’t see it, we’re still trying to figure out what exactly it is, and the debate rages on and on whether it is a friend or foe. But one thing is certain -- the Internet is in Stratford and it is not going away any time soon. It’s a good thing we have some local business to help us get on board.
Do you know of a local Wi-Fi hotspot? Tell us in the comments section below.