On a recent day off I found myself exploring the town of Stratford.  Perhaps Stratford is known by many for its public beaches on the Long Island Sound, its iconic lighthouse or its history of aviation firsts.  It’s chalk full of waterfront views, marinas, fishing holes and pizza shops. 

My visit was precisely to visit a pizza shop.  Being a Deaf Studies major, I was particularly interested in visiting Acropolis Family Restaurant.  Members of the Deaf community and hearing signers from all over the USA (and internationally) flock to Acropolis Family Restaurant to meet Lutfi Yildiz the Deaf Pizza Chef.  If you are lucky, you can even get your picture taken with him to be posted on the wall.  There’s just something indescribable about walking into a restaurant where a great majority of the patrons are using American Sign Language.  It’s truly a Deaf friendly space and a unique and inclusive experience.

Much to my delight, I did meet the Deaf chef.  He sat at my table for a little while and signed to me about his upbringing and culinary training from his father.  It truly is a family business.  He also mentions that he takes care to use the freshest and most organic ingredients possible when recreating his father’s recipes.  Another delightful part of the visit is that the Deaf chef also comes out to the dining room and serves up some items on the menu with great pomp and circumstance then poses with his guests for photos.

After I had my fill of delicious stromboli, I made my way to the Mellow Monkey Gift and Home Decor Shop.  I had heard about this unique and friendly shop, and it didn’t disappoint.  The showroom is full of whimsical gifts that fit every budget.  Of course, being a coastal Connecticut town there are plenty of beach souvenirs and local goodies to bring back home.  While there I asked the cashier if there was a spot where I could view the water and sit and read a book, that’s when she directed me to Stratford’s Sea Wall.

The Sea Wall is a perfect place to take a walk along the shoreline.  The terrain is rocky, but a sidewalk lines the sea wall.  There are plenty of places to park, sit on a bench or walk.  It’s the perfect place to view a sunset over the Long Island Sound and stop by some of the local restaurants and pubs with a wonderful view of the sea.  Imagine if I hadn’t asked for a recommendation on a place to read overlooking the water!

Time didn’t allow me to visit the National Helicopter Museum so there is definitely a reason to return!