Category Archives: Beach

Benvenuto, Positano!

When Positano closed on December 31 — the victim of rising rents and tough parking — Westport lost one of its last waterfront restaurants.

We’re left now with only Rive Bistro. (And Joey’s by the Shore — the best beach concession anywhere.)

But the restaurant gods giveth, as well as taketh.

Positano is adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse.

Positano is adjacent to the Westport Country Playhouse.

Positano opened last night in its new digs, next to the Westport Country Playhouse. So — after 18 dark months — theater-goers now have a great, convenient spot for a pre-show meal or post-show drink.

And the rest of us have another excellent restaurant to savor.

The cast is the same. Joseph Scarpati still owns Positano. He still cooks alongside his son Fernando, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef. His daughter Aida remains involved too.

The new Positano is bigger than the former spot on Old Mill Beach. There’s a full sit-down bar, which it lacked before. There’s room in the back for private parties. And a patio in front. (Despite being on the beach, zoning issues inhibited outdoor dining at the old place.)

Without any fanfare, Positano opened last night. These women were the first customers for today's lunch.

Without any fanfare, Positano opened last night. These women were the first customers for today’s lunch.

The focus is still on authentic regional Italian cuisine. But the prices are lower than before.

The previous restaurant — The Dressing Room — was Paul Newman and Michel Nischan’s showpiece. The Scarpatis have honored their sustainable vision.

EcoChi, the designers, have reused the original Alabama barn wood found by Newman. Lighting fixtures, dining chairs, even table settings — all are designed with environmental integrity in mind.

Positano serves lunch from 11 a.m., and dinner from 4 p.m., 7 days a week. It’s worth checking out– even if you have to drive from Old Mill Beach.

This arresting artwork hangs on the Positano wall. The lemons represent the prized Amalfi Sfususato lemon, so sweet it's meant to be eaten raw. The Italian village of Positano is on the Amalfi Coast.

This arresting artwork hangs on the Positano wall. The lemons represent the prized Amalfi Sfususato lemon, so sweet they can be eaten raw. The Italian village of Positano is on the Amalfi Coast.

It Doesn’t Get Better Than This

This summer’s weather is our reward for last winter.

A lazy, casual Friday set the scene for an equally gorgeous Saturday. Compo Beach was fairly empty this morning, but ready for a very active weekend.

Sunday may bring thunderstorms. Right now though, we’re taking it one glorious day at a time.

Compo 2 - July 2015

Compo 3 - July 2015

Compo - July 2015

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard paid a visit. Hopefully, it was just to enjoy the beauty and serenity of a perfect Friday in Westport.

Compo 4 Coast Guard - July 2015

Here’s Why We Call It Long Island “Sound”

This morning — right underneath a sign prohibiting glass bottles, open fires and amplified music — an alert “06880” reader saw this:

Organ at beach

If you’re hoping for a free concert though, you’re out of luck.

An hour later, it was gone.

“06880” Throws A Blog Party

The weather for the 3rd annual “06880” party yesterday was perfect. The crowd of over 100 was diverse: old and young, Wall Streeters and work-from-homers, 4th-generation Westporters and others who are still unpacking.

Bart Shuldman got up at 4:30 a.m. in Las Vegas to make it back to Westport on time. Mary Lynn Halland spent nearly 3 hours driving from Manhattan, where she lives — it was one of those days — and she’s not even a Westporter.

Strangers made new friends. Folks on both sides of the political aisle laughed together. Everyone marveled at the sunset.

It was just another “06880” day at the beach.

Louise Crowley and Robin Tauck offer Leah Brandfon's fantastic "06880" cupcakes.

Louise Crowley and Robin Tauck serve Leah Brandfon’s fantastic “06880” cupcakes.

The entire political spectrum was displayed in this happy group (from left): Dee Chapman, Bart Shuldman, Carla Rea, Mary Ann West, Mike Calise, Gail Lavielle, Mike Rea, Maria Fraioli.

The entire political spectrum was displayed in this happy group (from left): Dee Chapman, Bart Shuldman, Carla Rea, Mary Ann West, Mike Calise, Gail Lavielle, Mike Rea, Maria Fraioli.

Nicole Klein and her son Carter have lived in Westport just over a year, but this is their 2nd "06880" party. Yours truly is delighted they're here.

Nicole Klein and her son Carter have lived in Westport just over a year, but this is their 2nd “06880” party. Yours truly is delighted they’re here.

If you missed this year’s party — too bad!

We’ll see you next year, right?

(Hat tip to Mary Hoffman and Jennifer Hershey for their great organizational skills!)

A large crowd stayed well after sunset. (Photo/Katherine Hooper)

A large crowd stayed well after sunset. (Photo/Katherine Hooper)

 

 

Guarding Joyful Memories

Forty years ago last summer, Jaws terrorized America.

After work, a group of Westport lifeguards went to Post Cinema, to see what all the buzz was about.

The next day, guard chief Will Luedke told his crew to swim to the buoys. “That was the fastest I’ve ever swum in my life,” one recalls.

That story was one of dozens told — and retold — yesterday. Nearly 2 dozen men and women who spent summers in the 1970s at Compo Beach (and, occasionally, Longshore and Burying Hill) gathered for their 2nd annual reunion.

Lifeguard reunion host Ann Becker Moore, with former guard Bill Bellock.

Lifeguard reunion host Ann Becker Moore, with former guard Bill Bellock.

They ate lobster (which they seldom did, back in the day).

They drank beer (which they often did).

But mostly, they told stories. They laughed. And they looked back with awe on the friendships, the camaraderie and the job that was — hands down — one of the best times of all their lives.

Lifeguards - slide show

The reunion featured a slide show. Not much has changed in 40 years.

The days spent on the guard stands and in the shack were memorable. They did important work — keeping swimmers safe, providing first aid, finding lost kids — but they did it as a tight, fun-loving group.

The nights were even more memorable. They had their own basketball team, in a summer league. When someone’s parents were out of town, they partied. And if there was no party, they headed to one of Westport’s then-many bars.

One day, a call came from the Parks and Recreation Department office. Please stop wearing your red lifeguard jackets when you’re out at night, they were told. Too many people see you at too many different places.

Mary (Hughes) Treschita has many fond memories of her lifeguarding days.

Mary (Hughes) Treschita has fond memories of her lifeguarding days.

Mike Wolf — who went on to be Connecticut’s head FBI agent — brought a 40-year-old jacket to last night’s reunion, held at the rented beach-area home of self-described “lifeguard groupie” Ann Becker Moore. It was regarded with awe by the men and women who once worse them.

(It was also the object of much speculation. The jackets were supposed to be turned in at the end of the summer, not kept.)

The guards came from all over. Pam Washburn lives in California. Luedke — now an attorney — flew up from Texas. “I would have crawled here if I had to,” he said.

“It’s like we never left,” noted Dave Jones, who drove from Rhode Island.

Mary Treschita — back then, she was Mary Hughes — called those years “the prime of our lives. We still talk about the same things, and laugh the same way we did back then.”

“Sure, it was a job,” Jim Rodenbush added. “But boy, did we have fun.”

After a lobster dinner, the former guards wandered over to Compo for a nighttime group shot.

After dinner, the former guards wandered over to Compo for a nighttime group photo.

Reminder: “06880” Beach Party Is Next Thursday!

The 3rd annual “06880″ party is just a week away.

And if you’re reading this, you’re invited.

Thursday, July 16 (6 p.m.) is the day and time. The far end of Compo’s South Beach — away from the cannons, near the boat and kayak launch, the best place to watch the sunset — is the place. (Still confused? See the aerial view below.)

Every member of the “06880″ (as in, this website) community is invited. We welcome frequent commenters and lurkers. Folks who have lived here all their lives, and those who moved here yesterday. Even those who want beach parking to remain as is, and those who hope it doesn’t. (But let’s make this party a beach-comment-free zone.)

The tagline for “06880″ is “Where Westport meets the world.” Next Thursday, that world comes to Compo.

Bring your own food, beverages, beach chairs and blankets. Then mix, mingle and enjoy the evening with the “06880″ crowd.

There’s no charge. It’s a “fun-raiser,” not a fundraiser.

See you next Thursday!

The blue arrow marks the "06880" party spot.

The blue arrow marks the “06880” party spot.

You Won’t Believe What Someone Left At Compo Beach Tonight

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

Land Of The Free, Home Of The Entitled Lazy Pigs

We all love eating at the Compo Beach pavilion. It’s a wonderful spot, with a beautiful view.

So why don’t some people let everyone else enjoy it too?

Compo Beach 1

The crew at Joey’s does a fantastic job cleaning up. But some folks give them more than they can handle.

Oh, yeah. One more thing.

When your umbrella breaks — or you decide you just don’t want it anymore — get rid of it yourself.

Or at least carry it 10 feet to a trash can.

Compo Beach 2

Well, at least no one can take this from us:

Compo Beach 4

The Morning After

We’ve seen the rockets’ red glare. The bombs bursting in air.

We’ve left our beach chairs, tents, flip flops and food in the Compo Beach sand.

But Westport’s Parks and Rec crew is up to the task. They see our garbage, and in a fantastic show of coordination, energy and grit they remove it.

Betsy P. Kahn was up at 6 this morning. She lives on the shore, and took her regular dawn walk. Today, she brought her camera. Here’s what she saw:

Cleanup flag - Betsy P Kahn

Cleanup 1 - Betsy P Kahn

Cleanup - more seagulls - Betsy P Kahn

Cleanup seagulls pavilion - Betsy P Kahn

Cleanup sparklers - Betsy P Kahn

Cleanup - Parks and Rec - Betsy P Kahn

Cleanup seagulls - Betsy P Kahn

Meanwhile, here are 2 more looks back at the night before the morning after:

Cleanup - 19 Soundview

(All photos/Betsy P. Kahn)

(All photos/Betsy P. Kahn)

 

The Land Of The Free…

It’s our biggest party of the year: the fireworks.

But there’s so much more to Westport’s Greatest Day of the Year than that. Here’s how we kicked off the 4th of July weekend:

This is one very patriotic dog. (Photo/David Squires)

This is one very patriotic dog. (Photo/David Squires)

It's a fireworks tradition: reserve your spots early!

It’s a fireworks tradition: reserve your spots early!

Andrew Colabella and Shelley Welch make a patriotic pair.

Andrew Colabella and Shelley Welch make a patriotic pair.

These guys -- Sm Seideman, Graham Day, Lorenzo Rinaldi, Chris Chamberlin and Kyle Chamberlin -- set up a stand on Soundview Drive. They sold food, drinks, necklaces and more -- and ran a raffle. Part of the proceeds went to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. That's the American spirit!

These guys — Sam Seideman, Graham Day, Lorenzo Rinaldi, Chris Chamberlin and Kyle Chamberlin — set up a stand on Soundview Drive. They sold food, drinks, necklaces and more — and ran a raffle. Part of the proceeds went to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. That’s the American spirit!

A drum and dance corps from White Plains rehearsed in the parking lot. After donning their uniforms, they wowed the crowd.

A drum and dance corps from White Plains rehearsed in the parking lot. After donning their uniforms, they wowed the crowd.

"06880" readers know Betsy P. Kahn for her great photos. Here she is with her husband Dan -- in front of the house she photographed for "06880" yesterday.

“06880” readers know Betsy P. Kahn for her great photos. Here she is with her husband Dan — in front of the Soundview Drive house she photographed for “06880” yesterday.

Connie Anstett is 93 years old. She remembers when the fireworks were shot off by the cannons -- and kids watched from the tops of their parents' station wagons.

Connie Anstett is 93 years old. She remembers when the fireworks were shot off by the cannons — and kids watched from the tops of their parents’ station wagons.

Police patrolled on foot, motorcycles -- and bikes. Ned Batlin was stopped everywhere by students, who know him from DARE programs and coaching.

Police patrolled on foot, motorcycles — and bikes. Ned Batlin was stopped everywhere by students, who know him from DARE programs and coaching.

Music Theater of Connecticut's Glee group performed, to the delight of a large crowd near the pavilion.

Music Theater of Connecticut’s Glee group performed, to the delight of a large crowd near the pavilion.

Daisy Mae offered glitter tattoos and metallic drawing. For some reason, red, white and blue were popular colors. (Photo/Audrey Hertzel)

Daisy Mae offered glitter tattoos and metallic jewelry. For some reason, red, white and blue were popular colors. (Photo/Audrey Hertzel)

This was one of the biggest crowds ever -- perhaps 15,000.

This was one of the biggest crowds ever — perhaps 15,000. Not a lot of room to move, but no one cared.

Hooray for the red, white and blue!

Hooray for the red, white and blue!

Bipartisanship: Democratic Board of Education member Elaine Whitney and Republican Planning & Zoning Commissioner Al Gratrix. (Photo/Martin Gitlin)

Bipartisanship: Democratic Board of Education member Elaine Whitney and Republican Planning & Zoning Commissioner Al Gratrix. (Photo/Martin Gitlin)

And the obligatory fireworks shot! (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

And the obligatory fireworks shot! (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)