Category Archives: Beach

So How Cold Was It This Morning?

Facebook is filled with photos of Westporters showing their car dashboard/thermometers: -6, -8, -5525 degrees.

And everyone’s seen those shots of the frozen Saugatuck River.

But only  “06880” has an exclusive image of a very frigid Old Mill Beach. It was so cold today that…

Old Mill Beach

Exactly One Month Until Spring…

Hang in there, Westport!

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Living Proof: CPR Saves Lives

The life-saving rescue happened last spring. The Red Cross honored the life-savers last week. But good news never gets old.

On May 31, Joey Bairaktaris and David Ellis were working the main gate at Compo Beach. Walking across the basketball court, Joey saw security guard Doc Kashka. They chatted briefly. (If you know Doc — a popular figure from his work at many local restaurants — it’s no surprise that he stopped to talk.)

Joey headed to the marina. A woman ran by, to the basketball court. He followed, and found Doc lying on the ground.

Ian Chasnow — another town employee — was already giving Doc chest compressions. Joey — who had recently completed EMT training — helped. David called 911, and also assisted with CPR. When emergency responders arrived with an AED, they took over.

Doc spent 6 nights in intensive care. Today, he’s alive and well.

Joey Bairaktaris (left) and David Ellis (center) with Doc Kashka, at the recent Red Cross awards ceremony. Joey holds a certificate from Governor Malloy. (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris, via Instagram)

Joey Bairaktaris (left) and David Ellis (center) with Doc Kashka, at the recent Red Cross awards ceremony. Joey holds a certificate from Governor Malloy. (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris, via Instagram)

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe cited the group’s “extraordinary composure,” along with their swift, professional actions. He said that their “high level of excellence” made Westport “forever grateful.”

The Red Cross added their own thanks. At the 16th annual county-wide Community Heroes Breakfast, Ian, David and Joey were honored as “Life Saving Heroes.”

In the right place at the right time, they were just what the “Doc”-tor ordered.

Just Another Day At The Beach

Westporters love Compo in all seasons.

Even — maybe, especially — during winter.

The crowds are gone. There’s a different — more raw — kind of beauty.

This frigid afternoon, alert “06880” reader Cheryl Scott-Daniels captured a side of Compo that real Westporters know and love.

Compo 2 - Cheryl Scott Daniels

Compo 1 - Cheryl Scott Daniels

(Photos/Cheryl Scott-Daniels)

(Photos/Cheryl Scott-Daniels)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside …

… but Betsy P. Kahn’s Old Mill sunrise photo will warm any Westporter’s heart.

Betsy Kahn - sunrise at Old Mill

And As Dusk Fell Over Compo Beach…

…Betsy P. Kahn was there to share it with “06880:

Compo February 2, 2015

Danish House Follow-Up: No, No, It Really Is The Philippines!

This morning’s “06880” post — about the 1964-65 World’s Fair Danish Pavilion that ended up in Westport — started out:

It’s an urban suburban myth: The Philippines (or Indonesian) (or Danish) pavilion from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair ended up as a residence at the end of Compo Cove.

The piece described how the Danish pavilion actually became a Danish furniture store near the Sherwood Island connector. In the final paragraph, I wondered whether that was the same house everyone speculates is on Compo Cove.

I should have checked with Fred Cantor first.

The very alert “06880” reader/avid historical researcher sent along a document from 1991. The 11-page application to the National Park Service — signed by state historic preservation officer John Shannahan — requests that 22 buildings comprising the “Mill Cove Historic District” be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Here’s the interesting part: One of the cottages at the south end of the district has “an unusual history. Originally, this building was a bamboo hut built for the Phillipine [sic] Exhibit at the St. Louis Exposition in the late nineteenth century [sic]; it was dismantled and re-erected on this site about 1900.”

(Well, a bit later. The Exposition was held in 1904.)

The houses that came from the Philippine Exhibit are at the far right in this Google Maps photo. Beyond them (to the right) is Sherwood Island State Park. To the left is the path leading to Old Mill Beach.

The houses that came from the Philippine Exposition are at the far right in this Google Maps photo. Beyond them (to the right) is Sherwood Island State Park. To the left is the path leading to Old Mill Beach.

But wait! There’s more! “A smaller cottage to the rear is also a re-built bamboo hut but it has retained its form and some exterior materials.”

UPDATEAlert reader SW Reid posted in a comment (below): “Brooks Jones built the guest house behind the ‘pavilion’ maybe 25 years ago. He wanted the unit to look like the original structure on the water.”

So there you have it. The house is Filipino, not Danish. But how and why it ended up in Westport remains a mystery.

Until, that is, Fred finds out.

BONUS FUN FACTSThe 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair — also called the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition — was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the purchase of the Louisiana Territory by the US from France.

The Philippine Exhibit was the largest (47 acres, 100 buildings), most expensive ($2 million) and most popular at the entire fair.

A bird's-eye view of the mammoth Philippine Exhibit.

A bird’s-eye view of the mammoth Philippine Exhibit.

There were about 1,100 Filipinos at the Philippine Exhibit. They were shown in various stages of cultures, from primitive to highly cultured.

The head-hunting, dog-eating Igorots were the greatest attraction at the Philippine Exhibit, not only because of their novelty, the scanty dressing of the males and their daily dancing to the tom-tom beats, but also because of their appetite for dog meat which is a normal part of their diet.

(Hat tip to Virgilio R. Pilapil — and Google — for the above information. Read much more from him about the Philippine Exhibit by clicking here.)

Philippine Exhibition

 

Has Anyone Seen The Danish Pavilion?

It’s an urban suburban myth: The Philippines (or Indonesian) (or Danish) pavilion from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair ended up as a residence at the end of Compo Cove.

I’ve walked that path — from Old Mill Beach all the way to the edge of Sherwood Island — and I’ve seen that modern-looking, glass-and-wood house. It’s intriguing — but a former World’s Fair pavilion? C’mon!

Yet a recent email from alert “06880” reader/former Westporter/World’s Fair fanatic Doug Davidoff may shed some light on the legend. At the same time, it raises more than a few mysteries itself.

Doug sent along a clipping from the October 16, 1965 Bridgeport Post. It read:

The Denmark Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. (Photo/BrickFetish.com)

The Denmark Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. (Photo/BrickFetish.com)

“The prize-winning Danish pavilion at the World’s Fair has been purchased by the Laerkesen Furniture company, 1400 East State street [Post Road East], and will be relocated here on a two-acre tract adjacent to the Sherwood Island connector.”

The Bridgeport Post story described the 130-by-80-foot pine-and-plate-glass building as designed to be disassembled, then reconstructed “like a giant erector set.”

A “World’s Fair Community” website story from 2001 provides further details. Citing a New York Times account of November 22, 1964, it said the structure was planned to be called Laerkesen’s Denmark House, and would display the company’s Danish furniture and household equipment. The “Tivoli Playground” and “Little Mermaid” reconstruction were also to be included. The pavilion — built for $1.2 million — had been bought for $40,000, and would cost $465,000 to move and rebuild.

A poster touting the Denmark Pavilion.

A poster touting the Denmark Pavilion.

The story added that Laerkesen’s owner Dominick DeCecco had outgrown his original store at 1460 Post Road East (now the Pier 1 shopping center). The new location would be “on the Boston Post Road at the juncture of Route 18 in Westport.”

Of course, there is no “Route 18.” This must have referred to the Sherwood Island connector, heading to the Connecticut Turnpike (now I-95) Exit 18.

The 2001 website story challenged readers to find “Laerkesen’s Denmark House.” (The name came from DeCecco’s wife, the former Dorthe Laerkesen.)

No one could.

Perhaps the “06880” community can crowd-source this. If you remember Laerkesen’s Denmark House — where it was, what it looked like, or anything else — click “Comments” below.

And if you can provide proof that it’s the same building that now sits as a handsome home at the end of Compo Cove — well, fantastisk.

Worlds Fair postcard

 

 

 

Red Sky At Night…

On Sunday, “06880” heralded the arrival of the Blizzard of Even Before The Universe Was Created with a photo headlined: “Red Sky At Morning…

48 hours later we are pleased to post this shot, by alert reader Gene Borio. He took it at dusk, by Canal Beach on Saugatuck Shores.

Canal Park - Gene Borio - January 27, 2015

Looks like some nice weather ahead!

A Last Look Back At A Pretty Nice Day

Considering what could have been, today was not bad at all.

Like many families, the Shuldmans spent the morning quietly, at home. 15-year-old Avery saw this view outside, and captured it beautifully:

Deer - Avery Shuldman

When the roads were cleared — and how about a great hand for Westport’s Public Works Department! — Bart and Sue headed out to see how Compo fared.

It doesn’t get more Westport than this:

Compo Beach - Bart Shuldman

(Photos/Bart Shuldman)

(Photos/Bart Shuldman)