Category Archives: Downtown

Let There Be Lights!

Tonight — without fanfare — the new downtown street lights were turned on.

Just as importantly, the old cobra-style highway lights were shut off.

The new lamps — lower, warmer, nicer — are far kinder to Main Street. They also complement the lighting displays in many nearby stores.

The west side of Main Street...

A soft glow on the west side of Main Street…

...and the east. Note the new, user-friendly pedestrian crossing in front of Banana Republic too.

…and the east. Note the new, user-friendly pedestrian crossing in front of Banana Republic too.

Soon, the holiday decorations will be up. They will be far lovelier than last year’s sad zip-line effort.

Now all that’s left is for Eversource to remove the old lights. Let’s hope they move more quickly than the contractors on the Merritt Parkway North Avenue bridge.

Meanwhile, further north, a lone snowflake glistens near Oscar's...

Meanwhile, further north, a lone snowflake glistens near a new light by Oscar’s…

...while Tavern on Main boasts its traditional lamp, and a gorgeous wreath.

…while Tavern on Main boasts its traditional lamp, and a gorgeous wreath.


Because Searching For An Actual Parking Spot Is Just Sooooo Inconvenient…

Parker Harding Plaza - November 21, 2015

From A Tiny Acorn…

Several interesting sculptures frame the Westport Library’s lower entrance, near the Riverwalk and Taylor parking lot.

But the most eye-catching of all was created by Mother Nature. A massive oak tree sits on Jesup Green.

The other day, Lynn U. Miller captured it in all its autumnal beauty.

Oak tree near library - Lynn U Miller

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Craning For A Look At Downtown

Alert “06880” reader Alan Hamilton flew a quadcopter up from his Riverside Avenue Raveis office this afternoon.

Here’s what he saw:

Downtown Westport - Alan Hamilton

Click on or hover over photo to enlarge.

The big open pit in the center of the photo is Bedford Square.

This spring will bring a very different view.

You Want Pizza With Those Pants?

Bedford Square is remaking downtown Westport.

And Urban Outfitters — across the street on Church Lane — is remaking itself.

The hipster-ish retailer — whose shares have plunged more than 50% since March — has just bought a restaurant group. Vetri Family is best known for Pizzeria Vetri. Food and Wine Magazine recently called it the best pizza place in the country.

The Vetri group plans to integrate restaurants and/or coffee shops in at least 3 Urban Outfitters locations: Herald Square; Austin, Texas — and Westport.

“Spending on casual dining is expanding rapidly, and thus, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to expand the Pizzeria Vetri concept,” says Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne.

Investors were not impressed. Urban Outfitters shares dropped another 7.5% yesterday.

Coming soon: a new eatery inside?

Coming soon: a new eatery inside?

This Takes The (Coffee) Cake

The Starbucks near the diner is notorious for its entitled drivers. Just when you think they could not find another it’s-all-about-me way to park, they stun us with something new.

Now it’s contagious.

Alert “06880” reader Bart Shuldman spotted this sight earlier today, at the downtown Starbucks:

Starbucks downtown parking

Parker Harding Plaza is a very busy place. But this driver could not wait, like a normal human being, to find a parking spot. (Perhaps it was the lure of those special red Christmas cups.)

He or she stopped the car, put on flashers, and went inside to join the long line.

Leaving 2 children sitting in the back.

Sweeping Away Crumbs

Several alert “06880” readers have sent emails, noting that Crumbs is closed.

It’s not the 1st time the pricey cupcakery has shut its right-behind-Tiffany doors.

In July 2014, the parent company announced it was closing all 66 locations.

A few months later, it reopened.

Westport has survived worse. The beloved Great Cakes is no more, but owner Rick Dickinson is selling his great cupcakes (and more) at retail outlets like Calise’s and Peter’s Weston Market.

Will we miss Crumbs? Did anyone ever go there? And if so, why?



Vote For The Doughboy

Alert “06880” reader Fred Cantor writes:

The other day, my wife Debbie and I came out of the Westport Historical Society “Talk of the Town” exhibit.

Facing us was a beautiful New England scene: the Doughboy statue on Veterans Green, with spectacular fall foliage behind it. It could have easily appeared on one of those New Yorker covers decades ago.

Doughboy statue - Fred Cantor

As we got closer, I saw right behind the statue another quintessential, timeless New England scene. It could also have been a New Yorker cover: a row of political signs, opposite a row of brilliant orange and yellow trees.

Election signs 2015 - Fred Cantor

(Photos/Fred Cantor)

With Election Day near, the signs in such close proximity to the Doughboy statue seemed so fitting. After all, so many American soldiers over the years gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms and rights — including the right to vote.

That right is something I have never taken for granted. Perhaps something we can all agree on — no matter where we stand on the political spectrum — is that this Tuesday, Westport residents hopefully will continue their tradition of high participation rates at the polls.

What A Wonderful World

The forecast calls for heavy rain today.

But yesterday’s weather was — as it has been for weeks — gorgeous.

Alert “06880” photographer Lynn U. Miller was out and about. She captured a few of her favorite spots, in the bright afternoon and early evening.

PS: Not to be a buzzkill, but Saturday night marks the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Christ and Holy Trinity Church - Lynn U. Miller

Parker Harding Plaza - Lynn U Miller

Saugatuck River downtown - Lynn U. Miller

Saugatuck River downtown evening 1 - Lynn U. Miller

(Photos/Lynn U. Miller)

Flags And Crane

Every year, to celebrate UN Day, dozens of flags flutter on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Post Road bridge.

This year, to celebrate the construction of Bedford Square, a crane dominates the downtown skyline.

Alert “06880” reader Robert Mitchell captured the scene yesterday:

(Photo/Robert Mitchell)

Click or hover on photo to enlarge. (Photo/Robert Mitchell)