Tag Archives: Saugatuck Shores

Blizzard of 2016: Late Afternoon Report

We’ve still got a few more hours of this. So put another log on the fire, open up one more bottle of wine, and enjoy these wonderful views of Westport in winter. (Click on or hover over to enlarge)

Snow bunny #1...

Snow bunny #1…

...snow bunny #2...

…snow bunny #2…

...and #3. (Photos above/Irene Penny)

…and #3. (Photos above/Irene Penny)

...and another. (Photos/John Videler)

One view from John Videler…

One view from John Videler...

…and another, with a bit of color from the flag. (Photo/John Videler)

Compo Beach, from the (relative) comfort of a Soundview Drive home. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Compo Beach, from the (relative) comfort of a Soundview Drive home. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

No picnics today on South Beach! (Photo/Briana Walegir)

No picnics today on South Beach! (Photo/Briana Walegir)

You know that old saying about "neither snow nor rain..."? (Photo/Fred Cantor)

You know that old saying about “neither snow nor rain…”? (Photo/Fred Cantor)

No word from Metro-North on whether (weather?) there was "Good Service" today. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

No word from Metro-North on whether (weather?) there was “Good Service” today. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

It was slow going -- just as the sign says -- on Saugatuck Shores today. (Photo/Gene Borio)

It was slow going — just as the sign says — on Saugatuck Shores today. (Photo/Gene Borio)

A serene scene on Highland Road. Look closely though: That's an unplowed driveway there at the bottom of the photo. (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

A serene scene on Highland Road. Look closely though: That’s an unplowed driveway at the bottom of the photo. (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

Blizzard bonus feature: Seagulls were out surfing at Compo. Thanks to Dee Dee Scanlin, Chip Stephens and Betsy Pollak for sharing!

 

Westport Waves — From Burying Hill To Saugatuck Shores

There’s a lull in the storm right now. But if you haven’t been out and about, here are a few scenes from opposite ends of town. Click on or hover over photos to enlarge.

The gatehouse at Burying Hill Beach. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

The gatehouse at Burying Hill Beach. (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

One view from atop the actual "Burying Hill"...

One view from atop the actual “Burying Hill”…

...and another. (Photos/Nico Eisenberger)

…and another. (Photos/Nico Eisenberger)

Not fit for man or beast? Photographer Nico Eisenberger -- and his dog Griffin -- beg to differ.

Not fit for man or beast? Photographer Nico Eisenberger — and his dog Griffin — beg to differ.

The Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach seems surprisingly calm, just before high tide. (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

The Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach seems surprisingly calm, just before high tide… (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

...but not so Compo Beach itself. (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

…but not so Compo Beach itself. (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

Here's the scene on Soundview Drive. (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

Here’s the scene on Soundview Drive. (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

See the water lapping against the white fence at the bottom of this photo? That shouldn't be there. It's Canal Road. (Photo/Mark Bates)

See the water lapping against the white fence at the bottom of this photo? That shouldn’t be there. It’s Canal Road. (Photo/Mark Bates)

Happy New Year From Canal Beach

Canal is not as well known as Westport’s other beaches — Compo, Old Mill and Burying Hill.

But the view from Saugatuck Shores — captured here today by nearby resident Gene Borio — proves that it is just as beautiful as anywhere else in town.

(Photo/Gene Borio)

Click or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Gene Borio)

The View From Canal Road

Sure, the weather has been cold and icy for weeks. But there’s a certain beauty in all that cold and ice — if you know where to look.

Gene Borio does. Here are 3 very cool views, from his perch on Saugatuck Shores.

The Saugatuck River, looking toward Westport.

The Saugatuck River, looking toward Westport.

Long Island Sound. In the distance: the ice-encrusted lighthouse, and Research Island.

Long Island Sound. In the distance: the ice-encrusted lighthouse.

"No Diving No Jumping." No kidding. (Photos/Gene Borio)

“No Diving No Jumping.” No kidding. (Photos/Gene Borio)

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!

Gretel Hartmann Is Back

The good news is: Gretel Hartmann’s bench is back on Canal Beach.

Alert “06880” reader Gene Borio reports that Saugatuck Shores residents thought Hurricane Sandy swept it away forever. But there it is, right where it was before the storm 2 years ago.

Gretel Hartmann bench 1

The interesting news is: Gene and his neighbors don’t know how it got there.
“Apparently someone salvaged it from the massive destruction, and now restored it,” he says. “It’s a little worse for wear, but it’s in its proper place on in the sand.”

The bad news is: He doesn’t know who Gretel Hartmann was. The bench was there for about 10 years before Sandy, Gene says.

Gretel Hartmann bench 2

If any “06880” readers have info on Gretel, let’s give her — and her bench — some due. Click “Comments” to share.

No Safe Harbor On Saugatuck Shores

Saugatuck Shores was on the agenda at a recent board of selectmen meeting. They considered 2 petitions: one for speed bumps on Harbor Road, the other against.

Alert “06880” reader Gene Borio doesn’t have a horse in that race. He lives on Canal Road, a 600-yard straightaway. That’s where he’d like to see speed bumps. Or at least a speed-activated sign (which residents have requested, to no avail).

But Gene has another issue with Harbor Road: the new sea wall. In his opinion, it’s waaaay too close to the road. Strolling, jogging, biking, dog-walking — all are now life-in-your-hands situations.

In just half an hour the other day, he saw:

Harbor Road 1

Harbor Road 3

Harbor Road 2

While Gene was taking these photos, a contractor asked what he was shooting.

“The beautiful view, of course,” Gene said.

“And the sea wall. I think it’s too close to the road.”

“Yeah!” the contractor replied. “Why couldn’t they have moved it back 3 feet?!”

Gene thinks that would be tough. But, he says, 1 1/2 to 2 feet could be doable.

As for the traffic photos: “There’s a lot worse than this going on every day,” he says.

Like this shot:

Harbor Road 4

There are no cars nearby — but there could be.

And that’s without speed bumps.

 

A True Saugatuck Shores “Find”

Alert — and proofreading — “06880” reader Jeff Manchester was strolling around Saugatuck Shores yesterday.

For the 1st time, he looked closely at a sign he’s seen often:

Saugatuck Shores sign

Good to know it won’t cost us a cent to launch or trailer park at Canal Beach!

Calming Saugatuck Shores

Every neighborhood has its own traffic concerns. Folks living near the Bayberry Lane/Easton Road intersection are debating a roundabout and stop signs. On North Kings Highway, speeders have slowed considerably since speed humps were installed.

The other day, Janet Tatusko checked in with a report from Saugatuck Shores. A lot is happening in that lovely but well-traveled corner of town.

A petition called “Lines and Signs” has helped bring walking lines and guardrails. Signs — including arrows, “Bus Stop Ahead” and “Curve Ahead” — have been installed.

Trees have been cut back, to improve sight lines. Neighbors initiated an educational campaign (“Drive Like Your Kids Live Here”).

"Drive Like Your Kids Live Here," says a sign near the beginning of Harbor Road.

“Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” says a sign near the beginning of Harbor Road.

But drivers still speed, Janet says — and walkers are afraid they’ll be pinned against the guardrails on blind curves.

A traffic survey last August showed that 32,274 vehicles entered Harbor Road. 27,109 exceeded the 25 mph speed limit. One driver reached 65.

During the school year, Janet says, “over 28 kids would normally be out there — except not one mother will let them. So a big bus comes down tiny Covelee Road, and stops at each home. No one can walk, jog, bike, etc. It’s another Shake Shack waiting to happen.”

A guardrail separates  Harbor Road from the water.

A guardrail separates Harbor Road from the water.

Harbor Road is a residential street — but also the main route to Saugatuck Island. There are 200 homes, and a yacht club at the end.

Interestingly, the recent sewer project helped. Potholes have slowed cars and trucks considerably. However, truck traffic has increased since last fall, as construction vehicles heading to homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy are a constant presence.

Janet, Frank DiScala and others are figuring out what’s needed to help walkers, bicyclists, joggers, moped riders, pets and kids.

They’ve worked closely with Police Chief Dale Call, the Fire Department, Public Works and the Department of Transportation. Recently they met with First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. The Fire Department has agreed to put in a speed hump.

Harbor Road is narrow, windy -- and very, very scenic.

Harbor Road is narrow, windy — and very, very scenic.

But Janet, Francis and the others have not forgotten aesthetics. They’d like to see potted plant holders in the middle of the road. (Think Soundview, the Compo Beach exit road.)

They’re talking about a park-like entrance to Harbor Road and Saugatuck Shores, including an elevated planter box, flowers, and welcome signs.

Sounds like some solid solutions for a neighborhood that feels under siege — for reasons both natural and man-made.

But what a shame that we have to put up signs — anywhere in town — reminding each other to “Drive Your Kids Live Here.”

Harbor Road continues over a canal. This handsome sign marks the entrance to Saugatuck Island.

Harbor Road continues over a canal. This handsome sign marks the entrance to Saugatuck Island.

Living In…Saugatuck

The New York Times Sunday real estate section holds a strange fascination for people in the tri-state area.

It doesn’t matter if we’re actively buying or selling, or dying in the same house our great-grandparents were born in. Like realtors drawn to obituaries — that means a potential listing! — we pore over the real estate pages. We can’t help reading about pets in co-ops, which Brooklyn neighborhood is next on the hot list, and of course who paid how much for what.

Every Sunday, the Times singles out a town or neighborhood for its “Living In” feature. This Sunday, it will be Saugatuck.

Bridge Square rocked last September, at the "Slice of Saugatuck" festival. (Photo by Terry Cosgrave)

Bridge Square rocked last September, at the “Slice of Saugatuck” festival. (Photo by Terry Cosgrave)

Titled “What I-95 Hasn’t Put Asunder,” it describes the mid-1950s construction of the Connecticut Turnpike as “a battering ram.”

Houses came down; so did a church. Blacktop replaced Turtle Pond, a favorite place to ice-skate. A rumbling overpass halved Franklin Street, a residential locus for Italian-Americans (who today account for about 20 percent of the population).

“You know that progress has to happen,” said Cathy Romano, whose childhood home, a porch-wrapped wood-frame house on West Ferry Lane, became a dorm for highway builders before being razed for a parking lot. “But it was traumatic.”

Yet Saugatuck — which before the Italians arrived was the commercial center of Westport — has reinvented itself. And the Times takes notice.

Bustling and dense, with a number of restaurants and some shops, Saugatuck can feel almost urban, especially when compared with leafier, sleepier Westport areas like Coleytown, which has two-acre residential zoning. But there are plenty of people who would rather be squeezed in than spread out.

Yards away from the bustle, a serene Saugatuck scene. (Photo by Bobbi Liepolt)

Yards away from the bustle, a serene Saugatuck scene. (Photo by Bobbi Liepolt)

The piece describes the Gault family’s “$18 million attempt to ease the effects of I-95’s divisive presence: Saugatuck Center, a mixed-use four-acre redevelopment project….In a community with hardly any housing beyond single-family homes, 27 new apartments amount to a lot.”

The Times includes Saugatuck Shores in its Saugatuck roundup, which seems a stretch. But here’s the connection:

Recovery of another kind is on the minds of some homeowners in Saugatuck Shores, a low-lying, compressed area. Hurricane Sandy dealt it a punishing blow, as have other big storms.

The houses perched atop carports seem to have come out unscathed. But more modest properties — especially along Harbor Road, which is separated from Long Island Sound by a jumble of boulders — seem hurt. On a recent visit, a few had plywood in their windows, and the storm had strewn oysters across lawns.

Hurricane Sandy devastated Saugatuck Shores.

Hurricane Sandy devastated Saugatuck Shores.

Because this is the Times real estate section, money matters. Readers learn that the most expensive home on the market — a 5-bedroom 2000 colonial on a 2-acre waterfront lot with a tennis court — is listed at $10.99 million.

Last year, the average price for all 29 single-family homes sold in Saugatuck was  $1.22 million. Hopefully, some of those sales were by families who held on — and thrived — in the decades after I-95 sliced through.

Finally — buried at the end of the story — was some intriguing news. There are 1,064 reserved parking lots at the train station, and the waiting list is 4 years. But — who knew? — the town is planning “an online effort to cull outdated names.”

(Click here to read the entire New York Times story on “Living In Saugatuck.”)

For many people, the Black Duck epitomizes Saugatuck. (Photo by John Kantor)

For many people, the Black Duck epitomizes Saugatuck. (Photo by John Kantor)