Westport, New England?

I had never heard of SantaBarbaraSolutions.com, a California-based website.

That’s okay; they probably never heard of “06880” either.

But a question on the site recently asked:  “Do you consider Fairfield County, CT to be part of New England?”

“I know technically it is, but it really isn’t at the same time,” the writer began.  He or she added:

Nobody in the FC roots for the New England teams. People root (properly) for the New York teams.  I’ve lived here for 8 years, nobody roots for the Boston teams.  Everyone else in CT, roots for the scum (AKA Boston teams), the FC is proper.

When people from the FC come to NY they’re New Yorkers, locals.  When people from other parts of Connecticut come to NY they’re tourists scum like the rest of the country.

Leaving aside the obvious — that no one here calls this “the FC” — the post raises another, even more provincial question:

“Do you consider Westport to be part of Connecticut”?

For example:

  • Can you name all the candidates for senator and governor?
  • Can you name our current senators and governor?
  • Do you know how many counties there are in Connecticut?
  • Can you name all (ahem) 8 of them?
  • When was the last time you were in Hartford?  (Driving through on I-91 does not count.)
  • Who was Wilbur Cross?

What do you think, “06880” readers?  Is Westport part of Connecticut?

Part of New York?  Or some stateless place, maybe an American version of Kaliningrad?

Click “Comments” to weigh in.

39 responses to “Westport, New England?

  1. I recall that counties were abolished in CT in 1980. Since then, Westport has been part of something called the “South Western Regional Planning Agency” [http://www.swrpa.org]
    P.S. Dan, your daily blogs are getting posted earlier and earlier. Do you write them the night before?

  2. I can get 7 counties off the top of my head at 6 in the morning before coffee, unaided by google. Hartford, Windham, New London, Middlesex, Litchfield, Fairfield, New Haven. And I have lived in 3 of them.

    And can anyone tell what % of the state budget is paid for by Fairfield County taxes? What is the net outflow of funds from Fairfield County to the rest of the state?

  3. Dan, in your quiz, you–inadvertently I assume–left off Wilbur Cross’s last name. It’s “Parkway.”

  4. I love you, Karl!

  5. Wilber Cross was Governor of CT in the 1930’s and was very adept at bellying up to FDR’s public trough. Some of the swill was usesd to build the Parkway.

    • Gee, according to Dan Woog’s excellent book, Wilbur Cross should be best known for being principal of Staples High around 1885.

  6. Does Santa Barbara know what our State motto means? With apologies to the gender specificity, “He who transplants, sustains…” Never guess we were once an agrarian colony/state… Lots of fun, Dan

  7. Is Albany and beyond part of the same state as NYC and Long Island (or does that make 3)? Are San Francisco and Los Angeles part of the same state? Isn’t Santa Barbara like the Vatican?
    Many territorial boundaries are either arbitrary (at lattitude 43.456) or geographic (rivers and mountains). Q: why are some rivers boundaries (Housatonic, Delaware, Mississippi), while others are encompassed by one town or state (Hudson, Saugatuck, Connecticut)

  8. Last I knew there were indeed six New England states. However as a transplant to southern Fairfield County from the real New England many years ago, it is debatable whether straddlers and those south of the parkway towns and residents are worthy of their heritage! I’ll proudly sport a discreet red “B” on a baseball cap every now and again as a real yankee – not one of those Yankees!! In these parts the cherished puritan spirit of “less is more” seems to have become a thing of the past.

  9. Elisabeth Keane

    The Hudson River also borders New Jersey, southward from the NY/NJ state line. The Hudson Harbor estuary includes areas of both states, approximately from Piermont (NY) southward to Sandy Hook (NJ)

  10. Wasn’t Wilbur Cross (pre-governor days) once principal of Staples High School?

    • Absolutely. In fact, he was the 2nd principal of Staples — at the age of 22. (There were only 6 teachers in the entire school then, so hold your horses.) Wilbur wanted $700 for the year; Horace (where did they get these first names?) Staples was willing to pay only $600. During intense negotiations over “hard cider,” they agreed on $700 — provided Wilbur took care of the furnace. Read about all this and more in “Staples High School: 120 Years of A+ Education,” my book (sorry for the plug!) about all things Staples.

      • In addition;
        “Cross, who became a well-known literary critic, was Professor of English at Yale University and the first Dean of the Yale Graduate School, from 1916 to 1930. Along with Tucker Brooke, Cross was the editor of the Yale Shakespeare; he also edited the Yale Review for almost 30 years. He wrote several books, including Life and Times of Laurence Sterne (1909) and The History of Henry Fielding (1918), and several books on the English novel.”

  11. Comments today were hilarious and educational too! Thank you all for some good laughs out loud. Yankee magazine considers “the FC” and Westport part of New England so that’s good enough for me.

  12. I thought Wilbur Cross was given credit for inventing the CROSSword puzzle? 🙂

  13. Veronica Heightentower

    wait I thought westport was a myth

  14. Larry Perlstein

    The more important question is does anyone know where the Wilbur Cross Parkway actually starts and ends?
    And by the way, as far as football teams are concerned, there are no NY teams — the Jets and Giants play in New Jersey! I don’t care what they call themselves.
    And lastly, Karl Decker!!! My favorite teacher from Staples. What a hoot!
    (I hope he doesn’t grade this post)

    • Hey Larry —

      Did you forget about The Buffalo Bills? They still qualify as a NY team. 🙂

    • Westport Expat

      As you cross the Sikorsky Bridge and enter Milford, you stop traveling on the Merritt Parkway and start traveling on the Wilbur Cross Parkway — which runs to Meriden or so, where it merges into I-91.

      There’s a prize for the answer, right?

      • Larry Perlstein

        Expat – The prize is two tickets to the Buffalo Bills. 🙂
        For extra credit, what’s the name of the road that connects the Wilbur Cross to I95 in Milford? (The reason I’m asking is because I always thought that was the Wilbur Cross.)

        And Dan, having grown up in the borough of Queens, which IS actually part of New York City, I consider Buffalo as much of a part of New York, and I consider New Jersey to be part of Connecticut. or something like that.

        • Isn’t it just called the Milford Connector?

          How about this: the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways are both called “Conn. State Route 15.” When the Wilbur Cross ends in Meriden, and Route 15 continues north, what is it called?

          • Berlin Turnpike

            Bingo, John. Now, the bonus round: How is it pronounced? — Dan Woog

          • Larry Perlstein

            According to Google Maps, it’s actually called the Milford Parkway. Of course, Google Maps doesn’t recognize my address as being in Westport so who knows if it’s right.

          • “BURR-ln”, accent on the first syllable, schwa in the second. (Does anyone under 5o know what the schwa is?)

            Exactly. Now does anyone know WHY it’s pronounced that way? — Dan Woog

  15. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Actually there is a world beyond the borders of Westport or Fairfield County… Next thing ya know people will try to say the world is round

  16. The Dude Abides

    Wow, heavy stuff. Mind boggling for this early in the morning and it is noon. I grew up here but know nothing about Connecticut. Really. Been to the Hartford airport. I knew a State Senator from New London who stated: “Fairfield County thinks that the State of Connecticut owes them everything including rent.” But I am a Red Sox, Patriot and Celtic fan. So perhaps the county should consider succession from the state and become its own entity: we shall call it Nirvana and bring over Bloomberg to run it like a country club: at the end of the year, we just write a check for our share of the annual expenditures. No rules but that you fly the county flag (a green flag with a dollar bill imprinted in the middle) in front of your macmansion. No macmansion? See ya. Strict immigration laws will be enforced against the poor(er) with immediate deportation to White Plains. Universal health care, no state or federal taxation (I-95 will be diverted via Waterbury) and every day will be Christmas (sorry no religion allowed either). Ahhh . . . back to watching my own radar for Earl. FYI, you can get very dizzy watching radar for hours at a time.

  17. The Rude and Smooth

    While living in the Southwest and planning a trip up here, I called Hertz and told them I needed a car or “New England trip.” She responded: “Oh, that is the international division, let me connect you.”

  18. According to a higher authority (Major League Baseball) we are part of NY. Hence, YES instead of NESN. Those of us who support the Boston teams, however, know better.

    • And Craigslist has us listed under New York and not Connecticut.

      I consider the town of Fairfield and definitely the Greenfield Hill neighborhood a part of New England, but it’s a stretch for Westport. I guess we just have too much of a New York influence; which is a ‘good thing’.