Best Of The Rest

Last week, “06880” lamented the lack of respect for Westport restaurants in Fairfield County Weekly’s annual readers’ poll.

The 2nd part of the survey is out — covering stores, banks, even doctors — and we’ve fared a bit better.

Winners include:

The incomparable Sally White.

Sally’s Place for “Best Independent CD/Vinyl Store.”  Such shops are fading faster than Donald Trump’s presidential hopes, but as the Weekly notes, owner Sally White is “one of a kind…. Die-hard music fans love Sally’s, and because White’s operation is so nimble, she can accommodate the special orders bigger stores can’t.”  The Weekly‘s readers nailed this one — as Sally’s fan Keith Richards also attests.

Plumed Serpent wins “Best Bridal Salon.”  I know as much about this category as Pakistan claims to have known about bin Laden, but here goes:  “Plumed Serpent, a multiple-year winner, is renowned for its selection of tasteful, stylish, higher-end dresses and excellent customer service.”  That’s almost enough to make me want to walk down the aisle, in a gown.

But a guy’s gotta look good too.  Fortunately, Men’s Wearhouse (4 locations, including Westport) wins for “Best Place for Tuxedos.”  The Weekly cites the chain’s “broad selection of styles and prices and oodles of shops.”  Sweet.

Bonnie and Rick, the great team at Great Cakes.

Speaking of sweet — and weddings — the “Best Place to Buy Your Wedding Cake” is Great Cakes.  I’m more into the  early-morning coffee — and the chance to see everyone from builder Bill Kashetta to surgeon Alan Meinke — but the crew in the back turn out awesome wedding cakes, all from scratch.  Owner Rick Dickinson is often told that his creations taste as good as they look — and how often do you say that about a wedding cake?

Another entry in the okay-I-believe-you department is Soleil Toile (“Best Lingerie Store [Non-Chain]”).  The Weekly praises the store’s attention to proper fit, and “very broad array of sizes and body types.”  O-kay…

Moving quickly along, the “Best Bank” is People’s United.  Ours shares the honor with other locations in the county, but New England’s largest bank earns props for their many locations, community service, and “expert bankers who can do loans and investments.”  (Um, isn’t that what bankers are supposed to do?)

Westport’s final winner is Dr. Mark Oestreicher.  He’s Fairfield County’s “Best Dermatologist.”  Once again, the Weekly voters have made a thoughtful, inspired decision.  Nothing rash about this one at all.

9 responses to “Best Of The Rest

  1. Sally’s Place. I currently live in NCarolina and Sally is the only merchant that I am willing to delay buying something until I can buy it from her. I wouldn’t bet $1 that she knows my name but I’ll bet $100 that she hugs me when I go there. Oh, and by the way, her knowledge of music is second to none.

  2. “all that Jazz” at Sally’s is phenomenal ! And, she knows some obscure French singers like George Moustaki – music comes alive at Sally’s place!
    Thank you!

  3. The Dude Abides

    Great Cakes and People’s bank next to Stop & Shop definitely winners. I guess they don’t have a best urologist. I know of the worst if they want a nomination.

  4. Gary Singer

    Sally White gets a dozen votes from me. And from my wife and sons too.
    If you need an ice-breaker, just go in and ask Sally if she has anything by Horace Silver. Our love affair started at Klein’s and moved north with her.

  5. Jim Honeycutt

    I want to second Gary Singer’s compliments of Sally White. If in Japan puppet masters can be named a national treasures, surely Sally White and her store in Westport can be considered genuine treasures as well. The people of Westport and surrounding towns are so lucky to have have her. And it is great to go in there to talk to her about music and to purchase CD’s and vinyl records. I hope we’ll have her for decades to come!

  6. westporter95

    Go Sally !!

  7. Returned to Westport for my 40th High School reunion last weekend and stopped in to see Sally White in her store (not Klein’s or Melodies where I first remember meeting her 50 odd years ago). It was one of the highlights of my reunion weekend to see her – order some tunes from her – and to trip down memory lane. Her passion for music encouraged me to explore all kinds of music as a young person. Indeed, she was the “go to gal” for music and could talk (and spin) everything from Coltrane to Soul Train. Love you Sally – You still rock!

  8. An Open letter to Sally White
    Dear Sally,
    You were the topic of conversation at a 40th Staples High School Reunion get together on Friday night, August 12th. Several of us reminisced about you, and the memories were so fond and so profoundly deep. We all agreed that your love of music came from the heart, and you had such a passion – not just for the music itself, but what the music created for us emotionally.

    In 1967, the highlight of my Saturdays would be coming into Klein’s and listening to whatever you had on the “record player.” You’d guide me through the latest and best artists, albums, top 10. I could walk in and give you two or three words in the lyrics, and you would know exactly what song it was.

    So it seemed fitting that this past Saturday, while in town to celebrate my Staples High School Reunion, that I would stop by with a dear old classmate to see you. Plus, I had these two songs I hadn’t been able to find…

    And even though I hadn’t seen you in 40 years, you were the same old Sally.

    And those two songs? One was about not paying the rent – an old R&B tune, and you wrote some notes in your spiral notebook just like you did 40 years ago, and promised to do some research. And no doubt about it, that if anybody can find the song, it will be you.

    The other song was more of a memory. I told you that I recalled my mother in the late 50’s sitting in the dark, at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette, listening to this haunting song on the radio. I could only recall that it had something to do with the earth being bitter.

    You ran around the counter, grabbed a research book, and then a CD, and said “here it is.” You took the CD out of the cellophane, not even caring that I might not buy it and put it in your CD player. “This Bitter Earth by Dinah Washington,” you said.

    As we listened to the song, I was overcome with emotion, lost in the memory of my mother that night. I looked at you through glassy eyes, and of course yours were glassy too. That is what was always so special about you. We could share a small piece of our heart with you, and you loved us all, because the music made it possible.

    It was a pleasure and an honor seeing you again. I want to thank you for sharing your music with me this past Saturday, as well as all those many, many Saturdays over 40 years ago.


    Teri Gatti Schure

  9. Sally sold me my first record at Kleins. I will be celebrating my 40th reunion this summer, Class of 1972. i believe I also visited Sally in 1967 almost every Saturday. As a current resident of Westport, I run into Sally at the bank from time to time. She is as beautiful and vibrant as she always was. Thank you Sally for your dedication and contribution to Westport ! Ilise Gold (formerly Ronni Wisser).