Estelle Margolis Makes Myrtle Avenue A Neighborhood

Most people drive down Myrtle Avenue on their way to — or from — somewhere else.

Some head to Town Hall, or the Westport Historical Society. Others use it as a shortcut to or from town.

But to the folks who live in the handsome homes there, Myrtle Avenue is not a narrow through street. It’s a neighborhood.

In the hustle and bustle of modern Westport life, though, it seldom felt like one.

Myrtle Avenue: grace, beauty -- and neighborliness -- in the heart of downtown.

Myrtle Avenue: grace, beauty — and neighborliness — in the heart of downtown.

Last year, Estelle Margolis — she lives at #72 — invited everyone to her lovingly maintained 1790 home. Neighbors Rondi Charleston and Page Englehart helped plan the get-together.

Over 2 dozen neighbors showed up. Some were old-timers; others had just moved in. They talked about who they were, where they came from, and what brought them to Westport.

They named themselves the MAGs — for Myrtle Avenue Gang — and shared e-mail addresses.

Since then, they’ve had more cocktail parties in various homes. They arrive early, and stay late.

Beyond the food and drink, Estelle says, “We’ve found out how everyone on the street is interesting, caring and kind.”

The most recent MAG party was last Sunday. It’s a busy time of year, but plenty of people came. In the holiday spirit, Estelle asked them to bring kids’ books. They’ll be delivered to a Bridgeport home for abused mothers and children.

Estellel Margolis (center), surrounded by Myrtle Avenue neighbors. (Photo/Rondi Charleston)

Estellel Margolis (center), surrounded by Myrtle Avenue neighbors. (Photo/Rondi Charleston)

“MAGs are now much more than neighbors,” Estelle says. “We are dear friends, very close by, all available for help that any one of us might need.”

“Estelle brought us together in the spirit of love and support, as only she can,” notes Rondi Charleston. “We are so grateful for her.”

“We feel very lucky we landed on Myrtle Avenue,” Estelle says, speaking for so many MAGs.

“We’re in the heart of downtown Westport — and as close to heaven as we can get!”


12 responses to “Estelle Margolis Makes Myrtle Avenue A Neighborhood

  1. Gosh, I love this, Dan! We need an Estelle in our neighborhood !

  2. Suzanne and I have known Estelle and her late husband Manny since Estelle and I planned the anti-war protest back in 2001 (2?). I don’t even want to think about life without them. Suzanne did a tribute concert to Manny this past May and it was glorious – The Music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Manny would have loved it. Estelle did. Manny and Estelle were at our wedding and Manny had a lot to do with making that wedding happen. Estelle commemorated the event with a beautiful piece of art. Estelle is an artist, a writer, an active participant in protesting wars, but most of all our friend. We love her very much.


    • Yes, it was our family home for about 60 years. It’s nice to see that it continues to produce such good vibes. Eric Street

  4. I love that neighborhood – it’s as Westport as Westport gets. I used to look out at Myrtle Avenue from my Bedford Elementary School window and gaze at cool 1950s cars. Because it was the 1950s.

  5. We feel the same way about the Gorham Avenue Historic District … Neighbors there for neighbors! Must be something in the downtown water!

  6. The good news is that Myrtle Avenue is slated to soon become a National Register Historic District – it’s just an honorarium, but an honor nonetheless. Thanks Estelle, and all who are helping to preserve this special piece of Westport.

  7. that sounds like the estelle i know and love! she’s an amazing broad. also – what’s the name of that school, i’d like to donate some books as well. thanks, Tg

  8. I lived at 65 Myrtle Ave. from 1950- 1964. If I come back to Westport for a visit can I join the MAG’s for cocktails? Sounds wonderful!

  9. Bravo Estelle and Myrtle Avenue.

  10. Hello Dan I saw in your blog you talk about Myrtle Ave I liked it. i,m located at 8 Myrtle ave and I love over there. Thanks

  11. Great story. I wish Beechwood Lane were more MyrtleAvenueish. But I’d have to be More EstelleMarglis-ish!