Where In Westport Would You…?

Susan Israel is a new “06880” reader. She does not live in Westport — but over the next month, she’ll pass through here a few times a week.

Susan is sharp. She quickly grasped that “06880” readers know everything — and love to share their knowledge. (Also, their opinions.)

She wants to stop on her way through, and explore Westport. Here’s what she’s looking for: “the coolest, most eclectic shops and cafes, points of interest and interesting pit stops.”

She’s a writer, so she also wants to know “where would you feel most comfortable working on your manuscript while sipping a latte?”

SoNo Bakery has quickly become downtown's go-to cafe.

SoNo Bakery has quickly become downtown’s go-to cafe.

And: “If you were into one-of-a-kind sporty clothes — nothing too expensive — where would you want to spend hours trying on stuff?

Plus: “What is the out-of-the-ordinary attraction that you would say is a must-see?”

Finally: “Where would you park your car?”

I had an easy answer for the “coolest, most eclectic shop”: Indulge by Mersene.

A customer browses (left), while Mersene makes sure all is well. Check out the Westport pillows!

A customer browses (left), while Mersene makes sure all is well. Check out the Westport pillows!

But I promised Susan I’d crowd-source all her questions. So, guy and gals: Get to it. Click “Comments” to answer 1 (or all) of our soon-to-be-frequent-visitor’s questions.

PS: Don’t just provide a list. Tell her why you love these places!

20 responses to “Where In Westport Would You…?

  1. Maxine Bleiweis

    I can’t resist answering this one. Susan, the Westport Library is unique and offers a quiet reading room space overlooking the Saugatuck River and Jesup Green. On your way to the reading room to work on your manuscript, stop at the library cafe and pick up a latte, a sandwich from Westport’s own Organic Market or Oscar’s Deli, a salad from Naked Greens, or a pastry from Sono Bakery or the Pantry. All local-sourced food. And you’ll also pass by the library store stocked with a carefully selected array of gifts and cards. If you need a break from your manuscript, there are three exceptional art exhibits–photos of Sherwood Island in the Great Hall, a remarkable collection of Connecticut photojournalists, and paintings in the Riverwalk display case.Parking is available and for an extra treat, also take a walk along the newly created path that encircles the Levitt Pavilion and over the footbridge where you might see turtles, frogs and fish. It’s a one-stop excursion. If you think I sound like I work for the library, you’re right!

  2. Paul Chapman

    Unusually cool things to do
    — observe a (now very rare) opening of the handcranked swingbridge ( Bridge St bridge over Saugatuck R ). Imagine that you were on a cargo barge ( with timber or coal ?? Imports or onions? exports) coming to/from the original Westport dock at downtown

    — take a canoe-kayak or small inflatable up the Saugatuck as far as you can go ( including over the retention dam(s) north of Ft Apache.)– Even up to the Merritt Parkway

    Cruise around the tidal pond above the barrages at Old Mill in a small boat

    Enjoy Winslow Park and the waterfront path around the theatre park south of the library

    Take the annual Garden Tour

    Go to the Staples December Holiday show ( fka the “Christmas” performance) and see a Westport Players performance

    Watch how fast the locals strip the shelves at Stop & Shop when snow is forecast

  3. Susan, the best place for you to work on your manuscript is at home on your kitchen table. Westport is so full of such wondrous and distracting things, places and people that you won’t get a bit of work done! — Karl Decker

  4. Cathy Romano

    Compo Beach is a great place to work on your manscript.

    Also you must stop into Oscar’s Deli on Main Street. Great food, fun people, wonderful photography on the walls, and uplifting sayings on the napkin holers, and yes it even has a barber chair. The owner Lee is a great guy,

  5. I second the comments posted by the four people above. Your query re the “out-of-the-ordinary attraction that…is a must-see” did make me really think. What I have come up with is the Unitarian Church, which is a remarkable work of modern architecture that integrates nature as successfully as any building I have ever seen. The sanctuary with its glass walls opening up into its wooded surroundings is indeed a special place–and there are various concerts held there.

  6. I also meant to post a link giving some background on its renown in the world of architecture: http://www.architectmagazine.com/design/buildings/higher-power-victor-lundys-first-unitarian-church_o

  7. Morley Boyd

    For structural astonishment check our the rear elevation of the Gault Barn complex; the front, visible from Compo Road South, looks like your ordinary, law abiding 19th century red barn. The other side however, visible from, I think it’s called Sleigh Lane, is hard core architectural porn. You’ll see what I mean.

  8. Morley Boyd

    How about the 22 acre arboretum in the middle of downtown Westport that we own but almost no one, until more recently, even knew about? Park at the Senior Activities Center off Imperial Ave. and walk in from there. Allow about an hour to walk the paved paths.

  9. Chip Stephens - Staples 73

    Susan I would suggest visiting http://www.ourtowncrier.com/ A cute local weekly round up of exclusively Westport events and local eclectic merchants. Kind of a Westport Mom and Pop Stop online

  10. Clear your mind by running a few laps around the Staples H.S. track early on a Sunday morning.

  11. Robert Mitchell

    One of the most comfortable places for reading/working and a latte is Barnes & Noble, if you can avoid the temptation to graze through all the luscious books that surround you.

  12. Tracy Flood

    Terrain for latte. Sunset at Compo beach. Evening at Levitt Pavilion. Round About consignment shop. Window shop on Main Street. Art’s Deli. Fried whole belly clams at the Black Duck. BYOB great pizza at a picnic table at Julian’s or sangria and nachos outside at Viva.

  13. Wendy Cusick

    You have to go to Junior’s Deli and Grille on 265 Riverside Ave (The brick building with the Shoe Repair). The food is fantastic and Eric and his staff are wonderful. Check out the beautiful view of the River behind Junior’s. Then check out Gilbertie’s Nursery and Herb Garden. Sit in the Herb and Flower Garden enjoys the birds, bees and butterflies.

  14. Susan Israel

    Thank you all for the suggestions so far. I look forward to visiting and checking out as much as I can. I’ll periodically check back so if anyone cares to add something, I will see it. One big question: how is the parking situation?

    • Morley Boyd

      The parking situation is fine, Susan. There is a durable myth that it isn’t but this has been thoroughly debunked by recent traffic studies.

  15. Maxine Bleiweis

    Susan, the next time you’re in, ask for me. I’d love to give a personal tour.

    • Susan Israel

      Thank you so much, Maxine, I’d love that. I’ll be in this coming week on Wednesday and Friday (I’ll be in most weeks after that on Mon/Wed/Fri until mid-June at least) I can probably get there between 12 and 12:30 depending on Rte 1 traffic coming from Norwalk. Let me know whatever works best for you. I’ll be looking forward to that.