Vanity Fair Features Westport’s Essential Workers

Last month, it was “the party.” This week, the short-lived “pandemic drone.”

After 2 turns in the national media glare, the 3rd time’s the charm.

Today, Vanity Fair turns its spotlight on the men and women who keep Westport going in a pandemic..

Stephen Wilkes is a photographer and National Geographic Explorer. He’s documented endangered species and habitats, rising seas, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ellis Island in decay and more.

He’s also a Westporter.

After hearing about a young Maryland woman infected by COVID-19 who was so devoted to working at a store that it killed her, he set out to photograph essential workers here.

He said “so many great, small mom-and-pop shops are making sure that everybody is okay right now. Without them, I don’t know what we’d do.”

Wilkes’ story includes photos of Gold’s Delicatessen, Carvel and Fleishers Craft Butchery, as well as EMS headquarters and a Metro-North train.

His photos — like the one below, of the Gold’s owners and staff, masked yet still offering curbside pickup behind yellow caution tape (the caption notes that owners Jim and Nancy Eckl celebrated their 37th anniversary “serving their devoted customers”) — are powerful.

And — after all the chatter about a party and a drone — the perfect way to start the weekend.

(Photo/Stephen Wilkes for Vanity Fair)

(For more photos, and the text, click here. Hat tip: Kerry Long)

6 responses to “Vanity Fair Features Westport’s Essential Workers

  1. Great piece, wonderful photos. And in case you’re interested in seeing more of Stephen’s work, you might want to check out the documentary about famed photographer Jay Maisel and “The Bank” building on the Bowery:

    You can rent or buy it at iTunes as well:

    It’s wonderful. Trailer here:

  2. Great for Stephen, and great for the town. Thanks for keeping the home fires burning, Dan.

  3. Rhona Lieberson

    Jim & Nancy and all who work there are the Awesomest!!!!!!
    Thank you for always being there for so many, and having Dylan be part of your crew in the good times!!!
    So Appreciated
    Rhona Lieberson

  4. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    Gold’s Definitely worth the trip from up north here in the woods of western Massachusetts!

    ( ‘hello’ to Rhona Lieberson! (I played piano for you & Alan’s wedding, your song was ‘Time After Time’.. it
    another lifetime, ago,.:-).

  5. Hedi Lieberman

    I miss Westport terribly!!! Regards to everyone in the article!!! And to everyone else in this wonderful town!

  6. Stacie Curran

    Oh My Gosh, I just got the goosebumps!!! I missed that 06880 – amazing!!!! Sounds like they started Gold’s a year after Coach & Mary got married xxoo