COVID Roundup: Reopening; Friday Flowers; Ford Escort; Donut Crazy; More

As Westport reopens, it may be hard to figure out who’s in charge of what. First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

The Westport Weston Health District licenses restaurants and the beauty industry. So the WWHD leads compliance of those state rules.

Fire Marshal Nathaniel Gibbons will lead enforcement efforts for all non-WWHD regulated industries. Efforts include conducting spot checks, referrals and coordination with the WWHD and Police Department.

The police are responsible for tracking all complaints. They’ll investigate to ensure compliance, and work with business owners to correct infractions.

The Police Department requests that reports of non-compliance or complaints about business operations should be made by phone to the non-emergency number: 203-341-6000. For complaints made to the state, call 211.

If you see penguins not following proper protocols, call the police non-emergency number.  (Photo/Marcy Sansolo)

As life — and human beings — come back to Main Street, the Westport Garden Club is making sure everything looks lovely.

Yesterday they planted flowers downtown. The project is part of “Friday Flowers,” the club’s campaign to brighten spirits with colorful flowers. Four beds on both sides of Main Street will be maintained throughout the summer and fall.

From left: Kathy Oberman Tracy, Kelle Ruden and Kara Wong. (Photo: Topsy Siderowf)

Of all the COVID-caused changes in Westport, none is starker than the scene at the Saugatuck train station. Almost instantly, what had always been better-get-there-early-for-a-spot lots turned into ghost towns. All those coveted parking permits? They’re gathering dust, as thousands of commuters work from home.

But — if you’re one of the few people who has been there knows — there is one lonely car. A Ford Escort has been there since mid-March. It sure is practicing social distance.

Does anyone know the back story? If so, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Caroly Van Duyn)

Meanwhile, a few yards east, Donut Crazy opened. Commuter traffic is not yet back (duh). But Juliana and Anna (below) look like they never left. Except for the masks…

(Photo/John Karrel)

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the debut of Manna Toast. Molly Healey is opening a cafe in Bedford Square in mid-July. She’s great, and it will be wonderful.

In the meantime, beginning next Tuesday (May 26) she’s delivering family-style kits that serve 4. They include ready-to-toast sourdough bread with a choice of 2 toasts (meatless meatballs, hummus, burrata or roasted squash); 1 salad (kale with tahini miso or local greens), 1 soup (creamy carrot or 3-bean chili), and 1 tea. Everyone gets 4 chocolate chip cookies.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. It’s fantastic — flavorful, creative, fresh; something new and welcome in the midst of so much COVID sameness. But don’t take my words for it. Check it out here:

It doesn’t feel like it, but this is a holiday weekend. We’ll miss the Memorial Day parade. The weather is a bit iffy.

But Compo Beach will be open. Not at full capacity, yet. There are no picnic tables or grills. Port-a-potties only, too.

Still, the scene today was like any other start-of-summer, late May day.

If only.

(Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

And finally … there might be a more beautiful way to end the week. But I don’t know what it is.

10 responses to “COVID Roundup: Reopening; Friday Flowers; Ford Escort; Donut Crazy; More

  1. Roseann Spengler

    I look forward to the wonderful and varied music I hear on 06880 every day. Thank you, Dan.

  2. Wendy Cusick

    Dan, I was going to send you picture of the Ford Escort also and asked if the police knew who owned this. I do believe the permit is up to date.
    I believe the owner takes the train to the airport. It would sit for a month here and there only and then I would see it sit over a long weekend from time to time.
    It always moved.
    This is the LONGEST it has even sat. EVER!
    I’m worried about the owner.
    Are they alright? Sick or disabled? Or possibly the owner traveled and is now stuck in another state because COVID-19?
    I took notice because I used to drive these type of Ford Escorts with a 5 speed manual transmission. To this day I have always gotten a ‘kick’ seeing the Ford. Pleased the owner still had it.
    Now I’m worried….

  3. Wendy Cusick

    I think I might get a donut or two…

  4. Gene Borio

    This beautiful Loch Lomond put me in mind, of course, of the spectacular Elsa Lanchester (“Bride of Frankenstein,” “The Private Life of Henry VIII”), and her sweet and stunning a cappela turn on “Loch Lomond” in the intriguing “The Razor’s Edge,” (1946) with Victor Mature. As usual, Elsa made this simple bit part unforgetable. See it here:
    (But it was Anne Baxter who would win best supporting actress that year, for her work in this movie–and truly, it was award-worthy. A great movie with which to pass the CovidDays.)

  5. Wendy Cusick

    More thoughts on the Ford Escort. I remember this when it brand new because my very first brand new car was a ’91 Ford Escort (silver).
    Also take notice of the license plate, the owner is a very long time resident of the area.
    The plate has 2 letters 4 numbers, FS-4***, that means they received their plates in the early to mid ’60s. In comparison of the time frame of the plates, my parents moved here in ’71 from New York and received KH-8*** much farther down the alphabet.

  6. Caroly Van Duyn

    Wendy, thanks for your comments. I finally sent the image to Dan because I too, am concerned…and realized it must be an older citizen. All I can think of is that the owner is safely quarantined in New York, or, overseas, and has chosen to wait it out as the numbers go down. I’d like to think optimistically…it’s heart warming to know that people are looking out for each other, strangers and friends alike. Let’s hope the story surfaces soon!

  7. Wendy Cusick

    I’m checking back here for any updates of the ’91 Ford. I thought a couple other readers current and former commuters would have shared a few thoughts. There’s no need for names need to be given out for privacy concerns. Just someone who might have had contact with the owner and just give an update.
    I know the Chief of Police is aware of the situation since he oversees this parking lot along with Green’s Farms.

    A little history about the Saugatuck Railroad parking lot at the intersection of Saugatuck Ave (rt 136) and Ferry Lane from the late ’90s back to the ’70s maybe even farther back. During high tide the lower parking lot would flood and turn into a huge whirlpool from the water channel and marshland which I just saw on a map is called Burritt Cove. If the hight tide cycle was higher than usual it would swallow the cars in the lower parking lot.
    The Town of Westport in the late ’90s reconstructed the road base raised the parking lot and road a couple feet and the Westport whirlpool disappeared along with the flooding.