Roundup: Art About Town, Senior Center; Young Shoots Farmers, More


Even a pandemic can’t keep local artists down.

The Westport Downtown Merchants Association’s 2nd “Art About Town” project includes works from Artists Collective of Westport members. They’re exhibited in the windows and on the walls of many downtown retails — for viewing and purchase.

Art About Town runs in conjunction with the WDMA’s “Art+ Downtown Thursday Nights.” Galleries stay open from 5 to 8 p.m. So do many of the stores showcasing the “About Town” art.

Bonus feature: Many of the artists are there with their work on Thursdays, chatting with customers. Tomorrow they’ll be at Amy Simon, Pop’TArt, Sorelle, Artistex, Catherine H, Don Memo, Fred Sip & Shop, Franny’s Farmacy, Nic & Zoe, Savannah Bee, Savvy + Grace and West, on Post Road East, Main Street and Church Lane.

In addition Manna Toast offers 1/2 off on bottles of wine (5 to 7 p.m.), and Rye Ridge Deli will stay open till 8. Masks and social distancing are mandatory for Art About Town!


Upcoming Senior Center events:

Bingo: Thursday, August 20 (1:15 to 2 p.m.). Virtual Bingo — with prizes! — is offered the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month. If you don’t have internet, you can call in from home. If you can’t print cards, the Senior Center will help. Pre-registration is required (203-341-5099). There’s also an $8 lunch for Westport residents — delivered (with 4 Bingo cards) to your home.

Pet Chat: Friday, August 21 (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.). Share pet stories; hear guest speakers. Click here for Zoom ID; password is 4C1Q0H.

Summer Concert Series: Friday, August 28, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.: Pianist Irwin Lebish discusses and plays selections from “The Great American Songbook.” Click here for the Zoom link. Friday, September 4, 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Violinist and Westport native Healther “L’il Mama” Hardy — daughter of Friends board member Judy Hardy — entertains on Facebook Live and Zoom (click here for that link).

Fall Prevention program: (Tuesday, September 1, 10 to 11 a.m.). Carli Lee Spinola — injury prevention coordinator at Norwalk Hospital — teaches how to prevent slips and falls. Click here for the Zoom link.

Labor Day Drive-Thru BBQ and Online Concert: Seniors and guests can order a BBQ lunch to go; pickup is at the Senior Center on Friday, September 4, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Socially distance in the parking lot, and enjoy the meal! $8; ordering deadline is September 1. Call 203-341-5099.

Questions? Call 203-341-5099, or email seniorcenter@westportct.gov.


“Young Shoots” — the Westport Farmers’ Market’s deliciously named youth photo contest — has extended its deadline.

Youngsters ages 8 to 18 have until August 24 to submit photos. This year, because of COVID, they must be taken at home. The goal is to show images of the produce, flowers and prepared foods they and their families buy — and how it looks in their kitchens and dining rooms.

First place winners in each category receive $100; runners-up get $50. All photos will be on display at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk.

Click here to apply; click here for more details. The deadline is August 10.


Last Friday, Ariana Napier delivered 424 pounds of food to Bridgeport Rescue Mission. This brings her Westport’s total donations to 1,819 pounds of food and personal care items donated. In other words: Donors are just 181 pounds away from reaching 1 ton!

BRM continues to provide twice as many meals and three times as many grocery bags as before the pandemic. The most needed items include:

  • Canned beans (all types)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats (beef stew, chili, etc.)
  • Peanut butter and jelly (plastic)
  • Snacks (granola bars, power bars, etc.)
  • Ramen noodles

Donations can be dropped off at bins in Ariana’s driveway (14 Jennings Court, off Bayberry Lane near Long Lots).


Rebecca Mace reports that the Panera Bread location on Post Road East near the Southport line — shut for several weeks — is once again open.

Yesterday she spotted baked goods on the shelves, someone going in, and a guy eating a salad next to the window.

The Panera Bread near the Southport line.


1968 Staples High School graduate Paul Backalenick has just published his second book. He says, “A good mystery can be a good distraction in these trying times.”

Carrie’s Secret takes place in a psychiatric hospital in the 1980s, as a suburban couple struggles to understand and help their threatened daughter.

The Kindle version of Carrie’s Secrets is just $2.99 on Amazon — and it’s free for Kindle Unlimited member. The paperback is $13.99. Click here for more on Paul Backalenick.


And finally … last night’s Remarkable Theater movie was “The Sting.” In 1973, the film — starring Westport’s own Paul Newman — gave new life to Scott Joplin’s rags.

One response to “Roundup: Art About Town, Senior Center; Young Shoots Farmers, More

  1. Dick Lowenstein

    Paul’s parents were our neighbors in Greens Farms Road for many, many years. Bill, his dad, died several years ago and Irene, his mother now lives at the Watermark in Bridgeport, where she just celebrated her 99th birthday. More than just a writer, she is also an accomplished poet; here is something I copied from her Facebook page:
    ————————————
    Hi Friends—My poem “Refuge” (see below) will be featured this summer in the publisher Eban & Wien’s annual anthology “Best Poets of 2019.” Written months before the coronavirus began, it’s, alas, proved to be predictable–Irene

    REFUGE
    We are half-survivors
    Cast up upon these shores
    Twisted shards of wreckage
    Maimed and broken, addled, dazed
    Like brittle wall-eyed fish
    Abandoned here at low tide
    Or half-empty lifeless shells
    No longer mollusk homes

    But wait, in this ungiving scene
    Arise the first responders
    These nurses, aides and staffers
    Building new sandcastles
    With certainty, compassion
    With soft and caring hands
    Dedicated, educated, goal-driven
    Daily thus a new-formed world
    And this unlikely wreckage
    Turns once again to life

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