Roundup: Real Estate, Eggs, Floods, More


Just how hot was last year’s real estate market?

  • 2020 sales were up 76%, compared to 2019.
  • Average sales price versus list price is up 10%.
  • Average days on market is down 30%.
  • And the January 2021 inventory is down 45%, compared to January 2020.

That’s as crazy as GameStop. (Hat tip: Judy Michaelis)


Ally Lipton McArthur grew up here. For the past 15 years she has owned and operated Herb-n-Peach, a catering/event planning company in New York.

She and her husband moved back to the area in June. She’s expanding her business locally.

Ally’s mother (Marilynn Blotner) and sister (Stacey Lipton Schumer) own Soleil Toile, the popular lingerie/swimwear stores in Westport and New Canaan.

All 3 have pivoted their businesses during COVID. While brainstorming ways to incorporate something delicious (“the best chocolate chip cookies ever”) and wearable (lingerie), they hit upon a Valentine’s Day idea.

“Treat yourself — and share with a loved one!” they say.

Their “Valentines Share the Love Box” of sweets, love and undies includes 2 Hanky Panky (regular rise) one-sized thongs in curated Valentine colors, plus 6 scrumptious herb-n-peach chocolate chip cookies (milk chocolate, white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chip).

Click here to order online ($55) by Wednesday, February 10. Boxes will be available for pickup at Soleil Toile’s 2 locations. They can also be shipped ($12). For free local delivery, email

You can also buy at Soleil Toile on the weekend of February 13-14 (until the treats run out).

As for “sharing the love”: 10% of all sales go to Pink Aid.


For decades, the Belta family has taken care of Westporters. Their Bayberry Lane farm is a treasured, wonderful (and under-rated) source for fresh produce.

The Beltas take care of more than just humans. Yesterday — when the temperature barely nudged 20 — John Karrel saw this sign:

(Photo/John Karrel)


Saugatuck Island is a glorious place to live.

But nowhere is perfect. Residents put up with regular flooding.

The canal overflows when it rains. Occasionally it takes only a sprinkle.

Sometimes — as islanders saw yesterday, when the weather was perfectly fine all over town — all it takes is a full moon and high tide.

(Photo/Les Dinkin)


And finally … on this day in 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. It was ratified less than a year later, on December 6.

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