Roundup: “Kim’s Convenience,” David Hidalgo, Trash & Blight …

“06880” has reported several times on the progress of David Hidalgo.

He’s the very talented, always-smiling and very hard-working carpenter/ painter/jack of all trades beloved by many Westporters.

He’s battled 2 separate leukemia diagnoses with a positive attitude. But his situation is now more challenging.

After a bone marrow transplant this spring, David had complications. He was hospitalized with a fever for over 2 weeks. There’s now a blood clot in his leg, and continued nausea. He has lost 60 pounds.  

It has been a trying time for the whole family. His wife Haiying is caring for David and trying to clean houses when she can, while caring for 2 young children.

Money from an initial fundraising campaign is almost all gone. Any support that can be offered to David and his family is greatly appreciated. Click here for a GoFundMe link. Click here to help with gift cards for a meal train.

David Hidalgo with his children Santiago and Annika on Fathers Day.

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A brilliant afternoon beckoned, but a large crowd stayed inside after yesterday’s Westport Country Playhouse matinee performance of “Kim’s Convenience.”

Playwright Ins Choi chatted with WCP associate director David Kennedy about the poignant, family-affirming comedy that moved from Toronto Fringe Festival sensation to Netflix TV smash.

Choi noted the play’s genesis as a way during a time of anti-Asian hate crimes. “The proactive part was continuing to write and share stories with heart, humor, and craft so people listen, laugh, and can’t deny how similar we all are.” he said.

The show runs through Sunday (July 17.) Click here for tickets and more information. (Hat tip: Dave Matlow)

“Kim’s Convenience” playwright Ins Choi, (right) and David Kennedy, in conversation on the Westport Country Playhouse stage. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup noted the enormous amount of trash generated by this weekend’s multi-state lacrosse tournament at the Staples and Wakeman fields.

But athletes and their parents aren’t the only slobs.

This was the scene yesterday afternoon, at the Compo Beach pavilion:

(Photo/Dan Woog)

I saw it, and tried to imagine what went through the minds of whoever is (ir)responsible for this.

Did they think: “Wow! This is one of the most amazing days of the summer! It’s a perfect Sunday. The sun is shining, it’s not too hot, I’m at a beautiful beach, surrounded by so many people enjoying themselvs.

“So I think I’ll just leave my pile of garbage, instead of walking 3 steps to the trash can, so someone else can pick up after me?”

Or did they just not think at all?

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Carl Swanson spent years volunteering in Houston, helping disadvantaged people find and keep lodging. He understands their plight.

But he’s concerned about a house on Maple Avenue North, near Old Road. The siding is falling off; the garage is full of trash, and the windows are shielded by newspapers. The resident appears to be living in his van in the driveway, Carl says.

Carl notes that the situation has gone on for quite a while. He worries that the home is both an eyesore and a health hazard. He hopes town officials can remedy the situation — and help the owner.

Maple Avenue North house. (Photo/Carl A. Swanson)

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Some exciting news for Westport baseball!

Defending state champion Westport beat Fairfield National yesterday 9-3, to win the district 2 championship.

The sectional tournament begins Thursday.

Congratulations to players Dylan Burdeshaw, Miles Delorier, Henry Ellis, Justin Goldshore, Wyatt Johnson, Christopher Lambert, Chase Landgraf, Jack McGrath, Luke Moneyhon, Torrey Rossetter, Toby Slavin, Grant Theisinger and Nolan Walters, manager Justin Walters and coaches Marc Theisinger and Jon Ellis.

District champs!

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Beechwood — the intimate, innovative and immersive arts salon on Weston Road — is postponing its 11th “Beechwood Open,” scheduled for July 31. The namesake Beechwood House, built in 1806, is undergoing extensive repairs.

It’s now combined with the very fun “Secrets of Beechwood” Scavenger Hunt (September 18, 2 p.m.).

e have hosted The Beechwood Open every year since we started. One of our most popular events, it is outdoors under the Copper Beech and full of unexpected art, music and community and is often the event that introduces new people to Beechwood. Last year’s Beechwood Open was a record-breaker for attendance.

Beechwood House, with a magnificent copper beech tree, was built in 1806.

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Fred Cantor moved to Westport from Queens, when he was in elementary school.

In all the years since, he’d never seen a New York City yellow cab at Compo Beach.

Until yesterday.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

Fred notes: “That must be one expensive fare. But Compo is worth it, right?”

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The Beardsley Zoo is 100 years old!

The Bridgeport institution’s centennial celebration is set for this fall. It will be big — and it’s got some key Westport connections.

The event is October 29, at the Inn at Longshore. It’s c0-chaired by Westporter Claudette Kunkes. She’s on the board of directors for the Connecticut Zoological Society, which oversees the non-profit zoo.

For more information, including tickets and sponsorships, click here, or email jtaylor@beardsleyzoo.org.

Claudette Kunkes

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Seen at the Kitchen Dwellers’ Levitt Pavilion show last week:

(Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

Yo, dude: We’re tryin’.

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One more note on tonight’s “Caddyshack” showing (Remarkable Drive-In, Imperial Avenue parking lot, 7:30 p.m. gates open, 8:30 film).

Movie-goers are invited to wear their “wildest Caddyshack-inspired” costumes Prizes donated by ASF will be awarded before the film begins.

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Everyone sees something different in today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, taken of Long Island Sound.

Photographer Roseann Spengler wonders: “Who mows the grass?”

(Photo/Roseann Spengler)

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And finally … in honor of the Beardsley Zoo’s 100th anniversary:

(“06880” relies on reader support. Please click here to contribute!)

39 responses to “Roundup: “Kim’s Convenience,” David Hidalgo, Trash & Blight …

  1. There were three houses on North Maple Ave. that were basically the same. I remember Diane Pepper lived in one of them. The one closest to Old Rd always seemed more in need of ‘repair.’ I guess these three haven’t been turned into Mega Mansions yet?

  2. Carl A. Swanson '66

    The house in question at 22 Maple North Avenue has been in disrepair for more than a decade. Each time there has been a complaint, the Blight Protection Commission gives the homeowner a free pass and/or even gave him free paint to restore the exterior. But the house is falling apart, four disabled cars sit in the driveway, windows are covered by newspaper and the garage is full to the brim of trash. All such constitute violations of the Blight Protection Commission ordinance mandates and create not only a health hazard to the occupants but a fire hazard to neighbors. I am not without compassion for the homeowner but the aforementioned are certain signs of mental illness. A formal complaint has been sent to the Commission who have 30 days to inspect and attempt to remedy. That said, considering their failure to act in the past, the courts may be a final resort. Considering the affluence of this town and its overachievers, I wonder who is running the show?

  3. Melissa Diamond

    I ride by the Maple Avenue home almost daily and have
    wondered for years why it continues to remain in this
    condition. I hope something will finally be done by the town
    that will help the owner, as well as the neighborhood!

  4. Quite incredible to me that David’s go fund me has struggled to get 20k while joyrides got 100k plus in a tenth of the time !
    Westporters get your priorities right….
    It’s a joke !

    • Come on, Ciara, lighten up. David’s previous fundraiser raised (I think) well over its $50,000 goal. This is a second one.

      It’s not a contest. Different needs, different asks. There’s room for all.

  5. The home owner on maple is just that. The homeowner…
    I’d rather suffer tgat house than the monster vile monstrosity tgat will inevitably replace it.
    Perhaps we should remember. It is not our house. And I drive maple every single day to pick up my kids from the hunt club and it’s not caught my attention…
    Maybe the owner should do a go fund me and like joyride get 100k in donations for zero reason…. 🤔🙄

    • Carl A. Swanson '66

      Yes, he is a homeowner and as in every town across America, homeowners have responsibilities to maintain their residence especially if it might endanger others. That is why we have zoning and/or deed restrictions as well as strict ordinances.

  6. Why are we surprised about people leaving trash?
    You ran an article after the fireworks praising the work done by Parks and Rec to clean up the beach after fireworks – admirable that they work so diligently – disgusting that they have to at all.
    Every piece of garbage they picked up was brought to the beach by someone – the same someone who is too damn lazy and entitled to take it home with them.
    So no wonder leaving trash on a table is a thing – after all we have Parks and Rec as our servants to clean up after us.

  7. Ciara Webster

    Nah ! Sorry Dan ! There was never room for a joyride fundraiser !
    Fundraisers on go fund me have until late been for important life changing events !
    Deaths, sickness, tragedies, medical bills, funerals, orphaned children, rebuilding churches… sorry Dan.. go fund me fund raisers for the likes of joyride are shameful ! Disgraceful !
    I believe I speak for many many people and will tell you I’d never donate a penny to a joyride fundraiser nor should anyone.
    Sell more classes to raise money !
    Not beg for it on go fund me.

    • You’re opening a restaurant on Main Street. Are you a member of the Westport Downtown Association? If so, what did you think of their appeal to the public to donate funds to pay for the music on Church Lane?

  8. Carl A. Swanson '66

    Ms. Webster seems to suffer from the Trumpian philosophy of ME, ME & ME. Yet, couldn’t resist telling us she takes her kids to the Hunt Club, and is too busy to notice a rat’s nest on North Maple. Cancel my dinner reservation.

  9. Ciara Webster

    I’m not a member of the down town association ! And I thought that begging fund me a disgrace !
    I did not donate and I am not joining !
    I have standards ! And I am not a Republican !

    • I’m just curious: Why will you not join an organization that works to benefit downtown — including the street your restaurant will be on?

  10. Ciara Webster

    My kids go to the hunt club and they ride horses ! It was not said out of boasting tho clearly you are bitter over it ! That is your issue ! I’m not apologizing for it ! Don’t be a hater ! And as for cancel reservations…. Who cares !

    I’m not too busy to see a house in disrepair but I think it’s NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS ! Get over it !
    It’s not your house !

    Dying laughing over this bullshit !
    Grow up

  11. Ciara Webster

    Because Dan if you speak to many retailers in town… they are not happy with the organization and feel it has not been beneficial…. It is run by landlords not merchants !!

  12. Carl A. Swanson '66

    A good friend, aged 88, lives 2 doors down from the house on North Maple Avenue. She is in constant alarm. So I am making it my business, Ms.Webster with or without your pretentious and nonsensical blabber.

    • Hannah Whidden

      Carl, every single one of your comments are the epitome of pretentious. Out of empathy, she is suggesting you leave this poor man alone and mind your own business. You claim to want the house taken down because it’s dangerous, but it seems more like it doesn’t fit what you view as aesthetic or what a house in an affluent neighborhood should look like. Gross. Also, the trump “ME, ME, ME” comment seems much more fitting to describe yourself and YOUR priorities. She mentioned driving to the hunt club for context when describing passing that house everyday and not being remotely bothered. It’s telling of how pretentious YOU are that you assumed she was bragging. People like you make me embarrassed to live in this town.

      • Carl A. Swanson '66

        I never suggested the house be torn down. I listed the home’s violations and have filed a complaint with the Blight Commission on such. Your suppositions on my character are completely groundless.

      • Carl pretentious? LOL. Did you not read Dan’s article? Carl worked tirelessly at the Urban League in Houston for five years giving pro bono legal advice to the homeless and disadvantaged. He still counsels post-911 VETS out of the West Haven VA.

  13. Ciara Webster

    My pretentious and nonsensical blabber ? Congratulations… you can write in English !
    Please Carl ! Don’t come to my restaurant ! You will not be welcome !
    And mind your own business about matters that are none of your business !
    I’m sure this home owner has owned this house for countless years… he possibly used pay 800 a year in taxes…. As more max mansions have gone up on that street I bet his taxes have gone up….. he may have retired as many did at 60 and have no family….
    So to add insult to injury he possibly was a tax payer with no children using to schools yet he was paying for them !
    Let’s not forget a major reason to live here is the schools !
    Now you cranks want to tear down his house ! HIS house !
    Wtf is wrong with you !
    It’s not a danger to anyone !
    That’s bs !
    In my first response I mentioned I drive maple everyday( which I do) to drop my kids to the hunt club !
    I didn’t mention til my response to your clear chip on your damn shoulder that it wasn’t for volunteering to clean up horse poop ! Or weed their garden ! No ! You jumped to the conclusion that I was being a trump asshole…
    But yes my kids ride there. And good for me ! An even bigger tax payer than I already was… incidentally my kids go to greens farms academy… so you are welcome for taking 4 kids off the Westport tax roll…. My pleasure !!!!! Btw !
    Not that, it’s any of your damn business !
    But yeah I drive by the hunt club in my car every single day for the last 10 years …. And no I’ve never noticed that house ! Or if I did not to the extent I thought it a health hazard…
    But nosy people like you create a shit show for older residents who possibly don’t have the means any longer to keep up their houses as they once did…
    You should be ashamed of yourself !
    Dispicable

    • I don’t have a “dog in this fight” but I think everybody needs to calm down and be civil.

  14. Carl A. Swanson '66

    If you have never noticed it before, how do you know the house is not dangerous? Did you read my list of violations and/or the mandates of the Blight Protection Commission ordinance? I am the neighbor’s attorney and friend and proud of the town I live and grew up in.

  15. Ciara Webster

    If you are an attorney then I’m horrified !
    And frankly I don’t care about the list of violations… leave the man alone…. Who are you to say how ppl should live… ashamed you are a fellow westporter !

  16. Keep Westport Weird

  17. Carole Bernstein and Neil Herbsman

    Nomad restaurant off the list!

  18. Blatant overuse of an exclamation point. Period.

  19. Wow!

  20. Carole Bernstein and Neil Herbsman

    Hmmm. I counted an excessive amount of exclamation points in Ms. Webster’s numerous comments.

  21. Neil, what shall we do this evening? Carole, after we complete our crossword let’s peruse 06880 and count exclamation points! Such a lovely evening.

  22. I know nothing about gofundme or joyride, but I have lived on Maple Avenue North for over 20 years. The house in question has been in disrepair for as long as I can remember. A few years ago they started mowing the lawn semi-regularly. Probably in response to the town contacting them about it. There have been old, immobile cars sitting in the driveway for years, sometimes covered with tarps, sometimes not.

    I don’t believe anyone is advocating to tear the house down or take it away from the owner but we do have blight ordinances in Westport and if we have them, they should be enforced. It’s not just an aesthetic issue, it’s also and more importantly, a matter of health and safety not just for the occupant(s) of the house but the surrounding neighbors. Those kind of conditions attract all kinds of vermin that infest neighbor’s yards as well. If the owner has the ability to better take care of his property then he should be made to do that, if he can’t, then steps should be taken to provide him the assistance he needs to either do that or to get whatever other help they may need. Either way it is a situation that needs to be addressed for everybody’s benefit.

  23. Carl Addison Swanson, '66

    As noted above, a formal complaint has been filed with the chairman of the Blight Protection Commission, as of July 12th. Per the town ordinances, they have thirty (30) to inspect the premises and make a recommendation to their board members (appointed by the First Selectwoman) to rectify the issues outlined in my initial comment on this thread. In the past, they have tried to “band aid” the situation by providing a dumpster and/or cans of paint for the exterior of the house. Obviously, this has done little. A copy of the complaint was also filed with the Fire Marshall. The garage is full of newspapers and is most certainly, a fire hazard. I am going to give them to Labor Day to do something and if not, file a petition with the courts. Thanks Nick for reinforcing my initial argument which was misconstrued as some kind of evil condemnation of an ordinary homeowner and/or tear down the house. But, as you note, this has gone on for far too long and the town needs to step up and make it a safe homestead for the occupants and neighbors. That is the law.

  24. Hilarious. The reverse snobbery here. Honestly the nerve of you.
    It’s his house. And where I drop my kids is my business. Sorry my wealth pisses you off.
    Mind your own business. You are absolutely trying to get his house condemned. Get a hobby. Do something useful, instead of ranting at people with a different opinion. Typical leftists. Is it any wonder although I didn’t, that people supported trump.
    As for the threat to not come to my restaurant.
    Feel free. Westport has plenty amazing restaurants . There’s no reason for you to come to mine. We will be inundated I have no doubt. Hahaha. I’m not in need of soliciting for business. Nor do I care for business with attitudes such as yours. Rye ridge deli, is fabulous. I’ve been eating there for 3 years.
    Spotted horse an institution. Fantastic and vibrant. Live music, and great food.
    Hudson Malone. Incredible. All the above. And all in the neighborhood.
    There’s no reason for anyone to frequent my restaurant with all those wonderful establishments in the immediate vicinity.
    I won’t be remotely offended.

  25. Carl Addison Swanson, '66

    I don’t know what you find so funny about a home which is a threat to not only the dweller but also to their neighbors. As Nick Blaike noted this has been going on for near 20 years. At the request of an 88 year old friend, I will proceed with the proper legal avenue for redress. Don’t you abide by town mandates in regard to your restaurant? I have been associated with this town since 1952 so please spare me your self-absorption with your wealth, Hunt Club membership and seemingly, your first attempt as a restaurateur. I have seen so many of your ilk come and go. As for me, go to http://www.carladdisonswanson.com and see why I have little time for hobbies.

  26. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Somebody’s got to have the last word. But not my old buddy CAS. Let it be me. Puhleeeze!!!

  27. Carl Addison Swanson, '66

    I hope life is good for you Buck.

  28. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Just entered my 7th decade CAS but I’ll never catch up with you. Glad to see you’re still tilting the windmills don Quixote!!!!

    • Carl Addison Swanson, '66

      Good DNA here . . . hope you never catch me although back to running so? Come visit us for Christmas in Bermuda. Catherine Zeta will be there along with Mikey.

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