Roundup: Dunkin’ Down, Politico Zoom, Oldenburg Sculpture …

Westport is down one Dunkin’.

The donut-and-coffee spot on the Post Road at Maple Avenue North closed abruptly yesterday.

Some folks thought it’s because there will soon be a new Dunkin’ in Compo Shopping Center, near CVS.

Nope — that’s the new home for the Dunkin’ across from Fresh Market. The shopping plaza there is being renovated, prior to Westport Hardware moving in from its current digs a few yards away.

The “CVS Dunkin'” will drive more traffic to that already gruesome lot. But it’s a toss-up which is more dangerous: Compo Shopping Center, or the angled spots and snake-like exit from the smaller strip mall at the now-closed Maple Avenue store.

The closed Dunkin’.

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A COVID diagnosis has turned tonight’s 7 p.m. Westport Library discussion with John Harris into an all-virtual event.

The founder of Politico — the must-read news site — will talk with Steve Parrish, the Westport public affairs and communications expert. They’ll chat about Harris’ career, his work with Politico, and the future of politics in an increasingly polarized nation.

Click here to register for tonight’s Zoom session, and more information.

John Harris

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Bostonians love Kured. The charcuterie company has a shop in Beacon Hill, and delivers throughout the area. Now it’s opening in the Seaport District, on the Ombrello patio that includes restaurants, retail and entertainment.

Kured is the brainchild of 2016 Staples High School graduate Gilli Rozynek. She captained the field hockey team, and was a Student Ambassador, Best Buddy and SafeRides board member.

Gilli started Kured as a part of the start-up accelerator program at Boston College. She calls it “Sweetgreen or Chipotle for charcuterie.” Expansion to New York may be in the works.

Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: David Loffredo)

Gilli Rozynek, at Kured.

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The death of Claes Oldenburg — the pop artist known for his large sculptures of everyday objects — reminded Paul Lowenstein of a local connection.

For nearly 20 years, Oldenburg’s 19-foot, 10,000-pound work of a typewriter eraser surprised and entertained drivers and joggers on a staid stretch of Beachside Avenue. In 2019, the sculpture was moved to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida.

It now sits in Heyman Plaza. The site is named for Sam and Ronnie Heyman (she’s a Norton trustee) — the Greens Farms couple who donated the massive work. (Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)

“Typewriter Eraser, Scale X” — Claes Oldenburg’s sculpture on Beachside Avenue..

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Speaking of art: Local artist Sherri Wolfgang gets her star turn next month at the George Billis Gallery.

Her show opens with a reception August 4 (4 to 7 p.m., 180 Post Road East). It runs through September 3.

“Same As It Ever Was,” oil on linen (from Sherri Wolfgang’s “American Pathos” series).

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Thursday’s Jazz at the Post (7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., VFW Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue; $10 cove) features legendary bassist Harvie S., with James Weidman,
Tony Jefferson and “Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall.

Dinner service begins at 6:30. Reservations are strongly recommended: JazzatThePost@gmail.com

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Pam Kesselman is an avid beach-goer. A grossed-out one too, these days.

She writes: “Before I went for a swim. I picked up this debris. I wonder how many fish we’ve hurt with our garbage. It was disgusting!”

(Photo/Pam Kesselman)

She adds: “Everyone: Please pick up after yourselves at the beach . It can be lovely but won’t be unless everyone works at it.”

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How fierce was yesterday’s storm?

This drain at Stop & Shop could scarcely keep up with all the rain:

(Photo/Jacquie O’Brien)

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Gloria Ann Calise Franco, a member of Westport’s noted Calise family, died last week in New Canaan, surrounded by her family. She was 95.

Born in New York City, she moved with her parents Mike and Catherine Calise to Westport. Her father founded the Westport Game & Poultry Farm on the Post Road.

Following graduation from Staples High School in 1944, she attended Berkeley Secretarial School in New York.

The game farm became Calise’s Market. Her father opened a liquor store next door. A salesman caught Gloria’s eye. With some matchmaking from Gloria’s sister Susie, Gloria and Dick Franco married in 1949.

They moved to New Canaan, where they raised 11 children. She was involved in their school activities, as well as the Democratic Town Committee, UNICEE (chapter president), the New Canaan Women’s Club and Parks & Recreation Commission (board member of both), and the American School for the Dea.

She and Dick were presidents of the New Canaan Dance Club too. She was a faithful churchgoer, and well known for her 3 p.m. tea time.

Gloria was predeceased by her husband; their children Richard A. Jr. of New Canaan; Tom (Yvonne) of Ridgefield, Chris (Christie) of Monroe, New York, Anne Franco McAndrew of Kent, Tim (Marie) of Concord, Massachusetts, Mike (Mary) of New Canaan, Duffy (Megan Collins) of Norwalk, Carl of New Canaan, Claude (Val) of New Canaan, Katie Franco O’Neill (Mike) of New Canaan, and Kelley Franco Throop (Tom) of Rowayton; 16 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren, and her sister Marie Sodaro of Fairfield.

A wake will be held Thursday (July 21, 3 to 7 p.m., Hoyt Funeral Home, New Canaan). The funeral is set for Friday (July 22, 10 a.m., St. Aloysius Church). Contributions in her honor may be made to St. Catherine Center for Special Needs in Fairfield.

Gloria Calise Franco

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Most visitors to the Senior Center are a “certain age.”

Not this family. Jill Grayson spotted the young-looking parent and her children there the other day. They patiently posed for her — and for “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … on this date in 1848, the 1st US women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York.

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8 responses to “Roundup: Dunkin’ Down, Politico Zoom, Oldenburg Sculpture …

  1. Michael Johnson

    When is the New Dunkin will open?
    Michael Johnson

  2. Compo Shopping Center and the small Maple/Post Rd. strip center are NOT the most dangerous parking lots in town, despite perhaps being frustrating.

    Both can be exited via a traffic light on Post Rd. as well as onto quiet side streets.

    Far more dangerous are all the Post Rd. properties without lights and from which customers frequently make left turns, darting out across two lanes of fast traffic.

    State and local authorities have done absolutely nothing to address Post Rd. safety as traffic has multiplied and residents move in who are unfamiliar with our roads (and sometimes unfamiliar with driving, period.)

    • The “interior” parts of the lots are very dangerous. In Compo there is traffic going all directions, narrow spots and that crazy Post Road entrance. In the strip mall by Maple Avenue, there is a very narrow space behind the angled parking, and a bizarre exit lane.

      But you’re right about exiting lots without lights. Many of those lots have “no left turn” signs, which are routinely ignored.

  3. Katherine Calise

    Thank You Dan, my Aunt Gloria was a wonderful woman.

  4. Thank you, Dan!

  5. joyce hergenhan

    I loved the timely musical message at the end. Good job putting it together.

  6. If folks would simply boycott the coming Dunkin at Compo, it would close and relieve the traffic cluster f… it will create. The junk they sell is terrible for one anyhow, so improve your health, improve your access the CVS and just eschew the DD crap.

  7. Susan Hopkins

    Love your musical selections, Dan!

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