Author Archives: Dan Woog

Photo Challenge #122

Maybe it was the great spring weather. Maybe the photo challenge was too hard. Maybe my cropping of the image threw everyone off.

Whatever the reason, only 3 readers responded to last week’s shot. The good news is all 3 — Andrew Colabella, Joelle Malec and Brandon Malin — got it right.

The photo showed the bottom part of the Levitt Pavilion — everything below the stage. I took it from inside the Westport Arts Center, across the Saugatuck River.

Joelle even knew that the path beneath the pavilion is called the Jeff Shoup Walkway.

Click here to see the shot that either stumped most readers, or that no one cared about.

I think more readers will click “Comments” to identify this week’s challenge.

Then again, what do I know?

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Rally ‘Round The EVs

Can you feel the electricity?

Westport already boasts 19 electric car public charging stations. You’ll find them at places like the train stations, library, Town Hall and Staples High School. Many are solar-powered.

Now — as the Westport Electric Car Club plans its 5th annual Electric Car Rally — it’s gearing up for a new addition: electric bicycles.

In addition to the usual 35-40 mile event for Teslas, Chevy Volts and Bolts and the rest, this year’s rally — set for next Sunday (May 7), has a separate course for bike riders.

You don’t even need to own one. Several are available for a $25 rental fee (call Pedego Electric Bikes at 203-354-9333 to reserve one).

The rally starts and finishes at the Westport train station New Haven side (near both charging stations and Donut Crazy). Registration, driver instructions and a continental breakfast are at 10 a.m.; the rally starts at 11 and ends at 1 p.m. There’s a $50 entry fee for both cars and bikes.

Robin Tauck (center) lent selectmen Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner (left) her 2 electric vehicles at an earlier Electric Car rally. Kaner liked driving it so much, he bought this Tesla. On the right is Westport Electric Car Club president Leo Cirino.

The rally course winds through the back roads of Fairfield County. Though the course is secret until registration, it includes a pit stop at the Wilton Green, for that town’s Go Green Festival.

Bikes have a separate, shorter course.

Spectators are invited to view EVs before or after the rally. Test drives are available afterward.

Charge!

(For more information, click here. For a registration form, click here. Questions? Email WestportElectricCarClub@gmail.com)

Pic Of The Day #13

Joey’s by the Shore, at night. (Photo copyright Lynn U. Miller)

“A Tribute To Pamela”: Local Benefit Show With Wide Impact

Jim Naughton is a pro.

Whether winning Tonys on Broadway, raves for roles in films like “The Paper Chase” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” or plaudits for directing plays like “Our Town,” the longtime Weston resident does things the right way.

Pam Naughton

After his wife Pamela died in 2013 of pancreatic cancer, he dedicated himself to raising funds to fight the disease. He has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for a very important clinical trial — and on Sunday, May 7 he’s set to raise more.

He’s doing it with a very professional — and extremely entertaining — benefit show.

“A Tribute to Pamela” brings his family together on the Westport Country Playhouse stage. Naughton will be joined by his son Greg, a producer, actor, singer/songwriter and founding member of the Sweet Remains; his daughter Keira Naughton Forgash, a Broadway and TV actress, and Greg’s wife Kelli O’Hara Naughton, Tony-winning actress and Broadway star in “The King and I,” “South Pacific” and “Light in the Piazza.”

The songs and celebration will support research aimed at early detection of pancreatic cancer. It’s led by Westporter Dr. Richard Frank, of the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.

Newman’s Own Foundation is a lead sponsor of the May 7 event.

So it’s a very local, one-night show. But its impact could be global — and everlasting.

(Click here for tickets. For more information, call 203-839-7354.)

Tyler Hicks: Finding The Truth

The New York Times‘ “Truth” ad campaign — launched during the Oscars — is unusual.

A variety of spots, in an array of mediums, hammer home one theme: “The truth is hard to find.”

One of the most compelling is a quick video series of photographs. Desperate immigrants, piled on rafts, seek safety and freedom.

A man’s voice says: “I see fear. I see desperation. But I also see hope.”

He continues: “I feel it’s important to take photographs that will make a difference.”

At the end, he says: “I’m Tyler Hicks. Photojournalist for the New York Times.

Hicks is a 1988 graduate of Staples High School. He’s won 3 Pulitzer Prizes. He’s documented wars, tragedies and a few triumphs all over the globe, from Afghanistan to Albania, Kosovo to Kenya.

He — and fellow Pulitzer-winning/Times photojournalist/Staples grad Lynsey Addario — were abducted in Libya, and spent 6 harrowing days in captivity.

In 2012 Hicks was in Syria, when Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid died of an asthma attack. Hicks helped carry his body across the border to Turkey.

The truth is indeed hard to find. Somehow, Tyler Hicks brings it closer to us all.

(Hat tip: Jim Honeycutt)

Tyler Hicks

Check Out This New Library “Seeding”

Of course, you can check out books at the Westport Library.

And — though purists once shuddered at the thought — you can also borrow CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

In fact — just like Alice’s Restaurant — you can get almost anything you want at our library.

Including seeds.

Two years ago, the Westport Library began offering organic seeds. Folks loved it.

Seeds are stored in an old Westport Library card catalog, near the reference section.

Now, the Westport Farmers’ Market has donated over 75 packets of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds to the Westport Grows Seed Exchange and Library. (“Borrowers” are encouraged to donate back to the program.)

The heirloom seeds — saved for generations by local farmers and gardeners — add to a collection that already included organic seeds from noted growers like High Mowing and Baker’s Creek.

The donation comes after the Farmers’ Market launched its own seed-saving program in February. The response was overwhelming. With thousands of seeds left, it was an easy decision to give them to the library — the market’s neighbor, across the Imperial Avenue footbridge.

Gardeners, farmers, homesteaders, chefs — and everyone else — is invited to stop by the library.

Browse a catalog at the entrance to the reference section.

Then “check out” — literally — a stunning variety of open-pollinated, heirloom or organic species of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

(For more information click here, or email director@westportfarmersmarket.com)

 

Pic Of The Day #12

Saugatuck Shores (Photo/Nancy Greenspan Wilson)

Al Fresco Aux Delices

éAux Délices chose the right day to open.

Early this gorgeous spring afternoon, every outdoor table was taken. The Church Lane specialty food store/salad shop/coffee spot looked like it had been there for years.

Friday Flashback #37

Saugatuck is in the news a lot.

Consultants are devising a “Transit Oriented District” plan, to redevelop the area around the train station. There’s talk of dredging the Saugatuck River. And of course the Cribari (aka Bridge Street) Bridge is very much in play.

Which makes this the perfect time to look at “timeless Saugatuck.”

Peter Barlow’s view of Franklin Street — heading toward Saugatuck Avenue — was taken from the brand-new Connecticut Turnpike (now I-95) overpass in 1958.

But — except for the cars — it could almost have been taken any time in the 60 years since then.

Hey. I said “almost.”

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Peter Barlow)

Aux Delices Now Aux-pen

In one of the fastest turnarounds in coffee shop/baked goods/prepared foods history, Aux Delices opened today on Church Lane.

The small chain’s 2nd Westport location is the former site of Sono Baking Company. That store closed just 2 weeks ago.

Westporters always like checking out new places. There’s an extra incentive today: Free coffee until closing (4 p.m.).