Category Archives: Arts

From Wall Street To Westport: Eric Chiang’s Arts Journey

When Eric Chiang moved to Westport in 1993, he lived across the street from the legendary illustrator Howard Munce.

Growing up in Taiwan, Chiang had loved art. But he didn’t know anyone who made a career of it. So he went to New York University, majored in computer science and math, earned a master’s, and got a “normal job” as a programmer and financial modeler at Goldman Sachs.

Watching Munce — then in his 80s — create sculptures outside, even in winter, intrigued Chiang. He watched with added interest as Leonard Everett Fisher — another iconic artist — came to visit Munce.

Chiang realized that Westport’s arts legacy lived on, in the spirit of real, working artists.

Around 1997, he carved out half an hour or so every night to create art. He had no formal training. He did not have an actual studio either — just a small easel in a corner of his living room.

But after nearly a decade, he’d accumulated plenty of works. He had ideas for many more.

Chiang wanted no regrets. He decided to leave Wall Street. His wife gave her blessing.

In 2007, Chiang became a full-time artist. His painted realistic objects, arranged surrealistically.

“The Year 2020, No. 2” — oil on canvas.

In the past few years he’s moved into less precise landscapes. His works are big, and tied to his love of nature.

For example, he says, he always wondered what would happen if the earth wrote a story about itself.

To keep his hands off the work — he wanted the art to be as primordial as possible — Chiang sprayed paint to represent rain, storms and the erosive process at work. To mimic gravity, he tilted the canvas.

The resulting “Land Scripts” series of more than a dozen paintings is 50 feet wide.

Eric Chiang with his “Land Scripts XIII.”

Chiang applied the same technique to “Water Scripts,” a series of 12-foot high waves and waterfalls.

“Water Scripts I” — oil on canvas.

Another work fills a large space at Coleytown Middle School. When Westport Permanent Arts Collections officials realized they had nothing suitable to hang near a staircase and skylight in the newly renovated school, they asked Chiang to help.

He presented 5 options. Students chose an intriguing work called “Are We Born Connected?,” which included guitars.

“Are We Born Connected?” (Eric Chiang, acrylic on canvas)

When that was selected for an exhibit at the Housatonic Museum of Art, the second choice — a 16-foot, 4-panel “History of Civilization” — took its place.

“A History of Civilizations,” at Coleytown Middle School.

Not all of the artist’s creations are enormous. His most recent work — “Westport: A Perspective From Early Days” — is one of 5 murals unveiled this month at the Main Street entrance to Bedford Square. His depicts the earliest days of our town.

Chiang explains:

This mural brings us into an imaginary world back in the early days of Westport, when the Paugussett Indians occupied the area with a farming and fishing culture. Then the European traders came to transact with the indigenous tribes, just to be followed by the English colonists, who built towns, church, and farms.

From there, someone in the painting invited us to peek into the future – Let’s go over the bridge and see a bigger town and a much greater nation in the making.

“Westport: A Perspective From Early Days”

Inspired by Howard Munce and Leonard Everett Fisher — and his own career change — Chiang is a firm believer in the importance of arts to Westport.

“It’s less about the exhibits and displays, than the spirit of the people,” he says. “And it’s not just visual artists. It’s musicians, dancers and writers. Their activities make the whole town artistic.”

In Taiwan, Chiang had no role models. In his first years as an artist here, he worked alone. But when the Westport Artists Collective began in 2014, he was an avid founding member.

He is eager to keep passing Westport arts’ “spirit and culture” on to future generations.

Meanwhile, visitors to Bedford Square — and hundreds of students at Coleytown — are enjoying Eric Chiang’s work.

A long way from Taiwan — and Goldman Sachs — he enjoys creating it too.

(To see more art at Eric Chiang’s website, click here. Hat tip: Kris Szabo.)

Roundup: Tyler Hicks, Amy Kaplan, Oaktober …

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Today’s arresting New York Times Magazine cover photograph is by Pulitzer Prize winning (and 1988 Staples High School graduate Tyler Hicks.

The Contributors’ page explains that the photography for the story — on sharks and Cape Cod — was shot over the course of 3 months. Luckily, it says, both Hicks and the author “are men of the ocean and have plenty of boating experience. They were still at the mercy of nature, with the weather and an unpredictable predator to cover.  But they also had technology to deal with. Drone batteries run out very quickly.” (Hat tip: John Karrel)

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Say goodbye to Amy Kaplan today 🙁

The noted artist is relocating to Florida, for her husband’s job. Her current Newtown Roux Gallery show, “Dreamweaves,” closes Tuesday.

Today, she hosts a reception there (14 Elm Street, 2nd floor, 3 to 5 p.m.). Share a glass of bubbly, and thank her for all she’s done for our artistic community.

One of the works in Amy Kaplan’s current show.

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Rowene Weems attended yesterday’s OAKtober/Halloween celebration on Jesup Green. She reports: “Lots of costumes, young and old. Earthplace brought a snake and a bat. There were 50 pumpkins to decorate. We got an oak tree too!”

The event was sponsored by Westport Book Shop, Earthplace and the Westport Tree Board.

Enjoying an OAKtober snake. (Photo/Rowene Weems)

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It’s bad enough when traffic for the Starbucks drive-thru backs up on the Post Road, coming from the west (downtown).

But yesterday, this very entitled driver coming from the other direction decided his (or her) Trenti iced coffee, 12 pumps [sugar-free] vanilla, 12 pumps [sugar-free] hazelnut, 12 pumps [sugar-free] caramel, 5 pumps skinny mocha, a splash of soy, coffee to the star on the siren’s head, ice, double-blended drink could not wait.

Hey … why park and go inside, when I can block one lane of traffic on Westport’s main thoroughfare, right? I’m thirsty!

(Dashcam photo/JM Weisz)

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The Post is a new home design and gift shop, across from Stop & Shop.

They say, “Inspired by the confluence of worlds we inhabit, The Post offers a sophisticated take on city, country and coastal vibes.”

They host an open house November 4 through 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. All holiday items will be 20% off.

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Spectacular “Westport … Naturally” scenes abound throughout Westport — even downtown. “06880” photographer JC Martin knows exactly where to look.

(Photo/JC Martin)

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And finally … today in 1931, the George Washington Bridge officially opened. What better way to salute it than by a song by this group …

… and this singer:

 

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 82 Gallery

Happy Halloween!

That’s one ghoulish submission to this week’s art gallery. We also welcome first-time contributor Gail Benson.

Whatever your age and level of experience — professional or amateur, young or old — this feature is open to everyone.

All genres and styles are encouraged too. Watercolors, oils, charcoal, pen-and-ink, acrylics, lithographs, macramé, jewelry, sculpture, decoupage (and now needlepoint) — whatever you’ve got, email it to dwoog@optonline.net. Share your work with the world!

“Night Train with Reaper” (Brian Whelan)

“Some Things are Worth Repeating” (Ellin Spadone)

“A Stitch in Time” (Karen Weingarten)

Untitled (Gail Benson)

 

Roundup: Halloween, Holiday Trees, Movies …

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Once upon a time, trick-or-treaters (yes, there was a “trick” part besides the “treat”) soaped up windows.

Now they paint them.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s annual Halloween Window Painting Contest takes place this Saturday (October 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

A record number of kids (105) will paint 65 different windows, all around town. They’re vying to win in 3 categories (Scariest, Most Original, and Best Halloween Themed) in 3 divisions (Elementary, Middle and High School). Victors earn rewards, and $25 gift cards from Cold Fusion.

Windows of retailers, offices, the Library and Senior Center answered the call, ensuring that every child who signed up has a window to paint. They’ll work on their own or in teams.

Windows will remain painted through Halloween, so residents can enjoy the artistry. For more information,  click here.

Halloween painting, 2013.

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Also downtown: The Westport Downtown Association hopes Westporters can help them make this holiday season special. They’re installing a dozen colorful tees throughout the area. Each will be decorated by professional designers, and will be themed to a different local non-profit. The aim is to support their missions during the season of giving.

The WDA seeks donations to help cover the cost of the trees, lights and decorations. Click here for the GoFundMe page, to help reach the $10,000 goal.

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Usually, the only tents at Sherwood Island are on the sand.

Yesterday, visitors saw a ginormous tent, in the parking area. There were a couple dozen tractor-trailer dressing and production rooms too.

It was part of a movie being filmed there. Donald Sutherland and Jaeden Martell star in “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” an adaptation of a Stephen King short story.

Despite all the activity, no one spotted the main actors.

(Photo and hat tip: Werner Liepolt)

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Speaking of cinema: The Remarkable Theater ends its second remarkable drive-in season with films that celebrate Halloween and Election Day (plus one classic music movie).

  • “Pink Floyd: The Wall” (Saturday, October 23, 6:30 p.m.)
  • “Hotel Transylvania” (Sunday, October 24, 6 p.m.)
  • “Corpse Bride” (Monday, October 25, 6:30 p.m.)
  • “The Candidate” (Tuesday, October 26, 6:30 p.m.)
  • “Beetlejuice” (Friday, October 29, 6:30 p.m.)
  • “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Saturday, October 30, 8:30 p.m.).

Click here for tickets and more information.

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Speaking still of movies: After a great opening night, the Westport Library’s Short Cuts Film Festival continues Thursday, November 4 (7 p.m.), with 5 short films curated from the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The lineup includes narrative and animated films.

Six Nights follows a restaurant dishwasher facing a dilemma; in The Angler, things are not always what they seem; a baby owl struggles in the animated Try to Fly; challenges face a Syrian immigrant in No Longer Suitable for Use; and 3 young children seek a boyfriend for their bus driver in Cupids.

Cupid director and humanitarian aid worker Zoey Martinson will be an in-person guest in the Forum for a discussion after the screenings. At-home viewers can access the talkback via Zoom, and ask questions as well.

An all-documentary program follows on November 18.

All films will be screened on the Forum’s large, hi-def screen.

To buy tickets for November 4, click here. For November 18, click here.

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Coming soon at Wakeman Town Farm:

“Bicycling with Butterflies” (November 1, 6:30 p.m., Zoom). On behalf of Westport’s Pollinator Pathway, and in honor of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos — the day the monarchs traditionally return to their winter sanctuary in Michoacán — Sara Dykman talks about her solo experience biking the 10,000-mile Monarch Butterfly Migration  . Click here for more information.

“Don’t Blow It! A Panel Discussion About Leaf Blowers” (November 8, 7 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm). Clear the air about the impact of gas leaf blowers on our bodies and the environment – including the gas leaf blower ordinance being presented to the RTM Click here for more information.

“Holiday Wreath Making” (November 15, 6:30 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm). Chyrse Terill and Ellen Goldman will show how to create wonderful Thanksgiving wreaths, with materials collected from WTF. At the end of the class, take home your work. Click here for more information.

Monarch butterfly in Westport. (Photo/Tammy Barry)

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Compo Cove was frothy yesterday.

“Wash day?” wonders Les Dinkin.

(Photo/Les Dinkin)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo combines a special local custom (dogs at the beach) with an iconic site (Compo cannons). The result:

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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And finally … on this date in 1934, FBI agents in East Liverpool, Ohio shot and killed Pretty Boy Floyd.

Woody Guthrie noted the generous side of the notorious Depression-era bank robber:

Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
I’ve seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won’t never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

Roundup: UN, Paul Lane Field, Mushrooms …

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The UN is 76 years young.

To mark the occasion, Westport’s International Hospitality Committee and the UN Association of Southwestern Connecticut are hosting a ceremony on the Town Hall front steps. It’s set for next Monday (October 25, 3:30 p.m.).

UNASWCT president and International Hospitality Committee member Bill Hass will read a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Aye Aye Thant — a Westport resident, and daughter of former UN Secretary-General U Thant — is the guest speaker.

Flags of UN countries will fly on the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge.

For more information, call Bill Hass (203-454-7685).

Happy UN Day! (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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Paul Lane Field — the new name for Staples High School’s football stadium — will be dedicated officially on Friday, November 12.

A host of former players will be on hand, including Matt MacVane, Bill During, John Bolger, Buzz Leavitt and Lance Lonergan, as well as relatives of the longtime Wrecker coach. Festivities include a tailgate in the north parking lot before the 7 p.m. kickoff against Ridgefield High, and a halftime ceremony.

The original date for the dedication was this Friday (October 22). Instead, that’s Homecoming.

There’s plenty of action in what’s known — now and forever — as Paul Lane Field.

Paul Lane (center) flanked by his sons Peter (left) and Skip. Both played for him.

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It was a tough call. But MoCA Westport canceled this fall’s in-person fundraiser due to COVID concerns.

Of course, like any museum they still need support. They’ve pivoted to an online auction., to help with exhibitions and music, community events and outreach to the underserved.

The auction features over 50 items, including original artwork (like art by Devon Troy Strother and a Joel Sternfeld photo from the 1980s), one-of-a kind experiences (an NBA VIP draft experience), and curated products from local businesses (Stephen Kempson London, Stacy Bass Photography, JL Rocks, Pure Barre and Imperial Dental Associates, among others).

The auction begins November 1, and ends November 15. To pre-register, click here. For more information, click here.

MoCA Westport’s Newtown Avenue building is unique. Its online auction is special too.

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Speaking of artistry: The Flower Basket is more than just fantastic floral arrangements.

This Sunday (October 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 995 Post Road East), the wonderful shop near Stiles Market hosts an exhibit of abstract and contemporary art by Romeo. Flower and art lovers are invited.

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TAP is dedicated toward fitness and preventive care in all forms.

Including mushrooms.

On Tuesday (October 26, 7 p.m., 180 Post Road East) they host author Adam Fiore. He’s the author of a recent Newsweek cover story on clinical trials using psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat depression. He’ll talk about neuroscience, research and stories shared by patients.

To register and for more information, email Nancy@tapstrength.com.

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Wasps — or at least, a paper wasp nest — makes an initial appearance in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Patricia Carey spotted it. She writes: “I think it’s really pretty (especially since there was no wasp activity!).”

(Photo/Patricia Carey)

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And finally … in honor of TAP Strength Lab’s upcoming event (see above):

 

Roundup: UN, Paul Lane Field, Mushrooms …

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The UN is 76 years young.

To mark the occasion, Westport’s International Hospitality Committee and the UN Association of Southwestern Connecticut are hosting a ceremony on the Town Hall front steps. It’s set for next Monday (October 25, 3:30 p.m.).

UNASWCT president and International Hospitality Committee member Bill Hass will read a message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Aye Aye Thant — a Westport resident, and daughter of former UN Secretary-General U Thant — is the guest speaker.

Flags of UN countries will fly on the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge.

For more information, call Bill Hass (203-454-7685).

Happy UN Day! (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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Paul Lane Field — the new name for Staples High School’s football stadium — will be dedicated officially on Friday, November 12.

A host of former players will be on hand, including Matt MacVane, Bill During, John Bolger, Buzz Leavitt and Lance Lonergan, as well as relatives of the longtime Wrecker coach. Festivities include a tailgate in the north parking lot before the 7 p.m. kickoff against Ridgefield High, and a halftime ceremony.

The original date for the dedication was this Friday (October 22). Instead, that’s Homecoming.

There’s plenty of action in what’s known — now and forever — as Paul Lane Field.

Paul Lane (center) flanked by his sons Peter (left) and Skip. Both played for him.

=======================================================

It was a tough call. But MoCA Westport canceled this fall’s in-person fundraiser due to COVID concerns.

Of course, like any museum they still need support. They’ve pivoted to an online auction., to help with exhibitions and music, community events and outreach to the underserved.

The auction features over 50 items, including original artwork (like art by Devon Troy Strother and a Joel Sternfeld photo from the 1980s), one-of-a kind experiences (an NBA VIP draft experience), and curated products from local businesses (Stephen Kempson London, Stacy Bass Photography, JL Rocks, Pure Barre and Imperial Dental Associates, among others).

The auction begins November 1, and ends November 15. To pre-register, click here. For more information, click here.

MoCA Westport’s Newtown Avenue building is unique. Its online auction is special too.

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Speaking of artistry: The Flower Basket is more than just fantastic floral arrangements.

This Sunday (October 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 995 Post Road East), the wonderful shop near Stiles Market hosts an exhibit of abstract and contemporary art by Romeo. Flower and art lovers are invited.

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TAP is dedicated toward fitness and preventive care in all forms.

Including mushrooms.

On Tuesday (October 26, 7 p.m., 180 Post Road East) they host author Adam Piore. He’s the author of a recent Newsweek cover story on clinical trials using psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat depression. He’ll talk about neuroscience, research and stories shared by patients.

To register and for more information, email Nancy@tapstrength.com.

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Wasps — or at least, a paper wasp nest — makes an initial appearance in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Patricia Carey spotted it. She writes: “I think it’s really pretty (especially since there was no wasp activity!).”

(Photo/Patricia Carey)

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And finally … in honor of TAP Strength Lab’s upcoming event (see above):

 

 

Roundup: Suzuki Music, Suicide Prevention, Camp Gallery …

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Suzuki Music Schools is a scary place.

Well, at least the parking lot at 246 Post Road East will be, this Sunday, October 24.

Kids are invited to dress up in Halloween costumes, for the annual Spooky Suzuki Concert & Carnival. The 3 p.m. concert is followed by refreshments, activities and games. Game tickets must be purchased in advance. Click here for more information.

Participants can also donate to the “Color a Positive Thought” fundraiser, for underserved Bridgeport neighborhoods.

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Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-to-24-year-olds, and the second leading cause of death among college students. Earlier this year Kevin Kuczo, 17, of Fairfield lost his battle with depression. Before playing sports at Fairfield Warde High School, he was a proud member of the Fairfield County Football League’s Wildcats. Westport PAL is a member of the FCFL.

The league wants all youngsters to know that they are not alone during their darkest times — and to instill the importance for athletes to give back.

They’re collecting funds now for suicide prevention research and educational programs. They hope to ease the stigma surrounding suicide and its causes, and encourage those suffering from mental illness to seek treatment.

Donations — made out to FCFL — can be sent to 25 Thistle Road Norwalk, CT 06851. For more information, call Carmen Roda of Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department: 203-640-8085.

Kevin Kuczko

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The Camp Gallery hosts a special night this Friday (October 22, 6 to 8 p.m., 190 Main Street). The featured artist is German-born Dominik Schmitt; there’s live music too with Chris Coogan and Linda Couturas.

Artwork by Dominik Schmitt

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Debby Ury died Sunday at Norwalk Hospital, after a brief illness. She was 68 years old.

She grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts. Debby graduated in 1974 from Simmons College in Boston with a B.S. degree in nursing, then Boston University with a Master’s Degree in education.

She and her husband Frederic Ury moved to Westport in 1977. She began working at Danbury Hospital. She had a long career in the medical field, and ended her career teaching various medical courses at Norwalk Community College.

Debby was an avid fan of any sports team from Boston, and enjoyed watching her beloved Boston Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots play every year, whether they won or lost. She loved the Adirondack Mountains, and spent much of the last 35 years at the family’s log home in Lake Luzerne, NY.

Debby is survived by her husband Frederic S. Ury; children Jennifer (Jeff) Gornbein and Robert Ury; grandchildren Jacob and Benjamin Gornbein; brothers Bryce Conner and Justin St. James; sister-in-law Linda Ury Greenberg and her husband Ned Greenberg, and their children Captain Michael Greenberg and Amanda Pinkston.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 23 (Saugatuck Congregational Church, 10 a.m.). There will be an opportunity to greet the family prior to the service. at 9:15 a.m. Burial at Willowbrook Cemetery will immediately follow the service. Click here to leave online condolences.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Debby H. Ury Scholarship Fund, c/o Lake Luzerne Music Camp. 203 Lake Tour Rd., Lake Luzerne, NY 12846.

Debby Ury

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Hazel Saviano of Westport died peacefully last Thursday, surrounded by loved ones, at the Roseville Road home she was born in. She was 94 years old.

Hazel was the daughter of Martha Mills and George Lewis Sr. The family’s roots in Westport stretched back to the mid-1800’s. Hazel remembered trolley cars traversing Westport streets.

She was a school bus driver in Westport for over 35 years. When she retired in 2003 at the age of 76, she had safely delivered thousands of Westport children to and from school.

Her family says, “Her heart was big and her smile was infectious. All who knew her loved and adored her.”

Hazel was predeceased by her husband, retired Westport Police lieutenant John J. Saviano Jr.; sons John J. Saviano III and Lawrence Saviano, and siblings Edna Call, Vera Lewis and George Lewis, Jr.

She is survived by her daughters Marie Richards (Robert), Melinda Bonin (Glen), Cheryl Petrone (Tom); daughter-in-law, Debra Saviano; grandchildren Robert L. Richards Jr. (Dawn), Melissa Bailey (Ethan) and Michelle Saviano; great-grandchildren Dylan and Violet Bailey, and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Hazel’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Hazel Saviano

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“Westport … Naturally” often features creatures like praying mantises and deer. Today we go to the dogs.

(Photo/JC Martin)

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And finally … today in 1803, the US Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

 

Roundup: Halloween Parade, Jeera Thai, Pickleball …

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In the winter of 2020. Jeff Manchester emailed “06880.” He was concerned about the “incredibly dumb placement” of a utility pole at the southwest corner of the Post Road West/Riverside Avenue intersection.  He sent this photo:

(Photo/Jeff Manchester)

Jeff warned: “It will surely result in a wedged tractor trailer at the intersection (trying to get back to I-95), or worse yet a fatality into the pole.”

There’s been no fatality yet. But yesterday, Jeff saw a bad accident right there. The pole leaned precariously against the building, as police and utility workers were figuring out what to do.

Moving forward, it’s a state road. The decision — to move the pole, or do something to the road — is in the Department of Transportation’s hands.

Don’t hold your breath.

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Get those costumes ready!

Westport’s annual Children’s Halloween Parade returns — after a year’s COVID absence — on Wednesday, October 27. Kids and parents meet on the Post Road at Main Street at 3:30 p.m.

The vent — for all children (“especially those 8 and under”) heads up Main Street, right on Avery Place, left on Myrtle Avenue, and ends at Town Hall and Veterans Green.

Children may trick or treat along Main Street, and in front of Town Hall. Entertainment, refreshments and a small gift will be provided n Veterans Green at 4 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Westport Parks and Recreation Department, the Downtown Merchants Association and Westport PAL.

Seen at a previous Halloween parade.

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Speaking of downtown: It has a new look.

On Saturday afternoon, 5 paintings were unveiled in the walkway to Bedford Square off Main Street. “Westport Illustrated” portrays the history — and future — of Westport.

The mural project is a collaboration between the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, David Adam Realty and Charter Realty & Development, with support from the Drew Friedman Community Arts Center.

From right to left: Eric Chiang, “A Vibrant New Community Unfurls”; Iyaba Ibo Mandigo, “The Ground Beneath Their Feet”; Hernan Garcia, “The Tides of Change”‘ Jana Ireijo,. “Keeping Memories Alive”; Rebecca Ross (Westport) “Westport of the Future: Circa 2070.”

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Alert “06880” readers know that Jeera Thai is one of my favorite restaurants. The fresh ingredients, wonderful spices and special flavors — all lovingly prepared — make every meal a treat.

Now my go-to spot is open 7 days a week.

They’ve announced 3 new weekly specials, too:
• Prawn phat phong karee กุ้งผัดผงกระหรี่
• Basil fried rice ข้าวผัดกระเพาะกุ้ง
• Panang curry with chicken แพนงไก่

Jeera Thai — across from Design Within Reach, next to Finalmente — is easy to overlook. But you shouldn’t!

Jeera Thai, nestled in a small space off the Post Road.

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A “Roundup” item last week about the Westport Astronomical Society‘s observance of Observe the Moon Night impelled Paul Delano to head to the observatory on Bayberry Lane.

He reports: “Everyone was very friendly and knowledgeable. Quite a few people were checking out the view. It was a beautiful sky and great to use the telescopes to see the planets. It’s at the highest point in Westport, so it has a great view of the sky. That night the moon, Jupiter and Saturn were the brightest.

“I got a new camera and telephoto lens recently that I wanted to try out. They let me set up my tripod and camera. I was surprised I could see so much more than the naked eye.”

Paul sent along a couple of photos:

Westport Astronomical Observatory, and the moon. (Photo/Paul Delano)

Moon, from the observatory. (Photo/Paul Delano)

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The 2 pickleball courts at Compo Beach get plenty of action.

And when the pickleball players finish, they often hang around and chat. It’s a great sport — and a very social one.

The other day, the pickleballers outdid themselves. Here’s their feast:

To learn more about pickleball in Westport, email Tom Lowrie: tlowrie123@gmail.com.

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A first-ever International Market & Festival is set this Saturday (October 23, noon to 5 p.m.) at Lachat Town Farm in Weston.

It features include vendors representing various countries, cultural music and dance, and markets with food from countries like Italy, France, Kenya, Pakistan, Brazil, Peru, India, Japan, Romania and Mexico. Children will receive a “passport” they can fill up as they visit each exhibit.

Tickets are $20 per family. Click here for more information.

Westport celebrates jUNe Day. This Saturday, Weston hosts its own International & Festival. (Photo/Jeff Simon)

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Westport artist Kelly Rossetti is a featured artist at the Norwalk Art Space’s next exhibition (October 28 through December 2).

An opening reception on October 28 (6 to 9 p.m.) includes a DJ, dance performances, and the indie pop and folk duo East River. Click here for more information.

Kelly Rossetti

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature is all about dogwood berries. Scott Smith writes:

“We all get festive celebrating the blossoming of our lovely native dogwood trees early each spring. But Cornus florida deserves a special shoutout this fall.

“The profusion of red berries is the most vibrant I can recall. Whether it’s the summer that just won’t quit or the autumn that can’t get started, I don’t know, but I’m enjoying it.

“So too are the many birds that flock to this windfall of nutrient-rich berries. Robins in particular squabble over the berry-laden dogwood in my yard, even though there’s more than enough to go around. Let’s hope the birds spread the seeds of these treats far and wide.”

(Photo/Scott Smith)

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And finally … Peter Tosh was born today in 1944. From 1963 to 1976 he, Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer were the heart of the reggae band the Wailers. He then became a successful solo artist. He was killed in 1987 during a home invasion, at age 42.

Pic Of The Day #1644

Art at Burying Hill Beach (Photo/Ed Simek)

Roundup: WWPT, Afghan Refugees, Dog Festival …

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They might have to rename the John Drury Awards “The WWPT Awards.”

For the squintillionth year in a row, Staples’ FM radio station cleaned up in the annual high school broadcast competition.

The station — 90.3 on your dial! — won 4 categories earlier this month:

  • Best Radio Drama — Original or Adaptation (“The Wizard of Oz,” with Staples Players)
  • Best Sportscast (Zach Brody)
  • Best Sports Talk Program (“Bold Predictions,” with Rory Tarsy, Max Udell and Caleb Tobias)
  • Best Sports Play-by-Play (FCIAC lacrosse championship, Staples vs. Darien, with Cam Manna and Max Dorsey).

Radio is alive and well. Congratulations to all, and of course to instructor Geno Heiter.

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Westporters have responded generous to a call to help Afghan refugees resettling in the area.

A final collection of needed items is set for this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, 12 to 3 p.m.).

Men’s and women’s coats; teen and children warm clothes; boots, scarves, warm hats and umbrellas; backpacks filled with school supplies, and household toiletries, towels and cleaning supplies can all be dropped off at  Greens Farms Congregational Church.

Backpacks and school supplies are among the items needed for Afghan refugees.

 

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The weather looks great for tomorrow’s oft-postponed Dog Festival.

The event is set for Sunday (October 17, Winslow Park, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and TAILS, it features demonstrations, fun competitions, police K-9 presentations, kids’ activities, vendors, food trucks, a special appearance by Piglet (the blind and deaf chihuahua) and more.

Tickets are $10 per person, $25 for a family of 4. Dogs go free. Proceeds benefit non-profit organizations.

Dog owners can register for the competitions online or at the festival.

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Interested in the kind of world today’s students will inherit? Do you have ideas how our schools can prepare them for it?

The Westport Public Schools invites all Westporters to an Education Summit next Wednesday (October 20, 6 to 8 p.m., Bedford Middle School auditorium).

Futurist Michael Weiss offers a keynote address, then lead an interactive discussion. It’s part of superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice’s Strategic Plan, aimed at taking our district into the next decade and beyond.

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Three residents of the Gillespie Center are moving on to permanent supportive housing.

Homes with Hope is proud of the success of these formerly homeless men. And they’re asking Westporters to help them succeed.

They’ve created a Signup Genius for donations of bedding, household items, furniture and gift cards. Click here to help.

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Fred Cantor is many things: an attorney, off-Broadway and documentary producer, longtime Westporter and avid “06880” reader.

he’s also the author of “Fred from Fresh Meadows,” a memoir of his many years as a New York Knicks fan.

Now the NBA team has repaid the honor.

A 15-second commercial spot featuring Fred, his brother’s older son and brother’s almost 3-year-old grandson premiered last night, during a Knicks preseason game.

It’s part of an MSG Network promotional campaign spotlighting diehard fans. Fred’s spot focuses on his book, and his 6 decades of fandom.

It was filmed earlier this month in the schoolyard behind his former elementary school in Queens.

Fred Cantor (right), being filmed with his nephew Sam and great-nephew Brody.

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It’s been a while since we ran an osprey update. The other day, Franco Fellah spotted this young bird in the trees over the Saugatuck River, opposite his office on Riverside Avenue. Ospreys epitomize “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Franco Fellah)

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And finally … on this date in 1875, Brigham Young University was founded in Provo, Utah.