Category Archives: Beach

Roundup: Tunnel Of Love, Compo Swim, Cribari Lights

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Just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season, a small ceremony honored the re-lighting and re-naming of the pedestrian tunnel between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza.

New lights show off Miggs Burroughs’ stunning lenticular images. They portray Westporters connecting with each other. Each changes, depending on the angle you view them from.

The original name was “Tunnel Vision.” Suzanne Tanner came up with the new “Tunnel of Love & Community” — abbreviated as (of course) TLC. Then it was re-opened — as it always has been — to the public, 24/7/365.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker (center) and guests enjoy the newly re-lit Tunnel of Love & Community.

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While all the tunnel re-dedicators were bundled up in Friday’s chill, Ann Chernow’s grandchildren chilled at Compo Beach.

Well, actually, they went in the water.

She sends a photo of “2 of my crazy grandchildren. They usually swim  in the Pacific in San Francisco.” At 47 degrees, Long Island Sound was much chillier.

Yikes!

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Also this weekend: The Cribari Bridge is lit for the holidays.

Betsy Pollak sends along the first of what is sure to be many photos of one of Westport’s favorite and most colorful traditions.

(Photo/Betsy Pollak)

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Westport’s hidden music gem, Voices Cafe, offers in-person, high quality live music (or livestream), with café-style seating. Everyone brings their own snacks and beverages.

Coming this Saturday (December 4): Eclectic musical duo The Whispering Tree, and award-winning folk couple Ash and Eric (formerly, The Promise is Hope).

Click here for tickets and more information. Seats are assigned by ticket purchase date.

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Photos keep coming in of new Thanksgiving Day traditions. Here’s one more — of a group of dads and sons — with the by-now-familiar name: Turkey Bowl. (Hat tip: Bianca Jonas)

(Photo/Eric Ritter)

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You can’t be too busy next month, right?

If you need an activity, check out these 2 from Wakeman Town Farm.

“In “Making Spirits Brighter: A Holiday Mixology Class” (December 6, 7 p.m.), “Mixxed by Ed” Hernandez will teach you how to make 5 holiday-themed drinks, using natural ingredients picked straight from the farm. Premium liquor is provided by Remy Cointreau.

“A Holiday Centerpiece Workshop” (December 14, 7 p.m.), features WTF’s Chyrse Terill and Ellen Goldman. Materials are collected from the Farm. You can take home your creation — and feel free to bring an appetizer, bottle of wine or other drink.

Click here for details and registration.

“Mixxed by Ed” Hernandez

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Former Staples High School football star Joseph Vincent DeMattio died Wednesday, following a courageous battle with a long-time illness. He was 63, and is survived by a large extended family and hundreds of friends.

Joey played tackle on the Wreckers’ 1975 state champion team, and was a 1997 inductee into team’s Wall of Fame. He also played defense for the University of Maryland where he played  defense for the Maryland Terrapins. An excellent athlete, he returned to Westport and played softball for the legendary Sonny’s team.

His family says, “There was never a dull moment in Joey’s life. From running with the bulls in Pamplona to fighting pirates in the Bahamas, he was no stranger to adventure or travel.”

Although Joey held several positions in his career, his favorite was working for Keith Richards in Weston. He often said how down to earth and kind the family was to him.

He was also an accomplished inventor, and held 2 provisional patents.

Joey had a huge heart, especially for children and the elderly.

Joey loved Saugatuck, Jr’s Hot Dog Stand, Compo Beach, Aunt Jean’s eggplant parm, Walter K, the Maryland Terrapins, Ledo’s Pizza, inventing things, his little dog Tony, his beautiful home, eating any food (especially Italian), his Saugatuck Saints jacket, Calvin the monkey, yelling at umpires, playing football, traveling, the Three Stooges, the Rolling Stones, and pistachio ice cream.

His family notes, “Saugatuck will never be the same without you.”

A  funeral is set for Thursday (December 2, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home on Wednesday (December 1, 4 to 8 p..). Click here to leave online condolences.

In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to Safer Refuge of Central Texas, where 2 of Joey’s beloved puppies come from.

Joey DeMattio, in the 1977 Staples High School yearbook.

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Nicholas T. Saviano Jr. of Westport died quietly at home earlier this month.

After graduating from Staples High School in 1947, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Union College and a master’s from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was inducted into Sigma Xi Honor Society.

Nick was a lifelong Westport resident. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed photography, horseback riding, skiing, wine making, family genealogy, and aviation and navigation.

In his younger years he owned a small private plane with his older brother. He traveled throughout the country and abroad, including Italy and China with family and friends.

For most of his career he worked as an electrical engineer at Sperry Rand/Unisys in New York as the senior research section head, software development, shipboard and ground systems group. Nick also held a number of patents.

He volunteered for many years at the Westport Library and Sons of Italy. He was also an usher at the Assumption Church. He was devoted to his family and friends.

He was predeceased by his elder brother Ralph, his nephew David and his wife Joanne of New Hampshire, and several dear life-long friends. He is survived by his sister Florence of Stratford; brother Thomas of Westport; nieces Dyana and Felica of Monroe; niece Suzanne of New Hampshire; nephew Mark of Colorado; several great-nephews and nieces, great-great nephews and nieces, and 7 godchildren.

A funeral is set for Saturday (December 4, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption-Greens Farms Cemetery. A reception immediately following the burial will be held at Christ and Holy Trinity Church. Gifts may be given in Nick’s memory to Union College,

Nick Saviano

 

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Today’s colorful “Westport … Naturally” image comes from the home and camera of Linda Stern:

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … Today in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting in Nashville, as the WSM Barn Dance. Uncle Jimmy Thompson was the first guest.

And if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill:

 

Pic Of The Day #1681

Bill Ryan took this photo the other day from Compo Beach, looking across at Saugatuck Harbor. He was intrigued by the dramatic cloud.

But when he looked closer, he thought: It’s not a cloud at all. It’s a huge turkey, hightailing it out of town until Thanksgiving is over.

Happy Turkey Day to all!

(Photo/Bill Ryan)

Roundup: Dodge-a-Cop, Tree Lighting, Uber Discount …

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Police officers and Staples High School students battled last night. For 2 hours in the fieldhouse, they hurled objects at each other.

It’s all good.

The event was Dodge-a-Cop. The annual dodgeball tournament is a fundraiser for Toys for Tots — and a great way to get police and teenagers working together. Each student team included at least one officer.

Dodge-a-Cop was organized by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group.

There were no arrests.

Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (2nd from right) and RTM member Andrew Colabella (far right) joined in the fun. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)

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Dueling tree lighting ceremonies!

Both the town of Westport, and Wakeman Town Farm, will do the honors on Friday, December 3.

The Town Hall event begins at 5 p.m. The Staples High School Orphenians will sing.

The WTF lighting starts at 4:30, and features music, cocoa, cookies and a bonfire.

If there are any other tree lightings that day, please let us know.

The Town Hall tree, in 2018. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Speaking of the holiday season: What a time for parties, celebrations and fun!

Not time for drinking and driving afterward, though.

Smart imbibers know that one way to avoid arrest — or worse — is to call Uber. Now — thanks to the Connecticut Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety — you can get a $10 discount off that potentially life-saving ride.

And it’s available every day from now through January 14, between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. The discount code is: SaveTheNightCT.

Put that code in your phone now. It may be harder to find when you need it the most.

This program comes thanks to a grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association, in partnership with Uber. Connecticut is one of only 5 states to receive the funds.

For more information, click here.

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Anaiza Morales moved to Westport only 2 months ago, from New Jersey. But it didn’t take her long to get involved in her Westfair neighborhood.

Impressed by how much fun everyone had on Halloween, last Sunday she organized a chili crawl/cook-off.

Anaiza met new neighbors, and their college-age kids and mothers in for the holiday weekend. They shared food and stories, while walking around the neighborhood (in perfect weather).

It was a blast. And people who did not have a chili recipe brought dessert.

The competition was close. Only .6 of a point separated the top cooks (as calculated by a young engineer). The winner: Wendy, with Brazilian feijoada.

Enjoying the chili (and warm weather) in the Westfair neighborhood.

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MoCA Westport’s current exhibition – “When Caged Birds Sing” — features 8 life-size sculptures by the late Westport artist Ann Weiner. They represent women’s rights activists who survived abuse because of their gender, yet still advocate for the rights of others at risk.

In conjunction with this important exhibit, MoCA hosts 3 human rights experts for a panel discussion at 6 p.m. on December 2:

  • Claudia King, from Connecticut’s Human Anti-trafficking Response Team
  • Cadence Pentheny, coordinator, community and corporate learning, LGBTQ+ Training Institute, Triangle Community Center
  • Jamie Rubin, Southwest regional manager, Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required (click here). Attendees who arrive early can grab a beverage at Bar MoCA. Guests can stay after the event to watch a documentary associated with the exhibition.

Part of MoCA’s “Caged Bird” exhibition.

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A memorial service for Julie Belaga — the former state representative, regional EPA administrator and Export-Import Bank director who died Friday — is set for December 19 (10 a.m., Westport Library). All of Julie’s friends and admirers are welcome.

Julie Belaga

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Two days ago, our Roundup featured 2 intriguing photos. Both showed a fancy women’s shoe, abandoned at Compo Beach. In one shot, it lay on the ground; in the other, it was perched on a railing.

That shoe sure gets around. Here’s a third image:

(Photo/Indrani Basu)

It sure gets around. If you see it on the cannons — or anywhere else — let us know.

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“Westport … Naturally” celebrates Turkey Day with, of course …

Dogwood Lane buck. (Photo/Eric Roth)

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And finally … 5o years ago today, hijacker DB Cooper parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane over the Pacific Northwest, with $200,000 in ransom money. He has never been found.

Click here for full details. Click below for DB Cooper’s song.

Pics Of The Day #1679

Compo Beach sunrise collage (Photos/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Downtown Tunnel, Downtown Cleanup, Compo Shoe …

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In 2014, “Tunnel Vision” — Miggs Burroughs’ clever series of lenticular photos, showing Westporters connecting with each other (and each one changes, depending on your viewing angle) — turned a drab pedestrian walkway between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza into a lively, creative tourist attraction.

“Tunnel Vision,” in the walkway between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza

Although — 7 years later — plenty of people still don’t know it exists.

Recently, the images were refurbished and reinstalled. A small reception, including a ceremonial re-lighting, is planned soon.

Also in the works: great visibility.

Miggs and Mark Yurkiw are seeking approval to add awnings to the tunnel’s front and back entrances. They’ll be an easy way for shoppers to find the handy cut-through (and enjoy Miggs’ photos).

They’ll also be an easily identifiable shelter for people waiting for a friend or ride, in all kinds of weather.

PS: Check out the new name: “Tunnel of Love and Community (TLC).”

Rendering of the proposed tunnel awning on Main Street.

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Speaking of downtown: Westporters of all ages headed there yesterday, for the first annual Riverwalk clean-up.

Sustainable Westport, Staples High School’s Zero Waste Committee and the Coleytown Elementary School PTA’s Sustainability Committee met behind Starbucks, then fanned out to remove trash from the riverfront, on both sides of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

They spent 3 hours, and filled 25 buckets.

The rest of Westport — and all kinds of wildlife — are grateful.

It takes a village to clean up a village.

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Are you missing a shoe?

This one was spotted yesterday at Compo Beach. The photo comes courtesy of 10-year-old Samantha Perrotta.

(Photo/Samantha Perrotta)

Then — a couple of hours later — I got this, from June Rose Whittaker:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

There must be a story behind this. Though I’m not sure we want to know.

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Looking for a special — and beautiful — holiday gift?

Longtime photographer Tom Kretsch has some ideas.

How about “Touching Maine,” his beautiful book of essays and images of coastal Maine? A 4″ x 4″ acryclic photo block? Or a gift certificate for one of his photos? There are plenty, taken throughout Fairfield County and beyond. Click here to see.

Email tom@peacefulplacesphoto.com for more information.

(Photo/Tom Kretsch)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a beautiful gingko biloba tree. It’s in Ted Horowitz’s back yard on Wilton Road — but now everyone can enjoy it!

(Photo/copyright Ted Horowitz)

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And finally … today marks the 58th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. I’m still not convinced we know the whole truth.

Pic Of The Day #1678

Moonlit Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Whitney Raith)

Pic Of The Day #1677

Compo Beach jetty (Photo/seth Goltzer)

Pic Of The Day #1675

Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Pic Of The Day #1673

Compo Beach songs (Photo/Melissa Sobil Zitomer)

Pic Of The Day #1669

Bermuda Lagoon, from Covlee Beach (Photo/Patti Brill)