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Category Archives: Beach
Several readers would love to come to Thursday night’s “06880” party. But they don’t have beach stickers.
As much as they like a good time, they’ve decided it’s not worth the daily parking fee. Can’t say I blame ’em.
Uber is one alternative. Here’s another:
- If you need a ride, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me where you’re coming from (geographically, not metaphysically).
- If you can offer a ride, email me: email@example.com. Tell me where you can meet people (your home, or someplace neutral).
I’ll do my best to connect riders and drivers — privately, of course. No guarantees.
But it’s just one more way in which “06880” is “where Westport meets the world.”
Compo Beach sure looks and feels a lot different this year than last.
If you haven’t noticed, you’re not paying attention.
Or maybe you can’t get in.
A quick recap: This past winter — in response to Westporters’ rising complaints about overcrowded parking, picnic tables and sand — the Parks and Recreation Commission did some rising itself.
They raised the price of season beach stickers for Weston residents, from $250 to $375. They raised it for all other non-residents even more: from $490 to $775.
Daily passes rose too. They’re now $50 on weekdays, $65 on weekends.
Westporters’ prices rose slightly. A season sticker is now $50 ($25 for seniors).
Parks & Rec also instituted caps on sales. They limited non-resident sticker sales to 350 (from the previous 600). And — perhaps most significantly — there is now a daily cap: No more than 100 non-residents are allowed in each day. Signs on nearby roads indicate when the limit has been reached (sometimes as early as noon).
Add in newly remodeled bathrooms on both sides of the bathhouses, and extra grills at South Beach; a new entrance pattern and special parking area for non-residents — leaving prime beachfront spots for Westporters — and the difference is palpable.
Many beachgoers love the “new” Compo. They applaud the space they’ve got, the availability of picnic tables and grills, even the lower decibel level.
Others are less pleased.
They wonder about lost revenue. Though Parks & Rec said that increased fees would pay for better maintenance and the full-time cop, it seems from anecdotal evidence and those daily cap signs that the beach is bringing in a lot less money than it used to.
That probably also affects Joey’s by the Shore. It may have contributed to PAL sitting on a few hundred unsold fireworks tickets this year — thousands of dollars that won’t go to programs and kids.
And smaller crowds means less “life” at the beach. There are fewer languages spoken, fewer games played on the grass, fewer opportunities to share our shore with others.
Plenty of people think that’s great. It’s our beach — paid for by our tax dollars.
Others miss the out-of-town regulars they used to see, and worry we’ve only added to our “elitist” image.
What do you think? Do you love the changes, and think they’re long overdue? Do you think they’re too draconian? Are you conflicted?
Click “Comments” below. And — as always — please keep things civil. Play nice in the sand.
The 6th annual “06880″ party is less than a week away.
And if you’re reading this, you’re invited.
Next Thursday (July 19, 6 p.m.) is the day and time. The far end of Compo’s South Beach — away from the cannons, near the boat and kayak launch, not far from our favorite palm tree — is the place. (Still confused? See the aerial view below.)
Every member of the “06880″ (as in, this website) community is invited. We welcome frequent commenters and lurkers. Folks who have lived here all their lives, and those who moved here yesterday. People who want the Saugatuck bridge to stay the same, those who want a new one, and everyone in between. (Though we’ll keep the party a politics-free zone.)
The tagline for “06880″ is “Where Westport meets the world.” Next Thursday, that world comes to Compo.
Bring your own food, beverages, beach chairs and blankets. (If you bring extras to share with others, we won’t say no). Then mix, mingle and enjoy the evening with the “06880″ crowd.
There’s no charge. It’s a “fun-raiser,” not a fundraiser.
A “blog party” — the “06880” version of a block party.
See you next Thursday!
Westporters are used to seeing our town pop up in stories about things to do and see in the tri-state area.
But WCVB-TV — a Boston station whose viewers usually head to places like Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Lake Winnipesaukee — featured us in its recent “A Tank Away” series on cool spots to see.
Like a teenager, we’re always concerned with what other people think of us. Here’s how we look on Boston TV.
Westport, it seems, is a place with “celebrity status, elegant neighborhoods and an expensive [or ‘expansive’] public beach, the arts, and an immaculately groomed town center lined with restaurants and shops.”
Our history is “very bohemian,” says interviewee (and Westport Historical Society director) Ramin Ganeshram.
Compo Beach and marina are a 29-acre “park.” Historical properties are “a-plenty.” The Historical Society itself is “a gathering place for the public.”
The Westport Country Playhouse gets a shout-out. So does Earthplace (with a tangent about chinchillas) and DownUnder (especially its “Paddle With Your Dog” program).
“Nature has a starring role” in Westport, Bostonians learn.
And — oh yes — we have “watery wonders.”
You can catch the entire 5 minute-plus feature on WCVB’s website.
Where the subhead is: “Paul Newman was a fan – how much more motivation do we need. We’re off to Westport, Connecticut, a mix of beach town and bohemia that’s worth a trip.”
(Hat tip: Bob Mitchell)