Category Archives: Beach

JC Martin’s Westport

As spring’s wonders linger in Westport, JC Martin grabbed his camera.

The talented photographer documented this gorgeous season — its natural beauty, and some of the folks enjoying it. 

Here are his images, from the past few days.

Parker Harding Plaza blossoms.

Parker Harding, by the Saugatuck River.

Another view of downtown.

Musicians at Don Memo …

… and in front of the restaurant.

Last summer, Homes with Hope youngsters painted this mural on Compo Road South.

The vest pocket park, on the walking path to Compo Cove.

Al fresco at Arezzo. (Photos/JC Martin)

 

Roundup: Aquarion, Abilis, Art …

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Do you know a person, business or organizations in Connecticut dedicated to environmental protection and sustainability?

Connecticut’s water utility wants to honor them, with an Aquarion Environmental Champion Award.

Winners will join previous honorees, including Sikorsky, Bigelow Tea, Pratt & Whitney, the Trust for Public Land and Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition.

Winners in the Adult, Non-Profit Organization, Large Business, Small Business, and Communications categories can select an environmental non-profit to receive a $2,500 grant. The winner of the Student category (grades 9-12) will receive a $1,000 award.

Click here for details.

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COVID has done 3 things, all related:

  • Postponed United Methodist Church’s annual giant tag sale for 2 years in a row.
  • Spurred many Westporters to clean their closets, cupboards and bathrooms.
  • Decreased donations to non-profits that provide items to clients.

On Saturday, May 15 and Monday, May 17 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), there’s a solution to all 3. That’s when you can drop off items at the church (49 Weston Road).

Here’s what’s needed:

Gently used items: baby clothes, children’s clothes (ages 4-10), youth clothing for teenagers (desperately sought!), men’s and women’s suits, pajamas, jackets, t-shirts, dress shirts, shoes of all sizes and designs (dress, sneakers, sandals, etc.), socks, dishware, cups, glasses of all sorts, suitcases, traveling bags.

New items: hair products (shampoo, conditioner), skincare products, deodorant, toothpaste, floss, sunscreen, nail clippers, razors, soaps, lip balm, moisturizer, lotion, hairbrushes, shower gel, shaving cream, mouthwash, wet wipes, diapers, canned foods, Jersey Mike’s gift cards worth $10 and $20 (for homeless youth).

Items should be sorted (gently used, new), packed into large plastic garbage bags, and labeled clearly (for example, “Children’s Clothing” in one bag, “Shoes” in another).

They’ll be distributed to Person to Person, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Summerfield United Methodist Church, and agencies working with the Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches.

Questions: email ganderson24@optonline.net or kbrumit@optonline.net.

United Methodist Church, 49 Weston Road. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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People with disabilities face many challenges. So do their siblings.

Abilis — the non-profit that helps hundreds of special needs families — holds a “Sibshops” workshop on May 19 (5 to 6:30 p.m., Zoom). It’s open to area children ages 10 to 14 whose brother or sister has a disability.

Sibshops are “high-spirited, fun workshops that combine recreation, discussion and information.” They provide safe spaces for siblings to share thoughts and feelings, while meeting others in similar circumstances and learning about the services their brother or sister receives. Click here to register. Questions? Email schulte@abilis.us.

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Art has helped many people through the past (very difficult) year.

A new virtual exhibit — “The Healing Power of Art” — shows viewers exactly how that happens.

It features works from 18 artists, including Westporters Rebecca Fuchs, Dorothy Robertshaw and Lisa Stretton.

Art can be purchased directly through the website, at various prices. Click here for the virtual show; click here for a video on how to navigate through it.

“Sherwood Umbrellas,” by Ceal Swift

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Lauren Weisberger’s novel The Devil Wears Prada, offered a devastating view of fashion publishing. Her 6 books have sold over 13 million copies.

Her newest — Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty — goes on sale May 18. The night before (May 17, 7 p.m., Zoom), she’ll chat virtually with Westporter Jennifer Blankfein about her latest book, and the women — a TV anchor with everything, and her stay-at-home supermom sister — in it.

The conversation is sponsored by the Westport Library. Click here to register.

Lauren Weisberger

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Friends of Sherwood Island’s annual general meeting will “bee” very special.

A presentation titled “Pollinator Pathways & The Green Corridor:
Improving Biodiversity on Protected Land in Our Own Yards” is set for May 23 (4 p.m.).

Click here for more information. Questions? Email lizannlwv@gmail.com or call 203-451-5755.

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And finally … happy 70th birthday to Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club drummer, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, producer and right-across-the-Fairfield-line neighbor Chris Frantz.

Pic Of The Day #1480

Compo Beach sunset (Photo/Jack Krayson)

Roundup: Car Thefts, Downtown, Melissa Bernstein …

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Lock your cars doors! Even — especially — in your driveway!

That’s the advice (it should be a command) from the Westport Police Department.

Four vehicles have been stolen here since Saturday. All 4 times, the doors were unlocked — and the keys were left in the cars.

Police have also responded to 15 vehicle break-ins in the past 6 days. Items were stolen from all cars — and again, the doors were unlocked.

The department reminds residents to lock all cars, and bring keys inside. Take valuables out of your car for the night too — cash, purses, wallets and electronics. It’s a good idea too to keep outside lights on, and motion lights activated.

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“Westport Downtown Merchants Association” was always a mouthful.

So chew on this: The organization has a new name.

From now on, it’s the “Westport Downtown Association.”

Sleeker. More inclusive. And it does not sound like it’s a radio station (WDMA).

But, the WDA says, they’ll still enhance the downtown experience for shoppers, diners and other visitors.

And they’ll still work with business owners, landlords — and merchants! — to improve the commerce and culture of downtown Westport.

Their website is http://www.westportdowntown.com. As easy to remember as it is to shop and dine.

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Since going public about her battle with existential anguish and depression, Melissa Bernstein has been interviewed by every major American media outlet.

Tonight (Thursday, May 6) she talks to a different audience: her neighbors.

Former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox News anchor Dave Briggs — also a Westporter — interviews the Melissa & Doug toy company co-founder today, on Instagram Live.

Melissa will talk about her life, and LifeLines: the project she and her husband Doug have created, to educate and empower people. The conversation is particularly apt now; May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

It’s available tonight at 8 p.m. on Instagram Live (@Westport Magazine). You can ask questions during the segment, or send them now: DM @DaveBriggsTV.

Melissa Bernstein

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Anne Craig no longer reports the news for Fox 5 New York and Channel 8 New Haven. She’s concentrating on her family, here in Westport.

But she continues to make must-see videos. (Remember this one on the yarn bomber?)

Now — right before Mother’s Day — she turns her camera on another inspiring local mom.

Rosie Jon is an outstanding artist who overcame what could be a major obstacle: She was born without arms.

Rosie is upbeat, optimistic, and very talented. Click below to enjoy Anne’s great tribute:

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Neighbors and Newcomers of Westport is one of the town’s great — and greatly unknown — organizations.

Far from a “welcome wagon” — longtime residents are as welcome as recent arrivals — it’s a fun, active group. Members enjoy clam bakes, coffees, holiday parties, kayaking, barbecues, happy hours, wine tastings and TGIF get-togethers.

They play canasta. They go hiking and to movies. There is a book club, culinary group and luncheon club. There are trips to museums, baby and toddler play groups, and girls’ nights out.

Well, they did all that before COVID. The pandemic forced every activity onto Zoom, or hiatus.

But as Westport opens up, the group is returning to in-person events. “With the energy of spring in the air, we are trying our best to serve our community,” they say. “We will of course continue to follow town guidelines in all activities.”

The first monthly event is tomorrow (Friday, May 7, noon): lunch outdoors at Arezzo.

In the works: Book Club (May 27, 7 p.m.), kayaking, and free Pure Barre classes for members.

Click here to learn more. Click here for the Facebook page; For membership information, email membershipnnwestport@gmail.com. For other questions, email presidentnnwestport@gmail.com.

Neighbors & Newcomers enjoy a hike.

 

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Calling all young artists!

Westport Public Art Collections seeks submissions from K-12 students for the 2021-22 school calendar. That’s the one that hangs in every kitchen. It lists all school events — and is decorated handsomely with student art.

Drawings, paintings, photos and computer-generated graphics will be considered (landscape orientation, please).

Artwork scanned at high res (600 dpi — JPG or PDF format file) or a good photo can be mailed to WestportSchoolCalendar@gmail.com. Include the student’s name, email, school and grade. Keep the original art, in case a re-scan is needed.

The deadline is May 28. Click here for more details, and to preorder a calendar.

The cover of the 2020-21 Westport Public Schools calendar was drawn by Sophia Sheng, Coleytown Elementary School 5th grader.

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Bedford Middle School 8th grader Ryan Tzou learned yesterday he was a winner in the Women’s History Month essay contest.

He found out in a great way: State Representative Stephanie Thomas surprised him during social studies class.

“Ryan told the triumphant story of his grandmother, a Chinese immigrant who experienced countless obstacles in her life that she never let hinder her dreams and goals,” Thomas said. “Ryan’s love and admiration for his grandmother poured through the carefully constructed words in his essay, which made it both inspirational and heart-warming to read.”

Ryan Tzou with State Representative Stephanie Thomas (left) and Bedford Middle School social studies teacher Gabrielle Tripuzzi. He holds a citation for his essay.

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The other day, “06880” reported on Staples High 9th grader Cameron Mann’s current gig: He’s part of HBO Max’s “Mare of Easttown” cast.

Three years ago he was part of a 2018 workshop: “The Secret Garden.” Presented for top Broadway professionals and theatre owners, it was directed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, and starred notable actors.

The production is being streamed tonight (Thursday, May 6), and will be available on demand May 7-9. Proceeds go to the Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund. Click here for details.

Cameron Mann

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Two photos. Call them “Beauty and the Beast”?

First: Spring colors continue to dazzle Westport:

(Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

Next: Fertilization project underway at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Les Dinkin)

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And finally … on this day in 1954, Roger Bannister became the first human being to run a mile in under 4 minutes (3:59.4).

At least 2 Westport runners (Steve Wheeler and Henry Wynne) have beaten Bannister’s record.

The current world record is 3:43.13, by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. Who knew?!

 

 

 

Pic Of The Day #1477

Hummock Island, and Compo Hill homes (Photo/Dave Dellinger)

Pic Of the Day #1474

Ned Dimes Marina (Photo/Les Dinkin)

Pic Of The Day #1471

Heading south on South Compo Road, between Post Road and Greens Farms Road/Bridge Street (Drone photo/John Videler for videler.com)

Roundup: Food Drive, Westport READS …

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The pantry is (nearly) empty.

So Homes with Hope — the umbrella organization for the Gillespie Center, and a much-utilized Community Kitchen — is running a food drive. It’s this Saturday (May 1, 1 to 4 p.m., Gillespie Center, behind Barnes & Noble and Don Memo on Jesup Road).

It’s contactless: Just pull your car up, and pop the trunk.

The most needed items: canned meats (chicken, tuna, salmon, Spam); cold and hot cereals; canned soups and stews; peanut butter and jelly; mayonnaise; pasta sauce, canned vegetables.

In addition, Homes with Hope’s Community Kitchen program is gratefully accepting prepared lunches and dinners, 7 days aw eek. To become a Community Kitchen volunteer, click here. Click here for volunteer guidelines.

NOTE: During COVID, the Gillespie Center and Hoskins Place buildings are closed to the public. Staff serves all meals to shelter guests.

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The Westport Library’s thought-provoking WestportREADS programming continues with virtual events this spring.

Tuesday, May 4 (7 p.m.): Ty Seidule discusses his new book,  Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause, with Maggie Mudd. He describes how he confronted the racist legacy at the core of his identity, and challenges the persistent myths of the Lost Cause. Click here for information, and to register.

Wednesdays, May 5 and 19, June 2 (7 to 8:30 p.m.): Me and White Supremacy: The Challenge Continues. Small group discussions on Layla Saad’s groundbreaking book. Click here for information, and to register.

Thursday, May 6 (7 p.m.).: The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till. The Library  hosts a virtual screening of Keith A. Beauchamp’s documentary, followed by a conversation with Beauchamp and the film’s producer, Steven Laitmon. Click here for information, and to register.

Saturday, May 8 (7 p.m.): Beechwood Arts presents the 2nd AMPLIFY Festival at the Westport Library. Black artists present music, song, and theatrical works. Click here for information, and to register.

Tuesday, June 1 (12:30 p.m.): In her book, We Need New Stories: The Myths that Subvert Freedom, Nesrine Malik examines 6 political myths used to deflect and discredit demands for social justice with Catherine Lewis. Click here for information, and to register.

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‌Taylor Lane is a pleasant little road, off Clapboard Hill between Turkey Hill South and Maple South.

It is not to be confused with “Talyor Lane,” which is — well, nowhere, despite what the sign says.

Alan Phillips spotted it the other day on a bike ride.

At least, he says, it’s consistent. It’s misspelled on both sides.

(Photos/Alan Phillips)

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The Connecticut Institute for Communities in Danbury is hosting walk-in clinics for the Moderna vaccine every day this week. Anyone 18 and older who lives or works in Connecticut is eligible.

The location is 132 Main Street, Danbury; weekday hours are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 2 to 3:30 p.m. No appointment is needed.

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Here was last night’s moonrise. It never gets old.

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

Old Mill Beach (Photo/Lawrence Zlatkin)

Compo Beach playground (Photo/Tomoko Meth)

From Beachside Avenue (Photo/Karen Weingarten)

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And finally … On this day in 1981, Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse.

Pics Of The Day #1470

Ned Dimes Marina by day … (Photo/Karen Como)

… and at sunset … (Drone photo/Daniel Johnson)

… and Long Island Sound, from Compo Beach (Drone photo/Daniel Johnson)

Roundup: Remarkable Movies, Compo Parking, Y Animals …

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Everything about the Remarkable Theater has been easy — parking, viewing, exiting.

Everything, that is, except the website. It was hard to find out what was playing, and when.

No longer. Westport’s amazing drive-in movie venue just rolled out a redesigned website (http://remarkabletheater.org). Now there’s no excuse not to see a show.

But I’ll make it easy. Here’s this week’s schedule:

  • Tuesday, April 27: “Singin’ in the Rain.” Perhaps the most memorable movie musical ever. Half-price Tuesday!
  •  Wednesday, April 28: “Sixteen Candles.” Perhaps the most memorable teen flick ever.
  • Friday, April 30: “Pitch Perfect.” Fun with an all-girls singing group.
  • Saturday, May 1: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” This Avengers film is a fundraiser for myTeamTriumph. Tickets are $125; all proceeds benefit this great group, which helps people with disabilities participate in triathlons and 5Ks.

Gates open at 6:45 p.m. Pre-show content starts at 7:15. The feature film begins around 7:45. See you there!

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Several readers have asked whether daily parking will be allowed for out-of-town vehicles this summer at Westport beaches.

The answer is: yes — at Compo only. 100 daily passes will be available, at the gate. They’re $45 on weekdays, $70 on weekends.

Out-of-town visitors were not allowed last year, due to COVID-19.

Westport Parks & Recreation staff will sell parking passes for out-of-towners this year.

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Peter Stuart Swann — a Westport resident for nearly 50 years — died peacefully this month, with his wife Patria by his side. He was 83.

Born in New York City, he had been a Westport resident since 1972. He attended the University of Colorado and served in the United States Navy.

Peter enjoyed a long career in the newspaper representative business, retiring as director of research for the Papert Company. He was a former president of the Media Research Directors Association.

Peter was also an active community volunteer. He served as treasurer for Save Westport Now, Friends of the Westport Library, and the “River of Names” mural fundraiser for the Library. Until COVID, he helped stock the Westport Book Sale’s free books carousel at the Saugatuck train station.

For many years he performed patient outreach for Trinity Episcopal Church of Southport, playing piano for patients at the Ludlow Health Center.

In addition to his wife he is survived by a brother, Sherwood Lee (Mary) of Newport, North Carolina; a dear cousin, Lawrence Tuttle of Munson, Massachusetts; 2 nieces and a nephew.

A graveside service will be held Friday (April 30, 11 a.m.) at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Peter’s memory may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 651 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT 06890. Click here to offer an online condolence. (Hat tip: Richard Lowenstein)

Peter Swann

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Westport gets more gorgeous by the day. These tulips are among many in the Greens Farms area.

(Photo/Kathleen O’Keefe)

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For years — well, at least since it opened in 2014 — members of the Westport Weston Family Y have marveled at a cow, visible on the roof through windows nearly the lobby.

Now it’s got company.

There must be a back story. But I have no idea what it is.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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Saturday was Westport Clean-Up Day. Jerry Kuyper went out on his own, to do his part.

In an empty lot on Spicer Road, near Rayfield Road, he found a number of empty cigarette packs.

It was not the first time he saw such a collection of litter. So he wonders: Did someone methodically deposit one pack every day or so? Or store them in a bag in their car for a week, before flinging them out the window? Consciously not throw them on a neatly kept yard, but find an overgrown one irresistible?

The mind boggles.

(Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

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And finally … memories of Ye Olde Bridge Grille flooded back when I heard of the death of its longtime owner, Dave Reynolds.

It was a “Cheers”-like bar the likes of which Westport may never see again. In one corner sat a jukebox. In all the years Dave owned the Bridge, I don’t think the records ever changed. The song I remember most — it was played over and over, night after night after night — could not be more apt. It’s a fitting epitaph for a great bar, and its big-hearted, much-loved owner.