Category Archives: Beach

Friday Flashback #313

At the risk of our Friday Flashback becoming all-Compo Beach-all-the-time, I’m posting 4 more postcards from Seth Schachter’s superb Westport-themed collection.

They show clear, wide turn-of-the-century views, of the long stretch of bathhouses that pre-dated the current boardwalk, and the 2-story pavilion nearby.

All that remains today is the roof of the open-air pavilion.

The views below include people enjoying themselves, on the 2nd floor.

A commenter on an earlier Friday Flashback thought that the flag was “photoshopped” in. It’s clear from these postcards that the flag was real.

The early 20th century Compo Beach experience was a bit different from today’s.

In their own way, our great-grandparents had plenty of fun.

(“Friday Flashback” is one of many “06880” features. To keep them all coming, please contribute. Click here to help!)

Pics Of The Day #1970

Sunset sail off Compo … (Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

… and the classic Compo cannons shot (Photo/Fred Cantor)

Pic Of The Day #1969

Classic Compo Beach pavilion shot (Photo/JD Dworkow)

Pics Of The Day #1966

The end of summer at Old Mill … (Photo copyright/Ted Horowitz)

… and Compo … (Photo/Karen Como)

… and nearby, an even emptier sight. (Photo/MaryLou Roels)

Pic Of The Day #1965

As summer fades, another Compo Beach sunset (Photo/Patricia Jumper)

Online Art Gallery #126

Our cup (and easel) runneth over.

Today’s online art gallery includes a full dozen submissions, in a variety of mediums: watercolors, charcoal, photos, ceramics, collage. We welcome several newcomers, including a few teenagers.

That’s the idea!

This is your gallery. All readers are invited to contribute to it. Age, level of experience, subject matter — there are no restrictions.

All genres are encouraged. Watercolors, oils, charcoal, pen-and-ink, acrylics, lithographs, macramé, jewelry, sculpture, decoupage and (yes) needlepoint — whatever you’ve got, email it to 06880blog@gmail.com. Share your work with the world!

Westporters of a certain age remember this gazebo, shown in mixed media by Peter Barlow. It was located on Schlaet’s Point. Today, it’s the site of the only house on Hillspoint Road between Old Mill Beach and Soundview Drive.

“A Stitch in Time” (Maddie Godwin, 14 years old, Weston)

“Spirit Week” collage (Tyler Smith)

“Dream On” (Ellin Spadone)

Glazed ceramic bowl (Abby Della Valle, 17 years old)

“40 Winks” (Lawrence Weisman)

“Harpswell, Maine” (Wendy Levy)

“Pickleball Circle” (Photo, Tom Lowrie; artist, Brandon Osterhout)

“An Abstracted Abstraction” (Steve Stein)

“Calm” (Amy Schneider)

“What an Astonishing Yarn You Spin1” (Mike Hibbard

“Sunset at Compo” (Lauri Weiser)

 

Roundup: Serena Williams, Beach Scenes, EMS …

Many Westporters loved Serena Williams big US Open win last night over Anett Kontaveit, the world’s 2nd-ranked player.

There were a couple of local connections — and we don’t mean any fans lucky enough to be in the stands.

Westport-based Birdseye Sports is a large independent production company. Specializing in game-day broadcasting and video productions, they provide camera crews to major networks. ESPN, for example, subcontracts them for the US Open.

Ryan Smith — a 1997 Staples High School graduate, and director of the Bedford Middle School Acting Group — has worked the Open for Birdseye for the past 4 years.

He’s seen a lot. But last night was special. He was behind the camera for Williams’ match.

Ryan Smith, at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I still kick myself from time to time, for how lucky I am,” he says.

He did not get home until 2:30 this morning. But he got up early, to head back to Queens. He’ll be behind the camera tonight — again covering Williams. She and her sister play doubles, in what their fans hope will not be their final match together. (Hat tip: Kerry Long)

Ryan Smith and Serena Williams at work.

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Well, that was quick.

Summer, I mean.

School is back in session. And this was the scene yesterday — a beautiful, still-August morning — at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Karen Como)

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Speaking of the beach: “06880” has run stories recently about beach days of old. Rocks instead of sand at Compo; sand instead of rocks at Longshore; demolished bathhouses, no houses along the shore — different days, for sure.

Suzanne Sherman Propp owns an interesting piece of art. It combines several elements of old beach-y Westport — some real, some imagined — in a fanciful way:

Created by Suzanne Urban, in part from a 1906 postcard, it shows bathers at Old Mill Beach; nearby homes (that probably were not there then), and — in the background — the old Longshore lighthouse.

Urban is a 1971 Staples High School graduate. After studying art at Marymount College, she worked as an illustrator.

For steady income she became a secretary at Greens Farms Elementary School, from the early 2000s to 2014. Former Stapleites Propp and Carey Leonard also worked there.

Urban moved with her husband to Windsor. They live in one of the oldest houses (1664), in what residents claim is Connecticut’s oldest town settlement (1633).

Urban has found a niche selling “contemporary folk art” — including holiday-themed work — online.

Her Halloween witches, ghosts and pumpkin-heads and cute. But only a true Wesetporter — like me, Suzanne Sherman Propp, and any “06880” reader — can appreciate the Old Mill Beach of Suzanne Urban’s imagination.

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It’s not too late to sign up for Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician training.

There’s an orientation tonight. Classes begin next Tuesday (September 6).  Most are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with some Saturdays as well.

The course covers information needed for state certification tests, a prerequisite for joining WVEMS. Click here for more information.

Meanwhile, mark your calendar for September 9 (7 p.m.). DNR — the grimly named, highly entertaining and very professional rock band made up mostly of doctors — plays a free show at the Levitt Pavilion, in honor of Westport Volunteer EMS.

WVEMS personnel will be there, answering questions about donations or joining the ranks.

Standing by, at a Levitt Pavilion concert (though not one headlined by DNR).

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Speaking of the Levitt: Though summer is over (at least, for those with kids in school), outdoor entertainment is not.

In addition to the Orebolo show September 7, featuring Rich Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach and Jeff Arevalo — members of the popular Connecticut rock group Goose — The Levitt just added a special free-ticket show at 1:30 p.m. September 17.

It stars ElephantProof. The band includes Ben Atkind — a founding member of Goose.

ElephantProof is “a euphonic snapshot of the unique sonic energy born at the house parties your best friends still talk about to this day. Refined by disciplined training and years of performance experience, Ben Atkind (drums), Sean Cronin (guitar), Chris Enright (keys) and Shon Gordon (bass) are reconnected, traipsing along the rigid confines of genre using erudite tonal expression.”

I’m not sure what that means, but I’m sure it will be a cool show! Click here for more details, and tickets.

Another piece of Pavilion news: Karina Rykman, whose band plays tomorrow (Friday, September 2), has another gig after the Levitt. She’ll fill in on bass during next week’s Late Night with Seth Meyers Show.

PS: The Levitt has added a “child 12-and-under free ticket” to the BYO-lawn chair section of the Robert Cray show on September 10 (8 p.m.). Click here for details and tickets.

ElephantProof

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Tonight’s (Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m.) MoCA “Cocktails & Conversations” event features the curators of the current “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse exhibition.”

Attendees will peek behind the scenes, learning more about the works and the artists. Cocktails and drinks are available for purchase.

“Cocktails & Conversations” is free, but advance registration is requested (click here). The exhibition runs through October 2.

Curators of the MoCA exhibit, and speakers at tonight’s event (from left): Maria Gabriela Di Giammarco, Melanie Prapopoulos (founder and director of the CAMP Gallery), Mario Andres Rodriguez), in front of a work by Shelly McCoy. (Photos/Leslie LaSala)

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Earthplace’s fall activities for children and teenagers start soon

They include:

  • “Nature Investigators” (Wednesday afternoons, grades K-2)
  • “Animal Investigators” (Tuesday afternoons, grades 3-5)
  • “Teen Volunteer Club” (Tuesday afternoons, grades 6-12 — animal care skills with hands-on training).

Click here, then click “Programs” for more information.

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Cars with decorations like this can be seen all over town:

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

It’s a long-standing Staples High School tradition: Senior girls (and only the girls) boast about their 12th-grade status on the opening day of school.

And you’ll be seeing these for quite a while. Another part of the tradition is to leave the writing on for a long, long time.

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Sure, there’s a drought. But there are still lots of gorgeous colors out there. Lauri Weiser captured this, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … yes, it’s that time of year again.

The summer has flown by. Now it’s time to fulfill that promise:

 

(“06880” sees you in September … and every other month. Please click here to support the blog that’s here for you 24/7/365.)

Pic Of The Day #1962

Long Island Sound channel marker, 7 a.m. (Photo/Adam Smith)

Roundup: Wynston Browne, Water Conservation, 9/11 Memorial …

Wynston Brown continues to inspire us all.

The non-speaking autistic teenager was once thought to be intellectually disabled. In July, “06880” described his astonishing progress, since he began using a special communication board a year ago.

Earlier this month he met customers at The Porch @ Christie’s. He showed them his spelling device, and answered questions.

Wynston Browne with his spelling board.

Wynston was there again Monday — the day before beginning his sophomore year at Staples High School. Owner Andrea Pecoriello hosted him.

His mother Lynda Kommel-Browne says: “Wynston had a nice conversation with 4 families, who were not familiar with non-speakers and spelling boards. Wynston beamed with pride and energy to show folks his communication skills. It was a great eye-opening experience for all.

Wynston Browne and his communication partner, Elisa Feinman, show his spelling board to customers at The Porch. His brother Harrison is standing (right).

“Wynston’s 16-year-old brother Harrison beamed with pride too, seeing customers take an interest in Wyn, and seeing Wyn respond to questions with high level answers.

“For example, he said, ‘In biology we are studying macro molecules …  carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Carbohydrates is your body’s main energy source.'”

He talked about “The Kite Runner” too — and asked some of his new friends questions like what they like to eat at The Porch.

Wynston’s world is opening up — and he is opening up ours. “06880” will continue to report on his progress, and on opportunities for Westporters to meet him.

Wynston Browne, with younger customers.

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Following up on yesterday’s water conservation measures, a reader writes:

“We use the ‘speed load’ setting. Our washing machine runs for 25 minutes, instead of an hour and 10 minutes on the regular setting. Our clothes get just as clean — we have never had an issue with that.”

Any other water-saving ideas? Click “Comments” below.

Select “quick wash,” which you probably never noticed before.

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Connecticut’s official 9/11 memorial is at Sherwood Island State Park for 2 reasons.

On that horrific day 21 years ago, people gathered on the shore saw smoke rise from the Twin Towers 50 miles away.

And the area was ready to be used as a staging area for rescue helicopters. Sadly, none were needed.

Two decades later, the simple memorial attracts a steady stream of visitors. It includes the names of state residents who died in the terrorist attacks.

Each year, there is a remembrance ceremony at the Sherwood Island Living Memorial. This year’s is set for Thursday, September 8 (5:30 p.m.). Family members of those killed will participate, and the names of the 161 victims with ties to Connecticut will be read aloud.

The ceremony will be livestreamed at ct-n.com. An on-demand video will be made available there shortly after its conclusion.

The 9/11 Living Memorial at Sherwood Island State Park. (Photos/Ellen Bowen)

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Tomorrow’s “Jazz at the Post” stars Rob Henke & the Cook County Stompers.

Greg Murphy, Tim Ferguson, Sipho Kunene and Greg Wall — the “Jazz Rabbi” — play 2 sets at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 (7 and 8:30 p.m.; dinner at 6:30; $10 cover).

The Thursday night series has earned an avid following. The jazz is great; the acoustics are superb; the food is excellent, and the view is superb.

What’s not to like?

Reservations are strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Cook County Stompers

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If you haven’t been to an Artists Collective of Westport pop-up show: Pop in to the next one.

Held, as always, in the Westport Country Playhouse barn, it features works by homeless veterans. The art was created in classes run by the Collective, at Bridgeport’s Homes for the Brave shelter.

There’s a reception next Wednesday (September 7, 6 to 8 p.m.), and an artists’ talk Saturday, September 10 (4 p.m.). The works are on display to the public September 8 to 10, from 2 to 6 p.m. each day.

The Artists’ Collective does great work, very quietly. They don’t toot their own horns. So I’ll toot it for them.

See you at the show!

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I hate to keep throwing barbs at Hook’d.

But really, the Compo Beach concession is just mailing it in.

Earlier this summer, after sharp comments on “06880,” they finally began posting their hours on the door.

That’s gone now.

With the doors locked yesterday, this was the scene:

(Photo/Yvonne Senturia)

That’s still better than a few days ago. The doors were locked then. The sandwich board sign was out.

But the arrow was pointing the wrong way.

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School started yesterday. And — right on cue — there was this familiar sight at the Imperial Avenue parking lot:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Readers sometimes wonder what they’re doing there.

The answer makes sense: It’s a spot for drivers to gather between runs, without having to navigate the cramped, busy entrance and exit at the Dattco lot across from Playhouse Square.

Once in the morning there, and again in the afternoon, is plenty.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is X-rated.

Michael and Valerie Szeto write: “With Cole Porter’s permission. one might say, ‘Birds do it, bees do it, even Westport horseshoe crabs do it … let’s do it, let’s fall in love!'”

(Photo/Valerie Szeto)

This shot of mating horseshoe crabs was taken in the shallow water off Owenoke Park. Michael spotted it; Valerie snapped it.

The couple then left, giving this other couple some privacy.

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And finally … it wasn’t hard to figure out today’s song, was it?

(Birds and bees don’t do it, but we hope you will: Support “06880.” Please click here to contribute.)

Pic Of The Day #1960

Compo Beach lifeguard (Photo/Chuck Greenlee)