Category Archives: Downtown

Photo Challenge #255

First there were the library windows.

Then there was the point behind Levitt Pavilion, on the Saugatuck River.

Last week — for the 3rd Photo Challenge in a row — our image showed a bit of that beautiful, active slice of Westport just steps from downtown.

Johanna Rossi’s shot was of the charming, underused bridge spanning Deadman Brook (which honors not a no-longer-living person, but someone long ago with the improbable last name of Deadman).

It connects the Levitt/library parking lot with another lot, off Imperial Avenue. (It is transformed every Thursday from May to November, into the Westport Farmers’ Market.)

Johanna took the photo at night. The lights threw some readers off. Incorrect guesses included the Sherwood Mill Pond bridge heading to Compo Cove; the wooden bridge extending from Parker Harding Plaza over the Saugatuck River; Bridgewater headquarters off Weston Road; Saugatuck Shores, and Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach.

Louis Weinberg, Dan Vener, Andrew Colabella, Fred Rubin, Ralph Balducci, Jonathan McClure, Jo Ann Flaum and Jalna Jaeger all knew that the bridge is actually downtown, over Deadman Brook.

To see the photo, click here. To see it in real life — which you really should — head downtown. Any time, day or night.

Today’s Photo Challenge comes courtesy of Seth Schachter. If you know where in “06880” you’d see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

 

Pic Of The Day #941

First Selectman Jim Marpe (right) and artist Mark Yurkiw, at at the PoP’TArt pop-up gallery , 1 Main Street. The current show — with plenty of provocative work — is called “Words Matter.”

Michael Friedman Enters The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

You saw them in a pop-up gallery on Church Lane.

You know the photographer: Michael Friedman. The Staples High School Class of 1961 graduate had a long career in music. He managed Todd Rundgren and Kris Kristofferson — as well as (with Albert Grossman) Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Band, Odetta, and Peter Paul & Mary. He did publicity for the Dave Clark 5 and Herman’s Hermits.

Nearly 3 years ago, he discovered an astonishing series of photos he’d taken almost 50 years earlier.

Mick Jagger (Photo copyright Michael Friedman)

The Stones. Janis Joplin. The Band. Johnny  Winter. Gordon Lightfoot. James Cotton. Ian and Sylvia. Rita Coolidge. Tom Rush. Professor Longhair. Paul Butterfield — all were artists Friedman worked with in the 1960s.

Friedman spent several months printing, restoring and mounting the photos. Each was up close, and personal.

Michael Friedman in the Church Lane pop-up gallery. His photo shows Levon Helm, legendary drummer for The Band.

After the Westport show, the photos headed to the California Heritage Museum in Los Angeles.

Now they’re in Cleveland — at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The exhibit includes the guitar that Janis Joplin played on “Me and Bobby McGee” in concert. Friedman’s photos of her with the instrument — which she used onstage only twice, and only for that song — are the only ones known.

Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” guitar, with his photo of her.

It took more than a year for the exhibit to come together. His wife Donna Vita provided invaluable help.

Now it’s up, and attracting great attention. After the ribbon-cutting, Friedman was interviewed live by chief curator Karen Herman, at the Hall.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame interview.

Friedman’s exhibit runs for 6 months. Yet when it ends, it’s not over.

His entire collection of over 100 images will be archived, in perpetuity.

Which makes sense. As Neil Young sings, “Hey hey, my my/Rock and roll can never die.”

(Click here to see many of the photos on exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.)

Pic Of The Day #937

Autumn stroll behind the Levitt Pavilion (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Photo Challenge #254

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed a spot not far from downtown that most Westporters have never gone.

Though it’s a place everyone should see.

Sandy Rothernberg’s image was of the point at the Riverwalk path behind the Levitt Pavilion where Deadman Brook flows into the Saugatuck River.

It’s beautiful, serene — and open to the public. You’ll get a different perspective there of the water, and our town’s relation to it.

Since the Levitt renovation, the path now winds all the way around — from the library to the Imperial parking lot side. Midway there, you’ll see the scene Sandy captured. Or click here for the closeup.

This one was tough. It took nearly 24 hours before the first readers guessed correctly. Congratulations, Madison Malin and Steve Dopp!

This week’s Photo Challenge, meanwhile, may be our first-ever nighttime shot. If you know where in Westport you’d find this — night, day, whenever — click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Johanna Rossi)

Remembering Angela Trucks

Longtime resident Angela Trucks died last weekend. She was 69.

Her mark on Westport through beautification efforts is visible — literally — everywhere we look.

The Long Island native was a teacher, restaurant owner, and a village trustee. She was also one of the first female regional sales managers for Del Monte Foods. 

Angela is survived by her husband William; her daughters Leigh Lutenski and Emma Trucks; their spouses Mark Lutenski and Jordan Padnuk, and her grandchildren Leonardo and Benjamin Lutenski, and Josephine Padnuk. Linda Adelman offers this tribute:

Angela Trucks was a force of energy to be reckoned with. She was artistic, curious, passionate and tenacious in her efforts to promote beauty. She loved Westport, and Westport benefited from her perseverance.

Angela Trucks

For well over a decade, as co-chair with Nancy Carr of the Westport Beautification Committee, Angela — a master gardener — conceived of and completed projects that improved the appearance of public spaces and promoted pride in our community. She maneuvered through bureaucracy, sought funding and donations, fostered consensus, and tackled physical work if needed.

The Re-Greening of the Post Road was a major 3-year project to improve the visual appeal of the Post Road between the Fairfield and Norwalk borders, and the median between Roseville Road and the Sherwood Island Connector.

Undaunted by state Department of Transportation red tape, town bureaucracy, business owners’ concerns, a shortage of funding or anything else, Angela resourcefully found ways to ensure that 90 trees were planted and cared for.

Angela encouraged business owners to take pride in their property, publicly recognizing the most outstanding “streetscapes” at an annual awards ceremony in Town Hall.

She envisioned gardens of perennials on the corners of the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, and made them happen.

Every spring, she guided the committee as they organized and oversaw the participation of local businesses in the planting of flowers and shrubs on traffic rotaries. They were called “Adopt-A-Spots,” and Angela was relentless in her effort to reduce the number of illegal signs littering those islands.

In the early years of her tenure, Angela delegated committee members to cut evergreens wherever they could find them to use as holiday decorations in baskets on light poles along Main Street. She never hesitated to climb a ladder to “plant” those baskets.

Angela Trucks, hanging a basket on Main Street.

Angela Trucks was warm, generous of spirit and full of life. She was an inspiration, a beloved leader and friend. She worked without fanfare, but had a lasting impact on Westport’s public landscape.

Angela’s death has left a hole in our hearts. She is a hero who will be greatly missed by many.

(In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Norwalk Hospital, in recognition of the caring and dedicated nursing staff.)

Pic Of The Day #935

Downtown: The view from Ludlow Road (Photo/Chip Stephens)

Friday Flashback #167

If you think the back entrances to Main Street stores — the ones on Parker Harding Plaza — look bad today, be glad you were not around in the mid-1950s.

Before the parking lot was built, the Saugatuck River lapped up against those stores.

The landfill changed downtown — and the river. It must have been quite a project. Jim Ezzes shares some photos of the construction.

The Westport Hardware building at the far left is the current site of The Gap.

A bit further south.

Paul and Mary Kowalsky — whose construction company created Parker Harding Plaza — stand next to an earth mover.

Pics Of The Day #934

Cavalry Road, a few days ago … (Photo/Frannie Southworth)

… and the Saugatuck River and west bank at night (Photo/Jennifer Haviland)

Pic Of The Day #933

Church Lane, late afternoon (Photo/Dan Woog)