Category Archives: Downtown

Photo Challenge #178

Downtown Westport has tons of shortcuts.

You just have to know where to look.

Let’s say you bought a beautiful bedroom set at Design Within Reach (the old post office). But you also need a French press from the new Williams- Sonoma in Bedford Square.

You could cross the Post Road (carefully!), then circle all the way around Patagonia to Church Lane. You could do the same with Sconset Square.

It’s quicker to walk through the small underground parking area next to Westport Pizzeria, or cut straight through Urban Outfitters.

But the really fun way is to take the narrow alleyway between Urban Outfitters and Cotélac. It hides there in plain sight, a direct shot for those who know about it.

Yet maybe no one does. A mural painted — somehow — on the tight wall of Urban Outfitters was last week’s photo challenge. I took it earlier this month. (Click here for the photo. It’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself.)

But are the muralists and I the only people who know about the alley?

Perhaps. Only one person — one! — guessed last Sunday’s photo challenge.

And it took Staples High School senior Nicole Arellano 6 days — all the way until yesterday — to come up with the right answer.

Well done, Nicole. It was worth waiting for!

This week’s photo challenge should be easier.

I hope.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

Pic Of The Day #403

Double duck on the Saugatuck (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

ABCs Of Westport Contest: Get Those Entries In!

The collage is beautiful.

But some “06880” readers may have been intimidated by the challenge.

(Photo collage by Shelly Welfeld)

Last week, we invited you to guess where in downtown Westport Shelly Welfeld found all the images she photographed to formed the “letters” in this work.

The first correct complete answer wins a $50 gift certificate, generously donated by The ‘Port restaurant. But we don’t expect anyone to get all 26 — maybe not even half. So if no one gets all 26, the person with the most correct answer wins.

The contest deadline is extended to noon on Wednesday, May 30. Email your entries to dwoog@optonline.net.

Come on! Don’t be intimidated. This is your chance to win a great meal at The ‘Port.

Which of course is located in National Hall — one of the photos in the collage.

See — you’re already on your way!

 

Pic Of The Day #398

National Hall, and the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Naturally, Westport

On his short walk from home to the Green’s Farms railroad station today, Nico Eisenberger heard and saw lots of osprey action.

That’s normal along the estuary. He sometimes feels like he’s “living inside an osprey soundtrack.” Looking up though, he spotted a new nest.

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

In his nearly 5 years in Westport, he says, it’s never been there.

Nico is not sure if this is a new nesting pair of ospreys, or a new nest for an existing pair. Either way, he says, it’s very exciting.

Meanwhile, Mary Sikorski spotted this gorgeous heron on the Westport Library Riverwalk:

(Photo/Mary Sikorski)

The weather has not been great lately.

But mist and rain can never mask the beauty of Westport nature.

The ABCs of “06880”

Last summer, Shelly Welfeld’s mother passed away.

She sought solace in morning prayers at Beit Chaverim synagogue. Then she’d walk down the Post Road, along Riverside Avenue and downtown.

Along the way, Shelly noticed various objects that looked like letters. She took photos — and soon had enough to complete the alphabet.

Out of Shelly’s mourning came a creative and gorgeous collage:

(Photo collage by Shelly Welfeld)

It’s so beautiful, I asked Shelly to share it here.

And so much fun, we came up with a great contest idea.

“06880” readers: Identify the locations for all 26 “letters.” The first correct answer wins a $50 gift certificate, generously donated by The ‘Port restaurant. (HINT: One of the images above comes from the National Hall building.)

Email your entries to dwoog@optonline.net. Deadline is noon on Wednesday, May 23. If no one gets all 26, the person with the most correct answers wins. The decision of the judges (Shelly and I) is final.

Get to work, “06880” readers. The answers are right there, under — and above — your noses.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Evening …

… and it will continue. A severe thunderstorm watch — with possible winds up to 70 mph, and maybe even a tornado — is in effect until 11 p.m.

Meanwhile, this was the scene as the first storm rolled in, just an hour ago.

The day-old palm tree at Compo Beach. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

The Compo Beach neighborhood… (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and another view. (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Jesup Green (Photo/Catherine Calise)

Pic Of The Day #391

Checking out reflections in the Saugatuck River (Photo/Mary Sikorski)

Wrong Way, Myrtle!

At first glance, there’s nothing wrong with this photo:

(Photo/JP Vellotti)

But look closely. The car is cruising the wrong way down the 1-way stretch of Myrtle Avenue, between Avery Place and Main Street.

After never in my life seeing that happen, I spotted it twice in 2 days recently. Alert “06880” reader/photographer JP Vellotti saw it too — a different time — and snapped this photo.

Then yesterday evening — while standing with 100 or so people outside the Westport Historical Society, at the opening of the (fantastic) new exhibit on our town’s African-American past — we all watched another car zip past Town Hall, headed the wrong way. (For good measure, it blew past the stop sign at Avery Place.)

I have no clue why there’s this sudden epidemic of driver cluelessness.

But it gives me a chance to ask a question I’ve thought about for years:

Why is Myrtle Avenue 1-way in front of Town Hall?

There’s no logical reason. The road is wide enough for 2-way traffic (if there’s no parking on the street next to the stone wall). It’s a waste of time — and a teeny bit of gas — to send people leaving Town Hall on a 180-degree loop from Main Street to Avery Place, just to go south on Myrtle toward the Post Road.

With 2 traffic lights on the way.

I know why Myrtle Avenue is one way at the Main Street/North Kings Highway light. There’s not a lot of room there, and traffic from Myrtle heads left, straight and right. All I’m talking about is 2-way traffic from the Town Hall exit, back toward Avery Place.

If someone has a good argument for keeping Myrtle Avenue 1-way, I’d love to hear it.

Otherwise, let’s make this little-but-big change now!

Traffic coming out of Town Hall should be able to turn left as well as right — right? (Photo/Alison Patton)

Good News: Peloton Pedals Down Main Street

After months in which big-name retailers fled downtown — Nike, Ann Taylor and Allen Edmonds, to name 3 — we’re about to score a big win.

Peloton is taking over the Sperry boat shoe store, just past Banana Republic on Main Street. They hope to open in early fall.

A peloton is the main bunch of bicyclists in a race. (Think of all those guys roaring 8 abreast down South Compo or Hillspoint, plowing past stop signs and forcing drivers into the other lane.)

But Peloton — the company — takes that group concept, and brings it into your home.

They sell stationary bikes. They’re sort of like the kind you find at a gym, or that sit unused in a corner of your house — but only in the sense that the Tour de France is like your 6-year-old on training wheels.

Peloton bikes are high-tech, and cutting edge. They’ve got big, bold interactive screens, through which you access “group” classes any time. You can track your performance through many different metrics.

There are tons of instructors — each with his or her own personality, all motivational. Just pick the one who suits your mood most, at the time.

All of this is streamed from a studio in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. (A 2nd tread studio, for treadmill work, is on Christopher Street.)

A Peloton bike

So why is Peloton coming to Westport?

They’ve got 33 retail outlets, in 16 states. That’s where you buy the bike, plus accessories like shoes and heart monitors. (You don’t need a helmet!)

Right now, the closest one is in the Westchester Mall. In fact, most Peloton stores are in malls.

So the fact that Peloton has chosen Main Street, rather than Norwalk’s shiny new GGP Mall, is big.

In a few months, we’ll welcome them to Westport.

Just drive on down.

Or ride your bike.