Category Archives: Downtown

Pic Of The Day #38

West bank, across the Saugatuck River. (Photo/Robin Gusick)

Pic Of The Day #35

Bedford Square public art (Photo copyright Lynn U. Miller)

Pic Of The Day #31

The Riverwalk – near the Levitt Pavilion and Imperial Avenue, at Dead Man’s Brook. (Photo copyright Lynn U. Miller)

The ‘Port Sails In

For 2 months, Westporters have watched and waited as Vespa restaurant was transformed into The ‘Port.

At 5:30 p.m. today, the new restaurant — described by owner Sal Augeri as “approachable, authentic … a place to go after your kids’ practice or a quick bite with friends … a place with a definite local flavor” — opens its doors.

For the first week or so — while The ‘Port gets its sea legs — it will serve only dinner.

The ‘Port is located on the ground floor of National Hall, just across the river from downtown. It’s a great space, welcoming and warm.

National Hall, home of the new ‘Port restaurant.

And don’t forget the parking deck a few steps away, on the other side of Wilton Road.

 

Pic Of The Day #28

Old Town Hall on the Post Road — now Jesup Hall and Rothbard + Larder restaurants. (Photo copyright Katherine Bruan)

What Do You Think Of The Town’s Plan For Conservation And Development?

A draft of Westport’s new Plan of Conservation and Development is online.

It’s 140 pages long, and covers things like:

  • Community character
  • Open space
  • Coastline
  • Business and economic development
  • Residential development
  • Sustainability
  • Cars, pedestrians, bikes and other transit
  • Infrastructure
  • Future land use

The Planning and Zoning Commission will refine it. There will be a workshop in June, and a public hearing on its adoption in September.

Right now, the P&Z invites public comment. Click here for the document; then email myoung@westportct.gov, with “POCD” in the subject line.

But hurry! The deadline for comments is Thursday, May 11.

 

Pic Of The Day #22

Main Street at night (Photo by Katherine Bruan)

Photo Challenge #123

David Sampson, Joyce Barnhart, Sally Korsh and Jill Turner Odice all answered last week’s photo challenge with 2 words: “Onion Alley.”

Technically, Lynn U. Miller’s image (click here to see) actually showed the intriguing wrought-iron gate at the Main Street entrance to now-closed — and slated for demolition — Bobby Q’s.

Onion Alley was the restaurant a decade earlier. But that’s typical Westport: We often refer to places that live on in our memories.

James Weisz was the first reader to use the most recent name, Bobby Q’s.

Then there’s Jacques Voris. The Westport native — whose family’s roots here date back to the 1700s — called it both Bobby Q’s and Onion Alley. And, he noted, it was also the entrance to “African American church/housing.”

That’s right. Back in the 1940s, 2 dozen black men, women and children lived there. The address was “12 1/2 Main Street.” Set back a bit from the road was a warren of apartments, and a small church.

The complex burned to the ground in 1950. The cause of the blaze was never determined. But that’s another story entirely.

This week’s photo challenge is a bit different than most:

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

It’s the Compo Beach cannons — duh.

But do you know where in Westport you’d find this image?

Click “Comments” below if you know where you see it. And most of us do see it, all the time.

It’s A Dog’s World

Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Winslow Park has always been Westport’s 32-acre, right-near-downtown park. It’s big, beautiful, hilly, wooded and — let’s face it — dull.

Sure, dogs romp. Their owners walk, throw balls and socialize. It’s a wonderful place. But not much really happens.

Last year, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce sponsored the 1st-ever Dog Festival there.

It was the greatest thing since flea collars.

The 2nd annual Westport Dog Festival is set for Sunday, May 7 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). I can already hear Fido and Spot pawing at your door.

Demonstrations include police dogs, emergency rescue dogs, guide dogs, hunting dogs, and and agility and training exhibitions.

Earth Animal offers prizes for best tail wagger, best dressed, best kisser, best trick, best lap dog over 50 pounds, and dog that looks most like its owner. Judges include some very important humans: Selectmen Jim Marpe, Avi Kaner and Helen Garten, and state legislators Toni Boucher, Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg.

There’s an obstacle course too. The winner gets a year’s supply of dog food.

Surrounding the main activities will be dozens of pet-related vendors, rescue/ adoption opportunities, vet seminars, caricaturists and giveaways, plus food trucks (for humans).

Choice Pet is the lead sponsor. TAILS — the local spay/neutering group — is again partnering with the Chamber.

There’s plenty of parking at the Westport Country Playhouse. Proceeds from the entrance fee ($10 per person, $25 for a family of 4) benefit non-profit organizations. Last year, the Chamber of Commerce donated $5,000 to deserving groups.

Dog owners can register for the competitions online, or at the festival. Click here for more information.

Arf!

Roger Wolfe’s small dog enjoyed last year’s large Dog Festival.

Pic Of The Day #15

The Doughboy on Veteran’s Green (Photo/Seth Schachter)