Category Archives: Downtown

Pic Of The Day #676

Westport Woman’s Club gazebo (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pic Of The Day #673

Downtown by drone (By John Videler/Videler Photography)

Parker Harding Garbage: The Sequel

This morning’s post –showing garbage where the dumpster once sat in Parker Harding Plaza, just a few yards away from the finally-working compactor — drew plenty of comments from readers.

And this email from Scott Martin:

I own the Rye Ridge Deli. Someone sent me the pic of the garbage by the compactors.

That is a mix of garbage from various tenants there. A couple of those boxes are ours: the bacon, avocados and Rockland bakery.

I just spoke to a number of my employees who take garbage out at night and during the day. Last night, the compactors were completely filled and overflowing. Everything was stuffed in them to the top. They would not compact any more.

The mess this morning. The dumpster — across from the compactors — is no longer there.

Maybe they were a day late picking up due to the holiday. We are not sure. But when they come to remove the compactors it seems they cannot drive away with them overflowing so they knock it out, and when they return from the dump or wherever they take the trash they fill it back with what was knocked out.

There have been many occasions since the compactors have been installed with them not functioning at all. I guess the kinks are being worked out back there.

Going forward my guys have been instructed to let myself or a manager know when there is this sort of mess back there. Rather then leaving it for someone else to find, we can call City Carting to address it or figure out a better way rather than leaving that mess.

Those compactors are great, better than regular dumpsters, as long as they work (which is not always the case). I have been dealing with them for years in my other locations.

I just got off the phone with Scott. He apologizes for his guys leaving a mess. Nice to know he contacted “06880” to take responsibility.

As he notes though, only a small portion of the garbage is his. The hunt continues.

You Can’t Make This Garbage Up!

Good news! The trash compactor in Parker Harding Plaza is up and running.

Bad news! Although the old garbage dumpsters were removed last night, some lazy, entitled dipshit deposited heaps of garbage in the exact spot where they used to be.

Yes, that’s the compactor there in the background.

But great news! When some poor volunteer from the Westport Downtown Merchants Association — or a good-hearted citizen — moves the trash a few yards away to where it should be, all they have to do is rummage through to find out which store or restaurant thinks this is a cool thing to do.

Then email dwoog@optonline.net. We’re happy to let our 10,000 readers know whose garbage this is.

Meatball Shop Update: ImPortant News

Earlier today, “06880” reported that the Meatball Shop will open its 8th restaurant this spring in Westport.

The location has just been confirmed. They’ll be serving ‘balls in what was, most recently, The ‘Port. The family-style restaurant closed last June.

National Hall, when The ‘Port restaurant was there … (Photo/Dave Dellinger)

National Hall has seen a lot, since it was built in the early 1800s. It’s housed the Westporter Herald newspaper, Horace Staples’ bank (and, very briefly, the first classes of his high school).

It was the site of the town meeting hall, and — for many years — Fairfield Furniture.

In the early 1990s, Arthur Tauck saved the historic building from the wrecking ball. (After decades of pigeon droppings, the roof was ready to cave in.)

… and back in the day. (Photo/Peter Barlow)

He and his family converted National Hall into an inn and restaurant of the same name. Several other restaurants later occupied that prime ground floor space.

Now it’s ready for its next phase.

Arlo Guthrie once sang, “You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant.”

You can only get meatballs (of many kinds, for sure) at the Meatball Shop.

But — with Arezzo, OKO and Bartaco all just steps away, and David Waldman’s new project at the old Save the Children headquarters moving quickly along — the west bank of the Saugatuck River just got a little spicier.

National Hall: The view from Post Road West, even further back in the day.

Give A Little Chocolate

Uh-oh.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you forgot your chocolates.

You have 2 choices:

  1. Kiss your relationship goodbye.
  2. Head to Le Rouge by Aarti — and help not only yourself, but a good cause.

Since 2016 Aarti Khosla — the handmade chocolatier at 190 Main Street — has run a “Give a Little Love” campaign. She donates 10% of the proceeds from any heart-shaped creation to charity.

This year’s recipient is “She’s the First.” The organization — dear to Aarti’s, um, heart — empowers and helps educate young women who are the first in their family to go to college.

But Aarti is not stopping there. She just introduced a second campaign: “Give a Little Woof.”

Aarti designed a mini-heart box, with 3 hand-painted dark chocolate “bones.” A full 50% of sales goes to the Weston Dog Park. The initiative honors Brian Gordon, the town’s beloved 2nd selectman and 1987 Staples High School graduate, who died in November.

Give a Little Woof!

So what are you waiting for?

Well, actually, you’ve still got a couple of hours. Le Rouge opens at 11 a.m.

Allyson Maida’s Valentine To Westport

As Westport celebrates Valentine’s Day, “06880” reader Allyson Maida writes:

On that recent 6-degree day, 3 of us met to discuss business over an iced tea. After a while, our talk turned to living in Westport.

One person has lived here for over 30 years. She reflected on her post-corporate home-based entrepreneurial efforts. It led to meeting wonderful people, many of whom became friends. She spoke about community-based activities. We smiled, nodding as we thought of all the good that has been done within this 22.4-square mile town.

A defining moment to move our young family to Westport happened one summer night. In Westport visiting my cousin, we decided to drive to Main Street. As we turned from the Post Road, we saw a teenager on his skateboard zigzagging down the center of the straightaway.

Music filled the air, as a band played on Onion Alley’s roof. The skateboarder stopped to speak with a man who stood by his parked car. This was a Rockwell moment.

Main Street at night (Photo by Katherine Bruan)

The newer resident spoke of moving here a few years ago, to join her daughter’s family and continue her healthcare practice. She talked about her transition into town, how her career has continued to thrive as she interacts with community members who are considerate and kind. She smiled, sharing stories of the good people she has encountered and her volunteerism within her house of worship, of which she is extremely proud.

Our discussion was not unique. However, I realized that these types of talks often lead to the same place. Speaking about experiences in Westport often includes a sense of connectedness.

This is not to suggest that Westport is perfect, or the lone holder of this characteristic. But these thoughtful conversations frequently veer toward sharing information about people helping people, people doing good for others, community-minded businesses, nonprofit efforts, local business with engaging owners/employees, community changes over time, and how Westport’s history is the underpinning of that which makes this little town profoundly great.

Allyson Maida — author of this Valentine’s piece — and friend.

The root of amorous, chocolate-covered Valentine’s Day is actually the commemoration of those who had done good works.

It is no different than any other commemorative holiday, except that in the evolution of this annual celebration, we may have missed the point. According to historians, up to 3 priests named Valentine (Valentinus) offended nobility and Roman penal codes as they acted on behalf of others who were vulnerable. All were in ministry (also referred to as community service). In helping others, they were executed, in different years — but all on February 14, now known as Valentine’s Day.

Overall, this town has maintained its sense of goodwill and community concern. There are diverse interests, and activities that reach out to every social issue. We have a bridge that hosts world peace and international understanding efforts. Civil rights chants are heard there, while nearby knitted scarf-bombed trees extend anonymous gifts of warmth to those who are cold.

We have concerts and dancing, dog parades, art shows, rubber ducky races and individual initiatives designed to make someone else feel good. We raise awareness and funds to help support those at home and abroad. We sew and donate heart-shaped pillows for patients who suffer. We pack resident-donated trailers with supplies when another state falls victim to a storm, and we celebrate one child who insists on giving the contents of their piggy bank to another who needs school supplies.

Every year, many hands help create Westport’s Community Thanksgiving Feast.

All of this barely scrapes Westport’s surface.

Take a moment to think about all that happens within our small community. Opportunity is not arbitrary. It is deliberate. There is an expectation that this town will bring the best to its residents and visitors.

That comes from somewhere. From those who settled here in the 1600s to those who live and work here now, each person has added to this community in a way that has affected someone else.

So, to each of you, near and far, who are a part of the heart of Westport: Happy Valentine’s Day!

(This post is adapted from a story Allyson originally wrote for her blog. Click here for that version.)

Pic Of The Day #666

Snow day on Main Street (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris)

Main Street’s Loss: The Brownstone Is Closing

For 12 years, shoppers have found great gifts — for Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, and every other type of celebration — at The Brownstone.

The warm, cozy 2nd-floor space at 142 Main Street — just past Brooks Corner — has flourished as a customer-centered, locally owned and very fun place.

It has not been easy. The Brownstone weathered one recession, two major storms (Irene and Sandy), and one move (up the street).

The Brownstone is on the 2nd floor of the building at right. (Photo/Terry Stangl)

Owners Celeste, Mariana and Victoria have always operated by consensus. Now — as Victoria retires, and moves to California — they’ve made their most difficult decision ever.

In mid-March, they’re closing.

“We’ve had the best time building relationships with you!” the owners say in their announcement.

“We felt fortunate every time you chose us to help find the right accessory or gift for you, your home or loved one. We know you had many shopping options.”

Their decision — to “say farewell to our beloved customers” — was not easy.

“Our hearts are broken. But new adventures call our names.”

Owners Victoria Schallert and Mariana Hurtado at holiday time.

The owners — classy as always — thank their landlord, the Teuscher family. “They have shown us every kindness. They have rooted for us in every possible way. They are as sad as we are about our boutique’s closure.”

As they wind down their inventory, The Brownstone continues to serve Westport. Their closing sale has begun. It includes new spring arrivals, and many hard-to-find jewelry designs.

“Please drop by to say goodbye before mid-March,” the owners say. “We hold many, many happy and special memories of you, our customers, in our hearts. We send you all our love, and our very best wishes.”

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It’s B-a-a-a-a-c-k!