Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #180

When I posted last week’s photo challenge, I thought it was pretty easy. Everyone knows the Mediterranean-style windows on the old Positano — the former restaurant on Old Mill Beach — right?


The 2nd person to comment guessed it was the now-closed Acqua and Boca restaurants, in the back of Parker Harding Plaza. So did another person, a few minutes later.

Hey, they are similar.

But Fred Cantor, Andrew Colabella, Matt Murray, David Sampson, Tom Siebrasse, Christopher Buckley, Seth Braunstein, Ed Gerber, Ken Palumbo, Lois Hines, Jim Hood, Patricia McMahon, Amy Schneider, Karen Como, Vanessa Bradford, Martin Gitlin, Sarah Menninger Kit Lee, Tina Torraco, Beau James, Peter Ritchey and Mary Ann Batsell all posted “Positano” (or “Cafe de la Plage,” its long-lived predecessor). (Click here for the photo.)

Sadly, the building may soon be gone. And then we’ll have only memories of it, and the restaurants before it, that gave that neighborhood a bit of a European feel.

Today’s challenge shows beautiful flower boxes. We have many, all around town. But where are these?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Susan Iseman)


Photo Challenge #179

Last week’s photo challenge was considerably easier — and more pastoral — than the previous one.

As many readers guessed correctly, Bob Weingarten’s shot showed Nyala Farm. That’s the very large, still-nearly-pristine swath of land between Greens Farms Road and the Sherwood Island Connector.

Thanks to the foresight of town officials in the 1970s, Stauffer Chemical was allowed to build a massive headquarters there — on the condition that it be well hidden from view.

Today, Stauffer — the company — is just a memory. And Stauffer’s office complex –now occupied by Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund — is still overshadowed by rolling meadows, an old well, and this classic pasture fence. (Click here for the photo.)

Congratulations to Nancy Powers Conklin, Andrew Colabella, Fred Cantor, Bobbie Herman, Michael Calise, Alli Q. DiVincenzo, Seth Braunstein, Jose Villaluz, Jalna Jaeger and Jeanine Esposito. You know your onions!

Meanwhile, if you know where in Westport this week’s photo challenge is located, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

FUN FACT: Nyala Farm — bought in 1910 by Frederick T. Bedford — was named by his son, Frederick T. Bedford, for the beautiful nyala (antelope) he saw on an Africa safari.

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.

Photo Challenge #177

There are 2 types of Westporters: Those who love Sherwood Island, and those who have never been.

Those in the 1st group include Arthur Schoeller, Michele Carey-Moody, Vanessa Bradford, Chris Buckley, Fred Cantor, Lawrence Zlatkin, Mary Ann Batsell, Hope Hageman, Michael Brennecke, Linda Amos, Erik Østbye and Peter Ritchey. They had no trouble identifying last week’s photo challenge as the Nature Center, a crown jewels in our very own state park. (Click here for Brant Mozingo’s photo, and all guesses.)

If you’re in the 2nd group: too bad. You’re missing out on 232 beautiful acres. The beach is great; there’s tons of trails, plenty of nature, and lots to do.

Plus, it’s free for Connecticut residents! (Funds come from a $10 fee when you register your motor vehicle.)

So you have 2 choices:

  1. Drop whatever you’re doing, and go explore Sherwood Island
  2. Try to guess this week’s photo challenge. If you think you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Dan Woog)


Photo Challenge #176

Last week’s photo challenge seemed unfair.

Alan Phillips’ image showed a men’s restroom. (You could tell by the urinals.)

But never underestimate the power of a woman.

Two of the 1st 3 correct answers came from people who — presumably — have never set foot inside that men’s room. (Or probably any other.)

Christopher Austin — followed by Pat Saviano and Karen Como — knew that the shiny new loo is located at Compo Beach. It — and its women’s room cousin — are nestled between Joey’s and the lifeguard shack.

Other correct guesses came from Michael Calise (whose license plate reads “Compaug”). Pete Powell, Andrew Colabella and Les Dinkin.

They replace a pair of very old, incredibly grungy and truly repulsive restrooms. It’s not really beach season yet, but they’re already getting good use.

And rave reviews.

Parts of the Compo Beach improvement plan — and the new fees for beach stickers — have drawn criticism. But everyone can agree: This was money well spent. (Click here for the photo, and all responses.)

This week’s photo challenge is — like that we run most — a spot every Westporter (regardless of gender) can go to. If you know where it is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Brant Mozingo)

Photo Challenge #175

Once upon a time, there was open space in Westport.

Gradually, throughout the first 70 or so years of the 20th century, it disappeared. Farmland gave way to houses. Trees were cut down to make roads. Fortunately, a few spots were preserved as, well, “preserves.”

These days, it’s hard to find undeveloped land anywhere in town.

But not impossible.

There are 10 or 12 acres on Clapboard Hill, between South Morningside and South Turkey Hill. It’s called the Kowalsky property. And though from time to time you’ll see “For Sale” signs there, it’s still a throwback to an earlier Westport.

The property — specifically, a curious-looking tree stump in the middle of it — was the subject of last week’s photo challenge. Hailey Nusbaum, Susan Ellis, Elaine Marino, Wendy Cusick, Andrew Colabella, Judith Brown and Shirlee Gordon all correctly identified it. (Wendy, of course, added important background details.) Click here to see the photo, and all the guesses.

As for this week’s photo challenge: Yeah, we know it’s a men’s room.

But where? The answer will astonish you. (NOTE: Photographer Alan Phillips is pretty sure that the women’s room looks similarly nice. Without, of course, the urinals.)

(Photo/Alan Phillips)

Photo Challenge #174

Bedford Square has changed the way Westporters use downtown.

Its courtyard, stairways and several entrances and exits provide shortcuts between Church Lane, Main Street and Elm Street. It’s taken a while, but many folks now zip into, through and out of the handsome retail/restaurant/ residential complex that replaced the YMCA.

As work continues on the adjacent property — the old Bobby Q’s restaurant — a once-hidden alley has been exposed to the public. Now everyone can see the graffiti there.

Eileen Lavigne Flug, Arnie Rusoff, Jeff Giannone, James Weisz, Lawrence J. Zlatkin, Bob Weingarten, Ben Pool, Michelle Saunders, Chris Buckley, Breno Donatti, Andrew Colabella, Ralph Balducci, Michael Calise, John Moran, Suzanne Ford, Sal Liccione and Alison Patton all quickly identified last week’s photo challenge — a photo of “Stop War” graffiti — as that alley. (Click here to see Betsy P. Kahn’s image.)

Can our alert readers be so quick with this week’s challenge?

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

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Photo Challenge #173

What a difference a comma makes.

Vanessa Bradford’s answer to last week’s photo challenge was: “Mansion Clam House dummy.”*

No, she was not referring to me. She was correctly identifying the subject of Peter Barlow’s photo: the jolly fisherman who for decades sat on the back roof of that popular Saugatuck restaurant. (Now it’s Parker Mansion — and the mannequin is gone.)

She was not the only one who quickly remembered the yellow-slicker clad guy. Others were Fred Cantor, Audrey Hertzel, Molly Alger, Michael Mombello, Andrew Colabella, Dan Herman, Jeff Giannone, Shirlee Gordon, Seth Braunstein, Fred Rubin, Elayne Landau, Diane Silfen, Jana Moorman, Michael Calise, Jacques Voris, Susan Feliciano, Bobbie Herman, Jamie Roth, Ken Palumbo and Amelie Babkie. (Click here for the photo.)

This week’s photo challenge might be harder. Then again, “06880” readers have their eyes open all over town. As always, if you know where in Westport you’d see this scene, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

*The most famous example of the importance of commas: “Lets eat Grandma.”

Photo Challenge #172

It’s been a while.

But last week’s photo challenge stumped even long-time experts/frequent winners Michael Calise, Fred Cantor and Jacques Voris.

For years, Barbara Sherburne has owned a watercolor by Mitchell Hager. She brought it with her when she moved from Westport. It made a great challenge.

The illustration showed a home and barn on Long Lots Road, a couple of houses down east of North Avenue. (Click here to see.)

Everyone is right: It looks like it could be on Morningside Drive, Cross Highway or North Avenue. After many hours, Cheryl McKenna came up with the old Adams house on the corner of Long Lots and North Avenue (later owned and, famously, renovated by Martha Stewart).

That was close enough. The watercolor showed the property next door.

The house still stands, on Long Lots. The barn, though, is gone.

This week’s photo challenge shows not a place, but a guy. If he’s familiar, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

Photo Challenge #171

Readers had to reflect hard on last week’s photo challenge.


Peter Barlow’s intriguing image showed homes and office near Belden Place, reflected in the glass of the green office building that hulks on Gorham Island, off Parker Harding Plaza.

Fred Cantor, Michael Calise, Stephanie Ehrman and Mary Ann Batsell guessed Belden Place/215 Main Street. But Edward Bloch and Joelle Harris Malec were most precise, noting the reflective building (which replaced a much more bucolic Victorian house, more than 30 years ago). Click here for the great photo, and all guesses.

This week’s photo challenge has a twist. Barbara Sherburne sent me a gorgeous watercolor, by Mitchell Hager. She thinks she knows where it is — but she’s not sure.

If you know, click “Comments” below. Then tell us a bit more about the house!