Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #274

Every so often, a Photo Challenge sends readers all over town.

Yet seldom have the responses been as far afield as last week.

Howard Silver’s image showed 3 large, colorful figures stuck to trees in the back yard of a Hitchcock Lane home. But where did they hang originally? (Click here to see.)

Not in any of the schools, stores or even Starbucks readers mentioned. Not at the old Westport Arts Center. Nope, nope, nope.

Cheryl McKenna knew, though. She remembered them from the tallest building on Main Street: the one we now know as The Gap.

Back in the day — after the furniture store at that site burned to the ground — a new 3-story structure arose. It was filled with small stores and offices.

It never worked. Westporters were not used to shopping vertically. (The Gap is a different story — it’s just one store.)

Those dancing figures hung in the atrium. Cheryl knew the artist too: Elise Black. She even remembered the original owner of the building: the Senie family.

Truly impressive.

Now it’s on to this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Photo Challenge #273

There are a lot more sheer rock faces in Westport than I thought.

“06880” readers took a break from hand washing, social distancing and toilet paper hoarding last Sunday to guess where the latest Photo Challenge might be.

Michael Tomashefsky’s rock wall (click here here to see) was — according to numerous wrong guessers — either off I-95 Exit 17; behind the Sherwood Diner; behind the Gault barn on South Compo; in the parking lot behind Trader Joe’s; at Erickson’s Pond (where is that?), or near the bridge by the Levitt Pavilion (huh?!).

It is, in fact, near 95 — but Exit 18. The exact location is behind the commuter parking lot on the Sherwood Island Connector, diagonally across from the transfer station.

There’s plenty of rock there. As well as history. In the early 1700s, that area was the site of the very first Greens Farms Congregational Church meetinghouse.

Congratulations to Brian Taylor, Andrew Colabella, Wendy Cusick, Jerry Kuyper and René Fontaine.

Special props to Fran Taylor, who nailed it despite having lived in Kentucky for the past few decades. Then again, she grew up right around the corner from the Photo Challenge wall.

I guess it’s her rock of ages.

Before responding to this week’s Photo Challenge, please read carefully:

We’re not looking for where these figures are today (behind a home on Hitchcock Road).

We want to know where would you have seen them from 2001 to 2008?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Howard Silver)

Photo Challenge #272

I’ve run some weird images as Photo Challenges.

On its face, there’s nothing strange about last week’s. It showed a pleasant domestic scene: rocking chair, clock, old-fashioned radio, pastoral farm painting.

What made it odd is that it can be found in a very public place: above the produce section at Fresh Market, on the Post Road. In fact, there are several similar scenes throughout the store.

Who knew? Not I — and I shop there. Photographer Evan Barr had to clue me in.

Morley Boyd knew, of course. He knows everything. Sylvia Corrigan and Robin Levey did too.

Most readers were as clueless as I. But I’m sure all of us will look up a lot more the next time we check out the radishes and raspberries.

You, meanwhile, can check out the photo — and the comments, which veered into other realms, since most readers had no idea where the photo was taken — by clicking here.

Meanwhile, if you know where to find this week’s Photo Challenge, click “Comments” below.

One hint: It’s not at Fresh Market. Or anywhere else indoors.

(Photo/Michael Tomashefsky)

Photo Challenge #271

How good are “06880” readers?

Good enough that you can identify a random, falling apart, Rube Goldberg-esque collection of pipes, beams and machinery perfectly.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed what remains of Rogers Septic Tanks, on the Post Road near Maple Avenue. (Click here for the photo.) 

Morley Boyd and Diane Bosch both knew exactly what and where it was.

According to Caroly Van Duyn, who took the intriguing picture, the building has stood for 120 years. Cast concrete septic systems were made there. It may be Westport’s last manufacturing facility,

Caroly went inside, and was fascinated.

“It was quite amazing, with signs of handmade ingenuity and craftsmanship through the machinery,” she says.

“As an artist myself, I am hands on in my own work. And as a working-class citizen, I am constantly reminded of the blood, sweat and tears that made our community.”

Rogers Septic Tanks will not last much longer. It will be demolished soon, and replaced by new homes.

This week’s Photo Challenge is also a tough one. If you know where in Westport you’d see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Evan Barr)

Photo Challenge #270

REO Speedwagon is one of those fairly popular, somewhat forgettable 1970s and ’80s bands.

They sold over 40 million records, and hit the Top 40 13 times. Their most famous song is “Keep On Loving You” — unless you’re from Westport, and know your musical trivia.

If so, then last week’s Photo Challenge was a no-brainer. It showed a mailbox at 157 Riverside Avenue. (Click here for the photo.)

That’s the address of a house REO Speedwagon rented in 1970, while recording their first album (in nearby Bridgeport). Apparently the band is still together, with a few original Speedwagons. Also apparently, “157 Riverside Avenue” is still a concert favorite.

The actual 157 Riverside Avenue was not a favorite with historical preservationists. It was torn down in 2011.

A new home now sits on the lot opposite Saugatuck Elementary School. But — thanks to the mailbox — the band and the song live on. (Scroll down for bonus features: the song and lyrics.)

Congratulations to Fred Cantor, Matt Murray, Bruce Taylor, Ralph Balducci, Derek Fuchs, Wendy Cusick, Jill Turner Odice and Adam Schwartz. We don’t give out concert tickets — or any other prizes. For knowing your rock history though, you get 15 minutes of fame on “06880.”

This week’s Photo Challenge has nothing to do with music. But it has everything to do with Westport. If you know where you’d find this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Caroly Van Duyn)

We flew into town on Sunday, had to find a place by Monday
Tried Bridgeport and Westport, ’til we found a place that we thought would do
157 Riverside Avenue.

Saugatuck River’s flowin’, mother nature’s colors were showin’
So cold, so rainy, we couldn’t help feelin’ blue
Not enough time, too many things to do.

We met a young girl on Main Street, wanted to just pass her by
She was homely, so lonely, she said, “can I make love to you?”
We shouted 157 Riverside Avenue.

It’s over, Miss Lena, we’re leaving, such a pleasant stay, I must say.
So nice, so easy, we hate to say goodbye to you
At 157 Riverside Avenue.

Photo Challenge #269

Last week’s pre-Presidents Day Photo Challenge featured Anne Bernier’s shot of a plaque, honoring George Washington’s November 11, 1789 visit to Westport. (His 4th time here, though his only one as president.)

So where was the old Marvin Tavern — and where is the plaque today? (Click here for the photo.)

As Morley Boyd, Peter Barlow and Amy Schneider quickly noted, it stood on what we now call Post Road West, near Kings Highway South. Specifically, the plaque is at #290. That’s the United Food & Commercial Workers building, next to the empty UBS headquarters. Probably the only people who see the plaque are in the parking lot. Not a lot of foot traffic there.

According to Woody Klein’s history of Westport, President Washington spent the night of November 11, 1789 at the inn of Captain Ozias Marvin. His wife Sarah and her daughters cooked up a mammoth meal: “loaves of brown bread, pies, the finest vegetables from their farm, huge roasts hanging from an open fire.”

However, President Washington asked only for a bowl of bread, and milk. (The rest of his party enjoyed the feast.) In his diary, Washington called it “not a good house, though the people of it were disposed to do all they could to accommodate me.”

Today’s Photo Challenge seems pretty easy.

(Photo/Peter Tulupman)

Obviously, it’s 157 Riverside Avenue.

So here’s the question: Why is this a Photo Challenge?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #267

There’s always a story.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed an easily identifiable — well, to anyone who lived here through the 1970s, anyway — painting.

I called it a lighthouse. I wrote that for decades it stood between the marina and pool entrance at Longshore — near where the pavilion and snack bar are now. (Click here to see.)

So that was not the challenge. I asked: Where can you see this painting today?

Fred Cantor, Joyce Barnhart and Lynn Untermeyer Miller all know: In the lobby of the Parks & Recreation offices, at Longshore a few yards from the 1st tee.

Then Richard Stein chimed in. He found this painting at a tag sale at the Red
Barn restaurant, on Wilton Road.

It was coated with dust, cobwebs and dirt. He had it cleaned and repaired, then donated to the Westport Permanent Art Collections, with the request that it hang at Parks & Rec office.

He added that a label on the back said “Horowitz.” The name “Harriet” appears at the bottom of the painting, along with “’71” — presumably indicating it was done in 1971.

Jill Turner Odice quickly added some details: Her mother, Julie Turner, was friends with Harriet Horowitz. They painted and played tennis together in Westport, between 1966 and ’89. “This painting is in her style,” Jill said.

That’s the story. Except for even more information, courtesy of Stein. He’s been told that some of the granite foundation stones of the tower are still there, in the marina parking lot.

Plus this: It was not actually a lighthouse. Stein says it was an observation tower.

“06880” readers truly are on top of everything.

This week’s Photo Challenge should ring a bell. If you know where in Westport you’d find this, click “Comment” below.

And of course, provide the back story.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

 

Photo Challenge #266

The snow in Kathleen Motes Bennewitz’s image last week made it hard to figure out exactly what the Photo Challenge showed. (Click here to see.)

But not so hard that Andrew Colabella, Seth Schachter, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Amy Schneider, Arthur Hayes, Mousumi Ghosh, Sean Doyle and Peter Barlow didn’t know the answer.

It was the big, abstract steel sculpture, created between 1976 and ’81 by Charles Ginnever titled “Charities.” It sits on Jesup Green, near the new entrance to the Westport Library by the Taylor parking lot.

According to Ann Chernow and Miggs Burroughs, writing in the Westport News’ “Art Town” column, it was donated to the town in 1996 by a friend of Ginnever,

It was originally placed in Winslow Park, facing the Post Road. The next year it was moved to Jesup Green.

It’s been there ever since, framing the library and serving as an inviting spot for kids to scamper on.

And for snow to collect.

This week’s Photo Challenge is easy to identify — for longtime Westporters, anyway. It’s the lighthouse that for decades stood between the marina and pool entrance at Longshore (near where the pavilion and snack bar are now).

So that’s not the challenge. What we want to know is: Where does this painting hang today?

That’s a question that any Westporter — no matter how recently you moved here — might be able to answer.

If you know, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #265

“Anyone for tennis?”

That’s not quite what the sign — last week’s Photo Challenge — said.

It read: “Looking for a game?” That made it a bit harder to identify.

But Fred Cantor, Amy Bedi, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Ben Sturner and Karen Kim all knew that it hangs outside the main tennis courts at Longshore. (Click here to see.)

Last week was not exactly tennis weather. This week’s Photo Challenge is a bit more wintry. If you know where in Westport you would see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

Photo Challenge #264

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: “06880” readers are good.

I was sure that last week’s Photo Challenge would stump almost everyone. Susan Ross’ image showed a flip-flop, tea cup, cameo jewelry, and random other, less identifiable objects. (Click here for the photo.)

It was colorful. But how could anyone identify it?

Almost immediately, Seth Schachter did.

He was followed, rapid-fire, by Jennifer Kobetitsch, Betsy Kahn, Sarah Halevi, India Penney, Julie McMahon, Tina Green, Luke Garvey, Michelle Vitulich, Leslie Petersen, Polly Temple, Darcy Sledge and J. Seideman.

All nailed it: The mosaic surrounding one of the parking garages behind the houses on Old Mill Beach. It’s just to the left of the first footbridge heading to Compo Cove.

I know the bridges and walking paths between Sherwood Mill Pond and Long Island Sound are a popular — if hidden — Westport gem.

But the parking garages are off to the side, little noticed, even obscure. And the mosaic is at the end of the lot. Most people’s attention is focused on the water.

At least, that’s what I thought.

Congratulations to our eagle-eyed readers. A special shout-out to Betsy Kahn — a gifted photographer herself — who added this information about the artist, Claudia Schattman:

“She is one of the coolest artists in town. And people can hire her for special mosaics, pottery and photography. She does installations with all mediums and sizes.”

This week’s Photo Challenge is far less colorful. Will it be as easy? If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)