Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #322

Last week’s questions should not have been: “Where in Westport would you see this?”

It should be: “When did you first see it?”

Tons of readers quickly identified Molly Alger’s image as the bathrooms (aka “bathhouses”) at Sherwood Island State Park. It’s at the western end, past the concession stand and near the Nature Center. (Click here to see.)

For years, Connecticut’s first state park — 232 acres of prime beach, woods and walking trails, smack in the middle of Westport’s shoreline — was our town’s best-kept secret.

Then COVID struck. Compo was closed. It opened soon, though to limited capacity.

Seeking wide-open spaces, room to exercise and much-needed beauty, Westporters “discovered” Sherwood Island.

It’s a wonderful place. It’s particularly beautiful now, in the starkness and solitude of winter.

Plus, it’s free.

Congratulations to Pat Saviano, Fred Cantor, Nicholas Eisenberger, Diane Bosch, Ralph Balducci, Bruce Salvo, Jalna Jaeger, Lou Weinsberg, Stephen Axthelm, Judy Reid, Wendy Schaefer, Phil Kann, Hehenberger, Barbara Jay, Lawrence Zlatkin, Robert Grodman and Mary Ann Batsell.

You know your town. Let’s hope more Westporters enjoy this state park in our own back yard too.

Now: Can you identify this scene? One hint: It is not at Sherwood Island.

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

(Photo/Mark Jacobs)

Photo Challenge #321

Last week’s Presidents Day Photo Challenge fooled some of our most historic-minded Westporters.

Sure, in 1775 George Washington stopped (and slept) at the Disbrow Tavern, the site of the present-day Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. He returned 5 years later.

A plaque marks the spot, by the elm tree where Church Lane meets Myrtle Avenue. But that’s not the marker that Kathie Motes Bennewitz’s image showed. (Click here to see.)

A similar plaque is partially hidden near the Christ & Holy Trinity (and Assumption Church) cemetery, on Kings Highway North. It’s across from the grassy area by Old Hill Road that, in Revolutionary times, served as a militia training and parade ground.

Elaine Marino, Bob Grant, Michael Calise and Morley Boyd all knew the correct location of this plaque.

Elaine also pointed out — to my great embarrassment — this was a previous Photo Challenge, in July 2018. (I really should read “06880,” right?)

During the Washington Bi-Centennial Celebration in 1932, the Compo Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a bronze plaque at the base of the tree.

The plaque on Kings Highway does not indicate who placed it there.

The downtown plaque is more weather-beaten than its cemetery counterpart. It says: “George Washington stopped for refreshments at this tavern, June 28, 1775.” It also has the bicentennial dates: “1732-1932.”

That Disbrow Tavern visit — and the next — were not the only 2 times Washington stopped (and slept) here. As president, he spent the night of November 11, 1789 at Captain Ozias Marvin’s tavern, at what is now the north side of Post Road West, opposite Kings Highway South.

Sarah Marvin and her daughters cooked up a presidential feast: loaves of brown bread and pies, vegetables from their farm, huge roasts.

Yet Washington asked for only a bowl of bread and milk. To add insult to injury, he wrote in his diary: It was “not a good house, though the people of it were disposed to do all they could to accommodate me.”

No matter. For years thereafter, Marvin Tavern was known as the Washington Inn.

But enough about yesterday. Here is today’s Photo Challenge. if you know where in Westport you would see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

 

Photo Challenge #320

Last week’s Photo Challenge’s honored Sigrid Schultz.

As the Chicago Tribune‘s Berlin bureau chief — the first female bureau chief of any major newspaper, anywhere — the pioneering reporter, social justice activist and longtime Westporter played a key role in exposing the growing Nazi threat during the lead-up to the war, and beyond.

A plaque memorializing her was unveiled last year, near her former residence. (Click here for the photo.) Where, the Challenge asked, was that?

The plaque is at Serena & Lily — the lifestyle store in the former Kemper Gunn House. It was moved across Elm Street in 2014, to make way for Bedford Square.

Schultz lived a bit behind the site of the present store, in what is now the Baldwin parking lot. Her home was demolished, to make way for cars.

Dick Lowenstein notes that in 2019 the RTM unanimously named the area “Sigrid Schultz Plaza,” though there is no signage to that effect.

Others who identified the site correctly were Fred Cantor, Linda V. Velez, Wendy Cusick, Wendy Schaefer and Judy Reid.

This week’s Photo Challenge is another plaque. It’s appropriate, because tomorrow is Presidents Day.

If you know where in Westport we honor our first president — and why there’s a Westport tie to him — click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

Photo Challenge #319

Who’s thinking of summer?

Dan Vener, Fred Cantor, Andrew Colabella and Carol Brezovec.

They knew that last week’s Photo Challenge — which showed some wooden picket fencing, and the number “1” — was part of the lifeguard chair storage area in the Compo Beach Soundview parking lot. (Click here to see.) 

Only 113 days until the traditional Memorial Day opening, when all 5 guard chairs will be on the sand, manned (and womanned) for action.

This week’s Photo Challenge is easy. It’s obviously a plaque honoring Sigrid Schultz, a true (if previously overlooked) local hero.

The challenge is not just to say where in Westport it’s located. We want the exact location — to the inch (or at least yard).

If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Photo Challenge #318

Last week’s Photo Challenge was like the Bernie meme: It showed up everywhere.

People thought the photo of a lonely looking fence — 2 sections surrounded by empty space, protecting nothing — was all over town.

The Wakeman athletic fields, North Compo Little League diamonds, Longshore lower parking lot, back of Town Hall, Imperial Avenue lot — so many places that poor fence could be.

The photographer’s name — Lou Weinberg — should have given it away, though. He’s the chair of Westport’s Community Gardens.

That’s the big, beautiful space just south of Long Lots Elementary School. Coincidentally, it’s the former site of the Jaeger family greenhouses — but Jalna Jaeger says the fence was not there when they owned the property.

It’s where families with little children, folks in their 80s and everyone in between grows fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs and grasses, in all kinds of designs and configurations.

And where, presumably, they all marvel at the wonders and mysteries of life — including this gate to nowhere. (Click here to see.)

Correct answers came from Diane Bosch, Elaine Marino, Joyce Barnhart, Bronwyn Cousins and Phil Rubin. Like everyone else — green and kiss-of-death thumbs alike — they anxiously await the arrival of spring.

In the meantime, if you know where in Westport you’d see this week’s Photo Challenge, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Rich Stein)

Photo Challenge #317

Last week’s posting hit the Photo Challenge sweet spot.

It was indeed a challenge. Most guesses were wrong (and all over the Westport map). A few were right.

It impelled readers to provide thoughts on the back story too. Along the way, we traveled back in (and learned about) our town’s history.

Frank Rosen’s image of an abandoned brick and rock structure deep in some woods was not taken at Baron’s South, Nash’s Pond, Post Road West near Kings Highway South, or either the Evergreen Avenue, Willowbrook or Wilton Road/Kings Highway cemetery.

The correct answer: Newman Poses Preserve off Bayberry Lane. Specifically, it’s past a dilapidated bridge, near the river. (Click here to see.) 

Was it an ice house? A cow tunnel? Something to do with an onion farm?

We still don’t know.

But we do know that Janis Wasserman and Kathie Bennewitz both correctly identified whatever it is correctly. They know their open spaces!

This week’s Photo Challenge was taken last month, during our only snowfall this winter.

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

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

Photo Challenge #316

One of the great things about chess is that you can play it anywhere.

Including outside the Westport Library, on the bank of the Saugatuck River.

A chessboard is built into one of the tables outside the lower level, by the Riverwalk.

It’s our answer to Washington Square Park. And Diane Johnson, Fred Cantor, Andrew Colabella, Joelle Malic, Seth Schachter, Susan Iseman and Caroline Sherman all correctly identified last week’s Photo Challenge. (Click here to see.)

Check, mates!

This week’s Challenge is intriguing. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

And if you know the back story — which I sure don’t — add that too. I’m sure it’s a good one.

(Photo/Frank Rosen)

Photo Challenge #315

Westport can be a pretty private place.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed a sign: “Private Access/Residents Only.” Readers responded quickly. Most thought it was the gate leading to Compo Cove, the very private beachfront property accessible only by footpath. (Click here for the photo.)

Others guessed Stony Point (the private road off the eastbound railroad station parking lot), The Saugatuck apartments on Bridge Street, Burying Hill Beach, the Sasco Creek houses, or the condos behind Vineyard Vines.

But only Terry Sauer and Peter Swift knew where Elaine Marino snapped her shot. It’s at the far end of the parking lot behind Compo Acres Shopping Center (Trader Joe’s). A staircase leads up to the Birch/Linden/Pine/Spruce street neighborhood.

There’s a back story (pun intended) to the now well-landscaped area. It was originally a nicely forested hill, providing a buffer between homes and an employee parking lot

In 2014 the shopping center’s owners bulldozed it all, as part of the shopping center’s renovation. They might have left it that way too — but neighbors complained.

They now have nice access to Trader Joe’s, restaurants and fitness centers — privately, of course.

Back to square one. If you know where in Westport you’d see this week’s Photo Challenge, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Rowene Weems)

 

Photo Challenge #314

Some Photo Challenges can be answered by anyone who has once lived in Westport. They’re permanent parts of our landscape.

Others are solvable only by those who live here now. But those bits of town will still be around for a while.

Last week’s Challenge could only be known by the latter grouop. If you haven’t seen it though, you better not wait too long.

Amy Schneider’s photo showed a beautiful butterfly. It’s hidden in plain sight — the alley behind Anthropologie, in Bedford Square — but it won’t be there forever. (Click here to see.)

The colorful charcoal work by Susan Fehlinger is part of an outdoor art project called “Vanishing Species/Vanishing Murals.” Sponsored by the Artists’ Collective of Westport, it’s one of 4 pieces that — exposed to the elements — will disappear.

Which is exactly what’s happening to so many creatures around the globe.

“The process of aging, fading and degradation speaks to the attention span of our fast-paced world, and offers its own lesson on the ephemeralness of art and life itself,” the Collective says.

Rindy Higgins, Nancy Axthelm, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Michael Calise and Jeanne Esposito all knew exactly where to spot the lovely butterfly.

For now, at least.

This week’s Photo Challenge is a lot more permanent. And a lot less friendly.

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

(Photo/Elaine Marino)

 

Photo Challenge #312

It looked like the Longshore entrance drive — but it wasn’t.

It reminded many readers of Sherwood Island — but it wasn’t.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed the tree-lined drive leading to what used to be Harvey Weinstein’s home. Now demolished, it sat adjacent to Burying Hill Beach. (Click here to see.)

Rich Stein, Ryan Burke and Michael Brennecke were the only 3 to correctly identify the (very private) site. Michael (and Sam Febbraio) also referenced it by a previous owner: the Glendinning estate.

I’m not sure if Harvey ever had any wild parties there. (Though I could guess.)

But I know for sure the Glendinnings did.

That’s all I’ll say. Now we’ll just move on to this week’s Photo Challenge.

If you have any idea at all where you’d see this week’s very difficult image, click “Comments” below.

(Phoro/Chris Sotire)