Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #292

On a hot Sunday last week, “06880” offered a cool view.

Harrison Gordon’s image showed the back of a Wilton Road house, near the Kings Highway North intersection. The view was from across the Saugatuck River, by Parker Harding Plaza. (Click here to see.)

The home was designed to maximize its view. As Harrison’s photo shows, it sure does.

Wendy Cusick, Bob Grant, Susan Iseman, Rich Stein, Andrew Colabella, Ralph Balducci, Diane Silfen, James Weisz, Seth Schachter, Ken Gilbertie, PK Cleary, Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Mary Ann Batsell all nailed this one. Congrats!

Before moving on to this week’s Photo Challenge, here’s a note on the one before last. It featured “Alvord Beach” — the name of Sherwood Island State Park’s East Beach, which virtually no one has ever heard of (or used). No one around here has ever heard of “Alvord,” either.

But MaryAnn Meyer — who lives not far from Sherwood Island — found an “Alvord Genealogy” online. It mentions Nelson Alvord’s home at 295 Greens Farms Road.

Nelson Alvord began a carriage-making business in Torrington, in 1835. The genealogy notes:

He was a pioneer in shipping top vehicles to Ga. These were used for distributing merchandise through the country long before the advent of railroads in that section of the South.

He built up a large business, probably the largest in the state, employing at times 125 men. Before the railroad was built through the Naugatuck Valley, he had to transport his wagons by team to New Haven, thence by water to Savannah, Ga. He continued in active business until he retired in 1863, and removed to Green’s Farms, Conn., on the shore of Long Island Sound.

See you at Alvord Beach!

Meanwhile, see if you can identify this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport this is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Lee Scharfstein)

Photo Challenge #290

Our “06880” Photo Challenges are meant to be fun: I post an image, you guess where it is.

I have to crop many submissions creatively. Last weekend’s, though, was a rarity. It was both challenging and artistic.

David Squires’ shot showed a gate with black waves, undulating against a background of green grass and blue sky. (Click here to see.)

It was visually arresting. And it was familiar to Wendy Brown, Jonathan McClure, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Wendy Cusick and Stephanie Mastocciolo. All knew it can be seen on Beachside Avenue, opposite Greens Farms Academy. The look is modern, but the view is classic.

This week’s Photo Challenge is also a bit different. The view is of a Westport beach, obviously — but what’s its official name? Click “Comments” if you know.

PS: No Googling. This is tougher than it looks.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Photo Challenge #289

Last week’s Photo Challenge was out of this world.

Well, out of Westport, anyway.

Trace Burroughs’ shot of a “Westpoort” sign was taken in Amsterdam. (Click here to see.)

Dan Vener, Peggy O’Halloran, Arthur Hayes, Jack Marshall, Andrew Colabella, Doug Fierro, Robert Fox, Barry Cass, Lawrence Joel Zlatkin, Amelie Babkie and Tracy MacMath all knew the Dutch connection.

Peggy added this helpful link, from Wikipedia:

Westpoort (Western Gateway or Western Port) is a borough (stadsdeel) of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The borough covers the Port of Amsterdam, the main harbour and industrial area of the city, and is located in the north-western part of Amsterdam. It is divided in the industrial areas of TeleportSloterdijk areas I, II and II, De Heining and the harbour area (Havengebied).

While the borough has very few permanent residents, it serves as corporate headquarters of over 1,500 Dutch and foreign companies that operate in the Netherlands. Therefore, approximately 45,000 people commute to the area for work on workdays, making it the largest commuter destination within city limits.[1]

As a primarily business district, Westpoort does not have its own district committee like the other boroughs do. Instead, it is governed directly by the central municipal council, as a port and industrial park rather than a neighborhood.

The northern border of the area is formed by the North Sea Canal. The district borders the boroughs of West and Nieuw-West and the municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude (including the town of Halfweg).

As for the spelling: the double “o” in Dutch is pronounced “oh,” not “ooh.” So my last name — which is Dutch — rhymes with “vogue,” rather than “voooog.” Think “Roosevelt” or “Moog” (the synthesizer guy).

Don’t worry, though. I’m used to people mispronouncing my name. I even do it myself!

Today’s Photo Challenge is both interesting and artistic. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/David Squires)

Photo Challenge #288

Burying Hill is a rocky beach. The sand is rocky; so is the floor of the Sound, as you venture into the water. There’s even a cement wall, built atop large rocks.

But the small beach draws a loyal crowd. They know that “Burying Hill rocks.”

They also knew that John Karrel’s photo — showing a bunch of stones, underneath a clever “Kindness Rocks” sign — was taken right there, off Beachside Avenue. (Click here to see.)

Andrew Colabella, Chip Stephens, Bill Shaner, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Lindsay Weiner and Ralph Balducci all nailed this one. Rock on!

So how about this week’s Photo Challenge? If you know where you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Trace Burroughs)


Photo Challenge #287

Sure, it was easy. But for an early summer, return-to-the-beach-even-if-it’s-not-fully-open Photo Challenge, it was a good one.

Kathy Motes Bennewitz captured an image familiar to generations of kids: the foot wash by the 3 Compo showers, between the concession stand and lifeguard shack. (Click here to see.)

For decades, youngsters have been mesmerized by their ability to block the drain, and create tunnels in the sand on the other side of the boardwalk. It’s a true joy of summer.

And it doesn’t matter if there are no picnic tables, grills, concession stand or even lifeguards this summer. Little boys and girls will still play there, getting as wet and muddy as ever.

Matt Murray, Andrew Colabella, Chip Stephens, Seth Schachter, Rich Stein, Nancy Axthelm, Diane Silfen, Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Lois Himes all knew the spot. Most of them played there as kids too.

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

(Photo/John Karrel)

Photo Challenge #286

I knew last week’s Photo Challenge would be tough. But I also thought that since many Wesptorters have been taking long walks during the pandemic, more folks than usual might have spotted the banner with Paul Newman’s smiling face that was the featured shot.


The only 2 readers who knew were artist/designer Miggs Burroughs (who seemed to have inside knowledge, when he wrote “studio garage behind 25 Imperial Avenue; it was conceived and created by the late internationally renowned futurist Watts Wacker”) and Jeff Kaufman (who, by noting “I have an unfair advantage,” must mean he works at that small office complex).

The banner is visible from a few vantage points near the police station. So, if you’re still out taking a COVID walk, check it out. (Click here for the photo.)

This week’s Photo Challenge should be much easier. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

Photo Challenge #285

The Westport Country Playhouse stage is dark this season.

But it remains bright and vivid in our minds. Last week’s Photo Challenge — showing an old-fashioned light above a closed window on the side of a red-painted wood structure — was easily recognized by many as the concession stand kiosk nestled in the courtyard outside one of America’s oldest and most famed summer theaters. (Click here to see.)

Wendy Schaefer, Rich Stein, Elaine Marino, Seth Schachter, Fred Cantor, Joyce Barnhart, Dan Vener, Wendy Cusick, Patricia Blaufuss, Nancy Wilson, Stephanie Ehrman, Jonathan McClure, Shirlee Gordon, Tom Risch, Elizabeth Marks, Seth Goltzer and Kathleen Lewton all knew exactly what the image showed.

All will hopefully be back next year, for the beloved Playhouse’s belated 90th season.

This week’s Photo Challenge picks up — sort of — where last week’s left off. We remember our neighbor Paul Newman for many things, including his role as the stage manager in the 2001 Playhouse production of “Our Town.” (His wife, Joanne Woodward, was the show’s sole producer when it moved to Broadway the next year. She played a major role in the Playhouse’s renovation, a couple of years later.)

We were used to seeing Paul Newman all around town. Everyone’s got a story. But where can we see this banner of him today? If you know where in Westport it is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Sabra Gallo)


Photo Challenge #284

The good news during the coronavirus crisis— and it’s a stretch, to be sure —  is that Westporters have discovered Sherwood Island State Park.

The closure of Compo Beach in the early days of the pandemic forced a number of serenity-seeking residents to the 235-acre gem. It’s easy to miss, and most folks here have. But if you head just a few yards beyond the I-95 Exit 18 on-ramps, you’ll find many wonders: a broad beach, woods, marshes, walking and biking paths, wildlife, a Nature Center, Connecticut’s 9/11 memorial, and much more..

Including a semi-overgrown, tree-lined spot leading to … last week’s Photo Challenge.

Located on the north end of the park, near Compo Cove and Old Mill, it was once the entrance to the Sherwood family farm and “mansion.” There’s not much to see there now, other than nature at its finest. (Click here for the photo; click here for a fascinating history of the park, and the land around it.)

But Susan Thomsen, Andrew Colabella, Nancy Axthelm, Rich Stein, Jalna Jaeger, Susan Schmidt, Moira Eick and Stacie Curran all knew exactly what Mary Sikorski’s image showed.

You can see it too. It’s there for us all at Sherwood Island — and it’s free. All you need is a Connecticut license plate. What are you waiting for?!

And don’t wait to answer this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

Photo Challenge #283

If you’re relatively new to Westport, you’ve never heard of “Needle Park.”

If you grew up here, you know exactly where it was.

For decades, when the library was located on the Post Road between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza — think Freshii and Starbucks today — it included a small outdoor gathering spot at the Post Road/Main Street corner.

With trees, bushes and benches, it may or may not have had an official name. It was a pleasant place to sit, hang out, people-watch, read or play guitar, and a perfect place for protests (Vietnam War, Nixon, you name it).

But because (supposedly) it was also a place to use and sell drugs, generations of Westporters called it “Needle Park.”

The Library owned the property. A deed ensured that it would remain open space in perpetuity. Indeed.

Sometime after the library left, and commercial real estate took over, the park turned into a concrete block. It’s now the entrance to the Pop’TArt gallery (which bears no blame for its current state; they inherited it).

All that remains are memories. Plus a sign — “Deeded Open Space. The public is welcome to this park and terrace” — which was last week’s Photo Challenge (click here to see). 

And which Pat Saviano, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Dick Lowenstein and Morley Boyd all identified correctly.

Coincidentally, the tiny park was spruced up on Friday by the Westport Garden Club. It’s part of their #FridayFlowers campaign. Members promise to keep the pots — there are 2 — spruced up throughout summer.

(Photo/Topsy Siderowf)

This week’s Photo Challenge is a gorgeous one, by Mary Sikorski. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Mary Sikorski)

Photo Challenge #282

Since 1947, Roger’s Septic Tanks has provided service — pumping, repairs, installation — from its Post Road location near Maple Avenue South.

It’s not a glamorous business. The property was not glamorous either. But boy, was it an essential service.

The facility itself has been there for 120 years. But it won’t be around much longer. Soon, it will be replaced by new homes.

A little bit of old Westport will be lost then. Hopefully, it will be remembered by folks like Wendy Cusick, Morley Boyd, Bobbie Herman, Jonathan McClure and Ed Simek.

Those 5 knew that last week’s Photo Challenge showed an intriguing view of the tank manufacturer. (Click here to see.) Very impressive!

On a side note, I’m impressed that everyone knows it’s Roger’s — as in, Roger owns it — rather than Rogers’ (as in a family’s last name). Also very impressive.

And this is impressive too: the plaque that forms this week’s Photo Challenge. I’m sure everyone has passed by this spot. But have you ever really noticed it?

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

(Photo/Chip Stephens)