Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #214

Last week’s Photo Challenge was so challenging, it first fooled even the reader who eventually got the right answer.

And he works there.

Amy Schneider’s image showed a weathervane — a trail direction post — at Earthplace. Jaime Bairaktaris helps with the youth program there. He loves the place. (Click here for the photo.)

But he first pegged the vane at Christie’s Country Store. Other folks guessed Wakeman Town Farm, Greens Farms Congregational Church, the Senior Center, fire stations, Police headquarters, and Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center.

Jaime is one of the most observant Westporters I know. The photos he shares on “06880” are wonderful. It’s clear he’s got a great eye, and he loves this town.

He was a bit embarrassed at not identifying the Earthplace photo immediately. He shouldn’t be. That just means he’s spending all his time looking out for the kids in his care.

This week’s Photo Challenge comes courtesy of John Pollak. If you know where in Westport you’d see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/John Pollak)

Photo Challenge #213

Maybe the lousy weather meant everyone was binge-watching Netflix or making fires. Maybe everyone was away for Martin Luther King Day weekend. Or maybe everyone who leaves Granola Bar is so excited about their granola bars that they don’t look around.

Those are some reasons I came up with to explain the dearth of responses — and, after more than 24 hours, only one correct one — to last week’s Photo Challenge. (Congrats, Jay Dirnberger!)

Elaine Marino’s image showed a mysterious crop circle-like scene, all green and gray. It sure looked like an aerial shot.

It wasn’t. It was the design in the median strip at Playhouse Square — you know, the one right outside Granola Bar.

Click here to see Elaine’s photo. Then get ready to click “Comments” to answer this week’s Challenge.

It should be easier than last week’s. At least, you have to look up instead of down.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Photo Challenge #212

Maybe it’s because relatively few Westporters wait for trains on the eastbound platform.

Maybe it’s because after eating at Donut Crazy, you’re on such a sugar high you can’t sit down.

Whatever the reason, only 2 readers knew that last week’s Photo Challenge — Seth Schachter’s shot showing the word “Welcome” — was actually a bench for riders taking Metro-North toward New Haven. (Click here for photo.)

Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Andrew Colabella were the 2 eagle-eyed — or perhaps travel-weary — eagle-eyed readers. Their responses were quite “welcome.”

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

(Photo/Elaine Marino)

Photo Challenge #211

Our 1st-ever “4-fer” Photo Challenge showed a quartet of ads. All were shot in the 1950s and ’60s by photographer Bill Bell — longtime Westporter Bobbi Liepolt’s father — for the Dunbar furniture campaign. (Click here to see.)

The photos showed, in order:

  • Kathleen Laycock School on Beachside Avenue (now Greens Farms Academy)
  • Fairfield County Hunt Club
  • Nyala Farm, off Greens Farms Road
  • The Stony Point home of Leopold Godowsky (a concert violinist who helped develop Kodacolor and Ektachrome) and his wife, Frankie Gershwin (George and Ira’s younger sister, and a noted painter).

The first 3 sites are all still in Westport, in more or less the same condition (despite, in Nyala Farms’ case, the construction of a massive office building for Stauffer Chemicals’ world headquarters).

The Godowsky home was torn down in 2009, to make way for a larger, more modern home.

No one got all 4 right. The school was the easiest; Andrew Colabella, Dana Brownell, Barbara Sherburne, Rick Leonard and Bob Grant all quickly identified the iconic, Ivy League-looking main building.

The Hunt Club seemed to be the second easiest. Fred Cantor and Rick Leonard got that one.

It took a while to identify Nyala Farm and Stony Point — but Evan Stein got ’em both. Congrats to all!

This week, we “welcome” old and new readers with this Photo Challenge:

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

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

Photo Challenge #208

If you’ve spent any time at all on the walkway between Old Mill Beach and Compo Cove — and if you haven’t, you should; it’s one of the most beautiful spots in Westport — you know there’s a lot to see.

The spectacular views of Long Island Sound, sand, and the Mediterranean-like homes and terraces on Compo Hill. Sherwood Mill Pond, with an oyster house far in the distance. Two wooden bridges, reminders of long-ago days.

If you’re a longtime resident, you may know that the home straddling the inlet was owned for many years by the Aitkin family. But unless you’re particularly eagle-eyed, you may never have noticed 2 plaques on the walkway, a few feet from the (recently raised) house.

They read “A. King Aitkin, July 5, 1887-July 22, 1974” and “Kathleen A. Aitkin, September 14, 1906-March 21, 1969.” They were placed there by the couple’s daughter, Melissa Aitkin Beers, when the home was sold, in recognition of her parents’ love of the area, and attention to environmental issues.

(Fun fact: Black Duck owner Pete Aitkin grew up in that house.)

Andrew Colabella, Michael Calise, Diane Silfen, Jay Tormey, Rick Benson and Caryl Beatus all knew exactly where those plaques lie.

Click here for the photo from last week’s Challenge, and all guesses. You’ll find Rick’s comment amusing: He called them “headstone markers for 2 dogs.” King lived to be 87, and Kathleen died relatively young, at 62 — but that’s still a crazy among of dog-years.

Today’s Photo Challenge is seen by many more people each day than the Aitkin plaques.

(Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

Yet — like last week’s photo at the Old Mill walkway — odds are high we seldom really notice it.

Click “Comments” below if you know where in Westport you’d see this.

Photo Challenge #207

Last week’s Photo Challenge was quite bucolic. Bob Weingarten’s image showed the remains of a high stone wall, now covered with vines and bushes. A quiet road ran behind it. (Click here to see.)

It could have been many places in Westport. Many readers thought it might be found in a cemetery. Assumption on Greens Farms, and Willowbrook on Main Street came to mind.

Nope. It’s on Beachside Avenue, opposite #76.

That’s all I had. But — of course — “06880” readers knew more.

Both Susan Lloyd and Morley Boyd identified it as “Bedford’s Folly.” Mary Ann Batsell got the location too, though not the name. Apparently it was once part of the ginormous E.T. Bedford estate in Greens Farms.

But why the “folly”?

Susan Lloyd offers these fascinating facts: “A garden folly is a useless structure in a garden.”

She adds, “Bedford Gardens was open for walking on Sunday afternoons. There was also a fake canal with a small bridge.”

Sounds like a great place to play mini-golf!

And Morley Boyd notes, “The folly, in this case, served as an important garden design element intended to lend a sense of mystery and romance by imitating an old ruined structure. Trickery is an age old tool in large scale landscape garden design.”

So it’s not really ruined — it just looks that way.

Mary Ann Batsell says the gardens were once open to the public. In the 1980s, her father helped uncover them. (So maybe they were “ruined,” after all.)

Speaking of Sunday afternoon strolls, here’s this week’s Photo Challenge. Click “Comments” if you know where it was taken:

(Photo/Judith Bacal)

HINT: Like last week’s Photo Challenge, this too was not taken in a cemetery.

Photo Challenge #206

Pay phones are going the way of CBs and 8-track tapes.

But if you need one, there are still a few places in Westport to go.

One is the library. Another is Sherwood Diner.

A third — and the one pictured in last week’s Photo Challenge — is McDonald’s. (Click here to see.)

I don’t know if it was the same phone that was there in the restaurant’s original incarnation: Big Top.

But I do know this: The burgers sure have gone downhill since then.

Congratulations to Bill Boyd — a Staples High School Class of 1966 grad, who must remember the Big Top — for being the first with the correct answer.

He was followed by Jonathan McClure, who was not ashamed to admit he knew the answer because he occasionally eats at McDonald’s.

This week’s Photo Challenge is below. If you know where in Westport you’d find it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

 

Photo Challenge #205

Westport’s cemeteries are important places.

Like most boneyards, they feature row upon row of gravestones, markers and monuments. This being New England, many are old. Some are historic. All mean something.

But cemeteries can be beautiful too. Willowbrook — established in 1847 — is more than final resting place of generations of Coleys, Burrs, Nashes, Bedfords, Bradleys and Hurlbutts.

It’s a place of rolling hills, specimen trees, shrubs, a pond, the famed Daffodil Mile — and last week’s Photo Challenge.

Mark Jacobs’ image showed a lovely brook, running underneath a handsome viaduct. (Click here for the photo.)

Only one “06880” reader — Dan Herman — knew where that photo was taken: by Carriage Lane, just off Main Street.

Perhaps the end of the Thanksgiving holiday kept the number of correct guesses low.

Or maybe we all need to spend more time hanging out in Westport cemeteries.

This week’s Photo Challenge —

(Photo/Stan Skowronski)

— can be found in a hangout of a different type.

Hint to young “06880” readers: The object above is a “pay phone.” Once upon a time, you fed coins into the slot (upper right), dialed or punched in a phone number, and talked to them using the “handset” (middle, with cord).

Another hint to young readers: This phone is located in a place you’re very familiar with. Now you know what it is!

Readers of any age, who know where in Westport you’d find this: Click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #203

Last Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I. It was also Veterans Day.

In honor of all the Westport service members who gave their lives throughout American history, I posted a photo of a plaque. It lists the names of 14 Westporters who died in World War II.

It’s an important piece of who we are. But where is it?

Those names provided a clue. Many more than 14 from this town were killed in action, in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific.

Those 14 soldiers, sailors and airmen were members of Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The plaque hangs on the church’s back wall, just inside the rear entrance.

It must be unnoticed by many. Sadly, no one knew the correct answer. Linda Amos was thinking “a church,” but she did not know which one. She came closest, until hours later Mary Cookman Schmerker nailed it.

Hopefully though, the plaque won’t be overlooked much longer. Christ & Holy Trinity congregants should seek it out. And because the church is used by so many community groups, others should find it too. (Click here to view the plaque.)

This week’s photo challenge, by contrast, is passed by every day by many Westporters. Still, how many of us actually see it?

(Photo/Mark Jacobs)

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

Photo Challenge #202

Westport is a beautiful town. There are so many stunning scenes — like Jamie Walsh’s shot of a serene pond, framed by glorious fall foliage — that it’s tough to figure out exactly where they all are.

But Jerry Kuyper, John D. McCarthy, Julie Fatherley and Wendy Cusick all knew that last week’s Photo Challenge was taken at the Caryl & Edna Haskins Preserve.

Part of the Aspetuck Land Trust, off Green Acre Lane, it’s one of our town’s true hidden gems. (Click here for the picture.)

I wrote about the Haskins Preserve in 2011. Thankfully, it has not been overrun. At the risk of revealing a spectacular secret to the world (again), here’s a link to that story.

Today — Veterans Day — we offer this plaque, honoring some of the Westport soldiers killed in World War II.

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

(Photo/Chip Stephens)