Category Archives: Photo Challenge

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)


Photo Challenge #311

We usually think of the Saugatuck River as flowing from downtown to Long Island Sound.

But though it’s more hidden, the waterway makes its mark on Westport much further north.

One of the prettiest spots is just before the Willows medical complex and Kings Highway North bridge. Dave Wilson captured a gorgeous image, complete with waterfall, rocks and dam. (Click here to see.) 

Michael Calise, Rich Stein, Andrew Colabella, Diane Silfen, Clark Thiemann, Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Eleanor Wilson — native or longtime Westporters all — identified last week’s Photo Challenge correctly.

There’s no public access. It’s tricky to navigate. But if you ever get a chance to experience this stretch of nature and beauty yourself — go!

This week’s challenge looks — at first glance — like the Longshore entrance.

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

Of course, it’s not.

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

Photo Challenge #310

The eagle has landed.

Well, it landed a long time ago. The sculpture has been affixed for years to a building on the east side of Main Street, just north of Brooks Corner.

Some readers referred to it by its current tenant: Brandy Melville. Others recalled previous incarnations: Jewels by Jason, Great Stuff, Things. One remembered the view from Oscar’s, across the street.

Jill Turner Odice provided plenty of background:

This eagle is on the front of the building on Main Street. My late husband Louis Odice’s salon was on the 3rd floor. He took over from Martin Pinto. It was also the apartment of photographer Tom Head, and a vintage clothing store at various times.

Downstairs was an ice cream shop run by one of Stew Leonard’s kids, and New England Jewelry Repair by the Hampel brothers (Matt and Bob) in the back.

Chou Chou Raum’s dad Jason had a jewelry shop there, and they lived upstairs. There was a crystal shop on the 2nd floor, and a travel agency over the years. Also a fur shop at one time…

I’m not sure about Stew Leonard’s kids running an ice cream shop — but the building was also the first of 3 locations for the Ice Cream Parlor.

It’s a proud building, represented by a proud bird. Rich Stein, Fred Cantor, Diane Silfen, Elaine Marino, Michael Don Sullivan, Deej Webb, Ellen Aston and Jill Turner Odice all correctly identified Mary Gai’s image. Click here to see it.

Dave Wilson provides this week’s gorgeous Photo Challenge. If you know where you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Dave Wilson)

Photo Challenge #309

I haven’t counted, but probably 90% of the Long Island Sound images I post are of Compo and Old Mill.

Both spots are photographers’ dreams. Cannons, jetties, a marina, a playground, a Cape Code-style cove — those and much more keep professionals and amateurs snapping away.

But Westport’s water views are hardly limited to our 2 most popular beaches. Saugatuck Shores, Sherwood Island and Burying Hill also provide ever-changing photographic opportunities.

Other vistas too should get more attention than they do. One was last week’s Photo Challenge.

Tom Lowrie’s shot looked west, toward Burying Hill and, beyond, Sherwood Island. It was taken from Beachside Avenue — the site, 350 years ago, of the first white settlements in what is now Westport. (Click here to see.)

It’s one of the prettiest spots in town. But only Jacque O’Brien, Rob Hauck, Andrew Colabella, Rich Stein and Tom Wall correctly identified it. Congratulations!

Here is this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where it is, click “Comments” below. Bonus points if you’ve got the back story!

(Photo/Mary Gai)

Photo Challenge #308

Last week’s Photo Challenge took readers on a romp around town.

From Sasco Creek and Kowalsky Farm to Winslow Park, Canal Street, Earthplace, White Barn Theater and a slew of preserves (Haskins, Newman-Poses, Leonard Schine), readers tried to identify exactly where the trees, flowers and plants in Chip Stephens’ photo could be found.

The answer — after a couple of hints from yours truly — is: Partrick Wetlands.

That’s the good-sized property off Wilton Road, not far from the Y and the Red Barn. Developers have had their eyes on it for a while. So far, it’s remained undeveloped.

Just like — surprise! — so much else in Westport, as readers noted in the list above.

Click here to enjoy this often-overlooked, but always appreciated, untouched property. And congratulations to Wendy Crowther: the first (and only) reader to nail the challenge.

Here’s this week’s image. It could have been taken anywhere in Westport — but where is it exactly? If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)