Category Archives: Totally random

Pic Of The Day #509

New use for an old typewriter: along Muddy Brook at Hillandale Road (Photo/Mary Ann Meyer)

Starbucks’ Bad Spelling Moves Beyond Coffee Cups

These 3 misspellings in 8 words at the Post Road location could be a world record.

Pics Of The Day #501

Seen at Compo Beach: This driver put one over on the DMV license plate enforcement division. He must be laughing his f—-ing ass off!

Meanwhile, this Texas plate — with plenty of New England influences — was spotted in Westport recently. (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris)

A Modest (Cockenoe) Proposal

Megan Huntley — a Westport native — graduated from Staples in 2007. Tyler Kupper is a 2003 Weston High grad, who played hockey on the Wreckers’ co-op team.

They did not know each other — even though they spent many summers, boating on Cockenoe Island.

Tyler owned a thriving Christmas tree business in New York City. The last tree he delivered before selling his company was to Megan.

It was his best delivery ever. They started dating. And even though they both now live in the city, they spent as many weekends as they could here, on the water.

So when Tyler decided to propose, Cockenoe was the perfect choice.

Cockenoe Island, off Compo Beach — a favorite destination for local boaters.

He contacted Westporter Dave Dellinger, to (secretly) photograph the event. The two had been colleagues at the United States Tennis Association.

Together, they planned the day: Saturday, August 18.

It was stressful for Tyler, as it is for any guy about to pop the question. But Dave worried too: There was a 95% chance of thunderstorms.

Dave made his way out to Cockenoe, on his brother’s boat and a kayak. Then he waited for the couple.

He photographed their arrival …

… a few tender words …

… and the proposal.

(Photos/Dave Dellinger)

Megan was completely surprised.  (Fortunately, she said yes.)

Best of all, the rain held off — and the sky was blue.

It was just another day on Cockenoe for the egrets and other wildlife.

But for Tyler, Megan — and Dave — it was one they’ll never forget.

Remarkable Bookcycle: The Back Story

Saturday night’s Pics of the Day was one of “06880”‘s most special — and most commented on.

The photo s– sent by a reader who did not identify him or herself — showed a 3-wheeler. In front of the pedals sat a wooden structure, filled with books.

It was painted pink — just like the old Remarkable Book Shop.

More remarkably, the front featured the beloved store’s dancing man logo.

And — in case you missed the other clues — a sign on the top said “The Remarkable Bookcycle.”

The photos were taken in and around Compo Beach.

Readers loved it. But no one knew the back story.

Now it can be told. And the tale comes courtesy of Jane Green: author of 19 novels, with over 10 million books in print in more than 25 languages. Besides being (duh) a huge book lover, she’s a longtime Westporter — and a very involved neighbor. She writes:

It started with George, although really, it started with the Remarkable Book Shop. Ever since I moved to Westport almost 18 years ago, everyone has told me that I would have loved the Remarkable Book Shop. Esther and Sidney Kramer were neighbors of ours, and I’ve harbored a secret fantasy of re-opening the bright pink bookshop for years.

Which brings me to George: a cargo tricycle we bought from neighbors of ours at the beach about 12 years ago. It seemed like a great idea at the time, a way to transport picnics and children back and forth to the beach, but those children are now teenagers, and George has languished in our garage for years.

More recently, I found myself obsessed with Little Free Libraries. The Little Free Library is a non-profit organization founded in the 1980’s to encourage people to read, and to bring communities together. Usually, people build them at the end of their driveways, giving away free books, bringing strangers together, chatting about books.

As a novelist who created the Facebook group Westport Front Porch for exactly that reason — to bring a sense of community back — and as an avid reader, I had always wanted a little free library. Also, my house is threatening to topple over with the piles of books everywhere. But I live on a small private street, and suspected my neighbors might not be so happy with an influx of readers coming over.

A mobile Little Free Library suddenly seemed an excellent idea, one that could travel around the beach and bring a bit of happy nostalgia to our town, for who doesn’t feel good when they remember the Remarkable Book Shop? I found a wonderful new Staples graduate, Ryan Peterson, to rebuild George and transform him into the bookshop. I downloaded pictures of the store for him, and with my husband Ian Warburg, who grew up here and has so many happy memories of the bookstore, designed the cart as a double-sided library where people can take home free books.

Jane Green stocks the Remarkable Bookcycle library …

I was ready to paint the sign myself, but realized that Miggs Burroughs would do a much better job. I sent him an email asking for his help with a secret project, with no idea that his mother, Esta Burroughs, worked at the book shop from the day it opened until the day it closed. (How remarkable is that?!) Miggs was thrilled, and painted both the sign and the instantly recognizable dancing man.

We have loved parking the Remarkable Bookcycle (pronounced bicycle!) by the beach this weekend, and seeing the smiles on people’s faces. At some point soon, we’ll have a website set up with news of how to donate books. In the meantime, look for the Remarkable Bookcycle around Compo, raise your glasses to the spirits of Sidney and Esther Kramer and Esta Burroughs, and don’t forget to stroke Heathcliff the cat while you’re picking out your book. Yes, there’s even a Heathcliff the cat tucked in amongst the books in the Remarkable Bookcycle!

… and takes an inaugural ride, along Compo Beach Road.

Flight Drama Unfolds Over Westport

A private plane carrying 16 people — including the rap star Post Malone — blew 2 tires during takeoff this morning from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, en route to London.

The pilot has been burning fuel for hours before attempting an emergency landing. The original plan was for Massachusetts; now it’s being diverted to Stewart International Airport in New York.

According to a screenshot sent by Bart Shuldman, the plane has been making loops around the tristate area — including many passes over Westport.

The flight is still in the air. Click here for the radar link.

 

36,000 Feet

The other day, Sean van Beever was flying here from Florida, via Bradley Airport Hartford.

Suddenly, the clouds broke. The 3rd-generation Westporter looked out his window. At that very moment, he noticed the unmistakable outlines of Cockenoe Island, Compo Beach, Old Mill and the Sherwood Mill Pond.

Quickly, he pulled out his phone. The result is a remarkable photo, from 36,000 feet in the sky.

(Photo/Seth van Beever)

Glamping!

Harvey Weinstein wears an ankle bracelet — part of his $1 million bail deal.

He sold his Beachside Avenue estate. But — in an agreement with the new owner and a New York judge — he can stay there until February.

So what’s with the couple of dozen big white tents that suddenly appeared on his property, next to Burying Hill Beach?

Were they part of a news media blitz, sheltering reporters as they uncover a new scandal involving the now-disgraced Hollywood mogul?

Perhaps they’re part of anti-Weinstein protest?

Maybe a special Greens Farms/Bankside Farmers version of a Civil War reenactment?

(Photo/Kathleen Fazio)

Nope.

Turns out there’s a big wedding today, at another large Beachside mansion. The tents are for glampers.

Glamping — if you’re not cool enough to know — is “glamorous camping.”

You know: sleeping under the stars, in just a tent with a floor and queen bed, set up by workers, near other tents providing food, and plenty of high-end port-a-potties.

There are lights too, because that night sky can be so pesky.

The wedding guest glampers roughed it last night. They’ll be there tonight too, following today’s main event.

No word on whether they’ll hike down Beachside Avenue to the wedding, or be driven there in a glamping-style all-terrain limo.

(Want to know more about glamping? Click on the official website: Glamping.com.)

Pic Of The Day #478

Christy, pick up your damn towel already! This sign has been there on Saugatuck Avenue for a month! (Photo/Gene Borio)

And The Most Affordable Beach Town In The US Is …

… Westport.

No, not the one in Massachusetts. Or Washington state.

Yes, the one in Connecticut.

That’s not me talking.

It’s not the Westport (and Weston) Chamber of Commerce.

It’s WNBC. Channel 4.

Before you go all #FakeNews, read what the tri-state TV station had to say:

If you want beachfront property with oceans views, forget Florida or Hawaii — try Westport, Connecticut instead.

Yes, Westport.

The affluent Connecticut town actually ranks as the most affordable ocean-facing beach town in America, according to a new WalletHub survey released Wednesday.

This is the photo WNBC used to illustrate its story on Westport’s spectacular beach town ranking score. Based on the waves, it was not taken anywhere near Compo Beach.

The study compared 161 ocean-adjacent cities in 6 different categories, and Westport ranked 1st for affordability (calculated primarily by housing costs, household income and property taxes).

It also ranked 1st for education and health, which was based on the quality of the school system and local hospitals.

Overall the town ranked 9th, making it the only Top 10 city not located in California, Florida or Hawaii.

WNBC did not provide a link to the survey — unless you clicked on the one labeled “America’s Worst Ocean Beach Town To Live In Is In NY,”* which (with 1 more click) did lead to “Best Ocean Beach Towns.”

In addition to learning that we live on “the ocean,” the survey shows that our #9 score lands us just above Key West (!) in the overall rankings that combine affordability, weather, safety and economy.

But we are indeed the most affordable beach town — #1, Numero Uno, the Big Kahuna** — on the affordability index.

A typical home in the very affordable beach town of Westport. It was listed at a mere $8,850,000.

We lose points for the weather (duh). Perhaps that’s why we trail (in order, from #8 to #1) Kihei, Hawaii; Boca Raton, Florida; Santa Monica, California; St. Augustine Florida; Mill Valley, California; Sarasota, Florida; Naples, Florida, and the absolute bestest beach town in the entire USA, Lahaina, Hawaii.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Mill Valley is even less on “the ocean” than we are.

But who you gonna believe: National Geographic or WalletHub?

(Click here for the full survey. Then print it out and save it, for the next town budget discussion.) 

*It’s Shirley, Long Island

**Appropriate, considering that 2 of the Top 10 Beach Towns are in Hawaii.

We do lose points for weather. (Photo/Samuel Wang)

(Hat tips: Rick Leonard and Hedi Lieberman)