Category Archives: Totally random

“06880” Endorses…

No other candidate for kayak commissioner has such a great Abba-esque slogan.

Or a Swedish flag.

Of course, there are no other candidates for kayak commissioner.

Because the post doesn’t exist.

But if it did, we’d definitely vote for Magano.

(Hat tip: Dana Kuyper. She took this photo at the Spicer/Rayfield Road intersection.)


“Love More Than Ever”

(Photo/Frank Rosen)

This sign — hanging by the Taylor Place parking lot, between the Westport Library and Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Post Road bridge — comes courtesy of an artist using the alias 5iveFingaz.

A Norwalk native who studied art at Sacred Heart University, his works pop up all over Fairfield County — and the country.

According to the Norwalk Hour:

He’s left his art hanging on walls under the SoNo train bridge, perched against a fence in Stamford’s Harbor Point, in the VIP lounge at Coachella, the streets of Chicago, New Mexico, Seattle. New York City subway stops, leaning against a tree in Sequoia National Park, you get the idea.

On Instagram — where he has over 8,000 followers, and uses the hashtag #mygalleryisoutside — 5iveFingaz says:

Creating is my therapy. Painting helps to curb anxiety and depression. On average, I paint about 2 paintings a day. They range from street art, realism, abstract, neo-expressionism, pop art or just words on canvas. They also range in size from 2 inches to 92 inches. Everything is calculated. Light, shadow and composition. Every painting has raw emotion mixed in with the paint.

And — judging by his contribution to Westport — a very important message.

(For the full Hour story, click here. Hat tip: Frank Rosen)


No S***! Permanent Port-o-Potty Plants Self In Town

Port-o-potties are a necessary — if not particularly lovely — part of our lives.

We see (and use) them at construction sites. There are a few at Wakeman Fields. Every year for the fireworks, dozens are trucked in to Compo Beach.

But we seldom see a portable toilet just sitting, all by its lonesome, by the side of a regular road.

Yet that’s where this guy has been, for weeks — perhaps months.

A curious (nosy?) Westporter has seen it for a long time now. It’s on Nyala Farms Road — the little cut-through that connects Greens Farms Road with the Sherwood Island Connector, just north of the Bridgewater office complex.

That may give one clue to why it (the port-o-potty, not the hedge fund) is there.

“It’s on the stretch where limos sit — often with engines idling — in hot and cold weather,” says the alert “06880” reader who stopped by the john the other day.

To take a picture, mind you.

Not to use the facility.

(If anyone knows why this particular port-o-potty is there, click “Comments” below. Snide political remarks will be removed!)

Now We Know: Summer Is Officially Over

A new store comes to the old Pier 1 Imports:

When Westport Ruled The Solar Eclipse World

As America goes gaga over the upcoming solar eclipse — it’s August 21, if you’ve lived under a rock — here’s a reminder that “06880” is not only where “Westport meets the world.”

It’s also where Westport meets the universe.

An exceptionally alert reader spotted this item for sale on eBay:

Yes, once upon a time the “Solar-Scope Solar Eclipse Eye Protector” (and souvenir guide) was manufactured right here in Westport.

You must remember that famous company, Solar-Scope, right?

The reverse side described what would happen on August 31, 1932:

So if you want your very own Westport-produced Solar Eclipse Eye Protector — from 1932, but presumably still useful in 2017 — click here.

But hurry! Bids end Friday morning.


Westport Pot Dealer Leaves

Jonathan Adler is gone.

The downtown home furnishings store was the brainchild of a noted craftsman. Adler first earned fame for his ceramics.

It was known locally for the intriguing sign in the front window. Every few months, an alert “06880” reader would email me a photo like this:

I know, I know, I’d reply. I wrote about it 4 years ago.

I don’t know why Jonathan Adler closed.

Perhaps it’s because of the legalization of medical marijuana in Connecticut, and for recreational use in 8 states.

Or maybe just the rising rents on Main Street.

Bad News: Yellow Pages Will Be Tossed In Your Driveway Soon. Good News: You Can Opt Out!

The new edition of the Yellow Pages will be distributed hurled intrusively onto your driveway soon. The project — which wastes enormous amounts of fuel as drivers deliver a product that wastes enormous numbers of trees, and which no one uses these days anyway — begins around September 22.

If you’re one of the 100% of Westporters who believe the Yellow Pages — and if not them, their current distribution system — should go the way of the Flivver and the fax, you’re in luck.

According to the 1st selectman’s office, you can opt out of “future phone book deliveries” by visiting If you opt out 60 days in advance of the delivery, you will not receive the current publication. (Today is July 27. I know, I know…)

Westport’s official town nuisance.

Supposedly, data submitted will never be used for marketing purposes, and will not be given to third parties.

You can also use those links to request directories.  As if.

If you have “concerns” about the Yellow Pages, email Provide your name, address, contact information and specific details about why you’re concerned.

Meanwhile, if you’ve got any strategies for stopping the even more intrusive — as in, every week — Minuteman, click “Comments” to share.

No Bull! Westporters Run At Pamplona

Rick Benson, Jack Fanning, Drew Murphy and Rod Smith met in 1988. All had toddlers. They — the adults, that is — helped plan and build the Compo Beach playground.

It was dangerous work. Not the physical labor — just getting it approved was tough. There was significant opposition: It will ruin the vista! Teenagers will hang out there, drinking and having sex! It will attract out-of-towners!

But they — and others — persisted. Today the beach playground is one of our town’s great attractions.

The men have remained friends ever since. This year, they decided to do something even scarier than building that playground.

They would run with the bulls at Pamplona.

The bulls at Pamplona.

If you’ve been living under a rock all these years — or hanging out at a playground — and never heard of that bizarre ritual, it’s this:

Every year, for 9 days during the Feast of Saint Fermin, over 1,000 people join 6 bulls (and 6 herding steers) in the narrow, winding medieval streets of the Spanish town.

The men — and the runners are nearly all male (go figure) — try not to get gored or (yes) killed in the 2-minute race to a large bull ring. Once inside, there’s even more chasing — and being chased by — the bulls.

What could be more fun?!

RB and Rick Benson in the Plaza del Toro bull ring, Pamplona.

The Westporters were joined by others: Benson’s son RB, Fanning’s son Mikey and Smith’s son Tyler; Joey Laurita and his cousin Bryan.

All have Westport connections.

They spent 3 days in Pamplona. They watched one day from the balcony of La Perla — the same hotel where Ernest Hemingway stayed, when he wrote “The Sun Also Rises.” The 1926 novel lifted an obscure Spanish ritual into a worldwide phenomenon.

All ran at least one day with the bulls.

(From left): RB Benson, Joey Laurita, Mike Fanning, Joey’s cousin Bryan and Tyler Smith. They all look relieved — and alive.

“It’s not as scary as it’s sometimes portrayed,” Rick Benson reports.

However, he notes, “Some people are definitely less cautious than we were.”

The craziest folks are in front of the bulls, or near their horns. The Westport contingent ran alongside the 1,500-pound animals.

Which is why they’re back home today, able to tell this great tale.

(PS: Rick Benson does not know what everyone else’s next adventure is. But this fall, he heads to Africa. He’s spent the past months raising funds with Rotary Clubs throughout the state. In Kenya, he’ll help oversee a $135,000 school renovation. In Nigeria, it’s a $120,000 water sanitation project. Both are a long way from Pamplona — and the Compo Beach playground.)

Running with the bulls sure gives you an appetite. The Westport contingent dined well.

3.454 M: The Sequel

On Monday, I posted a photo of a mysterious sign.

It read “3.454 M,” underneath another one warning of an 11’8″ railroad underpass on South Compo Road.

Alert reader Peter Flatow got the answer — and a promise — from Public Works director Steve Edwards:

Actually we have 4 such signs on our low underpasses. They were installed under the Diane Farrell administration. The signs were given to us by the Department of Transportation under a metric conversion initiative. We never bothered to check the conversion. [“06880″ NOTE: 3.454 meters is less than 11’4″ — a far cry from 11’8”, though at least it’s an error in the “right” direction for a truck driver carrying a high load.]

Good catch by an astute resident. Since the initiative failed miserably, all the metric signs will be removed.

That’s why we love Steve Edwards. But his response got me thinking: There are other signs in town that can be removed too.

Here are a few:

“School Bus Stop Ahead.” There’s one on Wilton Road, and others all around town. Come on — wherever you drive in Westport, there’s always a school bus stop ahead. And if you fail to see a big yellow vehicle with flashing red lights, you probably shouldn’t be driving anyway.

Oh my God! What is that? What should I do?!

“Blind Child At Play.” I’m paraphrasing here, but there’s something like this on South Compo, between Greens Farms and the Post Road. Perhaps it was useful once, but it’s been there for several decades. That “child” is probably now a grandparent. And no disrespect meant, but I’m sure that back in the day, the blind child didn’t play in the road.

I’m sure every “06880” reader has his or her “favorite” signs that they’d like Steve Edwards’ crew to remove.

What’s yours? Click “Comments” below.


In a town filled with random, seldom-observed signs — “No Right Turn”; “Speed Limit 25 MPH”; “”1 Hour Parking, Violators Will Be Towed” — it takes a lot to stand out.

This one did.

Spotted by alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti on South Compo Road, near the railroad underpass headed toward town, it raised a host of questions.

3.454 meters is not 11’8″, JP notes. It’s just under 11’4.” So that’s not what it means.

It make take 3.454 seconds to go from the sign to the bridge, but JP figures that’s not it either.

Perhaps it’s left over from a recent road race — or jUNe Day?

If you know what this random — yet very precise — sign means, click “Comments” below.