Category Archives: Westport life

Very Special Family Visits Joey’s

Joey’s by the Shore is one of Westport’s not-so-hidden gems.

It’s got the most interesting menu of any beach place I’ve seen. Joey, Donny and the kids who work there do a great job cooking, handling crowds, and coaxing orders out of kids (and parents) who get to the cash register, look up from their iPhones and suddenly have no idea what they want.

Joey’s crew is also fanatical about keeping the place looking nice, inside and out.

One thing they should not have to do is clean up after customers.

On my way inside Sunday, I passed a family — dad, mom, 3 cute kids — eating at a patio table. The sky was blue; the vibe, wonderfully chill.

This is what I saw when I came out:

The happy family was nowhere to be seen.

Of course, they may have had an excellent excuse for leaving their gross mess:

Perhaps it was their maid’s day off.

Fingers Crossed For Tonight’s Blog Party

Thunderstorms are forecast for today and tonight. Hey — we’ve got our 7th annual “06880” blog party, starting at 6 p.m.!

We’re still set for South Beach — the alcohol-is-fine-except-no-glass-bottles end, furthest from the cannons. Unless, of course, there’s rain and lightning then.

If it rains earlier, we’ll clear off the tables and benches. (If you’ve got an extra folding table, please bring one!) If it rains during the event, we’ll open umbrellas – or scatter.

This is a bring-your-own-food-and-beverages event. If you’d like to bring something extra to share, feel free!

We provide the “06880” community — a chance to meet commenters and lurkers. Each year there are oldtimers, newcomers, politicians and normal human beings. It’s a chance to talk, laugh and trade stories about this wild, wacky and only slightly dysfunctional town we share and love.

See you tonight!

We hope.

We’ll be just to the left of this jetty (near the boat and kayak launch). Without the car, though. And probably without the blue skies. (Photo/Linda Gramatky Smith)

“06880” Blog Party Is Thursday!

The 7th annual “06880″ party is almost here!

If you’re reading this, you’re invited.

This Thursday (July 18, 6 p.m.) is the day and time. The far end of Compo’s South Beach — away from the cannons, near the boat and kayak launch, not far from the new bathroom — is the place. (Still confused? See the aerial view below.)

The blue arrow marks the "06880" party spot.

The blue arrow marks the “06880” party spot.

Every member of the “06880″ (aka this website) community is invited. We welcome frequent commenters and lurkers. Folks who have lived here all their lives, and those who moved here yesterday. People who want the Saugatuck bridge to stay the same, those who want a new one, and everyone in between. (Though the party is a politics-free zone.)

The tagline for “06880″ is “Where Westport meets the world.” Next Thursday, that world comes to Compo.

Bring your own food, beverages (no glass bottles!), beach chairs and blankets. We could use a few folding tables, too. Then mix, mingle and enjoy the evening with the “06880″ crowd.

There’s no charge. It’s a “fun-raiser,” not a fundraiser.

A “blog party” — the “06880” version of a block party.

See you Thursday!

(PS: We try to match people who need rides, with those who can offer them. If you fall into either category, please email me privately: dwoog@optonline.net. No promises, but I’ll do my best.)

[OPINION] Westport Motorists Drive Me Crazy!

Alert “06880” reader and frustrated driver Greg Rayner writes:

This marks 20 years of living in Westport. I am a native Californian. I love just about everything here: the beaches, landscapes, culture, dining, library, the people.

But there is one thing we as a community need to work on: traffic etiquette.

On any given day, especially in summer, traffic conditions can be quite grizzly.

Greg Rayner

Many new businesses and several housing facilities have popped up on the Post Road recently, adding to the traffic.

Of course, the conduct of many drivers around town contributes to the problem. and subtracts from the many pluses of living here.

The way we respond to each other in our daily routines very much impacts the overall quality of life in Westport.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my biggest traffic beefs.

“I don’t have time for the blinker”: How many times do I see people not taking the 3 seconds to turn on their blinker, making others slam on brakes or keeping someone from turning because it is not clear if the other person is going straight or not?

“I’m going left so I’m going to drive across 4 lanes of traffic, no matter the delays it causes”: I’ve said it often: You can save time by just flipping around and not inconvenience 20 people as you meander through 4 lanes at rush hour.

“I’m going to stick my car so far out into the lane of traffic that others have to swerve into the other lane”: When someone sticks their car out into the lane of the road, I am much less likely to accommodate them than someone who has the blinker on.

“I’m going to dash across even though others have to slam on their brakes”: Driving is stressful enough without having to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision with someone who could have waited another 30 seconds.

“Hell no, I won’t let you merge because the lane is blocked”: We all see it – road work, a delivery truck, you want to change lanes, you have your blinker on but so few will let you change lanes.

Sure, traffic is blocked ahead. But no way I’m letting you in! (Photo/Chip Stephens)

“Intentional blocking of entrances and intersections”: This can happen accidentally if you misread the flow of traffic, but if I had a dollar for every time I can’t get into the Trader Joe’s parking lot because someone is blocking the entrance and doesn’t care, I’d have a chauffeur driving me around.

“Pedestrians come last rule”: The Post Road can be a death trap. My friend Sharon was killed on the Post Road in 2010. The other day I saw a man in a wheelchair waiting 15 minutes to cross the Post Road. No one seemed to care.

This list is not exhaustive. But I often think about the wonderful community we have. If we’d all make just more of an effort to show some traffic etiquette and be considerate of other drivers, it would certainly make our lovely town even more appealing and less stressful.

Signs: The Lawful Sequel

Earlier today, I posted Amy Ancel’s story about the theft of legal signs for non-profit events. Here’s a re-post from 2017, courtesy of the Westport Police Department:

Unfortunately we have experienced vandalism and theft regarding temporary signs in the past. This type of behavior will not be tolerated. These crimes may lead to criminal charges such as trespassing, criminal mischief and/or larceny.

The following policy has been established by town officials, in order to provide coordination for the placement of temporary signs by Westport non-profit organizations wishing to advertise one-time-only charitable events.  Signs placed on public property advertising a private business or company will be removed. (Bold italics are mine!)

The sign in the foreground is illegal. (Photo/John Karrel)

General Guidelines for ALL Temporary Signs

  • Town property includes traffic islands and road rights of way.
  • The town may not approve, nor is it responsible for, any signs erected on State of Connecticut property. It is not advisable to place signs on State of Connecticut property (including rights of way and islands along Routes 1, 136, 57, 33, and the Sherwood Island Connector, nor on the exit or entrance ramps of I-95 or the Merritt Parkway), as the state may remove them.
  • No sign may be placed on any school property without the prior permission of the superintendent’s office.
  • No sign may be placed within the interior of Compo Beach or Longshore.
  • No sign may be placed on Town Hall property.
  • No sign may be placed on trees or utility poles.
  • No sign may interfere with traffic visibility.
  • Signs on private property require property owner approval. Signs on private property shall not extend beyond the property line or into the town right-of-way and is suggested they be removed within 2 days after the publicized event or election.

There are rules for advertising charitable events.

Temporary Signs for Advertising Charitable Events

The placement and locations of temporary signs on Town property for the purpose of advertising a charitable event requires review and approval by the Westport police chief, director of Planning and Zoning, and director of Parks & Recreation, or their designated representatives. Qualifying organizations (i.e. local non-profits) may send the attached request, including proposed locations, for the placement of temporary signs to: Selectman’s Office, Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880 or selectman@westportct.gov.

The following conditions will apply to charitable events:

  • A maximum of 15 signs are allowed for each such event. This includes directional signs.
  • The signs may be erected not more than 2 weeks before the event and must be removed within 2 days after the publicized event.
  • The size of the sign cannot exceed 2 feet by 3 feet.
  • Non-compliance may result in the removal of signs.

Please note that this press release pertains to Town of Westport roads, and not state roads, like Route 1, Route 33, Route 57 and Route 136.

Temporary Signs for Political Purposes

Political signs are considered an expression of free speech and are allowed on public property. The General Guidelines noted above apply to temporary signs for political purposes.

 

Unbelievably, Today Is Still Only Saturday

Having our fireworks Wednesday night — and scheduling the 4th of July for a Thursday — was the best idea since the Declaration of Independence.

All around Westport yesterday — at the beach, Longshore, the Y, wherever anyone hangs out* — people said, “Today feels like Sunday.”

But it was Friday!

Since Wednesday, we’ve taken full advantage of everything our town offers.

Steaks on the Compo Beach grill. Ask Bart Shuldman for his secret recipe.

Clouds may roll in today. But we’ve still got 2 days to celebrate the longest weekend ever.

We should have July 4th in the middle of the week every year.

Longtime “06880” reader Bart Shuldman (orange shirt, with plate) threw one of his legendary cookouts yesterday. His many friends wore hats honoring “BartBQ.”

*But not the office, because no one worked.

“06880” Party Is 2 Weeks Away!

If you’re reading this, you’re part of the great “06880” online community.

Which means you’re invited to our 6th annual “blog party.”

The date is Thursday, July 18. We’ll gather at 6 p.m. at Compo Beach — specifically, alcohol-is-okay South Beach, by the trees (the opposite end from the cannons).

Bring your own food, beverages (no glass bottles, though!), beach chairs and blankets. If you’ve got a folding table, we could use that too.

The first 5 years were great successes. They were true community gatherings– chances to meet and mingle with the diverse “06880” community (both online and real). It’s fun, un-fancy, and free (unless you don’t have a sticker — but even then, we’ll try to arrange rides).

This year’s blog party will be better than ever. And here’s a special feature: a new bathroom has just been built, a few steps across the road.

You may recall reading about it on “06880.”

A few fun folks at a recent “06880” party.

Pics Of The Day #808

A few images left over from last night’s 3rd of July fireworks:

A unique view, from the water (Photo/John Kantor)

The barge, from a different angle (Photo/John Kantor)

The show! (Photo/David Squires)

Ka-boom! (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

Happy 3rd Of July!

Sure, the beach was crowded — particularly the Soundview section, nearest the lot. But there was room for everyone. 

Little kids bought sparklers, jumped off the lifeguard stands, and got lost.

Bigger kids roamed up and down with friends. They did what teenagers do, and have always done before, during and after the fireworks.

Families of all ages picnicked and partied. The Cobras from New Jersey danced up a storm. The weather was gorgeous. The fireworks rocked. 

Once again, our July 3rd celebration was Westport at its best. 

Now enjoy the 4th!

It’s not the 4th of July without Andrew Colabella.

For a kid, it doesn’t get better than this.

Westport’s finest were out in force.

USA! (Photo/Dylan Chatterjee, 8th grade)

One of hundreds of picnics.

The Cobra dance and drum team wowed the crowd.

The beach scene, from a Soundview party.

2nd Selectman Jen Tooker and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe flank Marpe’s son-in-law.

The inside of Doc Davidson’s Bradley Street fence shows Ebbets Field — perfect for a cookout.

Low tide, beach toys, strollers — and the barge.

Eric Berniker celebrates America. The beer belly and tattoos are fake. (Photo/Jen Berniker)

Lots of porta-potties — but still long lines. (Photo/Rick Benson)

Stars and stripes …

… forever. Patti Brill and Tammy Barry. (Contributed photo)

Sparkler fun … (Photo/Rick Benson)

… and glowstick fun (Photo/Jennifer Kobetitsch)

The view from Old Mill Beach. (All photos by Dan Woog, unless otherwise noted)

Fireworks, as seen from Sherwood Drive. (Photo/Stacy Bass)

[UPDATE] Presented Without Comment: Compo Beach, 10 a.m.

(Photo/Laura Bryer)

And at 10:30:

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)