Tag Archives: “06880” blog

Roundup: COVID Tests, Scott Bryce & Jodi Stevens, Animals …

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A hearty “06880” thank you to all who donated to this year’s “pledge drive.” Your support of our online community — and of me, personally — is greatly appreciated. (And yes, there’s still time — click here!)

To the reader who sent an anonymous note saying “calling us moochers won’t get us to contribute” — sorry. Sounds like you were just looking for a reason to not help out.

But hey — at least you paid for a stamp.

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In related COVID news, former Food & Drug Administration commissioner — and Westport neighbor — Scott Gottlieb told “Face the Nation” yesterday that 70% of Americans 75 and older, 60% of those 65-plus, and nearly 20% of all American adults will be vaccinated “probably by the end of this week.”

He also noted growing evidence that all vaccines prevent transmission of the coronavirus — not just symptoms.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

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St. Vincent’s on Long Lots Road has closed. But there’s a new COVID testing center nearby.

Sameday Testing has opened at 1260 Post Road East (near Fortuna’s, Greens Farms Spirit Shop and Vivid-Tek).

Founded just a few months ago, the startup of doctors, scientists and engineers has ramped up to test thousands of people every day, across the country. They offer employer-sponsored programs too.

Click here for an appointment. To learn more, email evan@sameday-testing.com
or call 203-520-7734.

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With a name like “Celebrity Parents,” I expected fluff.

But the current issue features an in-depth, insightful interview with Scott Bryce and Jodi Stevens.

The Westport stage and screen actors talk about how they met (several times); their relationship; raising an athletic son; Staples Players; Scott’s work with the New Paradigm Theater, and Jodi’s pivot to teaching in her home studio during COVID.

Click here for the very entertaining story. (Hat tip: Bobbie Herman)

Scott Bryce and Jodi Stevens (Photo courtesy of Celebrity Parents)

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MoCA Westport’s Winter Lights Festival lit up the town on Saturday.

Highlights included a walk-through light path (in collaboration with the Up | Next Teens organization; a maker space for families to create decorations together, and the high school student art exhibition “Hindsight is 2020.”

MoCA’s Winter Festival light path (Photo/Joel Triesman)

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Horses are back at Sherwood Island State Park. A group regularly trailers in their animals, for walks along the beach and through the beautiful paths. This shot was taken in the grove on the Sherwood Mill Pond side, near the fire gate to Compo Cove.

(Photo/Chris Swan)

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Another animal: This guy was happy to pose yesterday, for a Weston photo op:

(Photo/Steve Rothenberg)

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And yet more animals: Yesterday’s story about dog photographer Jim Boisvert reminded Matthew Mandell of a video he produced in 2013.

Part of the “What’s Up Westport” series, it’s title is “Dogs on the Beach.” Fifi, Fido, Fluffy: Here’s your 4 minutes of fame.

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And finally … Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy Birthday! “06880” Turns 12!

364 days a year, “06880” chugs along quietly.

A few times each day, I post something: a 5 a.m. feature story. Breaking news. A roundup of upcoming events, new business openings, whatever. An Unsung Hero, Friday Flashback or Photo Challenge. Every night at 9, a Pic of the Day.

I do it all as my contribution to Westport. One day a year, I ask you for a contribution to “06880.”

I do it on the anniversary of my blog’s birth. It began in early March, 2009. In 12 years I have not missed a day of posting — ever.

This man is smiling because he loves writing “06880.” (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Last year’s “please contribute” story came 10 days before Westport changed forever.

When our schools, stores, restaurants, library, Y — and everything else — shut down, I worried I would have nothing to write about.

Hah!

For the past year, I’ve worked harder and longer at “06880” than ever. I’ve written about how to get COVID help, and how to help others. The pandemic’s effect on people, businesses, the town and the world. I began the daily Roundup and Saturday art gallery.

When WestportNow folded, I added obituaries and a bit of meeting coverage. I hope to do more.

“06880” is now, pretty much, my full-time gig. I spend nearly every waking hour working for you.

You see the stories I write. But there’s so much more.

I conduct interviews and research. I take, find and edit photos. I moderate the comments section. I answer every single email.

When a natural disaster like Tropical Storm Isaias hits, I find a place with power to work. And I keep working.

When Isaias hit, “06880” provided information on road closures, where to get help, and how to help others. (Photo/John Kantor)

I even spend my own money on “06880,” on software upgrades, hosting — and keeping this space ad-free.

Which is why this year, more than ever, I hope you will respond to my once-a-year appeal for donations.

I’m honored that more than 11,000 of you are daily (free!) subscribers. Another 5,000 to 8,000 check in each day, without subscribing.

I love you all. But only a small percentage of you contribute each year.

That means the vast majority of you enjoy my 1,200+ stories a year, and our wonderful online community, for free. You are, to use the technical term, moochers.

So: If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.” Click here for details (via credit card, check, Venmo or PayPal) — or scroll to the bottom.

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day. Choose whatever amount you’re comfortable with. It’s greatly appreciated!

I hope that if “06880” has ever:

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • helped you meet a neighbor, or connect with an old friend
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • made you feel connected to your new town (or the place you grew up)
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development
  • provided a forum for you to rant about an issue, rave about a place, or complain about my own personal politics
  • delivered news about a favorite person, place or thing
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • publicized your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • honored someone you loved or admired, or gave them a kind “Remembering …” sendoff
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • saved you time or money
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “Holy f—!”)

you will consider tossing something my way. First-time supporters are joyfully welcomed!

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for 12 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not. I’ll still answer every email.

It’s all part of “06880.” It’s my honor and privilege to help share it with you.

You can donate by PayPal or credit card: click here. It’s easy, safe — and you don’t even need a PayPal account. 

Checks can be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880” on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

I’m also on Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Thank you!

Happy Birthday To Us — “06880” Turns 11!

Eleven years ago this week, Barack Obama was just beginning his presidency. Harvey Weinstein was sitting happily atop the Hollywood world.

And I unleashed “06880” on the world.

A lot has happened since. For example, President Obama visited Harvey Weinstein’s house here.

And I’ve churned out over 10,000 stories. Each is true to the tagline: “Where Westport meets the world.”

This man is smiling because he loves writing “06880.” (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Save the ospreys? Check. 

Report the closing of Westport Pizzeria, and the happenings at the Westport Historical Society? Check, check.

Entertain with Pics of the Day, honor Unsung Heroes, flash back every Friday? Check, check check.

I’ve lasted longer than President Obama. I hope and pray I’ll last longer than President Trump.

Plus, I don’t take golfing vacations. In 11 years, I have never missed a day of posting.

Speaking of which, I don’t take government subsidies. I didn’t build a wall. (A paywall — hold your fire.)

But slowly, somehow, over the years “06880” has become, basically, my full-time job. I spent up to 6 hours a day on this blog.

You see the stories I write. But there’s much more. I conduct interviews and research. I take, find and edit photos. (You think the Pic of the Day just falls from the sky?)

I moderate all comments. I keep the tone civil, make sure folks use real names, and toss out trolls.

I answer every single email. I’m glad readers write me directly. But I get up to 100 story suggestions, random thoughts and obscure questions a day. I respond to them all.

I even spend my own money on “06880.” I pay for software upgrades and domain mapping. And — perhaps you’ve noticed? — I pay to keep this space ad-free.

Which means it is more imperative than ever that, as I put out my tin cup — aka make my annual appeal for donations — “06880” readers come through.

Where else but “06880” can you see a photo like this — every night at 9 pm sharp?! (Drone photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

Last month, I reached 10,000 daily subscribers. Another 5,000 to 8,000 readers check in per day, without subscribing.

Yet only a very small percentage contribute each year. I am extremely grateful to you 🙂

That means the vast majority of you enjoy my 1,200+ stories a year, and our wonderful online community, for free. You are, to use the technical term, “moochers.”

So: If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.” Click here for details (via credit card, check, Venmo or PayPal) — or scroll to the bottom.

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!)) $1 a day. It’s a free country (for a while, anyway). Choose whatever amount you’re comfortable with. It’s greatly appreciated!

I hope that if “06880” has ever:

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • helped you meet a neighbor, or connect with an old friend
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • made you feel connected to your new town (or the place you grew up)
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development
  • provided a forum for you to rant about an issue, rave about a place, or complain about my own personal politics
  • delivered news about a favorite person, place or thing
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • publicized your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • honored someone you loved or admired, or gave them a kind “Remembering …” sendoff
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • saved you time or money
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “Holy f—!”)

you will consider tossing something my way. First-time supporters are joyfully welcomed!

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for 11 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

We’ll still have our summer “06880” party at the beach. I’ll still answer every email.

It’s all part of “06880.” It’s my honor and privilege to help share it with you.

You can donate by PayPal or credit card: click here. It’s easy, safe — and you don’t even need a PayPal account. 

Checks can be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880” on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

I’m also on Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Thank you!

This Is My 10,000th Post On “06880”

It’s not a very good one, is it?

 (Photo by Katherine Hooper)

Happy “06880” Anniversary: The Sequel

Timing is everything.

Last week, I posted my annual “Happy Anniversary to me” story (and request for donations — “06880” has become my pretty-much-full time job, and it’s completely reader-supported).

This may be why you did not read my anniversary story. (Photo/Tommy Greenwald)

Turns out the story ran the morning Westport was hit by a big snow — with a power outage affecting thousands of homes.

So rather than reading “06880,” plenty of readers were (literally) in the dark. Or out shoveling.

So — on the advice of several readers who missed that story, and found out about it randomly — I’m adding a link to it: click here.

Thanks to all who donated already to support “06880.” You rock!

But if you haven’t, and want to skip the story linked above, here’s the quick and easy way:

You can donate by PayPal: click here. It’s easy, safe — and you don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, go to www.PayPal.com; then log in (or create an account), and send money from the dropdown menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. (You can also click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”)

I’m also on Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Thank you!

Checks can be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880” on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

Happy Birthday To Us — “06880” Turns 10!

When I launched “06880” 10 years ago this week, I had 2 fears:

  1. No one would read it, and
  2. I’d very quickly run out of stories.

A decade later, the news is good.

I now have 10,000 daily readers.

I have not run out of stories. There’s actually so much stuff out there, I post 2 to 5 times a day.

In fact, in 10 years of publishing “06880,” I have never missed a day. That’s far better than the US government.

This man is smiling because he loves writing “06880.” (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

A lot has happened in the decade since I first hurled “06880” into cyberspace.

We have rebuilt Saugatuck, built Bedford Square, and are building a bathroom on South Beach.We have weathered a recession, and survived some really nasty weather. (Power went out during Irene, Sandy and many other storms, but “06880” kept readers out of the dark.)

This happened too, over the past 10 years: “06880” has become, basically, my full-time job.

I never expected that. I now spend up to 6 hours a day on this blog.

You see the stories I write. But there’s so much more. I conduct interviews and research. I take, find and edit photos. (You think the Pic of the Day just falls from the sky?).

I moderate all comments — keeping the tone civil, making sure folks use their real names, responding when necessary.

I answer every single email. I’m glad readers write me directly. But boy, you’ve got a ton of obscure questions, random thoughts and story suggestions (both sublime and ridiculous).

Where but “06880” can you see a photo like this — every night? (Photo/John Videler)

I’ve cut back on much of my outside writing to focus on “06880.” Meanwhile, I spend my own money on it. I pay for domain mapping. For software upgrades. And — have you noticed? — I pay to keep it ad-free.

Which means it is more imperative than ever that, as I put out my tin cup — er, make my annual appeal for donations — “06880” readers come through.

Of those 10,000 daily readers, only a very small percentage contribute each year. I am extremely grateful to you 🙂  But that means the rest of you enjoy my 1,200+ stories a year, and our wonderful online community — for free.

So: If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.” Scroll down — details at the bottom! 

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day.

Or — for my 10th anniversary — think in multiples of 10. I’ll leave the math to you.

I hope that if “06880” has ever

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • helped you meet a neighbor, or connect with an old friend
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • made you feel connected to your new town (or the place you grew up)
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development
  • provided a forum for you to rant about an issue, rave about a place, or complain about my own personal politics
  • delivered news about a favorite person, place or thing
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • publicized your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • honored someone you loved or admired
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • saved you time or money
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “Holy f—!”)

— you will consider tossing something my way. First-time supporters are joyfully welcomed!

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for 10 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

We’ll still have our summer “06880” party at the beach. And I’ll still cover both the beauty and the changes of Compo.

It’s all part of “06880.” It’s my honor and privilege to help share it with you.

You can donate by PayPal: click here. It’s easy, safe — and you don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, go to www.PayPal.com; then log in (or create an account), and send money from the dropdown menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880.”

Checks can be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880” on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

I’m also on Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Thank you!

“06880” Turns 9. Hmmm, What Kind Of Gift….

Good morning!

Today is no different from any other. Here in Westport you’ll crawl behind a school bus. Your dog will take you for a walk. You’ll click on “06880” to see — well, you never know what you’ll see.

If you’re not in Westport — but somewhere else on the planet — you’ll do your own thing. You too will click on “06880” to find out what’s happening in this wild, wonderful and only slightly weird place you’ve somehow come to know.

That’s the way it’s been since March 6, 2009. For 9 years, I’ve covered it all.

Our beautiful beaches — and their growing crowds. Our wonderful schools, the amazing kids there — and the enormous pressures on them. Entitled drivers, and unsung heroes. The renaissance of Saugatuck, the rise of Bedford Square, and the tumbleweeds on Main Street.

The only sure things in life are death and taxes. I write about them too.

This man is smiling because he loves writing “06880.” (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

Here’s something you may not know: Since that very first post nearly a decade ago, I have not missed a day.

For over 3,200 days — and through nearly 7,800 stories — “06880” has been here. On your desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone, iWatch, whatever.

The tagline “Where Westport meets the world” means I write about organizations, events, politics, real estate, recreation, people who live here, people who once lived here, people who want to live here, even TV shows about people who live here.

You’ve made nearly 90,000 comments. Together, we’ve made “06880” — the blog — into a true, online community. Every day it lives, breathes and grows.

So does my commitment to it. And to you.

Once a year — on my anniversary — I put out my tin cup. I ask you to help sustain this blog. And me.

You see the stories I write. But you don’t see the research I do. The interviews I conduct. The comments I moderate — and the private emails I respond to. (I answer every one — even from the guy who asked me to post fewer stories, because his inbox was getting full.)

You don’t see the hours I spend scouring the interwebs for photos, the time I spend taking my own — or the photo editing that follows. (You think the latest feature — Pic of the Day — just falls from the sky?!)

Just another Pic of the Day.
(Photo/John Videler)

You don’t see the money I spend on “06880.” I pay to keep it ad-free. I pay for domain mapping. I pay for software upgrades.

And you don’t see that “06880” has become, basically, my full-time job. I’ve gone from a full-time freelance writer to an (almost) full-time freelance blogger.

So: If you like what you read, please consider supporting “06880.” Scroll down — details at the bottom!

Am I worth $1 a month? $1 a week? Perhaps (my choice!) $1 a day!

If  my 7,800 stories have been worth a penny apiece, that’s $78. If half them are worth a dime each, that’s $390. I’ll leave other calculations to you.

I hope that if “06880” has ever

  • made you laugh, cry, think or wonder
  • spurred you to go to an event, read a book, try a restaurant or patronize a store
  • helped you meet a neighbor, or connect with an old friend
  • kept you up to date in a blizzard, hurricane, windstorm or power outage
  • made you feel connected to your new town (or the place you grew up)
  • alerted you to a new housing or zoning development
  • provided a forum for you to rant about an issue, rave about a place, or complain about my own personal politics
  • delivered news about a favorite person, place or thing
  • galvanized you to support a cause
  • publicized your event, book, appearance or concert
  • published your photo
  • honored someone you loved or admired
  • connected you to your hometown from many miles away
  • saved you time or money
  • opened a window on Westport’s history, helped you think about its future, introduced you to someone in town you never knew, or helped you look at someone or someplace in a new way
  • inspired you
  • made you sit up and say “Wow!” (or “Holy f—!”)

— you will consider tossing something my way.

Everyone can contribute — politics be damned. Sure, you know where I stand. But I’ve always given you a voice too.

Just a suggestion.

Thanks for 9 great years. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whether anyone sends an anniversary gift or not.

We’ll still have our summer “06880” party at the beach — and I’ll still cover both the beauty and the changes of Compo.

It’s all part of “06880.” It’s my honor and privilege to help share it with you.

You can donate by PayPal: click here. It’s easy, safe — and you don’t even need a PayPal account. If you get an error message, go to www.PayPal.com; then log in (or create an account), and send money from the dropdown menu by entering this email address: dwoog@optonline.net. Or click the “Donate” button on the home page of “06880. You can also donate using Venmo!

Checks can be mailed to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Put “06880” on the memo line. It won’t do anything for the IRS, but it may help you remember at tax time why you sent me something.

Mersene’s “06880” Merchandise

If I were smart, I’d sell “06880”-themed stuff on “06880.”

But I’m not. So whenever anyone asks where they can buy something that screams “Westport,” I send ’em to the Westport Historical Society (books, tote bags, note cards).

Or Joey’s by the Shore (hoodies, towels, beach stuff).

Now there’s another option. Mersene — the spectacularly creative, super-friendly and amazingly wonderful owner of Indulge by Mersene, on Railroad Place across from the train station — has added a number of local items to her eclectic, intriguing and ever-changing stock of unique finds.

A Westport t-shirt.

A Westport t-shirt.

Some of them say “Westport.” Others (even better!) actually show “06880.”

An "06880" pillow.

An “06880” pillow.

Mersene has a wonderful eye, not only for what looks good but how to present it. (Check out her gift baskets!) Her Westport merchandise is fun and funky. No kitsch or schlock at all.

This silver tray is engraved "06880."

This silver tray is engraved “06880.”

She’ll ship anywhere. But if you live nearby — or are just traveling through — Mersene and her store really should be seen in person.

She puts the “oh!” in “06880.”

This pendant features a Westport navigation chart.

This pendant features a Westport map…

...while this blanket shows Westport's latitude and longitude.

…while this blanket shows Westport’s latitude and longitude.

Introducing “06880+”: One More Community Resource

“06880” is all about stories.

There are stories of Westporters doing amazing things. Stories of Westport’s past history, present challenges and future trends. Stories of Westport drivers and parking lots, both of which have serious issues.

Unfortunately, “06880” cannot cover everything.

One of the toughest parts of my job is saying no.

I say no to people — wonderful people — who want me to publicize their Girl Scout cookie sale. Their upcoming book signing/book reading/estate sale.

I say no to people who want help finding a missing dog, missing ring, missing classmate.

I say no to publicity about reunions, fundraisers, GoFundMe campaigns and political fundraisers.

I say no a lot more than I say yes. I hate doing it, and I hate that some people hate me for it.

But every problem* has a solution. Here’s mine:

06880+

That’s the newest addition to the “06880” community. It’s a community bulletin board.

06880+

Designed by Dylan Diamond — the very talented Staples High School rising senior whose MyHAC grade/class assignment/transcript app has been downloaded tens of thousands of times, across the country — “06880+” is the new go-to spot for posting all the stuff I say “no” to.

And adding your event to the handy calendar on the page too.

“06880+” — pronounced “06880 Plus” — is accessible here. And from the home page of “06880” (there’s a link at the top, and on the side). You can bookmark it as a Favorite too.

I hope you’ll use it often: As a page to publicize your upcoming event, post notices and seek help. (You can post images too — a logo for your organization maybe, or something you’re trying to sell.)

I hope too that “06880+” evolves. It may become a forum where folks seek advice. Questions are welcome: “Does anyone have a stroller I can borrow for when my granddaughter visits?” “What’s the best nail salon?” “What was the name of that place before it was 323 and Bogey’s?”

Like “06880,” I hope that “06880+” is a place where everyone feels welcome. Where all viewpoints are welcome.

And where I don’t have to say “no” to a story about your cat.

*Except those that come before the US Congress

Where Westport Meets The World: The Photos

Last week — in a nod to “06880”‘s tagline, “Where Westport meets the world” — I asked readers who do not live here to send photos of your favorite summer place.

A third of all “06880” readers live beyond this zip code. I thought it would be fun for our ex-pats to share scenes of your current, non-Westport lives.

Many readers responded. Here’s where you live, and what you love. The photos are arranged (more or less) geographically, from nearest to furthest.

Susan Feliciano and her husband Jose are just across the Westport line, in Weston. But they’re not, technically, here, so they count. He travels everywhere — in the past month he’s been in Austria, England and Baltimore; he leaves soon for Beirut, South Korea, Japan and Croatia — so home is particularly important. Susan calls this “our little piece of heaven, our little slice on the Saugatuck, especially lovely right after a summer rain.”

Happy place - Susan Feliciano, Weston 2

Happy place - Susan Feliciano - Weston 1

Bobbie Herman lives in Fairfield, half a mile over the border. Her favorite place is her garden. She spends 2 hours a day working on it. With 2.2 acres, there’s a lot to do.

“But it’s rewarding,” she says. “I have breakfast every morning on the patio which overlooks it, and every afternoon on the screened porch right next to the patio.”

Happy place - Bobbie Herman - Fairfield garden

Bonnie Bradley writes: “17 years ago, after a lifetime in Westport, I came to the town of Roxbury, in Litchfield County. Maple Bank Farm is a treasured destination, right in town. Farmers Cathy and Howie Bronson, of old Roxbury families, provide all kinds of their own vegetables and plants, and even skeins of wool from their sheep.

“Today you can go up the hill to pick their blueberries. Soon, their corn will be in. It seems you never go to Maple Bank without running into friends. That’s Roxbury.”

Happy place - Bonnie - Maple Bank Farm, Roxbury CT

From the other end of Connecticut, Peter Barlow’s photo shows Pawcatuck and Westerly, Rhode Island, separated by the Pawcatuck River (the bridge in the background on the right). Despite being in 2 different states, residents hold joint parades. Pawcatuck is actually part of Stonington, 3 miles away.

Happy plac - Peter Barlow - Pawcatuck CT

Rebecca Wolin says: “I am very lucky. After living in Westport for 20 years I moved to a vacation destination: the Berkshires. Monterey, Massachusetts has 900 residents, but in the summer it grows to 5,000. This is the lake at the end of my road ( I cheated — it’s a fall picture). I live right off the Appalachian Trail, and love it.”

Happy place - Rebecca Wolin - lake at end of her road, Monterey MA

Geoff Hodgkinson (Staples High School Class of 1964) has lived in Marblehead, Massachusetts since 1964. A peninsula 17 miles north of Boston, population 21,000, it features a harbor at Crocker Park. During the summer, 2000 boats moor there.

Geoff’s 2nd photo is of the historic district: 200 Colonial-era homes, many from the 1600s. The tower in the background is the 1876 town hall. “All in all, it’s a great place to live,” Geoff says. “But I do miss Compo and other Westport spots from time to time.”

Happy place - Geoff Hodgkinson, Marblehead Mass 1

Happy place - Geoff Hodgkinson, Marblehead MA 2

Kim Manchester Shaw writes: “I still refer to Westport as ‘home’, but It has been 30 years since I lived there. My brother and his family now live in our childhood home. It’s a blast to watch my niece and nephews enjoy all of our old Westport haunts as they grow up.

“These days I call Saratoga Springs home: the foothills of the Adirondacks. The photo is of my son, Alex, taken at the summit of Sleeping Beauty on an Adirondack hike last weekend. Tough to beat that view…unless perhaps you are in the 06880!”

Happy place - Kim Manchester Shaw - summit of Sleeping Beauty on Adirondack hike

Jane Davidson Arms (Staples High School Class of 1977) is now in Manchester, Vermont. Her youngest son (shown here) heads off to college in the fall:

Happy place - Jane Davidson Ams - Manchester, VT

After graduating from Staples in 1971, Fran Taylor has thrived in Kentucky’s horse country. She spent many years associated with Keeneland. She snapped the first photo below on Derby Day, while driving home from Louisville. The 2nd is taken from the driveway of her farm in Sadieville.

Happy Place - Fran Taylor - from Louisville to Lexington

Happy place - Fran Taylor - driveway of farm in Sadieville, KY

Tom Siebrasse offers this shot of Big Glen Lake, in Michigan’s Sleeping Bear National Park:

Happy place - Tom Siebrasse - Big Glen Lake, Glen Arbor, MI

Mike Taylor checks in with a photo of Lake Michigan. He’s halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay. His town of Sheboygan, Wisconsin is a top golf destination; one of 3 US Official Sailing Centers in the country; home of Road America, one of the 3 car racing road courses in the world — and host to concerts partially sponsored by the Levitt Foundation. Having been an original employee of Westport’s Levitt Pavilion — he did lights and sound — he’s particularly proud of that.

Mike asks, “So why is this my favorite summer spot? I loved growing up in Westport and looking at Long Island Sound. But here, sitting on our lake deck, we look at the horizon. It’s like looking at the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore is awesome. And it’s my home.”

Happy place - Michael Taylor - Sheboygan, WI - Lake Michigan

Last August, Diana and Leonard Zaslow moved from Westport to Bonita Springs, Florida. Here’s what they see every evening:

Happy place - Diana Zaslow, Bonita Springs, FL

Alix Land says: “It’s hard to compare anyplace to Westport, but attached are shots from my home in Portland, Oregon. We get out on our bikes or paddleboards as often as possible.” The first photo shows the Willamette River, just south of Portland. She lives one street away from a ridge overlooking a beautiful golf course. On a clear day, she sees majestic Mt. Hood.

Happy Place - Alix Land - Willamette River just south of Portland

Happy place - Alix Land - OR (can see Mt Hood on clear day)

David Grant checks in from Danville, California — a San Francisco Bay area town of 42,000. The small-town atmosphere — with many unique stores and restaurants — reminds him of the Westport where he grew up. The 4th of July parade draws 40,000 attendees. Dave says: “Excellent schools keep property values strong. Good weather is a constant bonus.” Here’s Hartz Avenue:

Happy place - David Grant, Hartz Avenue, Danville CA

Finally, Mara Barth writes: “While we enjoy living in Paris at the moment (been here since October), we very much look forward to a little time in Westport this summer!”

Happy place - Mara Barth, in Paris since October

There you have it: where Westport meets the world. Plenty of water; mostly small towns; lots of beauty.

Wherever you are today: Enjoy it! There’s no place like home.