Tag Archives: Amy Simon Fine Art

Roundup: Candlelight Concert, Mexicue, Poet Laureates …

Don’t say we didn’t tell you.

Staples High School Candlelight Concert tickets go “on sale” to the public — don’t worry, they’re still free! — on December 1.Performances are Friday, December 16 (8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 17 (3 and 8 p.m.).

The link is easy: www.StaplesMusic.org.

Spectacular holiday music will be provided by the symphonic orchestra, symphonic band and choral ensembles. The 82-year-old event blends plenty of time-honored traditions, with some 21st-century twists.

If you’ve been to Candlelight, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never gone — set that alarm for tickets. You don’t need kids in high school to appreciate what these teenagers (and their teachers) do.

One more tradition: the artwork for this year’s concert comes once again from Staples senior Hugh Kennedy. It’s the third year in a row he’s designed the graphics.

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Last February, “06880” announced the imminent arrival of Mexicue.

The restaurant — mixing “street food sensibility” with fine dining — was renovating 38 Main Street, the former site of Bobby Q’s and Onion Alley.

The target for opening was May.

Mexicue missed the mark by 6 months. Opening day is today, at 4 p.m.

From all indications, the wait will be worth it. Westporters who have dined at Mexicue in New York City (Chelsea, NoMad, Midtown), Stamford and Washington say “¡muy bueno!”

Click here for details.

Mexicue

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Westport resident Aye Aye Thant is one of the our town’s biggest boosters of the United Nations.

It’s no wonder. Her father, U Thant, was the third secretary general of the organization. The Burmese leader served from 1961 to 971.

Aye Aye – a longtime Westporter — addressed the Rotary Club yesterday, at Green;s Farms Congregational Church. She reflected on  her father’s legacy of diversity and peace, and the role education played in that vision.

U Thant, who died in 1974, was a strong proponent of decolonization and tolerance. His daughter believes he was ahead of his time.

“As a Buddhist, he believed Buddhism was a great religion but he also understood that hundreds of millions disagreed with him,” she said. That realization led her father to espouse a philosophy of peaceful coexistence.

Aye Aye Thant, speaking at yesterday’s Westport Rotary Club meeting. A photo of her father, U Thant, is on the screen behind her. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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Two poet laureates on one stage!

Sixteen years after headlining the Malloy Lecture in the Arts, former US poet laureate Billy Collins returns to the Westport Library.

He’ll chat with Connecticut poet laureate Antoinette Brim-Bell about his new volume, “Musical Tables.” Those short poems focus on nature, animals, mortality, absurdity and love.

The event is December 9 (7 p.m.). Tickets are $26 (same price for 1 or 2 attendees), and include a signed copy of “Musical Tables.” Click here to purchase and for more information.

Westport’s own poet laureate — Jessica Noyes McEntee — says: “If you know Billy Collins’ work, then I don’t have to encourage you to see him live. If you haven’t explored his oeuvre, this night promises to be delightful. His work has a magical and effortless quality that many of us in the poetry community emulate, and enjoy.”

“Billy Collins is perhaps the most revered poet writing in America today,” says Library executive director Bill Harmer. “Most communities would count themselves fortunate to see him once in a lifetime. To have him back in Westport for a second time is a thrill beyond measure. And to be joined by Antoinette is a true gift.”

Billy Collins

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The Staples High School boys soccer program has always given back to the community. This year’s initiative: collecting donations for the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport, and its after-school, vacation and summer camps for low income youth.

All donations will be delivered by players to the Center, in time for their annual holiday party on December 17.

Donations can be made Friday through Sunday, December 2-4, at 1 Baldwin Place (off Bayberry Lane). There will be bins by the garage.

Suggested items include:

  • Soccer balls, dodgeballs, basketballs
  • Plastic hockey sticks
  • Air Hockey Table and supplies
  • Ping Pong table and supplies
  • Complete board games with intact boxes and all pieces
  • Children or family DVDs
  • Unopened arts & crafts supplies
  • Unopened toys for holiday gifts
  • Dolls
  • Headphones
  • Gift cards
  • Hats, scarves and gloves
  • Swim goggles

Can’t find anything to give? Click here to guy new using the Center’s Amazon Wishlist, and have it delivered directly to the Laskin family, 1 Baldwin Place, Westport, CT 06880.

Can’t drop off during the December 2-4 dates? Email nicolelaskin@icloud.com for alternate arrangements.

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Longtime Westporter Ruby Allen died Friday in her sleep. The wife of Winston Allen. she was 87 years old.

Born in Pittsburgh, and one of 8 siblings, she lived here for 48 years.

She graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in finance, and from Baruch College with a master’s in public administration. She also attended Harvard University’ executive program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government..  

Ruby served as an assistant vice president of finance for the Health and Hospital Corporation of New York City for 30 years.

She loved traveling the world for pleasure, and as “first lady of the Westport Rotary Foundation,” attending 10 international conferences, She volunteered for humanitarian for months at a time with her husband, in Haiti and South Africa.

In addition to her husband, Ruby is survived by her stepchildren Vaughn and Julie Allen.

Viewing will be at St Paul’s on the Green (60 East Avenue, Norwalk) on Tuesday, November 22 at 10:00 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. service and then a noon gravesite ceremony at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport. Guests are then welcome at the Allen home (4 Burritts Landing North).

Ruby and Winston Allen (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Equinox — just over the border in Southport — is a hot spot for Westporters to work out.

It was even hotter yesterday. A car fire broke out in late morning, and threatened to engulf an adjacent vehicle.

The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Equinox fire. ({Photp and hat tip/Ian O’Malley)

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Staples High School’s November Students of the Month are seniors William Lacend Duprey, Marley Brown. Alexander Mussomeli and Jason Capozucca; junior Kimberly Cheng; sophomore Jane Cunningham, and freshmen Sophie Grijns and Gunnar Eklund.

Students of the Month “help make Staples a welcoming place for their peers and teachers alike. They are the ‘glue’ of the school community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep Staples  together, making it the special place that it is.”

November Students of the Month (from left): William Lacend Duprey ,Kimberly Cheng, Alexander Mussomeli, Gunnar Eklund, Jason Capozucca, Jane Cunningham, Missing: Marley Brown, Sophie Grijns.

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The next show at Amy Simon Fine Art is “Cali Girls.” Featured artists are Kristina Grace, Rene Romano and Maura Sega.

The show runs from November 19 through December 31. Click here for details.

“Quest” – wood panel, butterflies, bioresin, acrylics (Kristina Grace)

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Joe Carpenter offers today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo of his Annabelle hydrangea, and says: “This little girl finally decided she better bloom now before it is too late. Or is she 6 months ahead of everyone else?”

(Photo/Joe Carpenter)

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And finally … Dan McCafferty has died, at 76. He suffered from COPD.

You may not know his name. But you know his voice — from, for example, Nazareth’s “Love Hurts.” The New York Times explains:

His rendition — vocally scratchy but belted out behind reverberating guitar lines — became the definitive one. The world-weary lyrics emphasize hard lessons learned from heartbreak, but his passionate delivery made the song sound more like a statement of unvarnished desire.

The song came to seem characteristic of a post-hippie era, when male vitality was at the center of rock but the combativeness of heavy metal and punk had not yet become popular. In the movie “Dazed and Confused” (1993), “Love Hurts” plays at a 1970s junior high party in a neighborhood recreation center, where longhaired teens slow dance and furtively neck.

Click here for the full obituary.

(“06880” relies entirely on reader support. Please click here to contribute to your hyper-local blog.)

 

 

Roundup: Alex Jones, Henry Kissinger, Kennedy’s Barber …

In the wake of yesterday’s jury determination that Infowars fabulist/Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones must pay nearly $1 billion to families of victims of that school massacre, “06880” reader Kristan Hamlin lauds the work of Westport attorney Josh Koskoff and his law firm, Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder.

She writes: “Congratulations to the lead counsel in the case, Christopher Mattei, a fine human being and an excellent lawyer — the best of our profession — and to the entire Koskoff law firm.

“As Robbie Parker (a parent of a slaughtered 6-year-old) so eloquently said, you gave back to these re-victimized victims their voices. I am so proud of all of them, and to the Connecticut jury and the Connecticut judge in this case.”

Josh Koskoff

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

To make a real difference, Westport’s Department of Human Services and Domestic Violence Task Force are collecting used cell phones and iPads, to benefit the Domestic Violence Crisis Center of Norwalk and Stamford. Clients can use them to ensure their safety, and avoid tracking by their abuser.

The DVCC provides free, confidential services to victims of domestic violence and their children in Westport and surrounding towns.

Donation bins are located at Westport Town Hall and the Senior Center, and available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Questions? Call 203-341-1050 or email humansrv@westportct.gov. For  information about the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, click here.

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The list of Westport barbers has been shaved by one.

Kennedy’s All-American Barber emailed members yesterday: “Effective immediately, all memberships have been frozen. Due to company wide and market changes we are ceasing operations as it was and starting something new and special.

“We helped rejuvenate a dying industry of men’s grooming 13 years ago. Hundreds of shops opened as a direct result of our brining [sic] high end men’s grooming shops back to its former glory. We lead an industry wide movement to bring back high end men’s grooming.

“We are entering a new economic and business climate and healing from the two years of drastic sales decline due to covid. Men that go to the office instantly became a thing of the past. That was our typical client. So we are adapting once more. We are going mobile. Brining [sic] the barbershop to you. In a high end mobile showpiece packed with all the equipment and luxury you are used to, and many of the same staff you have grown to love.” (Hat tip: MaryLou Roels)

Kennedy’s in Playhouse Square.

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Staples High School Class of 2015 graduate Rachel Doran was just 21 years old when she died. But her memory lives on strongly. And her relatives and friends use it to help other families facing critical illnesses, by providing lodging, food and transportation aid.

Rach’s Hope — the non-profit founded in her name — holds its 2nd annual Family Fun Walk this Sunday at Compo Beach (3 p.m.).

Need extra incentive? Rachel’s grandfather Michael Isenberg has pledged to walk 1,000 miles yearly for Rach’s Hope. All you need to do is walk 1 mile!

Participants will receive special prizes, hear live music, and enjoy gourmet pizza and drinks from Pizza Pie Wagon and Greens Farms Spirit Shop.

To purchase tickets, donate or learn more about Rach’s Hope, click here. You can follow Rach’s Hope on Facebook and Instagram: @rachs.hope.

Rachel Doran

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Margot Liotta debuts tomorrow!

The Staples High School Class of 2019 graduate — now a student at Berklee College of Music — has been working on her EP for over a year. She started it in Westport, during the pandemic.

The producer is Staples classmate Zach Rogers. Her manager — fellow SHS ’19 alum Kevin Ludy — helped make the album cover. It includes a familiar Compo Beach cannon scene:

Click here for the pre-save link. Click here for Margot’s TikTok; click here for her Instagram.

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Most Westport Rotary Club speakers talk about current issues.

Tuesday’s guest – Westport resident Robert Augustyn —  went back in time. The owner of Robert Augustyn Rare Maps & Prints discussed historical maps, including one from 1478 that represents a recovery of knowledge from the Roman Empire.

He also highlighted a 1507 map by Johannes Ruysch that was the one of the first to portray America; an 1878 bird’s-eye view of Westport, and a local business directory poster from 1854 that features the Metropolitan Oyster House restaurant and a “mechanical” dentist who made house calls. 

Robert Augustyn describes a Westport map at Tuesday’s Rotary Club meeting. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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This Sunday’s “Andrew Wilk Presents…” features a special performance by American String Quartet violinist Peter Winograd, and celebrated pianist Rohan De Silva. Wilk himself — the noted executive producer of “Live at Lincoln Center” — will lead a Q-and-A with the artists.

The event is October 16 (2 p.m., Westport Library).

From left: Rohan De Silva, Andrew Wilk, Peter Winograd.

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If you’re a psychic you know this already, but: “celebrity psychic medium” Karyn Reece will be in Westport for a “VIP event” November 12 (7:30 p.m., Amy Simon Fine Arts).

The event features (as you also already know) light bites, wine, and “audience-style readings and messages with Karyn.”

Karyn Reece

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Henry Kissinger is still alive.

At 99 years old, he’s just published a new book: Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy

On Friday, October 21 (1 p.m.), Staples High School 1972 graduate/lawyer/writer Talmage Boston interviews the former Secretary of State for his “Cross Examining History” podcast. Click here for he Zoom link.

Henry Kissinger

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Purple is the color of epilepsy awareness.

On October 30, the Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut hosts their annual Purple Pumpkin 5K at Sherwood Island State Park (8:45 p.m.).

While parents and teenagers run, youngsters can paint a pumpkin purple. All attendees are invited to wear something purple too.

Light refreshments are available after the race. The $35 registration fee includes a t-shirt. To register, click here.

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The Fresh Market ospreys get most of Westport’s love. The Sherwood Mill Pond and Burying Hill ones get the rest.

But what about the Nash’s Pond osprey? Tricia Freeman offers this raptor, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Tricia Freeman)

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And finally … Anita Kerr died Monday in Switzerland. She was 94.

The session singer and arranger had a long career in both country and pop music. Click here for a full obituary.

Among her accomplishments: singing backup on Roy Orbison’s memorable song:

(The Roundup is a daily “06880” feature. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

 

Roundup: Catch A Lift, Wynston Browne, Railroad Bridge …

For the past decade, Westport has had a special relationship with Catch A Lift Fund. The national non-profit provides gym memberships and home gym equipment to help wounded post-9/11 service members heal physically and mentally, through physical fitness.

Westporters have donated funds, welcomed veterans, and joined in workouts at venues like the police station, VFW, beach and Birchwood Country Club. The vets give plenty back in return — as inspiration, and  serving as “angels” for children, teens and adults with disabilities through myTeamTriumph.

This year, Westport organizers invite our Fairfield neighbors to join us. Our first-ever Catch a Lift Golf & Tennis Outing is set for September 12, at the Patterson Club.

Click here for the many ways to participate, through golf, tennis, the cocktail party, and as sponsors.

And — because the vets are naturally competitive, in the gym and in life — this golf and tennis event involves a bit of competition too.

Check out the video below, to see the challenges between the Westport and Fairfield police chiefs and 1st selectwomen.

Because this is “06880,” not “06430,” I’m putting my money squarely on Foti and Jen.

 

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Speaking of special people: Wynston Browne’s story inspired many “06880” readers last month. The rising Staples High School sophomore is non-speaking autistic, but he is highly intelligent. He’s made spectacular strides recently using a communication device.

Today (Wednesday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Wynston will “speak” (via his letter board) with interested residents at The Porch @ Christie’s.

He looks forward to sharing and learning more about everyone who stops by.

Wynston and his communication partner Elisa Feinman, at work with his spelling board.

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Elise Zimmerman asks: “Did you (and your readers know) that the tracks at the Westport train station flip up — like a draw bridge — for big boats?

“I witnessed this engineering feat today, and was very impressed. The train was delayed only a few minutes.”

I can’t speak for any other readers, but I sure knew.

In an amazing coincidence though, just 2 hours earlier Seth Schachter had sent me a collector’s postcard. It shows the same scene, from a different angle.

And from about 100 years earlier:

(Postcard courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Elise adds: “Do any of the other bridges on the Saugatuck River open up? If not, where is the boat going?!”

Have a seat, Elise. Let me tell you about the William F. Cribari Bridge …

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Bass master Brian Torff headlines tomorrow’s Jazz at the Post.

That’s the special Thursday night jazz series at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399. Sets begin at 7 and 8:30 p.m.; dinner from 6:30, from chef Derek Furino.

The cover is just $10. Reservations are strongly recommended; email JazzatThePost@gmail.com.

Plan ahead:

  • August 18, David Morgan Trio
  • August 25: Ben Williams Jazz All-Stars
  • September 1: Rob Henke’s Cook County Stompers.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about telescopes, but didn’t even know to ask.

That’s the subject of the next Westport Astronomical Society’s lecture (August 16, 8 p.m.). Observatory director Bob Meadows is back from the 86tn Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers in Vermont, and will dish on the latest innovations.

Click here for the Zoom link; click here to watch on YouTube.

The Westport Observatory has a very impressive telescope. (Photo/Frank Rosen)

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Amy Simon Fine Art’s next exhibition (August 13 to September 17) is “Never-Ending Stories.” Featured artists are Clara Fialho and Ayse Wilson.

The gallery is at 123 Post Road East.

“Walking Through a Rose Garden Naked” (Clara Fialho)

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Wendy Van Wie sends along a “Westport … Naturally” challenge: Can you find the 3 goldfinches hiding in the sunflowers?

(Photo/Wendy Van Wie)

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And finally … Lamont Dozier died Monday in Arizona. He was 81.

I love many genres of music. But Motown is at the top of my list.

And for many of us who grew up listening to it, the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland was Motown.

They crafted an astonishing 80-plus Top 40 pop or R&B hits. An amazing 15 went to #1 — including 10 by the Supremes.

Click here for a full obituary. Click here for a list of all their songs. Then click “Comments” below to share your favorites.

It’s tough. My top 5 are here:

Roundup: Remarkable Staples Video, WTF Food Rescue, WFM Young Shoots …

The Staples High School Class of 2022 is now part of history.

But tonight they live on — on the big screen.

The Remarkable Theatre screens a 60-minute film — created by the theater’s Staples interns — highlighting the graduating class.

There are interviews with nearly 2 dozen seniors, plus footage contributed by other students. It was produced over the past 2 weeks, so it is definitely timely.

Gates open at 8 p.m. tonight, for tailgating. The film begins at 8:45. Tickets are $20 per person or $50 per car, whichever is cheaper — with no limit on the number of passengers. Click here to purchase, and for more details.

Eamon Brannigan is one of the stars of the Class of 2022 Senior Night film.

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If you’re a good gardener, you grow your own food.

If you’re a very good (and lucky!) gardener, you’ve got way more than  you need.

But there’s only so much lettuce, peas and zucchini you can give to your friends.

So chew on this: Wakeman Town Farm has partnered with Westport Grow-a-Row and Food Rescue US-Fairfield County on a new produce donation drop off site.

Bring your abundance to WTF’s farm stand any Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.; coolers are set up there. Your fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs will help people struggling with food insecurity, throughout Fairfield County.

Questions? Email Haley@foodrescue.us. Follow @grow.a.row_westport on Instagram for updates.

The drop-off spot is hard to miss.

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And speaking of gardens:

Westport Farmers’ Market‘s 6th annual Young Shoots Photography Contest. Snap!

There are 3 age categories: 5-9 years old, 10-14 and 15-18. Any photo taken at one of the Thursday Farmers’ Markets is eligible. Judging is by a panel of local artists, and the public.

The contest runs from a week from this tomorrow (June 23) through July 31. Winners — who earn a $100 cash, WFM swag and a gift card for a MoCA Westport class — will be celebrated at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, with catering by Sugar & Olives.

Ann Burmeister — Farmers’ Market board member and Who Grows Your Food photographer — will help youngsters as they take shots at the Market tomorrow. A WFM team member will be on hand throughout the contest to answer questions.

Click here to submit photos, and for more information.

“Starstem” by Calista Finkelstein was a previous “Young Shoots” winner in the 8-10 category.

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Yesterday’s obituary of longtime Westport volunteer Tom Hofstetter included incorrect information about a memorial service at Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club. The family will hold a private burial only; there is no service.

ThomasHofstetter

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On June 30, nearly everyone in Westport will watch the July 4th fireworks. (I know, I know …)

But if pyrotechnics aren’t your thing, you’ve got an artistic option.

The opening reception for MoCA’s new exhibition — “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” — is set for that night (6 to 8 p.m.; free).

The show explores how “female artists, utilizing textiles as their medium, subvert the social expectation of crafting by lambasting this soft medium with political and social awareness.”

It focuses on flags, as a symbol of solidarity for women of the suffrage movement, and an emblem of protest. Flags in “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” were assembled using mixed media and the fiber arts to ignite positive social change.

So — with those flags — there is a connection to Independence Day after all.

The exhibition runs through September 4. Click here for more information.

The MoCA exhibition logo is based on the original colors of the suffragist movement.

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Another opening, another show:

Amy Simon Fine Art (123 Main Street), hosts an opening reception this Saturday (June 25, 3 to 5 p.m.) for the new “Visual Alchemy” show. Artists include Barry Katz, David Skillicorn and Louise P. Sloane.

Untitled #11– encaustic over plaster. (Barry Katz)

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It’s not true that Benjamin Franklin wanted a wild turkey — not an eagle — to be America’s national symbol.

The actual story: In a letter to his daughter, he criticized the original eagle design for the Great Seal, saying it looked like a turkey.

Well, after a long period away, wild turkeys have returned to Westport. The other day, Carol Cederbaum saw 3 of them roosting on her back deck. She got this shot a female, before they spotted her behind the window.

Is it a handsome “Westport … Naturally” subject, or not? You be the judge.

(Photo/Carol Cederbaum)

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And finally … in the past week we’ve given shout-outs to Staples grads, and Brian Wilson. Here’s one more — together — as the Class of 2022 gets ready for their “Senior Night” at the Remarkable Theater (story above):

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Roundup: Mrs. London, Student Futures, Fashion …

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Our long wait is over.

Mrs. London’s Bakery — the highly anticipated, long-delayed successor to Aux Delices, Java, Wild Pear, Chef’s Table, and a few other places I’ve probably forgotten on Church Lane, at the foot of Elm Street — is scheduled to open the moment this Roundup hits your email inbox: 10 a.m. today.

That’s according to Sal Liccione, the unofficial mayor of downtown.

The 2nd outpost of the Saratoga Springs-based shop features pastries, baguettes, croissants, grilled sandwiches, paninis, salads, quiches, soups, “decadent desserts,” espressos and teas. Ingredients are organic, locally grown and sourced.

Word from upstate New York fans is that Mrs. London’s Bakery will be worth the wait.

And let’s hope she is around much longer than some of her predecessors.

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The Staples High School Guidance Department invites seniors, their parents — and anyone else interested — to “Spark Your Future.”

The counselors, through their College & Career Center, are sponsoring a 4-part series. Alumni tell stories of how they got where they are, with all the twists and turns that make up life. The goal is for students to learn from others who were in their shoes a decade or so ago — and perhaps “spark” an idea or two for the future.

Each event includes information on the importance of soft skills too — learning from failure, networking, persistence.

The most recent session — about careers in media and entrepreneurship — featured Nicole Seo (Staples Class of 2011), who runs a recruiting business; D.J. Sixsmith ’11, senior manager, social media for CBS News; Melanie Mignucci ’12, lifestyle editor at Bustle, and Rachel Treisman ’15, digital correspondent for NPR.

Next up: Careers in Business and Computer Science. Georgia Fox ’16, Megan Root ’15 and Jake McCambley ’11 will be panelists. It’s Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Click here to register. Everyone is welcome.

The May 3 session focuses on careers in science.

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Sustainability and fashion. What could be less of a pairing?

But the 2 concepts come together March 28 (6:30 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm).
Therese LeFever, Cynthia Davis, Carly Ridloff and Haley Lieberman will discuss the effects of fast fashion on our environment, consumers and workers.

Attendees will learn how to identify sustainable businesses, make smarter buying choices, and what it means to be a conscious consumer.

The event also spotlights local sustainable clothing businesses, including Our Woven Community, The Exchange Project, and Shop Tomorrows, to show how they make an eco-friendly impact on the fashion community.

Click here to register, and for more information.

Fashionable? Sustainable? Both?

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The Artists Collective of Westport’s pop-up shows are always fun, inspiring, and surprising. Members’ eclectic styles and subjects somehow always come together in provocative ways.

The next one is March 24-27 (2 to 6 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse barn). A reception is set for March 23 (6 to 8 p.m.), with an artists’ talk March 27 at 4 p.m.

Participating artists include Tom Berntsen, Michael Brennecke, Bevi Bullwinkel, Leonor Dao, Hernan Garcia, Katheryn Gray, Carmela Kaufman, Karen Kent, Sandra Meagher, Guy Philips, Norm Siegel and Ginny aters.

To learn more about the under-the-radar (but very cool) Artists Collective, click below.

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Speaking of art: Amy Simon Fine Art welcomes the new season with a show aptly called “(We Need) The Promise of Spring.”

Featured artists at the 123 Post Road East gallery include Liz Dexheimer, Cara Enteles and Fumiko Toda.

It opens tomorrow (March 18) and runs through April 30. When the weather, we are sure, will be as beautiful as the paintings.

“Passion Daze” (Cara Enteles, oil and silkscreen on acrylic sheet)

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Sure, and it’s St. Paddy’s Day! Celebrate with Weston’s favorite pig, Jolantha.

With the luck of the Irish — or any luck at all — you can see her on Kellogg Hill Road.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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Morning walkers, joggers, bikers, fishermen — and anyone else wandering by Schlaet’s Point — enjoy scenes like this “Westport … Naturally” one every day.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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These days we are all Ukrainian.

And today, we’re all Irish.

 

Roundup: Kelli O’Hara, Cary Pierce, Steven Parton …

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Congratulations to Staples’ October Students of the Month!

Catherine Cunningham, Gianna Amatuzzi, Lucas Baer, Sydney Griffiths, Olivia McCaffery, Kaylin Manning and William Holleman are “students who help make Staples a welcoming place for peers and teachers alike. They are the ‘glue’ of the Staples community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students that keep the high school together, making it the special place that it is.”

Teachers nominate students who are friendly to staff and fellow students, and make positive contributions in class as well as the Staples community.

From left: Catherine Cunningham, Gianna Amatuzzi, Lucas Baer, Sydney Griffiths, Olivia McCaffery, Kaylin Manning, William Holleman.

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A link is live for the virtual version of the Westport Library’s 2021 Malloy Lecture in the Arts. Broadway (and Westport’s) own Kelli O’Hara will be joined in conversation on Thursday, November 11 (7 p.m.) by renowned theater director Bartlett Sher.

O’Hara won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Anna in “The King and I,” among many honors. Click here to register for the event.

Kelli O’Hara

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Speaking of songs: Cary Pierce – the 1987 Staples High School graduate who is the longtime half of the popular musical duo Jackopierce — sends word that his new single, “Outta My Head” (from the EP “The Dalhattan Project”) has just dropped. Click here for its many platforms.

You can see Jackopierce live, too. They play City Winery in New York this Tuesday (November 7; doors open at 6 p.m., the band is on at 8). Click here for more information.

Cary Pierce

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Amy Simon — the Post Road East art gallery — hosts an artists’ reception for Donald Martiny and Amy Genser this Friday (November 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.). The show is called “Pushing the Boundaries.”

“Callisto” — polymer and pigment on aluminum (Donald Martiny)

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Speaking of art: Westporter Steven Parton earned a Salmagundi Award for Oils & Acrylics at the Audubon Artists’ 79th Annual Exhibition in New York. The honor came for his work “SAFE.”

Congratulations, Steve!

“SAFE” (Steven Parton)

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Is today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo a Halloween witch?

Nah. But it could be.

(Photo/Nancy Axthelm)

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And finally … trick or treat!

 

Roundup: B3, Earthplace, Butterflies …

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Hard to believe, but B3 starting its 30th year of helping teenagers build character and responsibility while improving communities in need at home and around the world.

Enrollment is open for both the local (Fairfield County) program (8th graders) and the traditional high school (Latin America) program.

Since 1992, B3 has volunteered in 13 countries, with over 7,000 volunteers. This year they’ll construct facilities in Guatemala.

There’s an open house with more information tomorrow (Thursday, September 2), and another on October 6. Both are from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the B3 office (66 Fort Point Street, Norwalk). Click here to register. Click here for the B3 website.

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Earthplace is gearing up for 2 great events. One is for adults; the other is family friendly.

The (adult) event — “Woodside Bash” — includes a harvest dinner under the stars, open bar, mechanical bull and music by the party band Pimpinella. It’s Saturday, October 2 (7 to 10 p.m.). Click here for tickets.

The next day (Sunday, October 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is a Family Festival. Activities include a climbing wall, apple slingshot, donuts on a string, pumpkin bowling, hayride, corn pool, food trucks and more. Kids under 2 go free!

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Thomas McCarthy died peacefully at his Westport home on Sunday. He was surrounded by his children, holding the hand of his wife of 61 years, Mary, who he called the most beautiful woman in the world. He was 89 years old.

He was a member of the Class of 1954 at Dartmouth College. After serving in the Army in Berlin, he purchased a 1-way Greyhound tickeet to New York City.

Within a week he met the love of his life, Mary, at a St. Patrick’s Day CYO dance on 7th Avenue, and embarked on a successful career in the insurance industry.

Thomas worked for almost 40 years for General Reinsurance Corporation, where he spearheaded groundbreaking innovations in the pricing of reinsurance policies for individual properties. His department was known for its underwriting profitability for many years. He was a great leader and mentor for many. His career culminated with successful international assignments in London and China.

While he traveled the world extensively, he felt there was no better place to be than the front porch of his home in Westport, which he called the most beautiful place on Earth.

Thomas was deeply curious, with a passion for the world, and an extraordinary eye for beauty and the works of talented artists and artisans. In addition to his collection of children, he amassed a world-class collection of antique and modern glass paperweights. He cultivated a spectacular rose garden that brought beauty and joy to many.

A lifelong lover of golf, he played many of the world’s greatest courses but enjoyed a round at Longshore most of all.

He was a proud progressive and a faithful Catholic. He volunteered for many years at the Gillespie Center where he and Mary served dinner one Monday each month for many years.

An avid reader and student of history, he gladly shared his books and his opinions with any who asked. He was extraordinarily generous with his good fortune, and always willing to give a helping hand to those in need.

He served as an inspiration to his grandchildren and took great pleasure in watching them grow.

He is survived by his wife Mary; children Christine, Thomas, John (Susan), Maggie, Michael (Stacy), Paul (Ann) and Stacey), and grandchildren Kathleen, Thomas, James, Crissy, Patrick, Jack, Danny, Siobhan and Sean.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Catholic Relief Services or the ACLU.

Family and friends are invited Thomas’ funeral this Friday (September 3, 11 a.m., Assumption Church for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, 73 Greens Farms Road. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home (210 Post Road East) tomorrow (Thursday, September 2, 4-8 p.m. Masks are required.

Click here to leave online condolences.

Thomas McCarthy

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Former Westporter Carl Spagnuolo of Fairfield died August 27, surrounded by his family. He was 87.

A Bronx native, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University. He had a career as a marketing executive at Union Carbide, Stauffer Chemical and Lonza.

An avid reader and New York Giants fan, his true love was travelling the world with his wife and family. His travels spanned 4 continents with his favorite stops being Aruba and Italy.

He and his wife Margaret celebrated 65 years of marriage in June. He also leaves behind daughters Dawn Curtis (Brian) and Elisa Brennan (Christopher) and grandchildren Justin, Christopher, Ryan, Olivia and Brittany.

Private services will be held. Click here for online condolences.

Carl Spagnuolo

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Up next at Amy Simon Fine Art (123 Post Road East): “Good Company.”

The exhibit features Cara Enteles, Kristina Grace, Takefumi Hori, Maura Segal, Louise P. Sloane and Ayse Wilson.

It opens tomorrow (Friday, September 3), and runs through October 8.

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Bryan Schwartz is visiting from Boston. He collected 15 Monarch butterfly eggs from the leaves of the milkweed plant, then placed them in a special container where they changed into caterpillars. They became butterflies a month later. He holds them for an hour or so, drying their wings before flying.

Yesterday, he was at Compo Beach. People were amazed to see a magnificent monarch butterfly perched on his hand, ready to fly away. Thanks to Barbara Schwartz and Karen Como for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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And finally … speaking of butterflies taking off (above): Elton John knows as well as anyone. “Butterflies are free to fly away …”

Walking Tour Of Downtown Art Galleries

We joke about the number of women’s clothing stores in downtown Westport.

But there are nearly as many art galleries — places to buy paintings, sculpture and  more — as there are spots for skirts, shoes and Spandex.

Six galleries hug both banks of the river. Each has its own style. Taken together, they reinforce Westport’s reputation as an arts town.

Amy Simon Fine Art recently moved from Southport to 123 Post Road East. A dealer with over 30 years’ experience at places like the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art (and with the estate of Jackson Pollock), Amy showcases work by established and emerging artists, Chinese contemporary art, and limited edition prints by the likes of Warhol, Rauschenberg and Lichtenstein.

Amy Simon Fine Art

Around the corner on Church lane is Sorelle Gallery, a recent arrival from New Canaan. The women-owned and managed business (the name means “sisters” in Italian) — which also has a robust online presence — includes plenty of reasonably priced work. (NOTE: Today at 1 p.m., Sorelle is hosting a reception — with Prosecco. All are welcome.)

Sorelle Gallery

Perhaps Westport’s best known — and most visible — gallery is Pop’TArt, at the head of Main Street by the Post Road. Originally a pop-up, it focuses on contemporary American art that pushes visitors to think about current headlines. All artists live in or have ties to Fairfield County. Pop’TArt hosted the hugely successful Aware breast cancer campaign, and currently exhibits statues by Bolek.

Pop’TArt

Three galleries lie just across the Saugatuck River. Bankside Contemporary by historic National Hall calls itself more than just a gallery. It’s a “communal gathering space,” offering a relaxed, casual atmosphere along with art.

Artwork by Steve Lyons at Bankside Contemporary (Photo/Phil Nourie)

Around the corner on Wilton Road is Quidley and Company Fine Art. Open by appointment now, with a focus on only one or two artists at a time, it features landscapes, portraits and figurative works, marine and still lifes. Owner Chris Quidley owns another gallery in Nantucket.

Quidley and Company

Across the street, Westport River Gallery at the corner of the Post Road and Riverside opened in 2004. Owners Ken and Pat Warren carry international fine art, and work with collectors, corporate clients and decorators from across the nation.

Westport River Gallery

That’s not all the art in the area, either. The Artists Collective of Westport has organized shows in the 47 Main Street storefront. The Downtown Merchants plan special events soon.

Keep your eye on this space. And on all those galleries too.

(Hat tip: Rebecca Mace)