Tag Archives: Andrew Goldman

Roundup: Michael J. Fox, Big Bucks, Downtown Dollars, More

Two days after the high school sports governing body pushed the start of interscholastic winter sports back to January 19, Governor Lamont did the same for youth teams.

His order — effective Monday — ends club team practices, games and tournaments, indoors and outdoors, for the next 2 months. Several COVID outbreaks have been traced back to youth sports.

Youth basketball has been played in Westport since the early 1900s. This was an early YMCA team. It — and all other kids’ sports — have been canceled through January 19.

The other night, Ian O’Malley’s Ring app notified him there was a visitor at his Greens Farms-area door.

The Westport realtor and New York radio personality was not expecting anyone.

“He was a lot bigger than he looks” (below), Ian reports:

He was not the only buck hanging around. James Chantler Brown has seen this handsome animal several times in the past few days, off Whitney Street:

Speaking of big bucks: The Westport Downtown Merchants Association has just launched “Downtown Dollars.”

The goal of the digital gift card is to encourage local shopping. Purchasers can write a personal message on the card, and send it to family, friends and colleagues by email, text, even physically (!).  

Click here to purchase; then scroll down for a list of participating merchants.

David Krasne has created a Google spreadsheet that tracks daily coronavirus updates in Connecticut. Each tab reflects a different town in southern Fairfield County.

David also tracks the rolling 7-day and 14-day average new case rates, per 100,000 population. Click here to see Westport; click other tabs at the bottom of the page.

Two years ago, Westporter Andrew Goldman launched an independent podcast, “The Originals.”

In April — with his interview with “The Nanny” Fran Drescher — it became the Los Angeles Times‘ only official podcast. Since then he’s chatted with Danny DeVito, Joan Collins, Barry Sonnenfeld and many others.

Goldman’s most recent guest is Michael J. Fox.

The episode is “different and more personal than any I’ve done,” he says. Goldman begins by talking about his “almost inconceivable privilege” — but admits he is still not particularly happy.

Fox, of course, has many more reasons to despair. His Parkinson’s is increasing; a recent accident took away his ability to walk, and send him into depression.

Yet the actor found a way to rekindle his optimism. His message is inspiring — and particularly meaningful at this unlike-any-other-holiday time.

Click here to listen.


Michael J. Fox’s book was released this week.

Gabriel Marous is a Westporter teenager, Pierrepont School student and Saugatuck Rowing Club racer.

He’s also seen the effects the coronavirus has had on area residents. So, with 2 friends, he formed the North Stamford Youth Action Group.

Their first initiative — a drive-through food pantry — helped them feed 33 families. A second one is set for this Sunday (November 22). With the holidays coming, the need is even greater.

To help, email digital gift cards from a local grocery story to contact.NSYAG@gmail.com. You can also search for Cash App under the name “NSYAG.” To volunteer, use the email address above or call 203-744-9796.

Gabriel Marous

Fourteen Staples High School seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They are among more than 1.5 million students who took the PSAT exam. Congratulations to:

Back row (from left): Alexander Toglia, Simon Rubin, Sebastian Montoulieu, Rishabh Mandayam. Front: Charoltte Zhang, Mira Mahendru, Gary Lu, Lucas Lieberman, Frederick Linn.

(From left): Elana Atlas, Reed Caney, Mohit Gupta, Hannah Even. Missing: Max Montoya.

And finally … 35 years ago today, Microsoft unleashed Windows 1.0 on the world.

“06880”: Where New Zealand Meets The World

Of the many “where Westport meets the world” connections that “06880” is fond of making, there’s none weirder than this.

Paul Henry is a highly rated morning TV personality. But you’ve never heard of him, because his show is in New Zealand. (Admit it: Besides seeing “The Hobbit,” you’ve never thought about New Zealand.)

In 2010, Henry resigned/was fired from TVNZ — the country’s network — after mocking the name of an Indian official named Sheila Dikshit.

Henry — attempting to make lamb stew out of lamb turd — then tried to become an American TV star. His first choice was a talk show, but he figured a scripted or reality show might work too.

His foray into this country — with a population roughly 100 times that of New Zealand — failed. Which is why you’ve never heard of Paul Henry.

But Andrew Goldman did.

His name may be slightly more familiar than Henry’s.

He’s the former interviewer for the New York Times Magazine‘s Q-and-A page, “Talk.” His probing, off-the-wall, uncomfortable questions — of everyone from Iggy Pop and Terry Gross to Tony Blair– were a very popular feature.

I should mention here that Goldman lives in Westport, which is why I am taking through this long, winding tale.

Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman

Goldman was fascinated by Henry. Though not a filmmaker, he decided to make a documentary about the New Zealander’s route to what turned out to be not stardom in the States.

Goldman calls the film “the best experience of my life.”

Three days after it was finished, the Times fired him. (It’s a complicated story. Just google Andrew Goldman, Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Diane von Furstenberg and Jill Abramson.)

He thought he had a “fantastic” film in the can. But when he looked at it, he realized, “it stinks.”

Goldman attempted to salvage the film by addressing themes he could never do as a Times employee. He wove serious themes — including his own firing, and the death of his mother — into the previously jocular video.

He knows that the new emphasis — on him — might seem narcissistic.

But, he says, “this is about real life. People lose their moms, lose their jobs, have to deal with their families every day.”

He sent the new version — called “The Desk” — to festivals in Florida and San Francisco. He also spent 3 weeks with it in New Zealand.

“It was not well promoted there,” Goldman admits. “The crowds were small.”

Paul Henry

Paul Henry

So what to do with a movie that is about both an obscure New Zealand broadcaster and a former New York Times journalist?

Goldman searched for a commercial distributor. Gawker screened on its rooftop. (Of course, Gawker is not around anymore either.)

There were  no bites.

Goldman says, “I’d like to say it was a labor of love. But it was more a labor of pain and angst – the creative equivalent of a kidney stone.” He thinks he may have made “the least commercial film of all time.”

Friends have called the 87-minute film “shaggy,” “ambitious,” “bizarre,” “unhinged” and even “really good.”

Yet, he adds, “I love it. And I stand by it.”

So he has finally found a way for anyone — friends, strangers, American, New Zealanders — to see “The Desk.”

It’s available on Vimeo. Just click below.

Wherever in the world you are.

Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!