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DISCLAIMERThis blog is personal opinion, and is not representative of the views of the Westport School District or Board of Education.
Tag Archives: Bedford Square
Last year — just in time for the holidays — local shoppers and diners enjoyed a spectacular discount coupon book. Dozens of area stores and restaurants offered deals — and part of the sales went to a plan to build a playground downtown.
“Local Love” returns for a second year. Card sales are already live. And the dream of a downtown playground is closer to reality. Plans are in place, with completion scheduled for this summer at Bedford Square.
The playground tie-in is strong. People buying the Local Love card can have their name — or their child’s — on a commemorative plaque there.
The “local” part of the campaign is important. Organizers Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post want to do the same thing with the card as they do with their multi-platform WestportMoms site: “keep our town vibrant, keep businesses alive, keep people connected, and celebrate everything this community has to offer.”
This is a true townwide effort. Megan and Melissa have partnered with civic officials, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, and over 100 retailers, spas, fitness studios and restaurants.
The campaign runs from Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 15. Coupon books are $40; click here to purchase.
For a full list of participants, scroll down:
Appliances & Electronics
Stanton Miles (Vaccums) – 20% off
Arts, Art Classs & Flowers
Compo Flowers – 10% off orders $100+
One River Art School – $75 off first month of a weekly class membership
Westport Country Playhouse – Buy 3 tickets, get the 4th free (25% off) – Box office only
Clothing & Accessories
Alala – 20% off
Anthropologie – 20% off
Athleta – 20% off
Bella Bridesmaids – 20% off (some exclusions)
Cotelac – 20% off
Fleet Feet – 20% off sneakers
Fred – 20% off; 10% off for members
Great Stuff – 20% off (some exclusions)
Groove – 20% off
J. Crew – 20% off
Joie – 20% off
Jojo Maman – Up to 50% off, plus gift in store
Madewell – 20% off (excludes denim)
Marine Layer – 20% off purchase over $425
NIC + ZOE – 20% off
Scout & Molly – 20% off
She La La – 20% off kids and women’s clothing; 10% off jewelry (excluding Julie Vos)
Soleil Toile – 20% off purchases over $150
Southern Tide – 20% off
South Moon Under – 20% off
Splash of Pink – 20% off
Theory – 20% off
West – 20% off
Winged Monkey – 20% off (excludes gowns and select other items)
Bar Method – 15% off
Club Pilates – $10 membership fee, plus 15% off 3-month membership
CST 50 – 20% off a 5-pack (one-time use)
F45 Westport – 15% off class packs and membership
Gym Source (fitness equipment) – 20% off
Joyride Cycling + Fitness- 15% off
PureBarre – 15% off
Row House – 15% off
Solid Core – 15% off a 5-pack or a private in-studio 12 person class
Stretch Lab – 15% off
Upper Deck Fitness – 20% off
Hair & Nails
Amenity Nail & Spa – 20% off, plus free manicure with pedicure
Blow Dry Westport – 15% off products and services
Greg & Tony Salon – 15% off products and services
Hair Genies – 15% off
Le Boudoir – 15% off
Nail Factory – 15% off
Roots Salon – 15% off
Sharkey’s – 20% off services and retail products
Steven Mancini – 15% off products and services
Studio on Main – 15% off gift cards and retail
WHIP Salon – 15% off products and services
Health, Beauty, & Spa
Artistex Salon & Spa – 15% off
The Brow Girl – 20% off
Dermatology Associates – 15% off botox and fillers (on Main Street)
Dream Spa – 20% off
European Wax – 15% off products and services
Modern Dermatology – 15% off all skincare products (excluding Alastin and SkinBetter)
New England Hemp Farm – 15% off
Restore Cryotherapy – 15% off all services
Westport Dental Associates (teeth whitening) – $399 ZOOM Teeth Whitening (40%+ discount); 2 Quip toothbrushes for $40 (normally $30 each); $20 off kids Sonicare with purchase of Adult Sonicare
Home Decor & Gifts
Belmondo – 20% off one-time purchase
Fig – 20% off
Party Harty – 20% off (excluding helium)
Redi-Cut Carpet – 20% off
Savannah Bee – 20% off honey products
She La La – 20% off kids and women’s clothing; 10% off jewelry (excluding Julie Vos)
Tusk – 20% off select items (designated in store)
William-Sonoma – 20% off
Faye Kim Fine Jewelry – 20% off select items
Lux Bond & Green – 10% off (20% off select items)
Noya – 10% off select jewelry items
Silver Ribbon Jewelry – 10% off
Earth Animal – 20% off
Restaurants & Food Services
190 Main – 10% off
A&S Food – 10% off
Bagel Maven – 10% off
Black Duck – 10% off
The Boathouse (at Saugatuck Rowing Club) – 10% off
The Cottage – 10% off dinner
Field Trip Snacks – 20% off
Freshii – 10% off
Garelick & Herbs – 10% off
Gold’s Deli – 10% off restaurant dining
The Granola Bar – 10% off
Green & Tonic – 10% off menu; 30% off detox and cleanse
Ignazio’s – 10% off
Jesup Hall – 10% off
Joe’s Pizza – 10% off
Le Rouge by Aarti (chocolates) – 10% off
Match Burger Lobster – 10% off
The Meatball Shop – 10% off
Mystic Market – 10% off
OKO – 10% off lunch
Organic Market – 10% off
The Pearl – 10% off
Le Penguin – 10% off
Planet Pizza – 10% off
Rizzuto’s – 10% off
Rye Ridge Deli – 15% off
The Spotted Horse – 10% off
Stiles Market – 10% off butcher, deli and prepared foods
Tarrylodge – 10% off
Tavern on Main – 10% off
Wafu – 10% off
Westport Pizza – 10% off
Winfield Street & Deli – 10% off
ASF Sports and Outdoors – 20% off footwear
Fleet Feet – 20% off sneakers
Ski & Sport – 15% off ski rentals and 20% off (10% off Bogner)
Soccer & Rugby Imports – 20% off
Age of Reason – 20% off
The Toy Post – 20% off
Alert “06880” reader — and very talented graphic designer/artist/ arts supporter/amazing civic volunteer — Miggs Burroughs writes:
The Drew Friedman Community Arts Center sponsored free art classes last spring and summer for middle school kids in town. They were developed and run by local artist Katherine Ross and her daughter Rebecca.
Randy Herbertson — president of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association — hosted the classes at his Visual Brand office on Church Lane.
The most recent class project was a collaborative mural. It was conceived and executed by the students, based on the idea to “Shop Local.” That’s been a mantra of (among others) David Waldman, who developed Bedford Square across the street on Church Lane. Each youngster created a different letter.
When Waldman saw the mural, he asked to display it in Bedford Square. It now hangs in the window of #11.
It’s very satisfying to have some of Westport’s biggest players come together to support art, created by some of our youngest talents.
Staples High School students take a heavy course load. Local graduation requirements are even more onerous than state ones.
Yet our teenagers also participate in clubs; play music and sports; act; volunteer in the community, and hold jobs.
Somehow, some of them even find time to make custom items. Others paint and bake.
This Saturday (June 8, 12 noon to 4 p.m., Bedford Square), the public gets a chance to see some of their most creative work.
And buy it.
The Westport Youth Commission is sponsoring their 3rd annual Student Creation Market.
Here’s some of what you’ll find among the dozen businesses:
- Custom posters and stickers (Tomaso Scotti)
- Paintings (Evie Dockray)
- Custom dog treats (Lina Singh)
- Limited edition custom shoes (Mitch Price)
- Homemade terrariums (Hillary O’Neill)
- Baked goods (Cate Casparius)
- Creative cookies and desserts (Hailey Nusbaum)
The past 2 Student Creation Markets have drawn hundreds of attendees. Many have become huge — and continuing — customers of the young entrepreneurs.
It’s a special event — one day only.
Because when it’s over, our teenagers go back to work.
I’ve been worried there hasn’t been a lot of foot traffic inside Bedford Square. Are people cutting from one part of downtown to another, bringing life to the businesses ringing the courtyard?
At least 23 people do.
Pat Saviano, Matt Murray, Ben Sturmer, Molly Alger, Stephanie Mastocciolo, Fred Rubin, Tulika Chandra, Patti Brill, Karen Como, Jonathan McClure, John F. Suggs, Andrew Colabella, Cindy Zuckerbrod, June Whittaker, Karen Kim, Marlen Paolini, JoAnn Flaum, Martin Gitlin, Seth Braunstein, Mandy Germishuys, Joelle Malec, Sandra Rosen and Debra Zager all knew that last week’s Photo Challenge — Katherine Bruan’s image of a big, handsome covered table and seats — was located right there in the courtyard. (Click here to see.)
But readers were divided as to whose restaurant it belongs to. Some said Amis; others, Wafu.
I don’t know the answer. But I do know this: Judging by the photo (and the comments), it’s a great spot for a meal.
This week’s Photo Challenge has been suggested several times before, by different photographers. This shot comes from Daniel Martino.
If you know where in Westport you would see this, click “Comments” below.
For years, John Dodig and his husband Rodger have done their holiday shopping on Amazon. That often means gift cards for their many children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and friends.
This year — with memories of years gone by — they headed to a mall. But after 2 hours in Trumbull, they’d found exactly 2 gifts.
Depressed, they left.
Driving home, they decided to try downtown Westport. They parked in the Baldwin Lot behind Brooks Brothers, and headed to Church Lane.
On a whim, they walked into Savannah Bee Company. The manager greeted them warmly.
John and Rodger learned about bees, honey, sustaining the environment, and the store’s strong support for the community. They also found several perfect gifts.
They put them in their car, then browsed more stores in Bedford Square and on Main Street.
“We found something for everyone on our list — and had a great time shopping,” says John, who retired in 2015 after 11 years as Staples High School’s well-respected principal.
“Everyone in every store went out of their way to be helpful. They were beyond friendly.”
John and Rodger finished their shopping, feeling like “supportive and thankful Westporters.”
John’s advice: “Forget the malls. Shop locally! Our shop owners need our support. And they provide everything we need during this gift-giving season.”
David Waldman is a major presence in downtown Westport. Most recently he developed Bedford Square. His current project is a retail/residential complex on the site of the former Save the Children headquarters, on Wilton Road.
A few minutes ago, he sent an open letter to some of the town’s media, politicians and civic leaders. He wrote:
I put you all on the same email because Westport needs your help.
For the life of me I cannot figure out why no one appreciates all the incredible things downtown Westport has going for it: its beautiful architecture and history, incredible businesses and retail stores, world class restaurants. cultural venues and events, the Levitt, library, river, Farmers’ Market, and more.
None of the above seems to have translated into a real (and appropriate) sense of pride and excitement from the residents of Westport.
All I seem to hear everywhere and all I seem to read in every publication, blog and news story, is a negative sentiment about downtown, retail and Westport.
It’s too hard to get downtown.
Traffic is an issue and we need to address the intersections which are creating the traffic.
There are no mom-and-pop shops.
I am always amazed when I hear this since downtown is filled with many incredible mom-and-pops and small independent stores.
The landlords ruined the street by raising the rents.
I guess no one in Westport knows what supply and demand is.
It does, but it is always quickly re-opened, and measures are being taken by landlords to address and help mitigate these issues. That said, the town has a tremendous amount of infrastructure needs which cannot be pushed down the road again and again.
It is hard to park.
This too has been improved with the new Elm Street lot and the combination of the Achorn’s lot with Baldwin.
It lost its charm.
I could not disagree more.
Amazon killed it.
Amazon changed the way people shop but it in no way killed downtown. Downtown, like all great shopping and dining areas, has begun to change with the times. In the end you cannot eat, live and play in the internet. You can’t go to a library or arts festival in the internet.
The mall will be the last nail in the coffin.
Not everyone wants to shop in a mall. And if the mall is successful, it could be a benefit for downtown.
I miss the movie theaters.
The Westport Cinema Initiative and other groups continue to try and make this happen.
Measures are being taken to solve this going forward through unified maintenance, new pedestrian amenities, unified garbage areas and porter service.
All of this negative commentary has led, in my opinion, to a sense of self-pity from our residents that our downtown is somehow second-rate and not worthy of praise or admiration. I hear this all too often from all too many people. If it keeps happening, the town will continue to lose it luster.
So, what can we collectively do promote Westport in a more positive way?
In the end we need to start making the stories about the great things that are happening and the great things that will happen downtown. We need our residents to stop feeling bad about their downtown and start seeing just how vibrant and incredible it is.
How it provides a sense of community, how it provides a commercial revenue base which allows us to continue to maintain our lifestyles while keeping taxes lower. Stories about positive developments, incredible events, new stores, new businesses and the individuals who run them.
We need to change the narrative so the residents of Westport again realize just how incredible their downtown is, and how important it is for the health of our great Town.
You all have control over the narrative.
Thank you for listening. I hope this will begin to start a more productive conversation. Westport never needed a PR person more in its history than it needs now. Westport has to take a more active role in promoting downtown.
You may have heard the name Sigrid Schultz.
A pioneering female war correspondent, broadcaster and author who risked her life to expose Nazi secrets to the world, she hid her Jewish heritage from the likes of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels, whom she loathed but entertained in her Berlin home for the sole purpose of extracting information.
After Schultz and her mother fled Germany, they bought a house and barn at 35 Elm Street. When Sigrid died in 1980, the town demolished her home to expand the Baldwin parking lot.
This famous woman has remained largely unknown in her adopted hometown. But that may change soon, if a Downtown Plan Implementation Committee recommendation to name the new Elm Street parking lot — the one next to Bedford Square, created by the demolition of Villa del Sol directly opposite the Baldwin lot — is approved by the Board of Selectmen, acting as the town’s Traffic Authority.
Then again, it may not be named the Sigrid Schultz Parking Lot.
DPIC member Dewey Loselle suggested celebrating former Public Works head Steve Edwards. The longtime but low-key director nixed that idea.
Another suggestion was to honor the residents of 22 1/2 Main Street — the African American boardinghouse that went up in flames (probably arson) nearly 70 years ago. The location was adjacent to the new parking lot.
It might be tough coming up with an appropriate name — “22 1/2 Main Street lot” would be too confusing for the Elm Street address.
But that hasn’t hasn’t stopped one Westporter from taking a second look.
Chip Stephens grew up here. As a Planning & Zoning Commission member, he attends DPIC meetings. He wants to make sure the name of the new lot reflects town sentiment — not simply the will of one committee.
Perhaps, he says, the lot should be named after the Wassell brothers. Harry, Bud and Pete were all killed within 15 months of each other, during World War II.
Or, Stephens says, maybe there are other Westporters we should consider.
So let’s have a townwide discussion, right here on “06880.” Click “Comments” to offer suggestions, and debate the ideas.
Sure, it’s only a parking lot. But, as Stephens notes, “it will be there forever.”
FUN FACTS: So who is this Baldwin that the other Elm Street lot is named for? Herb Baldwin — a former first selectman.
And on the other side of Main Street, Parker Harding Plaza is named for co-sponsors Emerson Parker and Evan Harding. Fortunately — considering the state of that parking lot — everyone has forgotten those two.