Tag Archives: Bedford Square

Photo Challenge #314

Some Photo Challenges can be answered by anyone who has once lived in Westport. They’re permanent parts of our landscape.

Others are solvable only by those who live here now. But those bits of town will still be around for a while.

Last week’s Challenge could only be known by the latter grouop. If you haven’t seen it though, you better not wait too long.

Amy Schneider’s photo showed a beautiful butterfly. It’s hidden in plain sight — the alley behind Anthropologie, in Bedford Square — but it won’t be there forever. (Click here to see.)

The colorful charcoal work by Susan Fehlinger is part of an outdoor art project called “Vanishing Species/Vanishing Murals.” Sponsored by the Artists’ Collective of Westport, it’s one of 4 pieces that — exposed to the elements — will disappear.

Which is exactly what’s happening to so many creatures around the globe.

“The process of aging, fading and degradation speaks to the attention span of our fast-paced world, and offers its own lesson on the ephemeralness of art and life itself,” the Collective says.

Rindy Higgins, Nancy Axthelm, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Michael Calise and Jeanne Esposito all knew exactly where to spot the lovely butterfly.

For now, at least.

This week’s Photo Challenge is a lot more permanent. And a lot less friendly.

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Elaine Marino)

 

Architecture Awards For 2 Downtown Projects

“Commercial, Institutional, Educational and Multi-Family Residential Design” sounds like a pretty dull category.

But the American Institute of Architects found 12 projects worthy of honors this year.

Two — a full 16% — are in Westport. In fact, they’re within a few yards of each other.

Bedford Square’s Centerbrook Architects and Planners earned a citation for its “thoughtful and highly sympathetic renovation and re-adaption” of the former Westport Weston Family YMCA.

The judges noted, “it’s a multi piece development, and when you walk along the sidewalk, it’s just a remarkable improvement and investment. Westport was lucky to have selected this architect.”

Bedford Square (Photo/Nathaniel Riley)

Across Jesup Green, HMA2 Architects earned a citation too. They transformed the Westport Library from a less-than-workable building on a beautiful property into a functional and handsome space, now worthy of its setting.

Library director Bill Harmer praises HMA2’s “fine sense of design (and) keen understanding of how we were altering the space for 21st century use.”

The firm’s founder, Henry Myerberg, adds, “The design of the transformed library speaks to the extraordinary energy and participation of the Westport Library staff and community. The pandemic has not slowed them down to find new ways to make the library a special part of everyone’s life.”

The Westport Library, before coronavirus. (Photo/Aida Sulova)

Now, if only an architect could do something about the Post Road that separates these 2 award winning projects …

(Click here for the full story of AIA Connecticut Design Award winners.)

Roundup: Dancing At Bedford Square, New Novel, New Spa, More


Broadway is dark. But the catchy song “On Broadway” — you know, about neon lights — inspires Westport youngsters to keep their musical theater dreams alive.

Right here in Bedford Square.

The dance floor is concrete. The kids use store windows as mirrors.

But they’ve got a real-live Rockette — 15-year veteran Stevi Van Meter — as their dance instructor.

The Saturday morning classes are the brainchild of Laura Prendergast. The Theater Camp 4 Kids Broadway Academy owner vows to keep musical theater going, whatever it takes.

Bedford Square owner David Waldman donated the space.

When the weather gets cold, the kids will just bundle up and keep dancing. Hey — they’ve already got their face masks. Click below for the video!


Westporters know L.J. Peltrop as a server at Rye Ridge Deli.

He’s also a writer. His debut novel, “Waiting Face,” is a thriller involving addiction, mental health, and the fight to “belong.”

It launches this Tuesday (September 22) on Amazon.


There’s a new holistic business a few feet over the border.

Veda Healing Spa (596 Westport Avenue, Norwalk — just past Whole Foods) is a spa. Owner Harpreet Kaur was born and raised in Punjab, India and has 20 years’ experience as a licensed esthetician in Ayurvedic skin treatments, healing and wellness.


And finally … 50 years ago, Black Sabbath’s “Paranoia” offered not-very-uplifting songs about war, corruption and trauma. Happy half-century! (Hat tip: Mark Yurkiw)

Happy Birthday, Finding Westport!

Finding Westport turns 2 years old today. The website for local businesses and services — which includes a comprehensive what’s-up list during the pandemic — is the brainchild of Jillian Elder.

Yesterday she ran around town celebrating. She brought a pineapple — hey, why not? — and visited businesses and other sites, hoping her photos would bring smiles.

She’ll post the shots on social media throughout today. Here’s a preview.

Smile!

Bedford Square

Train station

Compo Beach cannons

Compo Beach lifeguard stand (Photos/Jillian Elder)

Unsung Hero #153

Laura Curley Pendergast writes:

David Waldman has been so kind to our Theater Camp 4 Kids Broadway Academy.

We were in a tough spot, because my studio — where we always do my summer camps — is closed because of COVID. There was no place to take the young actors who depend on these camps all summer.

David Waldman and friend.

David offered his beautiful Bedford Square courtyard. He was so kind and generous, and made all the young actors feel at home. (He even brought his new puppy, for the kids to see.)

One day, when rain was predicted, he even put up 2 tents. He wanted us to be outdoors, where it is much safer for children. (When thunder and lightning came, he let us all inside!)

I can’t thank him enough for giving our young actors an opportunity to thrive under our “new normal.” It has not been easy for anyone in the theater industry.

I know downtown is hurting economically. But David never asked for any money. He did this out of the kindness of his heart, and made us feel so welcome.

He saved the day. And he did it with such grace, gentlemanliness, humor and love for the next generation. He really deserves our praise!

This is why I love Westport. David is the kind of person who makes this such a great place!

Broadway Academy, at Bedford Square.

Pics Of The Day #1044

Downtown Westport, courtesy of Brandon Malin’s drone:

National Hall, and the west bank of the Saugatuck River

Downtown

Bedford Square

Westport Library

Town Hall (Drone photos/Brandon Malin)

Pic Of The Day #978

On the first day of wiinter: A reminder of summer, between Bedford Square and Main Street (Photo/Stephanie Mastocciolo)

“Local Love” Is Back!

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.

Artist’s rendering of the Bedford Square playground.

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)

Fleet Feet in Sconset Square is filled with running gear, and accessories.

Fitness

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

Don’t give lice for the holidays. Hair Genies can help!

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

Savannah Bee Company: a honey of a local business.

Jewelry

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

Pet Care

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

Gold’s Deli: a Westport favorite for over 60 years.

Sporting Goods

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

Toys

Age of Reason – 20% off
The Toy Post – 20% off

Unsung Heroes #117

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.

Rebecca Ross, David Waldman and “Shop Local” art.

Youth Commission’s Student Market Pops Up Saturday

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.

Hillary O’Neill creates and sells terrariums through her company, Pebbles + Posies.

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.