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Tag Archives: Bedford Square
Michael Friedman has done a lot in his 73 years.
The Staples High School Class of 1961 graduate produced “Hello, It’s Me.” He managed Todd Rundgren and Kris Kristofferson — as well as (with Albert Grossman) the careers of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Band, Odetta, and Peter Paul & Mary. He did publicity for the Dave Clark 5 and Herman’s Hermits.
He sold Americana and folk art. He also owned the Ash Creek Saloons in Fairfield and Norwalk, along with Darien’s Goose restaurant.
With such varied careers — and so much going on — he could be forgiven for losing the negatives of photos he took nearly 50 years ago.
Of course, they were not random snapshots of the Friedman family at the beach, or their naked newborn in a bathtub.
These were up close, personal — and superb — shots of some of the biggest names in the music world.
The Stones. Janis Joplin. The Band. Johnny Winter. Gordon Lightfoot. James Cotton. Ian and Sylvia. Rita Coolidge. All are artists Friedman worked with in the 1960s.
Last January, his wife Donna stumbled upon them. Friedman spent the next several months printing, restoring and mounting the photos.
Soon, they’ll head to the California Heritage Museum in Los Angeles.
But right now, they’re part of a pop-up gallery in Bedford Square. Friedman’s taken over an appropriately scruffy, unfinished space opposite the Spotted Horse. Dozens of images are on display there — and for sale.
There’s been no publicity. Yet plenty of folks discovered the intriguing gallery during last weekend’s Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. The word is getting out.
But remember: This is a pop-up place. Soon, the photos will be gone.
At least this time Friedman will know where they went.
Villa del Sol has served its last margarita.
At its longtime Elm Street location, that is.
The popular downtown restaurant is moving to 170 Post Road West. The former site of Peachwave has been vacant for over 2 years.
David Waldman — developer of Bedford Square — is purchasing the Mexican restaurant, adjacent to his new complex. It’s part of a land swap. He’ll demolish the old Villa del Sol. In return, he’ll construct a retail/residential building across Elm Street, behind Lux Bond & Green.
(Hat tip: Steve Stein)
For a decade, honeybees died in distressingly large numbers.
But in downtown Westport, they’re alive and well.
At least, their honey is.
On Friday, Bedford Square welcomed its newest tenant. Savannah Bee Company — an artisanal honey and body care store — opened its 8th location. It’s the first outside the Southeast.
“They’ll have to sell a lot of honey to afford that space” is the reaction from some residents.
But others who have seen Savannah Bee in action — in its 3 eponymous locations, or its upscale locations in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, St. Simons or Lake Buena Vista — know it’s more than just a honey store.
And folks who have wandered in since its opening are all abuzz.
Savannah Bee is the brainchild of Ted Dennard. If you think his company is interesting, wait till you hear his back story.
Dennard grew up in St. Simons, Georgia. When he was 13, a beekeeper asked his father for permission to put hives on the property. His father agreed — provided the man taught his kids about beekeeping.
Dennard studied religion and philosophy in college, then joined the Peace Corps.
He opened his first store in 1999, selling tupelo honey. He expanded slowly, adding sites and expanding his mission.
Customers at the Bedford Square store can sample a variety of honeys, from several continents; bottle their own (from local beekeepers), and enjoy treats like “artisanal honey chocolate” made by Fred Knipschildt.
Dennard has spent time in this area, and loves it. Westport, he says, is a community that “seems to appreciate what we do, and understands the wonder of the honeybee world.”
He calls bees “an amazing species. They keep the world thriving.”
Dennard marvels at their complexity, their important (if unsung) role in nature, and their appeal to anyone who understands them. After 40 years, he says, “they never let me down. I’m always learning more.”
So he’s undertaken the Bee Cause Project (get it?). Savannah Bee donates hives to schools. Students watch bees build honeycombs, make honey, raise babies, do their dances and pass nectar.
More than 250 schools already participate, in 46 states. Each beehive is worth about $2,000.
Savannah Bee also gives honey to students, to sell. The money they earn helps fund more hives, in more schools.
“Bees have been around for hundreds of millions of years,” Dennard says. “We’re taking the long view. We’re trying to raise a generation that loves, understands and protects honeybees.”
He learns a lot from bees. One lesson: “You don’t get anywhere unless you’re moving.”
Savannah Bee Company has moved out of its Southeast hive. It’s now making honey — and happy customers — in downtown Westport.
You can’t keep a good geek down.
Chilly temperatures and a light rain did not deter thousands of folks from descending on the Westport Library, Jesup Green and Bedford Square, for today’s 6th annual Maker Faire.
Every type of STEM creation was represented: robots, 3-D designs, flight simulators, submersibles and more.
The arts were there too: violinists, jewelry makers, sculptors…
And of course local organizations: the Y, Wakeman Town Farm and Rotary Club were among those showing their commitment to creativity and community.
In 6 short years, the Maker Faire has become one of the biggest events of the Westport year. Now all we need is some young guy or girl who can control the weather.
Which I’m sure we’ll see next spring.