Tag Archives: Church Lane

Roundup: Memorial Day Grand Marshal, Beach Stickers, Church Lane …

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Plans are underway for a traditional Memorial Day parade. And there’s no better tradition than the grand marshal.

This year’s honor goes to Nicholas Rossi. The 98-year-old World War II veteran has captured the hearts of Westporters since moving here several years ago, to live with his son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren.

The Oyster Bay, Long Island native was a 4-sport (football, basketball, baseball, track) high school athlete.

After graduation in 1940, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. His flight crew was part of the 305th Bombardment Group of the 364th Squadron, assigned to the 8th Air Force Bomber Command in England. A technical sergeant, Rossi flew multiple bombing missions as a B-17 gunner over occupied central Europe.

He was discharged in March 1945, but remained in Liege, Belgium after the war. As a civilian, he was employed by the government to work with the American Graves Registration Command, locating and identifying unrecovered dead military personnel.

Rossi married in 1956 and raised 5 children (Paul, Christine, Caren, Carla and Peter) in the house he built in Mill Neck, New York. Since moving to Westport, he has gotten involved in the town. When his grandchildren were at Staples High School, he attended their many plays, concerts and athletic events.

Congratulations, Mr. Rossi, on this great honor. See you at the parade!

Nicholas Rossi

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This is the week for everyone to enjoy Compo and Old Mill Beaches.

Next Saturday (May 1), parking stickers (“emblems”) are required to enter. For Burying Hill Beach, the date is May 29.

Click here to log in; choose “Memberships,” then type “Vehicle” in the search box. Parking emblems may take a week to 10 days to arrive by mail.

Forgot your login and/or password? Email recreation@westportct.gov or call 203-341-5152.

This driver has plenty of beach stickers.

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Church Lane is once again closed for outdoor dining. And the Westport Downtown Association is doing its part to make the area even more alluring.

They’re producing 40 nights of dinner music, starting April 30. Every Friday and Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m., area musicians will play. They’re paying gigs. Funds come from sponsorships, and a GoFundMe page.

The WDA will also add lights, outlining details on the Patagonia building and beyond.

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Jeff Seaver waited in line this morning, for the hazardous waste drop-off at the Greens Farms railroad station.

He was not alone. There were 70 cars in line.

But the line moved quickly, Jeff says. “Volunteers worked their tails off. Westport at its best.”

They collected a lot of waste. Which means there’s a lot that is no longer hazardous, at home.

(Photo/Jeff Seaver)

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Folks are buzzing about Wakeman Town Farm’s next event (May 8, 12 noon, Zoom). It’s “The Wonderful World of Honeybees” — a look at why they’re essential, and the microcosm that is the hive.

Shelby Schulman studied environmental science and anthropology at the University of North Carolina. Her introduction to bees came as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea.

As WTF notes, “bees are behind a third of all the food we eat, including fruits, vegetables, chocolate, nuts and coffee.” Click here for tickets ($10).

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Westporter Ken Goldberg owns AFC Urgent Care, a walk-in medical center near the Department of Motor Vehicles in Norwalk.

They do COVID testing (PCR and rapid); they take most all insurances, and they have a doctor who does a brief telemed screening beforehand. Patients then come to be swabbed in their car.

AFC Urgent Care also provides Moderna vaccines. Appointments can be made easily and directly, by phone (203-845-9100). Click here for more information.

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“06880” has followed the saga of 19 Soundview Drive — the century-old home that evaded the wrecking ball this spring (though there are rumors it may still be demolished in the fall).

Yesterday, Patricia McMahon spotted this sign on the house. Whatever happens to the property, someone has a great sense of humor.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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There’s always something to smile about at Compo Beach. Here’s Erica Davis’ message for the day:

(Photo/Amy Saperstein)

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And finally … Les McKeown, lead singer for the Bay City Rollers, died on Tuesday. He was 65. (Hat tip: Amy Schneider)

 

Pics Of The Day #1464

Daffodils on the rotary at Church Lane and Myrtle Avenue … (Photo/Dan Woog)

… and trees behind Jesup Road (Photo/Bob Cooper)

Roundup: Outdoor Dining, GG & Joe, “In Death” …

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Starting today, outdoor dining returns to Church Lane.

Now through late fall, restaurants like Spotted Horse, Manna Toast, Pink Sumo and Amis are serving underneath the stars.

The Westport Downtown Association plans live mellow dinner music on weekends, starting soon.

Dining al fresco, last year.

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Around the corner, GG & Joe is closed — but only temporarily.

A sign on the door notes that due to a COVID exposure, they’ve shut their doors for a few days. They reopen Thursday, April 22.

Better safe than sorry. And kudos to the acai bowl-and-coffee-and-more spot in Parker Harding Plaza — which opened last spring, as the pandemic raged — for their concern for all customers.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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In Death, The Gift of Life — the powerful anthology of 10 Westporters who embraced death on their own terms — has won two 1st place awards in the Connecticut Press Club’s annual communications contest.

The honors were for editing (Dan Levinson and Alison McBain) and design (McBain and Miggs Burroughs). The book now moves on to national competition.

A community-wide book launch will be held at the Westport Library this fall.

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In the early days of the pandemic, Stan Witkow started an online bingo game. Winners — Westporters, former residents and friends across the country — donate their pots to a non-profit of their choice.

The most recent recipient is Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service. Jennifer Pressman donated her $250 to the organization. Her son is a former WVEMS volunteer. Bingo!

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Abilis is hiring. The non-profit, which serves more than 800 people with special needs and their families — holds a job fair on Saturday, May 1 (9 a.m. to 5 .m., 50 Glenville Street, Greenwich).

Full- and part-time positions include management and assistant management roles, day program and residential roles. Click here to see open positions. Prospective employees should bring resumes. For more information,  call 203-531-1880.

May 1 is also the date of Abilis’ 70th anniversary gala (6:30 p.m., virtual). There’s family entertainment, with comedians, actors, musicians and dancers.

To learn more, register for the show link, see “Giving Garden” needs, check out the online auction or by art by Abilis clients, click here.

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An “06880” reader sits for a 4-hour infusion once a month at Norwalk Hospital. It is often cool in the room, so patients are given a hospital blanket.

The other day, she received a real blanket,  made by a group at Staples High school called Lovee’s Charity. They’re usually given to pediatric patients, but sometimes they’re handed out in the infusion room.

“It was so nice, soft and comforting,” the reader says. She emailed faculty advisor Natalie Odierna, letting her know how much joy the blanket brought.

Now thousands of other “06880” readers know about the joy Lovee’s Charity brings too.

A Lovee’s Charity blanket.

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Major League Soccer has kicked off its 26th season. And for the 5th straight year, Elliot Gerard was commissioned to create the opening day graphic.

The Westport resident Gerard is a founder and creative director with Heartlent Group, a social strategy and creative content agency.

This year’s concept is “Where’s Waldo?” Gerard worked with eMLS to hide Easter eggs in the artwork (below). The campaign is interactive, giving fans the chance to make their own versions on Instagram stories. A customizable background is available. Click for Twitter and Instagram links.

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And finally … I got my 2nd COVID vaccine today. Just sayin’ …

Pic Of The Day #1437

Important message at Church Lane and the Post Road (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

Classic Westport Art For Sale

Longtime Westporter Martha Nachman is downsizing. She has a few items that might interest “06880” readers.

One is a nice Naiad Einsel framed poster of the Westport Schools Spring Art Show at Jesup Green.

She also has a number of Al Willmott’s small prints of Westport scenes.

Ned Dimes Marina (Don Willmott)

Church Lane (Don Willmott)

Many are in great shape. Some have stains.

]UPDATE: ALL THE PIECES HAVE BEEN SOLD!]

Saugatuck: Old Riverside Avenue (Don Willmott)

Greens Farms train station (Don Willmott)

 

Westport’s Restaurant Scene: What Will Winter Bring?

This week, Merri Mueller posed a great question on Facebook’s Westport Front Porch group: Where to dine outdoors in Westport? It’s getting cooler, she said — but she is not yet comfortable going indoors.

Suggestions poured in:

Pene e Bene. Rive Bistro. Pearl at Longshore. The Boathouse at Saugatuck Rowing Club. Little Barn. Harvest. Manna Toast. Walrus Alley. Tarantino. The Cottage. Rizzuto’s (where you can request heaters — and they’ll close your private tent flaps).

I’m sure there are more. I’m also sure that “06880” readers will add them in the Comments section below.

Rizzuto’s has always offered outdoor dining. There are more tables now.

But Merri’s query — and the responses — sparked an idea for more crowdsourcing here.

What else can Westport restaurant owners do for their customers, over the next few months?

The coronavirus will not go away. The holidays will be here before we know it. The weather will be much colder.

The speed, creativity and hospitality with which so many restaurants pivoted this spring and summer was impressive. With new delivery services, curbside pick-up, takeout and outdoor tables, they turned what could have been a disaster into an almost robust dining scene.

The next few months will be crucial for their bottom lines. With winter looming, it won’t be easy.

“06880” is here to help. Let’s hear readers’ creative ideas of what they’d like to see — outdoors and inside — at our many restaurants (and any other place that sells food).

You can be specific (mentioning one or two spots) or general.

So chew on this. Then click “Comments” below.

Church Lane, this summer. How can restaurants adapt this winter?

Threatening Messages Posted Downtown

From a distance, they look benign:

But those flyers on Pink Sumo’s wall do not promote an upcoming concert or fundraiser.

They promote hatred and violence.

Similar messages were posted nearby on Church Lane:

(Photos/Marcy Sansolo)

The work of Westporters? Out-of-towners?

Scare tactics? A sick “joke”?

No one yet knows. Police have been notified. They will do their usual professional job to find out what’s going on.

And to keep our town safe.

Pic Of The Day #1256

Spotted by Spotted Horse, on Church Lane (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

COVID And Isaias: A Boon For Downtown?

This may be counterintuitive. It may be provocative. It may also be dumb, and wrong.

But here is my thought, 5 months into a pandemic and 3 days after a tropical storm with a powerful punch:

Downtown may be going through a renaissance, thanks to our twin disasters.

COVID-19 caused the closures of many businesses, and the demise of a few well-known restaurants like Tavern on Main and Le Penguin.

But — thanks to the Westport Downtown Merchants Association and town officials — it resulted in the closure of Church Lane this month. The area was hopping last weekend, with music, outdoor dining at places like Spotted Horse and Manna Toast, and plenty of smiles.

Shops like Savannah Bee and the new hemp place boomed.

Church Lane, last weekend, (Photo/Dan Woog

Across the Post Road, the Levitt Pavilion is shut. But the Remarkable Theater has pioneered the surprise hit of the summer — pop-up movies in the Imperial Avenue lot — and the space has been used for other stay-near-your-car, socially distanced but very fun entertainment like Supper & Soul (sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library), and a Staples students-and-alums concert (organized by teenagers).

Drive-in movies, courtesy of the Remarkable Theater.

The tropical storm, meanwhile, spared downtown. It did not even flood, probably because merchants sandbagged their doors figuring it would. (The fact that we had less than an inch of rain also helped.)

So the power stayed on (though unfortunately not on Church Lane). Residents who could get out of their side streets descended on the area.

Starbucks did a gold rush business (even without credit cards — cash only). So did Rye Ridge Deli and GG & Joe’s açaí bowl spot, along with full-service restaurants like Jeera Thai, Don Melo, Walrus Alley, Amis and others.

All day long, and into the evening, folks wandered. Kids rode bikes. Let me repeat that: Downtown, kids rode bikes. It was as close to the 1950s as you can get, without actually being there.

Adults stopped and chatted. They shopped. You couldn’t see, but behind their masks, they smiled.

But the best thing — if by “best” you toss out the reason for it — was the gathering on Jesup Green, along the Riverwalk, and on the Westport Library steps.

A small part of the large WiFi crowd. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

Hundreds of folks sat, enjoying free WiFi. They did business, read emails (and “06880”), talked on their phones, watched movies on their tablets.

There was not a lot of chatter, during the day. Using devices will do that. Staying 6 feet apart didn’t help.

But when evening came, things got more social. A woman picked up her ukulele, and gave an impromptu concert. Folks put down their phones, and started talking. They watched the rowers gliding past.

An (Photos/Miggs Burroughs)

The sun set. The moon rose. The river shimmered. You could see stars.

Is this a harbinger of things to come? What will downtown look like once everyone gets power and internet — and the world gets a vaccine? Will this be a fleeting moment in time, or a sea change?

I have no idea. But for right now — despite all that is bad in Westport, the country and the planet — downtown Westport is suddenly, inexplicably, momentously, both fun and cool.

Pics Of The Day #1202

Church Lane will be closed from Elm Street to the Post Road, through the end of August.

That gives pedestrians more room — and restaurants like Spotted Horse, Manna Toast and Amis the chance to put tables in the street.

To kick off the new look, the Busted Chops band played funk and soul tonight.

It was just the way developers envisioned the area to look, a few years ago.

Without, of course, the masks and hand sanitizers.

(Photos/Dan Woog)