Tag Archives: Cold Fusion

Roundup: Wildfires, Ice Cream Parlor, Staples Sports …

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Westport Fire Department chief Robert Yost has returned from a 2-week national assignment, supporting wildland firefighters in Minnesota.

He calls this “an incredible training opportunity in large-scale incident management. Connecticut is not immune to a wildfire or large-scale natural disaster. We need to be just as prepared as our western counterparts. As the fires continue to burn, please keep all the firefighters out on assignment nationwide in your thoughts and prayers.”

When Yost arrived, the Greenwood Fire was 6,000 acres and 0% percent. During his deployment it grew to 26,000 acres, directly threatening the town of Isabella.

Yost was the medical unit leader trainee responsible for the entire incident, along with 7 fire line medics, 2 medical ATVs and 2 incident ambulances.

Chief Robert Yost at Greenwood Fire briefing.

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Yesterday’s “Unsung Hero” story highlighted a Saugatuck Elementary School custodian, hard at work cleaning drains after Hurricane Ida.

Now we can put a name to his dedication. He’s Al Orozco, head custodian at SES. As several readers — and staff members — noted, he is a gem. And well deserving of his Unsung honor.

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Butzi Moffitt — who as Butsy Beach owned the original ice cream parlor on Main Street in the 1950s — stopped in to Cold Fusion on Tuesday. The new gelato shop is just a few doors down from the first Ice Cream Parlor (where Brandy Melville is now).

Butzi — 93 years young — brought owners Eric and Kelly Emmert an original menu from 1954.

Bitzi Moffett shows Eric Emmert an original Ice Cream Parlor menu.

The menu.

Butzi — who also owned clothing stores on Main Street — was joined at Cold Fusion by her daughter Maggie Moffitt Rahe, a teacher at Coleytown Elementary School. Butzi also brought a photo of herself, outside the first shop.

From left: Amy Greene, and Bob and Butzi Beach, owners of the Ice Cream Parlor.

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The Staples football team’s home opener is tomorrow (7 p.m.). It should be a great game — the opponent is former coach Marce Petroccio’s Trumbull High — and getting tickets has never been easier.

Click here to purchase online; then have your phone ready to show at the gate. You can also click on the QR code below:

You can make Friday a Staples sports doubleheader, too. At 4 p.m., the boys soccer team hosts Ridgefield, in their 2021 season opener. Admission is free!

Reese Watkins, for the Wreckers. (Photo/Brian Watkins)

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The Westport Artists Collective’s pop-up shows pop up regularly. They’re eclectic, inspiring — and fun.

The next one runs from Wednesday, September 15 through Sunday, September 19 (2 to 6 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse). There’s an artists’ talk that final Sunday, at 3 p.m.

Like any pop-up, it will pop down quickly. Be sure to get there before it goes!

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Westport-based Fairfield County Writers’ Studio’s fall classes will be held via Zoom — at least for now.

There are some intriguing ones. Topics include Writing for Children; LGBTQ+ Workshop; Writing Your Memoir; Creative Writing; Novel Writing, and Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror.

Click here for details, and registration information.

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Among all our woodland creatures, we tend to overlook squirrels. They’re the Muzak of our backyard lives.

But Jamie Walsh captured this intriguing shot, reminding us to not overlook every living thing in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)

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And finally … today is September 9 — 9/9. Which means, of course:

 

 

 

Roundup: Commuters’ Coffee, Brook Cafe, Cold Fusion …

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The variety store at curve, where Riverside Avenue becomes Railroad Place — once known as Desi’s Corner — will soon become “Uncle Leo’s.” A small sign says simply “Steam Coffee Tea.”

There’s no indication when the renovation will be done.

It’s good news for train riders, who have been without a coffee shop on that side of the tracks since Commuter Coffee closed in 2018.

Let’s hope — for Uncle Leo’s sake — that there are soon actual rail commuters for his “Steam Coffee Tea.”

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

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First,  Cold Fusion hung the Remarkable Guy — a remnant of the long-ago book store across Main Street from the new gelato shop — on its wall.

Now it’s paying homage to another iconic ancestral neighbor.

The original Ice Cream Parlor was a few doors down — where Brandy Melville is now.

It moved twice, eventually ending up on the Post Road diagonally across from the Westport Country Playhouse. That’s where it was in 1966, when this ad appeared in a Playhouse playbill. Longtime Westporter (and, no doubt, longtime Ice Cream Parlor fan) Paula Schooler gave it to Cold Fusion.

In addition to the Ice Cream Parlor’s brunch, lunch and dinner offerings, and penny candies (“the largest assortment under the sun”), the ad touted Terpsichore. That was the restaurant’s discotheque — “Westport’s first” — with “Go-Go Girls in their Bird Cages.”

From ice cream to gelato — and go-go girls to #MeToo — we’ve come a long way, baby.

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One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic is that the New York Times wedding announcements are a lot more interesting.

When fewer couples got married last year, the paper began writing actual stories out of how they meet, and how their relationships developed.

Here’s the lead in one “Vows” story in the Styles section yesterday:

On a summer evening in a previous century, Garrett Foster, then 27, summoned up his courage and entered a gay bar for the first time. At the Brook in Westport, Conn., which, until it closed, was the oldest continually operating gay bar in the country, he laid eyes on Brian Murray, then 31. Mr. Murray had once been a regular, but that was his first night there in a while. Their connection was immediate.

“I knew I was going to spend my life with this man,” Mr. Foster said. What he couldn’t have guessed, was that he would legally marry him someday.

That marriage was July 13, 2021 — 31 years to the day after they first met. Click here for all the details.

Brian Murray (left) and Garrett Foster. (Photo courtesy of New York Times)

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Haslea is the name of  Jeff Northrop’s new aquaculture company operating on Sherwood Mill Pond. After testing the concept a few years ago with Hummock Island Shellfish, he began developing a more streamlined approach to growing bivalves on the oyster grounds that have been in his family since the 1700s.

Haslea plans to use the Mill Pond not to maximize production, but as an R&D pond for selective breeding oysters for disease resistance. It’s part of a larger natural oyster restoration along the coast they’re working on.

The company — including chief technology officer Luke Gray of MIT — has provisional patents for a new fully robotic growing system that could produce oysters for 1/10th the cost. It’s for offshore sites, and will not be used in the Mill Pond.

Co-founder Jonathan Goldstein moved to Westport recently, to help Jeff. He was previously with Compass in New York.

Chief operating officer Roberto Aguaya Diaz moved from Texas, where he postponed his MBA to help build Haslea. His family has an aquaculture background, with shrimp farms.

Aquaculture in the SherwoodoMill Pond.

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“Native species do attract monarchs,” says Morgan Mermagen of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

She hopes this photo — and others like it — to plant with those ideas in mind.

(Photo/Morgan Mermagen)

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And finally … I don’t know how, but I missed a big anniversary. It was 40 years ago yesterday that MTV began broadcasting. The first video was, as everyone knows …

 

Cold Fusion: The Remarkable Back Story

Cold Fusion opened Thursday. From the moment the new gelato place served its first scoop, it was packed.

It’s on Main Street near Avery Place, in the former Papyrus space next to Chase Bank.

Or, to put it another way: opposite the old Remarkable Book Shop.

The Remarkable Book Shop.

Relative newcomers know it as the long-shuttered Talbots (soon to be, remarkably, Local to Market, selling fresh produce, food and artisan craft items, all produced around here).

Cold Fusion owners (and longtime Westporters) Eric and Kelly Emmert know their history. As they planned their store, they knew they wanted to honor their long-ago neighbor.

For 34 years, an Edward Gorey-inspired dancing figure hung on the side of the Remarkable Book Shop.

Now — after all these years — he’s back.

With a different point of view. He’s inside Cold Fusion — occupying the spot he gazed out upon, for all those years.

The Remarkable Guy was stored at the former Westport Historical Society. More recently, Pam Barkentin has taken care of him. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

The Remarkable Book Shop was owned by Sidney and Esther Kramer. (The store’s perfect name includes “Kramer,” spelled backward.) Their children, Mark and Wendy, have loaned the iconic work of art to the Emmerts.

Esther made her store a Westport landmark. Shelves were filled with books on every topic imaginable. Cozy, overstuffed chairs (and a house cat named Heathcliffe) invited browsers to sit, read, linger and talk to each other long before “store experiences” were a thing.

Esther knew every customer’s name, from Paul Newman and writers to young children. She and her team of loyal, learned employees remembered everyone’s interests and tastes, and happily recommended the next good read.

Warm, friendly and funky, the pink store was a community gathering place from 1960 until 1994.

That’s the kind of feeling the Emmerts hope to recreate at Cold Fusion. Bringing the Remarkable Guy back is a great way to start.

Cold Fusion: Today’s Hot Opening

Main Street’s gelato cup runneth over.

Cold Fusion opens today. That’s the second gelato shop downtown. La Fenice was the first, last month.

The Cold Fusion brand is well known to Westporters — and has a distinct local “flavor.”

Gelato and sorbet — made by hand, with all-natural, locally sourced ingredients — is sold at many cool places on the East Coast (including Mystic Market and Rizzuto’s). There’s also a retail store in Newport, Rhode Island.

Cold Fusion is owned by Westporters Eric and Kelly Emmert. They searched for a long time for a local shop. They found the perfect location in the old Papyrus store (next to Chase Bank).

There’s an outdoor patio too. History lovers note: The original Ice Cream Parlor was located a few doors away.

Owner Eric Emmert (right) and crew Nate Kolek and Imogen Barnes — both Staples High School graduates — are ready for customers. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

The Emmerts offer 32 artisan gelato choices, both traditional (hazelnut, pistachio, stracciatella) and new (amaretto almond crunch, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, milk chocolate brownie). There are no food colorings, powders or preservatives.

Sorbets are dairy-free, vegan and made with fresh whole fruits. Everything is kosher-certified.

Besides gelato and sorbet, Cold Fusion carries locally sourced chocolates, and espresso, cappuccino and coffee from local roasters. Hand-packed and packaged pints are available to go.

Cold Fusion is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Eric and Kelly Emmert, and their gelato.