Next Wednesday’s Parks & Recreation Commission meeting (May 17, 7:30 p.m., Zoom; click here for the link) features 3 interesting agenda items.
Perhaps because of the increasing popularity of Old Mill Beach — it now attracts more than just nearby residents — the board will vote on a request for a “porta-john.”
Then they’ll introduce and discuss (but not vote on) a “proposed smoking/vaping policy.” Details are unavailable, but a source said it relates to a ban on smoking and vaping — including cannabis — at town beaches.
Then comes discussion of the Longshore Capital Improvement Plan final report.
It will be a busy night, involving 3 key topics: money, bathrooms, and weed.
Prime spot for a port-a-potty. (Photo/Dan Woog)
The Westport Garden Club does more than plant bulbs.
They’ve sponsored a youth poetry contest on “birds, bees and trees”; provided an all-terrain wheelchair to Wakeman Town Farm; donated beach grass plugs for Sherwood Island State Park’s dune restoration, and a new greenhouse at Earthplace for young naturalists and volunteers; and given a scholarship for a student studying horticulture or landscape design.
All of that — and also maintaining 7 public gardens in Westport — takes money.
And all of that funding comes from the Garden Club’s annual plant sale.
It’s tomorrow (May 13 — a first-ever Saturday date), from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Jesup Green.
On sale: over 1,000 plants from members’ own gardens, plus tomatoes and herbs.
The festive event includes an activity table for kids, a selection of garden books from the Westport Book Shop, and free saplings from Bartlett Tree Experts.
Wheelbarrows will be on standby. As always, Garden Club members offer advice on purchases.
One more idea: If you haven’t finished your Mothers Day shopping (and don’t have a green thumb), you can choose from a collection of gift-ready planters.
The annual plant sale funds Westport Garden Club displays all over town.
Yesterday’s glossy New York Times special “Homes” advertising supplement was filled with national real estate listings.
One — on page 3 — was from Westport.
It showed the controversial $7.9 million 233 Hillspoint Road home — described, of course, in breathless real estate prose:
There’s just one thing. If a buyer decides that’s his or her house because of the very cool chimney at the south end: no deal.
That was part of the reason construction was halted for 2 years. The illegal addition has now been removed. (Hat tip: John Karrel)
All of Fairfield County (and Westchester) loves Alison Milwe Grace.
On Tuesday, the rest of the country will too.
The Staples High School graduate/Weston resident/founder-owner of very popular AMG Catering & Events will be featured on Food Network’s parking lot culinary marathon show, Supermarket Steakout (Tuesday, 9 p.m.).
She taped the show in January, in California. It was her second appearance on Food Network. In 2015 she made it to the 4th and final round of elimination in an intense battle, preparing dishes that the judges praised as “creative, complex and delicious.”
Alison calls this “another opportunity, another fun show, another personal ‘cheffy; challenge, and more memories with the best network around, and the amazing Alex Guarnaschelli.
Alison’s motto is “Follow your dreams — just make sure to have fun too!”
She’s sworn to secrecy (and an iron-clad contract) to not reveal how she did ahead of time.
But hey: She wouldn’t want us watching if she burned, undercooked or otherwise messed up royally, right?
SIDE DISH: Finding Connecticut just posted a nice interview with Alison. Click here to see.
Alison Milwe Grace
College applications are almost a full-time job for teenagers.
Now Teens at MoCA — the museum’s junior board — are helping with that task.
At least, for anyone hoping to use his or her artwork to get into school, or pursue an art degree.
They’re holding a series of Zoom sessions, on how to create a portfolio in a variety of mediums.
Each will be led by a different senior — all of whom are off to great schools next fall.
This is a great opportunity for current sophomores and juniors. The lineup is:
May 18: Ava Waldman (New York University ’27) and Alex Beebe (University of Southern California ’27): Applying as a film student.
May 22: Lily Wickersham (Marist College ’27) and Mia Vindiola (Parsons School of Design ’27): Visual art and fashion.
May 24: Lexi Walsh (Washington University ’27): Architecture.
Click here to register.
Artwork by Mia Vindiola
Westport artist Cris Dam is our newest ACE.
Presented by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, the Arts & Culture Empowerment (ACE) award honors individuals, organizations and businesses that make significant contributions to the area.
An artist-entrepreneur who pioneered artists spaces in Berlin, Williamsburg and now Bridgeport, he is also a curator and community organizer.
After establishing his studio in Bridgeport, and reviving art events at the historic Arcade Mall, he established Ursa Gallery in 2020. Dam organized the first Bridgeport booth at Art Basel Miami in 2022. a
Dam is currently developing real estate on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport to create working spaces for fellow artists, raise community awareness, host events, and open a coffee roaster. He also teaches children in community art and leadership programs at Norwalk Community College.
Dam receives his honor next month, at a Norwalk Shore & Country Club breakfast. A special President’s Award will be presented to Westporters Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, recognizing their significant impact on the arts, culture and children’s health in Fairfield County. The MC is Weston’s James Naughton. Click here for full details.
Westport’s spring paving program begins Monday (May 15). It continues through mid-June.
The following roads will be paved (though not in this order):
- Oak Street
- Rodgers Way
- Reimer Road
- Sprucewood Lane
- High Point Road
- Adams Farms Road
- Greystone Farm Lane
- Wedgewood Road
- Peaceful Lane
- Chapel Hill Road
- Pritchard Lane
- Increase Lane
- Harding Lane
- Sunrise Road.
Questions? Call the Department of Public Works: 203-341-1120.
Jonathan Greenstein — the photojournalist/film director/tea importer/ athlete/world traveler/ environmentalist, whose battle with ALS inspired countless people around the world — died in 2021. He was 50 years old.
Westporters have not forgotten him.
A Wim Hof Fundamentals Workshop — teaching techniques that help patients breathe stronger and longer == is set for Saturday, May 20 (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).
A $225 donation benefits the Breathe4ALS Foundation. Attendees receive a hardcover book of Greenfield’s photography and log pants.
The event is free for people living with ALS. Click here for tickets, and more information.
Not long after his ALS diagnosis, Jonathan Greenfield (right) hiked in Spain with Wim Hof.
Britt Hennemuth — the 2008 Staples High School and 2012 Pepperdine University graduate, now the West Coast editor for Vanity Fair — has a great story in the May edition.
In “Suddenly, Stephanie Hsu is Everywhere,” the actress talks about her intense year, her love for Jamie Lee Curtis, and how her next movie, “Joy Ride,” defies stereotypes. Click here to read. (Hat tip: John Karrel)
Speaking of film: Generations of Westporters have thrilled to enormous, all-around movies at the Norwalk IMAX Theater.
Mountain climbers, deep sea divers, rock concerts — we’ve seen it all.
The building is being dismantled. It’s part of the state Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of the 123-year-old Norwalk River railroad span (the “Walk Bridge”).
A new 4D theater, built on the other side of the Maritime Aquarium, opened in 2021.
(Photo and hat tip: Whitmal Cooper)
Patti Brill’s peonies make a perfect “Westport … Naturally” picture.
And finally … as the Parks & Recreation Commission debates a port-a-potty at Old Mill Beach (story above) — it’s not our usual song. But besides all the music at Woodstock, there was this:
(“06880” needs your support, no s—. Please click here to donate. Thank you!)