Tuesday night’s COVID remembrance at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool will be remembered for its somber, stunning 400 lights. Each represents 1,000 Americans killed by the coronavirus.
Staples High School 2009 graduate Andrew Lott — a former Staples Players lighting director — played a major role in the event. He also helped light last night’s Biden/Harris inauguration show, featuring musical performances, fireworks, and tributes to Americans affected by the pandemic.
Lott — a University of Michigan alumnus — has worked with the Spoleto and Williamstown Theatre Festivals, Public Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park and Lincoln Center.
He spent 2 years as lighting director for “CNN Tonight.” He now works nationally on a wide variety of events.
Meanwhile, there were no protests — in Washington, state capitals or Westport — yesterday, as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as America’s new leaders.
But Westporters Rex Fowler and Dodie Pettit — aka Aztec Two-Step — headed to the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge to celebrate.
A few people asked why Fowler was wearing a red hat.
“We are All Americans today,” Pettit explained. “We didn’t think about the color when we went out of the house. Maybe that’s the point!”
Last Sunday, author Layla F. Saad honored Martin Luther King Day with a compelling discussion based on her book, “Me and White Supremacy.”
Two days later a panel of local leaders explored how to undertake Saad’s self-guided 28-day process of self-reflection.
It was an important talk. If you missed it — or want to see it again — click below.
Winter sports practices have begun at Staples High School.
The usual date is around Thanksgiving. The pandemic delayed the start nearly 2 months; the first competition will now be in early February.
For the boys basketball team (shown below), along with girls basketball; boys and girls indoor track, ice hockey and skiing, and boys swimming and diving, it was one small step toward normalcy — though masks are required at all times, and spectators are not allowed.
Wrestling and competitive cheer are still prohibited.
I got a nice surprise this week with my takeout (fantastic lamb dan dan) from Kawa Ni.
The Japanese/pan-Asian restaurant has partnered with 2 others also owned by Bill Taibe — Don Memo and The Whelk — in a game. Every time you order from one, you get a letter (mine was “E”). When you have enough to spell out the name of one of those restaurants, you can post it to social media (with a tag) and win prizes (a family meal for 4, takeout up to $75, or a cocktail to go).
There are instant prizes too: guac and chips, fried oyster deviled eggs and crab rangoon.
It’s great food fun. And a lot better than a toy with a Happy Meal.
Noted chef Matthew Redington died unexpectedly earlier this month in New York. He was 40 years old.
The Westport native learned his craft at Acqua restaurant on Main Street under Christian Bertrand, formerly of Lutèce. Matt graduated from New England Culinary Institute where at age 19 he was the youngest person offered a spot in the Advanced Placement Program.
Matt and went on to top chef positions at Jean-George Vongerichten’s Spice Market in New York, Clio in Boston and Tengda in Greenwich (a co-creation of his). At Paul Newman’s The Dressing Room next to the Westport Country Playhouse, he helped Michel Nischan create the groundbreaking farm-to-table menu.
Most recently Matt ran a consultancy, creating culinary themes, concepts and menus for new and re-launched restaurants in New York and Connecticut.
Matt also enjoyed yoga, snowboarding, and innovative art and graphics.
He is survived by his father Thomas of Colebrook; sister Jessica Redington-Jones of Taylors, South Carolina; 3 nieces, 7 aunts, 6 uncles and numerous cousins.
A memorial celebration of Matt’s life will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the New England Culinary Institute Scholarship Fund, 7 School Street, Montpelier, VT 05602. To leave online condolences, click here.
And finally … Happy 71st birthday to Billy Ocean!