Tag Archives: Ed van Gelder

Roundup: La Plage, Indigo Wellness, Ed Van Gelder …

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La Plage — the Longshore Inn restaurant — is much more than a summer place.

They’re offering prix fixe holiday menus that reflect holiday traditions, while incorporating “coastal flavors.”

The Christmas Eve (4 to 10 p.m.) and Christmas Day (noon to 6:30 p.m.) menus ($79 per person) include starters like crispy Copps Island oysters with green tomato remoulade, and Maine lobster mosaic; entrees such as Stonington sea scallops risotto and Alen Brother filet mignon; and desserts like Christmas trifle and Connecticut maple syrup panna cotta. Click here for the full menu.

New Year’s Eve features an a la carte menu, with the first seating from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

There’s dancing and a 5-course prix fixe menu ($175 per person) from 8 to 10 p.m. Specialties include wild salmon tartare, Périgord truffle salad, local black sea bass a la plancha, and crispy duck breast. Click here for the New Year’s Eve menu

New Year’s Day brunch is served a la carte, from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Click here for reservations, or call 203-684-6232.

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The third time’s the charm for Indigo Wellness Group.

When Sarah Swanberg owned her first acupuncture location in Stamford, many customers came from Westport. They urged her to open here.

Right before COVID struck, she signed a lease near Terrain. She never opened — and closed her Stamford studio for 3 months, too.

Then she found a space by the Delamar Hotel in Southport. But that didn’t feel right either.

Then Roger Leifer offered an office at the Willows medical complex, on Kings Highway North at Wilton Road. Indigo offers acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, with a focus on women’s health, fertility and pregnancy, insomnia, anxiety, headaches and chronic pain.

Indigo also offers facial cosmetic acupuncture and micro needling, pelvic floor physical therapy, virtual nutrition consultations and online courses.

Sarah loves Westport. She’s been welcomed by the community.

Last month she was also welcomed by Governor Lamont, when he toured local businesses with actress and social media influencer (and Westporter) Eva Amurri. Click below to see:

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In case you missed the previous notice: A memorial service for Julie Belaga — our former state representative, gubernatorial candidate, regional EPA administrator and Export-Import Bank director — is set for 10 a.m. on December 19, at the Westport Library.

She was one of Westport’s great public servants — and a wonderful woman too.

Julie Belaga

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Longtime Westport resident Edgar Louis Van Gelder died Thanksgiving Day at his residence in Meadow Ridge in Georgetown. He was 98 years old.

He spent his childhood in Hilversum, Holland with his sister Ada and brother Joost. His family fled the Nazi regime, and arrived in the US in 1939.

After graduating from Windsor Mountain School in Vermont, Ed enlisted in the Royal Netherlands Army Air Force. After training in Jackson, Mississippi he was assigned to the No. 18 (NEI) Squadron RAAF. They fought in the South Pacific against Japanese occupation of what was then the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia).

As a navigator Ed took part in over 40 bombing raids, facing heavy enemy defenses. The squadron was based on the northern coast of Australia under American-British-Dutch-Australian Command. After the war, he transported prisoners from Japanese internment camps. For his service, Queen Juliana awarded him the Silver Flying Cross of the Netherlands.

After discharge, Ed attended New York University. He soon joined the Van Gelder-Fanto Corporation in Manhattan, specializing in pharmaceuticals. In 1958 he became a full partner. With his partner Stan Hier, he expanded the business to become a global competitor.

In 1949 Ed married Inge Lange. She was born in Germany, but as a small child in 1927 immigrated to the US with her mother. The couple lived first in Tarrytown, New York,, then moved to Westport in 1952. In 1961 they purchased the Guyer Farm on Hillspoint Road, and spent the next half century refurbishing the house and barn.

A businessman, husband, father, passionate sailor and aviator, Ed spent his retirement traveling with his wife. His most memorable voyage was to Antarctica on a Russian research vessel. Ed and Inge were active members of the Westport Community Theater throughout the 1960’s. After his retirement, they delivered Meals on Wheels.

He became a member of the Y’s Men, and was elected to Westport’s Planning & Zoning Commission.

Ed was predeceased by his wife and siblings. He is survived by his son Jeff, daughter Caroline, and grandsons Robin, Alex and Erin.

Ed Van Gelder

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Sure, the holidays are hectic. Hopefully, you can take a few moments and “reflect” on today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … in honor of our new acupuncture spot, Indigo Wellness:

Roundup: Nile Rodgers, David Hidalgo, Bob Dole …

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Like many musicians, Nile Rodgers has an impressive collection of guitars.

Like very few, he is selling them at auction.

Like even fewer, he’s auctioning them not for personal gain, but for charity.

This month, Christie’s is offering more than 160 pieces from his personal collection. Besides guitars, there are amps, synthesizers and mixing boards — plus clothing and classic cars.

Many are housed right here in Westport. The Grammy-winning composer, producer, arranger, guitarist and Chic co-founder has lived here for years.

Rodgers will donate app proceeds to the We Are Family Foundation. He and life partner Nancy Hunt set up the organization after 9/11. It “promotes cultural diversity while nurturing and mentoring the vision, talents and ideas of young people who are positively changing the world.”

And it’s named, of course, for the smash song he wrote for Sister Sledge.

Click here for the full story. Click here for the Nile Rodgers collection, from the Christie’s catalogue. (Hat tip: Adam Stolpen)

Nile Rodgers, at his Westport home. (Photo courtesy of Sky Arts)

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College a cappella came to Westport last night.

Dartmouth College’s Brovertones brought their bowties and harmonies to the Christ & Holy Trinity courtyard last night. There was a bonfire, s’mores, hot cider — and a heartfelt speech by Brovertone Sam Laskin. The Staples High School grad spoke about how great it was to grow up in a town that fosters the arts.

Dinner was next for the group, hosted by Randy Herbertson in his Church Lane studio. Most of the food was donated by Rye Ridge Deli.

Today — after they all slept at the Laskins’ — it was off on the next stop of their holiday tour.

The Brovertones, at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. (Photo/David Goldstein)

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Like many downtown stores, Savvy + Grace has a gorgeous Christmas tree.

But this one is more than decorative.

Owner Annette Norton is working with the Ralphola Taylor Charity, a YMCA community center that serves low-income Bridgeport children. They earn points for good behavior during after-school activities — then redeem those points at the center’s Holiday Store by buying presents for their families.

In return for purchasing a gift for the Ralphola Taylor Charity, Annette will personalize a white dove ornament with the donor’s name, and hang it on the tree.

Gifts can be bought 3 ways:

  • At Savvy + Grace (next to the former Tavern on Main restaurant)
  • Online (at checkout, just choose free delivery to the charity)
  • Purchase something from any other local store, then drop it off at Savvy + Grace. What a great way to support all Westport merchants, and kids in Bridgeport.

Donations are accepted now through December 12. Let’s fill that tree — and the Ralphola Taylor Charity Holiday Shop shelves!

Annette Norton at Savvy + Grace last year. This season, the tree is inside her store.

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In 2020, I reported on David Hidalgo’s battle against leukemia.

The carpenter/handyman/home improvement contractor extraordinaire is beloved by Westporters. They adore his workmanship, care, willingness to tackle any project; his problem-solving, humility, politeness, and ear-to-ear smile.

He had no disability insurance. But many friends — and strangers — stepped up to help. On his 32nd birthday, David was pronounced cancer-free.

Devastatingly, it’s now returned.

He starts treatment tomorrow, and hopes for a bone marrow transplant.

Without health insurance, he, his wife and 2 young children need lots of help.

He has 2 young children and a lovely wife. They have no health insurance and will need a lot of help.

A GoFundMe drive can defray medical costs. A meal train can help too.

David’s many friends and very pleased clients hope that Westport can give generously to this special man, and his family. (Hat tip: Jennifer Zorek-Pressman)

David Hidalgo and family.

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Bob Dole — the World War II hero, Senate majority leader, presidential and vice presidential candidate, veterans’ advocate, and skillful politician in all the positive senses of the word — died yesterday, at 98.

His long and varied life no doubt brought him at least a few times to Westport, for fundraising and other events. I met him once, at the Apple Festival at Staples High School.

That’s been gone for a while, but it was an old-fashioned, community celebration every October. It must have been a presidential election year, though I can’t remember which one.

I was surprised that a man of his stature would be shaking hands at a small event like that. But I was impressed that he met voters with grace, a smile, and a couple of jokes.

I shook his hand — his left one, because his right hand was severely injured during his service with the 10th Mountain Division. I was not going to vote for whoever he was stumping for, but neither would I pass up the honor of meeting him.

It remains a fond memory. If only we had iPhones back then.

Senator Bob Dole

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Former Westporter — and longtime Planning & Zoning Commission member –Ed Van Gelder died last week, at Meadow Ridge in Redding. He was 98 years old.

In 2009, he and his wife Inge celebrated their 60th anniversary. Their son Jeff wrote a beautiful piece for “06880,” about what Westport meant to them both. Click here to read.

An obituary has not yet been published. Condolences may be sent to Jeff Van Gelder, c/o1326 Meadow Ridge, Redding, CT 06896. (Hat tip: Rose Jordan)

Inge and Ed Van Gelder

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“06880” readers are not the only people who love Werner Liepolt’s artwork.

The regular contributor to our Saturday online art gallery has just had his en plein air painting of Sherwood Island State Park juried into the Mart Twain Library‘s 49th annual art show. Submissions came from across the country.

The fundraiser for the Redding institution — which was founded by the legendary writer — runs through December 12.

The Mark Twain Library is a fitting spot for Liepolt’s work. He spent over 30 years in Westport as an English teacher.

Werner Liepolt’s Sherwood Island artwork was featured in the “06880” art gallery last March. It’s now in the juried Mark Twain Library show.

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Speaking of Sherwood Island: Mill Pond residents were surprised to wake up this morning to lights and action.

It was presumably Netflix, filming “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.” The Stephen King thriller stars Donald Sutherland and Jaeden Martell, and will be released next year.

A temporary “trailer park” has been erected at the state park. To answer questions from readers: No, it’s not permanent.

Sherwood Island State Park, as seen from the Mill Pond early this morning. (Photo/James White)

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The deer keeping coming. Jill Grayson took today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo at her Berkeley Road home, off Easton Road.

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … in honor of Nile Rodgers’ charitable gifts (above) — well, you knew this was coming: