Tag Archives: Gold’s Delicatessen

Roundup: Mid-Afternoon, Day 3…

A press release from town officials says:

Eversource has deployed its “Make Safe” crew as of 6 this morning, so progress is expected on blocked roadways. The town Department of Public Works has initiated the cleanup of trees and debris, and many previously impassable roads are now clear. Emergency access is prioritized.

Here’s what some of Westport still looks like, 72 hours after Isaias struck. This is on Charcoal Hill Road. (Photo/Pat Blaufuss)

  • Police are aware of the signal light outages at high traffic intersections and are making efforts to monitor them as power continues to be restored. Temporary signage and other warning devices have been deployed as equipment inventory allows in the areas determined to be of greatest need. However, please understand that the Police Department cannot safely or effectively provide personnel to manually direct traffic at all of the main intersections. Attempting to do so only creates more traffic back up and further disruption. Motorists should continue to proceed through intersections with caution and obey temporary signage where posted. Please allow extra time to reach your intended destination to account for increased traffic on our roadways.
  • AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless teams have been working around the clock to restore cellular service in Westport. Last night, Verizon successfully deployed a spot cell at the Compo beach area.  AT&T has deployed a mobile cell tower at the Police Station. Many of the surrounding cell sites are back on line.

·         The charging station is currently down at the Senior Center. Charging stations and WiFi can be accessed at the rear of Town Hall (110 Myrtle Avenue via access through St. John’s Place) and the Westport Weston Health District (180 Bayberry Lane) in addition to WiFi access at the Library (20 Jesup Road).

·         Non-potable water filling stations are available at all fire houses.

The Verizon mobile hot spot, near the Compo Beach skate park. (Photo/Matt Murray)


Rizzuto’s has rented a 175kw generator. They and the Lobster Shack are open from 4 to 9:30 p.m. today for takeout and dine-in. Their phones and internet are out, so you can’t order ahead. No problem — both restaurants are well worth the trip!

Also open with a generator: Gold’s. They’re there until 4 p.m. today (or until they run) — same thing tomorrow. Certain items only, of course. They too have no phone, no internet and no power. Old school!

Gold’s is pure gold!


Looking for fresh food — and want to buy local?

Check out Belta Farms, on Bayberry Lane!

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


This crew arrived from Nova Scotia. They spent a few hours in the Unitarian Church parking lot, and have now started working. Thanks, Canada — good thing the border was opened for them!

(Photo/Barbara Murray)

COVID Roundup: “Artists In Residences”; Alice In Wonderland; Class Of 2020 Signs; More


Among the many features of the transformed Westport Library, there was this: continuing exhibitions of local artists, in the Sheffer Gallery and other prominent spots.

The library is closed. But thanks to exhibits director Carole Erger-Fass, artist/ designer/jack-of-all-trades Miggs Burroughs, and modern technology, they’re getting even more exposure now than they would have had hanging on the walls.

“Artists in Residences” is the library’s cleverly named, wonderfully executed project. Miggs and Carole conducted 30-minute Zoom visits with Artists Collective of Westport members.

Part interview, part studio tour and part demonstrations of their techniques, each episode is as different as the artists themselves.

So far, 6 of these rare, intimate looks at artists in their “native habitats” have been completed. They feature Nina Bentley, Susan Fehlinger, Emily Laux, Joan Miller, Nancy Moore and MaryEllen Hendricks.

Click below for Nina’s; click here for all, via the YouTube channel.


Staples High School’s Class of 2020 will make history in at least 2 ways.

They’re the first to have senior year disrupted by a coronavirus pandemic. And they’re the first to have free lawn signs distributed to every graduate.

Signs are being picked up this week by all 437 seniors. You may already have seen some around town.

Plans are underway for many more activities for this year’s hard-luck, but resilient and wonderful, class. Hindsight is always “20/20” — but with a bit of foresight, this year’s Class of graduation will be both memorable and great.


Speaking of Staples: The “Seussical” show did not go on this spring. But another great one is on tap — er, on radio — this Thursday.

At 6 p.m. (May 14), Players director David Roth’s Theatre 3 class will broadcast their annual radio play. It’s “Alice in Wonderland.” And if it’s anything like past productions, it will earn a first-place national Drury High School Radio Award. (Staples has won every year since their inception in 2011.)

Entire families will enjoy this production. It uses the same 1952 script that was broadcast nationally, coinciding with Walt Disney’s release of his animated feature. And it features several stars from last fall’s “Mamma Mia!” mainstage.

The class has rehearsed 3 times a week since the school shut down. On Thursday you can hear them live: 90.3 FM, or streamed here.


Speaking of education: Westport Continuing Education has launched Online Learning classes and workshops for adults, teens and kids. Virtual “after school” programs include sports, babysitting, arts, film, horticulture, theater and more. Those for adults include business, cooking, gardening and personal finance. Click here for details.


They were all there at last night’s “Rise Up New York!” telethon: Tina Fey. Andrew Cuomo. Barbara Streisand. Ben Platt. Bette Midler. Jennifer Lopez. Bill de Blasio. Chris Rock. Danny Meyer. Eli Manning. Idina Menzel. Jake

Gyllenhaal. Jimmy Fallon. Lin-Manuel Miranda. Robert De Niro. Salt-N-Pepa. Spike Lee. Julianne Moore. Trevor Noah. Bon Jovi. Billy Joel. Mariah Carey.  Sting.

And Gold’s.

Momofuku’s David Chang said, “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of New York’s restaurant industry. It’s also impossible to overstate the crisis it’s currently facing.”

And then — first, among a number of dining spots — Westport’s popular deli appeared on screens, all around the nation. Chip Stephens captured the moment on camera:


And finally … listen to Peter Gabriel!

Vanity Fair Features Westport’s Essential Workers

Last month, it was “the party.” This week, the short-lived “pandemic drone.”

After 2 turns in the national media glare, the 3rd time’s the charm.

Today, Vanity Fair turns its spotlight on the men and women who keep Westport going in a pandemic..

Stephen Wilkes is a photographer and National Geographic Explorer. He’s documented endangered species and habitats, rising seas, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ellis Island in decay and more.

He’s also a Westporter.

After hearing about a young Maryland woman infected by COVID-19 who was so devoted to working at a store that it killed her, he set out to photograph essential workers here.

He said “so many great, small mom-and-pop shops are making sure that everybody is okay right now. Without them, I don’t know what we’d do.”

Wilkes’ story includes photos of Gold’s Delicatessen, Carvel and Fleishers Craft Butchery, as well as EMS headquarters and a Metro-North train.

His photos — like the one below, of the Gold’s owners and staff, masked yet still offering curbside pickup behind yellow caution tape (the caption notes that owners Jim and Nancy Eckl celebrated their 37th anniversary “serving their devoted customers”) — are powerful.

And — after all the chatter about a party and a drone — the perfect way to start the weekend.

(Photo/Stephen Wilkes for Vanity Fair)

(For more photos, and the text, click here. Hat tip: Kerry Long)

COVID-19 Roundup: Bells, Food, Funds, Laptops, More

Every day seems to blend into every other. Today could be any day.

But it’s Wednesday! Which means it’s time for our community bell ring.

From 5 p.m. to 5:02, Westporters are encouraged o step outside — or open windows — and make noise.

Sound a bell. Play an instrument. Bang a pot. It doesn’t matter! Just ring out your gratitude to our medical personnel, essential workers, and anyone else who keeps our town safe.

They appreciate it. It’s a ton of fun. Everyone loves it.

Plus, what else have you got going at 5 p.m. today?


When it was announced just a week ago, the Westport Food Fund had an audacious goal: $50,000, to help ease food insecurity for the 4% of Westporters — 1,200 residents — who fear they’ll go hungry in the pandemic.

Within 12 hours, that lofty taragete was reached.

Yet folks kept giving. The campaign closes today. In just 1 week, we raised $110,000.

Organizers Dan Levinson, Elaine Daignault and Sue Pfister are overwhelmed with gratitude.

Of course, there is great need for the foreseeable future. Daignault — the town’s director of human services — says her department will continue to accept donations through the We Care Westport portal. Additional funds will be directed to residents in need, for help in areas like rent and utility bills. To donate, click here.


Town officials have been working on a tax relief program. Yesterday, they recommended that the RTM approve a deferment program. It offers eligible taxpayers a 3-month grace period.

First Selectman Jim Marpe will explain the program at the RTM’s special meeting on April 22. He hopes they can vote on it at that meeting.


Earlier this month, the Board of Finance was scheduled to begin the approval process for a new concessionaire at Compo Beach and Longshore.

Then the coronavirus hit. The first year of the contract with Upsilon Entertainment Group had to be rewritten. Discussion and a vote was put off until April 15.

But the final lease language is not expected until today. That’s not enough time for the board to review.

Once that’s done, chair Brian Stern may schedule a special meeting. He does not want to jeopardize burgers and fries for the summer.

Then again, COVID-19 may do just that.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


Seth Schachter alerts readers to a desperate need for laptops and desktops in Bridgeport. Without them, students can’t log on to online classes.

The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport has organized a collection. To donate a computer, email CassShaw@ccgb.org.


Staples High School Class of 1999 graduate Sarah Buck owns Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a very popular fried chicken-plus restaurant in Brooklyn. She’s doing pick-up and delivery now — and supplying medical personnel at nearby Woodhull Hospital.

Meals are funded by donations. Woodhull also desperately needs N95 masks and other personal protective equipment. To support either or both efforts, email piesnthighs.com.

Sarah Buck (right), with Pies ‘n’ Thighs co-owner Caroline Bane.

 


These days, everyone exercises caution. Among the most careful: restaurant owners and staff. They prepare, cook and package meals carefully. They bring them curbside — or send them off for delivery — with care. They care about the safety of their customers. Here’s the Gold’s crew, being very cautious:

(Photo/Tom Roth)For a full list of local restaurants and markets open and eager to serve, click here; then scroll down.


We’ve heard of goats galloping through a town in Wales, and coyotes prowling the streets of San Francisco.

What about Westport? Yesterday, Matt Finkle spotted this beaver sunning itself on the shore of Ned Dimes Marina.


And finally, a bit of Andra Day. Not just any video, mind you — this is YouTube’s “Inspiration Version.” Rise Up, indeed!

COVID-19 Roundup: Free Business Help; Easter Eggs And Bagels; Wash Your Car; Holistic Health, And More

These days, many Westport businesses need help navigating the current COVID crisis — and planning for whatever follows.

Now they’ve got it. Town officials have partnered with Westport-based non-profit Social Venture Partners for a free service.

SVP volunteers —  talented, experienced businessmen and women — will be paired with local owners. SVP provides individual, confidential advice in areas like financial modeling; understanding COVID-related government programs and loan options; online business platforms, marketing and social media; and HR issues.

Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker oversees the program. Businesses can participate if they have a physical presence in Westport, an employee base, and have been established for at least one year.

Interested businesses should email LBAPinfo@westportct.gov. For more information on SVP, click here.


WestportMoms — the amazing Melissa Post and Megan Brownstein — have a great last-minute idea: a virtual Easter egg hunt. With, of course, a way to help our heroes.

It’s called “Bagels & Bleach” (because … read on). For every family that participates by hanging a decorated egg in their window between now and Sunday, New York’s Bantam Bagels (whose owners live here) will donate a box of bagels to the front lines at Norwalk Hospital.

But wait! There’s more! Winged Monkey will also donate bottles of bleach.

Just post your creation on Instagram. Be sure to tag #westportmomsegghunt for your box of bagels to count.

PS: WestportMoms will send a sampling (of egg photos, not bagels) to “06880.”


If you’re like me, you haven’t driven anywhere much in weeks. I now get 3 weeks to the gallon.

But if your car is looking grotty — perhaps from sitting underneath all that pollen — Scott Tiefenthaler has good news.

The owner of Westport Wash & Wax reopens tomorrow (Saturday, April 11). New hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Scott spoke with 1st Selectman Jim Marpe and Police Chief Foti Koskinas. In accordance with state guidelines listing car washes as an essential service, he’ll offer exterior wash services and interior/exterior detailing, all on a virtually no-contact basis.

Westport Wash & Wax also provides express interior/exterior detail services (the customer waits), and complete interior/exterior detail services (cars are dropped off), which require no contact between customers and staff.

Fresh towels are used on each car. They’re cleaned and sanitized between each use.

For complete detailing, call 203-227-9274. For other services, stop by during business hours.


Jim and Nancy Eckl of Gold’s Delicatessen say that beginning Monday (April 13), they’ll be closed on Mondays. New hours (Tuesday through Sunday) are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“W e love our customers,” they say. “But we also love our employees! That’s why we are adjusting our hours: to give them some much needed time off to restore and recharge, so we can be here for you when you need us!  Thanks for your support, and stay safe.”

For curbside and delivery orders, click here.


Katie Augustyn is part of a group of holistic health practitioners. They provide a variety of healing services — shamanic, reiki, guided meditation and the like. But they’ve joined together under the umbrella “Healers for Humanity.”

Their rates are far below what they normally receive. All they ask is what you can afford to pay.

“We are living through incredibly challenging times,” Katie says. “If you are feeling anxiety or stress, you are not alone. We are here to help.”

Click here to find a practitioner who matches your needs, and schedule a session. For more information email transformationcenterct@gmail.com, or call 203-820-3800.


As Westport’s COVID-19 lockdown began, Diane Dubovy Benke helped her disappointed kids put things in perspective by reminding them of what their grandfather went though as a Jewish child in Nazi Europe.

“In Czechoslovakia when the Nazis came, we were put under house arrest from 1940 to 1942,” she says. “It meant no school for me from December 1939 until the end of the war. I was 7 years old in 1940. We were allowed to go out for only two hours on Friday, from 3 to 5 pm. How did I cope under house arrest? I don’t remember, but somehow I survived without TV, no internet, only books and some toys.”

Diane’s father Carl Dubovy tells his incredible Holocaust survival story– coming within steps of  the gas chambers at Auschwitz — in an interview with Persona’s Rob Simmelkjaer. Your kids can send him their own questions by downloading the Persona Interviews app, and sending Carl Dubovy a question.

Click below for the full, fascinating interview:


And finally, not a song — but a video definitely worth watching. Bellissimo!

COVID-19 Roundup: Arlen Road Neighbors; Old Mill Parking Lot Closed; “Distance Learning” Help For Parents; Driving School Open; More

Jack Washburn turns 90 years old today. Family had planned to come from around the country to celebrate.

Now of course, they can’t. That’s just one of countless small side effects of the coronavirus.

But Jack’s milestone will not go unnoticed. Just before noon, he and his wife got a joyful surprise.

His Arlen Road neighbors — adults and kids — gathered on the front lawn. Spaced appropriately apart, they sang “Happy Birthday.”

The provided lunch and cake (and wine).

Then they strung a line on the porch, where they hung birthday cards they’d all made. That way he could look at them, without touching.

Speaking of touching: This is Westport at its best!

Washburn 90th


Many Westporters have offered to donate items during the coronavirus crisis.

Town officials say, “The unique circumstances and complications due to potential virus transmission, including the time needed to quarantine donations and equipment, require detailed coordination. Items that do not assist with the response and recovery cannot be accepted.”

Westport is accepting the following response and recovery donations at your curb by appointment, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon only:

  • Plastic face shields and goggles
  • Packaged medical masks
  • Packaged N-95 masks
  • Packaged medical head coverings
  • Packaged medical gowns
  • Tyvek suits
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Packaged Nitrile or nylon disposable gloves

Items that are not pre-packaged cannot be accepted.

Click here to fill out a brief form. You will be contacted to set up a time for curbside pickup.

And, officials emphasize: Do not drop off donations at town buildings!


Old Mill Beach has joined the list of parking lots closed to visitors. Compo Beach and Burying Hill had previously been closed.

Sherwood Island State Park remains open. So do the 44 trailed preserves operated by Aspetuck Land Trust.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


Distance learning has begun. Students are adapting well. Parents — well…

Successful Study Skills for Students — a local organization — is offering a 30-minute interactive seminar: “8 Ways to Keep Your Student Focused, On Track and On Task in the New E-learning Environment.”

Delivered via Zoom, it helps parents learn how to establish and maintain accountability, and help minimize distractions and reduce stress.

Sessions are Tuesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 2 (7 p.m.) and Wednesday, April 1 (10 a.m.).

It’s free, but registration is required. Each seminar is limited to 25 people. Click here to enroll. For more information, call 203-307-5455 or email info@S4StudySkills.com.


Inspired by Wednesday’s “06880 Pic of the Day” showing a heart in a mailbox with the message “Smile!”, the Theisinger family decided to do something similar for the people who help them.

Youngsters Grant and Blair put on gloves, and packed up treat bags. They printed out messages of thanks, and left them for their mail carrier, UPS deliverer and refuse collector.

“Just a small token to show our gratitude!” says their mom, Kristy. “We 💜 Westport!”


When Governor Lamont ordered many businesses shut, driving schools were among those hit.

Now, however, the Department of Motor Vehicles has allowed them to offer something previously prohibited: online classes. (Schools must meet certain guidelines for testing and attendance tracking.)

Westport’s Fresh Green Light begins soon. The schedule will closely mirror the existing one of after-school hours and weekends.

Classes are open to all current students, and new enrollments (16 and older). Click here for details.


So how did Jim and Nancy Eckl celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary?

They donned masks and gloves, and served their loyal, beloved customers at Gold’s.


Finally, today’s Song of the Day comes via the great Suzanne Sherman Propp, and her Sing Daily! project that brightens hundreds of Westporters’ days:

 

Tales Of Inspiration: Teens Help Elderly; Tech Guru Helps Homebound Workers; Gold’s Customer Is Gold

When the going gets tough, Westporters offer help.

Three Westport teenagers — Ty Chung, Jonathan Lorenz and Luke Lorenz — are happy to run errands for senior citizens, and anyone else having difficulty getting out because of self-quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just email GuysHelping@gmail.com. Include your name, address, and errand.

The helping guys are happy to do what they can. But they will not enter homes, and they’ll avoid personal interactions.

If your request involves purchasing items, they’ll reply with instructions for payment. (That’s for the items only, of course. This is a good-deed venture, from 3 really good guys.)

(From left): Ty Chung, Jonathan Lorenz, Luke Lorenz.


Westporter Paul Einarsen spent 5 years at Apple, as a genius (their word) and creative trainer. He’s spent many years working from a home office, collaborating with remote clients and vendors.

He knows the challenges. And he wants to help anyone who has suddenly been thrust into the remote-working world (and who uses Apple or cloud-based apps).

Paul Einarsen

“At Apple, I quickly discovered how much people rely on their desktop and mobile devices to stay connected to their world,” he says. “It is a challenge for many people in the best of times. With the added obstacle of social distancing I want to help where I can.” (He is not, unfortunately, a Windows guy.)

Paul set up a public Facebook group to coordinate and share information (click here). Through it — or if needed, video conferencing — he is happy to help in any way he can.


Other Westporters find other ways to help.

This morning, a family called Gold’s to order their usual Sunday meal. When they asked about delivery via Uber Eats or Grub Hub, owner Nancy Eckl immediately offered it direct from the deli.

She said that a kind customer had offered to deliver to people who were homebound.

The family was amazed. They were even more surprised when — almost before they knew it — the doorbell rang. An “incredibly nice gentleman” had their order.

“We are so blessed to be here among caring, loving and helpful neighbors,” they say. “Thank you to this selfless volunteer, and to Gold’s Deli.”


Like many Westporters, a Westport couple took a walk today. Along the way, they figured they’d do some good, by picking up trash.

A mile round trip yielded a wheelbarrow of assorted garbage, all within 10 feet of the road. It was mostly beer cans and bottles, a lot of other beverage containers, a few plastic bags and other assorted plastic, some broken pottery and pieces of metal, and a protein bar wrapper.

“Every day we take a walk — and it will be often these days — we will take another route and help keep Westport clean,” they say.

Trashing the coronavirus — with gloves, of course.

Pics Of The Day #801

So much love in every bite! (Photos/Charlie Taylor)

Good News! No More “Drive-Thrus” At Compo Shopping Center

One of Westport’s oddest traditions — drivers plowing through the storefronts of Compo Shopping Center’s bank, delicatessen and retail stores — is ending.

Last night, alert “06880” reader Jeff Gray spotted workers placing bollards up and down the sidewalk.

(Photo/Jeff Gray)

Here’s another view, shot this morning by Amy Schneider:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Now Westporters can enjoy a safe Labor Day weekend — and every other day too.

Special Waitress Needs Our Help

On Wednesday, a condo fire in Stratford left dozens of residents homeless. Longtime Gold’s waitress Karen Alexios was one.

She lost everything, except the clothes on her back. Still, she went right back to work. That’s who she is.

“Customers adore her,” says owner Nancy Eckl. “They bring her birthday and holiday gifts. She’s very special.”

Karen Alexios

Karen’s relationship with Gold’s goes back to her childhood in Bridgeport. Her mother brought her to the deli, because it had “the best chopped liver in the world.”

She started waiting tables at 16, at a local bakery. When she was offered at spot at Gold’s — with 2 other offers — the choice was easy.

Now Nancy — and her customers, who have known and loved Karen for over 20 years — want to help.

“Karen has a huge heart,” a GoFundMe page says. “She always takes care of others.”

Now they want to take care of her.

(Click here for the Karen Alexios GoFundMe page.)