Tag Archives: Ifeseyi Gayle

Finding “Diverse Westport” On Facebook

Diversity in Westport: It’s not an oxymoron.

You just have to know where to look.

Of course, it helps to have a guide like Ifeseyi Gayle.

A single mother of Nigerian heritage who grew up in Scotland, with a bachelor’s in business administration, a master’s in public administration, and a career in healthcare reimbursement and credentialing, she moved to Westport from Stamford for what she figured would be a year.

She soon met 5 people from her Scottish home town. She then found others, from around the world.

Ifeseyi Gayle

Ifeseyi became active in the her children’s schools. Following her Nigerian grandmother’s involvement in politics, she volunteered with candidate Stephanie Thomas, then ran for (and won) a seat on the Board of Assessment Appeals.

As co-chair of the Democratic Town Committee’s Outreach Committee, she works with residents, restaurants and small businesses around town.

Now — inspired by a conversation with Board of Education member Christina Torres — she is reaching out via Facebook, to celebrate multiculturalism in Westport.

The “Diverse Westport” page highlights people, organizations and events. Ifeseyi posts several times a day, alerting members to everything from Bollywood  Zumba at the YMCA and the TEAM Westport Book Club, to town-wide events of interest to all (not necessarily diversity-related), plus national happenings like Black History Month and Coming Out Day.

“Rock Star of the Month” features women like Stephanie Tang (the head of Kings Highway Elementary School’s diversity, equity and inclusion group recently graduated from nursing school, and started a Girls on the Run leadership program).

Westport’s Asian, Hispanic, Black, Middle Eastern and LGBTQ+ populations — plus many more — are celebrated on the “Diverse Westport” page.

“DIverse Westport”‘s Facebook page header.

The Facebook group has introduced Ifeseyi to even more diversity here. Many members are grateful to see themselves represented and acknowledged — and to meet others who are very different, but also sometimes unseen.

“Diverse Westport” is hidden on Facebook, for security reasons. Anyone interested in joining can email diversewestport@gmail.com., or add Ifeseyi Gayle as a Facebook friend, and ask to join the group.

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Roundup: Longshore Beach, Sand Castle, Ice Cream …

Scott Smith writes:

“A recent ‘06880’ post showing a rocky Compo Beach of a century ago makes me realize that in these parts having a sandy beach to enjoy is a conscious act — one that requires proper land-use decisions and ongoing upkeep.

“With all the talk about the forthcoming Longshore improvement plan and anticipated dredging of the Saugatuck River, I also wonder: Wouldn’t the shoreline adjacent to Longshore pool, hard by ER Strait Marina, make a dandy children’s beach for Westport families?”

Here’s a recent view:

(Photo/Scott Smith)

It did not always look like this. Here’s an illustration from the private Longshore Beach & Country Club brochure:

Don’t believe an illustration? Check out a 1934 aerial view. Longshore is at the bottom (Hendricks Point is the far left; the beach area, just below the pool, is the second white area from the left. The Compo marina is at the lower right:

More recently, we see:

Beaches are constantly eroding. Sand is redistributed all the time.

But Scott is right. As Longshore is reimagined, let’s not forget the “long shore.”


Speaking of sand: In this era of videogames, TikTok and 24/7/365 streaming, there’s something refreshing about this photo:

11-year-old Ben Kiev spent yesterday building this sand castle at Compo Beach.

And he seems to be smart enough to have chosen a site far enough from the tide so that it could last — at least, a while.


There’s a new ice cream shop in town.

Gofer Ice Cream opened recently at 1240 Post Road East. It takes over the former Silver Ribbon location, in the same strip mall as Fortuna’s and Greens Farms Spirit Shop (and not far from Carvel, which has been around since ice cream was invented).

Gofer features premium hard and soft serve ice cream, plant-based and fat-free options, smoothies, cakes and more.

Gofer’s other locations include Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Riverside, Stamford and Wilton.

As their website notes, “It’s always a good day to Gofer ice cream.”


Among the nearly 3,000 attendees enjoying music, food and fellowship at yesterday’s Puerto Rican Day parade in Hartford: Westporter Ifeseyi Gayle.

An elected member of our Board of Assessment Appeals, she also co-chairs the Westport Democratic Town Committee’s outreach group.

Senator Richard Blumenthal and Ifeseyi Gayle.


And — because these are the dog days of summer — “Westport … Naturally” presents:

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


And finally … Happy 59th birthday to Tori Amos:


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