Tag Archives: Imperial Avenue parking lot

Pic Of The Day #1879

The Yankee Doodle Fair is still a week away — it opens next Thursday, June 16. But the first rides have already been delivered to the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Summer can’t be far behind. (Photo./Fred Cantor)

Roundup: Parks & Rec Registration, Downtown Improvements, Zenabi …

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Registration for many Westport Parks & Recreation’s spring and summer programs begins online at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2. Registration for Camp Compo, RECing and pickleball begins later: 9 a.m. on Monday, March 28.

Spots go quickly. Click here to see all the choices.

The website is not exactly user friendly. Now is a good time to log onto your online account to verify information. Problems? Email recreation@westportct.gov or call 203-341-5152.

For address changes, email recreation@westportct.gov. Additional proof of Westport residency may be required.

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Want to improve downtown?

Put your money where your mouth is!

The town of Westport seeks proposals for Downtown Improvement Projects at Parker Harding Plaza, Jesup Green and the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Bids will be received until 11 a.m. Thursday, March 3 at the Town Hall Finance Office (Room 313, 110 Myrtle Avenue). Copies of the bid documents can be downloaded from the Town’s website. 

Responses will be opened the next business day via Zoom. For meeting access, email rkotchko@westportct.gov.

Send your bid in to improve Parker Harding Plaza.

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In 2018, I ran a story on Zenabi. Profiling a company located in the old Town Hall (Don Memo) building on Main Street, it began:

I’m not quite sure what Zenabi does. A spokesperson says it’s a “new pioneering tech and artificial intelligence company that helps Fortune 500 companies find signals in their data that drive growth and value.”

Their website says that Fortune 500 companies trust them to “help understand and grow individual relationships.” They also “enable companies to scale their ability to personalize interactions and offers.”

The hook was an upcoming “Brains & Bands” night hosted by Zenabi. I wrote that its press release

describes this as “some of the most brilliant minds in technology, business and music come together for an epic evening of inspiration and innovation…this self-proclaimed team of ‘Pirates’ and ‘Black Ops’ of the artificial intelligence world” — I guess that’s something else Zenabi is or does — “have the set the stage for titans of industry to share their paths to success with the local community.”

My skepticism was well placed. Zenabi — which later moved to Riverside Avenue and/or Church Lane — imploded.

But not before receiving $1.5 million in PPP funds.

Billy Penn — part of the WHYY news team at the Philadelphia PBS station — has taken a deep dive into the many deceits of the company’s founder, Billy Ibanez. They include false claims about associations with the Philadelphia Eagles and CIA, and many more.

Click here for Billy Penn’s long, and very fascinating, story.

A screenshot from the Zenabi website.

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The United Methodist Church of Westport is collecting clothing, toiletries and non-perishable food drive for their neighbors in Bridgeport.

The drive is set for Saturday, March 5 ( 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, 49 Weston Road). Volunteers will gather donations from car trunks.

Gently used or new items include children’s clothing in all sizes; women’s clothing, sizes 4 to 16, purses, accessories and shoes; men’s clothing medium and large, pants size 32 to 36 waist shoes sizes 7 to 10, and outerwear all sizes.

Also needed: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo and body lotions; peanut butter and jelly (plastic jars only), canned ham, tuna and chicken, boxed macaroni and cheese, cold and hot cereals, hearty soups, canned vegetables and fruit.

Questons? Email kimberlyweigle@att.net.

Food, clothing and toiletries will be collected at the United Methodist Church. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Dick Steele was honored this month at the Stratford VFW. The World War II Marine Corps veteran — and father and father-in-law of former Staples High School teachers Kathy and Jeff Lea, respectively — just turned 100.

Steele was 20 years old when he enlisted just after Pearl Harbor. He earned his golden wings, was promoted to 2nd lieutenant, and deployed to the South Pacific. His bombing squadron attacked Japanese positions on the island of Yap.

After the war he returned to civilian life only. He was recalled to active duty as a captain in 1952, to train a new generation of dive bomber pilots during the Korean conflict.

His fighter attack squadron flew 310 combat sorties, totaling more than 550 hours. His was the last Marine aircraft engaged in combat during the war. He retired with the rank of major.

In 2008 Steele became involved with the Connecticut Air & Space Center’s restoration of a Corsair fighter plane, the same aircraft he flew in the Pacific Theater.

Happy 100th, Major Dick Steele! (Hat tips: Adam Vengrow, Don Pavia)

Major Dick Steele

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. Westport’s Domestic Violence Task Force is doing its part, sponsoring a pizza and movie night — followed by a discussion on healthy relationships — tomorrow (Wednesday, February 16, 6 p.m., Toquet Hall).

The event features the movie “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” For more information, click here. To fill out the required COVID waiver, click here.

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There is plenty of nature all around Westport’s many ponds — including Nash’s. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo was taken there, by Linda Stern.

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … today is the birthdate, in 1809, of International Harvester co-founder Cyrus McCormick.

Movies In Westport: Remarkably, They’re Back

For a parking lot, the Imperial Avenue space is impressively versatile.

Besides a spot for commuters (remember them?) taking buses to the station, from May to November it’s the site of the Farmers’ Market. It’s where the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival held cooking contests.

This weekend, the sea of asphalt turned into a drive-in movie theater.

Heading to the show.

The Remarkable Theater opened its summer series there, with 2 classic films: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Caddyshack.”

It was a win-win. The theater offers employment to people with disabilities, while families and teenagers packed the place for fun, wholesome entertainment.

It was like a throwback to the previous century — and not just because of the movies shown.

A few neighbors worried about noise. But there were no outside speakers. Sound came through the magic of FM radio.

Oh, yeah: Friday’s showing was a benefit for the Westport Woman’s Club. Proceeds helped make up for the loss of their big undraiser this year: the Yankee Doodle Fair.

You know. One more event that makes the Imperial Avenue spot more than just a parking lot.

Two more films are scheduled for next month. Watch this space for coming attractions.

 

Bringing your own candy is much cheaper than the multiplex.

(All photos/Jen Meerow Berniker)

Remarkable Theater Premieres Friday

A remarkable new era begins Friday.

That’s when the Remarkable Theater opens its summer drive-in series, at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. (The same site as the Westport Farmers’ Market.)

It’s a win-win. The theater offers employment to people with disabilities, while providing safe, socially distant entertainment for the town.

Two classic films are on tap this weekend: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on Friday; “Caddyshack” Saturday.

Opening night is a fundraiser for the Westport Woman’s Club — the Imperial parking lot’s next door neighbor. With no Yankee Doodle Fair this year due to COVID-19, this is a great way to support their food closet.

Tickets for Friday’s fundraiser are $100 per car. Other shows are $50 per car.

Tickets go on sale at 3 p.m. today. Click here to reserve a spot.

Follow the Remarkable Theater on Facebook and Instagram to see upcoming shows, or to make suggestions for movies you want to see next.

(The screenings are made possible with the financial support of the Connecticut Department of Developmental Disabilities and the ARTHA Foundation, and help from the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library.)

The entrance to Westport’s newest theater.

Roundup: Parks & Rec Rules; Drive-In Movies; Assumption Food Drive; More


New Parks and Recreation rules!

As of today (June 13), doubles play will be allowed at the tennis courts at Longshore, Staples High School, Town Farm and Doubleday (behind Saugatuck Elementary School).

Also as of today, dogs will no longer be required to be on leash in the off-leash area of Winslow Park or other town property where dogs are allowed.

As of Wednesday (June 17), one pickleball court at Compo Beach will be open for singles play with restrictions.  It’s first come, first serve.

Also as of Wednesday, both platform tennis courts at Longshore will be open for singles play with restrictions.  Advanced reservations are required, and can be booked online 5 days in advance, or by calling the Longshore tennis office at 203-341-1180 2 days in advance. No walk-ups allowed!

Registration for Parks and Rec and Wakeman Town Farm summer programs begins Wednesday. To see programs and register, click here,


And in more Parks & Rec news: The Compo Beach bathrooms are open. They bear these signs:

(Photo/Andrea Cross)


Coming attraction: Movies in the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

A “drive-in theater” will be set up there this summer. The Remarkable Theater — the initiative employing men and women with disabilities — is behind the project, which got a unanimous go-ahead from the Board of Selectmen.

Four films will be shown on a 40-foot-wide screen over 2 weeks at the end of June, said Remarkable creative director Doug Tirola. Up to 80 cars can be accommodated in the lot, which during the day is both a commuter parking lot and the site of Thursday Farmers’ Markets.

Film titles and more details will be announced soon.

 


A pair of Norwalk food pantries — St. Philip’s and St. Vincent de Paul — feed 350 families a week. Both the families and the pantries are in desperate need of help.

Tomorrow (Sunday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), the Knights of Columbus will conduct a “drive-through food drive.” The site is the Assumption Church parking lot (98 Riverside Avenue).

You don’t have to leave your vehicle. K of C members will pick up your donation from your trunk or back seat.

Food that is needed:

  • Small bags of rice
  • Small packets of pasta/macaroni
  • Pasta sauce
  • Bags of dried black beans
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Vienna sausage – regular or chicken
  • Cereal – oatmeal or cornflakes
  • Powered milk
  • Coffee

Checks are great too. Make them payable to Church of the Assumption; in the memo line, write “Food Drive.”

Assumption Church (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


Staples High School and University of Southern California journalism student Becca Rawiszer recently interviewed Board of Education chair Candice Savin about where Westport schools go from here. Click here to download the Persona Interviews app to watch the full interview — and ask Savin a follow up question.

Screenshot from the Candice Savin interview.


And finally … like Tacocat, we can dream, right?

Pic Of The Day #752

Lazy day by the Levitt Pavilion bridge (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)

Blues Views & BBQ News

The Blues Views & BBQ Festival is a uniquely Westport tradition.

And it’s one that reaches far beyond our borders.

Now in its 11th year, the Labor Day weekend event brings Southern- inspired food, nationally recognized music, and good ol’ family fun to downtown.

You may not think of Westport as a blues town. With Bobby Q’s gone, there ain’t much barbecue left.

But the Festival — set for this Saturday and Sunday (September 1-2) — brings out our inner blues and BBQ. It draws thousands of non-Westporters who really understand that kind of music and food to places they otherwise might never go: the Levitt Pavilion, Library parking lot and Imperial Avenue commuter lot.

People come from around the state — New York and New Jersey too — to hear fantastic performers at the Levitt, and on 2 auxiliary stages. This year’s lineup of 20 bands includes funk powerhouse Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Grammy Award winner Fantastic Negrito, Sister Sparrow and Carolyn Wonderland.

Fantastic Negrito comes to the Blues Views & BBQ Festival this weekend.

Blues, Views and BBQ introduces up-and-coming and local talent too, like first-time performers Alpaca Gnomes, Mingo Fishtrap, Cris Jacobs and Ruby Velle & Soulphonics.

All that listening whips up an appetite. A BBQ competition, cooking demos, rib- and pie-eating contests, and plenty of food trucks and stands take care of the heartiest eaters.

Throw in 6 bounce houses, car painting, touch-a-truck, airbrush tattoos and more kids’ fun, and Blues, Views and BBQ is something you just don’t see every day. Particularly in Westport.

Enjoying a great day of blues at the Levitt Pavilion. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

This year, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce takes over the event from the Downtown Merchants Association. They spent 2 years making the transition, so it will be seamless.

This year too, the event has expanded to fill the entire Imperial Avenue lot. Folks will wander from there to the Levitt, library parking lot and back. Fantastic music and amazing BBQ aromas will fill the air.

… and, of course, BBQ in the parking lot nearby.

“06880”‘s tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.” This weekend, Blues, Views and BBQ shows some of the special ways we do it.

(For more information on the Blues Views & BBQ Festival, click here. For tickets, click here.)

Pic Of The Day #318

Imperial Avenue parking lot, a few days ago. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #70

There are plenty of staircases in Westport.

The ones in last Sunday’s photo challenge could have been the ones leading to the train station from Luciano Park. They weren’t.

They could have been the ones from the Imperial Avenue parking lot to the library and Levitt Pavilion. They weren’t those either — though that’s closer.

The steps shown (click here) can indeed be found at the Imperial lot — but they lead up to the Westport Woman’s Club. Congratulations to Patricia Blaufuss, Julia Whamond, Elaine Marino, Michelle Saunders and Shirlee Gordon — 5 women who know their town well.

How well do you know Westport? If you think you’ve seen the sight below, click “Comments” below.

Oh My 06880 - May 1, 2016