The Westport Library rocks!
That’s true literally — who can forget the concerts that followed Booked for the Evening events with Patti Smith and Nile Rodgers?
It’s true figuratively too. The transformed library — with its wide-open spaces, versatile stage and state-of-the-art video screen — is a fantastic venue for a dance party.
Which is exactly what happens on Saturday, October 12.
The Forum is the site of the 1st-ever Mix-It-Up Tour fundraiser. Waza — a great cover band fronted by Westporter Marty Jaramillo — will make it seem like rock legends are right there in the
American Idol finalist Drew Angus — a 2007 Staples High School grad — and DJ Mo share the bill too.
A rock ‘n’ roll-inspired silent auction features works by artists Irene Penny, Stephen Goldstein, Kerry Heftman and Mark Rich.
Cocktails and bites are courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering.
When the library’s Transformation Project was underway, director Bill Harmer promised the new, versatile space would be used in creative ways no one had yet imagined.
The Mix-It-Up Tour dance party is one of those crazy-but-cool concepts that very few libraries would even think about.
In Westport, it’s just one more reason our library rocks.
(Click here for tickets, and more information.)
The Compo Beach palm tree was not in the plans. Its fate this winter is unknown.
But 2 other trees planted nearby last month were long expected. And they’re just the start of a new, Johnny Appleseed-like look by the shore.
Friends of Westport Parks & Recreation — formed in 2011 to help fund projects and services beyond the town budget — spearheaded a private program. As with benches, donors can plant trees honoring friends and loved ones. Funds cover planting, maintenance and replacement due to storm damage or death.
Specific species and locations — at Compo and Winslow Park — are determined by the tree warden, and Parks & Rec Department.
The 1st 2 trees honor a newly married couple who just moved here, and a family matriarch who recently died.
Irene Penny honored her grandmother — World War II veteran Evelyn I. Wright — with a lace bark elm.
The lace black elm …
Longtime Westporter George Schweitzer planted a red oak to celebrate the marriage of his friends Anne O’Grady and Skip Wells. Their new home is not far from the tree.
… and the red elm.
Besides the tree program, Friends of Parks & Recreation has raised funds for Wakeman Town Farm, and Longshore projects including the Cliff’s Place halfway house, and a storm shelter at the 9th hole.
To read more about the Friends group, click here.
…but this blue jay can’t wait.
Today’s snowstorm was just as predicted: quick and heavy. Already, it seems to be winding down.
But it left plenty of cancellations in its wake.
Among them: tonight’s discussion on alternatives to coyote trapping and killing. It’s been rescheduled for Monday (February 13), 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Irene Penny)
Scenes from the day after the inauguration of President Trump:
Molly Dubson. a Westport 4th grader, prepared a sign for her 1st political rally. She plans to report on it for her journalism class. She thinks many of President Trump’s comments on race and gender would get him kicked out of school.
Westporters Ella and Zoe Alpert, Katie Simons and Layla Bloomingdale in Baltimore, on their way to Washington Friday night for the women’s march. This morning, Lilly Bloomingdale reported, the line at the train station there was around the building. “Great vibe, everyone positive” she said.
Siobhan Crise took this photo at 1:38 a.m., waiting in the Saugatuck train station parking lot for a bus to DC. Saugatuck parking lot#1. “Friendly Westport police officer keeping an eye on the gathering. Spirits high,” she said.
Westport photographer Irene Penny writes: “In the spirit of equality for all, I teamed up with local French Hollywood actress Stephanie Szostak (‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘Satisfaction’ TV series) to make some art.”
Amy Leonard, Ann Pawlick, Jenny Robson, Diane Connolly, Faith Taylor and Joan Richardson at the Westport train station, en route to the New York march.
Diane Yormark and Pippa Bell Ader are march marshals in DC.
Alert “06880” reader — and wonderful photographer — Irene Penny snapped this photo yesterday:
Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Irene Penny)
But it could have been taken any time, over the past many decades.
Compo Beach is as steady as the tides.
Westporters know there’s always something going on at Compo Beach.
And you never know what you’ll find there.
Last week, early morning strollers and dog-walkers saw a professional camera shoot.
At 7 a.m., frequent “06880” contributor Irene Penny put Armond Jordan through his paces. The very popular JoyRide Westport leader has been tapped by Nike to train sports journalists in the art of fitness.
Judging from Penny’s photos, they’ll need to work very hard to catch up to their instructor.
Click on or hover over photos to enlarge. (All photos/Irene Penny)
All week long, spring was in the air.
Westporters flocked to their favorite outdoor spots.
Alert “06880” photographer Irene Penny headed to Sherwood Island. This sign caught her eye:
Of course, this is March.
The forecast for Sunday: up to 5 inches of snow.
Like many Westporters who love Compo Beach, Irene Penny is fascinated by a man she sees often, clamming by the shore.
Irene is a talented photographer. The other day she asked if she could take some shots. He said people ask that a lot.
They got to talking. Irene learned his name is John.
He was digging for clams for a few retired friends. He does it for exercise, so he doesn’t have to go to the gym. He used to pour concrete foundations.
John said nobody else goes out there anymore. They just buy their cherrystone clams from the grocery store.
CrossFit Westport is actually just over the line, in Norwalk. But the no-frills, community-minded gym draws a corps of devotees from our town. They’re all ages, all abilities, all fitness levels — and both genders.
Recently, Westport photographer Irene Penny shot an ad campaign for sports bras there.
Irene Penny at work.
She wanted to create the polar opposite of the most recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. It featured a beautiful young model with her pants down.
“I look to celebrate images of real strength and beauty — be it a 48-year-old CrossFit athlete who is also a competitor, mother, entrepreneur and coach, or a sparkling moment on a Westport beach,” Irene says.
Her landscape photos — large scale, color-saturated, plexiglass-framed — are available at Lillian August.
Her fitness portraits are equally stunning. Ten large-scale prints of local athletes were featured in a solo exhibit last spring at Athleta on Main Street.
Amy Mandelbaum: owner and head coach of CrossFit, and a 4-time CrossFit Masters Games Athlete.
Irene — who started as a fashion assistant with Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair and allure magazines — launched her own career here in 2014. It’s now as strong — and in the same great shape — as the women she honors.
(Hat tip: Alli DiVincenzo)