Tag Archives: Jonathan Greenfield

Roundup: Mask Mandate, Shop Local, Jonathan Greenfield

=====================================================

The sign at the Stop & Shop entrance says masks are required for entrance.

A young boy was not wearing one. A shopper asked his mother why not.

“Mind your f—- business,” the mother replied.

“This is a public store with a sign in front mandating a mask,” the first shopper said.

“Mind your f—ing business,” the boy’s mom repeated.

It escalated from there, says Jo Ann Miller, who saw the whole thing.

When the mini-drama was over — and the manager said masks were not, in fact, mandate — he was asked, “Why not take down the sign?”

“Good point,” he said.

Two days later, the sign was still there.

======================================================

Speaking of shopping: Shop local! In fact, shop Local to Market!

Need a nudge to head to the food/gifts/and more store on Main Street at Parker Harding Plaza? Here’s what they’ve got:

This Saturday (December 11, 1 to 4 p.m.), Sam from Locavore Kitchens will have artisanal shortbread cookies to taste (and buy). Luke Molina — like Sam, from Westport — will play guitar. And there’s a 10% discount all day, in honor of the 4 to 7 p.m. Holiday Stroll.

Next Saturday (December 18, 2 to 5 p.m.), Netown’s Neviana’s winery is on hand for the Market’s first “Sip & Shop.” Plus, Luke Molina returns with his guitar.

The next day (Sunday, December 19, 1 to 4 p.m.) there’s more wines. These are from Stappa Vineyards in Orange. Jim Saxon provides musical entertainment. Santa will show up too, from 12:30 to 2.

Every day through December 17, orders are taken for Michele’s Pies (apple, apple crumb, pecan and chocolate bourbon pecan). Delivery (at Local to Market) is midday December 22.

Oh yeah: Local to Market also sells art, created by members of the Artists Collective of Westport. The current show features works by Nina Bentley, Miggs Burroughs, Louise Cadoux, Lynn Carlson, Susan Fehliinger, Jane Gilman Fleischner, Holly Hawthorn, Amy Kaplan, Julie Leff, Fruma Markowitz, Guy Phillips. Katherine Ross and Lee Walther.

It doesn’t get more local than that!

Art and more at Local to Market.

=======================================================

Just across the street from Local to Market, George Billis Gallery hosts an opening reception this Saturday (4 to 6:30 p.m.) for their newest exhibition.

Featured artists include Connie Connally. Shivani Dugar, Glen Hacker, Abby Modell and Leslie Lewis Sigler. Click below for a video of Sigler creating her paintings.

=======================================================

It wasn’t much: an early evening dusting.

But yesterday’s snowfall was just enough to make us realize that winter is pretty much here.

We’ll take scenes like this one (near Compo Beach) any day. From now until late February, anyway.

(Photo/Mona Patel)

======================================================

Yesterday’s “06880” Unsung Heroes were FedEx, UPS and other deliverypersons.

Of course, not every delivery goes as planned. Jeanine Esposito sent this photo:

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

She writes: “Given the stories of late deliveries and drivers going rogue, we were curious to see this U-Haul truck parked in the Imperial Avenue lot. Its entire contents were spread around the parking lot, including packages marked Zappos, Away, and other retail and online outlets.

“A person sat on the passenger side looking relaxed and texting, but there was no sign of a driver. I’m not sure what’s up, but would love to know if there’s a story there.”

=======================================================

When Jonathan Greenfield died after an inspiring struggle against ALS, his many friends mourned.

But the multi-talented Westporter lives on.

His wife Iris Netzer Greenfield and her amazing team created a table book, capturing Jonathan’s life in photographs. His photographs.

Among Jonathan’s many accomplishments, he was a documentary-style photographer. His works “bring to life the juxtaposition of darkness and controversy, flecked with humor and surprise. 

All proceeds benefit Breathe 4 ALS. The foundation — set up by Jonathan and iris — supports research efforts for genetic ALS, provides Wim Hof breathing method trainings, and leads in ALS activism.

The book comes in platinum, gold, silver and hardcover editions. Click here to order. (NOTE: The site loads slowly. Be patient!)

=======================================================

Christmas is 2 weeks away. New Year’s follows a week later.

Which means Martin Luther King Day is not far behind.

On Sunday, January 16 (3 p.m.), Dr. King’s life will be celebrated at the Westport Library by Heather McGhee. She’s the author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together; her TED talk, “Racism Has a Cost for Everone” reached 1 million views in just 2 months.

The free event is co-sponsored by the Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy.

The program also features a recital by the Bridgeport Boys Choir, and a dance performed by the Regional Center for the Arts.

To register for either the in-person event or the livestream, click here.

Heather McGhee

====================================================

Congratulations to Westport’s 12-year old karting racer Vivek Kanthan.

He is the 2021 SuperKarts USA SuperNationals XXIV Vice Champion. Vivek competed in the “Super Bowl” of competitive national kart races recently in las Vegas.

This year Vivek moved up a racing category, to the Mini Swift Race category for 10-13-year-olds. He reached speeds up to 70 miles an hour.

Vivek Kanthan

=================================================

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good “Westport … Naturally” praying mantis photo.

This shot of Connecticut’s state insect (!) comes courtesy of Jonathan Prager.

(Phoro/Jonathan Prager)

=======================================================

And finally … Donny Osmond turns 64 years old today. It seems like just yesterday when those were the sweet and innocent, puppy love days.

Roundup: Girls Soccer, Pumpkins, ALS …

=======================================================

Congratulations to the Staples High School girls soccer team!

The #4 Wreckers battled #1 St. Joseph to a 0-0 draw in the FCIAC semifinals last night — then prevailed on penalty kicks, to advance to the league championship. It’s tomorrow night (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) Thursday (November 4, 7 p.m.)  at Fairfield Warde High School.

Coco Crombie, Gaby Gonzalez and Gabriela de Brito each made their tension-filled, game-ending shots. McKenzie Didio saved 3 shots in goal, to propel the Westporters to the title match.

Coach Barry Beattie’s team hopes to make it 2 championships in a row. They beat St. Joseph in 2019. There was no match last year, due to COVID.

Good luck too to the Staples field hockey team. Seeded #3, they face #2 Darien tonight at 7:30., at Brien McMahon High School.

The Staples High School girls soccer team, at last month’s the Push Against Cancer …

=======================================================

Halloween’s over. You’re rationing your kid’s candy, and cleaning the cobwebs (literally) from your yard. But what to do about that rotting pumpkin?

Bring it to the Westport Farmers’ Market on November 11 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Their 3rd annual Great Pumpkin Toss is a free, fun composting event.

Action Waste Solutions will accept all pumpkins (and gourds!) in their natural state at the market. Squishy, rotted pumpkins are welcome. If they’re decorated or painted, they unfortunately can’t be composted.

In addition to creating compost, pumpkins provide food for livestock. Ox Hollow Farm will fill their truck with pumpkins for their cows.

PS: You can also sign up for Action Waste Solution’s residential recycling collection service, and get your first month of service free.

Last year’s event diverted one ton of pumpkins from landfill. Let’s beat that this year!

=======================================================

One of Westport’s most important holiday events — the annual Giving Program — is underway.

Aimed at friends and neighbors facing financial hardship, it’s funded entirely by community donations. Each year, over 100 Westport families with school-aged children benefit.

COVID — with unemployment, underemployment, food insecurity and stress — has increased the need.

During the pandemic, Westport’s Department of Human Services has pivoted from accepting toys and clothes. The emphasis now is on gift cards, checks and cash. Safety is one factor; so is the chance for parents to personalize their children’s gifts, while participating in the holiday season.

Individuals and organizations can click here to help; choose “Family to Family,” then “Holiday Giving Program.” Checks can be mailed to Westport Department of Human Services c/o Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.  Donations may also be dropped off at Town Hall by appointment.

Westport residents facing financial difficulties can call Human Services at 203-341-1050 or email humansrv@westportct.gov for confidential assistance.

Click here for more information. Questions about the program? Email adaugelli@westportct.gov or call 203-341-1183. 

=======================================================

As he battled ALS, Jonathan Greenfield was thinking of others. The well-known Westporter created Breathe4ALS, The goal was to improve the lives of people living with ALS by educating them about the Wim Hof breathing technique, and its ability to provide more energy, less stress and a heightened immune response — and to fundraise for ALS research.

Jonathan died in June, but his work continues. This Sunday (November 7,  11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) the non-profit he founded with his wife Iris holds its first Jonathan Greenfield Memorial Wim Hof fundamentals workshops. It’s called “Breathe Westport. Breathe!” Jonathan created Breathe 4 ALS with a dual mission:  to improve the lives of people living with ALS and to raise money for ALS research.

The event will be held at the Greenfields’ home, and livestreamed. Tickets are $200 and $45, respective. All proceeds benefit Breathe4ALS. Click here to register, and for more information. Click here for a video on the Wim Hof technique.

Not long after his diagnoses, Jonathan Greenfield hiked in Spain with Wim Hof (left).

===================================================

Political season means political signs. You see them everywhere: traffic islands. Front lawns. Today, of course, at polling places.

They tout candidates for local offices. Except this one, spotted earlier today on South Compo.

The Tiger King is not on the ballot. Besides, the 2020 presidential election is over. Joe Biden won.*

(Photo/Matt Murray)

*Really.

======================================================

The Mercedes station wagon parked since summer front of Town Hall still remains there.

It’s not the only perhaps abandoned vehicle.

Chris Grimm says a Holiday Rambler travel trailer has sat in the Sherwood Island Connector I-95 commuter lot for at least a couple of weeks. 

The door is wide open. He describes it as “ever so slightly furnished crack den chic. The only decoration is a Junie B. Jones bumper sticker on the inside of the front window. Looks like a metaphor for lost youth if there ever was one!”

Holiday Rambler in the I-95 lot. (Photo/Chris Grimm)

======================================================

MoCA Westport’s auction is online, and open. More than 50 items — including original art, unique experiences, and products from small Westport businesses — are available for bid.

Click here to participate. The auction closes November 15.

=======================================================

Thoreau never gets old

To prove it, Westporter Andrew Blauner has compiled essays from 27 leading writers. Their original pieces explore how the 19th century philosopher/poet/ environmentalist/abolitionist influenced them.

Next Monday (November 8, 7 p.m.), he (Blauner, not Thoreau, Zoom) will talk about his new book, what he’s learned, and why we still need Thoreau in our lives. Click here to register, and purchase the book.

Henry David Thoreau

====================================================

The Westport Astronomical Society’s lecture series is one of our town’s unheralded gems. (The WAS calls itself, after all, “The Best Space in Connecticut.”)

Next up: the Hubble Telescope, and “A Brief Moment in Time.” It’s November 16 (8 p.m.). Click here to view.

=======================================================

There are plenty of places to admire fall foliage. One of my favorites is at the entrance to Staples High School, just off North Avenue.

Dayle Brownstein loves it too. Here’s her photo — a perfect “Westport … Naturally” image, on this Election Day when there’s no school.

(Photo/Dayle Brownstein)

======================================================

And finally … today is Election Day. Leonard Cohen nails it. Sure, he was Canadian, but you get the idea.

 

https://vimeo.com/leescharf/review/640045615/d2acaa8cda

Remembering Jonathan Greenfield

Jonathan Greenfield — a photojournalist, film director, tea importer, athlete, world traveler, environmentalist and devoted husband and father, whose battle with ALS helped and inspired countless people here and around the world — died peacefully yesterday at his Westport home, surrounded by family and close friends. He was 50 years old.

Jonathan was born in Philadelphia. After dropping out of New York University, he spent his early career as a photojournalist, traveling the globe in search of compelling stories. His work was published in The New York Times.

He received his masters at the elite Kunsthochschule fuer Medien in Koeln, Germany. He produced and directed documentaries and short fiction films for German networks on subjects like drug addiction, the homeless, and German Jews serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Jonathan Greenfield

On a trip to New York in 2007 he met Iris. A whirlwind romance led to a marriage and the birth of 3 children. The family made a gradual migration out of New York, eventually settling in Westport.

Always searching for the next adventure, Jonathan embarked on a new career as a purveyor of imported teas. Wanderlust and an endless sense of wonder characterized his life. His athletic pursuits included surfing, swimming, hiking and cycling.

Taking his children to music and swim lessons, skateboarding with them, and bringing them on adventures brought him endless joy.

He was adamant about supporting environmental causes and plant-based diets. In recent years he discovered a new challenge in the Wim Hof breathing method. Through breathing, cold therapy and commitment, he trained himself to control his body for optimal focus and health. He sat in a bath of freezing water for up to 2 minutes, emerging invigorated. Jonathan also completed his first triathlon.

In late 2018, he received a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While he could still walk with assistance, Jonathan trekked through the Pyrenees Mountains with Wim Hof.

That same year he and Iris founded Breathe 4 ALS, a non-profit that funds ALS research and workshops, to help patients breathe stronger and longer.

Jonathan and Iris Greenfield.

Jonathan was preceded in death by his father Hyman and brother Seth. He is survived by his wife Iris; children Zach, Skye and Josie; sister Ashley; niece Sydney, and nephews Dylan and Hunter.

Greenfield’s family is grateful to the Westport and Cherry Hill communities for their outpouring of support and endless love; to Zenia Gordon for her loving care, and Chris Curtin of Compassionate Care ALS for his unwavering support and advocacy during Jonathan’s final days.

A graveside service will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, June 15, 10 a.m., Willowbrook Cemetery, Westport). In lieu of memorial donations, the family requests that donations be made to The Greenfields’ foundation, www.breathe4als.org.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sholom Chapel, Stamford.  To send condolences to the family, please visit www.sholomchapel.com.

To read more about Jonathan Greenfield’s tea business, click here. For a story on Jonathan and the Wim Hof breathing method, click here. For a story on Jonathan’s fight to access ALS medications, click here.)

Jonathan Greenfield: ALS Warrior Needs Help

Jonathan Greenfield is a well-known Westporter, and great friend of “06880.” 

Jonathan Greenfield

He’s been an NYU dropout, photojournalist, documentary filmmaker, surfer, triathlete and tea specialist.

Three years ago we featured his amazing life in this story: “The Most Interesting Man in Westport Drinks Tea.”

A year and a half later — shortly after completing his 3rd triathlon — we reported on him again. He’d been diagnosed with cancer — and ALS.

With his trademark optimism, good humor and vigor, he took a leadership role in a crusade to help others with ALS. He organized fundraisers, and as a proponent of the Wim Hof breathing technique, he spread the word about innovative treatments.

Another story, last May, described his advocacy work for ALS research and treatment.

Jonathan Greenfield at a Washington, DC protest.

Here’s our latest update. It comes courtesy of WestportMoms, the multi-media platform. “06880” is honored to repost this. We hope you’ll share it too, with all your networks.

Iris and Jonathan Greenfield are going through an unimaginable situation.

In 2018 Jonathan was diagnosed with ALS. Over the past year his diagnosis took a turn for the worse. He is now confined to a wheelchair, without the ability to speak, write or perform basic motor functions.

Iris works her day job as an acupuncturist (a field significantly impacted by COVID), and spends her nights waking regularly to care for Jonathan. That’s in addition to raising their 3 amazing children: Zach (12), Skye (10) and Josie (8).

Jonathan and Iris Greenfield.

The Greenfields’ health insurance does not pay for the constant home care that Jonathan requires. That has created an incredible financial strain on the family.

As a community, we are defined by how we come together to help our neighbors in the greatest hour of need. Jonathan and his family desperately need our help, so they can pay for their basic living expenses.

Please click here to contribute to their GoFundMe page. The page contains more information about Jonathan’s life, as well as links to his Breathe4ALS organization, and a book of his photojournalism compiled by friends.
.
.

Jonathan Greenfield: On The Front Lines Of ALS Fight

The coronavirus is grabbing all the headlines. But May is ALS Awareness Month. The other day, Jonathan Greenfield — a Westporter who is battling the disease — traveled to Washington, DC. His wife Iris and children went too. 

They participated in a protest. The goal was for the FDA to fast-track a treatment for ALS as quickly as they are gearing up for COVID-19. Jonathan reports:

There are treatments for ALS that we need now. One is Nurown, involving stem cells. Nurown has been in the pipeline for 10 years, and is currently in phase 3 of a trial.

If I can go to my neurologist, have stem cells extracted from my blood and injected into my muscles and private parts for $600 a shot, why can’t I have Nurown — which is basically stem cells harvested from bone marrow — put through a process and then injected into my spinal column?

Jonathan Greenfield at the Washington, DC protest.

It’s absurd that the FDA refuses to open pathways for us. Many other countries already have programs similar to Nurown. ALS patients spend lots of money to be treated there.

The idea that we’re the greatest country in the world concerning health is laughable on many levels. But on the development of drugs we’re especially behind. That is because of the FDA.

My life, or any life with ALS, can’t wait. If the past 6 months are any indication, I will be similar to a quadriplegic in another 6. I recently accepted use of a power wheelchair, and my hands can barely type this email on my phone. My speech is seriously diminished. Last week a feeding tube was inserted into my stomach.

I’d much prefer to write about the free weekly Breathe Thru Zoom sessions my foundation Breathe 4 ALS. But I believe people need to be aware of this FDA situation.

The speed at which the FDA is moving towards a COVID vaccine is amazing. Why not for ALS, when proven and safe treatments already exist?

At the protest, I joined individuals who participated in the Nurown trial. Some  walked out of wheelchairs. Some got their voices back. Will this work for everyone? Probably not. But it appears to be a good weapon for the arsenal. It’s a treatment, not a cure.

A scene from this month’s ALS FDA proest in Washington.

If given to me today I might be able to preserve function, and last longer. Long enough for BIIB078 from Biogen, which targets the reason I have ALS: the familial gene C9orf72. My father passed from ALS in 2015. Currently my brother and I have it. My aunt is one of the oldest living asymptomatic carriers of the gene. Her son is also a carrier and currently asymptomatic.

BIIB078 is currently in cohort 4 of phase 2, a double blind study. I was unfortunately passed over for cohort 4. I believe they’re gunning to make the jump to phase 3, like they did with the sister drug for the ALS gene SOD1. So in short, I have to last longer.

There are other drugs in the pipeline. ALS will soon be treated like HIV. We’ll be on a cocktail of drugs. If ALS were contagious, we’d be there today. And with recent success reversing sickle cell through repairing genes, there is very good reason to believe a cure for my family is coming.

But will I see the day? If the FDA keeps ignoring ALS I will not. Sadly I won’t see my kids off to middle school, high school or college. Even now our usual surf trips to Rockaway have stopped. I’ve gone from the adventurous dad, to the dad who can barely engage.

But my kids have been amazing! I love their help, and hate it at the same time. It was chilly at the protest, and they voiced not one complaint. Not one despite the blocks we walked to get in front of the White House.

They still don’t really understand the rights our democracy affords them concerning protest and freedom of speech. Yet I believe this experience was imprinted in their DNA. They’ll be able to call back to it in years to come.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to help: Please call your senators and representatives!

Jonathan and Iris Greenfield with their children, in front of the White House.

Jonathan Greenfield Breathes For ALS

It’s been more than a year and a half since I profiled Jonathan Greenfield.

A lot has happened to the man I called The Most Interesting Person in Westport

A few months after that story, the NYU dropout/photojournalist/documentary filmmaker/surfer/triathlete/tea specialist was diagnosed with cancer.

And ALS.

He is battling both diseases with his trademark optimism, good humor and vigor.

Meanwhile, he continues to focus on others. He’s eagerly assumed a leadership role in a crusade to help everyone — those diagnosed with ALS, and all the rest — breathe better. We can enhance our lives — even live longer — Jonathan says, if we learn proper techniques, then take ice baths.

And — oh, yeah — Jonathan is organizing several events, to raise funds for two causes: breathing workshops, and ALS research.

Jonathan Greenfield and his wife, Iris Netzer-Greenfield.

Jonathan’s ALS diagnosis in December 2018 did not come out of the blue. His father had died not long before of what is also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Jonathan’s brother has it too.

Doctors said they caught it early. But the prognosis — muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, paralysis — is grim. Death, Jonathan says, eventually comes from asphyxiation.

He had already heard about the Wim Hof breathing technique. Combined with cold therapy, it’s said to affect the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in greater energy, reduced stress levels, and an augmented immune system.

When a Wim Hof video appeared on Jonathan’s YouTube feed, he took note. He was about to head to Boston to undergo radiation for the liposarcoma in his neck — a difficult procedure in which a mat would be molded to his face, shoulders and upper body. He would be fastened to a table, and lie perfectly still for 15 minutes.

Jonathan Greenfield, in his body mat.

The weekend before the treatment began, Jonathan took a Wim Hof class. He learned the breathing sequence — then took part in a guided ice bath in the snow. “I was on fire!” Jonathan marvels.

He used the breathing method to endure his first treatment. It did even more than he expected. After 2 rounds of breathing, he went into the deepest meditation state he’d ever experienced.

Over the next 5 weeks, Jonathan developed a routine. He awoke in his Cambridge hotel room. He breathed, went to the hospital for radiation, then returned to the hotel to swim, take a sauna and cold shower. Then he sat — in a towel, still wet — on his hotel deck in the freezing cold. For another 40 minutes, Jonathan would breathe and meditate. He felt great.

In the afternoon, he’d work.

Jonathan was excited. He traveled to Spain, for a Wim Hof workshop.

Working with Westporters Brooke Emery Sharfstein and Julie Blitzer, he booked Earthplace for a June breathing event. He brought 300 pounds of ice.

Jonathan Greenfield, deep in an ice bath.

That’s not all. Realizing that breathing could have helped his father’s quality of life in his final days, Jonathan vowed to share what he learned with the world.

He created Breathe4ALS. In August the organization earned 501c3 status. It’s totally volunteer-run. Sixty percent of funds raised go toward research; 30% to breathing sessions for patients, and 10% for website and operational expenses.

It’s pretty clear that neither ALS nor cancer have slowed Jonathan down. They have not dimmed his spirit either.

“Life is fine,” he says forcefully. “Yes, it’s more challenging in some ways. I’ve taken some wild spills, and thankfully haven’t broken anything yet. But this is what life is about: challenges. It’s how you meet them, harass them and overcome them. Otherwise, life is a bore.”

Not long after his diagnoses, Jonathan Greenfield hiked in Spain with Wim Hof (left).

Jonathan does not want anyone to feel sorry for him. Instead, he urges, “come breathe with me. Hike mountains with me. Celebrate all the possibilities with me.”

Jonathan is focusing on his life here, with his wife Iris — an acupuncturist, who practices in New York and Westport — and their 3 children, ages, 10, 8 and 6. His friends, he says, have “selflessly rallied around us.”

On  Thursday, October 17 (7 p.m., MoCA — formerly the Westport Arts Center — at 19 Newtown Turnpike), Breathe4ALS holds its first fundraiser. It features cocktails, bites and an exciting art raffle. Click here for tickets and more information.

Also ahead: A Breathe4ALS event at the Westport Woman’s Club on November 3. Attendees will learn about the Wim Hof Method (and can enjoy hundreds of pounds of ice).

It’s not limited to people with ALS, he emphasizes. “For anyone, this is a great tool for deep meditation and biofeedback.”

A similar Wim Hof session is set for Cherry Hill, New Jersey on January 12 (Katz JCC).

Meanwhile, Jonathan has a 19.8-cubic foot freezer in his garage. He’s adding a sauna. He hopes to invite neighbors, friends — and everyone else — over, to breathe and plunge.

Cool!

Jonathan Greenfield’s home ice bath. The temperature is 32.1 degrees.

Vani Court’s New Buddy

Alert “06880” reader Jonathan Greenfield loves Westport. These days, he loves it just a little bit more. He writes:

The residents of Vani Court exemplify the absolute best in neighborly values. They truly reflect all that’s wonderful in Westport.

That quiet street off South Compo — which still consists of many post-war Capes built for returning veterans in the 1940s — is where my rescue dog Buddy Holly ended up 2 days in a row after he pushed his way past my daughter, and through an open door.

My 9-year-old son gave chase. I grabbed a leash and ran to the car, as my 4-year-old daughter pointed the way.

I tried to obey the South Compo speed limit, but panic set in. My son and dog were nowhere to be found.

Buddy, at the beach.

We often include Vani Court on our daily walks. Maybe Buddy was there!

As I turned onto the road, I saw a commotion.

My son arrived out of nowhere — on a bike, which he’d gone home to retrieve. I got out of my car, and learned that 2 drivers had seen my son running along the road. They offered him a ride, to help. He declined, saying he could not get in a stranger’s car!

At the same time, residents on  Vani Court had come outside with their own dogs and treats, hoping to nab Buddy. He darted from one dog to the next, having a great time.

Tim Luciano came close to nabbing him. James McLaughlin tried to lure Buddy into his backyard.

The chase became exhausting. But when Jesse Daignault appeared with his dog Milo, Buddy took interest. With lightning fast hands, Jesse grabbed Buddy’s collar.

Victory! Jonathan Greenfield with Buddy, on Vani Court.

But Buddy was just getting started.

The next day — just as my youngest was leaving for preschool — Buddy pushed her aside. He was ready for another adventure.

This time I took a different approach. I followed him calmly, so I wouldn’t chase him away. He headed back to Vani Court.

Dan and Kelly Merton were out with their golden retrievers. Like a magnet, Buddy went to them. Another mini-circus developed.

Eventually Buddy headed back to our house. He wouldn’t come in though. My wife followed him back to Vani Court.

Soon, I got a text from my wife. Iris said, “Got him!” Melissa Wilson had come out with her dog. She and James McLaughlin lured Buddy into her backyard.

As soon as I got home, I called an invisible fence company. I’m also setting up dates to continue Buddy’s training, so he can run with us and be safely off leash.

We are extremely thankful for everyone who helped. Vani Court is such a special place.

It’s not just the charm of the postwar Capes. It’s the people. They so easily express what it’s like to be neighbors. Thank you!

Buddy, back home with Zach Greenfield.

The Most Interesting Person In Westport Drinks Tea

In a town filled with world leaders in finance, entertainment and industries that don’t even have names, there is no shortage of candidates for The Most Interesting Person in Westport.

Today’s candidate is Jonathan Greenfield.

I can’t — in one blog post — do justice to the many things he’s done. But here’s a brief summary of his life (so far):

He dropped out of NYU, then found himself a member of Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires.

Without even an undergraduate degree, Greenfield was accepted into the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s avant-garde MFA program.

But he left.

His sister had been a child actor, and Greenfield himself had been on “Another World” before he was 5. So when an agent invited him to California, he went.

He drank coffee, hung out, picked up a camera, and started shooting: homeless people in LA, the beach at Venice.

During Operation Gatekeeper — President Clinton’s attempt to halt Mexican immigration — Greenfield talked his way into photographing what went on on both sides of the border, in San Diego and Arizona.

A 1990s-era border wall. (Photo/Jonathan Greenfield)

He also made money photographing actors, and doing other photography “stuff.” This phase of his life is not suitable for a family blog.

In New York, he started photographing for brands like Laura Ashley. He said “yes” to everything. No one knew how little experience he had.

Greenfield had grown up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Now he was drawn to Camden, the dangerous city a few miles — and many worlds — away.

He photographed it all, from churches to crack houses. He also made a documentary about Camden. That hooked him on filmmaking.

At the same time, Greenfield was freelancing for the New York Times. One of his photos showed Governor Christine Todd Whitman in a muskrat swamp.

He met a woman named Susanne. They applied to an elite master’s degree film program in Germany. Both were accepted.

He made documentaries for German TV, on subjects like drug addicts in rough neighborhoods, and homeless neo-Nazi transvestites.

Wherever he went, Jonathan Greenfield found interesting subjects. (Photo/Jonathan Greenfield)

A project filming German Jews serving in the Israeli Defense Forces during the 2nd Intifada was — among his many projects — one of the most memorable.

On an extended visit in New York, Greenfield met Iris Netzer. She got pregnant. He stuck by her side. That was the end of his European career.

Greenfield had a show in development with Animal Planet. It featured high-end dog groomers from Yonkers, working in Scarsdale. He got great footage, but it was never greenlit.

Greenfield and Iris had a 2nd child. then a 3rd. Fatherhood changed him dramatically.

His father — a doctor who gave up his practice to trade commodities — told him to give it a try.

Greenfield did. He did very well.

But he missed the adventure and excitement of filmmaking.

In 2015 he got a concussion playing ice hockey. He was drinking a lot of tea.

He had an epiphany: He should focus on tea.

Greenfield found the Tea Association of the USA. He learned as much as he could. He traveled to Seattle, to become a certified tea specialist.

Jonathan Greenfield, recently.

These days, Greenfield is branding a budding tea company. He teaches for the Specialty Tea Institute.

He also surfs year round in Rockaway Beach. And he’s training for a triathlon.

He no longer feels the need to travel the world. He’s put his camera down. He loves tea. He’s at every game or swim meet for his kids. He skateboards with his son.

He does the books, and assists with marketing and social media for Iris’ acupuncture practice — she’s got a thriving business in New York, and a new studio called Noa (specializing in women) on Franklin Street near the train station.

“I’m just trying to go moment to moment,” Greenfield says. “I’m living the stoke.”

There may be other, equally interesting people in Westport.

But I know there is no one else in the world with a story quite like Jonathan Greenfield’s.