Moments before the 2nd annual Holiday Stroll yesterday, the weather cleared.
Hundreds of Westporters of all ages — including tons of kids — headed downtown.
A small part of the large crowd. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
They met Santa, dropped off letters to him, and gave gifts for the PAL toy drive. They had their faces painted, and got animal balloons.
11-year-old Owen Hill (blue jacket) provided animal balloons for dozens of even younger kids. (Photo/Dan Woog)
They were serenated by Staples High School’s Orphenians, and Greens Farms Academy’s Harbor Blues. They wandered all around downtown too, joining in carols led by professional singer Nick Calabrese (plus 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker).
Nick Calabrese leads carolers. No, the teenagers are not checking their notifications. They’re reading the lyrics to holiday songs. (Photo/Dan Woog)
They nibbled free food and drank hot chocolate at a dozen restaurants, and snagged giveaways and discounts at a few dozen shops.
Garlic knots at Joe’s Pizza! (Photo/Dan Woog)
It was a magical evening. Thanks to the Westport Downtown Association, which partnered with “06880” for the event.
And to the weather gods, who delivered big time when we needed it most.
Staples Orphenians, directed by Luke Rosenberg, offered wonderful music … (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
… and the crowd grew larger with every song. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Both 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and a young constituent were decked out in blinking lights. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Aarti Khosla offered hot chocolate at her Le Rouge chocolatier. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
Nomade handed out candied almonds in bamboo cones — and chocolate chip cookies. (Photo/Dan Woog)
The main tent was outside Cold Fusion. There were plenty of treats inside too. (Photo/Dan Woog)
More hot chocolate, at Manna Toast. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Savvy + Grace put out holiday treats. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
WEST owner Kitt Shapiro drew crowds with a $150 gift card raffle. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Some kids mailed letters to Santa in the Savvy + Grace mailbox … (Photo/Dan Woog)
… and some parents handed them directly to “Santa.” (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
Santa greeted youngsters, who were excited … (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
… and serious … (Photo/Dan Woog)
… and who photo-bombed him. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Santa was also popular with Greens Farms Academy’s Harbor Blues, after they sang. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Westport PAL collected gifts for kids in need. (Photo/Dan Woog)
Staples freshman Ava Carter and friend Nelly Kaminski painted dozens of young faces. (Photo/Jen Cirino)
The 2nd annual Holiday Stroll was sponsored by “06880” and the Westport Downtown Association. We’re already getting ready for next year’s! (Photo/Dan Woog)
(If you enjoyed last night’s Holiday Stroll, please support “06880.” Click here — and thank you!)
Greens Farms Academy’s commencement ceremony yesterday had many traditional elements.
The 90 members of the Class of 2022 marched in, to “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Valedictorian Shealeigh Crombie and salutatorian Alicja Farber addressed the crowd. Head of school Bob Whelan spoke movingly of the class as a whole, and described each individual graduate with personal adjectives.
But the commencement speaker was not your usual honoree. Darryl McDaniels — co-founder of Run-DMC (the first rap group on the cover of Rolling Stone, and first inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame); an author, philanthropist and mental health advocate — took the mic, and owned the crowd.
Parents, grandparents — and of course the graduates — sat rapt, as “DMC” spoke (and rapped) about the soon-to-be-alums’ possibilities, potential and purpose.
He talked about the importance of imagination, and assured them they were well prepared for whatever lies ahead.
The recessional was as traditional as ever. But this was a GFA graduation for the record.
Darryl McDaniels delivers the commencement address.
Once again it’s graduation season. For the third year in a row, Le Rouge is distributing “Give a Little Love” chocolate hearts. The goal is to give one to every graduating student in Bridgeport, when they get their diplomas.
It’s a community-wide effort, for our neighbors a few miles away. Each heart is $8. To buy one (or more!), click here.
“Double Indemnity” — an exhibit of work by artists Miggs Burroughs and Ann Chernow, based on the film noir classic — is on display at the Westport Library through September 6. An opening reception is set for June 23 (6:30 p.m.).
The show also includes 3 special movie nights, all on the 19-foot screen in the Trefz Forum.
“Double Indemnity” will be shown on June 23, immediately following the reception.
“Detour” will be screened on July 7 (7 p.m.); Susan Granger hosts.
On July 14 (7 p.m.), it’s the original “Nightmare Alley.” Miggs and Ann will host.
Ever since COVID, Westporters have enjoyed outdoor dining — and music — on Church Lane. It’s a great experience — but the musicians don’t play for free.
The Westport Downtown Association has started a GoFundMe campaign to help. The goal is $4,000, to offset the cost of 30 evenings of music by local performers. Click here for more information, and to help.
Music on Church Lane.
Around the corner from Church Lane, one of Westport’s most iconic buildings has been sold.
177 Main Street — the restored house at the entrance to Parker Harding Plaza, most recently home to Local to Market, and before that Talbots and (of course) the Remarkable Book Shop — was purchased by Eleish Van Breems Home Westport.
Headquartered on Franklin Street, and with stores on Railroad Place and Nantucket, Eleish Van Breems offers “a clean, elegant and fresh approach to interiors, all with a Scandinavian essence.”
The anthology — inspired by Dan Levinson’s experience with his father’s end-of-life passage — includes 10 Westport stories about those choices, and the challenges faced by people with terminal illnesses.
Each narrative explores men and women who faced the medical establishment head-on, then deliberately embraced grace and courage in the aftermath.
Click here to order the book. All proceeds benefit the Westport Library, Senior Center and Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.
Mark your calendar for October 13 (7 p.m.), too. That’s the date of the official, twice-COVID-delayed launch party for the book, at the Westport Library. Click here for details.
Danny Amoruccio, manager/sexton of Willowbrook Cemetery Association, says: “This little one is hanging around Section 11. We remind everyone not to approach or bother the new fawn. We seeing so many people pestering this little guy.”
But it’s not just for people who identify as LGBTQ (or IA+)*. All allies — and there are many in the Westport community — are invited to join the fun (and serious stuff).
The main event is the June 12 celebration at Jesup Green. But there’s much more too, including:
June 2: To Wong Foo, Thanks Julie Newmar! (Remarkable Theater, 8:30 p.m.)
In the 1995 comedy with Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo, 3 New York drag queens on their way to Hollywood for a beauty pageant are stranded in a small Midwestern town — and show residents that looking different doesn’t mean they don’t have humanity in common.
June 3: Bedford Middle School, Coleytown Middle School, and Staples High School Pride Day Celebrations
Bedford and Coleytown make history, by hosting Connecticut’s first middle school Pride Day celebrations. Hosted by the Westport Public Schools Pride Coalition, it features the debut of a new Staples and middle school mentorship program led by Staples faculty and coalition chair, Kayla Iannetta. Staples’ celebration will build on last year’s inaugural event.
June 4: All 4 Drag and Drag for A ll (MoCA Westport, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
A fun, family-friendly drag experience; all ages invited and welcome. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for cocktail hour (with a cash bar); the show begins at 6:30, with 4 great entertainers.
Headliner Desmond Napoles (stage name: Desmond is Amazing) is a 15-year old award-winning New York City LGBTQ advocate, performer, model, public speaker and fashion designer.
June 8: How to Survive a Plague (Remarkable Theater, 8:30 p.m.)
This 2012 documentary about the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and the efforts of activist groups, was culled from over 700 hours of archived footage: news coverage, interviews, and videos of demonstrations and meetings.
June 12: Westport Pride Celebration (Jesup Green, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.)
The 2nd annual community-wide event includes music and other great performances, speakers, local clergy, a proclamation from 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, and a pride flag flying over it all.
Plus: children’s art activities, face painting, hair and makeup, pride merchandise and swag, and educational materials on hand.
Showing the flag at last year’s Westport Pride celebration. (Photo/Kerry Long)
June 12: Pride Eucharist (Christ and Holy Trinity Churh, 5 p.m.)
A come-as-you-are in-person service of scripture, song, prayer and Holy Eucharist in the Christ & Holy Trinity Courtyard (Branson Hall if it’s cold or raining.) For more information, click here.
June 15: Pride Spirit Day (Westport elementary schools)
The elementary schools focus on families, and the many different ways they can be. Students learn about important LGBTQ+ figures from read-alouds and bulletin boards. Outside the buildings, chalk drawings and messages spread love and the message that everyone deserves to be proud of who they are.
June 17: Pride Cabaret Night (Westport Library, 6:30 p.m.)
An evening of music, performing arts and comedy, hosted by comedienne and activist Mina Hartong.
June – August: Summer of Love | Merchants of Pride – Various Locations
All summer long, merchants offer pride-themed items, events and more. NOTE: These offers begin June 1. Don’t click the links, or visit the stores or restaurants, until Tuesday!
A Splash of Pink: Shopping Night (Wednesday, June 1, 5 to 8 p.m.). Light bites, and a rainbow bar of cocktails. A portion of the evening’s sales will be donated to Westport Pride.
Allium Eatery: A portion of proceeds from the sale of “Fields of Love” will benefit Westport Pride. This change will change periodically throughout the summer so the culinary team can create innovative dishes. It is called “Fields of Love” to honor “embracing diversity and the beauty of all ingredients, just as we all should with the LGBTQ+ community.” June 1 through August 31.
Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti: A portion of proceeds from the sale of the newly created AZALEA cocktail (vodka, lemonade, strawberry shrub, bubbles) will be donated to Westport Pride.
Middlemarch: Partners with Jeweled Coquette to create a special limited edition Bon-Bon necklace. The designer followed the original pride flag design from 1978. Stones are jade, sunstone, opal, chalcedony, quartz and serpentine. Necklaces are hand-knotted on 20″ silk, with a 15K gold filled spring ring closure. Orders can be placed online or at the store. Retail price is $200; 20% donated to Westport Pride. Offer good June 1-30.
Sono1420: Limited edition PRIDE bottle of SONO1420 vodka.
WEST: 20% off all Aviator Nation apparel for month of June. A portion of proceeds donated to Westport Pride.
Whoop Handstitch: A limited edition with “PROUD” stitched in rainbow thread on a white sweatshirt; also, a gray cashmere sweater with “LOVE IS LOVE” with rainbow thread. The sweatshirt retails for $95; $20 will be donated to Westport Pride. The sweater retails for $185, with $50 donated to Westport Pride. June 1 through August 31.
Finally, there’s this: Throughout June, Jillian Elder will offer special Wesptort- and Pride-themed t-shirts. hoodies, mugs, tumblers and tote bags. 10% of all sales will be donated to Westport Pride. Click here to order.
*The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual or agender; the “plus” sign indicates other sexual orientations people may identify as or with.
Aarti Khosla — owner of the popular Main Street shop — spends months preparing for the holiday. She stocks up on ingredients and takes orders. But she can’t begin making her wonderful creations too early. She and her employees gear up mentally for a very busy few days.
Less than 2 weeks ago, a fully trained chocolate maker stepped away due to health issues. Another left for personal reasons.
Ten days before her biggest day of the year, Aarti had absolutely no help.
There was no way even the indefatigable owner could make nearly 10,000 truffles, mendiants, almond Rochers and chocolate covered strawberries by herself.
So she did what chocolatiers have done for centuries: She posted about her predicament on social media.
Longtime customers — and others who recently found her — responded. After work and school, they poured in to help.
A trio of helpers.
“They packed. They organized. They kept my sanity,” Aarti says.
Ten years after opening, Aarti is still awed by this community.
“The best part of this journey is the sense of belonging,” she says.
“A lot of these women have high-powered jobs. They’re lawyers and executives. But they take time out of their super-busy schedules to help.
“They say it gives them pleasure, because no one goes away unhappy from a chocolate shop. When I try to thank them, they say it’s because of what I put out in the universe. But we all know that not everyone is as lucky as I am, to receive it back.”
Sealing the deal.
And speaking of giving it back: Aarti keeps paying it forward.
Ten percent of all sales this month will be donated to local food banks.
(Kudos to Aarti’s helpers: Westporters Alison Angus, Joëlle Berger, Lisa Marriott, Jennifer Wolter and Keelin Wolter; Westonites Laura Shepard, Meredith Shepard, Debbie Mergerg, Susan Moch, Dawn Watson and Pat Weist; Monroe residents Theresa Shields and her sons Owen and Liam, and Joli Gross from Greenwich.)
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But the shopping behemoth is taking over Avi Kaner’s parking spots.
Every morning at 8:30, the former Westport 2nd selectman/Board of Finance chair — and, more importantly for this story, an owner of the 16-store Morton Williams grocery store chain in New York — sees trucks part in front of 2 of his Upper East Side markets.
Workers appear. For the next 5 hours, Crains’ New York Business reports, they use hand trucks to deliver groceries to residents who ordered from Amazon online.
“They use it like a warehouse,” Kaner says. “The city is allowing these places to block our business.”
An Amazon spokeswoman described the scene as an “exchange point.”
Kaner notes that Morton Williams’ sales in residential areas are down only 5-15% from pre-COVID levels, but that stores in business districts are still doing just half of their previous numbers. (Click here for the full Crains’ story.)
Avi Kaner in a Morton Williams store. (Photo/Danny Ghitis for the New York Times)
The Westport PAL car show set for June 20 has been postponed to July 17. It’s still 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; still at the railroad station parking lot near Railroad Place and Franklin Street); it still features cool cars, food and raffle prizes.
Tickets are still $15 each. But kids — that is, anyone under 12 — are still free.
The Staples High School auditorium has been dark for 14 months.
But later this month, Staples Players will be back on stage.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Saturday, May 8) for a unique show. “Words Words Words … And Music” is a feel-good, very funny journey through 5 short plays by award-winning (and witty) playwright David Ives, plus 2 mini-musicals and a smattering of songs and monologues.
The curtain goes up May 20 and 21 (7:30 p.m.), and 22 (2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.). Socially distant seating is available tomorrow (click here). NOTE: Cultural starvation and fewer seats may create a toilet paper-in-2020 situation.
Just bring a container (no larger than a kitchen trash can) to the mattress and box spring recycling event at Earthplace tomorrow (Saturday, May 8, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.). Boy Scouts will fill it!
Sustainable Westport is thanking Westport for making the food scrap recycling program such a success. Started less than a year ago, residents now divert 10 tons of food scraps a month. (That’s in addition to me compost piles.)
That’s great. But the goal is to double participation in the Zero Food Waste Challenge in the next 6 months. For options, and guidance, click here. For more information on tomorrow’s event, email ZeroWaste@SustainableWestport.org or call 203-293-6320.
Ever since she opened Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates, Aarti Khosla has helped people and organizations in need in Westport, Bridgeport and throughout Fairfield County.
Now she’s helping people in her native land.
As COVID causes havoc in India, Aarti is helping raise funds to mobilize oxygen concentrators and other equipment. “No amount is too small to make a difference,” Aarti says. She is working with Vibha, a non-profit whose tagline is “Save lives. Save India.” Click here for details, and to contribute.
She is also donating 20% of all sales from Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week to Vibha. So this is the perfect time for some fantastic chocolate — and to help an important cause.
Tickets for individual Westport Country Playhouse virtual performances are now on sale.
This season’s online offerings include a comedy (“Tiny House,” June 29-July 18), a Script in Hand (“The Savannah Disputation,” June 14-20), a classic (“Man of La Mancha 2018,” August 23-September 5), and a gripping drama (“Doubt: A Parable,” November 2-21).
Virtual tickets start at just $20. Click here for more information, and to order. Questions? Call 203-227-4177, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staples junior Katie Davitt has found a way to combine her passions for art and advocacy. She draws pet portraits for families — and donates 100% of the proceeds to causes she cares deeply about, like racial justice (Equal Justice Initiative), animal welfare (Connecticut Humane Society) and combating climate change (Environmental Defense Fund).
So far, she has raised and given away over $1,500.
Katie says, “the pandemic has given me an opportunity to look inward and realize what is truly important to me: family, friends, pursuing my passions. At the same time it’s opened my eyes to injustices in the world. I feel like I am doing my small part in making a difference.”
Katie is busy with schoolwork. But anyone interested in pet portraits this summer should send a photo of the pet, its name and your background color preference to email@example.com. She charges $65 for a printed portrait in a 9”x11” black frame with a white matte, $45 for a digital file.
“Ten days ago, I urged the community to ask the RTM to support public transit in Westport by restoring funds cut from the Westport Transit District’s budget for the Wheels2U Westport shuttles.
“The response was overwhelming. Over 100 letters were sent to the RTM from individuals and organizations in favor of restoring the funding. The RTM heard your voice, and voted 32-to-1 to restore the budget and keep Westport’s Wheels2U shuttle running and growing!
“Wheels2U Westport was launched in October 2020 to support Westport residents and businesses. It provides a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for Westport residents and reverse commuters to travel between the train stations and their homes, employers and downtown. Wheels2U is now an integral part of Westport.
“We cannot thank you enough! A diverse group of residents, commuters and key Westport organizations came together to share your stories, explain the shuttle’s benefits, and lend your voice to restoring the budget.
“There are exciting things planned for Wheels2U Westport in the next year. We look forward to keeping everyone up to date about our growth and new initiatives.”
And finally … in Vienna today in 1824, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was first performed. It’s considered the composer’s greatest work — and one of the finest musical achievements of all time. Groundbreaking in its use of voices, it is also one of the most performed symphonies in the world.
Of course, Beethoven never heard his masterpiece. When he began composing the 9th Symphony in 1822, he was already deaf.
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It’s as clever — a play on owner Aarti Khosla’s name — as her creations are good.
Since opening in 2014 at 190 Main Street — just past Avery Place, underneath the old Sally’s Place — the store has satisfied Westporters’ sweet teeth with amazing flavors. Aarti has also been a great neighbor, helping countless charitable causes here and in Bridgeport.
Her store and packaging are known for their distinctive black (for chocolate) and red (her favorite) colors.
So why has “Le Rouge” now turned to blue?
For a while, designer friends have told Aarti that her polka dot and red packaging — though bold and eye-catching — distracted customers from the beauty of her hand-painted chocolates.
She hired The Visual Brand — around the corner on Church Lane — for her brand redesign.
As she talked with them about her childhood — her parents are from Punjab; her father would bring back amazing chocolates from his travels to France — they came up with the line “Flavors from Paris to Punjab.” It’s incorporated into artwork depicting the skylines of both countries, and is the “crown jewel” of the new design.
The design was finalized in late 2019. But there were issues producing the new boxes locally. With the holidays approaching, Aarti put the project on hold.
One day, she saw an Instagram post about a packaging company based in New Delhi. She was headed there soon, for a wedding. At the factory she met a young woman named Arti. They worked long distance with our Aarti, after she returned home.
That’s where the royal blue came in. The first design made in that color palate was for the “Give a Little Love” chocolate hearts.
During the pandemic, Aarti and Arti finalized 27 new package designs. They arrived right before Valentine’s Day.
You can see the new blue at Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates. She has no plans to change that evocative, colorful name.
Outdoor entertainment returned to MoCA Westport last night. A socially distanced crowd enjoyed Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Alexa Tarantino Quartet.
More concerts will be announced soon.
Outdoors at MoCA.
With food insecurity still a serious issue, the Westport Woman’s Club Food Closet is grateful for a nice donation from Westport National Bank.
Any organizations or family can donate food to neighbors in need. Bring non-perishable donations to the WWC 44 Imperial Avenue) from 9 a.m. to onoon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If the clubhouse is locked, call 203-227-4240.
Monetary donations are also welcome. Click here, or send a check made out to Westport Woman’s Club to WWC, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.
At the Westport Woman’s Club food pantry (from left); Wendy McKeon, WWC food closet co-chair; Robin Clark, WWC member and Westport National Bank vice president; Selma Blue, WNB head teller.
The “hidden history of Black Westport” will be visible to Westporters next Saturday (September 12, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.)
As a follow-up to the Westport Museum of History & Culture’s “Remembered: The History of African Americans in Westport” exhibit, guides will lead tour groups (maximum of 10 people) throughout downtown.
They’ll describe local history, from enslaved people to soldiers, sailors, activists, artists, and respected residents, through existing buildings and long destroyed sites.
Tickets are $10. Reservations are required; click here to register. Foe moew information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aarti Khosla needs help in providing chocolate hearts to every Westport and Weston educator, as a show of thanks for all they do. 10% of all proceeds benefit another educational institution: Mercy Learning Center.
Click here to purchase hearts ($8 each). You can also stop by Aarti’s store, Le Rouge Chocolates (190 Main Street).
The final (and 15th) #FridayFlowers are on display at the Compo Beach lifeguard station. The Westport Garden Club — sponsor of the summer-long floral project — is grateful to the guards, and everyone at Westport Parks & Rec — for keeping our beaches safe and fun.
Pictured below (from left): David Levy, Noah Ross, Mia Parkes, Ella Thompson and Avery Tucker.
RTM representative and Westport Writers Workshop founder Jessica Bram undergoes brain surgery at Yale University Hospital this morning.
Doctors will drain excess hydration to reverse motor, cognitive and memory impairment resulting from a recent fall.
Jessica sends affection and high regard to the Westport community, past and current writing students, RTM colleagues, and Webb Road neighbors.
It took a while, but the Compo Beach food trailer is now open in the grassy area between the concession stand and lifeguard shack. The limited menu includes a ($19.99) lobster roll. Bon appétit!
Not the beach lobster roll. For illustration only.
Aarti Khosla — owner of Le Rouge Chocolates — gives plenty of love. Her chocolate hearts have brought smiles to first responders, Bridgeport high school graduates and more.
As she has read about the COVID dilemma facing teachers — who must balance being true to their calling with protecting the health of their families — she decided to give hearts to every Westport teacher and staff member.
“They are someone’s sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives. They also happen to be our local heroes,” Aarti says.
School reopens next week, so she needs the community’s help. And fast.
Click here to purchase hearts ($8 each). You can also stop by her store (190 Main Street).
As always, 10% of all proceeds goes to charity. This campaign will benefit Mercy Learning Center, the wonderful Bridgeport women’s organization.
You can help package the hearts too. The last time she did this, she had people from 8 to 80 helping.
Lend a hand. Have a heart. Give a heart!
Welcome to September. The calendar includes Labor Day, the Jewish High Holy Days — and Library Card Sign-up Month.
The Westport Library issues free cards to Westport residents, town employees, and Westport public and private school teachers. Non-Westporters can purchase a card.
You can apply for in person at the library, or click here.
And finally … speaking of Library Card Sign-Up Month:
Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening begins next Wednesday (June 17). It’s a big day for Governor Ned Lamont. And at 9 a.m., he shares it with the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.
He’s the special guest and speaker for their virtual “Morning Network” meeting. The event is free — and open to all.
Lamont will give an update on the pandemic, discuss the next phase in reopening, offer his views on the future, and answer questions. They may be submitted ahead of time by email, or through the chat function during the event.
Also virtual — and also featuring big names — is the Westport Library’s next Trefz Newsmakers series.
CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent (and 1988 Staples High School graduate) Jeff Pegues interviews billionaire businessman, hedge fund manager, major Democratic Party donor, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner (and Westport resident) Marc Lasry.
They’ll talk about Lasry’s career, how he gives back, his advice for entrepreneurs, and COVID-19’s effect on business and the sports world.
Driving around Westport and Weston, Aarti Khosla has been touched by the many yard signs and balloons congratulating high school and middle school graduates. She’s been impressed by the banners on Main Street, not far from Le Rouge — her “aartisan” chocolate shop.
But as she thought about all that’s going on America today, she was inspired to act on the words that she fervently believes in: “Spread love.” And what better place to spread love than nearby Bridgeport?
She called the superintendent of schools, and offered to celebrate their graduates with “Give a Little Love” hearts. Here’s her message to “06880” readers:
“Next week, 1115 Bridgeport students will graduate from high school. This is an enormous accomplishment. We recognize the obstacles they overcame to achieve success.
“Le Rouge asks for your support in celebrating these graduates. We will make chocolate hearts to celebrate every Bridgeport high school senior. If each Westport graduating senior — or a relative or friend, or perfect stranger — agrees to celebrate 3 Bridgeport students with a $25 sponsorship, we can give our love to the entire community via chocolate hearts.
“We have until next Monday to make this a reality. Click here to help.”
Aarti Khosla’s wonderful chocolates
Some youngsters returned to their elementary schools for the first time since March today. It was also their last time at “their” school.
“Moving up” car parades were held for 5th graders around town. This was the scene captured by Kings Highway Elementary School parent Tricia Lau-Lewis.
All 5 kids went to KHS. The youngest will be in 5th grade there next year.
Meanwhile, after the Saugatuck El parade, Carolyn Doan’s family headed to Sunny Daes. They met some Greens Farms Elementary folks there (below).
MoCA Westport shut down in mid-March. But their beautiful Steinway grand piano did not sit idle.
As part of their pandemic programming, they invited accomplished local pianists to perform. They filmed them, and shared the virtual concerts free on their YouTube page.
Pianists are invited to play music of their choice. Some — like Chris Coogan — are inspired by MoCA’s current Helmut Lang exhibition. He wrote and performed an original piece.
This week’s performance features two Staples students. Patrick Looby and Lucas Lieberman are rising seniors. They played together in November, at Carnegie Hall.
For MoCA they play Aram Khachaturian’s lively waltz “Masquerade.” Enjoy!
More music news! Drew Angus — the 2007 Staples High School grad profiled recently on “06880” as an example of a gig worker navigating his way through the coronavirus crisis — performs via Zoom this Friday (June 12, 12 noon).
It’s a Westport Senior Center production — but it’s open to everyone who wants to hear the work of this talented young singer/songwriter.
Click here for the Zoom link (meeting ID: 883 1489 6846; password: 2DHJSV). It’s also available on Facebook (click here, or search for Toquet Hall).
Here’s a sight you don’t see every day: Yesterday, a helicopter apparently headed for a landing at Old Mill Beach or Sherwood Island State Park.
If you know the back story, click “Comment” below.
And finally … this is a poignant song at any time. Particularly at graduation. And really particularly this year.
Here’s to the Class of 2020. You haven’t seen each other for a while. But you’ve come a long way from where you began. I hope you see each other for a long time, soon.
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome, appreciated — and tax-deductible! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to “06880”: PO Box 744, Westport, CT 06881. Or use Venmo: @blog06880. Or Zelle: email@example.com. Thanks!)