Tag Archives: Le Rouge by Aarti

Roundup: Bob Stefanowski, Alicia Mozian, Jez Benton …

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski addressed a large crowd at the Westport Library yesterday.

The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston sponsored the event, Former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe moderated.

Stefanowski described his youth in New Haven, in a home shared with his grandparents and students from Southern Connecticut State College.

Regarding the 2020 election, the GOP candidate said: It’s over. It was not stolen. It’s time to move forward. If Donald Trump is found guilty of anything, he should pay the consequences.

Connecticut is the 2nd highest taxed state in the nation, he noted, adding that as head of a company he had to chip away at unnecessary costs. Executives earning $30 million to $40 million were upset about losing company cars. Shareholders paid for those perks, Stefanowski said.

Who pays for excesses in state government? Taxpayers, he continued.

On Monday (September 19, 1 p.m. Westport Library), Governor Ned Lamont will speak. The Y’s Men sponsor that event too. (Reporting by  Dave Matlow)

Bob Stefanowski at the Westport LIbrary. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Conservation Director Alicia Mozian is retiring, effective October 1.

A town employee since 1986, she began her career as a planning aide in the Planning & Zoning Department. Other posts included conservation analyst, zoning inspector and planning assistant. She was appointed Conservation director in 2001.

Mozian says she is “grateful to have served a community that is so engaged and proactive in environmental affairs. Their enthusiasm both challenged and inspired me to do my very best every day to help protect the many natural resources whose care we have been entrusted to protect.

“I have worked hard to balance the rights of the property owner with the need for environmental protection, and I’m proud of my department in achieving this goal. I also want to thank the many volunteers who have supported and continue to support our department’s mission and foster good stewardship practices of not only our wetland and water resources but also the environment in general.”

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker promoted Colin Kelly to replace Mozian.

Alicia Mozian

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Jez Benton is a very interesting Westporter. He summited Mount Everest in 2005, and has since had a notable career in leadership development.

This week, he launched a video podcast. Jez interviews 6 CEOs, as they hike a mountain together. It’s called “Route to the Top” (get it?), and was filmed entirely by Jez on his iPhone.

His first guest is Neal Katyal, former Solicitor General of the US. Now a partner in a law firm, he talks about lessons learned while arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court.

Click below for that initial episode. Others will be available on LinkedIn (10 minutes), and Spotify, YouTube and Apple Podcasts (full 45 minutes). (Hat tip: Meghan Bell)

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On September 29, nearly 600 people will gather at Mitchells in Westport for the 12th annual Pinkchella.

The event — the first in-person gathering since COVID — is PinkAid’s big fundraiser. The Coachella-themed luncheon includes fashion, food, music and more.

Among the auction items: a stay at the One & Only resort in Montenegro, use of a private jet and courtside seats at a Milwaukee Bucks game with the team owner, a trip to French Polynesia.

The auction goes live September 22. It’s open to all; you don’t have to attend the event to bid.  Click here for more information and — on September 22 — to bid.

Breast cancer survivors will walk the runway at a “Celebration of Life” fashion show, as Pink Aid honors their experience, and the people in their lives who helped along the way.

Since 2011, Pink Aid has granted $6.6 million to support programs that provide diagnostic testing, wigs, recovery garments, meals, childcare, transportation to treatment, integrative services, education, survivorship programs and personal expenses for patients undergoing treatment.

They fund programs at hospitals, national non-profits and smaller grassroots organizations. They work to make sure everyone gets proper treatment regardless of financial barriers. They’ve helped breast cancer patients in 30 states; their goal is to “turn 50 states pink.”

For more information on Pinkchella, and tickets, click here.

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Three million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease.

This Sunday (September 18, Sherwood Island State Park, 10 a.m.), the first-ever Spin4 Crohn’s & Colitis Cure event raises money for research.

It’s a fun, energetic and community-minded stationary bike ride. People can create a team, join a team or ride solo. Spectators are welcome too.

Click here to register, or for more information.

Spinning for a Crohn’s and Colitis cure.

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For the past 12 months, a generous gift from an anonymous donor ensured free admission to MoCA galleries for everyone.

Fees resume October 16. MoCA officials says: “We are committed to keeping our admission fees low, so that the power of art to educate, enrich and build connections between us continues to be accessible to all. As a non-profit organization, we rely on admissions fees to help fund all of our programs.

“If you have financial need for free admission for yourself or for your family, please email us at info@mocawestport.org.”

Meanwhile, MoCA announces their first Open Mic Night (October 20, 5 to 7 p.m.). It’s an outdoor event, where poets, slam poets and musicians come together not as opponents, but as performers sharing their stories, passions and talents.

To perform, click here to register, pay a $5 fee and complete this form by October 17. Each poem or song must be original (multiple poems or songs are allowed within time frame); memorization is not required. Performers must be in high school or older.

There’s no charge for audience members, but advance registration is requested; click here.

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Aarti Khosla’s “Give a Little Love” campaign is in full gear.

For the 3rd year in a row, the owner of Le Rouge Chocolates hopes to donate a chocolate heart to every Westport Public Schools employee.

It’s a townwide campaign. For $8 each, customers can sponsor a heart for one Westport teacher. To donate one or more chocolate hearts online, click here.

Aarti hand-delivers the treats to each building. This was the scene at Coleytown Middle School:

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Speaking of schools: Staples High musicians Delaney McGee (trumpet) and Witt Lindau (drums) have received All-National honors. They were selected by video audition, from the top music students in the country.

In November they will participate in the National Association for Music Education honors orchestra and “modern band” (rock band) respectively.

Jason Capozucca (bassoon) and Ana Jahnel (tenor saxophone) were selected as alternates,

Witt Lindau (Photo courtesy of Staples Wreckers Instagram)

Delaney McGee

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There’s always something to learn at the Senior Center.

The other day it was electric vehicles.

Dawn Henry and Barry Kresch of the EV Club of Connecticut led an informational session on the value and joys of driving an electric vehicle. Five were on display outside.

Barry Kresch discusses electric vehicles, at the Senior Center. (Photo/Pippa Bell Ader)

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Salon Nash owner Felicia Catale offers a free wash and blow dry — plus discounts on Mary Kay products — on October 10 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Her salon is at 179 Post Road West, in Nash’s Corner plaza.

Felicia Catale

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It’s still mid-September. But Election Day will be here before you know it.

On November 2 (Westport Library, 7 p.m.), Westport’s League of Woman Voters sponsors a debate with candidates for the state Senate and House of Representatives, and probate judge.

“06880” readers are invited to send questions in advance. The email address is lwvwestport@yahoo.com.

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If you’re like me, you probably get 2 or 3 advertising mailers a week, filled with discount coupons. Many are for home improvements — new bathroom (“in a day!”), gutter work, driveway paving and the like.

Also: duct cleaning. One company advertises in all of them. I see this photo everywhere:

I couldn’t figure out what was so weird about it.

Then I realized: He’s doing a pretty poor job of it. I want the guy who cleans my ducts to be watching what he’s doing — not giving me a come-on look.

No matter how hot he is.

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There’s something about monarch butterflies — in all forms — that we can’t resist.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” monarch photo comes courtesy of Nancy Vener:

(Photo/Nancy Vener)

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And finally … in honor of Jez Benton’s new podcast, interviewing nationally known CEOs as they climb steep mountains:

 

 

 

 

Roundup: Club 203, Native Plants, Cohl Katz …

Club 203 — the new Westport organization providing social and fun activities for adults with disabilities — launched with a bang Wednesday night.

Over 100 people gathered at MoCA for the kickoff event. DJ Joe’s great playlist got everyone on the dance floor from the moment they arrived.

The dance floor was filled.

Participants came from as far as Middlebury, Connecticut. DJ Joe rocked the night! Everyone was in on the dance floor. MoCA, The Porch at Christie’s, CVS for providing the venue and snacks. We would also like to thank all the volunteers from our community who helped us last night. We could not have done it with out them!

Hanging with the DJ …

Club 203 organizers Stacie Curran, Kathryn Sonne, Joe Anastasi and Sharuna Mahesh thank MoCA, The Porch @ Christie’s and CVS for providing the venue and snacks — as well as the many volunteers who made the night special.

Next up: a Halloween celebration (October 23, Remarkable Theater). For more information, click here.

,,, and hanging out.

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One of the most well-known houses in Westport (the Kowalsky home) sat for years on one of the last large open residential spaces in Westport.

Now the home — officially, 117 Morningside Drive South — has joined the list of notable town teardowns.

A recent photo …

… and an even more recent one. (Photo/Alan Phillips)

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Though all eyes were on the UK yesterday, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, viewers watching Yahoo! Finance got a double dose of Westport.

Dave Briggs — one of the platform’s anchors — interviewed internationally best-selling author Jane Green, a British native. Both now live here.

Click here for the full interview.

Screenshot of yesterday’s interview.

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Speaking of Her Majesty … on Monday (September 12), the Remarkable Theater honors her life and legacy with a special showing of “The Queen.”

Helen Mirren stars in the 2006 film, which examines Queen Elizabeth II n the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana.

The lot opens at 6:15 p.m. for tailgating. The movie starts at 7;15 p.m. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Who was Sigrid Schultz, for whom part of the newly designed Elm Street parking lot is named?

She was a pioneering female reporter, social justice activist — and longtime Westporer — who played an important role in exposing the growing Nazi threat during the lead-up to World War II, and beyond.

Last night, the Westport Museum for Culture & History hosted Professor Dr. David Milne of the University of East Anglia. He is writing her biography, and shared fascinating details of her life. The “Dragon Lady” exhibit is open to the public at the museum through the end of the year. (Hat tip: Dave Matlow)

Dr. James Milne, at the Westport Museum for History & Culture. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

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Wondering about all those yellow ribbons downtown?

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The ribbons create awareness too: for Circle of Care, a Wilton-based organization that helps families deal with the diagnosis of a child with cancer.

Click here to learn more about Circle of Care. Then click below, for a local video:

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With autumn around the corner, it’s time for Aspetuck Land Trust’s fall native plant sale.

Hard-to-find plants, trees, shrubs and perennials can be ordered online, and picked up September 30 to October 2 at the Caryl & Edna Haskins Preserve off Green Acre Lane. Click here for details.

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Aarti Khosla believes that teachers are the backbone of our society. In these unprecedented times, she says, they need our love more than ever.

Aarti owns Le Rouge Chocolates, on Main Street. So she’s in a position to make it happen. Sweeeeet!

Her “Give a Little Love” chocolate heart campaign works like this: For $8 each, customers can sponsor a heart for one Westport teacher. Aarti hand-delivers the treats to each school.

This is the third year in a row for “Give a Little Love.” Teachers have been very touched by this small gesture, she says.

To donate one or more chocolate hearts online, click here.

“Give a Little Love” with chocolate hearts.

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MoCA’s next show — the premiere of the From The Pen To The Knife exhibition, featuring close to 300 watercolor paintings by Marian Christy, who creates watercolors using only palette knives and puddles of paint — is on view from October 15 to November 27.

An opening reception is set for October 15 (5 to 7 p.m.).

Christy was a Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe journalist, covering fashion and celebrities, for the first chapter of her life.

In the second chapter, she pivoted from “the pen to the knife.” Christy, now 90, had no formal training. She has worked for the last 15 years in her basement at an easel, held firm by used bricks to sustain her forceful palette knife strokes. For more information, click here.

One of Marian Christy’s nearly 300 works, exhibited soon at MoCA Westport.

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Cohl Katz’s clients have included Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbara Bush, Bob Dylan, Cal Ripken, Cindy Crawford, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, Hilary Swank, Jerry Seinfeld, John McEnroe, Johnny Depp, Katie Couric, Keith Richards, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martha Stewart, Mary Tyler Moore, Mel Gibson, Mick Jagger, Muhammad Ali, Nicole Kidman, Phil Donohue, Ray Charles, Robert Redford, Robin Williams, Rod Stewart, Rosie O’Donnell, Sting and Tom Cruise,

The hair stylist and makeup artist recently moved back to Westport. She’s offering a back-to-school special for new clients (of all ages): a 50% first-appointment discount. Call 917-848-9596 — and mention “06880”!

Three of Cohl Katz’s clients.

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Several Westport chefs will prepare 4-course tableside meals at Greenwich Wine + Food. The fundraiser for the Jacques Pépin Foundation and Wholesome Wae is set for October 7 (at Abigail Kirsch The Loading Dock, Stamford).

The local contingent includes Jes Bengtson (Terrain Garden Café. Amis Trattoria); Debra Ponzek (Aux Delices), Matt Storch (Match Burger Lobster) and Bill Taibe (The Whelk, Kawa Ni, Don Memo).

The evening includes honors for the Serendipity’s 2022 Most Innovative Chefs. Among them: Will Friedman of Kawa Ni.

Click here for the full schedule, and ticket information.

Bill Taibe and Jes Bengtson will cook at Greenwich Wine + Food.

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The girls are gone from Compo. Now — as seen in today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — the gulls take over.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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And finally … as we remember the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II, the United States mourns with our British friends.

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(“06880 is entirely reader-supported. Please click here to contribute.)

“06880” Stroll: Newest Holiday Tradition A Hit!

It’s the magic of the holiday season.

The predicted rain never fell. The temperature was perfect for strolling.

Which is what hundreds of Westporters, plus out-of-town relatives and friends and strangers did last night.

Sam Betit led the Staples Orphenians in a wide range of holiday music.

“06880”‘s first-ever Holiday Stroll featured packed sidewalks, folks wandering in and out of stores for gifts (and freebies), and tons of old-fashioned neighborly fun.

Amy Saperstein (center) and friends Allegra Zemel and Stephanie Tobin strolled Main Street. (Photo/Julian Zemel, age 8)

Staples High School’s Orphenians sang. Santa posed for photos. Staples senior Sophie Alcyone painted kids’ faces.

Samta poses with Zelda and Annabel Cohen.

And Tim Stevenson and Lisa Armstrong won a $50 gift certificate to Savvy + Grace, as Ugly Sweater Contest winners.

Ugly sweater contest winners Lisa Armstrong and Tim Stevenson.

If you were there: Years from now, you can say you were at the first year of this great tradition.

If you missed it: See you in ’22!

Santa poses with the youngest stroller … (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

… and with Staples High School 1966 graduate Pam Pollack. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Face painter Sophie Alcyone at work …

… and Lila Newman shoes off the finished (cheetah) product. (Photo/Lisa Newman)

One view of the Staples Orphenians …

… and another. (Photo/Danielle Dobin)

Cider at Le Rouge Aarti Chocolatiers was one of many merchant giveaways during the “06880” Holiday Stroll.

Santa poses with artist Rosie Jon and son Leo …

… and (2nd and 3rd from left) 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin, and friends.

Jeffrey Pogue was another contestant in the Ugly Sweater Contest.

And a huge shout-out to all the retailers and restaurants who participated in the “06880” Holiday Stroll:

  • Age of Reason
  • Allison Daniel Designs
  • Calico
  • Cotelac
  • Dark Horse Health & Wellness
  • Franny’s Farmacy
  • The Fred Shop
  • Joe’s Pizza
  • Kerri Rosenthal
  • Le Rouge by Aarti
  • Local to Market
  • Nic and Zoe
  • Organachs
  • Rye Ridge Delicatessen
  • Sorelle Gallery
  • The Toy Post
  • WEST
  • Westport Book Shop
  • Whip Salon
  • Winfield Street Coffee

Roundup: Chocolate Hearts, Art Craft Show, Playhouse Shows …

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For the 2nd year in a row, Aarti Khosla of Le Rouge Chocolates is helping Westporters show love for teachers.

“They are the backbone of our society. In these unprecedented times, hey need our love more than ever,” says the owner of the popular shop at 190 Main Street.

“We came together as a community to salute them with our ‘Give a Little Love’ chocolate hearts campaign on the first day of school last year. It was humbling and heartwarming to hear so many teachers say how touched they were by this small gesture.”

The tradition continues — with a twist. For just $8, you can show you appreciation to the Westport Public Schools staff (including teachers, administrators, nurses, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians and others).

And 20% of each “Chocolate Heart” that goes to a teacher will be contribute to the Malala Fund, which helps educate women and girls in Afghanistan.

Click here to buy a chocolate heart, and for more information.

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Talented Westporter Jo Ann Miller-Swanson has her first Art Craft Show today Sunday, August 29, Christie’s Auto Service parking lot, 161 Cross Highway, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

Jo Ann is working with Amy Bruno, wife of Westport assistant superintendent of schools Anthony Bruno. They expect to make the show a Sunday Christie’s ritual.

Untitled work by Jo Ann Miller-Swanson.

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The Westport Country Playhouse’s star turn starts Tuesday.

On 3 consecutive nights (August 31, September 1 and 2), Broadway stars perform before a live audience. The concerts will be taped, edited, then broadcast nationally (with a “Westport-centric” opening). The show will be called “Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse.”

Shoshana Bean (“Wicked,” “Waitress”) kicks things off. She’ll be followed by Gavin Creel (a Tony Winner in “Hello, Dolly!”; “The Book of Mormon”) on September 1. Brandon Victor Dixon (Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” an Emmy nominee in “Jesus Christ Superstar”) completes the triple play on September 2.

There are 2 shows each night, at 7 and 9 p.m.

Westporter Andrew Wilk is the creator and executive producer of “Stars on Stage!” That means the production value will be high.

This is not his first rodeo. He was executive producer of PBS’ “Live from Lincoln Center” from 2012-19, and has won 5 Emmys for his production work.

A limited number of tickets ($75 and $20) are available to the public. Complimentary tickets are reserved for first responders, students, teachers, and groups and organizations.

For tickets or more information, click here, call 203-227-4177, or email boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org.

(From left): Shoshana Bean, Gavin Creel, Brandon Victor Dixon.

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“Gunsmoke” fired up the crowd last night, at the Levitt Pavilion. Tonight’s show — “Dr. K’s Motown Revue” — is already sold out.

(Photo/JC Martin)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is one any boat owner can relate to. Everyone wants a free ride!

(Photo/Judy Stone)

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And finally … today is the birthday of Dinah Washington, in 1924. The jazz-influenced singer and pianist died. She died at just 39, of a combination of insomnia and diet pills. She’s remembered for outstanding performances like:

 

Roundup: Recycling, GFA Graduation, Chocolate, More

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Business travel is way down. So we don’t see lines of drivers waiting with signs at airports, picking up executives.

Instead we’ve got lines of parents waiting at elementary schools, picking up children. All they need are signs.

This was the scene the other day at Saugatuck. The line of cars extended beyond Assumption Church.

(Photo/Felicia Sale)

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Leigh Gage writes: “Has anyone else noticed trash and recycling trucks at the transfer center backing up to dump trash mixed with recycling into the dumpster?

“The sound of glass breaking drew my attention to several trucks dumping everything into the closest dumpster. An attendant said that whatever people leave out for pickup gets dumped together.

“Residents: {lease don’t put both garbage and recycling out on the same day.

“And refuse companies: Please instruct your drivers to not pick up recycling except on the day it’s supposed to be picked up.

“I wonder if residents sign up for once a week service to save money, then put recycling out with the garbage.”

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It’s mid-February, so at Greens Farms Academy they’re getting ready for … graduation.

The private school on Beachside Avenue has announced its speakers. Wes Moore will deliver the commencement address on June 10. The night before, Mike Greenberg keynotes GFA’s first-ever baccalaureate.

Moore is the CEO of the the poverty-fighting foundation Robin Hood, best-selling author, combat veteran, White House fellow and social entrepreneur. His story is uplifting and inspiring.

Westport resident Mike Greenberg is the host of ESPN’s morning show “Get Up!,” a GFA trustee and (most importantly) the father graduating senior Stephen and alumna Nikki. A member of 2 Halls of Fame and an author of 5 best-sellers, he and his wife Stacy donate all proceeds to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

GFA’s graduation should be one for the books.

And for the public. After the event, the school will post Moore’s speech on their website.

Mike Greenberg

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This Valentine’s weekend — actually, all month — Le Rouge by Aarti’s “Give a Little Love” campaign continues.

10% of all February sales will be donated to local food banks. It’s one more way Westport’s favorite chocolatier helps those in need.

Stop by the 190 Main Street store — or browse online, and request curbside pickup, delivery or shipping. Sweeeeeet!

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Adam Stolpen reminds us that yesterday was Tina Louise’s 87th birthday.

Ginger — the last surviving member of the “Gilligan’s Island” castaways — lived with her mother, Betty Meyers, at 19 Bluewater Hill.

Adam knows that factoid because his family moved in there in 1959, when Tina’s family moved out. 

But that still doesn’t answer the question: Why did all the castaways have so many different clothes, when all they were planning was go on a 3-hour tour?

Tina Louise, then and now.

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And finally … Americans used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, and George Washington’s 10 days later. Now, both have been rolled into “Presidents Day.” The 2 giants share the day with the likes of William Henry Harrison, Warren Harding and Donald Trump. Ah, progress!

Roundup: Cribari Bridge, Burroughs Brothers, Chocolate Bombs, More


The Cribari Bridge Christmas lights never get old.

In fact, “06880” readers always provide fresh perspectives.

Here’s January Stuart’s:

(Photo/January Stewart)


The Winter Farmers’ Market: It’s not just for Thursdays anymore.

Next Tuesday (December 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane) features a special holiday Artist Market.

It’s a way to support local artisans, who have been battered professionally by COVID-19. The Farmers’ Market is a safe outdoor space where they can sell their crafts.

The Artist Market takes place in 3 open-air greenhouses. Food trucks will grab-and-go meals, and hot and cold drinks.


2020 has been a wretched year. It can’t end soon enough.

But on its way out the door, the Westport Library will give it a special push.

On Monday, December 21 (7 p.m.), Miggs and Trace Burroughs’ offer winter solstice entertainment.

“Oh Brother, Not Another Holiday Special” — streamed from the Westport Library’s Forum — features several cool guests.

Martha Stewart returns to town, giving Miggs some holiday tips. Psychic “Miss Liz” will answer questions and make predictions for 2021. (Uh oh.)

Miggs’ bagel-making, Moog-playing son Brayden and Trace’s conceptual artist Pavia will appear.

Scraping the very bottom of the barrel, Miggs has asked me to be on the show too. I’ll try to find the 10 most uplifting stories of 2020. (It’s not easy.)

Miggs and Trace promise to make short work of the longest night of the year. Click here to register.

 

For years, Aarti Khosla — Westport’s favorite chocolatier — has been “Giving a Little Love.” Her promotions have supported healthcare workers, police officers, Bridgeport high school graduates, and teachers right here in Westport.

Now — as winter looms — Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti embarks on a new campaign: “Give a Little Warmth.”

For each $10 “Hot Chocolate Bomb” pack customers buy, she’ll donate one to men and women who care for us: healthcare professionals, police and EMTs. They’re great stocking stuffers — and easy to ship.

Click here to order; be sure to write “Give a Little Warmth” in the note section.

Need another reason to shop at Le Rouge (190 Main Street, lower level)? Aarti will donate 5% of all December sales to local food banks.


And finally … today marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. He was 40 years old when Mark David Chapman shot him 4 times in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building.

In other words, John Lennon has been dead for as many years as he lived. Imagine.

A New Look For Chocolates By Aarti

Over the past 5 years, Aarti Khosla has built up a wonderful, popular business.

But the name — Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti — was a mouthful.

So the new year — and new decades — brings a new look.

The new name could not be more delicious: Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates.

Get it?!

Aarti began using chocolate to showcase the rich diversity of Indian desserts. She worked in a rented commercial kitchen, and sold through farmer’s markets, chocolate shows and holiday boutiques.

Aarti Khosla, with her creations.

After introducing European ganache cakes, she opened the small shop at 190 Main Street — a few steps from Joe’s Pizza, and underneath Ron Provenzano’s barber shop.

“I feel humbled and very fortunate to be accepted, appreciated and embraced by the community,” Aarti says.

“It has been a blessing to meet so many people from all walks of life, and make innumerable friends along the way.”

Her bold black and white polka dot brand is well known. But, she says, it does not fully communicate the building blocks behind Le Rouge Chocolates: her Indian heritage, passion for world travel, and love of French food artistry.

Randy Herbertson of the Church Lane design firm TVB helped her capture the essence of her inspirations.

The new logo’s lotus flower and dome are nods to India. The elaborate scrollwork is inspired by Paris’ iron balconies.

The skyline combines those of India and Paris. She came up with the tagline: “Paris to Punjab.”

Using royal blue with red “elevates the packaging to look royal — just like my hand-painted chocolate gems,” Aarti says.

Condensing “Chocolates by Aarti” to “Aartisan Chocolates” was the brainchild of her good friend Joelle Berger.

She also took the suggestion of photographer/marketing guru Dave Matlow to incorporate the word that represents her core business — “chocolate” — in the new logo and website.

The new website — http://www.lerougechocolates.com — will be ready soon. A launch party — also celebrating Valentine’s Day month — is set for Saturday, February 8 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

In the meantime, as Aarti transitions to Artisan Chocolates, she’s open for business.

Some things never change.

The new color scheme, and Aarti’s always-wonderful chocolates.

Unsung Heroes #126

The other day, the Women’s Business Development Council honored 11 Connecticut business people with “Women Rising” awards.

Two are from Westport.

Suzanne Vita Palazzo

Suzanne Vita Palazzo — founder and owner of Upper Deck Fitness, in National Hall — has been here for a couple of years. This is her 2nd location (the first is in Stamford).

But she’s quickly become part of the community. Upper Deck has opened its doors for a variety of Post Road West community events, including a Women’s Wellness Day for cancer survivors.

Aarti Khosla has been serving Westport in many ways too, since 2012.

With a background in economics and international marketing, she worked for international corporations. Aarti opened her first company in her native India in 1991, then started a second business after coming to the US 3 years later.

Born with “foodie genes” and blessed with a mom who was an amazing cook, Aarti followed her passion to become an artisan chocolatier. Her initial inspiration came from a desire to use chocolate to showcase the rich diversity of Indian desserts, and “capture flavors from around the world, in the divine language of chocolate.”

She launched her business in 2012, selling through farmer’s markets, shows and holiday boutiques. In 2014 she opened Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti at 190 Main Street.

Each piece of chocolate is made with fresh, top quality ingredients, and meticulously hand painted.

Aarti Khosla, in her red-and-black-themed chocolate shop.

She fills a great niche. She has been voted Best Chocolate Shop of Westport each year since, and Best of Gold Coast twice. She ships her creations all over the world.

But it’s in Westport that Aarti has really made her mark. She runs frequent promotions, earmarking a portion of sales to local and international causes — humanitarian, social justice and women’s issues, among them.

Westport is blessed with many female business owners. Today, “06880” follows the Women’s Business Development Council in hailing 2 special ones.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Pic Of The Day #790

Westport is decked out in purple, for Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Week. Through Saturday, Tavern on Main features a violet gin cocktail; LaRouge by Aarti handmade chocolates is donating 10% of sales of purple hand-painted chocolates to Alzheimer’s Connecticut, and Spotted Horse will donate 20% of sales on Thursday, while featuring a specialty Purple People Eater cocktail.

(Photo/Marcy Sansolo)

Give A Little Chocolate

Uh-oh.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you forgot your chocolates.

You have 2 choices:

  1. Kiss your relationship goodbye.
  2. Head to Le Rouge by Aarti — and help not only yourself, but a good cause.

Since 2016 Aarti Khosla — the handmade chocolatier at 190 Main Street — has run a “Give a Little Love” campaign. She donates 10% of the proceeds from any heart-shaped creation to charity.

This year’s recipient is “She’s the First.” The organization — dear to Aarti’s, um, heart — empowers and helps educate young women who are the first in their family to go to college.

But Aarti is not stopping there. She just introduced a second campaign: “Give a Little Woof.”

Aarti designed a mini-heart box, with 3 hand-painted dark chocolate “bones.” A full 50% of sales goes to the Weston Dog Park. The initiative honors Brian Gordon, the town’s beloved 2nd selectman and 1987 Staples High School graduate, who died in November.

Give a Little Woof!

So what are you waiting for?

Well, actually, you’ve still got a couple of hours. Le Rouge opens at 11 a.m.