Tag Archives: Local to Market

Roundup: 9/11 And Westport, New Restaurant, Young Chefs …

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Peggy Lehn is a 1979 Staples grad. Her family has been in Westport for 11 generations (her grandmother was born on the property that is now Longshore).

She is also an American Airlines pilot.

She flew both of the airplanes that the carrier lost on September 11, 2001. For 2 decades, Peggy has kept the answering machine messages from family and friends, wondering if she was alive.

She was not on duty that morning, 20 years ago today. But her brother Tom — Staples Class of 1985, and also an American Airlines pilot — was.

Peggy sent along this message he received, from a dispatcher in Texas. It’s a chilling reminder of the terror that day — and how close to home it struck.

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One more 9/11 story, with a local connection:

On that day, Westporter and Vietnam veteran Tony Anthony was a marketer on an assignment for AmeriCares. He was at their office when the news came that the World Trade Center had been hit.

AmeriCares has a helicopter. Their pilot flew around the towers, but was unable to help. He had to leave the airspace.

Tony was on board, taking photos. Jack Farrell shared this one, with “06880”:

(Photo/Tony Anthony)

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There’s action at Railroad Place — specifically, the former Cocoa Michele, and the spot Romanacci recently moved from.

It looks like another eatery is moving in.

(Photo/Gary Nusbaum)

This “Allium Eatery” is not to be confused with Allium Pizza Co. & Mo’ in — of all places — Westport Island, Maine.

“06880” will pass along info when we get it.

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Farm to Local — the new food-crafts-and-more Main Street store opposite Colf Fusion — has a soft opening this weekend (12 to 5 p.m.).

New products and merchandise are added daily. Another new feature: the Westport Artists’ Collective has a mini-gallery inside the store.

Local to Market – the first stocked shelves.

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The Westport Library is b-a-a-a-c-k!

On Monday, full operating hours resume. That’s Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

There’s another chapter: The Café opens weekdays (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), Saturdays (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), and Sundays (1 to 4:30 p.m.).

The Café has partnered with Gruel Brittania, in addition to existing vendors Sono Baking Company and Cloudy Lane Bakery. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, pastries, cookies and quiche.

Though the Westport Library reopens full-time on Monday, we still won’t see scenes like this for a while.

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Mark your calendars: Westoberfest returns on October 16 (1 to 5 p.m.).

The Craft Beer Festival on Elm Street also includes live music, classic car rally and exhibition, kids’ activities and — because Halloween will be right around the corner — a pumpkin giveaway.

Click the QR code below, or click here for more information.

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Forget Easy-Bake ovens. (Do they still make them anymore?)

Among the fall class offerings at Wakeman Town Farm: a new cooking class for youngsters in kindergarten through grade 3.

“Pint-Sized Cooking: Everything Mini” teaches cooking, baking and “food experimentation, while creating meals in miniature. Young chefs will be put on a path to understanding the appeal of delicious food.”

Popular favorites for older kids — including Cooking Around the Globe and Young Chef’s Club — continue too.

Click here for more information, and registration.

Eager students in Wakeman Town Farm’s “Cooking Around the Globe” class.

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Worried about heating bills?

Low-income residents can apply for Connecticut’s Energy Assistance Program through Westport’s Department of Human Services. Applications are available starting October 1, and run through April 30.

Individuals and families qualify for CEAP based on annual income and household size. Click on the state website for full details.

Households with previous CEAP applications on file will receive mailed application instructions in the coming weeks.  New residents can contact Human Services for application information (203-341-1050) or email humansrv@westportct.gov.

DHS also operates a separate Warm-Up Fund.

For more information, click on Westport Energy Assistance.

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Duncan Hurley — father of 3 children, and a longtime Westport Soccer Association volunteer coach — died this week.

A grateful parent remembers seeing him on many Saturday mornings, with a toddler on his hip coaching older players.

“They were the most jovial and effervescent family, even in the midst of health struggles they dealt with privately,” she says. “I reflect on this passage from The Little Prince in his honor: ‘In one of those stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And when your sorrow is comforted 9time soothes all sorrows), you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. I shall not leave you.'”

She adds: “He was a king, raising princes and a princess in the best form. He was a gem, to any and all who had the pleasure of crossing his path.”

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When I was young, the only turkeys I saw were at Thanksgiving.

Now they’re all over town. This crew was “stuffing” itself at Earthplace — and posing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” shot.

(Photo/Abby Gordon-Tolan)

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And finally … there are 2 great songs that stood on their own for years. For the past 2 decades though — and for the rest of my life — I’ll always associate them with 9/11.

They were played often then, on the radio, funerals and memorial events. They became the deeply comforting soundtrack of those truly awful days.

Roundup: Shop Local, Free Ice Cream, Spotted Lanternfly …

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Looking for a reason to shop local today?

Local to Market — on the former Talbot’s patio, at the Main Street entrance to Parker Harding Plaza — features:

  • Silverman’s Farm fresh produce (corn, peaches, tomatoes, peppers and more)
  • Kneads Bakery (breads and pastries)
  • Luke Molina, musician (12-2 p.m.)
  • Fresh Connecticut- grown flower bouquets
  • The Artists Collective of Westport (various artists)
  • Little Bits Pottery

The Local to Market patio is open today until 2 p.m., across from Cold Fusion.

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Looking for a way to clean up the community?

First and 2nd selectman candidates Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore are sponsoring a downtown event tomorrow (Sunday, August 29, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.). It starts and ends at Cold Fusion Gelato. All are welcome!

Ugh! (Photo/Amy Berkin)

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Looking for a “sweet” way to welcome the start of school?

Embrace Orthodontics invites everyone in the community to enjoy a free scoop of ice cream at their office (24 Imperial Avenue), from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Great idea! Also, a lot better for teeth than taffy.

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Sara Harris’ last day as Westport’s director of operations was yesterday. She’s moving to the private sector, after 4 years assisting Jim Marpe.

Her colleagues sent her off at Town Hall — and sent us this photo. Sara is posing with the right long-time resident — and wearing the right hat. (Hat tip: Mary Young)

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The end of summer has come quickly.

The last day for lifeguards at Burying Hill Beach is tomorrow (Sunday, August 29).

Compo Beach guards will be on duty through September 6.

Beach emblems are required through September 30, 2021.

Burying Hill Beach lifeguard coverage ends tomorrow. (Photo/Yvonne O’Kane)

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All 36 Representative Town Meeting seats will be contested in November’s election. Four members from each of Westport’s 9 districts vote on town appropriations, and give final approval to the budget; approve town ordinances; make recommendations regarding ordinances, and review certain decisions of town boards and commissions.

So far, all members in districts 2 (Jay Keenan, Lou Mall, Christine Meiers Schataz, Harris Falk), 3 (Mark Friedman, Arline Gertzoff, Jimmy Izzo, Ross Burkahrdt) and 6 (Jessica Bram, Seth Braunstein, Cathy Talmadge and Candace Banks) have submitted letters of intent to run again.

So have 3 members in districts 1 (Chris Tait, Matthew Mandell, Kristin Mott Purcell), 4 (Andrew Colabella, Noah Hammond, Jeffrey Weiser), 5 (Peter Gold, Dick Lowenstein, Karen Kramer), 7 (Brandi Briggs, Lauren Karpf, Jack Klinge) and 8 (Wendy Batteau, Lisa Newman, Stephen Shackelford). In District 9,Sal Liccione and Kristin Schneeman are running again.

Petitioning candidates who have been certified to run are Richard Jaffe (District 1), Ellen Lautenberg (7) and Nancy Kail (9).

Other candidates still collecting signatures are Abby Tolan, Carolanne Curry and Liz Milwe (District 1), James Bairaktaris (4), Claudia Shaum (5), John Toi (7), Rachel Cohn (8) and Marla Cowden and Lori Church (9).

Petitions are due September 14. Click here for a petition. Click here for a map of all 9 districts.

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Flags ae flying at half-staff throughout Connecticut, in honor of the servicemembers and others killed in the Kabul attack.

This is the scene at the VFW, on Riverside Avenue:

(Photo/Johanna Rossi)

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MoCA Westport kicked off its new exhibition — “Between the Earth and the Sky” — last night.

It features over 50 large-scale photos by Anne Burmeister and Ashley Skatoff from the Who Grows Your Food initiative. The intimate photographic journey celebrates the farms and farmers associated with the Westport Farmers’ Market.

The exhibition also includes site-specific installations by Kristyna and Marek Milde. The Brooklyn duo explore environmental issues, and the alienation of contemporary lifestyles.

The exhibition is open through October 17. It was created in collaboration with the Westport Farmers’ Market.

The new MoCA exhibition. (Photo/JC Martin)

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Also last night: Mihali entertained a large crowd at the Levitt Pavilion.

Speaking of large crowds: Both tonight’s performances (Gunsmoke) and tomorrow’s (Dr. K’s Motown Review) sold out a while ago.

Congratulations to the Levitt — and all who made possible this year’s 60 nights of free entertainment, under the stars!

Mihali (Photo/JC Martin)

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This week’s #FridayFlowers arrangements decorate the plaza between Saugatuck Sweets and The Whelk. As always, they’re compliments of the Westport Garden Club.

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Friends of Sherwood Island “shore” know how to have fun.

Shorefest — their annual fundraiser — is set for Friday, September 10 (6 to 9 p.m.). It’s environmentally (and COVID) friendly, in the open air of the main pavilion.

Shorefest includes a seaside evening of food, live music and a silent auction. Catered by Westfair Fish & Chips, dinner options include lobster, steak, salmon, or vegetarian. Burgers and hot dogs are available for kids.

All proceeds support the habitat restoration, education, and advocacy work of the Friends group. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Ronnie Hammer sends along this report from our friends at News12 Connecticut. Residents are urged to be on the lookout for an invasive species — the spotted lanternfly — in Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

It destroys some plants and vineyards, but won’t harm humans or pets. Click here for the full report.

(Photo courtesy of News12 Connecticut)

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Paul Delano writes:

The last couple of days you had a spider and a cicada in “Westport … Naturally.”

How about a cicada, hummingbird and katydid all in one? They are all big fans of my trumpet vine flowers.

(Photo/Paul Delano)

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And finally … Richard Tucker, the great American tenor, was born today in 1913. He died of a heart attack in 1975, in his dressing room before a performance in Michigan. His funeral was held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, the only singer ever to be so honored.

Roundup: Henri … And More

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While Westporters frantically prepared for Hurricane Henri yesterday — stocking up on water and batteries, pumping gas and creating huge traffic messes from the Post Road to (inexplicably) Cross Highway and Easton Road — a rainbow appeared over Compo Beach.

(Photo/Allen Bemus)

Hopefully it was a good omen. Henri — downgraded now to a tropical storm, but still dangerous — veered sharply eastward. It now appears headed for landfall in Rhode Island. Our fingers are crossed for our many Ocean State friends.

Heavy rains could still head our way. Winds might not be as high as originally thought. But they may be.

And storm surges — especially around high tide at noon, during a full moon — could be dangerous.

We’re not yet out of the woods. But it appears the woods may not contain as many toppled trees as we feared when we went to bed last night.

The current track of Henri, as of 7:45 a.m. today.

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Local to Market — the new Main Street shop across from Cold Fusion, offering food, drink and craft items — takes its “local” mandate seriously.

Founder Chris Marcocci is surveying Westporters, to learn which items they’d like him to carry. They’re ordering inventory, in hopes of opening the full store within the next 2 weeks, and don’t want to miss anything.

Click here for the survey.

Recent offerings, at the Local to Market patio.

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The Joggers Club’s 41 weeks of running with friends begins Saturday, September 11 (8 a.m., Greens Farms train station).

There are new routes every week, hot coffee and post-run treats. The club also offers training runs, pace group, free races, and custom running shirts.

The fee is $50 for the entire season. Venmo @TheJoggersClub. Click here for more information.

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Amid yesterday’s fevered hurricane preparations, June Rose Whittaker captured this serene Saugatuck River sight — “two benches, two birds” — for “Westport … Naturally”:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … a search for songs with “Henri” in the title came up empty. But I did find “Henri’s Boogie”.

Pianist Henri John Pierre Herbert gave an impromptu performance at London’s St Pancras station, on a public piano:

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Roundup: Home Buyers, Save The Sound, Merritt Parkway …

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Is it true that every new Westport home buyer comes from Manhattan or Brooklyn?

No. It only seems that way.

According to Coldwell Banker realtor Judy Michaelis, 38% of Westport buyers in the 6 months between January 1 and June 30, 2021 came from … Westport.

Whether trading up, downsizing or moving closer to the beach or woods, nearly 4 in 10 new homeowners are actually still our neighbors.

The next biggest chunk — 17% — came from (yes) New York City.

That was followed by “other states” (15%), Stamford (10%), Norwalk and other Connecticut towns (8% each), New York state (3%) and Wilton (1%).

Wherever you’re from: Welcome to our town, 06880. And also to our “06880” blog.

Many New York City apartment dwellers come to Westport seeking more space.

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Save the Sound’s annual Connecticut Cleanup begins at the end of August, and runs through October.

It’s the largest volunteer effort of its kind in Connecticut. Last year, 1,495 volunteers took 7,498 pounds of trash out of 133 miles of coasts and streams.

This year, Save the Sound is adding a crowdsourcing effort to discover new cleanup sites. Westport is one of 15 communities already on the list for an event.

Click here to register, and for more information.

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Brian Keane is headed to the New England Music Hall of Fame.

The Emmy Award-winning film documentary composer — also a professional guitarist, film producer and Staples High School Class of 1971 graduate — joins a glittering case of 2021 inductees. They include the late Muddy Waters and his son, Mud Morganfield; blues greats James Cotton, James Montgomery and Duke Robillard, and John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band.

Connecticut Magazine features Keane this month. Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Brian Keane

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For the past couple of years, the state Department of Transportation has been removing trees, bushes and buffering hills from the northbound side of Merritt Parkway Exit 41, near the Westport Weston Family Y.

Now they’re putting stuff back. It won’t look the same as it did before.

But it won’t look the way it did recently, either.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

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Speaking of nature: The Westport Garden Club’s #FridayFlowers arrangements are always gorgeous. This week they had competition, though — they had to look good in a place that’s already beautiful.

They do.

Check out the photo below, from one of Westport’s hidden jewels: the Wadsworth Arboretum. The arrangement comes courtesy of Dottie Fincher and Susan Nettesheim.

(Photo/Susan Nettesheim)

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Local to Market — the new artisan food-and-crafts store in the old Remarkable Book Shop — hosts a farm stand on their patio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Saturday, July 31).

They feature Silverman’s Farm and Shaggy Coos farm. There’s fresh veggies including corn and peaches, fresh milk, and 2 local artists: pottery by Anna Aron and woodturnings by Dick Stein. A portion of all sales goes to charity.

In addition, Local to Market is looking for a store manager and sales associate. It’s a great chance to be part of the resurgence of Main Street — and help all kinds of local folks get to market (duh).

Email info@localtomarket.com for details.

The Local to Market patio opened recently, across from Cold Fusion.

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Also downtown this afternoon: Jack Eigen will be selling his ice cream (featured recently on “06880”) in front of New England Hemp Farm, in Brooks Corner.

There’s a connection: Colin Bannon, the hemp store owner, is Jack’s Staples High School lacrosse coach.

Just one more way in which Westport coaches go the extra mile for their players.

Jack Eigen, making ice cream.

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After Thursday’s rain, a couple of deer appeared at Lori Lustig’s house. This one didn’t know whether to be scared of — or play with — their dog “Ollie.”

And vice versa.

Just one more example of “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Lori Lustig)

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And finally … sure, Brian Keane earned fame (and Emmys) scoring music for documentary films.

But he’s also an accomplished jazz guitarist. He’s played with greats like Larry Coryell. Click below, to a enjoy a classic tune.

Roundup: Main Street Patio, Duck Raffle, Remarkable, Invasive Plants …

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Today’s “Summer Outdoor Shopping Days” includes opening day for a new downtown merchant.

Local to Market — the new tenant at the old Remarkable Book Shop/Talbots — received approval yesterday to have 2 farms, Silverman’s and Shaggy Coos from Easton, sell their good on the patio. They’ll be there — along with other outdoor vendors downtown — until  6 p.m.

The Local to Market patio is open, across from Cold Fusion.

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Westport Sunrise Rotary’s 12th annual Duck Race is on. It’s also the 1st — and, they hope only — one that’s run virtually, as a raffle.

To avoid big crowds, there’s no race. Instead, winners will be selected in a random drawing on dry land August 6.

But the prizes are Duck Race-worthy: one $5,000 Visa gift card; one $2,000 Visa gift card, and 6 $500 Visa gift cards. Money raised helps fund the Sunrise Rotary’s many excellent charitable programs.

Tickets are $25 each. Click here to purchase.

Westport Sunrise Rotary members, with Sunny the Duck.

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“Grease is the word …”

“Grease” is also the feature film this Monday (July 19) at the Remarkable Theater drive-in on Imperial Avenue.

The gate opens at 8 p.m. The classic movie begins at 9. Click here for tickets.

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Laura Axthelm sends this photo …

… and writes:

Where in Westport would you see this spiky, invasive vine?

“It’s not hard to find. It may be in your area. Persicaria perfoliata — commonly know as MAM (Mile-A-Minute) vine — can grow more than 6 meters long over a season.

The University of Connecticut Horticultural Extension Service started using biological control agents. This can be effective, but they brought weevils to our neighborhood. It still spreads.

It has triangular leaves. Its stem, petioles (leaf stalks) and leaf veins are covered with small, backward-facing recurved prickles. A “ tear thumb” plant, it is easy to pull out, including the roots. Gloves are necessary, as it is very prickly.

Gardeners pull it when they see it. The weevils are hard at work, but deer eat MAM and disperse the seeds. Please spread the word about the simple fix for this non-native plant’s mile-a-minute spread: Anyone can pull it out.

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Speaking of eating plants: “Westport … Naturally” travels to Baron’s South today. Cathy Walsh spotted this buck and his 2 young offspring the other day. They were relaxing, after feasting on wineberries.

(Photo/Catherine Walsh)

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And finally … on this day in 1955, Walt Disney officially opened Disneyland, in Anaheim, California.

 

Remarkable! Talbots Becomes “Local To Market”

After standing vacant for more than a decade, one of the most valuable retail properties in town reopens soon.

The old Talbots — and, before that, Remarkable Book Shop — at the corner of Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza is well positioned. Since GG & Joe opened behind it last year, there’s been an increase in foot traffic. The opening of Cold Fusion across the street will add more.

Local To Market should be another destination for food lovers.

After working with small start-up and emerging Connecticut-based food and beverage companies who needed a retail store to help bring their products to market, Chris Marcocci conceived of Local To Market.

It will carry local food and beverage products and fresh produce, plus an assortment of locally manufactured non-food and craft artisan items.

Formerly Talbots, and Remarkable Book Shop. Soon: Local To Market.

Local To Market’s mission is to create a community of consumers and producers, all giving back part of the proceeds to Connecticut charities.

“Getting your food as close to the source as possible is eating well,” Marcocci says.

“This is all about being a community, supporting local small businesses and businesses providing locally produced products to neighbors, friends, family and consumers who know the importance of local.”

Local To Market is in the buildout and permitting process. They hope for a July opening.

The building — dating to the 18th century — was once a private home, with a wharf on the Saugatuck River.