Tag Archives: Meat Loaf

Roundup: Closures, Mrs. London’s Bakery, Jazz & Java …

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You don’t need to be a weatherman to know that nearly everything in Westport — the Library, Y, you name it — is closed today.

Local to Market has also postponed tomorrow’s Cloudy Lane Bakery event, scheduled for Sunday. A new date will be announced soon.

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The long-awaited Mrs. London’s Bakery — successor to Aux Delices, Java, Wild Pear, Chef’s Table, and a few other places I’ve probably forgotten on Church Lane, at the foot of Elm Street — will open next month.

“Hopefully for Valentine’s Day,” says Max London. His parents started the now-famous original Mrs. London’s Bakery in Saratoga Springs, New York, in the 1970s.

Nearly a year ago — on February 25, 2021 — “06880” broke the news about the 2nd location. I wrote:

He (she?) feature pastries, baguettes, croissants, grilled sandwiches, paninis, salads, quiches, soups, “decadent desserts,” espressos and teas. Ingredients are organic, locally grown and sourced.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Il Pastaficio — “artisanal pasta” and more, around the corner on the Post Road and announced in the same story — to open.

(Click here for a full CT Examiner story on Mrs. London’s Bakery’s Westport location.)

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Homelessness is a national issue — even in Fairfield County.

And even in Westport.

We’re fortunate that many dedicated organizations and individuals are addressing the problem.

Helen McAlinden — CEO of Homes With Hope — also co-chairs the Opening Doors Fairfield County Advocacy Taskforce. On Monday (January 31, 8:30 a.m.), they host a roundtable information session including breakout discussion groups.

Interested residents can learn more about legislative priorities, and how to help our most vulnerable neighbors.

Click here to register, and for more information.

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Jazz aficionados know the best clubs — places many others have never heard of.

They were out in force Thursday night, at the Staples High School cafeteria. Phil Giampietro’s Jazz Ensemble hosted a “Jazz & Java” night.

Well, okay — most of the attendees were parents and friends of the very talented young musicians. COVID kept the crowd small.

But — thanks to this very talented group — the joint was jumpin’!

Just a small section of Staples’ Jazz Ensemble. (PHoto/Allison Ginzburg)

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Speaking of arts: Two new exhibits opened last night at MoCA.

“The Westport Idea” features selections from WestPAC holdings of more than 2,000 artworks. Most of these works are housed in public schools and municipal buildings, not always accessible to the public.

The Museum’s annual high school exhibition features nearly 200 compelling works focused on the theme of “Identity,” created by student artists from across Connecticut and Westchester.

The exhibitions are on view through March 12 (weather permitting, duh). Free docent-led tours are available, and free supporting Cocktails and Conversation events will be held on Thursday evenings. Click here to learn more.

Staples High School junior Sophie Spheeris, a 17-year-old junior from Staples, with her artwork “Us and Them.” It’s the collage of the woman, on the left.

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The recent death of Meat Loaf — followed a few days later by Jim Ryan‘s passing — sent Kathleen Dehler looking for a photo.

She found it. In 1988, the 2 men joined her husband Will Dehler as coaches of their daughters’ Westport softball team, the Rebels.

“What wonderful memories!” Kathleen says. “And so sad that Meat and Jim are no longer with us.”

Meat Loaf (left), Jim Ryan (right) and Will Dehler (center), with the Rebels.

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Congratulations to Westport’s 9 Presidential Scholar candidates.

Nomination for the prestigious program is a high honor for high school seniors. Selections are made on superior academic and artistic achievement, leadership, strong character, and involvement in school and community activities. The program is run by the US Department of Education.

The Westporters include Staples High School’s Aidan Mermagen, Tessa Moore, Chloe Nevas, Konur Norbert, Nicholas Prior and Julian Weng, and Hopkins School’s Will Cooper, Max Gordon and Finnbar Kiely.

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Hours before the snow began, William Webster captured this “Westport … Naturally” image of what he believes is an immature eagle, 100 yards across the Saugatuck River.

“The beak looks right,” he says, “and the front feathers are starting to turn white.”

(Photo/William Webster)

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And finally … on this day in 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union, as our 34th state. Years of controversy led up to the event: Would it be a free state, or a slave state? Abolitionists prevailed.

But less than 3 months later, the Civil War began.

 

 

 

Final Bell Tolls For 17 Soundview Drive

“06880” has chronicled the history of 17 Soundview Drive.

One of the most recognizable homes on the beach exit road, it played an important role in Westport’s musical history.

Today, the nearly 100-year-old house played its final chord. Paul Ehrismann was there. He took this photo, and posted it on Facebook:

17-soundview-drive-paul-ehrisman

(Photo/Copyright Paul Ehrismann)

I knew the old owners. They are good friends.

I know the new ones too. They are also friends. They respected the property — and its history. But they could not find a way to save it.

They’ll do right by the home that replaces it. It will fit in well with its neighbors, and the neighborhood.

In the 1920s the voices of Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, Robert Merrill and others soared from the living room radio and onto the beach, thrilling neighbors and passersby.

Decades later, Meat Loaf played his next single on the roof deck. No one on the beach could see him there — but they heard him. At the end, everyone applauded.

The house is gone. But those musical memories — and countless others — will remain, long after the final notes have been played.

17 Soundview: The Sequel

A “notice of demolition” sits on the front of the house at 17 Soundview Drive. Such signs are common in Westport. But this home is special.

For one thing, every Westporter knows it. We pass it whenever we walk or drive on the beach exit road.

For another, it has an amazing musical history. Two years ago — when the house was up for sale — I recounted the story, as if its walls could talk.

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Ginger Baker sent a drum set to the house. Peter Frampton lounged on the front deck. Carly Simon wanted to buy it.

Those are just a few of the musical memories associated with 17 Soundview Drive. It’s one of the most handsome homes lining the Compo exit road, drawing admiring glances from walkers and sunbathers for its beachside gracefulness.

If only they knew the musical history hidden throughout the property.

17 Soundview Drive.

17 Soundview Drive.

It was built — like the rest of the neighborhood — as a summer house in 1918. One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students designed it, ensuring harmony with the beach environment.

Francis Bosco — current owner Gail Cunningham Coen’s grandfather — bought it in 1928. A Sicilian immigrant and lover of opera, he tuned in every Saturday to NBC Radio’s live Met broadcasts. For years the voices of Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, Robert Merrill and others soared from the living room, under the awnings and onto the beach, thrilling neighbors and passersby.

In 1982 Gail and her husband Terry Coen bought the house. She’s a musician and music teacher; he’s a songwriter and music promoter. Over the past 32 years they’ve lavished love on it. It was one of the 1st Compo homes to be raised, to protect against storms. The Coens added a secluded rooftop deck, and flower and vegetable gardens.

You can see the water from nearly every room in the house. This is the living room.

You can see the water from nearly every room in the house. This is the living room.

But the professionally designed, fully soundproofed music studio is what really rocks.

It — and the chance to hang out privately, yet in the middle of all the beach action — has made 17 Soundview a home away from home for 3 decades of musical royalty.

Ginger Baker spent many evenings talking about the birth of British rock, touring with Eric Clapton, and his childhood in England during World War II. He also recited some very bawdy limericks. In return, he gave Ludwig drums to Soundview Studios.

Ginger Baker, and his drums. (Photo/Wikipedia)

Ginger Baker, and his drums. (Photo/Wikipedia)

Peter Frampton brought his young family. They loved the warm summer breeze, and being able to sit anonymously just a few feet from the hubbub of a beach afternoon.

One summer day, Carly Simon said she was thinking of buying a beach house. #17 was her favorite, because it reminded her so much of Martha’s Vineyard.

Meat Loaf played Sunday morning softball at Compo. After, he headed to the Coens’. One day, he played his next single on the roof deck. No one on the beach could see he was there — but they heard him. At the end, everyone applauded.

The Remains reunited for the 1st time in decades in the studio. (Full disclosure: I was there. It was one of the most magical moments of my life.)

Eric von Schmidt loved to sing by the fireplace, and joined jam sessions in the studio. One day, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott rambled over with him.

Other regulars included Jimi Hendrix’s bass player Noel Redding; Corky Laing and Leslie West of Mountain; former Buddy Miles Express front man Charlie Karp; Eric Schenkman of the Spin Doctors, and guitarist/producer/songwriter Danny Kortchmar.

17 Soundview - roof deck

The rooftop deck is a great place to watch fireworks. It’s also where Meat Loaf played his next single, to the unknowing delight of a Compo Beach crowd.

Some of those musicians — and plenty other great ones, though less known — were guests at the Coens’ annual July 4th fireworks parties. The food and drinks were fantastic, capped off by watching the passing parade on Soundview.

But the real action happened when the fireworks ended. Everyone piled into the studio, and jammed till the sun came up.

From Caruso to the Spin Doctors, 17 Soundview Drive has seen it all. If only those walls could talk (or sing).

(The new owners will replace the 98-year-old house with a handsome new one. They’re making sure it fits in well with the streetscape. We’ll continue to admire 17 Soundview Drive. We’ll just sing a different song.)