Tag Archives: MoCA Westport

Roundup: Beach Stickers, Rizzuto’s Igloos, Blue Light …

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This is usually the time of year when we sign up for beach stickers, handpasses and the like.

In this year of COVID, the Parks & Recreation Department says:

Spring and summer are just around the corner. Our team is hard at work getting things ready to open up our facilities and provide programs!

We plan to provide offerings that we were unfortunately unable to offer last year due to COVID-19. Please anticipate modifications while we follow best practices and state guidelines as we strive to create safe environments for all facility users and program participants.

Keep watching for more information later this month on programs, beach emblems and more! Stay safe!

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Despite the loss of signature fundraisers like the Yankee Doodle Fair, the Westport Woman’s Club held strong to its 114-year tradition of helping local organizations in need.

Last year, the WWC concentrated its donations on groups that offer COVID-related help. They include

  • Bridgeport Rescue Mission
  • Center for Family Justice
  • Circle of Care
  • CLASP Homes, Inc.
  • Department of Human Services
  • Domestic Violence Crisis Center
  • ElderHouse
  • Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
  • Filling in the Blanks
  • Food Rescue Us
  • Homes with Hope
  • Malta House, Inc.
  • Person-to-Person
  • Rowan Center
  • Town of Westport: Department of Human Services Visiting Nurses & Hospice of Fairfield County Westport Volunteer EMS

Fingers are crossed for a Yankee Doodle Fair this year. But whether there is a full, scaled-down version — or none at all — the Westport Woman’s Club will find a way to make Fairfield County a better place for all.

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Spring is (almost) here. But to ensure that diners feel comfortable outdoors, Rizzuto’s is adding personal igloos.

Much warmer than the Inuit variety, they’ve got personal electric heat and lights.

They should be available this weekend. Let’s hope they’re the least snowy igloos we’ve ever seen.

Rizzuto’s igloos (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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Earthplace is the place for all things environmental. And March is the time for Earthplace to spring into new programming.

A few offerings:

  • Teen Volunteer Club
  • Talking $hit in Westport (recognizing scat! — Tuesday, March 16, 7 p.m.)
  • “Restoring Soil to Fight Climate Change” (Zoom seminar — Thursday, March 18, 7 p.m.)
  • Family Campfire (Saturday, March 20, 4 p.m.)
  • Environmental Book Club (“The Genius of Birds” — Wednesday, March 31, 7 p.m.)
  • Nature Trivia (Thursday, April 22, 5 p.m.)
  • Science in a Box program (for 2 participants)
  • Summer camp registration

Click here for details.

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The “blue light” mystery has been solved.

On Tuesday, “06880” ran a photo of a mysterious sight photographed by Nancy Vener, from Saugatuck Shores. Other readers sent similar photos:

(Photo/Nancy Vener)

Ever-vigilant Wendy Crowther found this statement from NASA’ Keith Koehler:

A 3-stage suborbital sounding rocket was launched in the afternoon on March 3, for the Department of Defense from NASA’s launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The launch was to study ionization in space just beyond the reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.

After flying to an altitude of several hundred miles and about 500 miles offshore, the rocket’s payload released a small quantity of vapor into the near-vacuum of space. There is no danger to public health or the Earth’s environment from the vapor release.

In other words: It’s just vapor. Or so they say …

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MoCA Westport’s spring Exhibition, “Smash,” premiers April 2. It’s devoted  exclusively to the videos of contemporary artist Marilyn Minter.

Both grandiose and intimate, in settings throughout the museum’s galleries, Minter’s videos will be exhibited together for the first time in a public institution. Seeped in lush imagery and moving between figuration and abstraction, his works encapsulate feminism, pleasure, voyeurism and notions of beauty, desire and chance.

Her custom-designed AMC Pacer –featuring an interior, surround viewing of her work “Green Pink Caviar,” will also be exhibited for the first time.

Click here for more information.

“Smash,” by Marilyn Minter

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It’s not too early to think about Easter — well, the catering part, anyway.

Mystic Market across from the train station is early out of the box. Their appetizers and platters (artichoke jalapeño dip in a bread bowl, charcutier board…), salads, soups (carrot giner, potato leek), brunch quiche, breads, sides, dinners (roasted pomegranate lamb, potato-encrusted Chilean sea bass, roast beef tenderloin, salmon filet, beef lasagna…) and desserts) must be ordered by April 1.

I’ll take one of everything, please …

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The March/April issue of Westport Magazine is out now. It’s a look at “fresh starts for spring, like salons, skincare, what’s happening, and the local real estate market,

Also featured: outdoor spaces, from batting cages and home farms to a 16-foot firepit, across from a swimming pool’s transparent outer wall.

Westport Magazine is available at Barnes & Noble, Balducci’s, Whole Foods and CVS.

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And finally … on this day in 1963, Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash in Tennessee. One of the first country music artists to cross over into pop, she was 30 years old.

 

Roundup: Restaurants, Art Portfolios, More

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A reader was excited by “06880” stories on the new restaurants that have opened recently in Westport, and others that are coming soon.

She says: “We look forward to trying them all as soon as we get our second COVID shot. Can you suggest to the new places that they offer incentives to those of us who have had both shots to come inside and celebrate — maybe a new kind of Early Bird Special?”

Done! And not just for new restaurants, either. As we emerge from the depths of the pandemic, perhaps some special promotions will encourage diners to go back inside.

At the same time, with the weather slowly getting better (though not today): Don’t forget about all the outside dining options too too.

In fact, on March 11 the Planning & Zoning Commission will consider continuing its temporary outdoor dining regulations.

Outdoor dining on and around Church Lane, last summer. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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MoCA’s high school art portfolio workshop — postponed earlier this month due to weather — has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 14 (noon to 3 p.m.).

The session provides information for students applying to college and other programs. It includes lectures, slide presentations, Q-and-A and individual portfolio reviews (up to 5 samples).

The cost is $75. Click here to register. For more information, email liz@mocawestport.org.

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Discovered yesterday by Nico Eisenberger in his garden: snowbells!

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

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On the other hand, there’s still tons — literally — of snow in the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Today’s rain will make only a small dent in this.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … Happy 40th birthday, Josh Groban!

Roundup: Gelato, Vaccine, Tyler Hicks, More

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What’s better than one gelato shop opening on Main Street?

Two.

Hot on the heels of news of Cold Fusion moving into the former Papaya Papyrus space next to Chase Bank in May, a sign in what was once Lucky Brand — across the street, and closer to the Post Road — announced the arrival “soon” of La Fenice.

Like its sister locations in Greenwich and Rye, it will serve gelato, crepes, pastries and coffee. Click below for a look at the Rye shop:

It’s not quite like the days when there was a frozen yogurt store on every Westport corner.

It’s better.

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First “06880” reported that St. Vincent’s was closing their Long Lots Road COVID testing facility on March 1.

Then we reported that it was remaining open.

This morning, a reader reports that his wife just phoned St. Vincent’s. She was told they are closing their Long Lots testing as of March 1.

St. Vincent’s Health Center testing will soon be in the rear mirror. (Photo/Adam Stolpen)

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It’s not just New York Times readers who appreciate Tyler Hicks’ work.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate just won 1st place in a new category — COVID-19 coverage — from Pictures of the Year International. It’s the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism program and competition in the world. This year’s awards were the 78th annual.

The honor — which follows many others, including multiple Pulitzers — is for Hicks’ photos of the pandemic’s devastation in the Amazon.

COVID in the Amazon (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

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MoCA Westport and Up|Next Teens are partnering to present a Winter Lights Festival at MoCA. It’s set for this Saturday (February 27, noon to 6 p.m.).

The Festival features a maker and crafts space in a large outdoor tent, with supplies and step-by-step instructions for families to work together to create winter-themed decorations. The decorations will be incorporated into a walk-through Light Path, to be lit at sun down. The public can view the experience through the following weekend.

Also planned: live performances by high school musicians, food from The Melt truck, and hot cocoa.

The Festival includes free entry to MoCA ’s exhibition “Hindsight is 2020,” showcasing nearly 200 high school student artists from across the region.

Click here for tickets.

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The Fairfield County Directory — the “Yellow Pages” that is dumped in driveways and by mailboxes — will be distributed between February 25 and April 13.

The Selectmen’s Office says that residents with questions or concerns regarding the distribution of the directory should e-mail RealYPResolutions@thryv.com.

You may request directories or opt-out of future phone book deliveries by clicking here or here.

Let’s hope that works better than the national Do Not Call Registry.

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A group of swans is called a “flock” or a “wedge.”

Matt Murray spotted this flock/wedge — aka “a whole lot” — yesterday, at Sherwood Mill Pond.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … Today is the 41st anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice.” The US Olympic men’s hockey team came from behind to beat the overwhelmingly favored Soviet team 4-3, at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Al Michaels memorialized the moment on ABC: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!!!!!”

That game was not, however, the final. Two days later the Americans clinched gold, with a win over Finland.

Westport connection: After a disappointing NHL career, goaltender Jim Craig worked for a marketing firm on Riverside Avenue.

Roundup: Breakfast, COVID $$, Anti-Semitism, More

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There’s a new breakfast option in town. It doesn’t look particularly healthy.

But it sure looks good.

Grammie’s Donuts & Biscuits offers biscuits, croissants, donuts and cronuts (in flavors like very berry, lemon cake and passionfruit).

You can order online 24/7, for delivery or pickup (971 Post Road East, near Cycle Dynamics, Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

Grammie’s is part of the new Grateful Food Company. Click here for the website, with menu and ordering options; follow on Instagram @grammies_gfc.

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On the agenda for the Board of Finance meeting March 3 (7:30 p.m., livestreamed at www.westportct.gov): Moving $400,000 from the General Fund balance to the COVID Accounts balance.

A prior appropriation of $400,000 — approved July 8 — has been exhausted. Additional funds will cover costs for protective devices, sanitizing, legal fees, signage, and employee testing.

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The Westport Library’s next “Andrew Wilk Presents” examines anti-Semitism.

The event — a screening and conversation with filmmaker Andrew Goldberg and CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota — is set for next month.

On March 10 and 11, the Library offers Goldberg’s film “Viral: Anti-Semitism in 4 Mutations.” At 7 p.m. on the 11th, Goldberg will discuss the film with Camerota — anchor of the “New Day” morning show — and take questions from the virtual audience.

Camerota lives in Westport. Goldberg recently moved here. To register, and for more information, click here.

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Two days later — on Saturday, March 13 (7 p.m.) — the Library recognizes the anniversary of the pandemic lockdown with a concert that celebrates optimism, resilience and the power of music.

The virtual event — co-sponsored with the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce — is curated by area resident Chris Frantz, of Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club.

Several great bands will play, with proceeds going to support arts education through Bridgeport’s Neighborhood Studios.

Tickets are $25 each; for $40, you get a ticket and poster. The first 25 will be autographed by Chris. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

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Looking for a summer camp for your kids? Something along the lines of, say, Recycled/Upcycling Art, Nature in Art, Engineering and Art, Chemistry and Art, Movement and Art?

Those are some of the weekly themes at Camp MoCA, a new summer day camp for youngsters ages 3 to 13. It runs June 7 to August 27; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, rain or shine. Certified educators and art instructors are in charge.

An early registration discount of $100 per week is available through May 1. Campers can sign up for one or multiple weeks. Click here for details.

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The Westport Library is closed today (Thursday), due to the predicted snow. However, the virtual children’s programs will be held.

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And finally … on this day in 1791, Congress passed a law admitting the state of Vermont to the Union, effective March 4. It had existed for 14 years as an independent republic.

Many Westporters love Vermont. Among them: Jon Gailmor. The 1966 Staples High School graduate has lived there for decades. He runs music-writing workshops in schools, writes and performs all over, and has eveb been named an official “state treasure.”

Jon’s “Long Ago Lady” is a love song to his adopted state. It’s a beautiful tribute, to a wonderful place.

 

Roundup: Vaccines, Liquor Stores, Real Estate, More

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How many Westporters have been vaccinated?

As of February 1, 2,289 Westport. That’s 8% of our total population.

According to Westport Patch, we have 2,094 residents over the age of 75 — the first group in line for the vaccine (along with medical personnel and first responders). Nearly 54 percent — a total of 1,095 — have received their first dose.

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Westport has plenty of small, independently owned liquor stores. Nearly every Westporter has a favorite.

Now a “superstore” has entered the mix.

Yesterday, trucks delivered supplies to BevMax’s new outlet in the former Pier 1 store — the Julien’s Pizza shopping center on Post Road East. In other words: directly opposite Castle Wine & Spirits.

BevMax has 8 locations in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, plus a nationwide shipping office in Stamford. There’s a BevMax in Norwalk, near Stew Leonard’s.

They bought the license of Saugatuck Grain + Grape, which had relocated from Railroad Place to Post Road West. The owner of a liquor store can move anywhere in Westport that zoning allows.

Last year, plans were underway to convert the entire Julien’s shopping center — except for the Bluepoint Wellness medical marijuana dispensary — into medical offices. The plaza has since reverted to retail use.

(Photo/Jack Krayson)

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The other day, “06880” posted a few “sizzling real estate” statistics. Here are a few more:

January saw a continued swift pace, despite the decrease in months of supply in inventory. Here is a quick snapshot of this past month:

  • $70,956,000 total sales, vs. $33,796,846 total January 2020 sales — a more than 100% increase.
  • 40 single-family and condo units sold in January; 25 single-family and Condo units sold in January 2020 — up 60%.
  • $1,318,000 was the median home sales price; in January 2020 it was $1,012,500. That’s more than a 30% rise.
  • The home inventory supply was 2.4 months; a year ago it was 9.3 months. That’s a 74% decrease.

The highest sale in January was a 5-bedroom, 8-bathroom home listed with Brett and Jean Lieberman at 4 Bluewater Lane: $5,125,000. (Hat tip: Jody Peters, the Riverside Realty Group)

4 Bluewater Lane

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Seven Staples High School athletes signed letters of intent yesterday to play sports at NCAA Division I universities.

Congratulations to (from left in photo below): Kevin Lynch, University of Massachusetts lacrosse; Julia DiConza, Lehigh University lacrosse; Carter Kelsey, Seton Hall University baseball; Autumn Smith, Marist College soccer; Laine Ambrose, Boston College field hockey; Shira Parower, James Madison University lacrosse; Sam Milberg, College of the Holy Cross football.

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Speaking of Staples: Composting has come to the high school cafeteria. It’s an initiative of the school’s Zero Waste Committee. Students will serve as monitors.

Composting is already underway at several Westport schools.

Greens Farms Elementary School offers 3 choices for waste. The same options are now available at Staples High.

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MoCA Westport and Up|Next Teens are partnering to present a Winter Lights Festival at MoCA. It’s set for Saturday, February 27 (noon to 6 p.m.).

The Festival features a maker and crafts space in a large outdoor tent, with supplies and step-by-step instructions for families to work together to create winter-themed decorations. The decorations will be incorporated into a walk-through Light Path, to be lit at sun down. The public can view the experience through the following weekend.

Also planned: live performances by high school musicians, food from The Melt truck, and hot cocoa.

The Festival includes free entry to MoCA ’s exhibition “Hindsight is 2020,” showcasing nearly 200 high school student artists from across the region.

Click here for tickets.

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And finally … happy birthday to Alice Cooper. He was born on this day in 1948. In other words, he’s no longer 18.

Roundup: Farmers’ Market, 40 Under 40, Much Much More

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Westporters know our Farmers’ Market is the best.

Now it’s official.

American Farmland Trust has recognized WFM as #1 in Connecticut. It’s also #10 in the Northeast — and #26 in the nation.

It’s been a tough year for an organization that prides itself of close interactions between farmers and shoppers. But, notes executive director Lori Cochran-Dougall, “For the first time in our history, we operated 12 months in a row to tackle to challenges presented by the pandemic. We set up a strict, COVID-safe, pre-ordering system that served as a model for others.

“It wasn’t easy, but we felt a duty to our farmers, knew that farmers’ markets would be more critical than ever, and we met the challenge.”

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Connecticut Magazine’s has just named their annual “40 Under 40” (40 people under 40 years old, doing great things). Three — a full 7.5% of the list — are Westporters.

Congratulations to State Senator Will Haskell (age 24; Staples High School Class of 2014), fashion designer Christian Siriano (35), and sports financier Jordan Kessler (30, Staples ’09).

Click here for writeups on our 3 (and of course the 37 others). (Hat tip: Michael Catarevas)

State Senator Will Haskell

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The other day, Westport comic/Star 99.9 host Courtney Davis joined 4 top New York City comedians, in a virtual fundraiser. The group raised nearly $2,500 for empowerHER, the non-profit that supports and connects girls and young women who have lost their mothers.

Courtney Davis

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The Westport Country Playhouse is still closed. Until it reopens, all we’ve had are memories of our favorite shows.

Starting tomorrow though, there’s more.

The theater launches “From Concept to Curtain,” a virtual documentary series of 30-minute films. They offer free, behind-the-scenes looks at the creative process of putting together a Playhouse production.

The first episode is “In the Heights: Beyond el Barrio” (Thursday, February 4, 12 noon, at the Playhouse’s website and YouTube channel.

Host Marcos Santana — director and choreographer of the Playhouse’s 2019 production of “In the Heights” — performed on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning show.

The set, costume and lighting designers, and the music director, discuss their inspirations, challenges, what they would have done differently, and favorite moments from the show.

More videos will be announced soon.

“In the Heights,” at the Westport Country Playhouse.

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High school students interested in learning more about the art portfolio submission process for college are invited to a workshop this Sunday (February 7, 12 to 3 p.m.) at MoCA Westport.

The session includes lectures, slide presentations, Q-and-A and individual portfolio reviews (up to 5 samples). The cost is $75. Click here to register. For more information, email liz@mocawestport.org.

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The Y’s Women and 597 Westport Avenue Apartments (just over the Norwalk line) have teamed up to contribute food to Mercy Learning Center.

Jane Ferreira — president and CEO of the Center, the wonderful literacy and life skills training center for women in Bridgeport — returns the favor, as Y’s Women’s virtual guest speaker this Monday (February 8, 11:30 a.m.). She’ll talk about MLC’s educational and support services — and how they change the lives of not only their clients and families, but also volunteers and supporters.

Anyone can log on to www.YsWomen.org to view past speakers. And any woman in Fairfield County can join for just $45 a year. Email president Barb Stephen (dynamicr@icloud.com) to learn more.

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The Unitarian Church has 2 important — and timely — programs this weekend.

On Saturday (February 6, 10 a.m.), they’re sponsoring a virtual program on how to recognize domestic violence in today’s pandemic world,  and what to do about it. The program is open to the public, via Zoom meeting ID 875 7140 7113 (passcode 739121). Questions? Contact events@uuwestport.org or click here.

Meanwhile, the women of the church are launching a series of programs about the history of Black lives in America, and its effects on our country today. “Revealing History: How We Got Here, Why It Matters” begins Sunday (February 7, 10:40 a.m.) with a multi-media event called “Racial Injustice: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration.”

The program includes a speaker from the Equal Justice Initiative, founded by Bryan Stevenson; a musical work with voiceover from Desmond Tutu, and other notable artists and artwork. Click here for the Zoom link (the program begins after the regular Sunday service).

Questions? Email events@uuwestport.org.

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And finally … today in 1959, “the music died.” That’s Don McLean’s “American Pie” reference to the Iowa plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

Hindsight Is 2020; Student Art Is Timely

Hindsight is 2020.

That’s an old saying — made new and (perhaps) clever as we stumble into this new year 2021.

But it’s also the name of the soon-to-open MoCA Westport exhibition — the first to showcase high school student art.

“Enough” (Nate Kolek, Staples High School senior)

Beginning Saturday (January 23), and running through March 13, “Hindsight is 2020” features submissions created during (duh) 2020.

The nearly 200 entries from across Connecticut and New York — including painting, photography, digital art, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and more — offer a diverse portrait of what young people have experienced in these challenging times.

A number of Westport students are represented in the exhibit.

“Ronnie” (Miles Kennedy, Greens Farms Academy sophomore)

MoCA Westport’s Teen Council played an important role in the exhibit. One member — Staples High School student Tessa Moore — serves as a juror.

“We were so impressed by the quality and diversity of work we received from the high school artists,” says MoCA executive director Ruth Mannes.

“We know students have had a challenging year, and that art and creative expression have helped many students with coping and resilience.”

“Summer 2020” (Sabrina Paris, Staples High School sophomore)

Director of exhibits Liz Leggett adds, “It was very meaningful to have teachers so engaged in this process. We heard from several that entering this exhibition was a highlight of the year for many students.” Many teachers physically delivered works to MoCA.

The exhibit includes cash prizes for the top 3 pieces.

“Stalker of the Night” (Shivali Kanthan, Staples High School freshman)

“Hindsight is 2020” is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12 to 4 p.m. Click here for reservations, or visit on Free Fridays when no reservation is required.

The art can also be viewed on mocawestport.org in a digital gallery.

BONUS MoCA DISPLAY: the world’s largest abstract painting. It was created by the community during a MoCA Westport Family Day event in October. Westport artist Trace Burroughs helped the work set a new Guinness world record.

“Masked” (Ian Chow, Pierrepont Academy freshman)

Roundup: Remarkable Bookcycle, MoCA Art, More


Sure, the Westport Library is open now by appointment only.

But — just like the Hotel California — you can check out any time you like, at the Remarkable Bookcycle.

Westport’s favorite mobile library (named for our favorite former bookstore) has been parked recently on Church Lane, at Bedford Square.

Check it out! And if you’ve got any books to give as well as receive — well, bring ’em on.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)


“Hindsight is 2020” — the high school student art show opening January 23 at MoCA Westport — has extended its submission deadline. The final date for entries is now next Monday (January 11).

The show is open to all high schoolers. It’s a great opportunity to have their work reviewed by noted Westport artist Amy Kaplan and dealer/gallerist Paul Efstathiou — and have it showcased at the museum.

It’s also a chance to earn cash prizes of $500, $300 or $100.

We know students have had a challenging year. Art and creative expression have helped many students with coping and resilience,” museum officials say.

A wide variety of entries have alrady come from across Connecticut and Westchester County.

Click here for submission deadlines.



Fleet Feet Run Club’s winter session starts this Saturday (January 9).

The Sconset Square store’s coaches can help everyone reach their goals. It can be  running a marathon — or running down the block.

For details, stop in the shop or call 203-557-3608.


And finally … the 1972 disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure” had an all-star cast: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Albertson, Shelley Winters, and Red Buttons.

Also starring on the tsunami-struck ship was Pamela Sue Martin. She earned more fame later, as Nancy Drew on the ABC-TVseries, and Fallon Carrington Colby on Dynasty.

Well, Pamela Sue — or “Pam,” as I knew her as a classmate at Long Lots Junior High and Staples High — celebrates her birthday today.

“06880” celebrates with the most famous song from “Poseidon Adventure.” It was nominated for an Academy Award, then became a hit the next year for Maureen McGovern. Happy birthday, Pam!

 

 

Roundup: MoCA, Deliverers, Decorations, Brass Symphony, More


Yesterday’s weather was not exactly frightful. Just foggy, wet and miserable.

But MoCA Westport’s outdoor holiday open house was on.

Families enjoyed caroling by Staples’ Orphenians, performances by teen musicians and members of the Westport School of Music, kids’ crafts,admission to the World Peace exhibition, and complimentary hot chocolate.

It was — almost — beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

A small group of (socially distanced) Staples Orphenians.


This has been a tough year for everyone.

Particularly our FedEx, UPS, Amazon and other deliverypersons.

They’ve worked long hours since March. They’re monitored closely. They’re not paid particularly well.

A few Westporters are putting treats — baked goods, other munchies, soda, water and the like — on their front steps, with a note of thanks.

And don’t forget your mail carrier. They’ve been battered this year. An envelope with cash is always appreciated!


Andrew Colabella spotted this holiday house on Vani Court:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Have you entered Westport Holiday House Decorating Contest?

Register first (click here). Then submit no more than 5 photos or videos of your decorations to mrobbins@westportct.gov by December 20. Prizes are awarded for the top 3 entrants.


Next Saturday (December 19), the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Quintet tootles downtown. They’ll be at the Bedford Square pick-up circle outside TecKnow and Barbour.

A bit of holiday normalcy, in an abnormal year!


I wrote about the Westport Woman’s Club’s gingerbread house fundraiser the other day (click here for details — it’s a great cause!).

Here’s a bit more: It would not have been possible without the help of 2 big chain stores. Michael’s provided a number of gingerbread kits at a great discount — and Trader Joe’s donated 10 more. That’s the holiday spirit!

A few of the Westport Woman’s Club’s gingerbread houses.


Tom Cook sends this photo. It shows a squirrel at Longshore enjoying Tom’s PB&J sandwich during his last round of golf for the year.

(Photo/Tom Cook)


And finally … Ted Nugent turns 72 today.

 

Roundup: Arts Funds, Big Buck, Turtle Update, More


Five Westport nonprofit arts groups have received a total of $536,100 in COVID relief funds. The money — part of a $9 million Connecticut COVID Relief for the Arts package — is administered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Recipients include

  • Friends of the Levitt Pavilion: $55,200
  • JIB Productions (Play With Your Food): $11,900
  • MoCA Westport: $97,700
  • Westport Community Theatre: $5,500
  • Westport Country Playhouse: $365,80

(Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)

The Westport Country Playhouse received a grant for COVID relief.


Speaking of art: Mysterious monoliths appeared recently in Utah, California and Romania.

Also: Burying Hill Beach.

Nothing concrete is known about any of them.

(Photo/Chris Grimm)


Remember the loggerhead turtle rescued by Mystic Aquarium on Monday?

David Loffredo sends this update:

Our turtle is a male, 5 to 10 years old. [Uh-oh. “06880” first called him a her — who knew?]

The aquarium warmed him up from 53 degrees to 70. He did suffer quite a blow to his head. They think he was hit by a propeller earlier in the fall, so they are watching him to make sure he recovers.

That’s most likely why he wound up in Long Island Sound this late in the season, and on our beach. His buddies are already way further south. He would not have survived for much longer.

So now we wait.  It’s like having a child.  We try not to call daily….

My wife asked if they’ve named him. The rescue people said they don’t name rescue animals until they’re sure they’ll survive, so right now our guy is #2. We are praying he gets a name!

If and when he does, we’ve been invited for a visit and a behind-the-scenes tour. You know it will be thoroughly documented.

(Photo/David Loffredo)


Speaking of animals: A nearby resident spotted this guy in the Greens Farms Church cemetery. He and his girlfriend then wandered over to her side door. They seem to have settled in for the winter.


As of yesterday, Westport had 699 cases of COVID-19 since March (642 confirmed, 57 probable). There have been 24 deaths (16 confirmed, 18 probable). Click here for full statistics.


And finally … happy 69th birthday to Gary Rossington. The guitarist is a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd — and the last surviving original member.