Tag Archives: Nomade

Roundup: Suicide Support Group, Sustainable Westport, Savvy + Grace …

A new (and free) support group — “Alternatives to Suicide: Navigating the Darkness Together” — launches October 4. The group meets Tuesdays (7 p.m., 90 Post Road West).

Sponsored by Positive Directions, it’s a safe, non-clinical and peer-led space where people 18 and older can talk openly and non-judgmentally. about suicide thoughts, attempts or experiences like self-harm.

Positive Directions says, “We do not assume suicidal thoughts are connected to mental illness, and you do not need to be experiencing a current crisis to attend. No referrals or connection to mental health services is needed.

People are welcome to show up to a meeting, or call 203-227-7644 or email akernan@positivedirections.org for more information.

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Today’s LobsterFest will draw 1,500 people to Compo Beach. There are lobsters, steaks, beer, wine — and plenty of waste.

The sponsoring Westport Rotary Club is on it. Lobster shells will be recycled (after de-banding); bottles are recyclable, and there’s plenty of composting.

An added element: Sustainable Westport will host informational stations throughout the event. Attendees can learn all about our town’s Zero Weaste and Net Zero initiatives, and how they can help.

Lobsterfest is always a good time. Today, it’s educational too.

Sustainable Westport’s waste stations, at last week’s Slice of Saugatuck.

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Last month, “06880” reported on the kerfuffle involving outdoor tables at Nômade (the new Main Street restaurant replacing Tavern on Main) and Savvy + Grace (the gifts-and-more store on the street level, underneath the eatery).

Shoppers have had a narrow path to the store – until yesterday.

In 13 years of publishing “06880,” I’ve posted dozens of photos of entitled drivers. This is the first one of an entitled bicyclist:

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Yesterday’s “Westport … Naturally” photo showed a beautiful caterpillar, about to become an even more beautiful butterfly.

Today’s illustrates nature in action: a monarch butterfly being devoured by a praying mantis.

It’s a gorgeous world out there. But it’s a jungle, too.

(Photo/Melissa Crouch Chang)

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And finally … It took 62 years. But on this day in 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first Black Miss America.

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(“06880” is Westport’s hyper-local blog. Please click here to support our work.)

Roundup: Outdoor Tables, Opioids, Oscar Edelman …

The Great Table Debate continues.

Following up on Sunday’s “06880” post about the tables outside the new Nômade restaurant — including a photo of only 3, when it was Tavern on Main —  owner Ciara Webster sent this undated shot, of 6 tables:

She adds: “We use smaller tables in order to give a safe walkway and clear access, and to support our neighboring business.

“Our umbrellas are the exact same height. They may appear bigger because they are vented so they don’t cause injury on a windy day by turning inside out. We made sure that they do not block any signs.

“That being said, I love the suggestion to keep them closed until people sit. That was a super idea, and we plan on doing this going forward.”

It’s unclear when Tavern on Main first put tables on Main Street. Here’s a shot from 2014, without them:

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Opioids and counterfeit drugs are everywhere.

Including Westport. The more we know about them — and the potential for overdoses — the better equipped we are to help.

In conjunction with International Overdose Awareness Day, Positive Directions is sponsoring free life-saving naloxone-Narcan training for interested residents. It’s at the Westport Library (August 31, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.).

Training will include how to recognize an overdose, and administer the drugs. Each participant will receive a free Narcan kit.

Space is limited. Click here to register. For more information on the Westport Prevention Coalition, cljck here.

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Schlaet’s Point — the waters between the Compo Beach Soundview/Hillspoint jetty, and Old Mill Beach — is known for many things: gorgeous views, fishing and disappearing islands, to name three.

Swimming and water sports — not so much.

But the Staples High School water polo team is set up a portable training court there. As they’ve done in past years, they use it for pre-season training.

(Photo/Karen Como)

We’re not sure how treacherous that part of the Sound is. We do know this, though: The Wreckers will rock this season!

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Speaking of sports:

Last month, Oscar Edelman was part of the US U-18 basketball team that finished first at the Maccabi Games in Israel. More than 600 players from across the country tried out for the American squad, which went undefeated at the “Jewish Olympics.”

It was quite a trip. Edelman had a bar mitzvah ceremony there (along with over 100 other athletes), while the opening ceremony was attended by President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennet.

Yesterday, the 6-7 Greens Farms Academy rising senior was honored by his hometown.

RTM District 1 representative Matthew Mandell arranged the ceremony. Local and state dignitaries presented certificates.

Oscar Edelman, with state and town officials, yesterday at Town Hall. He’s the tall basketball player.

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Still speaking of sports (of sorts):

Earlier this month, “06880” reported on Chris Kelly’s training regimen. In preparation for the upcoming Leadville Trail 100 — a 100-miler in the Colorado Rockies, climbing and dipping through nearly 16,000 feet of elevation — he ran up and down Compo Hill.

Fifty times.

The race was last Sunday. Chris’ goal was 25 hours.

He did it — with 8 minutes to spare.

Congratulations, Chris! You earned your prize: a large belt buckle.

PS: Because this is “06880: Where Westport meets the world,” there is of course another connection. Local resident Chris Barnett also finished the great, grueling event.

Chris Kelly (2nd from left) with his crew, after finishing the Leadville Trail 100. He doesn’t even look tired!

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An “06880” reader is worried that Westporters are not worried enough about the current drought. Fairfield County is currently in Stage 2 — not as severe as eastern Connecticut, but our cup is not exactly running over either.

I’ve posted a few “water conservation” stories, including last month’s mandatory twice-weekly irrigation schedule from Eversource.

In an attempt to keep the dry conditions front and center: If you’ve got any photos to serve as visual reminders of what’s going on, please email them to 06880blog@gmail.com.

Shriveled shrubs? Shallow streams? Send pics along!

Low tide at Deadman Brook in 2019. It’s even lower these days. (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

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It’s almost back to school time. (Cue the applause/groans/forehead slaps).

That means it’s look-for-good-kids’-programs time too. Wakeman Town farm offers hands-on activities for ages “0 to 14.” They include “learning about our furry friends, planting and eating fresh veggies, pollinators, compost, and other activities.” Click here for details.

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

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Speaking of back to school: Staples High School rising freshman Paige Foran is getting ready by running a pet supply/food drive. It’s tomorrow (Thursday, August 25, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., PetSmart, 525 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk).

The drive benefits the Connecticut Humane Society.

Donors can leave these items: newspapers (without inserts), paper towels, large garbage and Ziploc bags, Bounce dryer sheets, new or like-new machine-washable towels and blankets, HE laundry detergent, new or like-new pet beds, sound machines, clay cat litters, cat toys (no catnip!), cat carriers, wand toys, new litter boxes, laser pointers, new cardboard cat scratchers and litter scoops, Kong toys, slow feeder bowls, Nylabones, soft training treats, dog toys, collars and leashes, Pupperoni, Beggin’ STrips, Carefresh bedding, Yesterday’s news litter, small animal and bird toys, Oxbow small animal food, Snuggle safe heat discs, miracle nipples, 4 Paws Easy Feeder, Royal Canin baby cat food, Breeder’s Edge kitten formula, kitten bottles, adult dog and cat food, soft dog treats, cat treats, bird and small animal food.

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Speaking of cats:

This hungry-looking bobcat was prowling around Evergreen Parkway yesterday afternoon.

It’s a first for that neighborhood, says Yvonne Claveloux.

(Photo/Yvonne Claveloux)

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Tomorrow night’s Jazz @ The Post (Thursday, August 25, sets at 7 and 8:30 p.m.) features the Ben Williams Jazz All-Stars. The band includes Brian Glassman, Mitch Schecter, Aaron Alexander and “Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall.

Williams and Wall first met in 1978. They became close friends and even closer musical comrades, playing all styles and at all available venues. At the New England Conservatory of Music they started a roots jazz project that evolved into the Bourbon Street Bass Band, and jump-started their national touring career.

Later, as the Hi-Tops, Williams and Wall worked together in hard bop and avant garde.

Glassman, Schecter and Alexander have also played with Wall and Williams, over several decades.

There’s a $10 cover, and dinner from 6:30 on from chef Derek Furino. Reservations are strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

Ben Williams

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Spam email I stopped reading after the first couple of lines:

“Hi Dan, I hope this finds you well! I’ve stumbled across a few of your past articles, and I think you’d be very interested in hearing about our upcoming eBike conversion kit launch.”

Um … no.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature finds Frank and Winston — brothers from the same litter — enjoying low tide yesterday at Old Mill Beach.

(Photo/Nicola Sharian)

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And finally … combining two stories above — Jazz at the Post, and Westport’s drought — we bring you:

(“06880” is fully reader-funded. Please click here to help.)

Seeking Grace

Nômade is the newest entrant on the Westport dining scene.

The long-awaited successor to Tavern on Main has earned great praise — and many repeat customers — for its eclectic cuisine, fresh-looking interior, and imaginative use of the upstairs patio (including a big new bar).

But several residents are concerned about its tables, chairs and large umbrellas by the Main Street entrance. They block the view of Savvy + Grace — the gift-and-more store on the lower level — and make it difficult to enter.

Tables outside Savvy + Grace …

Molly Alger writes:

Annette Norton, the proprietor, is one of the most enthusiastic supporters of downtown Westport, and of ‘shop local, shop small.’ Her shop is a delight, filled with great merchandise, much of it Westport-, 06880- and Fairfield-themed.

She is a philanthropic initiator of fund-raising efforts in Westport, and a champion of trying to make downtown Westport the best it can be. It saddens me when downtown businesses do not support each other. Each one that thrives improves our downtown Westport experience.

… and an umbrella near the entrance on Friday. The landlord moved this umbrella stand from the Savvy + Grace entrance yesterday.  (Photos/Molly Alger)

I asked restaurant owner Ciara Webster for her side. She replied:

We are aware that whatever store is in that lower spot, is of course going to want their safe and visual access and and I believe we have been very sensitive to that.

Tavern on Main always had tables (exact same number as we now have). I believe they were laid out in an identical manner. It would be very wrong of us to do anything that might harm the business of the ground floor shop below us and of course to give our community space to walk unobstructed.

Nothing has changed. It’s been this way for 30-plus years. I’m not sure if Chez Pierre had an outdoor sidewalk seating area, but ever since it became ‘Tavern’ it has.

An undated photo, however, shows only 3 Tavern on Main tables, with 4 seats each, in front of Savvy and Grace. There are currently 7 tables, also with 4 seats each.

Tavern on Main tables. Umbrellas were down, until used.

Nômade’s owner notes that the seating is seasonal, and that outdoor seating is important for people still nervous about COVID. She adds: “We are very conscious to remember it is a privilege and to treat it as such.

“We really do believe that our small outside dining area, will we hope bring new customers to our retail stores. In fact if I had a retail store in the immediate vicinity I’d be thrilled for the exposure to people eating lunch and looking around. ”

This seems like a simple fix. Fewer tables; repositioning them away from the entrance, and keeping the umbrellas down until needed will allow everyone to enjoy a nice meal, followed by a great shopping experience.

Or vice versa.

(“06880” is a non-profit organization, supported entirely by readers. Please click here to help.) 

 

Roundup: Lanternfly, Dead Tree,, Orchestrating Change …

Chuck Greenlee, acting Y’s Men Gardening chair, writes:

“Wednesday afternoon at the very popular Westport Community Garden, our our Ys Men Gardening group noticed an unusual flying insect. JP Montillier got an eerily good photo.

“It was our newest American insect invasive scourge: the lanternfly.”

Click here for more information on lanternflies.

Lanternfly (Photo/JP Montillier)

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Speaking of the less-wonderful side of nature:

Dave Wilson sent a photo of a dead tree on New Creek Road, near the Greens Farms Station and Beachside Avenue.

(Photo/Dave Wilson)

It’s dangerous. Dave says that a few requests have been made over the years to remove it.

He thinks it may have been tagged this week.

Fingers crossed …

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Nômade — the new restaurant replacing Tavern on Main — has had a few previews, before opening officially next week.

The previously dark interior has been reimagined, much more brightly. (The fireplace remains — but it’s now white). The patio is filled with tables, and a large bar. Wicker baskets hang from the ceiling.

The eclectic menu ranges from burgers and steaks to octopus, clams and ravioli.

The Nomade patio, overlooking Main Street. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Tickets are going fast for tonight’s (Friday) Levitt Pavilion show — the inaugural one, launching Hiss Golden Messenger and Aiofe O’Donovan’s “Turn Tail in the Milky Way” tour. (Next stops: Chautauqua, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.)

And kids’ tickets (12 and under) are free.

Both bands are part of the Levitt’s “Stars on Tour” event.

The show starts at 7 p.m. tonight. Doors open at 6; the Walrus Alley food truck will be there. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Tonight’s “Stars on Tour” folk double-header follows the free one last night. Intergenerational greatness was on stage, as Clueless (with School of Rock stars Ethan Walmark, Anais Preller, Jake Greenwald; Zach Rogers, Francesco Perrouna and Witt Lindau teamed up with perennial favorite the Mill River Band.

Dancing to the Mill River Band last night at the Levitt Pavilion, under a super moon.

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Yesterday was the first of the 3-day Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition.

The international event includes master classes by finalists at the Westport Public Library, and performances at MoCA Westport.

Today’s (Friday) events include a lecture by educator and musician Clipper Erickson, plus more master classes at the Library, and performances at MoCA. The competition concludes with an awards ceremony at MoCA on Saturday, (August 13).

Click here for tickets for all events, both in-person and virtual, and more information.

Heida Hermanns finalist Artem Kuznetsov leads a master class at the Westport Library. (Photo/Feria Sewell)

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Speaking of music: Me2/Orchestra is the only one in the world created by and for people living with mental illness. R

It was created by Ronald Braunstein. On a trajectory to becoming a leading conductor, he made his diagnosis of bipolar disorder public and was shunned by the classical music community.

He vowed to erase the mental health stigma. one concert at a time. The film “Orchestrating Change” follows Braunstein and several musicians for 2 years, capturing their setbacks and accomplishments.

The film ends in triumph for Braunstein, who thought he might never conduct again — and for the musicians and audience, whose perspective on mental illness is forever changed.

The Westport Library will show “Orchestrating Change” on September 13 (7 p.m.). Executive producers/directors Margie Friedman and Barbara Multer-Wellin, and several people featured in the film, will be on hand for a talkback after the screening. Click here for more details. 

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The Staples High School football program was inspired yesterday by a visit from a combat wounded Army veteran, Intelligence Sergeant Quincy Lopez.

He cheered on the athletes, as they did a Marine Corps “Murph workout.” It’s a fundraiser for both Westport football and Catch a Lift, the program that helps wounded vets.

Sgt. Lopez spoke of being part of something “bigger than yourself.” He added:

“You are as strong as your strongest link, and as weak as your weakest link. If you guide your decisions by what makes the team better, that in turn makes you better.

“We will soon approach another anniversary of 9/11. The darkest of hours and ultimate tragedy was followed by the greatest period of camaraderie and unity.  Incredible gains can happen when everybody works together.  Keep this in mind as you persevere for whatever you do and aim to achieve.”

Staples football players listen intently. (Photo courtesy of Adam Vengrow)

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Colorful seacoast mushrooms at the Westport Farmers’ Market make today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo particularly colorful.

(Photo/Mike Hibbard)

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And finally … on this day in 1966, John Lennon apologized for saying that “the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.”