Tag Archives: Open Rice

Roundup: Bad Bad Drivers, Burgers, Mandarin School …

Most of the day, I slide my bad/entitled parking photos near the end of “06880.”

More important info comes at the top. By the time you get to a photo of some self-centered numbskull taking up 3 spaces, hogging half a sidewalk or whatever, you’re ready for a diversion. Sure, they’re selfish, self-satisfied SOBs, but they’re not really hurting anyone.

Well, this cretin could have:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Think about it.

This “person” — who somehow is licensed to drive a motor vehicle — ignored a very large “Do Not Enter” sign 100 yards or so back.

Then he (it was a young guy) drove past vehicles facing the other direction on both sides, plus at least one very large arrow. also pointing the other direction.

And then he walked away.

Words fail, at a time like this.

Except for one final thought: It’s a pretty shitty parallel parking job, too.

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The Westport Library’s soaring, flexible and well-used indoor space is called the Trefz Forum.

Most people who enjoy the pyramid seating, giant screen and state-of-the-art sound system have no idea who Christian J. Trefz — the man for whom it’s named — is.

That will change on Saturday, July 9. His new memoir — “The Right Side of the Hamburger” — will be celebrated with a book launch at a private party. It’s available for sale at the Library the next day, and on Amazon.

In association with The Legacy Project USA — a Westport company specializing in documenting and writing life stories for people who want to preserve and tell their history — Trefz spent over a year working on his book.

It tells the tale of how he and his brother became successful. The son of German immigrants, Chris and Ernie grew up in New Haven. They learned important lessons about family closeness, hard work, and determination.

The brothers purchased their first McDonald’s franchise in 1964. Their empire now encompasses over 50 McDonald’s restaurants throughout Connecticut and New York.

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In each issue, the bi-monthly print/digital Civilian Magazine profiles 10 or so influencers, in areas like sports, business, politics, fashion and pop culture.

Last year, local photographer Jenae Weinbrenner was assigned to a shoot at  Nile Rodgers’ Westport home.

With COVID raging, there were no agents, assistants or creative directors around. For an hour, Nile and Jenae talked about life, music, and their love for this town.

“As a photographer, you never get that kind of one-on-one time with a celebrity,” Jenae says. “This was special. I’m so grateful I got to experience it. He was the kindest person — and generous too.”

The other day, the publication retweeted the story. Jenae realized she had never shared it with her “06880” friends and neighbors.

Click here for the magazine (it’s behind a paywall).

Nile Rodgers (Photo/Jenae Weinbrenner for Civilian Magazine)

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Happy Panda Mandarin School opened 12 years ago, in the basement of a Weston home.

It grew quickly, and relocated to Wilton.

Now it’s moved again: to 2nd floor space in Westport’s Nash’s Plaza (179 Post Road West).

Classes resume September 1: Chinese HSK (1-6 levels), Chinese Made Easy (1-4 levels), Writing and Homework Help.

For more information click here, email info@hpmandarinschool.org, or call 203-291-9228. (Hat tip: Felicia Catale)

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One Chinese door opens, another closes:

Open Rice — the Post Road takeout place between the Sherwood Diner and Earth Animal — is shuttered.

Loyal customers are disappointed. Unfortunately, there must not have been enough of them.

Open Rice is closed.

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Wheels2U Westport is expanding.

As of July 5, the Westport Transit District’s on-demand, group ride, door-to-train shuttle service will soon include from Hiawatha Lane to Saugatuck Shores in the westernmost area of Westport, and Westway Road and Parsell Lane in the east.

Now, virtually all of the town is covered.

Reverse commuters can also use the service to travel between the trains and their place of employment in Westport. 

Wheels2U can also be used to enjoy dinner at Saugatuck restaurants.

Riders using the Wheels2U Westport app request a pickup  between 5:45 and 10 a.m., and 4 and 9:30 p.m., for rides between the Westport or Greens Farms train platform and their front door. Pickups for trips to the stations should be requested 20 minutes before you would leave to drive there. The $2 fare is paid via the Wheels2U app.

For more information about Wheels2U, click here. To learn about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

Wheels2U’s Saugatuck Shores expansion. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

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Friends since middle school, Dixie Webb O’Brien, Jeff Ruden, Kim Hamer and John McCarthy are planning their Staples High School Class of 1982 reunion — with a twist.

In addition to getting together after 40 years (!), they wanted to give back to the town they still live in, and love.

Classmates are encouraged to donate to Staples Tuition Grants. Already, they’ve raised $2,000.

‘82 grads can reserve a spot for the August 6 event at Saugatuck Rowing Club, plus Friday and Sunday gatherings —  and/or make a donation to the class tuition grant — via email :dixiewebbobrien@gmail.com

Staples Class of ’82 co-chairs (clockwise from upper left): Jeff Ruden, Dixie Webb O’Brien, Kim Hamer, John McCarthy.

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Longtime Westport resident Janet Bangser died earlier this month, at the age of (her family says) “don’t even.”

An only child born in 1928 in New York City to Jules Rutstein, a dentist, and Esther Klar Rutstein, assistant to the producer at Radio City Music Hall, she attended Horace Mann School for Girls, then earned a BA in English and American literature from Brown University in 1949.

A voracious reader, one of her first jobs was to write script synopses for MGM.

International travel was a dominant theme throughout Janet’s life; she made overseas trips from an early age. She and her husband Bill Bangser visited many countries on 6 continents, including several extended stays in Europe with their 4 children. Janet and Bill made lifelong friends around the world.

The family moved to Westport in 1961. When her children were grown Janet entered the travel industry, as an agent for Minute Man Travel. In 1978 she formed Pathfinder’s Travel, a full-service agency in Westport. For the next 40 years, Janet and her staff used first-hand knowledge of travel destinations to serve corporate and vacation travelers. Janet remained active in the business well into her ninth decade. She and Bill continued their frequent travels, often with Westport friends.

In addition to her business and motherhood, Janet served as president of the local chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Janet was predeceased by Bill, her husband of 67 years. She is survived by her children: Andrew (Barbara) of Westport; Paul (Liz) of Bethesda, Maryland.; Jill (Jeff) Boynton of Newington, New Hampshire. and Dan (Jennifer) Bangser of Norwalk; 8 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren, and her sister-in-law Rita Bangser of Somers, New York.

Janet’s family says, “we will forever miss the devoted matriarch of our family, her intellect, her love of travel (and good wine!), her cooking, her eternally positive outlook, and her entrepreneurial spirit.”

Burial was private. All are welcome at a memorial service on July 23 (10 a.m., Westport Library). In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Westport Library.

Janet Bangser

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Most “Westport … Naturally” photos are striking — but straightforward.

This one asks a question: Can you spot the bee?

Thanks for this great submission go to 15-year-old Benji Porosoff!

(Photo/Benji Porosoff)

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And finally … in honor of the top story above: