Tag Archives: The Tailored Home

Roundup: Staples #1, Tyler Hicks, Young Authors, MoCA Show …

====================================================

“06880” does not post most “ranking” stories (Best Beach Towns in America, etc.). The criteria are random, the headlines are often clickbait, and — particularly with education — if, say, our school district is #1 one year and #2 the next, Westporters demand to know “What happened?!”

So this story is not about Niche’s ranking of Staples as the #1 school in Connecticut — for the 3rd year in a row.

Instead, it’s about the Channel 8 news report about that honor. Click here to learn more, from (very proud) principal Stafford Thomas.

Screenshot of Staples principal Stafford Thomas, on Channel 8’s “What’s Right With our Schools” feature.

=======================================================

As the US withdraws from Afghanistan, the New York Times looks back on Tyler Hicks’ 2 decades of chronicling life and death in that faraway land.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer arrived there soon after the October 7, 2001 invasion — 20 years ago today. One of the first sights he saw was the execution of a Taliban fighter.

His most recent assignment, in July, was near Bagram Air Base — the same spot he saw that harrowing first scene.

Click here for today’s Times retrospective of Hicks’ haunting photos. (Hat tip: Gil Ghitelman)

In 2001, Northern Alliance fighters dragged a wounded Taliban fighter out of a ditch. They shot him dead. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

=======================================================

When COVID put the kibosh on after-school activities, Jordan Razza created her own.

She arranged classes for her daughters Daisy and Ainsley, and 2 other Westport youngsters, with children’s book author Jacky LaMenzo.

She lives in Massachusetts, but no matter. This was COVID; classes were held via Zoom, on Tuesday evenings.

This was more than just “how-to.” LaMenzo emphasized “do it!”

Brainstorming ideas was key. Daisy — now a 7th grader at Coleytown Middle School — wanted to write about LGBTQ people.

Ainsley — a Coleytown Elementary 5th grader — loves alligators, crocodiles and frogs. She focused on an alligator who makes friends.

Both girls honed in on the theme of acceptance. Now, both are now published authors.

Daisy’s book is “My Colors.” It’s illustrated with her own digital art.

Ainsley wrote “Outcast.” Her drawings are freehand.

The books are available on Amazon. Part of the proceeds go to a literary charity.

The girls are interested in many things. Daisy does gymnastics, the school play and swimming. She’s also in CMS’ Pride Club. Ainsley enjoys synchronized swimming and art. Both continue to write.

The Razzas may not be Westport’s newest authors. But they definitely are our youngest!

(Click here for more information on Daisy’s book. Click here for Ainsley’s.)

The Razza sisters’ books.

======================================================

“When Caged Birds Sing” — a teaching exhibition created by Westport artist Ann Weiner — opens to the public on October 29. An opening reception is October 28 (6 to 8 p.m.).

The exhibit features 8 life-size sculptures representing women’s rights activists who suffered and survived abuse because of their gender, yet continue to advocate for the rights of others at risk.

Weiner’s work shines a spotlight on sex trafficking, kidnapping, transphobia, female genital mutilation, honor killings, domestic abuse, the conversion of kidnapped girls into sex slaves and killers by rebel armies, merciless Taliban law and transphobia.

Visitors are invited to write stories, experiences or feelings on pieces of paper that will then be folded into the origami shape of a bird and placed in a bird cage, for release later. A 45-minute documentary about the women featured in the exhibition will also be shown.

For more information, click here.

Part of MoCA’s “Caged Bird” exhibition.

=====================================================

The Tailored Home is known for its custom furniture, window treatments, accessories, reupholstery, refinishing and design services. It’s a great place, and it knows its Fairfield County clientele.

But last night the Sconset Square store sponsored a funk band. It was something different, for sure.

(Photo/Paul Delano)

=====================================================

For 10 years, Voices Cafe at the Westport Unitarian Church has featured great folk music. Peter Yarrow, Paul Winter and Suzanne Sheridan have performed there; Brother Sun chose it their final concert. Many events support social justice causes.

Voices Cafe begins its 2nd decade on Sunday, October 24 (7:30 p.m.). with double bill: Newtown-born Sawyer Fredericks (winner of The Voice’s season 8) and The Accidentals, a powerful female-led indie rock and punk folk band.

The concert will be both in-person at the church, and livestreamed. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Sawyer Fredericks

=====================================================

Sorelle Gallery’s final exhibition of 2021 features abstract artist Ned Martin. Beginning Saturday (October 9). Light refreshments will be served in the Bedford Square spce.

Martin’s work includes birds, female portraiture, natural forest-scapes, and pure abstraction.

“Fragmented in Time” (Ned Martin)

======================================================

James Goodenough died peacefully at his Westport home on September 29, surrounded by Gloria, his wife of 73 years, and his 4 children. He was 95 years old.

He was born in New Haven to Dr. Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough, a professor at Yale University, and Helen Miriam Lewis. Jim  graduated from Yale University.

In 1954 Jim and Gloria moved to Westport. He worked at a specialized business magazine company, Cleworth Publishing, rising to publisher of several magazines, then vice president and treasurer.

Jim was a man of consummate integrity, wisdom and humbleness. He is survived by his wife Gloria; children Sandra, Janice, Andrew and Elizabeth; 6 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and his brother John B. Goodenough, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year for his work on the lithium ion battery.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 17 (2 p.m., Saugatuck Congregational Church). Memorial donations are suggested to Saugatuck Church or Westminster School in Simsbury.

=======================================================

In our never-ending quest to feature every living thing possible, “Westport … Naturally” today turns to termites.

Susan Garment writes: “I came across this swarm of termites in a tree on my yard. I called several exterminators and sent them this picture. They  became extremely excited, because they had never seen anything like it. They wanted to send the picture to the Connecticut Department of Entomology.

“We removed the tree. Fortunately,  none of the termites migrated to my house.”

(Photo/Susan Garment)

====================================================

And finally … the next MoCA exhibition — “When Caged Birds Sing” (see above) — reminded me of this seriously underrated Beatles song. Sure, there’s no connection between the tune and the Maya Angelou-inspired museum title, other than the bird theme. But I love this track:

Studio Cafe Settles In Sconset Square

Some new restaurants open with a splash. La Plage, Hudson Malone and Basso all appeared during the pandemic, with plenty of well-deserved press.

Others open their doors more quietly.

You may not have heard of Studio Café. It’s hidden in plain sight — inside The Tailored Home, the interiors and furniture design store at Sconset Square. Partners Scott Falciglia and Jhon Ortiz combine design and hospitality. The café showroom and garden all complement each other.

Studio Cafe,in Sconset Square.

That’s by “design.” Scott and Jhon have been inspired by dining experiences around the world. They realized that Westport has a robust restaurant scene, some of them — on the water or downtown — quite picturesque.

There are many cuisines here already. Studio Café adds Spanish flavors. The menu ranges from bacalao-stuffed roasted Navarro peppers with cream sauce  and butternut cream soup with grapefruit pieces to escalivada (roasted vegetable board) and arugula salad. There’s a fresh juice bar, coffee, tea and  baked goods too.

Studio Café is a quiet, comforting corner. The kitchen is small and open to the front counter, making guests feel like they’re “home.” Entertainment is on tap soon.

You can order online too (click here).

As for what to order, Scott recommends:

Breakfast: tortilla española (Spanished baked egg dish with seasoned potato or onion), with a fresh orange juice and latte.

Lunch: Roast asparagus with hummus and tapenade, with classic iced tea.

Afternoon snack: Chai latte and Spanish cheesecake.

(Follow Studio Cafe on Instagram and Facebook: @studiocafect.) 

Sampling Studio Cafe’s fare.

The Tailored Home: New And Old Designs Spur Personal Growth

Over the years Westport has been known for its onions, illustrators, marketing firms and hedge funds.

Now it’s filled with home design studios. And — rather than seeing them as competition — that’s one reason Scott Falciglia and Jhon Ortiz opened The Tailored Home in Westport.

Scott Falciglia (standing) and Jhon Ortiz.

“This town feels like home,” Scott says. “There’s a lot of good design here. The shops are well supported. They bring people here from all around.”

“Here,” in his case, is the corner of Post Road East and Turkey Hill South. In a surprisingly large space, he and his partner — in work and life — have created a studio, showroom and full-service custom workroom. They say it represents “the future of furniture shopping.”

Every piece is made to order, by hand, in Westport and Norwalk. Scott and Jhon support local artisans, and are drawing young workers into the area.

Scott talks about his business as a micro-economy. “Food isn’t the only thing that’s better local,” he notes.

The Tailored Home does not specialize in one specific style. It touts “old and new, together always.” Each vignette in the store features both trendy and reimagined vintage pieces — chairs, tables, even candles and window treatments. “A lot of people try to do this on their own, at home,” he says. “It’s hard. But it works.”

Scott Falciglia says the candles on the left are traditional — including the scent. Those on the right are more trendy, with a charcoal scent.

The items he sells can be repurposed, too. They’re an antidote to today’s “throwaway culture.”

Scott believes in design as “a means to positive change. Your spaces are the stages on which the next version of yourself rehearses.” He enjoys helping clients “set the stage for the person they’re growing into.”

He has changed versions of his own self. A finance major at Fairfield University — with interests in sociology, anthropology and design — he met Jhon 5 years ago. Venezuela-born, Colombia-raised, Jhon had a well-regarded workroom.

“He’s a perfectionist,” Scott says admiringly. “His hands are on every piece. And it shows.”

But even though The Tailored Home is 2 years old, Scott did not leave his job in finance until last May.

He revels in his company’s family feel. Eric Louison — a Weston High graduate, now a sophomore at Champlain College — created a great video in which Scott and Jhon tell their story.

Liz Lanspery — a student at Central Connecticut State University — started as a summer intern. Now she’s in charge of creating The Tailored Home’s cohesive image.

And Kathy Leverty — a Fairfield mother of 2 — is a welcome presence in the front of the store.

In his spare time, Scott runs a blog. RiddleMeThis is his way of describing the relationship of design to today’s world. He tackles topics like post-industrial cities. Why, he asks, do people suddenly find beauty in old warehouses?

“It’s a fun playground for me to talk about things I’ve always been interested in,” Scott says.

Although — as The Tailored Home settles into its Westport niche — it’s clear he’s left finance far behind.

Jhon Ortiz designed and built this unique table.