Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Pic Of The Day #2110

Better art than spelling at Trader Joe’s (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Photo Challenge #416

It’s a rare Photo Challenge that stumps even champs like Andrew Colabella and Michael Calise.

But last week’s did.

Abby Gordon-Tolan’s image showed the back wall of Trader Joe’s (“you have to look up,” she notes). Click here to see — and see why not even one “06880” reader came close.

This week’s Photo Challenge is one we all see often — if we (again) look up.

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

And — even if you don’t know — if you’re an architectural historian and can shed light on why that window looks the way it does, the rest of us would love to hear.

(Photo/Elizabeth Devoll)

Photo Challenge #394

There are many reasons to shop at Trader Joe’s*: the intriguing selection. The always-cheerful “crew.” The fun vibe.

And — though we tend to see right past it — the artwork.

Several pieces add to the community-spirit mood. (It’s a corporate model: Every store in the country features local scenes.)

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed a piece of the “Westport” work hanging near the registers. (Click here to see.)

Howard Potter, Fred Cantor, Susan Yules, Shirlee Gordon, Elaine Marino, Debbie O’Malley, Lynn Untermeyer Miller, Charles Wiseman, Andrew Colabella and Bobbie Herman are all shoppers who (at least occasionally) look up from chatting with the clerks to enjoy the art. Well done!

This week’s Photo Challenge is even more colorful than the last. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

*Though the parking lot is not one of them.

(If you enjoy our weekly Photo Challenge, please consider supportin “06880.” Click here to help.) 

Unsung Heroes #221

A grateful Westporter writes:

I want to give huge thanks to the managers at Trader Joe’s.

My daughter had a medical emergency recently in the store, and passed out. It was frightening.

But the managers were quick to react. They blocked the aisles, called 911, stayed with us until EMS and the ambulance arrived, and comforted and kept us calm with amazing kindness.

And as if they weren’t angels enough already: They came running out to the ambulance to hand me my groceries (which I didn’t even have time to pay for)!

I will never forget their kindness and caring actions. They are true heroes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I’m sure everyone who shops at Trader Joe’s in Westport agrees that it’s a special store. If you know other Unsung Heroes, email dwoog@optonline.net.



New Coffee Shop Stirs Controversy

The news that Dunkin’ Donuts is moving across the Post Road — from its spot near the UPS Store, to 2 vacant storefronts in Compo Shopping Center — was greeted not with joy, for its expanded space.

Instead, “06880” commenters expressed chagrin that the already chaotic parking lot opposite Trader Joe’s will become — unbelievably — even more gruesome.

In a town with too many candidates for Worst Traffic Nightmare, the twin lots near downtown win in a walkaway. As bad as the rest of Westport is, nothing comes close to these mis-aligned, cramped lots filled with aggressive, heedless drivers laser-focused on getting their pizza, dry cleaning or hemorrhoid cream, then getting the hell out.

Now we add coffee into the mix.

Arrow? What arrow?!

I don’t recall Compo Shopping Center always being so bad. Even with a McClellan’s five-and-dime, barber shop and luncheonette — remember “luncheonettes”?! — plus a supermarket where Awesome Toys is now, traffic flowed smoothly.

I might be misremembering, but it seemed that the traffic in front of the left side of the plaza was always one-way, headed south. You couldn’t come from behind the stores and head left through the lot. You couldn’t even back out and aim for the light at the middle; you had to keep going toward North Compo.

Now anything goes. Parking spaces are narrower than ever. Drivers are more distracted. CVS is always packed. And that’s just for starters.

Note the two — two! — cars entering the CVS lot the wrong way.

So here is today’s “06880” challenge. It’s probably a fool’s errand, but let’s say you had a chance to redesign Compo Shopping Center. What would you do?

You can reimagine the entire, horrific property: The tiny traffic island at the middle entrance that many folks ignore. The entrance itself, a few maddening yards away from its counterpart at Trader Joe’s. The cut-through to the back lot. The one-way hill leading to the Humane Society (which is moving soon, to Wilton). The rear lot. The traffic flow. The stores themselves.

You name it — it’s all on the table.

One way to solve the problem of narrow parking spaces.

This is a great country. We just launched a space telescope 100 times more powerful than its already impressive predecessor. We developed, manufactured and distributed a vaccine to combat COVID all in 13 months, even if some people are too batshit stupid to take it. We can do whatever we put our minds to.

Even fix Compo Shopping Center.*

Click “Comments” below to provide your solution. The winner gets a free coffee at Dunkin’.

There’s lots of room in the underutilized back lot — though people park poorly there too.

*We’ll leave Compo Acres — the Trader Joe’s lot — for another time.

Photo Challenge #364

With so many snowmen decorating Westport for the holidays — though no snow (yet) — readers could be forgiven for not instantly recognizing last week’s Photo Challenge.

This one — brown, not white — sits inside Trader Joe’s. (“Near the potato chips,” as the delightfully named Susan Yules points out.)

Diane Bosch, Joyce Barnhart, Elizabeth Auber and Janice Strizever joined Susan in correctly identifying the site of the snowman. Frosty would be proud. (Click here to see the photo.)

As we head toward the longest night of the year, this week’s Challenge seems particularly apt. If you can shed light on where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/JC Martin)

Photo Challenge #327

When June Rose Whittaker sent a Photo Challenge submission — a colorful shot of letters spelling “Westport,” in a style reminiscent of all those “Greetings From …” postcards — I thought I’d seen it in the alley between Main Street and Bedford Square. (Click here for the image.)

So did the first couple of readers to respond.

But they — and I — were wrong. It hangs (as nearly a dozen folks knew) on the Trader Joe’s wall, just beyond the checkout registers.

Congratulations to Dave Dellinger, Seth Schachter, Deb Alderson, Katie Carmody, Bob Weingarten, Robert W. Mitchell, Cheryl McKenna, Bruce Salvo and Elizabeth Auber.

Yet the Trader Joe’s “postcard” looks very much like the murals downtown. Could they be by the same artist?

If anyone knows who created one (or all) of these uniquely “Westport” works, click “Comments” below.

Which you should also do if you know where in Westport you’d find this week’s Photo Challenge:

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Shorefest, Trader Joe’s, Fall Fashion, More

Yesterday’s “Shorefest on a Roll” — Friends of Sherwood Island’s reimagined, socially distanced annual fundraiser — was different than the usual lobsterfest.

It was also wonderful, fun, and made even better by spectacular weather.

Board members Cece Saunders and Steve Axthelm produced the clever, all-ages event. Riding in cars through the 232-acre state park, families listened to a podcast while enjoying kites, disc golf, music, and getting a purple martin education.

At the last stop, they picked up lobster roll dinners, courtesy of Westfair Fish & Chips.

Click here for a full report, and tons of photos.

Lobster roll dinners, at the end.

That’s one small step for a man. And one giant leap for faster checkouts.

Trader Joe’s has all registers open, for the first time since COVID struck in March.

The other day you worked out, at Main Street and Church Lane’s Fitness & Wellness Expo.

This Saturday, you can show off your new look. The Westport Downtown Merchants Association is sponsoring a Fall Fashion & Beauty Day.

Merchandise will be displayed on sidewalks — meaning there’s plenty of room to walk around in stores too. And despite the name, all downtown merchants — not just fashion and beauty retailers — are invited to participate.

All of Main Street, Elm Street and Church Lane will be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local merchants not on those streets are being offered spots, so there’s plenty to see and do. Of course, masks and social distancing rules apply!


World peace comes to Westport.

That’s the name of the next MoCA Westport exhibit. It opens October 8.

Works in the show reflect “the culture of identity, and the divided and fractured political climate of America’s past and present.” The multi-media exhibit includes photography, sculpture, video, site-specific installations, works on paper, and protest art.

The group show features local and world-renowned artists, highlighting contemporary media culture, the criminal justice system, and the relationship between science and religion. 

Westporters include illustrators Tracy Sugarman and Naiad Einsel, and photographers Spencer Platt and Richard Frank

Local politicians, and experts on climate change and the media, will be featured in panels throughout the exhibition. It runs through January 17.

For more information, click here.

And finally … today is the International Day of Peace. Enough said.


Unsung Hero #152

Alert — and overwhelmed with gratitude — “06880” reader Melissa Balmer writes:

The other day my 10-year-old daughter had a tooth extracted. She could only eat soft foods, so on the way home from the dentist — and the first time in over 3 months — I stopped at Trader Joe’s.

I bought mashed potatoes, soft pasta, yogurt and 2 large watermelons. At checkout my credit card was declined once, then twice.

I brought out a second card. It too was declined. Confusion turned to panic as I brought out a third card. Declined!

At that point Jared – I think he’s a manager – swooped in and said, “Maybe it’s the machine. Let’s try over here.” He tried once more, but it still did not work.

I checked my cash. I was $4 short.

Calmly and amazingly he said, “No problem. I’ll cover the $4.”

I protested that I was good for it. I could put a watermelon back or come back with more cash. But he had already cashed it out and smiled, handing me my receipt. He wished me a good day.

I was stunned. As we walked to the car my daughter said, ” What a nice man.” What a nice man indeed!

At home I fixed the credit card mix-up, and sent my husband over with a thank- you note and return of the loan to Jared.

Maybe this isn’t blog-worthy, given the protests and turmoil in our country. But it might be nice to celebrate such a wonderful neighbor in our community.

Jared saw a frazzled mom trying to buy her kid watermelon. He helped without a second thought, in the kindest manner I had ever seen. We’re lucky to have him in our community.

Roundup: Art For Auction; The Future Of The Arts; Tavern On Main; Trader Joe’s; More

Olivia Macior graduated from Staples High School last June. For weeks, she waited for things to get back to normal. Now — in the wake of George Floyd’s murder — she wants something different: a “new normal.”

It’s “a normal where people of color don’t have to fear the very people who should be protecting them; where education is equitable; where the criminal justice system is fair and lawful, and racial injustice does not plague every aspect of our lives.”

Inspired by the words of Angela Davis — “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” — she is using her considerable art talents to help.

Her powerful work is up for auction on Facebook, through June 21. 100% of the winning bid will go to Black Lives Matter. Click here; then message her with your bid, via Facebook or at ohmacior@gmail.com.

Not everyone agreed with yesterday’s Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Westport. This graffiti was seen this morning at the boarded-up Tiffany store:

(Photo/Marcy Sansolo)

Westporters in the know know: No one beats the Y’s Men for hosting insightful, thought-provoking speakers. Thursday’s — their first via Zoom — was typical: informative, wide-ranging, both global and local.

Andrew Wilk — executive producer and director of “Live From Lincoln Center” — moderated a discussion on the future of the Westport Country Playhouse, and arts in general, in the wake of COVID-19.

Panelists included Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos, general manager Michael Barker and actor Jake Robards.

The 30-minute chat ranged from the many issues impacting the Playhouse reopening — like safety, audience response and finances — to the importance of live performances. Click below to view:

As restaurants around Westport reopen, at least one will not.

An online auction is underway for many items at Tavern on Main: food service equipment, outdoor patio sets, decor and smallware.

It’s the end of the last sit-down, full-service restaurant on the main part of Main Street. It had a long run — and so did its predecessor, Chez Pierre.

No word yet on what — if anything — will replace it.

Nearly a dozen retailers are helping Home with Hope collect liquid dish detergent, all-purpose cleaners, soap, paper towels, sponges and sanitizing wipes. All donations go to families living in the organization’s supportive housing.

Hours are 10 a.m. 2 p.m. for all collections. There’s a box outside Restore Hyper Wellness (877 Post Road East) every day.

Other stores, with collection days:

  • Thursdays: ASF Sporting Goods (1560 Post Road East); UPS (606 Post Road East)
  • Fridays: West (117 Post Road East); Blow Dry (76 Church Lane)
  • Saturdays: Verizon (379 Post Road East); Fleet Feet (10 Sconset Square)
  • Sundays: The Granola Bar (275 Post Road East)
  • Mondays: Greenwich Medical Spa (645 Post Road East.)
  • Tuesdays: New England Hemp Farm (136 Main Street)
  • Wednesdays: Green + Tonic (17 Jesup Road)

Questions? Email westport@restore.com

How’s this for a way to treat the frontline workers we have been hailing as heroes?

Trader Joe’s had a picnic table at the back of their parking lot. It was a nice place for employees — sorry, “crew members” — to eat, or take a break.

The other night, it was stolen. (Hat tip: David Meth)

Eighth graders missed their “moving up” ceremony this year. But — thanks to the Bedford and Coleytown Middle School PTAs  — the 400-plus graduates are having their day in the sun.

Now, as you see these signs throughout Westport, you know who to thank.

Speaking of graduates, Margo Amgott writes:

“We’ve seen all the great signs celebrating Staples seniors. But there are others who are sheltering in Westport. We’ve long been weekenders, and after COVID now here we are!

“Could we do a shout-out to those transplanted seniors? The lovely people at Baker Graphics helped me make these for our daughter.” (The other sign — not shown — congratulates Molly for her acceptance at Trinity College.)

Great idea, Margo! Here’s too all Class of 202 grads! Wherever you went — and wherever you’re going — out town salutes you.

And speaking yet again of graduates …

St. Paul Christian School celebrated the end of the year with a drive-through closing celebration. Children received a diploma, yearbook and blessing from their teachers.

Tomorrow (Sunday, July 7, 5  p.m., Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport), a number of Westport congregations are participating in an “Interfaith Prayer for Racial Justice & Healing.” Masks are mandatory, and social distancing is enforced.

And finally … it’s hard to believe I haven’t posted this yet. I guess I was waiting for the exact right time.