Tag Archives: Westport Lifestyle Magazine

Roundup: Saugatuck Caroling, Westport Lifestyle, Jersey Boys …

A wonderful tradition returned to Saugatuck yesterday evening.

The Saugatuck Caroling Crawl came back, after a 2-year COVID-induced absence.

Six Staples Orphenians moved from one restaurant to the next, singing holiday songs and making spirits bright. They hit 14 spots in all.

(Photo/Matthew Mandell)

Carolers began their rounds at the Boathouse. They headed to Parker Mansion, Kawa Ni, The Whelk, Tutti’s and the Black Duck, before making their way to Railroad Place to sing at Tarantino, Harvest, Romanacci and Allium.

They finished by entertaining diners at Match Lobster Burger, Rizzuto’s, Viva Zapata and Dunville’s.

Grateful thanks to Orphs Sophia Betit, Zoe Schwartz, James Dobin-Smith, Alyssa Lee, Deneil Betfarhad and Ethan Tober — and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event.

Missed it? Click below for a “taste” at Match Burger Lobster.

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Christian Siriano’s new store, The Collective West, was the site of Thursday’s Westport Lifestyle party. The magazine honored all 2022 Readers’ Choice winners.

With catering by Marcia Selden and The Home Cook, music by Drew Angus and decorations from Blossom + Stem — plus Santa Claus — it was a great way to show off the noted designer’s recently opened place.

Enjoying Westport Lifestyle’s party: Sholeh Janati (abstract artist) and 
Courtney Davis Schlesinger (comedian). (Photo./John Videler for Videler Photography)

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The curtain rose yesterday on “Jersey Boys” at the White Plains Performing Arts Center next month.

Staples High School Class of 2015 graduate Jack Baylis is part of the cast. He’s not a 4 Season — but he does sing a great number in French.

The show runs through January 8. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Jack Baylis, at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. (Photo/Cara Baylis)

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Yesterday’s Roundup piece about the local connections on “In With the Old” — the Discovery+ series highlighting transformations of abandoned structures — mentioned Westonites Brian and Megan Austin Philpott, and former Westport Planning and Zoning Commission member Al Gratrix.

But there’s much more detail

Brian Philpott is a project manager for The O’Dell Group. The local construction firm put together a team of 20 people to frame that addition in one day.

He’s just one of 4 project managers with Staples ties. Owner Chris O’Dell, Lukas Van Zanten and Chuck Hilman graduated from high school — and so did Philpott’s wife.

PS: The celebration at the end of that day was catered by Matt Storch — another Staples High grad, and the owner of Match Burger Lobster and Match restaurants.

From left: Chris O’Dell, Lukas Van Zanten, Brian Philpott, Chuck Hilman.

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Congratulations to Barry Kresch.

The Westport resident and EV Club of Connecticut president will be honored by the Connecticut Southwestern Area Clean Cities Coalition as EV Evangelist of the Year.

He has spoken on several panels, for example discussing a financial analysis he did for the Westport Police about electric vehicles. Click here for a blog post he wrote on the department’s Tesla.

The celebration is Tuesday (December 13, 11 a.m., Fodor Farmhouse, Norwalk).

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Winter arrives on December 21.

This guy — the subject of today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature — is getting ready. He’s no fool.

(Photo/Marisa Lambert)

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And finally … in honor of Jack Baylis’s “Jersey Boys” show (story above):

(‘Tis the season to support “06880.” Please click here to help — and thank you!)

 

 

 

Roundup: Ukraine, Santa, Brien McMahon …

The war in Ukraine has moved off the front pages.

But it’s still very close to Mark Yurkiw’s heart.

The Westporter (who has Ukrainian heritage) continues to work on a variety of projects to help that embattled country. He writes: “Missiles are raining down on Ukraine today. They are specifically meant to destroy access to heat, light and water.

“A group I am working with was given the chance to fill the balance of the next shipping container going to Ukraine in 5 days.

“‘06880’ readers can save lives by donating used generators, chainsaws, sleeping bags, flashlights and cell phone power banks. Non-working chainsaws and generators are fine. We will repair them.”

They can be brought to 190 Cross Highway and left by the barn any time. For questions or pickup arrangements, call Mark: 646-873-0050.

NOTE: Other containers will follow soon. The equipment collection is ongoing.

Mark Yurkiw has not forgotten his native Ukraine.

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Last night’s party honoring Westport Lifestyle magazine’s 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards winners featured fantastic food, an exciting venue (Christian Siriano’s Collective West) — and the most buff Santa ever to hustle down a chimney.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

This one bore a striking resemblance to RTM member/Staples High School graduate/longtime volunteer Andrew Colabella.

Ho ho ho!

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Westport’s has a new pop-up shop: Megan’s Martha’s Vineyard Boutique.

The women’s clothing and accessories boutique on Church Lane has a season location on the actual Vineyard.

Owner Molly Kopp is from Westport. Her family moved around a bit, and she landed on the island full-time while in college.

She worked for Megan, and after graduation asked about partnering on a Westport location.

The store opened last month. It will be here — opposite Spotted Horse — until at least January 1.

Megan’s Martha’s Vineyard pop-up.

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Staples and Brien McMahon High Schools compete against each other in many FCIAC (Fairfield County league) sports.

Now the Westport mother of former Wreckers is trying to help the Senators.

Lisa Marriott — whose sons were Staples  track stars — heard that McMahon boys indoor track coach Valerie Kalunian needs used track spikes and/or running sneakers for some of her athletes. Without them, they cannot participate this winter.

“Those shoes can be very costly for students, and hard to find in local stores,” she says. “Over the years we have tried to gather extra spikes/racing shoes/training shoes for those that may not have them, but our selection is limited.”

Running shoes can be dropped off at the Town Hall front desk starting Monday (put Lisa Marriott’s name on the bag or box). For other options, email lsmarriott@gmail.com. To donate cash, click here for a GoFundMe page.

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Ring-around-a-rosiesPocket full of posies …

Come on, Westport students. You can write a much better garden-related poem  than that timeworn ditty.

Here’s your chance. The Westport Garden Club has partnered with the Westport Arts Advisory Committee, town poet laureate Jessica Noyes McEntee and the Westport Library to sponsor a Youth Poetry Contest.

Affiliated with the National Garden Club’s Youth Poetry Contest, it’s open to public and private school students in kindergarten through 9th grade, plus those who are home schooled.

The competition encourages youth to embrace their creativity, using nature as inspiration.

The theme for the 2023 competition is “Seeds, Trees, and Bees…Oh My – Celebrating the Diversity of Nature”

Poems should be emailed to westportctgardenclub@gmail.com by January 6. Click here for guidelines, and more information.

Inspiration may come from this Westport Garden Club arrangement.

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No, the Ned Dimes Marina was not on fire yesterday.

It was just the Westport Fire Department doing what they always do, to keep us safe: checking equipment, and training.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Everyone in Westport goes to Compo Beach in the summer.

Plenty go in late spring and early fall.

December — not so many.

If you don’t know what it looks like when the wind is whipping and the skies are gray — as they were earlier this week — check out today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … the Westport Garden Club’s youth poetry contest reminded me of …

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Roundup: Restaurant Pickups, Winter Olympics, The Walters …

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The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce “Order Direct/Pick It Up” initiative has educated Westporters to use restaurants’ actual websites (or phones) to place pick-up orders. That’s because Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub and similar platforms take huge chunks of the bill for themselves.

Now the word has spread throughout the state. Other Chambers of Commerce are educating their residents too.

Now the Westport Weston Chamber is going a step further.

Click here, then scroll down for “direct” clickable links and phone numbers of Chamber restaurants. Now there’s no excuse to hand over much of a restaurant’s profit to 3rd-party apps.

The list includes:

  • 190 Main
  • Allium
  • Amis
  • Bistro du Soleil
  • Black Duck
  • Boathouse at Saugatuck Rowing Club
  • Don Memo
  • Dunville’s
  • Gabriele’s
  • Granola Bar
  • Harvest
  • Kawa Ni
  • Little Barn
  • Manna Toast
  • Match Burger Lobster
  • Naan
  • Pane e Bene
  • Rive Bistro
  • Rizzuto’s
  • Romanacci Express
  • Sakura
  • Sherwood Diner
  • Spotted Horse
  • Tarantino
  • Tarry Lodge
  • Terrain Garden Café
  • Tutti’s
  • Via Sforza
  • Viva Zapata
  • Wafu
  • Walrus Alley
  • The Whelk

(Graphic courtesy of Miggs Burroughs)

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The Winter Olympics open in 9 days, in Beijing. Of course there’s a Westport connection.

Our neighbor Julia Marino is on the US snowboarding team (slopestyle/big air).

With no fans, friends or family — plus COVID rules, political pressure, burner phones (!) and zero real snow (!!), it will be nothing like her previous Olympics.

Westport journalist Dave Briggs interviewed our local Olympian for his Westport Lifestyle Instagram Life series. Click here for her candid, up-close-and-personal view of these very unusual Olympics Games.

Dave Briggs and Julie Marino.

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Last month, “06880” reported on The Walters. The band — fronted by 2010 Staples High School graduate Walter Kosner had broken up, but became social media-famous thanks to a sudden slew of TikTok videos.

I included a link to their biggest hit, “I Love You So.”

But tomorrow (Thursday, January 27, 11:35 p.m.), Westporters — and everyone else in the world — can watch The Walters live. They’ll be on Jimmy Kimmel Live, on ABC.

They probably won’t be on for 15 minutes. But they will be famous.

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Several Staples students have taken the first step toward national recognition.

Judges have chosen winners in the PTA’s annual Reflections contest. They advance to the state level; after that comes the national competition.

Congratulations to 1st place winners Charlie Jandora (Literature), Jason Capozucca (Music) and Shivali Kanthan (Visual Arts), runners-up Josh Gordon, Jadon Laitman and Camille Vynerib, and 3rd-place finisher Hugh Kennedy.

Reflections winners: Front row (from left): Charlie Jandora, Shivali Kanthan, Camille Vynerib Rear: Jason Capozucca, Jaden Laitman, Hugh Kennedy, Josh Gordon, principal Stafford Thomas.

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We’re midway through dog season at Compo Beach. They take to the sand and shore like they own it. Which — from October to March — they do.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes courtesy of Karen Como.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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And finally … on this date in 1934, the Apollo Theater reopened in Harlem. Begun as a white-only burlesque house in 1914, it fell into disrepair. It was transformed 2 decades later into a jazz venue, with primarily Black performers and patrons.

Duke Ellington was on the opening day bill in 1934. So was Benny Carter and his Harlem Club Orchestra. He probably played this hit, recorded 3 months earlier:

 

COVID Roundup: No Camp? WTF!; Barbers; Playhouse Match; Senior Photos; More

How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm?

This summer at least, you can’t. Wakeman Town Farm announced that its popular Farm Camps will not run this summer. Officials cited the many restrictions put on camps by the state; the challenges of social distancing; the limited number of children who could be served, and “the unknowns related to pediatric reactions to the virus.”

WTF hopes to offer small tours and experiences, private family and corporate visits, outdoor curbside pizza pickups, volunteer opportunities and small-group apprentice programs. Details will be announced soon.


Barber shops can reopen on Monday (June 1). There are sure to be changes, in routine and personnel.

Three of Westport’s favorites — Chau Damico, Tony Esposito and Tina Cao — will be back at work. They’ve moved, though — but not far at all.

After decades at Compo Barber Shop, the trio can be found now at Westport Hair & Co. That’s the salon next to now-closed Olympia Sports, a few yards east in the same Compo Shopping Center.

They look forward to seeing the customers they’ve missed, and welcome their texts: Chau (203-278-0467), Tony (203-222-0303) and Tina (203-909-8781).


This morning, “06880” profiled the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s efforts to help front line workers, local restaurants, and club employees and members.

Now they’ve tweaked their logo. The goal of any crew team is to “pull together.” Saugatuck’s rowers may not be racing now. But every day since the pandemic began, that’s exactly what they’ve done.


The Westport Country Playhouse was hit hard by the coronavirus. All 2020 programs have been moved to 2021 (though a wide range of online content keeps audiences engaged). Financially, they’ve taken a huge hit.

Their “Survival Fund” goal is ambitious: $1.6 million. But it got a big boost this week, with a pledge from Edwin and Maureen Schloss. They’ll match every dollar raised — up to $250,000 — between now and July 4.

This would have been the Playhouse’s 90th season. Ed has been around for more than half of them. In 1969, he and his parents attended the world premiere of “Butterflies Are Free,” starring Blythe Danner and Keir Dullea. The show moved to Broadway, and Danner won a Tony there.

Tax deductible contributions may be made by clicking here, or texting WCPMATCH to 71777.


Staples High School’s seniors won’t get a traditional graduation next month. But they’ll be celebrated by Westport Lifestyle Magazine, in the August issue.

Hi-res photos — serious or fun — should be sent by June 5 to robin.chung@lifestylepubs.com. Include names, and a quote about summer plans or other positive thoughts.


Ariana Napier’s Bridgeport Rescue Mission food drive continues. Her goal is to collect 1,000 pounds of good each week.

Items most in need now: cereal; mac and cheese (box); jelly (no glass), and canned vegetables.

Fod and/or personal care items (diapers, wipes, sanitary pads, etc.) can be dropped in bins in Arianas driveway (14 Jennings Court, off Bayberry Lane). She will also pick up from your driveway. Email ariana.napier@gmail.com.


And finally … what has former Beach Boy Mike Love been up to these days?

God only knows. Well, YouTube does too: