Mark your calendars for September 18. Its fall benefit — “The Art of Jazz” — features silent and live auctions, and live music by Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. Guests will be entertained by DJ Mo.
The live auction is hosted by Westporter Dave Briggs, former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox News anchor.
Can’t be there? Bidding opens September 4 for the silent auction, with plenty of items from Westport businesses (and more).
Tickets go on sale to MoCA members July 28, and the general public August 4. Click here for details.
Speaking of parties: The Levitt Pavilion is hardly a secret. Westporters flock there all summer, for over 50 nights of all kinds of entertainment.
But the covered patio at the top of the amphitheater is one of the town’s hidden jewels. Many days, it’s a great place to congregate and picnic before the show (and away from whatever heat or rain might mar the evening).
Other times, it’s a perfect place for a party. Businesses use it to thank their customers and clients. Organizations use it to show off what they do. Individuals book it for celebrations.
Last night, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 90th birthday there.
The next time you see a group underneath the Levitt roof happily eating, drinking and chatting, think ahead. Yours could be there too.
Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell welcomes members and friends to the Levitt Pavilion party last night.
Staples High School social studies teacher Suzanne Kammerman has been named Teacher of the Year by the American Lawyers Alliance. The honor comes on top of — and in part because of — her role in leading her school’s “We the People” team to their 2nd consecutive state championship. They hope to follow in their teacher’s footsteps, and win a national title. Last year’s team placed 5th.
Kammerman initiated the “We the People” class and competition at Staples, after competing herself in high school.
A 14-year educator, Kammerman was previously selected by the League of Women Voters to train at Harvard Business School.
During COVID — and despite distance learning — she continued to develop created, engaging ways for students to learn about democracy. They researched Supreme Court cases, discussed hypotheticals, learned how to analyze and synthesize facts and opinions, and honed presentation skills.
Congratulations, Ms. Kammerman, for your passion, dedication, and profound impact on the next generation of citizens.
Volunteers help Staples students prepare for the 2021 “We the People” competition. Suzanne Kammerman is in the top row, 2nd from left.
State Senator Tony Hwang hosts lunch next Wednesday (April 28, 12:30 p.m., Tarantino’s). He’ll be joined by 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Police Chief Foti Koskinas, State Representative Stephanie Thomas and Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell.
The event — in coordination with the Chamber — will promote outdoor dining. The group will discuss ways to continue to support local businesses during COVID.
Restaurants on Railroad Place, Church Lane and other areas of town have set up tables, tents, domes and other structures for outdoor dining. The state and town have eased regulations, and owners look forward to a robust spring and summer scene.
Speaking of COVID regulations: Governor Lamont is easing earlier restrictions.
Effective May 1:
Bars that do not serve food can open for service on an outdoor-only basis. They still cannot serve only alcohol indoors.
The 8-person per table limit will be lifted for outdoors only. The limit remains in effect for indoor service.
The curfew for restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues and theaters will be moved back an hour, to midnight.
Effective May 19:
Contingent upon sufficiently low rates of infections and increasing vaccination rates, all remaining business restrictions will be lifted. The Department of Public Health will issue recommendations for indoor and other large outdoor events, such as concerts, and clarify where masking will continue after May 1.
(Hat tip: Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce)
The Levitt Pavilion — and many other organizations — wait for an announcement about what kind of gatherings will be allowed this summer.
“I am blessed to be able to walk to Compo Beach. This area has a very special vibe. The downside is that the vibe encourages people to drive down South Compo Road like lunatics. disregarding speed limits, crosswalks, even common sense and courtesy.
“Compo Road from Greens Farms Road to the beach might as well be the Autobahn: screeching tires, ignoring full stops, flying through crosswalks. These are not just visitors — they are locals too, rushing, blowing off stop signs and exceeding speed limits by over 25 mph.
“We have a wonderful Police Department, but they can’t be everywhere. This is going to get worse as the weather gets warmer. The weekends are a drag race by noon, through 11 p.m.
“Many dog walkers, children and elderly walking on Compo Road. Will it take someone getting killed or seriously injured to finally address the situation?”
“06880” readers know Fred Cantor as a passionate Westporter. If you’ve read many of his comments here, you know he’s an avid Knicks fan too.
He’s also proud of his roots. Until he was 10, he lived in Fresh Meadows, Queens. That’s where he learned to love the NBA team. And it forms the background of his most recent book, Fred From Fresh Meadows: A Knicks Memoir.
It’s getting great looks. Yesterday, NY1 aired a story about Fred, including 3 generations of Cantor Knick fans: his 93-year-old mother Pearl, and his brother Marc’s older son, Sam. Click here to see.
The day before, the New York Post‘s Mike Vaccaro called Fred’s book “delightful. The stories ring like a trusted friend’s from the neighboring barstool.”
The Knicks may not be at the top of the standings. But Fred From Fresh Meadows is definitely a winner.
And how about this: All proceeds benefit the John Starks Foundation. The Knick legend started the charity, which gives scholarships to teenagers in need.
Speaking of sports: There’s a Westport connection even to the controversy over a proposed “Super League” of top international soccer clubs.
Joaquim Monnerat played freshman soccer at Staples High in 2019. His family has moved to London. But there he was — photographed all over social media — protesting with over 1,000 others outside of Stamford Bridge (the Chelsea team’s home stadium).
The protest worked. The plan collapsed a few hours later when 6 of the 12 clubs — including Chelsea — dropped out.
Joaquim is in the center below, with a (dangling) face mask. And though you can’t tell, he’s wearing a Staples Soccer shirt in the image that went ’round the world. (Hat tip: Bruno Guiduli)
Speaking of the environment: The Parks and Recreation Department sponsors “Clean Up Westport Day” on Saturday, April 24.
Over 50 local organizations and groups will help. Individuals and families can show up at the Parks Advisory Committee’s sites — Riverside and Grace Salmon Parks — or any street or public space.
Formal groups should call Parks & Rec (203-341-5091) before April 16, to let them know the time and location of their cleanup efforts. After the event, the town will collect bagged garbage and debris from each site.
Free trash bags are available outside the Parks & Rec office (opposite the Longshore golf course pro shop) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 16 b8:30am and 4:30pm. Bags are limited to 6 per organization, and must be requested by April 15.
“Westport’s Suffragists — Our Neighbors, Our Crusaders: The 19th Amendment Turns 100” was the Westport Library’s best exhibit that no one visited.
Well, hardly anyone. It opened last year just days before COVID shut the town down.
But the Connecticut League of History Organizations knows about it. And they’ve awarded the Library an Award of Merit for it.
The awards committee was impressed with “how the exhibit fit nicely into a larger series of public programs and showcased the lives of local women in their fight for suffrage.”
Fortunately, the exhibit is online (click here). It explores the careers and political triumphs of suffragists who made Westport home. It also honors over 50 Westport women — many forgotten — who left their parlors for the streets, to fight for voting rights.
The Remarkable Theater drive-in is back in action. Last year , the Imperial Avenue lot also served as the stage for the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s Supper & Soul Series. Next month, they return there.
Dark Desert Eagles — an Eagles tribute band — have been booked for Friday and Saturday nights, May 14 and 15. The Chamber urges attendees to get takeout from local restaurants and markets, and bring it to the concert.
Tickets for each show are $150 per car (5 person maximum). They go on sale this Monday, April 12 (10 a.m.). Click here to order.
Not everyone has a mattress to get rid of. But you should still head to Earthplace that day.
Particularly if you’d like free compost. Bring a bucket, and Sustainable Westport will fill it. It’s open to all Westport residents, as a thank-you for making the food scrap recycling program such a success.
Sustainable Westport is collecting nearly 10 tons of food scraps a month from the transfer station (a free service for residents), and from the 2 licensed food scrap haulers (a paid curbside service). Over 500 Westport families are composting in some form.
Intrigued, but don’t know how to begin? Volunteers will sell food scrap recycling starter kits (with a countertop pail, compostable gags and 6-gallon transportation container) during the May 8 Earthplace event. (They’re free for income-eligible folks).
If you’re not into mattress recycling or food scraps — come anyway. It’s a family-friendly outing, with guided trail tours and animal feeding.
PS: Bring natural corks, used magic markers, mascara wands and batteries for recycling.
For more information click here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally … DMX — described by the New York Times as a “snarling yet soulful rapper … who had a string of No. 1 albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s but whose personal struggles eventually rivaled his lyrical prowess,” died yesterday in White Plains. He was 50.
Saugatuck Church’s 1st-ever Easter drive-in worship service was — well, if not a miracle, then still pretty cool.
The back parking lot was filled with 45 cars (that’s around 13o people). The FM radio broadcast worked flawlessly, thanks to Mark Mathias. The service was punctuated with plenty of cheerful horn honks.
Dozens more watched the livestream on Facebook and YouTube. But that photo isn’t as interesting as the one below:
Westport Book Shop Artist of the Month is Katherine Ross. Her watercolors will be on display throughout April at the Drew Friedman Art Place, in Westport’s popular used book store on Jesup Road.
Ross is a well-known artist and art teacher. She conceived the children’s mosaic wall at the Longshore pool, with work from over 1,000 middle schoolers. She has served on the Arts Advisory Committee and Westport Cultural Arts Committee, and co-chaired the Westport public schools’ Art Smarts program.
The exhibit is open during the Book Shop’s business hours: Tuesdays through Fridays (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Saturdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sundays (noon to 5 p.m.
Tonight (Monday, April 5, 7:30 p.m., Zoom), the Democratic Women of Westport and Staples Young Democrats host a virtual session called “The Anti-Racist Policy Agenda: Connecticut Voter Protection.”
State Representative Stephanie Thomas — who represents part of Westport, and serves as vice chair of the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee — will discuss the 2020 election in the state, possible expansion of access for voting, and building support for voter protection laws.
To get the link for the talk, or more information, email email@example.com.
In the past couple of years Westporters have voted for their favorite pizzas, burgers and soups.
Next up: sandwiches.
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s Great Sandwich Contest runs throughout March. It’s dedicated to the memory of longtime A&S Fine Foods owner chef Albert Pizzirusso. The longtime Chamber supporter died earlier this month.
I have no idea what this sandwich is, or who made it. I found it on the internet. You didn’t think I’d play favorites, did you?
So far, 19 sandwich-making restaurants have signed up:
A&S Fine Foods
Grammie’s Donuts & Biscuits
Match Burger Lobster
The Granola Bar
Winfield Street Deli.
They’ll compete in 10 categories:
Best chicken sandwich
Best steak sandwich
Best vegetarian sandwich
Best combo sandwich
Best New York deli
Best pressed sandwich
Best breakfast sandwich
Best wrap sandwich
Best fish/seafood sandwich.
Judges — that’s all of us — have the month of March to visit the venues and enjoy the offerings. Then click here to vote. To post on social media, use the hashtag #greatwestportsandwich.
The winning restaurants and/or markets will receive plaques. Contest sponsor is the Berchem Moses law firm.
Posted onDecember 23, 2020|Comments Off on And The Holiday Window Decorating Contest Winners Are …
Only a few people can watch NFL games in person. You haven’t been to a concert in longer than it takes to conceive and deliver a baby.
But anyone could have gone around town, checked out holiday window decorations, and voted for their favorites.
In fact, many people did.
Yesterday, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association and Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the annual contest. This year for the first time, it encompassed the entire town.
And the winners are…:
Mom and Pop Shop:The Plumed Serpent Bridal
Plumed Serpent Bridal
National chain: Anthropologie
Non-retail:Artistex Salon & Spa
Artistex Spa & Salon
And the grand prize — for the window with the most total votes:The Plumed Serpent Bridal.
They win dinner for 4 at Don Memo.
Click here for a list of all participating venues. Voting in closed — but you can still enjoy them!
Comments Off on And The Holiday Window Decorating Contest Winners Are …
The University of California professor of astronomy is the only member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the universe, which led to a Nobel Prize. He’s been voted the Best Professor at Berkeley a record 9 times.
On December 15 (8 p.m.), he’ll visit the Westport Astronomical Society — virtually — for a free lecture on “A New Surprise in the Accelerating Universe.” It’s available on Zoom, and YouTube.
Mozy is a new member of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. The local company produces a “lower-body thermal wrap engineered to keep you 100% warmer than most blankets.”
It’s perfect for “game day, drinks on the deck or a sunset hike” — and the “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Blanket) outdoor dining initiative championed by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. Click here to buy online, or email for in-person pickup: firstname.lastname@example.org.
They just released their first book: “Fred From Fresh Meadows: A Knicks Memoir.” Author Fred is also from Westport. The 1971 Staples High School graduate is well known to “06880” readers as a frequent commenter on a variety of topics, a documentary filmmaker, an off-Broadway producer, and a keeper of the flame of local musicians like the Remains and Charlie Karp.
Fred’s Knick bona fides go back decades. He was at Madison Square Garden for the “Here comes Wilis!” game. He stayed up late the night before the SATs to watch a big game on the West Coast. In law school he chose where to live based on which neighborhood had a team cable TV package, then chose an apartment in Manhattan based in part on proximity to Madison Square Garden.
Along the way, Fred might have inadvertently caused Jerry Lucas to have one of the worst shooting nights of his playoff career, drove with Earl Monroe to a business meeting, and sort of sued Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to get revenge for Knicks fans.
Fred is a truly good guy. He’s donating 100% of the royalties from his pandemic project to the John Starks Foundation, which provides grants to college-bound high school seniors with academic excellence, financial need and a commitment to community service.
During COVID, many folks are drinking alone. Now you can do it without shame — and with the knowledge you’re helping raise money for great causes.
The Westport Woman’s Club is sponsoring a “Swirl & Sip” wine-tasting fundraiser (Wednesday, December 9, 6 to 7 p.m.). For just $25, Castle Wine & Spirits is providing sparkling wines from Italy and Spain. Silver Ribbon donates the door prize: a $200 gift certificate.
Proceeds from the virtual event help fund grants to local non-profits, and need-based college scholarships. Cheers!
MoCA Westport’s Holiday Open House has been postponed from this Saturday to next (December 12, noon to 5 p.m.).
The outdoor event includes caroling by the Staples High School Orphenians, free admission to the World Peace exhibition, performances by teachers and students of the Westport School of Music, and a holiday-themed project for kids.
There’s free hot chocolate and doughnuts, and food trucks for purchases. There is no admission fee, but MoCA suggests bringing an unwrapped toy for the Westport Police Department’s annual drive.
And finally … in honor of the Westport Astronomical Society’s lecture on the expanding universe:
Earlier this month, we pushed clocks back an hour. Just what we needed: another hour in 2020!
But here’s a time-shifting effort we can all get behind.
Today, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce rolls out “Restaurant Savings Time.” Encouraging diners to eat earlier is a way to help restaurants cope with the governor’s executive order closing businesses at 9:30.
Some restaurants could lose an entire seating of patrons — particularly on weekends. So, the Chamber says, everyone should eat one hour earlier than usual.
If everyone is on board — and at their tables — every eatery would benefit.
“Have a great dinner at 6:15 instead of 7:15 is the request. I am confident Westporters will respond, ” says Chamber executive director Matthew Mandell.
“It’s all about flexibility and a desire to adapt to a new situation, while still enjoying what our town as to offer.”
Flyers and posters will go up at restaurants. The logo — designed by Miggs Burroughs (of course!) — will be posted on social media.
“Restaurant Savings Time is a great idea. Support your local restaurants and dine a littler earlier, but also be sensitive to leave time to those coming after you,” said Tarantino owner Frank Marchetti. “We will get through this together.”
The new initiative follows BYOB: Bring Your Own Blanket. That Chamber project urges diners to stay warm while dining outdoors. Click here for more information, and a list of restaurants offering outdoor dining.
Due to increasing rates of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the state will roll back from Phase 3 to Phase 2.1 effective tomorrow (Friday, November 6).
Phase 2.1 is a slightly modified version of the previously enacted Phase 2 rules. Changes under Phase 2.1 include:
Restaurants will return to or remain at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 8 people per table
Restaurants and entertainment venues will be required to close by 9:30 p.m. except for food takeout and delivery services, which may continue after 9:30 p.m.
Personal services, such as hair salons and barber shops, will remain at 75 percent capacity
Event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor
Performing arts venues and movie theaters will have a capacity of 100 people
Religious gatherings will be limited to 50 percent capacity or 100 people maximun
Residents are urged to remain indoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless for essential activities.
Westport businesses will remain open. I encourage those who can to continue patronizing local restaurants and businesses.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, Westport has promoted local and small businesses. A great idea for eating out and staying safe — BYOB (“Bring Your Own Blanket”) comes from the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.
The Westport Weston Health District says that a significant portion of Westport’s COVID cases are related to youth travel sports. These programs are regional, span several states and fall outside of local authority. Updated state Department of Public Health guidance for youth and interscholastic sports is forthcoming.
Town officials are also aware that some very large gatherings of both young people and adults occurred over Halloween weekend. We continue to stress that everyone be sensitive to neighbors, and aware of the risks imposed on those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly.
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