Tag Archives: Winslow Park

Friday Flashback #330

Before there were drones, there were helicopters.

One autumn day in the 1980s, Staples High School graduate Steve Turner took a flight over Westport.

The photographer snapped this dramatic shot:

(Photo/Steve Turner)

The foreground shows Winslow Park. Turner took his photo within a year or two of the July 1987 Representative Town Meeting resolution to condemn the 32-acre property owned by Baron Walter Langer von Langendorff, and a townwide referendum 5 months later affirming that decision.

The town ultimately acquired the land — under eminent domain — for $9.42 million.

Six years later, the Westport News ran a contest to name the property. The overwhelming choice: Winslow Park, in honor of the family that owned it in the mid-1800s. (The Winslows built a large estate there, which later became a sanitarium.)

Take a close look at Turner’s shot. Has Westport changed much in the nearly 40 years since it was taken? (The Playhouse Square condominiums — just to the north of the shopping center and Westport Country Playhouse — were built in 1983; they’re shown here.)

What do you see that’s the same, or different? Click “Comments” below.

(“Friday Flashback” is one of “06880”‘s many weekly features. Please click here to support them all. Thank you!)

Unsung Heroes #268

Alert “06880” reader Barbara Sherburne writes:

I have never owned a dog. I have only had cats as pets.

But I really feel for dog owners who walk their dogs several times a day, even when it is 9 degrees outside.

I could never have done that. Not to mention getting up at the crack of dawn to take their dog for a walk.

When a dog’s gotta go… (Photo/Bobbi Essagof)

Cats are fairly easy to take care of. The biggest chore is cleaning the litter box and filling it with new litter. Buying the litter and carrying it up porch steps and into the apartment is about as difficult as it gets.

Even so, I no longer have a cat. Beau died in 2021. I knew long before that that I would never get another cat once he died.

So I really admire people who have dogs and walk them in all kinds of weather: scorching hot, rain, snow, frigid temperatures.

I’ve seen those dog owners at Winslow Park too. They’re hardy, loving — and a very sociable bunch too. Congratulations: You’re our Unsung Heroes of the Week!

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Roundup: Trash Truck, Tyler Hicks, Tree Trunk …

Westporters seldom think about trash trucks.

They come. Our trash goes. They come again, a few days later. Occasionally we write a check, to keep them coming.

Lyman — our new sister city in Ukraine — has not seen a trash truck in months.

Soon — with the help of Westport — they will.

When the Russians fled this fall, after several months of occupation, they stole all of the town’s trash trucks.

Debris from their missile attacks is piled everywhere. So is the garbage that accumulates as citizens live their daily lives.

Without trucks, there is no way to remove any of it.

For the past several days, Westport has been raising funds for Lyman (pronounced Lee-MON). We just passed $200,000, heading toward our $250,000 goal.

The other day, Brian Mayer — the Westporter who co-founded Ukraine Aid International — learned of a truck in Gdansk, Poland. It will cost about 5,000 euros to transport it to Lyman. Volunteers are already lined up to move it.

When it arrives in Lyman, residents will be ecstatic. Volunteers there are ready to start removing many tons of trash — and avoid an environmental catastrophe.

Brian is working too with construction wholesalers in Ukraine. They’re getting ready to move material from Kharkiv to Lyman, where more volunteers are eager to begin shoring up apartment buildings that are close to collapse.

Westport’s support for our sister city has been immediate. But the need is ongoing.

To help, click here for a credit card “Donate” button. Click “I want to support”; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” You can also scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) Or you can donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

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One more cosmic connection between Westport and our sister city:

Yesterday’s New York Times included more harrowing photos from Ukraine, by 1988 Staples High School graduate/Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Tylerl Hicks.

Among them: an image showing Ukrainian troops crammed into an armored vehicle, plowing through mud in dusty skies on their way to the front lines.

The dateline: Lyman. (Hat tip: Steve Taranko)

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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As noted last week on “06880,” black plastic cannot be recycled.

It can, however, be repurposed to serve food to people in need.

For the second straight week, Sustainable Westport is partnering with Food Rescue CT and the Westport Farmers’ Market to collect black plastic takeout containers.

Washed, clean, black plastic takeout food containers (with lids!) can be brought to tomorrow’s Farmers’ Market at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center (7 Sylvan Lane; Thursday, December 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

The containers will be used by Fridgeport Outdoor Food Pantry to repackage large trays of donated prepared foods into smaller portions for distribution to Bridgeporters facing food insecurity.

 

Westport resident Ria Nova (right) donated black plastic containers to Sustainable Westport co-director Johanna Martell at last week’s Westport Farmers’ Market.

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How strong were last Friday’s winds?

Strong enough to topple this tree, on the border between Winslow Park and the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

Just be thankful it didn’t fall in the other direction.

And that we didn’t get whacked like Buffalo did.

On the other hand, there’s this: Perhaps the trunk can be delivered to Long Lots Preserve.

As noted in yesterday’s Roundup, decomposing tree trunks promote the growth of bug populations. They in turn supply local and migrating bird populations with an important source of food, especially in the spring when they feed their young.

For more details on the Preserve and its need for dead tree trunks, email longlotspreserve@gmail.com.

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Westporter Paul Podolsky has published a new thriller: “Master, Minion.”

Fellow Westporter Mike Hayes — former commander of Seal Team Two and author of “Never Enough” — calls it “a gripping portrayal of the people and machinery behind financial warfare. Paul is a true storyteller who knows Russia and China firsthand. He takes the readers on a thrilling journey only an insider can provide.”

The book draws in part on his expertise in Russia. He recently wrote about that, for the Wall Street Journal.

Click here for more information on Podolsky’s new book.

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Yesterday’s clouds caught the eyes of many “Westport … Naturally” photographers.

This shot near the Norwalk border was one of the most intriguing:

(Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

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And finally … thinking of the photo above:

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Pic Of The Day #2065

Winslow Park this morning, after the season’s first snowfall. This afternoon, it was all gone. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

Pic Of The Day #2016

Wet morning today at Winslow Park (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Dog Park, Distracted Driving, Nice House …

Right now, there are no fenced dog parks in Westport. (Winslow Park is enclosed, but there are many gaps and areas without walls or fences.)

Andrew Colabella wants to change that.

The Representative Town Meeting member worked with Karen Kramer and Matthew Mandell to create a petition. The goal is to gauge support, to show town officials the need. Click here to see.

There are gates, and some new fences, at Winslow Park. But it is not a fully enclosed dog run. (Photo/Nell Waters Bernegger)

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The Westport Police Department is participating in the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s high visibility distracted driving enforcement campaign. The campaign — beginning today, and running through October 31 — will increase efforts to enforce distracted-driving laws.

Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers who are 16 or 17 years old are prohibited from using a cell phone or mobile device at any time — even hands free.

The fine for the first offense is $200. It’s $375 for the second ticket, and $625 for the third and subsequent offenses.

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Who knew so many “06880” readers also read the New York Post?

I’d need an entire haberdashery to hand out hat tips to everyone who sent me the tabloid story noting Shonda Rhimes’ purchase of Doug and Melissa Bernstein’s 11-bedroom home. The 7.5-acre property also includes a basketball court, bowling alleys, arcade, home theater, playroom, billiards room, 8 fireplaces, kitchen with a pizza oven, tennis court, pool, playground, and outdoor seating and dining areas.

Karen Scott was the KMS Partners at Compass broker who sold the property to the producer/screenwriter/author/global media company CEO/Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee’s agent.  Rhimes will move from elsewhere in Westport; the Bernsteins have bought another home here.

Click here for the full New York Post story.

Shonda Rhimes’ new home.

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Meanwhile, another New York newspaper — the Times — this week ran a Critic’s Notebook piece headlined: “Has War Changed, or Only War Photography?”

It begins by citing a 1991 Staples High School graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist:

Lynsey Addario began taking war pictures when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Only two-thirds of a century had elapsed since Robert Capa documented the Spanish Civil War. But to go from the exhibition of Capa’s Spain photos at the International Center of Photography to the Addario show at the SVA Chelsea Gallery is to traverse not just time and geography but a profound shift in sensibility. Capa’s pictures express his belief in war as a conflict between good and evil. In our time, which is to say in Addario’s, unwavering faith in the justice of one side has perished, a casualty of too many brutal, pointless, reciprocally corrupt wars.

Addario over the last two decades has taken her camera to some of the most dangerous places on earth. A MacArthur fellow, she is a freelance photographer who shared a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting awarded to The New York Times in 2009 for its coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like Capa, she calls herself a photojournalist, not an artist. She has said that she is dedicated to “using images to undo preconceptions and to show a reality often misunderstood or misrepresented.” She has also named Capa as one of her main influences, even though many of the preconceptions she seeks to undermine are those he enshrined.

Click here to read the full story. (Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

In one of Lynsey Addario’s most famous photos, Ukrainian soldiers try to save the father of a family of four — the only one at that moment who still had a pulse — moments after being hit by a mortar while trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

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The Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County has received a $5,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

It’s for their Dignity Grows chapter, part of a national network to fight period poverty among nearly 30% of menstruators in the U.S. Donors and volunteers fund and pack monthly totes of hygiene and period essentials. They’re delivered free of charge to partner agencies, who then provide them to their clients. 

From last September through June, the Federation organized 10 packing events — many in Westport — and delivered 800 totes. The grant will help them expand their reach, to meet a growing need.

A packing event hosted by Sharon Navarro (top right, 3rd from right) and Jen Frank (bottom row, 2nd from right). All participants are Westport residents — except the lone male, Ofek Moscovich. He’s the Federation Israel emissary spending a year here. The group packed 100 totes for LifeBridge Community Services in Bridgeport.

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Who knew there were “professional carvers”?

On Thursday (October 20), you can meet one. DeTapas restaurant hosts one. He’ll serve a “world-class jamon,” paired with special Spanish wines.

The carver will go from table to table, from 5:30 p.m. on. The cost is $45 per person. Guests can stay and enjoy dinner afterward. To RSVP, use Open Table, or contact the restaurant: hola@detapasrestaurant.com; 203-557-0257.

Owner Carlos Pia in his handsomely decorated De Tapas restaurant.

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Speaking of restaurants:

After a successful summer, La Plage pivots to fall. Highlights include “Mussels Wednesday” (Pemaquid Maine mussels with non-stop fries service, paired with a special Pilsner from Spacecat Brewing in Norwalk); “Lobster Bake Thursday” (with head-on shrimp, mussels, clams and andouille), and “Paella Sunday” (clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, chicken, chorizo).

La Plage also offers a “Halloween Bash” (Sunday, October 30). The winning costume earns 2 tickets to the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve dinner and gala.

Killer water views at La Plage.

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Looking for money?

Connecticut has just published a new “Big List” — names of people owed money from various sources, currently held by the state treasurer.

The website (click here) guides users through a form to complete and have notarized.  

If you get a windfall, consider sharing it with Dennis Jackson — the “06880” reader who found the site.

And, of course, with “06880.”

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The Joggers Club is not running out of great ideas.

Besides Fun Runs every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. at Compo Beach, and Track Night every Wednesday at 6:q5 p.m. (Staples High School), they’re taking part in races throughout the state. Among them:

  • Pumpkin Run: October 30 (costumes encouraged)
  • Jamie’s Run for Children: November 6 (DJ Party after)
  • Hot Coco 5K: November 12 (“Hottest Race in November”)
  • Branford Thanksgiving 5K: Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Run for Children: December 4 (free beer and live music).

The Joggers Club offers a free race bib to each of those races to one member — and discounted coupons for everyone else.

Club membership is $50 a year (new members get a free Endurance Brooks racing shirt. Click here or on Instagram or Facebook for more information.
$50 a year (And new members get a free Endurance Brooks racing shirt)

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Boo!

The scene outside Winslow Park Animal Hospital changes with the holiday. It’s clear what’s next:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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We’ve featured wasp nests before, in our “Westport … Naturally” series.

But I don’t think I’ve seen any as large — and scary-looking — as this. Pete Powell spotted it on the Longshore golf course, opposite the green at hole 13.

You sure don’t want to hit a ball near there.

(Photo/Pete Powell)

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And finally … in honor of the Connecticut state treasurer’s trove:

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Pic Of The Day #1988

Fog covers the Winslow Park sledding hill this morning (Photo/Mark Mathias)

Official Obituary: Ted Diamond

The Diamond family has released an obituary for Ted Diamond. The former 2nd Selectman, longtime civic volunteer and World War II hero died earlier this month. 

Theodore Diamond — a combat veteran, attorney, CEO and active citizen of Westport, died at home on August 2 as a consequence of Covid-19. He was 105 years old.

After serving as an infantry drill instructor, Ted volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. He was determined to fight, and became the lead navigator of a group of 28 planes flying 50 missions against the Nazis leaving from North Africa, Italy and Russia.

The missions were beyond dangerous — after 50 of them, only 3 original planes survived.

Ted Diamond

An  exhibition called “In Their Own Words: Jewish Veterans of World War II,” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, opens with Ted’s words: “As a Jew, it was Hitler and me. That’s the way I pictured the war.”

For his service Ted received many medals and decorations, including 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses. He was proudest of the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest military medal.

Ted was totally engaged in Westport politics. He served 3 terms in the RTM, and 3 terms as 2nd Selectman.

He worked on many projects in Westport. Three stand out, and helped
to form the character of the town.

The first was the town’s acquisition of Longshore Country Club, and the upgrading of the clubhouse.

The second was working with the modernization of the Fire
Department, to help it become one of the finest and most professional departments in Connecticut.

Finally, and probably most important to the town, Ted led a community movement to prevent the development of a shopping mall. Instead, the town purchased the land that has now become Winslow Park.

Ted Diamond delivers an RTM invocation. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

Born on July 3, 1917 in New York City, Ted was the son of Isador Diamond and Sadie (Drath). Diamond. His parents had recently immigrated from Europe, had limited proficiency in English and were very poor. To contribute money to the family, Ted worked from the age of 8 in a grocery store and drug store.

Ted learned to read early. When a mobile library unit came monthly to his community of Far Rockaway, he borrowed and read as many books as he could.

A teacher in Ted’s elementary school recognized his talents, and encouraged him to take the competitive exam for placement in an elite public school, Townsend-Harris.

He was admitted, and the experience changed his life. It introduced him to college level study, school government, world affairs, and a community of achievers within which he excelled.

Following high school, Ted graduated from St. John’s University, and received his law degree from Columbia University. He was drafted shortly after graduating from law school.

Before he flew overseas, he met Carol Simon for 2 hours at a party. He told his flight crew that if she were still available after the war, he would marry her.

In 1946 they married. They shared an intense love for 75 years, until her death in March 2022.

From 1946 until 1950, Ted practiced in a small law firm specializing in civil rights and labor law.

In 1950 he joined Composition Materials. Ted developed, manufactured and marketed diverse materials used in industries from oil well drilling to airplane maintenance to the composition of running tracks. He worked at Composition Materials until he was 87.

Ted is survived by his sons William and Jonathan; daughter-in-law Harriet; grandsons Theodore and Noah, and great-grandchildren Peter, June and
Beatrix.

A celebration of Ted’s life will be held Sunday September 18 (11 a.m., MoCA Westport).

Contributions in his memory may be made to: ACLU Connecticut, 765 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105.

At 98, Ted Diamond served as grand marshal of Westport’s Memorial Day parade. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pic Of The Day #1938

Winslow Park (Photo/Mark Mathias)

Roundup: Winslow Park, Tarry Lodge, Dunkin’ …

In May, “06880” published the sad story of Winnie the Pooh.

Fifth grader Alex Johnson eulogized his dog. It had run through a break in the Winslow Park stone wall, and been struck and killed by a car on Compo Road North.

Thanks to the efforts of the Johnsons — and many others — tragedies like those may soon be diminished.

Last week, Westport’s Parks & Recreation Commission voted unanimously to fill in 3 breaks, in the park’s off-leash area.

The plan includes split-rail fencing, backed by “nearly invisible” mesh fencing, plus a 3 1/2-foot gate at each of those 3 areas. (Hat tip: Tricia Freeman)

Winnie The Pooh.

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The Sweet Remains are a highlight of every Levitt Pavilion season.

But last night’s concert was extra special. The usual local pride — Sweet Remains leader Greg Naughton grew up in Weston, and lives in Westport — swelled when the trio was joined onstage by Greg’s wife, Broadway star Kelli O’Hara; his father James, the noted actor, and sister Keira.

Alert “06880” reader/longtime music fan/superb photographer Tom Kretsch reports: “It was a truly incredible evening, with a packed crowd enthralled by the group’s performance.”

The Sweet Remains, with James Naughton, Keira Naughton and Kelli O’Hara.

Levitt Pavilion, last night (Photos/Tom Kretsch)

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What’s up with Tarry Lodge?

Recently, alert and hungry reader Patti Brill has noticed the “unkempt” appearance of the Charles Street restaurant. Yesterday, it looked like it was closed.

I checked the website. Nothing unusual; it was taking reservations and pickup orders.

I called. I was about to hang up when — on the 10th ring — a recording said, “We are pleased to announce our new hours.”

That’s usually a euphemism for “shorter hours.” I don’t know their previous schedule, but according to the chirpy voice, Tarry Lodge is open Wednesdays through Friday from 4 to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 9:30 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.

This was Sunday. I pressed “2” to order by phone.

Nothing. Nada. Zippo for some za.

If any reader knows more, click “Comments” below.

Tarry Lodge, yesterday. (Photo/Patti Brill)

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Around the corner from Tarry Lodge, the Bridge Square Dunkin’ Donuts is definitely open.

Alert “06880” reader John Karrel was there this morning.

The music playing in the background was a bit mystifying: Christmas carols.

Hey! Only 153 shopping days left.

Meanwhile, in other Dunkin’ news, a large sign promises that the Compo Shopping Center spot — newly relocated from across from Fresh Market — opens in 3 days.

We’ll soon find out which is more dangerous: The drive-thru Starbucks, or its competitor in an already overcrowded and dangerous plaza.

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Today’s “westport … Naturally” feature shows a serene Sherwood Mill Pond weekend scene. And how did you spend your Saturday evening?

(Photo/Gary Weist)

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And finally … if you missed the Sweet Remains last night — or want to hear more — click below: