One of the reasons I like the piece about actress Melissa Joan Hart (“Hello Sweet Hart,” page 38) is that she seems to live thoroughly in Westport—no-excuses, out-and-about, dive-in living. She’s a wife, a mom of three (her littlest one, Tucker, just a newborn), and an actress (she stars in Melissa & Joey) whose show is filmed on the West Coast—and yet she still makes the effort to stay in touch with her girlfriends back home. They have get-togethers, share stories about their lives, keep busy (really busy!) at the gym, and, one imagines, spend most of this time making one another laugh. For those of us, me included, who say, “I’m too busy for this and too swamped for that,” Melissa and her group of friends set an irrefutable example of sincerely investing in friendship.
After reading the piece, written by Riann Smith and shot by Melani Lust, it’s easy to see why people enjoy spending time with Melissa. What’s better than the combination of humor and honesty?
Melissa and her family have been calling Westport home for about three years (remember all the excited cocktail-party talk about her settling here?). In that time, she’s discovered some of her favorite places. She’s become an insider, claiming home here, not just an address. In that spirit, we also put together a piece on where to go, what to do, who to meet, and more, all selected by distinct personalities with one thing in common—they are Westport devotees. No matter your interests, we have something for you. If you love art and culture, here’s where to indulge your creative pursuits. If you’re a history buff, these are the most meaningful sites around. If you want to hunt down the latest fashions, we have a must shopping destination, according to one very stylish couple. There’s a ton more. And all different. These big personalities have a wide range of interests and areas of expertise, from food to sports to technology, and they enthusiastically shared what they love about their hometown. Their choices reveal great ideas for the rest of us, so dig in and go exploring close to home.
Forget about trying to define “Westporter.” This piece, with all of its selections, illustrates beautifully that locals are multifaceted. Tell us if we’ve missed your favorite insider picks! We’re eager this year to shake up our routines, honor beloved faves, and, of course, make time for friends. Some well-informed Westporters gave us great ideas!