Moshe Aelyon’s snapshots of Istanbul
The latest hotspots in Westport
Grand opening of Aspire Fitness in Westport
The importance of location and perspective
Printer and painter Stephanie Joyce
Compo Beach Penguin Plunge
Weston dancer shakes the boring out of fitness
Giant Steps/Hole in the Wall Camp
Fairfield County Concours D’Elegance
Homes With Hope
Fired at 50. Now what?
Every firefighter has a story—here they share
how the job has changed them and just what keeps them running into burning buildings
A real estate pro saves and restores a John Fowler midcentury modern in Weston, adding décor gems found on weekend excursions.
For our annual state of real estate issue, we headed straight to the pros to ask about the health of the market—and, I admit, I was pessimistic. Whoa—don’t throw that “journalistic neutrality” comment at me. Who wouldn’t be reining in expectations after the last few years of the national news consistently sluggish housing numbers—even if our region (very thankfully) did seem insulated from the worst of the extended crisis. I was pleasantly surprised when writer C. J. Hughes dug into ten hot topics affecting the residential landscape in Westport, Weston, and Wilton and found hope for homeowners and investors. If you’re thinking of making a move, check out his report (“Maximizing in the Slow Stretch,” page 62) first. I wanted a visual overview of the residential market for the story, too. So, we pulled together images of listed properties—but it was slow going. Whenever I found a listing I liked, the agent would respond that the house had just sold. What a wonderful sign! Moving or not, spring ushers in the call to spruce up one’s home. Our market editor, Carisha Swanson, headed to downtown Westport to scoop up hot finds in the home décor shops. Whether you’re considering small […]
Nike opens a new store in Westport
Making sense of an unpredictable world, futurist Watts Wacker looks to protests in the streets and the invasion of Google to understand the world and his little corner of it in Westport
Whether you’re a lifelong Westporter or a newly transplanted Manhattanite, there’s no denying the charms of this coastal gem and its gorgeous neighbors Weston and Wilton. From our beach playgrounds to our theaters, from our restaurants to our arts center, these towns have got it going on. In the spirit of keeping you plugged in, we’ve compiled some of the hottest deals and must-dos. 1. You Blow the Budget on Weekends… Savvy sippers know that when you go out midweek (Girls’ Night Out, anyone?), you’ll reap the rewards of quieter, friendlier restaurants offering midweek perks. At Acqua, in Westport, Tuesday is Wine Appreciation Night with a 50 percent discount on bottles under $100 and 25 percent off bottles at or above $100. Bonda in Greenfield Hill, has resurrected the ever-popular Tuesday “Open That Bottle Night.” In this popular BYOB draw, the restaurant waives corkage fees. Raid your wine cellar or grab a bottle at the wine shop next door, which stays open late on Tuesdays. 2. You believe in Your Own Good Taste… Avail yourself of a primo meal at a gentle price, complemented by BYO wones. Some faves: Tutti’s Ristorante (no corkage!), Bon Appetit Café ($12 corkage), and Nicholas Roberts American […]
Know what kind of insider trading I can support? The kind that tells me secretly where to pick up an authentic pastrami on rye or where to find a snowy slope for sledding. With time, anyone can discover the treasures of our towns. Gems like the Westport Youth Film Festival, a town tour with Allen Raymond, a walk through the Newman-Poses Preserve, a skate at Longshore ice rink, free pizza at V’s happy hour, a literary lecture at the library, a performance by jazz greats, an amazing sale at a local boutique and a scenic route through Weston and Wilton that feels worlds away. The list is endless. How about a good Chinese dumpling or Indian curry? No problem—they are both right on Post Road. Where to find a simple chicken salad sandwich with real mayo? It’s not the obvious choice. And finding it takes either trial and error or networking. That’s why we present this “Insider’s Guide.” We dish on scoops like $3 kids’ meals and where to find an expert tailor, day or night. Before the month is out, try some of my faves: • LISTEN to the lovely Lissy Newman sing at the Dressing Room. • STROLL […]
“Nothing is more special than receiving a beautiful holiday card in the mail and knowing that someone has thought of you. Sharing a fun new family photo or words show you care,” says card designer Bonnie Marcus, of Westport. Make it even more special with celebrity designs by Cindy Crawford, Molly Sims, Angie Harmon, and Marcia Cross, among others—each design benefits a charity, such as the Leukemia and Lymphona Society. Selection and prices at bonniemarcus.com.
Get your kids published!
Entertainment Season Heats Up
A Celebration of Giving
This actor has worked alongside Joanne Woodward, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Julie Andrews, Natalie Wood, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon, George Clooney, Diane Lane, Clive Owen, Sandra Bullock, Chris Cooper, Al Pacino, Kathy Bates, and so many more. Oh, but wait—he’s CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER! When you think about Mr. Plummer as a neighbor in tranquil Connecticut, you forget he is Hollywood royalty. This actor is in high demand on stage and screen. Yet Plummer is friendly and seems amused with celebrity. It might be the sly smile or those much discussed eyes. His aristocratic demeanor can chill in The Sound of Music, turn one to stone in The Insider, and then melt instantly with charm in Must Love Dogs. While filming Beginners with Ewan McGregor, the two A-listers pulled a mischievous yet endearing prank. Don’t miss Brigitte Quinn’s interview (starting on page 58.) When refined formality feels this comfortable, it’s partly due to being fully engaged with the people around you. That idea was reinforced when I read Saving Civility, a new book by Weston resident Sara Hacala. Today’s environment is one of crises, schedules and relentless pursuit of getting ahead; Hacala reminds us […]
Christopher Plummer’s career is ablaze—most recently nailing a role in the ultra-cool The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—yet he lives the serene life in quiet Connecticut
A selection of hands-on private classes and in-market demonstrations that are close to home
The outgoing CEO of Save the Children looks at a lifetime of worldwide change
America’s Reaction and Changes Following September 11
Local entertaining experts spill party secrets with colorful (and delicious!) drinks
What began as a home-based support group in New CANAAN is Now one of the most influential advocacy organizations for the 9/11 community worldwide
I don’t believe age actually sneaks up on anyone. Actually, age sends me a reminder every day. Take for example the day I was giddy to read about a scientific study that suggests the attractiveness of crow’s feet (an unflattering term for those fan-like wrinkles at the outside of our eyes). Other signs? Aching knees and authentically saying, “Whew,” at the top of the staircase…and then there’s our Ten Teens to Watch story, which slowly rolls into view each year. Nothing to do but face this one head on. For this piece, I have the pleasure of meeting ten teens who are extraordinary. They’re composing music, winning academic awards, interviewing sports celebs—and more. The “and more” part goes without saying—of course, there’s more. These teens are diverse in their talents and interests. Looking at them, I recall mid-life’s tagline: “Woulda, coulda, shoulda.” Let me explain. During the photo shoot, I fell into conversation with Tessa Green, who casually explained how she won a fellowship and is pursing a patent for a brilliant idea for storing energy. My understanding of energy begins and ends with a light switch. The teens we profile in these pages share that admirable dedication to curiousity […]
A survey of area dentists reveals who they think are the tops in every specialty from orthodontics to pediatric dentistry to oral surgery and more.
You sure told us! we polled you, our readers, about the essentials of the Gold Coast: food, fun, fashion, family, fitness, and even pamperings that we wouldn’t give up without a fight. And you spoke up—way up! You turned in a massive number of votes for our feature: The Best of the Connecticut Gold Coast. Inside you’ll find the results of our tallies. Take a look to see who grabbed the top spots. If you haven’t heard of them or flat-out disagree, you might want to give them a chance anyway. Your friends and neighbors are cheering about something, and you just might discover new faves. Putting “best” in front of anything is simply begging for a disagreement—our “Best Of” issue challenges tried-and-true ways and places. Yet, I truly enjoy the unexpected wins—it’s fun to disagree and then immediately go check it out. In this issue, you’ll also read about a man who challenges the status quo daily yet for something far more serious—how we treat animals and what we can learn about ourselves. His name is Buck Brannaman; also known as the horse whisperer. When local film director Cindy Meehl met Buck, she was so impressed, she made a […]
Working at the magazine, I hear about many local nonprofits. Some are just getting off the ground with a single event, others have gone global, rushing in to help people in places like Haiti and Japan. And while I’ve become familiar with what these organizations do, what their events are like, and who benefits from their work, it dawned on me that I didn’t always know how they started. More specifically, for whom. This happened when I was doing routine fact-checking on a nonprofit called Mikey’s Way. Searching its website for contact information, I was suddenly struck by this sixteen-year-old’s story. Perhaps because it was told so simply or maybe it was just something about that day, but I heard it in a way that made it sink in. We write about Michael Friedman in this issue, so I don’t want to give away too much here, but he made a wish not for himself but for other children and teens also being treated for critical health conditions. It was a deeply moving decision that revealed to me what he was going through. I started thinking about other local nonprofits founded by families to protect their own children as well […]
As a Functional Designer, Westporter Bob Brannigan Quietly Polishes the Theater Experience
Westport’s green village initiative hopes planting seeds will change lives
The Peaceful Gardens of a Greenfield Hill Estate
A Westport couple mixes influences to design a dream home
Spring marks new beginnings—including the annual run-up to the most active time for the real estate market. Typically, that is. The last couple of years had us all hunkered down, watching and waiting for signs of growth. This year we sent out writer C. J. Hughes to explore the local residential and commercial landscape, to gather facts and figures, and to check in with industry pros for their opinions. Here is his report on the health of our markets in 2011. Residential Westport’s market firms up, though soft spots linger Real estate, like football, can be a game of inches. At least, that’s the current sentiment among many in the real estate community in Westport, where the housing market appears to be staging an incremental yet steady recovery back from the depths of the recession. True, in his revaluation last year, town assessor Paul Friia found that most homes were off 13 percent since 2005, and many real estate brokers say that not only could the losses be higher on homes bought in 2007, any shortfalls may not be overcome for years. Yet 2010 still offered promising signs, say brokers, even if they can sound a bit Pollyannaish. For one, […]
Westport’s nurturing home for teenage girls in crisis
Our state of real estate issue is one I look forward to each year. We check our perspective of the market by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. This year is a little different. Along with checking in on the residential market, we asked writer C. J. Hughes to take the temperature of the commercial market as well. With all of the changes on Westport’s Main Street, Post Road and down in Saugatuck, this story was long past due. Inside, you’ll find C. J.’s report, complete with viewpoints and fact-and-figures from the pros. As we approach the all-important spring market, the timing for both reflection and planning couldn’t be better. Alongside that piece, we have a story on one very special house in Westport. It belongs to Project Return, an organization that nurtures teenage girls in crisis. The residence is a safe place, with special programs and caring staff to help the teens transition into a better place. Project Return is celebrating twenty-five years in operation, and shares the support of numerous individuals in town and beyond. One of the organization’s best-known fundraisers is coming up (April 1). Perhaps you’ve seen the birdhouses around town? If […]
Presenting 142 of the Best Local Physicians in 41 Specialties
Let’s just face it: We have a serious weakness for this ultimate comfort food in all of its tasty incarnations. We are continually transforming it in new and unexpected ways. Today, there are pizza pies to suit any palate and price. This is especially
so in Fairfield County, where traditional tomato- and-cheese pies are offered along with inspired gourmet choices. We visited some of the area’s most popular pizza joints to get a taste of the choices.
There’s only one reason to do a story on Jared Cohen: He’s fascinating. I’m a paper devotee. If you e-mail me a message, I’m going to print it out. If you want me to edit something, put a pencil in my hand. At the moment, like most moments, I am surrounded by paper—stacked, posted, filed, splayed. I am of Generation X—as in an X-shaped support beam under the high-speed bridge between the baby boomers, who transformed and dominated American culture (think The Beatles, political street protests, and mocha lattes), and Generation Y, the group born of the boomers, who, like nouveau revolutionaries, are racing headlong across a digital global terrain of unprecedented citizen empowerment held in their palms. So it was a dismal evening when I heard Jared Cohen lecture at Fairfield University. Not only did he engage a huge audience at the raw age of twenty-eight, he also quite freely said that if the older generation (e.g., me) can’t keep up with all the wonders of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and all manner of cellphones, then just get out of the way. Harsh.…yet true. I recall shoving my simpleton flip-phone deeper in my coat pocket. He spoke that night about […]