Part of living in Fairfield County is learning how to deal with I-95 — and everyone who drives anywhere in this area has a horror story to tell about getting caught in nightmare traffic. When I first moved here in the 1980s, the real problems were pretty much limited to prime commuting times in the morning and evening. But over the years, the so-called rush hour has expanded. Just try getting out of town early on a Friday afternoon — if you’re on the highway after 2 p.m., plan to sit for a while.
Although problems on I-95 affect much of the state, Darien is one town where they are felt most acutely. This hit me a few years ago when a truck driver pointed out that the road actually narrows near Exit 10, a factor that causes that section to experience more than its share of accidents. And as all Darien residents know only too well, an accident on the highway leads to massive local tie-ups, especially downtown, as drivers try to escape the resulting gridlock.
Can anything be done to improve the situation? Or is this one of those intractable problems about which people complain and complain while nothing ever happens to make things better? We asked writer Bill Slocum to give us an overview — looking at the past and the present and updating us on the actual projects that may make traveling in our area if not easier, then at least more tolerable. You can read what he found in “Darien vs. I-95.”
On the lighter side, to keep with this month’s theme of entertaining, we decided to focus on the upsurge of dinner parties that occurs as we move inside after a summer of casual outdoor dining. Even the most experienced hosts should appreciate a few new tips as they start taking out the good china again. In “You’re Invited,” by Leslie Chess Feller, five active party-givers share their ideas for setting great tables, a central part of any festive meal.
Remember the tempest in New Canaan caused by the publication in 1994 of author Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm and the movie that followed? Last year Moody came out with a new, long-awaited novel, The Diviners, and was fˆeted in, of all places, New Canaan. After attending his talk at the library, Timothy Dumas visited with the writer, recognized as one of the leading lights among today’s literary talents. Has Moody, who now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, made peace with his Fairfield County background? And what’s next in his controversial career? Dumas found answers to these questions and more in this revealing New Yorker–style interview.
It’s a busy time of year. Enjoy!