20 Things Only Westporters Understand

Great duck
Photograph: Diane Sembrot

1. Westport quacks itself up with the annual Great Duck Race, hosted by the Westport Sunrise Rotary, supporting two dozen nonprofits. Do good, have fun—how very Westport.

2. We rush to get tickets on the Staples Players website (staplesplayers.com) like a Broadway show is opening.

Photograph: Channing Smith Sledders by istock.com © Sonya Etchison

3. On the first snow day, we race to Winslow Park, sledin hand. We want the first run down the hill.

4. We don’t stumble over the name Coffee An, knowing it’s a coffee shop with oversized, irresistible donuts (and we bring cash only).

5. If we have to carve your name into something or need a good photo op, we head to the boardwalk in Parker Harding Plaza. The mini walk leads us out to a great view of
the bridge.

6. The Christmas lights on the Saugatuck Swing Bridge (a.k.a. Cribari Bridge; built in 1884, the oldest active bridge of its type in the state) are as essential to the season as the Santa hat on the Minute Man statue (1910, by H. Daniel Webster).

7. Even fancy folks chill out at the Black Duck Cafe (blackduckwestport.com)—and, although it looks like it might, the building won’t fall into the river just as you bite into your burger.

8. We don’t run to Christie’s Country Store for practical Yankee things, like candles. We go to the town’s oldest country store when we’re starving. Hello No. 7 with fresh-roasted veggies.

9. Fold-up lawn chairs were made for two things: reserving a space at Compo for the fireworks and reserving a space at the Levitt for free concerts all summer long.

10. Each Labor Day weekend, we go full-on Southern at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival—music, ribs and games for the kiddos.

Compo Cove
Photograph: Becky Hoving

11. We go for a stroll to hidden Compo Cove to take in the view from the Sherwood Mill Pond footbridge.

Photograph: Stacy Bass

12. We’re obsessed with chickens and anything related to farms. Check out Harvest Fest on Sept. 22 (wakemantownfarm.org).

13. We love dogs. We walk our pampered pooches at Winslow Park, have lots of rescue organizations and events (the Dog Festival!)—and, for thirty years, have chatted about ticks, chewies and kibbles at Earth Animal (earthanimal.com).

Photograph: Contributed

14. We encourage our kids to get their hands dirty at Earthplace, with trails, nature programs, animal rehabilitation and more. Its preschool is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

15. Saturday mornings we’re sporting distressed jeans at Compo’s playground with the kids, and that night we’re rocking designer duds for a fancy fundraiser at Mitchells. Just another fam-to-glam weekend in Westport.

16. Gault is more than that oil-delivery truck rolling around town. Try landscaping, energy, commercial development (it’s the town’s oldest business, going on six generations).It’s also a street in town—and a must-go on Halloween (as is Compo Beach Road).

17. When we’re going to protest something, we make a sign and head to Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge—named for the late advocate for the UN and founder of jUNe Day.

Photograph: istock.com By @WavebreakmediaMicro

18. Volunteering is in our DNA. We pitch in and give back from childhood to our golden years.

19. We treat celebs like people. Enough said.

20. We love golf. We head to Longshore, a town-owned country club, with seasonal recreation, like sailing, ice-skating and golf. Check out the golf outings in Don’t Miss This, page 152.

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