Old Greenwich, Connecticut: Front-Porch Kind of Place
The New York Times, August 20, 2014
By Lisa Prevost
Photos by Douglas Healey
One night last month, Lesley King received a Facebook message that reflected what she considers one of the finest qualities of Old Greenwich: a connected community.
Her new business, Back 40 Mercantile, an upscale general store for the eco-conscious, had opened that day in the small commercial center called “the village.” (Ms. King is an owner with family members.) She had closed up shop only a few hours before. The Facebook message arrived around 9: A man she barely knew wanted her to know that he had spotted a candle still burning in the shop.
A resident of Old Greenwich since 2001, Ms. King says that sort of neighborly outreach is the custom in a community where people’s yards don’t extend much beyond their houses.
At the home she shares with her husband, Bill, and their four children, the swing set sits in the front yard, an open invitation to youngsters walking by. That might not pass muster in the parts of Greenwich that take pride in pristine, gated isolation, but the culture of Old Greenwich is better expressed by the prevalence of front porches.
“The best thing about Old Greenwich,” Ms. King said, “is that everybody lives in houses close to each other.”
Sunny Weather Greets Old Greenwich Sidewalk Sale
by Richard Lee, Greenwich Time
OLD GREENWICH -- Shopping at the Old Greenwich Sidewalk Sales has become a tradition for Cathy Dishner, who now divides her time between the shoreline neighborhood and her other home in London.
Dishner was one of hundreds who took advantage of a warm, sunny Thursday -- the first day of the three-day event -- to look for deals as merchants displayed their wares along Sound Beach Avenue.
"I like supporting our local businesses," she said while searching through the racks in front of Fred, a women's clothing store. "I like the fact that these are local stores -- not like the big chains like on Greenwich Avenue, and I like frequenting my favorite spots."
To donate to this event, click on the flag
to get to the donation form
Howard Stern sidekick acclimates to civic service
Board of Parks and Recreation member Gary Dell'Abate at Binney Park in Old Greenwich, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Dell'Abate's day job as the producer of controversial "Howard Stern Show" made for a turbulent confirmation process last year by the RTM for the volunteer position. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time | Buy This Photo
To the Editor:
Last Sunday's Greenwich Time carried a front page photo of Gary Dell’Abate sitting on a bridge spanning Binney Pond. The text of the article focused on Mr. Dell'Abate' nomination, appointment and his work for the Board of Parks and Recreation this past year. The feature failed to address, although the photo clearly showed, the great need to get on with the re-dredging of the badly silted Binney Pond. Sunday's photo did one thing well. It clearly showed one of the growing mud islands now so evident in Binney Pond. Frankly, the pond is a mess, debris cluttered and silted badly especially in the north end. One can only hope that this photo of Mr. Dell'Abate will serve as a reminder that the Board's obligations are to pay attention, not only to active recreation activities in our public open spaces, but also to the passive recreation places belonging the community. Unfortunately, the photo suggests that the Board of Parks and Recreation might be turning its back on the Binney Pond dredging question. We hope that is an incorrect assumption.
The Board of the Old Greenwich Association
The railway bridge on Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Metro-North Railroad has slated this bridge and the one on Tomac Avenue to be replaced. Photo: Helen Neafsey / Greenwich Time | Buy This Photo
Century-old bridges in Old Greenwich to be replaced
The Sound Beach and Tomac avenue bridges in Old Greenwich have borne the weight of untold thousands of trains and many more commuters over the last 100-plus years.
And it shows. With patches of crumbling concrete, rusting metal and peeling paint, age has crept up on the sturdy structures.
But starting next year, the state will undertake a massive, four-year construction project to replace both railroad bridges, at an estimated cost of $30 million to $40 million.
The Sound Beach and Tomac avenue bridges in Old Greenwich have borne the weight of untold thousands of trains and many more commuters over the last 100-plus years.And it shows. With patches of crumbling concrete, rusting metal and peeling paint, age has crept up on the sturdy structures.But starting next year, the state will undertake a massive, four-year construction project to replace both railroad bridges, at an estimated cost of $30 million to $40 million.
Click on the page to download the newsletter as a PDF
Replacement of Trees in Old Greenwich
The Old Greenwich Association lent its support to the Old Greenwich Merchants Association in lobbying the Town to replace selected trees on Sound Beach Avenue with ones that would provide increased shade, better sight lines and a more "New Englandy" feel. Over 300 local residents signed a petition supporting this measure. However, there were many others who disagreed, and a public hearing was held on the matter. All sides were well represented and eloquent in making their points, and after several days of consideration, Town of Greenwich Tree Warden Bruce Spaman has decided to begin a plan of pruning and maintenance, and not to remove any trees at this time.
In addition to this hearing drawing attention to the needs of the downtown village trees, one of the best things to come up was the call for more study to look into what else could be done to beautify the area. Now the ball is rolling, and at this moment there are individuals and groups planning to organize and look into trees, plantings, benches, signage and more in order to make Old Greenwich an even more attractive place to live, work and shop. If you want to read more about this, the official decision from Mr. Spaman is posted below. As always, if anyone has any questions or wants to volunteer to help, please contact us here at the OGA.
Old photo showing shade trees before they were diseased and replaced
OGA Twitter Feed
Safety course offered to Greenwich boaters, non-boaters alike http://t.co/IEKUfuib1p
Fugitive from Justice Suspect Caught in Old Greenwich http://t.co/Q2BaY7UTBf
Boating Victim Was Greenwich HS Junior from Old Greenwich http://t.co/58UrdYW3i3
Plan in works to save Ferris Homestead from wrecking ball http://t.co/N8rc78wQ8X
Reported fatal boat accidents at Greenwich Point http://t.co/RiL0LVeYQ2