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Friday, January 30, 2015

Arts and Leisure

Arts and Leisure

Friday, January 30, 2015

Advance Praise for Lynsey Addario Book

There is advance praise for Westport award-winning photographer Lynsey Addario’s new book to be published next week, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” (The Penguin Press, HC, $29.95).

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Lynsey Addario’s book will be published next week.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The New York Times Magazine this Sunday publishes excerpts from the book, which Kirkus Reviews called “A remarkable journalistic achievement from a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. “

Dexter Filkins, a former New York Times colleague and author of “The Forever War,” said: “Lynsey Addario’s book is like her life: big, beautiful, and utterly singular. With the whole world as her backdrop, Addario embarks on an extraordinary adventure whose overriding effect is to remind of us what unites us all.”

Addario, a 1991 Staples High School graduate, is a frequent visitor to her hometown. A year ago, the Westport Arts Center presented an exhibit of 34 of her photographs, “On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion,” which depicted the plight of women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. (See WestportNow Jan. 25, 2014)

Posted 04:13 PM
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Friday Drop-in Distinguished Visitor

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Helen Clark, U.N. Development Program head and former prime minister of New Zealand, was a drop in visitor today at the Westport Arts Center. She was greeted by Helen Klisser During, fellow New Zealander, artistic director, and curator of the Center’s current exhibit, “Coney Island: Side Show,” which runs until March 14. They are pictured in front of Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes’s shot “Coney Island Boardwalk, NY, Day to Night 2011.” Clark is just back from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where, among other events, she was honored at a reception for Forbes Magazine’s “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Clark is often mentioned as a possible future U.N. secretary-general. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 03:33 PM
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Susan Granger at the Movies: ‘Violent Year,’ ‘Strange Magic,’ ‘Wedding Ringer’

By Susan Granger

Set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically the most dangerous year in the city’s history, J.C. Chandor’s intense noir-thriller “A Most Violent Year” combines political intrigue with industrial corruption.

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Ambitious, idealistic Hispanic immigrant Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) started as a fuel truck driver for a heating oil distributor. When he married the mob-connected boss’s daughter Anna (Jessica Chastain), taking over the family business, he discovers it’s not easy being honest in the crime-riddled city.

After making a deal to purchase a waterfront storage facility, Morales is faced with a series of brutal anonymous attacks.  His drivers are hijacked and his fuel is stolen.

Egged on by Anna and his lawyer (Albert Brooks), he turns to desperate measures to protect his property, his family and his chunk of the American Dream.

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Posted 02:25 PM
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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sold-Out Crowd for Music of the 70s

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The Suzanne Sheridan Band played to a sold-out crowd at the Unitarian Church Voices Cafe in Westport tonight, performing the music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. In addition to Sheridan, musicians included Westporter Bob Cooper on keyboard, Marshall Rosenberg on percussion, and Ruth Ahlers of Norwalk on saxophone. Two back-up vocalists rounded out the group that had people dancing in the aisles and singing along to the popular songs of the 1970s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jane Sherman for WestportNow.com

Posted 11:30 PM
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Time-Lapse Video Brings Coney Island Photo to Life

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Guests tonight watch a time-lapse video at the Westport Arts Center showing how Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes shot “Coney Island Boardwalk, NY, Day to Night 2011.” The wide-frame overhead image, which took 15 hours to shoot and months to compose, shows Coney Island gradually morphing from blinding sunshine on the right to midnight darkness on the left. (See video here) It is one of more than 70 works by 14 photographers in “Coney Island: Side Show,” curated by Helen Klisser During, WAC artistic director, which runs until March 14. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Posted 10:21 PM
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Coney Island Exhibit Centerpiece

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This 2011 wide-frame of Coney Island by Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes showing it morphing from day to night is the centerpiece of an exhibit of 70 works by 14 photographers in “Coney Island: Side Show,” which opened tonight at the Westport Arts Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Stephen Wilkes

Posted 10:18 PM
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Westport Meets Coney Island

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Helen Klisser During, Westport Arts Center artistic director, thanks Westport photographers who contributed to “Coney Island: Side Show,” which opened tonight and runs to March 14. It includes 70 works by 14 photographers. With her are (l-r) N.W. Gibbons, Douglas Healey, Stephen Wilkes, Larry Silver, and David Kalman.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 10:16 PM
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Coney Island Fun

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Westport photographer David Kalman tonight stands next to one of his Coney Island photos in “Coney Island: Side Show,” which opened tonight at the Westport Arts Center and runs to March 14. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Posted 10:11 PM
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Celebrating Coney Island


Scenes from tonight’s reception and post-reception dinner making the opening of the Westport Arts Center’s “Coney Island Side Show” exhibit. Helen Klisser During and Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.comand contributed photos

Posted 10:05 PM
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting Ready for March Library Book Sale

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Westport Library volunteers are busy in the lower level sorting room in anticipation of the spring book sale on March 14-17.  According to volunteer Dick Lowenstein (c, book donations fill the drop-off bins daily. He said the books, categorized into mystery, sci-fi, gardening, cooking, nonfiction, self-help and both trade and regular paperbacks are boxed and transported for storage by Homes With Hope personnel, to the Baron’s South Golden Shadows facility which has recently been cited for an Historic Landmark status application. “There are 40 all-year round volunteers dedicated to used book and vinyl record sorting. pricing, categorizing, labeling and boxing,” he said . With him are Bill Gluckman (l) of Norwalk and Pat Skelly of Southport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:17 PM
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Susan Granger At the Movies: ‘American Sniper,’ ‘Inherent Vice,’ ‘Paddington’

By Susan Granger

Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated “American Sniper” pays tribute to the late Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL acclaimed as the most deadly sharpshooter in U.S. military history.

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Set in Iraq, the opening scene is riveting, as Kyle (Bradley Cooper) must decide whether to shoot a woman and a young boy. The same pivotal scene is repeated midway through the story -– at a time when it’s better understood. 

Prior to that, there’s the conventional biography. Where Kyle came from (Texas), how he met his wife (Sienna Miller) and why he nobly embarked on four tours of duty. Apparently, it all went back to Kyle’s father’s dictum that the world is divided into three types: sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.

Devoted to God, country, and family (in that order), Kyle envisioned himself as a sheepdog, protecting others, while his expertise earned the nickname “The Legend.” But when he eventually returned home, Kyle suffered post-traumatic stress, like many other soldiers.

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Posted 12:29 PM
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Green and Greenberg Draw Library Crowd

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Westport authors Jane Green and Mike Greenberg, both of whom have done much of their writing at the Westport Library, spoke to a full room tonight at the library about their new books——Green’s “Saving Grace” and Greenberg’’s “My Father’s Wives.” Green has published 15 New York Times best-selling novels, and Greenberg is the co-host of ESPN’‘s “Mike and Mike.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 09:15 PM
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Getting the Light Just Right

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Helen Klisser During (c), artistic director at the Westport Arts Center, today adjusts the lights on “Coney Island Boardwalk, NY, Day to Night 2011,” a photograph by Westport photographer Stephen Wilkes (r). The photo—see a time lapse video here and a “CBS Sunday Morning” feature on the photo and Wilkes here —is one of more than 70 works by 14 photographers in “Coney Island: Side Show” opening on Friday with a 6 to 8 p.m. reception. Jill Sarver (l), visual arts manager, assists. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Marina White for WestportNow.com

Posted 04:54 PM
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Town to Secure New Restaurant to Replace Splash

Westporters beginning this spring will be able to dine overlooking Long Island Sound in space formerly occupied by Splash Restaurant at the Inn at Longshore Club Park.

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Splash Restaurant & Bar had been a Westport waterside favorite since 1995 before it closed last October.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

First Selectman Jim Marpe and Rory Tagert, who has leased the Inn at Longshore, a the town-owned facility, for more than 30 years, announced today they have signed a letter of intent to identify and secure a new restaurant to replace Splash, which closed last October after 19 years. (See WestportNow Oct. 31, 2014)

“It is imperative that a first class restaurant for all Westporters is in operation for the spring and summer 2015 seasons,” Marpe said in a statement. “The restaurant must also include services for golfers.”

Marpe noted that a long-term sublease with a restaurant operator would be subject to the town’s terms, conditions, and approval.

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Posted 02:38 PM
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Landmark Status Sought for Baron’s Mansion

By James Lomuscio

For 17 years, the Baron’s house has been empty, filled with only memories and myths, not to mention books stored for the Westport Library’s book sales.

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Golden Shadows has been vacant for 17 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Located at 68 Compo Road South on the town-owned 23-acre Baron’s South property, the two-story, 1959 brick Colonial Revival mansion was the home of the late Austrian Baron Walter Langer Von Langendorff and his British wife Evelyn Diane, founders in the mid-1940s of Evyan Perfumes.

Evyan was the first American perfume company to rival French perfumeries with its White Shoulders, now produced by Elizabeth Arden, and Golden Shadows scents.

Now, two Westport preservationists want the town to designate the home dubbed Golden Shadows a Local Historic Landmark Property.

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Posted 12:30 AM
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