New Canaan, Darien + Rowayton - Nov/Dec 22

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Norwalk Hospital

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contents NOV/DEC 2022

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Old favorites return, new faces emerge and longtime staples expand—there’s a lot going on in our towns when it comes to the dining scene. We’ve got a roundup that will surely come in handy the next time someone asks the age-old question, “Where should we go?”



In this, the season of giving, our Light a Fire awards celebrate the unsung heroes among us who are affecting change in incredible ways. It is our honor to introduce them to you here.


Reproductive rights are under fire around the country. In this in-depth look, we explore the history of those rights in Connecticut. From puritanical to progressive, we’ve come a long way. But can we stop history from repeating itself?



BUZZ We explore the Carriage Barn Arts Center—a place to create and connect. DO Experts offer advice on pediatric cardiac health and the key things every parent should know; Books that make great gifts HOME Add interest to your interior design with these rich tones and cool shapes. GO Philadelphia is not all about cheesesteaks, Rocky and a cracked bell. We’ve got a super luxe trip planned for you.

SHOP Our holiday gift guide will give you the inspo you need to let everyone know that they made the nice list. EAT If you think you know gourmet ice cream, you may want to think again. Karla Sorrentino takes the sweet treat to an entirely new decadent level.



Throughout the pandemic we saw the need in less-fortunate communities reach staggering levels. It has led many people to ask how they can use their wealth to improve the lives of others. Here are some suggestions.



on the cover new canaan’s forrest street farmer’s table

cover photography by lacy kiernan carrol

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Miles Of Beach : 3 Championship Golf Courses : Tennis & Pickleball : Squash : Delectable Dining : Oceanfront Beach Club Welcome to John’s Island. A sunny, cherished haven enjoyed by generations who have discovered the undeniable allure of life by the sea. With 1,650 pristine acres, miles of quiet sandy beaches and a thriving community, this is ocean to river living at its finest. These serene offerings each combine luxury with traditional appeal. Replete with gorgeous architectural details, tranquil spacious living areas and lush grounds - not to mention close to the water - each of these homes takes advantage of prime location with access to an incredible array of amenities. We invite you to indulge in a life of bliss in John’s Island. luxury estates : condominiums : homesites : townhouses : cottages 772.231.0900 : Vero Beach, Florida : Watercolor Skies. Blissful Life. Warm Welcome. Island House Studios : From $700,000 590-1,240 SF : Beach & Pool Access 111 Stingaree Point : Offered at $14,000,000 : 45 Waxmyrtle Way : $4,600,000 Lakefront : 4BR/4.5BA : Stellar Outdoor Living 710 Manatee Cove : $6,150,000 Soundfront: 6,251± GSF : 2 Offices : Dock 700 Beach Road #147 : $2,200,000 3BR/2BA : Poolside : First Floor


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Elizabeth Hole editor, custom publishing Diane Sembrot editor, fairfield living; westport; stamford Veronica Schorr assistant editor, athome


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president’s letter


We live in tumultuous times. A feeling of unabated change swirls around us with continuing Covid, inflation, a looming recession, the war in Ukraine and accelerating technologies we must adapt to every year. Toss in midterm elections shifting power between our two major parties, and we have unease.

Living in Russia, Japan, Australia, China, New Zealand and Thailand deepened my pride in our country—its resiliency and adaptability. I married a Russian whom I met while living in Tokyo on an exchange program from the University of Sydney. Our firstborn entered the world in Moscow. The political systems ranged across the spectrum from authoritarian with one-man or one-party rule to robustly democratic. Regardless of who governed, I learned that people are people. We value love and community. I made friends in all those countries. Our responsibility as regional magazine media is to help the community thrive—to help people live better lives. At the top we celebrate what is good here—our neighbors, the culture, the history, things to do and places to go. And we tackle tough issues like domestic violence, bullying, addiction and women’s rights, in which we balance the hard realities with opportunities to make a difference. We highlight the people who truly want to make a positive difference in our lives, as in the Light A Fire awards for

volunteers extraordinaire and unsung heroes. Moffly Media supports over 150 nonprofits by sharing their message or helping them raise money to address important needs not supported by government services. As the media world evolves with ever more streaming services, social channels and websites, there is one thing we at Moffly want to do—help us understand each other and improve quality of life.

Enter politics in this crazy-feeling, divisive time and take a more middle road on the hot button issues between the extreme left and extreme right. I’m proud of how our editors handle different opinions. In the early 2000s for a congressional race, one of our magazines in its Editor’s Letter leaned a bit toward one candidate, another for the other candidate, and the third right down the middle. Connecticut is regarded overall as a moderately liberal state. Yet today’s politics are more polarizing than I can remember in my lifetime, with the seeming disappearance of a middle majority— the moderate voices that bring us together. Radical conservative voices, according to studies sited by Politico, out-shout liberal voices in social messaging that goes viral. Radical liberal voices, while less effective, tout extremes of position equally divisive. It all keeps us from coming together.

The top midterm races all feature our local natives. For Congress, Jayme Stevenson

(Darien) is facing off against Jim Himes (Greenwich). For the Senate, Leora Levy (Greenwich) is facing off with Dick Blumenthal (Greenwich). And for Governor, Bob Stefanowski (Madison) is facing off against Ned Lamont (Greenwich). All were successful prior to politics, and I respect all of them for their dedication. None I agree with entirely. For middle-of-the-roaders, it’s a tough place to be—whether politician or voter. So, this year, vote your conscience on who can bring people together for sensible moderation. But make sure to get out and vote to uphold freedom, safety, and to improve life for all who call this great country home.

Last year MRI Simmons conducted a thirdparty audience survey. You readers are ten times more engaged in making a difference in your community than the national average. Far beyond extraordinary, that’s unheard of for a region. You pack a punch—both locally and nationally. As your town magazine, we want to do best by you. We want to know your thoughts—your concerns, your passions, what’s important to you. We are here for you. Send us your ideas:

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Preparing boys for life in a changing world

An independent, college preparatory day school, providing character-based education for boys in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.



Specializing in luxury watches, jewelry and wedding rings, Manfredi Jewels has been a purveyor of fine jewelry for more than 30 years. Owner Roberto Chiap pelloni, who is an avid watch collector, recalls “turning my passion into my profession” when he partnered with Manfredi to open the Greenwich store in 1988.

“By working with a brand known for fine craftsmanship and innovative creativity,” he says, “I was inspired to pass that onto my clients. That credibility and excellence is still something that Manfredi is known for today.”

Clients come here not only for the most-wanted luxury watches and jewelry, but also to discover something new. The Greenwich flagship stocks over 30 watch brands and specializes in artisan inde pendents, while the New Canaan location carries sought-after names like Rolex, Tudor and Hermès.





To keep up with the demand in New Canaan, Manfredi is doubling the size of its store. The expanded space will include a dedicated section for Pomellato, a Milan-based brand known for colorful gem combinations and an international following. There is a renovation un

derway in the Greenwich shop as well, which will feature a new area for Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Blancpain and Zenith.

Holiday trends are on point at Manfredi this season, with effortless jewelry that can be worn daily. Clients will find everything from watches with unique watch dial colors to multi-hued stackable bracelets, tennis bracelets/necklaces and bracelet watches. Color wise, green, orange and red are big, and pieces are available in different finishes.“Both men and women are seeing a re surgence of fantastic choices from many different brands, which are offering rose and even yellow gold on watches and bracelets,” says Chiappelloni.

When selecting a holiday gift, Chiappelloni recommends starting early, finding out the recip ient’s style, and picking out something sentimen tal. Sharing special details about the person you are shopping for will enable the Manfredi experts to help choose the perfect present.

“We have over 100 years combined experience on our sales floor,” says Chiappelloni. “Our associates are good lis teners who love to help clients find the perfect gift for that special occasion.”



Vock and Vintage is a high-end jewelry salon and world leader in collectible, colored gemstones. They feature an assortment of timeless estate jewelry such as Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and other luxury brands known for style, quality and value. Customers appreciate the level of personal attention and custom work, which includes design solutions, as well as restoration and repair services.

In 1990 Vock and Vintage opened its first location in New York City, and after much success, debuted the Greenwich design salon in early 2021. The salons are a spin-off of ProVockative Gems, a family-owned gem business based in Manhattan. Vock’s husband Alex is a world-renowned spe cialist in precious gems and natural pearls, and the couple’s son Elias joined the firm in 2021. The family lives in New Canaan.

“Our strength is in knowing the market,” says owner and designer Donna Vock.“We do this via extensive travel and participation in events worldwide, where we buy opportunis tically and continually update our inventory to suit demand.”

Vock and Vintage’s wide-ranging fans share a love for

statement jewelry, an appreciation for Old World craftsmanship and a passion for collecting.

“A big percentage of our client base are success ful women self-purchasing,” says Vock.“Another segment are men who not only love the giftgiving aspect of jewelry buying, but also appreci ate the long-term benefits of having these hard assets.”

This season, Vock and Vintage sees clients gravitating toward color and dressing up more, with formal jewelry coming back strong. Some on-trend items include vintage chunky gold daywear jewelry, Baroque-shaped white pearls and pearl earrings, and precious colored gemstone rings like emeralds, rubies and sapphires.“Important diamond necklaces are back,”Vock says.“Nothing makes a woman feel more beautiful or stand up taller than wearing a serious diamond necklace that flatters her.”

When it comes to holiday gifts, Vock advises buyers,“Step up and purchase that one thing where your partner resisted temptation! If you’re not sure, ask us. We always know the one or two things she may be ‘secretly’ coveting.”

Vock and Vintage is open by appointment only, but the shop also schedules Open Houses.

THE BEST GOLD COAST RETAILER SPOTLIGHT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 11 SAVE THE DATE! 43rd Annual Juried Photography Show / January 14 – February 11 Media Partner Art + Design partner The Carriage Barn is a member and community supported non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the visual and performing arts, and to enriching the community through exhibitions, education, and cultural experiences.
Instagram /carriagebarnartscenter Facebook /thecarriagebarnartscenter CAPTURING NEW CANAAN November 4-14 / Opening Reception Nov.
DECK THE WALLS EXHIBIT November 27 – December 10 Signature
6:30-10pm Get your ticket for a chance to take home one of 45 works of art donated by celebrated artists in honor of the
45th Anniversary. Live music, cocktails & hors d’oeuvres in New
most festive setting!
Carriage Barn Arts
Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT 203-594-3638
4, 6-7:30pm
exhibit of artwork depicting and inspired by Waveny Park
other iconic New Canaan landscapes and settings.
support from Preservation Connecticut, Waveny Park Conservancy and Houlihan Lawrence
holiday exhibit of small works, artisan gifts and one-of-a-kind holiday wreaths.
Carriage Barn’s


When Waveny Park and its estate were given to the town of New Canaan in 1967, the Carriage Barn, which once housed horses and an actual carriage, was abandoned and practically falling apart. The only people who frequented it were teenagers hanging out and doing things that they probably shouldn’t have been. The plan was to tear down the old building as well as the structure next door, now The Powerhouse Performing Arts Center, until a group of local artists stepped in.

On April 1, 1976, resident Jan Fenton proposed a full barn renovation project to the town. Along with a group of dedicated volunteers, they offered to carry out all of the work needed for a complete refurbish themselves. In 1977, the newly restored Carriage Barn Arts Center (CBAC) held its first annual Members Art Show, a tradition that continues through today. The exhibit showcased a range of paintings, photographs, sculptures

left: Kristin Peterson Edwards, director of special projects; Janet Dinger, events & programs manager, and Hilary Wittmann, executive director

became president and served on the board, to honor her efforts. The space quickly became a sought-after forum for members to share their work with the larger community—the arts finally had a home in New Canaan.

“The arts play an important role in every community and serve as a means of individual expression, social gathering, entertainment and commentary. The Carriage Barn, housed in a truly amazing structure within beautiful Waveny Park, is a beacon for creativity within New Canaan and greater Fairfield County,” says Richard Companik, president of the CBAC Executive Board. “Local and community artists representing all mediums of expression contribute to the richness and vitality of the Carriage Barn Arts Center and the town of New Canaan. Our community is stronger, and our perspectives are enriched because the Carriage Barn is part of the fabric of New Canaan. I truly love the Carriage Barn Arts Center and all that it has to offer.”

More recent renovations to the Carriage Barn have created space for a beautifully expanded entrance, office, conference room/classroom and a kitchen annex. Classes and workshops for both children and adults are held frequently at CBAC and offer a variety of unique opportunities. From drop-in sketch nights to

"Deck the Walls" is open from November 27–December 10 with its annual cocktail party (including wreath auction and sale/small works exhibit) taking place on the evening of Thursday, December 1

collage making, iPhone photography classes, woodworking and table centerpiece workshops, there is truly something for everyone looking to hone their artistic abilities. The gallery hosts up to ten exhibits a year, in addition to the Member Show, as well as performing arts events, concerts and even has an open mic night. There was recently a wellness series held on Saturday evenings at the CBAC with yoga and sound baths.

The CBAC community expands far beyond the walls of the barn itself and hosts offsite programs for adults with guided trips to local museums and venues showcasing renowned art. A partnership between the New Canaan Land Trust and CBAC has created an opportunity

for sculptures to be placed around town for residents to enjoy. The Chamber of Commerce has also worked closely with the CBAC to coordinate art in store windows in town every June for the past ten years. The artwork is carefully matched to each store’s aesthetic and some stores create window displays that complement the art. Not only does the art help the town look beautiful, but it’s also a great way for local artists to sell their work and for people to discover The Carriage Barn Arts Center.

“As an artist moving to New Canaan from Manhattan, being immersed in the arts was something I thought I may miss leaving the city. However, the Carriage Barn has proved that to be untrue,” says Kristin Pierce, artist and CBAC member. “The Carriage Barn has provided an artistic outlet for my work that I didn’t know was possible. It has given me a place to showcase my pieces in truly outstanding exhibitions. It has introduced me to a community of fellow artists and opened doors to many artistic endeavors. Most important this place inspires me, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.”

Art is ageless and even children can become members of the CBAC. They can join at a student rate and exhibit their work in the annual Members Show. Students from New Canaan High School frequent the gallery and are assigned a project to pick a piece of artwork to write about. There is also a photography club that often meets at the Carriage Barn and students are able to participate in the CBAC photography show, which is held annually and open to the public.

Seasonal events like “Deck the Walls” are also held at the CBAC. Every year from November 27 to December 10 local designers and artists submit amazingly innovative handcrafted wreaths to be displayed in the gallery. Designs have ranged from beautiful and traditional to wreaths made of things like vintage fishing lures, PEZ dispensers and matchbooks. All of the wreaths are for sale for $250 or less at a cocktail party, which will be held this year on Thursday, December 1. The Carriage Barn Arts Center is truly a hidden gem situated within the beautiful woods of Waveny Park with something for everyone. 14
Founding members of the Carriage Barn Arts Center helped raise funds to establish the nonprofit organization and renovate the original carriage house on the Waveny Estate in 1977.


to navigating and decoding today’s vast online landscape. In the classroom and far beyond, our faculty brings years of experience, an impressive complement of advanced degrees, and an unwavering commitment to nurturing and educating our boys.




Constant exposure to media and the internet these days allows us access to a wealth of medical information that exceeds far beyond what was once available to the average person. However, more isn’t always better, particularly when we’re faced with an influx of scary information that we don’t truly understand. Between stories of long Covid–related heart problems in children, hearing about teenagers collapsing on sports fields and conflicting information regarding vaccine safety, it’s no wonder many of us feel confused. We turned to expert doctors and assistant professor in pediatric cardiology at Columbia, Allison Levey, M.D. and Michael Monaco, M.D., of Pediatric Cardiology in Darien to help clear up some fallacies and provide advice we can trust.

liz barron 16
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“The long-term cardiac manifestations of Covid and vaccine-related concerns—specifically myocarditis—are definitely at the top of people’s lists. With that said, vaccine-related myocarditis is extremely rare; and the risk of having a cardiac issue from the virus itself, while also uncommon with the current strains, is significantly higher. We have also seen an increasing number of young patients post-Covid with complaints about endurance issues, slow returns to play for sports and faster than normal heart rates,” says Dr. Levey.

“Reassuring parents that myocarditis is extremely rare continues to be a frequent conversation. In doing so, we are trying to emphasize that part of the reason that myocarditis from Covid seemed so daunting was because so many people got sick at once, not because it was actually becoming more prevalent. In fact, myocarditis from the flu is far more common. But with the flu we have never seen as many people sick all at the same time the way we did with Covid. The rare evidence of myocarditis that was found related to the vaccine was mostly documented in young adult males. In our area, we do not know of a single case documented in children under twelve. And while still a very uncommon issue, the good news is that studies have shown that even those who did develop myocarditis from the vaccine have all recovered,” says Dr. Monaco.



ISSUES? “Real congenital cardiac issues, where the heart forms abnormally, occur in roughly one percent of the population,” says Dr. Levey. “The vast majority of things that are found in utero that we end up monitoring will correct on their own,” says Dr. Monaco. “Other issues that bring patients in, like chest pain, are incredibly common, but chest pain from actual heart problems are incredibly uncommon,” says Dr. Levey.

EKGs and echocardiograms—allow us to monitor heart rhythms and look at the structure of the heart,” says Dr. Levey.

AS A PARENT, OTHER THAN KEEPING UP WITH WELL-CHILD APPOINTMENTS, WHAT CAN WE DO TO KEEP OUR KIDS’ HEARTS HEALTHY? Both doctors agree that focusing on exercise and modeling a balanced diet and healthy nutritional habits early on are the core components of setting our children up for optimal heart health.

ARE THERE ANY RED FLAGS FOR PARENTS THAT COULD INDICATE THAT THEIR CHILD’S HEART MIGHT NEED TO BE CHECKED OUT BY A DOCTOR? “Your child’s pediatrician for a general evaluation is always a good place to start. Exertional symptoms are always a concern to us. Chest pain, fainting, palpitations—especially with exertion, shortness of breath and a change in endurance are all things that we would want to see a patient for,” says Dr. Levey.

“In babies, trouble feeding can sometimes signal an issue. Because eating is the only exercise that they get, it’s something to pay

attention to, especially if they are sweating or having trouble breathing while feeding,” says Dr. Monaco.





WITH AGE? Heart rate varies by age, and as children get older, it decreases. A typical school-aged child will have a heart rate of around sixty to 100, with peak exertion being 220 minus the child’s age.


“The first line of defense is to be sure to tell your child’s pediatrician about any family history of cardiac events or heart disease,” says Dr. Levey. “Additionally, any new or worsening symptoms that come on with exercise and exertion shouldn’t be ignored. When we hear about these situations where young athletes have died suddenly during sports and look back at the cases, quite often the children had made complaints about symptoms long before the actual event occurred,” says Dr. Monaco.



GENERALLY DIAGNOSED? “The most severe issues are usually diagnosed during routine prenatal care and by prenatal ultrasound. The vast majority of congenital heart disease is picked up in utero, and some cases will require treatment or surgical intervention. Issues like heart murmurs and low oxygen levels are generally found during routine care in the well-baby nursery and routine pediatric visits after a baby is born,” says Dr. Monaco.

“One of the most important tools when assessing our pediatric patients is taking a family history, as well as getting an understanding of specific symptoms. Physical exams help us to check for any abnormal sounds or rhythms. In-office diagnostics like electrocardiograms—


Book Gifts for the Holidays



Mara was surprised when reality TV producers visited Primal Instinct—the school where she teaches affluent clients to survive a night outdoors. She was even more shocked when they decided to cast her in their new show, Civilization, where contestants live off the land in an attempt to win a large sum of money. All she has to do is endure four strangers for six weeks…until things go terribly wrong, leaving them stranded in the northern wilds. Suddenly, the game threatens to become dangerous and Mara must summon the courage to rise to the occasion.


Lila Macapagal’s cousin Ronnie is trouble. So when he returns to Shady Palms during Christmastime—after ghosting the family for fifteen years—she’s skeptical about his claim that recently purchasing a local winery means he’s back on his feet. Just when Lila’s new business is taking off and she’s found romance with her close friend Jae, Ronnie is suspected of murder and things start to get shady fast. Could her own flesh and blood really have killed someone? She’s determined to prove otherwise…but it won’t be as easy as she’d like.


A lot can transpire in forty-eight hours, especially when your world has been upended by your husband’s affair and an impending Category Four hurricane is about to hit Savannah, the city you call home—which is exactly what Ramona is facing. Not to mention her obnoxious boss, her nitpicking mother and her toilet-training toddler. Over the course of two days, as she attempts to evacuate, a neighborhood child and the class guinea pig are added to her motley crew. While Ramona steers her way through severe weather, police check points, bathroom crises, directives from her boss and sheepish texts from her philandering husband, she longs for the days when her life resembled a Prince song.


Inspired by a real-life event, this ambitious historical novel by the award-winning author of Things in Jars travels back to 1629 when Mayken, a recently orphaned young girl aboard Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age, is shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia on her way to the Netherlands East Indies. Three hundred years later—in 1989—a lonely boy named Gil finds a home with his grandfather on the same island, where his late mother once lived, and unearths Mayken’s story. Weaving a captivating tale of friendship, loss, cruelty, and absolution, Kidd does not disappoint.


One momentous summer. Two teenage rebels. And the art that indelibly alters their lives. These are the ingredients that comprise this boisterous novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here. When sixteenyear-old aspiring writer and loner Frankie Budge meets Zeke, a gifted artist who’s just moved into his grandmother’s unhappy home in Coalfield, Tennessee, romance and creativity abound. The enigmatic and anonymous posters they craft together immediately become memorable and people begin to wonder whom to attribute them to—a mystery that breeds perilous consequences and jeopardizes their close connection. Two decades later, Frances Eleanor Budge—a distinguished author, mom and wife—is informed that journalist Mazzy Brower is penning a story about the Coalfield Panic of 1996 and she realizes that the secrets she’s kept hidden will either come back to haunt her or set her free. 20 PHOTOGRAPH OF EMILY LIEBERT BY DREAMSCAPE STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY


When one-time bad girl Genevieve West revisits her small coastal hometown for her mother’s funeral, her goal is to avoid her sexy ex-boyfriend Evan Hartley. She’s not interested in resuming their once tempestuous relationship and vows not to make any more imprudent decisions. Instead, she plans to temporarily help run her father’s business until he can find a replacement. Unbeknownst to Genevieve, Evan intends to win her back. That is, if second chances are really possible. And if a bad reputation can become a thing of the past.


Nearly a year after her largerthan-life mother passed away, the book’s narrator travels to London, her mom’s favorite city, to reflect on her life and their relationship. The woman, who’s a writer, muses about her mother’s unrivaled determination, her will to carry on despite physical challenges, her munificence and her vivid sense of humor. In doing so, she begins to wonder if chronicling this grandeur will be an act of love or infidelity. Through McCracken’s intense analysis of both grief and rejuvenation, the tenderness of the child-parent bond is revealed and we’re reminded that the beauty in art and writing is continuous.


If you’re searching for a sidesplitting rom-com, look no further than Park’s new YA novel about two rivals who join forces to save their families’ livelihoods and Christmas, too! Chloe Kwon and Peter Li do not get along. Their parents operate competing restaurants in the Riverwood Mall food court and they try to avoid each other at all costs. But when the mall is about to be purchased and demolished by an incoming developer and eviction notices are being dispersed right before the holidays, Chloe and Peter have to set aside their dislike for one another and work as a team. In doing so, they discover that the Kwon and Li vendetta is much graver than either of them had ever known.


In this stirring debut, Ann Stilwell is looking forward to her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but instead she’s assigned to The Cloisters—a gothic museum and garden devoted to medieval art and the tradition of divination. As a means of avoiding her painful past, Ann involves herself with a group of researches and their peculiar notions about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as scholarly inquisitiveness rapidly turns into a profound fixation when Ann uncovers a cryptic fifteenthcentury deck of tarot cards that might determine the future. Soon enough, she finds herself engaged in a precarious game of authority and seduction that becomes deadly and her desperate pursuit for answers will keep you in suspense.


From The New York Times

bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, comes this heart-pounding novel about a woman who marries into a family with deadly objectives. When Amelie awakes in a pitchblack room, unaware of her surroundings and how she ended up there, she’s forced to ask herself if being imprisoned is safer than the glamorous life she’d become accustomed to. And she may not like the answer.


This entrancing thriller exposes the dark underbelly of the digital universe when a mommy blogger’s assistant disappears. Alex never imagined that her penchant for sharing family photos and motivational messages online would transform from a hobby into a full-time career as an influencer. Or that one contentious post could turn toxic. To make matters much worse, when she contacts her trusty assistant A.C. to help remedy the situation, she’s met with radio silence, a police investigation, and a woman found murdered.


Brimming with over 100 recipes inspired by “traditional Southern fare and French culinary flair,” along with cooking, serving and entertaining secrets, this exquisite anthology is perfect for the gourmand in your life. Hitz, a recognized chef and expert host, believes that every day should be a culinary celebration and he expresses this through the style and sophistication of his mouthwatering food—from mini crab cakes with mango chutney and mustard-crusted rack of lamb to lemon pecan shortbread cookies. Bon appétit!


Rosalind Franklin has always been eccentric and a bit of a genius. She adores working in the field of science and using the static laws of physics and chemistry to lead her experiments. And she truly believes she can reveal enigmas behind the double helix structure of DNA, which means she’ll never have to listen to her colleagues gripe about her again. Regrettably, once she’s achieved her lofty goal, three men take credit for her brilliant discovery—one that advanced the world’s perception of humankind.



ATELIER Collins sconce; $6,018. transparent


Hand-hammered copper bowl; $349. The SoNo Collection, Norwalk;


Moreno sofa; starting at $4,200.


Vertigo pendant lamp; $1,295. MoMA Design Store;


Tapis Terre hand-tufted wool rug; starting at $3,250. Greenwich;


Kaimana desk; price upon request.


Antique copper decorative tray; $148. Westport;

by megan gagnon
—terri ricci, terri ricci interiors “whether it’s a textile, metal or as an accessory item, copper has the ability to ignite by accentuating the warm and cool color tones in any space.” home
An LCB Senior Living Community. More Than 25 years of excellence in New England 1 Parklands Drive, Darien 475-208-3293 | Independent, Assisted & Memory Care Living Ask about our complimentary, in-home wellness checks! Assisted Living Your Way With care and support tailored to each individual, residents are able to enjoy all the things they love.


“curved forms are very warm and inviting; roundness symbolizes unity, wholeness, karma, and completion. spherical feet elevate and give lightness and softness to what is otherwise heavy.”

—cara woodhouse, cara woodhouse interiors




The Rock & Roll bathtub, in Grand Antique marble; price upon request. abcworldwidestone .com

Olbia commode; starting at $21,895. theinvisiblecollection .com

Yoko bed; $5,995.

Design Within Reach, Stamford;

Sphere of Influence coffee table; price upon request.

Morro ottoman; $3,690

Cleo orb base desk lamp by Kelly Wearstler; $579. Greenwich;

Alais daybed; to the trade

6 5 3 2 7
1 4

Our Mission

The mission of Breast Cancer Alliance is to improve survival rates and quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer through better prevention, early detection, treatment and cure. To promote these goals, we invest in innovative research, breast surgery fellowships, regional education, dignified support and screening for the underserved.

Breast Cancer Alliance 48 Maple Avenue Greenwich, CT 06830 Yonni Wattenmaker

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 25 | 203-913-8893 Daryl Zang, Artist | Daryl Zang To
breastcanceralliance @BCAllianceCT @breastcanceralliance
Connecticut-based fine artist creating commissioned paintings and drawings in a contemporary realist style
Executive Director
203.254.4010 • Friday, November 4 • 8 p.m. Unmatched Prices Unbelievable Performances Become a Season Member Today Orin Grossman, PhD Musical Borderlands Sunday, November 13 • 3 p.m. Evelyn Tribole Intuitive Eating Thursday, November 10 • 5 p.m.



1 TACCHINI Julep sofa in Teddy mohair sable; $20,500. MONC XIII, Greenwich;

2 BOWER Melt mirror IV; $4,500.

3 NOIR Triumph bookcase in black steel; $5,939. Schwartz Design Showroom, Stamford; schwartzdesign


Niles chair; $3,060. Greenwich;


Annie 73” natural media credenza by Leanne Ford; $1,899. Westport;


Up step stool; $189.

5 6 4
gibbs, svp of design at mitchell gold + bob williams
seen furniture taking on more curvaceous lines as people have become focused on creating sanctuaries within their homes. simple organic, sensual shapes give the interior
calm serenity.” home
1 2

Hi, Philly! Nice to Meet You

Philadelphia is a lot like an overlooked middle child. Not as cosmopolitan as New York and not the center of government like D.C., the birthplace of democracy is more closely associated with cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa. But Philadelphians know that it’s more than that. And with a new five-star Four Seasons and the Michelin Guide sniffing around, so will everyone else.

by kim-marie galloway


Philadelphia has the most extensive collection of sculpture work outside of Paris. Around the corner from the Rocky statue (where the huddled masses queue for snapshots) sits the stately Rodin Museum and Gardens. The first bronze cast of Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell stands at the entrance. Admission is only $12, but you could see this and a cast of The Thinker without even walking through the doors. Philly’s Thinker is a cast of the 1902–1904 version. It was installed for the opening of the Rodin Museum in 1929 in front of a façade replicating his tomb at the Musée Rodin in Paris. Interesting fact: When his wife died, Rodin put a copy of The Thinker on her grave.

above: No trip to Philly is complete without a visit to the Rodin Museum and Gardens. below and bottom right: The Barnes offers a unique way to view masterpieces.


Philadelphia has a lot of nicknames: City of Brotherly Love, The Birthplace of America and now the City of Murals. There are more than 4,000 murals spread across the city. It's the largest public art program of its kind.


The Barnes Foundation is a boring name for one of the most exciting museums in the city, perhaps in the country. The Barnes, as it’s known, has the world’s largest collections of paintings by Renoir (179) and Cézanne (69), as well as significant works by Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani, Van Gogh, and other renowned artists. Unlike most museums, no placards explain the art or identify the artist. The art is hung precisely as it was in Dr. Barnes’ home before the city moved the collection to its current location ten years ago. Get a guide who will teach you the Barnes method of looking at art in a unique and approachable way. No need to be an art history major to enjoy this stunning collection. Entrance is $25 for adults.




The hotel scene in Philly has been decidedly average until recently. The Ritz is in a lovely building, but it’s tired. Kimpton markets itself as luxury. It’s not. And although AKA University City Hotel is a surprise sleeper, offering apartment-sized guest rooms in the heart of town, until the new Four Seasons opened, nothing was true luxury.

The hotel didn’t just blow away the competition, it decimated it. The doors opened in August of 2019, but thanks to Covid we still consider it new. The hotel occupies the top dozen floors of what is now the tallest building in the city. From the ground floor, a glass elevator ascends more than one floor per second to deliver you to the sixtieth-floor lobby. There’s nothing to obstruct your view except the occasional cloud. It’s the only Forbes Travel Guide five-star hotel and spa in Philadelphia and the flagship property for all Four Seasons urban hotels in the U.S. That’s right, it’s so good it beat other Four Seasons.

The JG SkyHigh bar and restaurant are open to the public. The bar offers views you’d normally have to board a helicopter to take in. Descend

the stairs between the flanking waterfall walls to the Jean-Georges restaurant, which is currently only serving a prixe-fixe dinner three nights a week. Though Michelin has historically overlooked Philly, we hear from a good source they are sniffing around the restaurant perched on the fifty-ninth floor.

The spa on the fifty-seventh floor offers seven treatment rooms (each with their own crystals) and a spa menu with crystal-infused massages and amazing facials. If you feel calm just exiting the elevator, chalk it up to the 700 pounds of crystals embedded in the walls. Not sure if it was the QMS products, the crystals or aesthetician Jenny, but I looked fifteen years old when I left.

by nothing but glass and sky. You don't need to be a spa guest, but you do need to be a hotel guest to take a float. Hot tip: Order a boxed lunch delivered to your chaise lounge and use the hotel’s lightning-fast Wi-Fi to “work.”


The real showstopper is the fever dream of a pool attached to the spa. The pool’s infinity edge spills seamlessly into the atmosphere and is surrounded

No guest room is lower than the forty-eighth floor, which is just shy of a mile in the air. A select number of rooms offer deepsoaking tubs, complete with neck rests. If unwinding in the tub and taking in the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows is on your wish list (which we think it should be), be sure to request one of these coveted accommodations. 30 go
CONTRIBUTED 1. The Thinker 2. 9th Street Italian Market 3. Zahav’s Lamb Shoulder 4. Seeing the Liberty Bell through a window 1. Rocky Statue 2. Reading Terminal Market 3. Pat’s Cheesesteak (controversial, we know) 4. Standing in line to get into Liberty Bell Center
above left: The Four Seasons' lobby on the sixtieth floor features floral designs by in-house celebrity florist Jeff Leatham. above right: Few spas boast these views. bottom left: JG SkyHigh restaurant
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 31 singular in design “Edgy incarnations of luxury” Condé Nast Traveler 800-486-7553 Bring your custom ideas to life, design to completion. We can help you create a breath taking first impressions . . . something you are only able to make once, Wood and Wrought Iron Gates, Fencing & Railings, Handcrafted Stone Walls and Pillars. see our gallery of pictures at Egrand ntrance LN# WC-35221-H22 CT HIC.0560846 32 AUTUMN SHOWROOM SALES* 181 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT (near Stew Leonard’s) Thank you for 20 wonderful years in Westport. Please come visit our new showroom - in progress! Same Style NEW LOCATION *Some restrictions apply • Save $100 on a purchase of $500 or $500 on a purchase of $2,500 or more. • 15% o purchase of solid cellular vinyl pergolas installed before 2023. Visit or call 203-275-0493 203 451 2902 DREWKLOTZ.COM WHAT’S IN YOUR YARD?


London Super Long Cardigan, $728; Cashmere Imperfect Heart Mittens, $128; and Cashmere Love Beanie, $198;

Simply the best for everyone on your list!



Luxe Slipper Sock, $178. Westport;



Aspen Boucle Chair, $3,995, Westport;



Arla Brushed Fairisle Pullover, $598, Westport;


The Julia Cableknit Sweater, $388;


Dawn Apricot fox jacket $4,000, Greenwich;



The Buttoned Up Puffer Luster Coat, $475, Greenwich/ Westport; shop.


Superstar Shearling Lined slip on sneaker, $680; 34 shop / HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
4 The items are decadent and lush , and the perfect way to send your love 1 5 6 7 4 2 3



Turtleneck Belted Shell in Ecru, $425, and Ribbed Skirt in Ecru, $425, Greenwich/Westport;


MATEO Eve Baroque Pearl Earrings, $6,250, Mirta De Gisbert, Jewelry Consultant & Gemologist;



Porgy Backstage Reading Glasses, $99,. Old Greenwich;

ANANYA Pearl Onyx Chakra Bracelet, Green Onyx, $3,920, Mirta De Gisbert, Jewelry Consultant & Gemologist;

One Stud Top Handle Bag, $3,650, Greenwich;

Open Multi-Diamond and Baroque White Pearl Ring, $3,290, Mirta De Gisbert, Jewelry Consultant & Gemologist;

Pearls are back in more modern shapes and, when combined with winter whites, make a chic gifting statement 1 2 3 5 6 4


Canadian Cardigan Sweater, $698, Greenwich;


Mens Fisherman Sweater, $295, Greenwich;


Leather Travel Bag, $1,795, Greenwich;


Stripe Silk Necktie, $295, Westport, Greenwich;


Omega Speedmaster; $14,800, Greenwich, New Canaan;

TODD SNYDER + NEW ERA NY Yankees Low Profile Chalkstripe Cap, $120, Greenwich;


Modern Flannel Long Sleeve zip Shirt, $398;


Lorimer Suede Chukka Boot, $275, Greenwich, Westport; 36 ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DESIGNERS/BRANDS
shop / HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Whether he is business casual or likes to casually do business , these finds let him take travel, dress-down Friday and weekends in stride 2 1 3 4 5 6 7 8

Bartlet Forest Green and Creme Checkered Cap, $85;


Marcel Forest Green and Creme Checkered Mittens, $60;


Jimi Green Cashmere Baclava, $150;


Cropped Check Crew Off White Multi, $578;


Red Bonne Nuit Pajamas, $250, Greenwich;

GIFT GUIDE / shop Gifting color or pattern is a great way to show that you celebrate someone’s personality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 -

The Catherine Staggered Diamond Locket, $5,170; 2


18K Yellow Gold Pendant with 21 sprinkled diamonds, $4,075; 3


Flex Bangle, $9,800, Greenwich;


Yellow Gold Diamond Topaz and Mixed Gemstone Drop Earrings, $920, Westport;


Half Mood Bracelet, $1,370, Greenwich, Westport;


Diamond Twist Ring, $6,500, Westport, Greenwich;

good things often come in small packages—especially when it’s jewelry 3 4 5 6
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 39 T RUSTS AND E STATES WILLS AND TRUSTS WEALTH TRANSFER TAX PLANNING PHILANTHROPY 60 East 42nd Street New York, NY 212-557-7700 DAVIDSON, DAWSON & CLARK LLP COUNSELLORS AT LAW 18 Locust Avenue, 2nd Floor New Canaan, CT 203-966-8759 Is not just something we do; it is what we do. Family owned, Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agency providing tailored insurance solutions for your personal and business needs. We would love to hear from you. 203-834-5900 Connecticut: The Kent Building 43 Danbury Road • Wilton, CT 06897 New York City: 845 Third Avenue, 6th Floor • New York NY 10017 1-203-834-5900 • • #risksynergy Delivering peace of mind. For the “What If” in life.® BOB CAPAZZO PHOTOGRAPHY (203) 273-0139
eat Scan here for more great places to EAT Pint Sized Decadence TRUST US, YOU’VE NEVER HAD ICE CREAM QUITE LIKE THIS BEFORE byliz barron • phot o g r a p h s b y v enera alexandrova
left: Lavender Latte below: Spiced Apple
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 41 Since 1909, Cummings & Lockwood has provided sophisticated legal representation to individuals, families, family offices, closely held businesses, other commercial enterprises and charitable entities. Our core services include:  Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning  Wealth Protection Planning  Philanthropic Giving  Probate and Estate Administration  Fiduciary and Trustee Services  International Estate and Tax Planning  Business Succession Planning  Corporate and Finance  Litigation and Arbitration  Commercial and Residential Real Estate STAMFORD | GREENWICH | WEST HARTFORD | NAPLES | BONITA SPRINGS | PALM BEACH GARDENS Visit us at 203.655.2018 131 Hollow Tree Ridge Road Darien, CT 06820 WINE STORAGE NOW AVAILABLE Our secure temperature control facility will provide private spaces for any size collection Visit our website for more details 2 2 0 2 MOFFLYMEDIA We welcome wedding announcements together with candid photographs. Weddings should have a current New Canaan, Darien or Rowayton family connection and must be submitted within three months of the wedding day. Regretfully, we are unable to run every wedding submitted. Send Information to: New Canaan • Darien Magazine | 205 Main Street Westport, CT 06880 CELEBRATE YOUR WEDDING ROMAN BODNARCHUK-STOCK.ADOBE.COM

When Karla Sorrentino found herself unable to find any of the ice cream flavors that she really wanted locally, the New Canaan resident decided to start making them herself. Growing up in a family where “food always played a big role” and a mother and grand mother who shared a passion for preparing delicious meals, it’s easy to see why Karla chose to attend culinary school. She learned to make ice cream while attending the Culinary Institute of America so when she decided to move forward with creating Karla’s Kreamery the venture was something she was very comfortable with.

Unlike the more traditional flavors that can be found almost anywhere, Karla’s micro-batch offerings come from inspiration

based on her life experiences. She brings in tastes from places she’s traveled and eaten, visits to farms and markets, memories and even smells. She likes to pull from both seasonal and global influences. Sorrentino’s offerings cast a wide breadth—she has a particular affinity for Asian-inspired flavors but also loves to make pints of peppermint ice cream with pieces of homemade choc olate snowflake cookies around Christmas time. Flavors change monthly but some recents include Black Pink—fudgy black cocoa ice cream with strawberry and padanflavored butter cake; Coconut Ube (purple yam)—ube-coconut ice cream with pieces of homemade ube blondies and a swirl of coconut sweetened condensed milk; and Party Cake—vanilla bean ice cream with

pieces of almond cake and rainbow sprinkles.

“I’m constantly writing myself notes and lists as I think of ideas—often several times a day, Karla says. “I never know when some thing is going to pop into my head. I’ll rethink a flavor and often change certain aspects around—scribbling and rearranging things—so that by the time I’m ready to test it, I’ve already put in a lot of thought and effort.”

Being a classically trained savory chef as opposed to a pastry chef allows her to bring a non-traditional skill set to the creations. Her flavors aren’t based only on what she thinks will be delicious but also on what will look beautiful. Each pint is hand crafted by Karla with elements swirled, sprinkled and layered just so, to ensure that “each bite will be balanced and complete,” she says. ND

VISIT @karlaskreamery on Instagram or for more information and details on how to place an order. here: Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel


Insurance, No Problem Ahead of the curve, Dr. Harbottle now offers an affordable concierge program direct to patients. PLAN FOR THE YEAR, AND LET US HANDLE THE REST PAUL D. HARBOTTLE, D.D.S. 162 East Avenue, New Canaan, CT 06840 | 203.972.0588 VOTED TOP DENTIST BY HIS PEERS 2009-2022 Westchester and Fairfield Counties DENTAL SERVICES OFFERED IN NEW CANAAN INCLUDE: • GENERAL DENTISTRY • oral hygiene (preventative care) • periodontal screening & treatment • mercury free tooth colored fillings • porcelain & gold onlays, crowns and bridges • dental implants • treatment for bruxism & tooth grinding • root canals • intraoral camera • x-rays • DENTAL COSMETICS • porcelain dental veneers, porcelain onlays, crowns & bridges • dental bondings Zoom™ teeth whitening • Invisalign NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 43

money matters


“Many of us said, ‘Thank you, God. I have a place to stay. I’m with my family and I’m good.’ ”


to using their money “to change the world for the better.”

While many folks here in lower Fairfield County hunkered at home during the peak of Covid-19, lamenting what was lost, others among us grieved the losses of others. “People lost their jobs. You saw the lines to get food. Food insecurity was a big theme. It wasn’t new, but it was much more potent,” says Michele McCallion, a private wealth adviser and senior vice president of wealth management at Polaris Wealth Management/UBS in Greenwich.

Although the focus on Covid-19 has waned, McCallion says that reframing—What do I need? versus What do I have? has served as a catalyst for change, especially for women. The new mindset? What can I do with my resources to improve the lives of others? “With many of our clients,” she says, “their resources are wealth.”

McCallion’s findings stem from the UBS report “Own Your Worth 2022,” which surveyed 1,400 female clients earlier this year. Eighty-two percent of respondents said that Covid led them to reassess what’s important. Ninety-four percent reported donating money or time to a charitable cause. Millennial women put their money most where their causes were: 83 percent of millennials, versus 38 percent of female baby boomers, committed


McCallion’s meetings with lower Fairfield County clients routinely include questions about “intentions” for wealth. Sure, clients hope to invest wisely and grow their riches. But what do they hope to accomplish with all that money? “It’s important to articulate not only the goals and objectives of your wealth, but also the values around your wealth,” she says.

Conversations about values are just as important in a financial plan, she adds, as conversations about liquidity (what are your needs in the next one to three years), longevity (how can you structure your wealth to last a lifetime), and legacy (how can you improve the lives of others, including those in future generations). Unfortunately, many advisers and families don’t mention values until a legacy conversation.

Pre-Covid, it wasn’t unusual for children to be in the dark about a family’s charitable involvement; while parents went about their business of working and/or donating money and time, kids were in school or activities. But when Covid kept everyone at home, many children witnessed how their family helped others. That practice can continue, says McCallion. She urges parents to talk with each other and with their children about values around wealth, and to meet kids where they are. Maybe the family can stock backpacks with food for the weekends for hungry schoolchildren, for example, or maybe they can feed homeless pets.

“We see families say to their next generation, ‘If you want to give to a pet rescue, why is that important to you? If you give $10, we’ll match $10.’ There are so many resources to help those less fortunate. It’s not limited to the $10 million donations.” ND

Only 26 percent of married women “lead on financial decisions,” according to the UBS report, and half of the married women surveyed “defer to their spouse” altogether when it comes to money matters. Regardless of who’s making the decisions, McCallion says, “Everyone should know how much money they have, where it is, how to access it and where it is invested. Set aside time to have this conversation.” Then, ask questions, get resources and gather and share findings with other smart and curious women who want to learn more about finances and investing. Your financial adviser isn’t there to just hand over your report card on your investment performance. A good adviser is also a good educator. 44
Michele McCallion

Interesting Facts About Westy…

Reserve your tickets now at WHEN DECEMBER 1, 2022 AT 6 P.M. WHERE Woodway Country Club 540 Hoyt Street Darien, CT Join us for
in the holiday season with an evening of inspiration, aducation, and impact. Join
on December 1 for
annual gala–an opportunity to gather, celebrate, and raise essential
to provide mental health resources for victims and survivors of sexual violence.
All 14 Westy Self Storage Centers are located in the suburbs of New York City. However, Westy has customers living in 46 states and 16 foreign countries. is is testimony of the
Westy gives to their customers. Accepting gifts of cash, shares of stock, crypto, and from donor-advised funds Your gift is matched for a limited time. Make all their holiday wishes come true. Westport Newington Waterford

Eat Out

Rich with strollable streets filled with cafes and restaurants, our townsare a foodie’s paradise. Our town’s food scenes are set on adorable downtown streets and a quaint seaside. Several restaurants have deep roots in the community, with longtime residents at the helm. And many of our restaurateurs have expanded their concepts into neighboring towns—or opened new concepts altogether. Read on to explore some of our favorite gotos, new eateries, and foodie adventures.

by elizabeth
photography by venera

clockwise: Pretzel from L'Ostal; Greenology owner, James Marks; Sole's tomato, prosciutto di San Daniele and arugula pizza; Bar scene at La Taqueria

here: Crêpes

Choupette’s When My Mom is in a Good Mood (organic maple syrup, Brillat-Savarin cheese, seasonal berries and walnuts)

Bonjour! Step into this storefront and you’re transported to a bright Parisian café specializing in crêpes and cider from Normandy. Edith Piaff sings in the background and the owners greet you in French and English. The savory galettes are made with organic buckwheat flour (non-gluten and high fiber). The Jambon is filled with just that, along with melted cheese and a sunny side up organic egg. The Choupette is sweet and savory with fig, prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula. Sweet crepes are made with white flour. The Traditionelle is pure simplicity, filled with churned butter and sugar. The Piaf is more dramatic, featuring raspberries and white chocolate ganache. Espresso drinks, fresh pressed juices, wine and, most appropriately, French hard cider are served. The latter is a real treat for foodies looking for a traditional pairing experience. This Darien off shoot of New Haven’s Crêpes Choupette was started by exuberant chef Adil Chokairy, who was raised in Paris. His older brother runs the Darien shop, and he is happy to indulge in guests with even the rustiest French. To-go brunch boxes as well as party planning are also available.

When the Sugar Bowl, the fortyyear-old luncheonette that served generations of families, closed the Darien community felt bereft. But then Darien native Chef Peter Crawford, owner of the Darien Butcher Shop, stepped in. He may have changed the name, but he’s carried on the “something for everyone” tradition for breakfast and lunch, with eggs any way you want them, French toast layered with fruit and dripping maple syrup, or a healthful bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries.

For lunch, regulars grab a seat at the counter and order tuna melts and BLTs. The burger is a favorite too. Regular hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Club also offers cooking classes for kids eight to fifteen years old. Chef Crawford’s teaching method is hands-on, and kids learn to make dinner–chicken under a brick is one of the dishes they’ll master. For adults, The Club holds special wine dinners with local Sipstirs Fine Wine.

This regional, contemporary Italian restaurant highlighting fresh and healthy ingredients has been on the Fairfield County scene since 1997, and recently opened in Darien. (No need to drive to Stamford or Fairfield anymore.) Chef Gino Riccio, known for his interest in health, creates some of our favorite salads—a contemporary farro salad, dressed in lemon vinaigrette and the Quattro salad, which ups the tre colores of arugula, radiccio and endive with shaved fennel.

Housemade pastas include a ravioli stuffed with buratta, a traditional cavatelli with beans, greens and sausage tossed in garlic and olive oil, and that perennial American favorite, rigatoni in pink vodka sauce. New to the menu, Pinsa Romana is very much like pizza, yet the flatbread is considered “glutenfriendly,” because of the fermentation time. Main entrees are hearty. An Italian American Chicken Parm and the “Kicked Up” chicken Milanese (pesto, prosciutto, burrata and arugula) come with sides of spaghetti. Lemon shrimp risotto, another favorite, steers toward Greece, the grilled shrimp served over feta risotto. Consistency is the key of the Quattro Pazzi brand. »


and Boquitas Bar

Chef Luis is back! After a two-year absence, the colorful contemporary restaurant with a global outlook, is back in its original spot on Elm Street, welcoming guests from lunch to dinner, seven days a week. Dishes are named after regulars and local luminaries—a fun townie twist. The cuisine ranges from Italian (vongole with linguine) to South American (grilled skirt steak, yellow rice, black beans, and green chimichurri) to Tex Mex (fajitas).

Tacos are popular, whether filled with pineapple-pork carnitas, Texas beef (ground tenderloin) or grilled vegetables and salsa. All come with yellow rice and black beans, making a hearty plate. Of the entrées, Seth’s Chicken Paillard is one of our favorites, a pounded grilled chicken filet topped with burrata, veggies and arugula salad. Cocktails, made with fresh juices and herbs, are refreshing and well balanced. During Happy Hour at the bar, the chef offers boquitas, complementary savory snacks that make a cocktail taste even better.

Mexican food is an American favorite, especially for families with kids, so predicting La Taqueria’s instant popularity wasn’t difficult. This second outlet of the popular fast-casual Mexican spot in Greenwich has a bigger dining room than its sibling and a bar that serves up strong, fruity, tequila-based drinks. Aldez, certified organic tequila, is the house brand.

Chef Dennis Lake fills homemade blue corn tortillas with a dozen choices. Conchinta Pibil, shredded roasted pork, is topped with pink pickled onions. Beef short ribs are roasted in banana leaf. Crunchy beer-battered cod is topped with shredded purple cabbage. Vegetarians have several choices, including mushroom with huitlacoche, which adds an earthy flavor. Of the small favorites like guacamole, quesadillas and grilled street corn, there’s a dish not often found on Darien menus, which shouldn’t be overlooked. Green pozole is a warm, flavorful bowl of green tomatilloenhanced broth, thick with sliced lettuce, soft hominy and grilled chicken breast. It’s a bowl of spicy comfort.

Plant-based eating is a joy at Greens on the Go. The new shop in Darien expands on the success of the New Canaan location at 75 Pine Street. Specializing in a colorful array of salads, soups and smoothies, they also make sandwiches, toasts and quesadillas. Vegan cheese is an option on all. Butternut squash toast is a welcome change from avocado, with gingershallot oil, and optional goat cheese and arugula.

Grain bowls are based on a choice of quinoa or brown rice, and the selection of toppings is wide and fun, from the Farmstand Bowl, brimming with veggies, to the retro 1975 stirfry bowl. Miso Sweet Potato is a contemporary favorite. Of the many salads, the Harvest, with pear, pistachio, cranberry and blue cheese, is a fitting side dish for a holiday meal. The smoothies include the popular Kale Energy, which masks kale with mango, pineapple, ginger, banana and orange juice, and the vivid fuchsia-hued Pitaya Island, blended with vegan yogurt. For restorative flavor alone, we love the Pineapple Ginger Breeze, with mango and coconut water. For warming comfort in cold weather, the Moroccon stew, a sweet-sour, coconut-ginger-turmeric broth filled with tomatoes, olives, apricots, chickpeas and fresh herbs, is a go-to.


Take in the

Not sure what kind of food mood you’re in? With a half dozen restaurants on one charming little street, New Canaan’s Forrest Street has something for everyone, including: Gates, the family friendly American restaurant; Cava Wine Bar, contemporary Italian-Latin American and a great wine list, and Farmer’s Table, well-sourced, health-conscious and good tasting food, with three menus, savory, vegetarian and kid-friendly.

A jaunt to a charming town on the Five Mile River can feel like a mini-getaway. Rowayton Seafood Restaurant and Market offers waterfront dining and a traditional New England seafood menu with a few nods to contemporary dishes (hamachi crudo). Next door, the market offers fish, prepared dish es and fried goodies like Maine clam bellies and fish and chips. Pro tip: They’ve just started selling sushi from Miku in Greenwich (which will be opening a sister restaurant soon in Darien). »

Best seat in the house at Rowayton Seafood NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 NEW CANAAN•DARIEN 51
Enjoying a girls' day out at Farmer's Table


A fun and lively dinner party (bring a bottle, or two, of wine) held every other Thursday at the contemporary coastal coffee shop. The four-course dinner menu features seasonal, fresh, health-forward food. Each party sits at their own table, but the atmosphere is friendly and communal.

Book a candlelit dinner in the Darien Butcher Shop, where owner Peter Crawford prepares dishes that feature more than the finest meats—the multi-course menu includes fish and seasonal vegetables. Everything is cooked with the modern French technique that this Darien native honed while in New York City’s best restaurants. BYOB

This old school breakfast and lunch place hosts seasonal wine dinners once a month with Sipsters Wine shop. This is another culinary expression owner Peter Crawford brings to his hometown’s downtown.

What a Concept

really loves New Canaan and the feeling is mutual. When Chef Nick Martschenko started with South End, a farm-to-table American Tavern on Pine Street, it was instantly popular. Since then, he has expanded the concept to At the Station, and added two more concepts, Uncorked (small plates and craft cocktails) and The Back End, (high-end Mexican).

Underground and after-hours are alluring concepts–especially when paired with food and wine. Several establishments extend their hours and offerings. Guests (reservations required) can gather a few friends or come solo to enjoy the communal experience of a fine, multi-course meal.

left: Crispy kale pizza from Locali above: Magic 5 Pie Co. right: Tomato, prosciutto di San Daniele and arugula pizza from Solé
Move over, New Haven, our chefs are mixing up long fermented doughs, topping them with creative and classic ingredients and firing them up in super-hot ovens. We find ourselves craving anything at Locali especially the Pretty “Kale” Leopard with kale-almond pesto and crispy kale; Solé’s pizza with sliced tomatoes, San Daniele prosciutto and arugula; and Magic 5 Pie Company in East Norwalk (worth traveling for) answers the question, “Should pineapple be on a pizza?” Take a bite. Yes, grilled pineapple belongs on its taco-inspired Al Pastor pizza. »
ZZa Pies

This organic and vegan café was started by Darien native Brennan Braca, an athlete inspired by his search for performance-enhancing food that tasted good. There’s a smoothie for every mood and state that the mind and body can be in. Feeling down? Try the Mood Enhancer smoothie; even reading the description of why it’ll make you feel better will make you feel better.

Newer on the Darien scene is Clean Juice, a franchise offering organic smoothies, juices, acai bowls, salads and sandwiches. It lists the calorie count of each item, and we appreciate it.

The plant-based café in New Canaan serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with smoothies and bowls. It focuses on promoting sustainability by using local products.

Greenology's Macro bowl, Superfood bowl, Veg-g Omelette
is as easy as ... 54
WellBarvida owner, Brennan Braca


Within walking distance to the Darien train station, there are two bars where we like to unwind and rejuvenate after a long day.

Oyster Bar and Bistro It has a pleasing bright and spacious French Bistro décor, and a long marble bar where we like to order from the daily selection of fresh east and west coast oysters and (elegantly) slurp them with a flute of champagne.

American Bar and

few of our go-tos when we’re in the mood for international cuisine
It has an old tavern feel with dark paneled walls and a fireplace, and we like to sit at the worn wood bar and order steak frites and a glass of red wine. Seat A
L’Ostal ITALIAN Louie’s
Tequila Mockingbird The Back End
Pesca INDIAN Chef Prasad L’Ostal serves up pork confit with pickles and grilled sourdough; Foie Gras Maison with apple jam and Flour Water Salt’s Brioche; Oeufs
of the

Fire a

by jill johnson mann photographs by andrea carson Nina Lindia Saskia
Robert Doran
Stephanie Cowie
Grassroots Leader Impactful Duo Outstanding Teen Volunteer Mike Miller Inspiring Leader Suzanne Brown Koroshetz Best Friend to Children Andrew Wilk Supporter of the Arts Community Advocate Dedicated Committee Member Community Good Neighbor Lifetime Achievement 1 2 4 5 6 7 3 8 9 10
Steven & Sandy Soule
Marianne Pollak

It’s our favorite time of year at Moffly Media— the time when a warm glow emanates from the pages of our Light a Fire issue. It comes from the Fairfield County residents who spend all year working tirelessly to help their neighbors, improve our towns and make the world a better place. They rarely have a chance to sit still and bask in the glow they have created. We, with the help of your passionate nomination letters, can give them this one moment to shine before they return to protecting children’s mental health, delivering food to the hungry, offering homework clubs and music lessons to immigrant children, making our towns easier to navigate for those with disabilities, buoying the spirits of breast cancer survivors, resettling refugees, preventing abuse, preserving the glorious land around us, championing the arts, building synagogues, bringing together our communities and saving lives. Take a moment and give them your full attention. They just may spark something in you that will land you in our Light a Fire issue one day. 58 58

Nina Lindia


Grassroots Leader


Pitch Your Peers, Breast Cancer Alliance,


“I started volunteering at twenty-two, when I moved to New York,” says Old Greenwich resident Nina Lindia. “For the first time in my life something broke my heart enough that I wanted to see what I could do about it.” All the vision-impaired residents astounded her. “I couldn’t imagine navigating the city without the power of sight,” she says. Nina began volunteering with a youth program, and then something magical happened. “Volunteering literally solved my own problem.

I witnessed how powerful it can be,” recounts Nina, who joined every committee she could when she moved to Greenwich. “Each was another opportunity to learn something,” she says. “The first thing I ask people I meet is: ‘What breaks your heart about the world?’ I always have a recommendation for a great nonprofit that will unbreak their hearts. I’m not

necessarily someone people come to for advice, but in this category I am. It’s a wonderful feeling.”


Nina is cofounder of the organization Pitch Your Peers, which grew out of a simple observation. “Donation requests usually start with: ‘sorry to ask’ and ‘no amount is too small,’” she says. “That’s a terrible pitch! I thought what if we create a forum in which we can pool resources, without a lot of red tape, one meeting a year, with the notion of giving where you live. Members each give $1,000 annually and in addition pitch their networks: ‘I’m going to ask you for $2,000 and give you really good reasons why.’” If she gets a no, Nina asks what the potential donor is passionate about, so she knows for the future. “I wanted to diversify the portfolio of how we ask for donations,” she explains. Pitch Your Peers raised $10,000 in one day for Ukraine. New chapters are sprouting up across America.

“Nina is a force to be reckoned with. When she sees a need, she looks to fill it. As a lifetime resident of Greenwich, Pitch Your Peers supporter and close friend of Nina’s, it’s so inspiring to see how she harnessed the power of women to make a very real and hands-on impact. Starting a movement is never easy, but Nina has done it with intention, humor and grace. With the help of some good friends who believe in the vision of collaborative giving, informed philanthropy and volunteerism, Pitch Your Peers quickly went from an idea to reality. Since its inception, PYP has expanded from Greenwich to Chicago and Seattle Nina is heavily involved with both to ensure their success. She also passionately supports many other nonprofits. Her gratitude for life shines through in everything she does!”

As a breast cancer survivor, Nina is also a champion of the Breast Cancer Alliance. She cochaired its 2019 luncheon, which shattered all records with a sold-out event of 1,100 people and $1.6 million raised.


“One way we can all give back is an intangible way. If you care about an organization and the community it supports, set a great example. I genuinely care about the population of global breast cancer survivors, and I try to set a great example for people who are newly diagnosed,” says Nina, who had a double mastectomy and numerous rounds of chemo and radiation. “I want to help them to not be terrified, to not give up on themselves. I’ve been through it all, and I’m full of joy.” She adds, “Friends are so important to me. I want to keep helping them unbreak their hearts.” »


Steven & Sandy Soule

Impactful Duo


“Steven and I grew up in families with a tradition of helping others,” says Sandy Soule. “My parents were refugees of the Holocaust and were founding members of Larchmont Temple. We’d been in Greenwich over forty-five years when the opportunity came up for me to help build a new synagogue. We dedicated the arch in the synagogue in memory of my parents, so I would say we were


continuing a family tradition.” Sandy is also involved in Jewish Family Services. “There is a saying: To those who much is given, much is expected,” she says. “Steven is still very busy running his business, but when I retired, it was our time to start giving back. It’s really important to us.” Steven concurs: “Watching what Sandy’s family went through and what they did, you have no choice but to do this.”


Sandy serves on the board of Greenwich Reform Synagogue and is copresident. “We built a new synagogue on Orchard Street in Cos Cob. It’s amazing,” says Sandy, who also serves on the board of JFS of Greenwich. “Jewish Family Services has really stepped it up since the Afghan resettlement program started,” she says, “and now they’re working with Ukrainian refugees as well. Everyone is entitled to a safe place to live.”

During the pandemic, when indoor fundraisers weren’t feasible, the Soules graciously offered to host an outdoor event for JFS. “Since we live in paradise, we are very happy to share,” says Sandy. The first event was a success and attendance tripled at the next. First Presbyterian Church was one of JFS’s community partners in its resettlement efforts. “When Christians and Jews get together to help Muslims, that’s a very special moment,” says Sandy.

Steven became involved with the Mill River Collaborative through his company SB&W (a custom components manufacturer) and First County Bank’s philanthropic foundation. “They have made a commitment to the community that is wonderful to be a part of,” comments Steven. “Mill River is just becoming what it has potential to be.” Sandy adds, “It used to be full of rusting shopping carts and now it’s magnificent.”

At the Soule’s annual Fourth of July party, they request food donations for Neighbor to Neighbor, rather than hostess gifts. For bar mitzvahs, they give one check to the child and one for a charity of the child’s choice. “The kids feel empowered and engaged,” says Steven.


Steven quips: “To be alive and to be retired!” Sandy adds, “I would hope for a fact-based reality, recognizing women as human beings with minds of their own. Needless to say, I’m a very strong supporter of Planned Parenthood. I signed my first pro-choice petition when I was pregnant with our daughter, who is now forty-six.”

For the past fifteen years Sandy has served on the JFS of Greenwich board of directors, including ten years on the executive committee as secretary. In both 2021 and 2022, Sandy and Steve graciously hosted our annual fundraisers at their Riverside home, with close to 200 people in attendance. Their dedication to our growing social services agency is unmatched.” 60
ORGANIZATIONS First Reform Synagogue, Jewish Family Services, Mill River Collaborative


“I was very lucky to go to a high school with so many resources,” says Darien resident Saskia Zimmerman, a firstgeneration American. “I know that when my parents immigrated [from El Salvador] to the United States, they worked very hard to provide me with the best possible education within their reach. I had the opportunity to take challenging classes [at Darien High School], to learn to play the violin, to fence, to participate in many extracurricular clubs and activities. Not everyone has that good fortune. That’s why I worked with immigrant children at Building One Community (B1C), because they should also have those same opportunities.” The kids served by B1C, an organization focused on the successful integration of immigrants and their families, attend schools that often don’t have the resources Saskia benefitted from, and knowing that inspired her to make a difference.


During high school, Saskia volunteered by offering academic tutoring and violin lessons, and she also lead a Homework Club. Last summer, she developed a summer STEAM Club for elementaryschool-age children at B1C. “I created lesson plans, led hands-on activities,

and fundraised for all the materials,” she explains. “I also enlisted one of my older students to help me run the club, so she could give back to the community as well. The children weren’t the only ones who learned. I discovered what it feels like to create and pitch a program, along with how hard it is to be on the other side of the classroom breaking down complicated STEAM topics in a way that even Junior, the youngest student fresh out of kindergarten, could understand.

I had never seen a class more eager to learn. I was constantly impressed by their small hands furiously scribbling notes and their engagement. The success of the camp was very rewarding and reinforced my belief that equal access to education is something every kid deserves.”


“I hope that the kids I help grow up to help other kids, and I hope B1C is able to continue to provide the means through which the bond is formed,” says Saskia. “I hope volunteers at B1C continue to help community members learn the skills that will give them the best chance at success in this country, while volunteers deepen their understanding and appreciation of other cultures.” »

Saskia Zimmerman Outstanding Teen Volunteer

“Saskia’s commitment to B1C, and what she has accomplished in her 215 hours of volunteering since 2019, have exceeded our expectations for a youth volunteer. Saskia has volunteered to teach immigrant adults English and tutor youth immigrant students in math. She is also one of our most diligent Homework Club Leaders. Saskia volunteered to run the STEAM summer camp at B1C. She raised the money for the camp through a GoFundMe campaign she created and also used her own birthday money to make supplies available to the kids in her class. Undoubtedly, Saskia’s volunteer work has not only impacted our immigrant children’s lives but also B1C’ s success. ” —LORELY


Stephanie Cowie

Inspiring Leader


Greenwich Public School PTAs, GPS Building Committees, Junior League of Greenwich, United Way of Greenwich, American Red Cross ( Metro NY North ) , League of Women Voters, First Selectman ' s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities


“My parents instilled the importance of giving back,” says Steph Cowie. “Whether they were coaching teams, serving as volunteers for our town or various organizations, we grew up knowing volunteerism should be a part of our day-to-day.”

In January of 2018, Steph suffered a stroke to her spine, which caused paralysis from the waist down.

“Faced with undoubtedly one of the most difficult personal challenges, my life and our family’s life changed dramatically,” says Steph. “Unable to continue my thirty-year professional career, I found that volunteer work became the outlet I needed and carried me through some of the difficult times. Through my volunteer commitments, I was able to adapt and continue to make a difference. Volunteering will always be a part of my life. I continue to volunteer, because I enjoy being with people and making even the slightest difference in a project or a person’s life.”


“I have been so fortunate to work with so many wonderful organizations over the last twenty-one years,” says Steph, who was the recipient of the Greenwich PTA’s Lifetime Essence Award and served on the boards of the United Way and American Red Cross.

“My lens seems very different now than it was previous to my stroke. Like so many, I was unaware of the inadequate services, lack of accessibility and inclusivity in our community for those with disabilities,” she explains.

“Several years ago, I became the vice chair of the First Selectman’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities. I have learned so much and have put all that to good use.”

Steph now directs most of her volunteer time to infrastructure in Greenwich, advocating for the town to be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant in all schools and public spaces. “We just celebrated the ADA’s thirty-second anniversary at the new— and now ADA-compliant—Greenwich High School Cardinal Stadium,” she says. “I couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of this improvement for all to use.”


“I hope that Greenwich continues to work together—all town departments and the public—to better the lives of those with disabilities by making public spaces and buildings inclusive and accessible. We are all only temporarily able.”


“Steph’s passion for philanthropy is infectious, and that has never been more apparent than it is today as she struggles with her own physical challenges and still finds ways to help others and offer them support and encouragement. Steph has a deep passion for life, which permeates all that she does, making her a great messenger of endless possibilities. While she has held many leadership positions, Steph pours as much energy into working behind the scenes as she does leading the way.” 62
SUE BODSON , FRIEND (2010 Light a Fire Honoree, Best Friend to Children)

Robert Doran

Community Advocate


Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Westport Country Playhouse, New Canaan Chamber Music, New Canaan Abuse Prevention Partnership


“As a community relentlessly working together with our nonprofits, we can break cycles of abuse, addiction, hunger and poverty,” says New Canaan resident Bob Doran.

“We can provide education, skills and tools for people to be in control of their own lives. The work of our local nonprofit organizations in the trenches, at their best, transforms lives. The people who are reached by those services and are better for it transform our communities. That is inspiring.”


Doran is active in numerous nonprofit organizations in Fairfield County— Domestic Violence Crisis Center (advisory board), Westport Country Playhouse (trustee) and New Canaan Chamber Music (founding board member)—and also is the volunteer head of New Canaan’s Channel 79 and a founding member of New Canaan Abuse Prevention Partnership.

As host of the Talking About It podcast, Doran is dedicated to preventing abuse, promoting healthy relationships and reducing the stigma around behavioral health issues.

“We need to talk openly about the issues our neighbors face,” says Doran. “Our communities are neither their healthiest nor their strongest if one of us is in need. I made a conscious decision many years ago to not be a bystander. Instead, I try to move the needle as an advocate for change— actively and respectfully speaking out loud about issues affecting our communities. By being a visible advocate—writing op-eds, producing podcasts, speaking publicly and working with nonprofit leadership—I look to raise awareness of important issues, remove the stigma of being in need and give people a voice and a language to ‘talk about it.’”

Doran adds, “I work with many nonprofits on strategic planning and

engagement to define ‘Purpose’ and share their compelling stories.”


“I hope organizations find their Purpose—with a capital P,” says Doran.

“I would like to see organizations do the unconventional and set aside their ‘Mission and Vision Statements.’

I find that most board members, staff, volunteers and clients don’t know them anyway. ‘Mission and Vision’ narrow our focus in ways that constrict peripheral vision; like putting blinders on a horse, you can only see what’s in front of you. Solutions are invariably found around corners. When we look through a Purpose-driven lens, our stories are more compelling, everyone is more engaged, difficult and divisive choices become constructive dialogue, the path to success is clearer, and we make a greater impact in the world.” »


“Bob Doran embodies the true essence of why one dedicates their time to volunteering. While many raise a hand from time to time in support of a cause that is near and dear to them, Bob raises both and jumps in, feet first. Bob has done so much to lift countless lives through his leadership and to provide a path forward for those who might not otherwise find one.”


Suzanne Brown Koroshetz

Best Friend to Children



As an innovative educator and principal of Stamford High School and Brien McMahon High School, Suzanne demonstrated exceptional compassion, connection and leadership on behalf of students and families. She has been an impactful speaker advocating for Teen Talk programs throughout Fairfield County. Countless students have benefited from mental health services due to Suzanne’s commitment and prioritization of this service.

It’s impossible to quantify how many children’s lives were saved due to her tireless effort to assure funding and program availability year to year. Since retiring, she continues to share her expertise and passion as a Kids in Crisis board member.

As part of the Substance Misuse Prevention Task Force, Suzanne is helping to build a campaign to educate families and youth on the dangers of marijuana use. Her work has a direct impact on the health of today’s youth.”


“When I was the principal of Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, my students were the recipients of a Kids in Crisis (KIC) donor-funded Teen Talk counselor,” recounts Suzanne Brown Koroshetz. “This masters’ level, compassionate counselor helped many students navigate difficult personal and school-related issues.” The Teen Talk counselor augmented the school staff by providing confidential individual, group and family counseling.

“She identified at-risk students and families flying under the radar and reached out to students experiencing depression, anxiety, substance-use struggles, and trauma- and conflictrelated stresses,” says Suzanne. “She was an angel who arrived to help my kids. I believe she saved lives.” Suzanne now has the time to support the wonderful organization that did so much for the students in her care. “While Teen Talk is a vital component of KIC, the organization does even more to support children and families,” she adds.


Suzanne now serves on KIC’s board of directors. “What a gift to join a group of dedicated board members and remarkable staff. And to be able to ‘officially’ represent an organization that has meant so much to me for a long time,” she says. Suzanne is cochair of the program committee and works with staff, fellow board members and volunteers. “Our role is to support KIC programs and stay true to the vision and mission of KIC,” she explains. “The programs we directly support include Safe Haven, Light House, Helping Kids Thrive (KIC’s webinar), Outreach and Community Partners.”


“I wish for KIC’s incredible staff and amazing volunteers to continue to have the energy and compassion and all the funding needed to reach the KIC vision: a community where all children are happy and safe,” says Suzanne. “We are working to build healthy communities where children and families can thrive— with prevention, counseling and crisis services available twenty-four hours, every day.” Suzanne continues: “This work is so important. It’s hard to be a kid today, and many families are struggling. It is a privilege to support KIC values as the staff works to welcome all people with respect and kindness, by responding quickly and thoughtfully, while bringing strength and compassion for the benefit of children.” 64

Andrew Wilk Supporter of the Arts


Westport resident Andrew Wilk retired as executive producer of Live From Lincoln Center in 2019, but there is no valve to turn off the creative flow generated by this producer/director/ conductor/multi-Emmy-winning brain. “In a show biz career, you do it because you love it, and you want to keep doing it,” says Wilk. “It was my chance to do something with this artsy town that I’m really attached to. Westport has been a wonderful place for our sons to grow up. And part of it is selfish—I want to stay sharp, keep directing, keep conducting, and I don’t want to wake up and stare at the ceiling! Retiring with a unique skill set motivates me to keep at it regardless of any compensation.”


In just a few (pandemic-riddled) years, Wilk has brought a slew of stars and Lincoln Center-quality concerts to Westport. He shared his talent conducting the Staples Pops Concert at the Levitt Pavilion, which led Bill Harmer to inquire if he’d do something for the library. “Something” in Wilkspeak translated to a Malloy Lecture with Broadway greats James Lapine, Stephanie Block and Bill Finn about their show Falsettos (which Wilk filmed for PBS); a riveting speaker series, Andrew Wilk Presents; another Malloy Lecture on Leonard Bernstein; and orchestrating the Booked for the Evening event with Itzhak Perlman. Harmer wisely asked Wilk to join the board. Andrew is now in his second term.

“Part of the reason I moved here was the Playhouse,” says Wilk, who suggested the venue for the Falsettos talk and subsequently brought the Playhouse into homes across America via PBS with his Stars in Concert Series in 2021, featuring Shoshana Bean, Gavin Creel and Brandon Victor Dixon. Wilk is currently brainstorming on a future large-scale production to galvanize support for the Playhouse and bring local performers and Broadway stars together on its stage.


“I would hope that the arts will continue to flourish here, and we revive the Playhouse with community support,” says Wilk. “Our library is beyond ground-breaking, and the community provided tremendous support and generosity for the renovation of the library and construction of its state-of-the-art recording studio, Verso Studios. I hope the Playhouse can benefit from the town’s generosity and enthusiasm like the Library has.” »

“Andrew has been on the Board of Trustees since 2017. During his tenure he has graciously shared his directorial and production talents, while freely opening up his Rolodex to bring in various personalities allowing for world-class programming at the Library, from Bob Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, to Jay Schadler and Mick Davie, correspondents and journalists, to Itzhak Perlman, world-famous violinist and so many others. He is generous to a fault with his time and talent, and we at the Library are grateful and indebted to him for his immeasurable contributions.”

ORGANIZATIONS Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse

Mike Miller

Community Good Neighbor



“Mike has been on the board of directors at TAG for fourteen years, starting as a financial advisor, and is currently the board president and CFO of TAG all volunteer positions. Mike is more than a board member. He is a true friend of TAG, doing everything he can to help it grow and become more successful in its mission. He works as many hours as a full-time employee! Mike has been there every step of the way as a mentor, advisor, teacher and friend. His commitment to this organization is one of belief believing that TAG is a truly valuable asset to the Greenwich community. He does anything and everything to make it happen on a daily basis.”


“Shortly after my family relocated to Riverside nearly three decades ago, we participated in what can accurately be described as a type of local barn raising,” explains Mike Miller. “Over six weeks during school break, several dozen neighbors—some with construction trade experience, many without—built from the ground up an entirely new playground for Riverside Elementary School. I enjoyed this experience immensely and knew that when other opportunities to serve our community presented themselves, I would again gladly volunteer and participate.”


Miller began volunteering with neighborhood nonprofits after supporting public school programs for many years. He became very involved with Transportation Association of Greenwich (TAG), which offers specialized para-transit services for the Town of Greenwich, annually providing over 30,000 rides for seniors, the disabled, school-age youth and neighbors with limited resources.

“My career skills—team building, collaboration, organizational strategy, finance and management advisory— that were honed through supporting a variety of organizations experiencing periods of urgent transition, dovetailed well with TAG,” says Miller, who helped the organization recover from the Great Recession. He has served TAG as board member, treasurer and president, for over fourteen years.

During the pandemic, TAG pivoted to focus on its pre-pandemic food delivery program, Feed Greenwich, in conjunction with Neighbor to Neighbor and the Department of Human Services. “Throughout the pandemic to date, TAG has surpassed 72,000 home deliveries, delivering a cumulative total of over 800,000 pounds of food,” says Miller.

“In June, following a competitive bid process, TAG was awarded a $3 million contract, which doubled its annual ridership to over 60,000 and expanded its operating footprint to seven additional communities. It has been a tremendously rewarding experience, working alongside the dedicated people here at TAG who help so many.”


“That our community-at-large maintains its commitment to the many organizations that make such a major difference day after day for our neighbors.” 66
Transportation Association of Greenwich, Neighbor to Neighbor, Greenwich Department of Human Services, Art Society of Old Greenwich 66

Marianne Pollak

Dedicated Committee Member


Originally from Buffalo, Marianne Pollak attended a League of Women Voters meeting when she and her husband moved to New Haven. “The League is nonpartisan and is concerned with the functions of government for community,” explains Marianne, whose enthusiastic engagement in the organization continued to Westchester and then Stamford, where she became president. “The League exposed me to many nonprofits,” she says.

“Because my husband spent so much time working in Asia, we travelled a lot, and I became aware of other people and communities,” she adds. “This broadens one’s perspective. No matter what color, what ethnic background—we are all people, and our needs are the same.”

And Marianne’s parents, avid gardeners, inspired her green thumb and concern for the environment.


Marianne has served on numerous committees in the past thirty years. “I was a founding member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF),” she says. She also served on the steering committee of its Fund for Women and Girls. She currently serves on the boards of Soundwaters, FCCF, The Bartlett Arboretum, League of Women Voters and Stamford Garden Club. Previously, Marianne served on the boards of Inspirica, the Connecticut Commission of Landscape Architects and the Bruce Museum and was board chair for the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. She also served on the

Connecticut committee of the Regional Plan Association.

“I think I bring an awareness of the importance of engaging the community and helping the community understand the needs of nonprofits,” she says.

“I hope I’ve helped these nonprofits become stronger organizations. The relationship between the board and staff is crucial. I’ve also encouraged other community members to be more engaged with nonprofits and the government.” Marianne adds, “I hope I have been effective in helping nonprofits who did excellent jobs of meeting their mission to communicate with the public, so that there is a greater understanding of how all of our lives are impacted when needs of the community are not met.”


“Covid has obviously changed our lives in many ways and perhaps even placed more emphasis on the needs of communities,” says Marianne. “As we go forward, how can we be more positive about engaging all peoples and all needs and having a vibrant, exciting community? I encourage people to be engaged in politics in the broadest sense: get out there, serve on a board, try to make a change. People talk about giving back; for me, it’s more about what I’ve gained being on boards. I hope going forward our government roles will be looked at in a more positive, broader way and that people will want to be engaged in their community—whether local, state or broader than that.” »


“Marianne is consistently engaged and dedicated to every organization that she is involved with. She brings strategic insight, thoughtful ideas and questions, consistent attendance, and is an excellent ambassador and supporter for all of her causes.”

JUANITA JAMES , PRESIDENT & CEO, FAIRFIELD COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION (2010 Light a Fire Honoree with her late husband, Dudley Williams, Most Involved Couple) ORGANIZATIONS Fairfield County Community Foundation, Soundwaters, CT Committee of Regional Plan Association, Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford Garden Club, League of Women Voters


Harry Day

Lifetime Achievement


“Giving back came to me naturally,” says Harry Day. “I felt I should do anything I can to help organizations that help kids and our citizens in Stamford. I just felt compelled to do that. It made me feel better. I have been very fortunate in many respects—to have great parents, to get into Yale University and Cornell Law School— so I felt responsible to do my best in helping others.”


Day’s service in Stamford and Fairfield County as a whole could fill pages. He served on Stamford’s Board of Representatives for nearly two decades. He has served on the boards of Mill River Park Collaborative, Stamford Emergency Medical Services, Old Town Hall Redevelopment Agency and Smith House Health Care Center. He has been involved with Kids in Crisis for fifteen

“Harry is a leader who is professional, effective, caring and generous. Ever self-effacing, Harry is not one to seek the spotlight. He is a listener. He is financially generous, but does so with the belief that quiet and anonymous giving is the best kind. I can think of no other individual who has contributed more to the city of Stamford and to Fairfield County just consider the sheer number of nonprofit and municipal organizations that he has been involved with over so many years. I have no doubt that he will continue his selfless quest to making the city of Stamford more livable, lively, interesting and beautiful with the enthusiasm, perseverance, dedication and graciousness that define Harry Day. ”

years, served as board chair for six years, and continues to be a generous contributor and fundraising organizer. “I was very proud and inspired during my time at Kids in Crisis,” says Day. “I got involved by first being able to persuade the city of Stamford to contribute.”

Day is currently president of Stamford Museum and Nature Center. “We were able to complete the building of the new farmhouse, which has brought many hundreds of new people to the Center,” explains Day. “Now we are working on getting the planetarium rebuilt, which will set the Center apart from anything like it in the metropolitan area.”

Day is also president of Stamford Land Conservation Trust, which owns and preserves over 450 acres of land across fifty-seven properties. (A tripling in the twenty years that Day has been involved.) “It’s a huge part of my life,” he says, “and of extreme importance to me. I love to save beautiful properties from development. I understand the need to build more homes, but it’s so important to have places people can escape to and enjoy the beauty of.”


“I hope for these organizations to bring people together and allow people to take advantage of their own abilities to learn things, enjoy life and make friends. That’s pretty much it!” says Day. “The Stamford Museum and Nature Center does all of those things and it’s an incredible organization. I’m very proud to be president.” G 68
ORGANIZATIONS Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford Land Conservation Trust LYNN VILLENCY COHEN , BOARD MEMBER, STAMFORD MUSEUM AND NATURE CENTER (2018 Light a Fire Honoree, Dedicated Supporter of the Arts)


It is our honor and duty to give
"�.........-'-CHARITY �'/NAVIGATOR __/ **** I Four Star Charity CFP is among top< 1 % of charities to receive a 100% rating in 2022 A college education is the key to that bright future. Learn more at FALLEN PATRIOTS TOTAL IMPACT m - - Ill $55M 2,335 1,125 1,119 TOTAL STUDENTS COLLEGE SCHOOLS SUPPORT PROVIDED FOR GRADUATES ATTENDED TO DATE NATIONALLY THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR MISSION [!lm-:��[!l r-.. • ,ii•�; ::.1-2· I -�• at tG:)[!l �,.;.,_. CFC #69859
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free and now we are left as the caretakers of their children.
these children the future their mothers and fathers dreamed of.


Connecticut is arguably the cradle of reproductive rights in America. But we have a dark history that predates our progressiveness. History, it would seem, is repeating itself across the country

by timothy dumas

Connecticut claims Anthony Comstock, if it must, as a native son. Born on a farm in New Canaan in 1844, Comstock was the Gilded Age’s archprude, its pig-eyed morality czar, its obsessive porn hunter with a badge and gun. He viewed himself as “a weeder in God’ s garden.” Others viewed him as “a five-foot ass.” Rather than let his Union Army comrades enjoy his ration of whiskey, Comstock would dump it on the ground. “Seems to be a feeling of hatred by some of the boys,” he noted in his journal. The same journal repeatedly hints at one temptation Comstock himself could not resist: masturbation. “I debased myself. I deplore my sinful weak nature.”

After the war Comstock placed himself rather too eagerly in “the mouth of the sewer”—Manhattan—as a solo anti-smut crusader. He sniffed out erotica’s shadowy marketplaces, purchased hot little items like nude photos and racy playing cards, and marched them over to the nearest precinct house, demanding an arrest. Com stock’s zeal impressed certain influential New Yorkers. In 1872 these wealthy men, J.P. Morgan among them, helped him found the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. From that perch Com stock swooped down not only upon bawdy novelties, but also upon belly dancing, nude paintings from Europe, classic literary works, contemporary plays (George Bernard Shaw was “an Irish smutdealer”), unclothed manikins, church bingo and “that which we call the love story.”

Comstock, a burly man with flowing muttonchop whiskers, rel ished bursting into book shops and private homes, a gaggle of re porters in tow. Near the end of his life (he died in 1915) he boasted of destroying 160 tons of obscene literature, collaring 3,697 “vile miscreants” and collecting $327,134.30 in fines. He also kept a morbid tally of the people he’d driven to suicide (at least sixteen). Had Comstock’s range extended no further than New York, history would have accounted him a mere footnote. Instead, in 1873, he went to Washington armed with dirty books and sex toys and, dis playing these wares, convinced Congress to pass an anti-obscenity bill of breathtaking scope. The so-called Comstock Law made it il legal to mail “obscene, lewd or lascivious” publications and personal letters “containing any filthy, vile, or indecent thing.” But what was obscene? Postal inspectors confiscated everything from medical texts to Valentine’s Day cards, the latter by the thousand. (Not long after, the Supreme Court said that opening sealed mail required a warrant.)

The Comstock Law also banned selling, distributing and mail ing all literature about contraception and abortion (not to mention mailing contraceptives and abortifacients themselves). These sub jects now fell under the banner of “obscene.” Overnight a boom ing condom trade tailed off dramatically. Discreet ads for abortion providers—“Ladies’ Friend and Doctor”—vanished from city news papers. Medical papers portraying the human body were plucked from the mails. Physicians ceased giving crucial advice about birth control to their patients. What yesterday was acceptable, today was criminal: violating the Comstock Law carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The most fervid enforcer of the Comstock Law was Comstock himself. The U.S. Postal Service granted him sweeping powers as a “special agent,” and he used them with special ardor against women’s rights advocates. He arrested physician and birth control lecturer Sara B. Chase for procuring a syringe that women used to douche after sex (“I am preventing poor families from being bur dened with children they cannot support,” she protested to an un moved Comstock during his raid). He arrested the wealthy society abortionist Madame Restell by posing as an impoverished husband with too many mouths to feed. (Rather than face trial, she cut her throat in the bathtub of her Fifth Avenue mansion.) He tried to ar rest Margaret Sanger, the mother of Planned Parenthood, for selling the birth control pamphlet Family Limitation, but nabbed her hus band instead. (William Sanger spent thirty days in jail after a judge declared that he’d engaged in a “scheme to prevent motherhood.”)

Comstock pursued Ida Craddock, a writer of marriage manuals, with a crazed, Captain Ahab-like vengeance. It had been Craddock who defended belly dancing against Comstock’s efforts to shut it down at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Years later, still smarting, Comstock arrested her in New York for circulating “The Wedding Night,” her 1900 pamphlet containing frank advice about sex. 72


IN 2018

Mississippi passed a law that banned abortion at fifteen weeks of pregnancy. The state’s only abortion provider, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, sued, arguing the law violated constitutional rights established in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. By a vote of 7-2, the Roe Court held that abortion was legal up to “viability,” the roughly twenty-four-week mark at which fetuses can theoretically survive outside the womb. (Thereafter states could prohibit abortion, except when the health of the mother was at risk.)

Jackson won its suit in district court. It won again in the extremely conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which wrote in 2019, “In an unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion cases have established (and affirmed, and re-affirmed) a woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability.”

Even so, last September Texas (which also falls under the Fifth Circuit’s purview) enacted an abortion law much stricter than Mississippi’s, banning the procedure at six weeks—before many women know they’re pregnant. To enforce the law, Texas devised a Wild West-style “bounty” system of citizen vigilantes, in which anyone learning of

your post six-week abortion can sue to collect at least $10,000 from your abettors: the sister who drove you, the friend who lent you money, the physician who attended you. If the Mississippi law was unconstitutional, the Texas law must have been doubly so. Why, then, did Texas enact it?


The U.S. Supreme Court’s rightward lurch. President Trump installed three social conservatives, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, making for six conservative justices in all, a supermajority that some viewed as yearning to restore the moral climate of 1960, if not 1860. Worse, that supermajority seemed ill-gotten. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had denied Obama nominee Merrick Garland a hearing a full eight months before the 2016 election—too close to Election Day, was McConnell’s fatuous claim—and then without blushing, hastened Coney Barrett onto the Court eight days before the 2020 election. Democrats regarded these events as nothing shy of “theft.”

The seating of this new Court converged with the arrival on its doorstep of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi abortion case that had lost in two federal courts already. Granted a review before the Supreme Court, Mississippi decided to challenge Roe in

boldest fashion. The state’s solicitor general, Scott Stewart, asked the Court not merely to chip away at Roe by permitting the fifteenweek ban, but to scrap Roe v. Wade altogether. No matter that Roe had been affirmed and reaffirmed; no matter that it was woven deeply into American life. Both Roe and Casey, Stewart argued, were simply wrong. “They have no basis in the Constitution.”

On the evening of May 2 Politico published a leaked draft of the Dobbs opinion. Written by Justice Samuel Alito, the draft signaled the majority’s whole hearted agreement with Mississippi: Roe and Casey must indeed be overturned. Pro-choice Americans reacted to the draft with shock and grief, but also with a touch of magical thinking: surely this was a worst-case scenario; surely Chief Justice John Roberts would step in to forge a compromise whereby Mississippi’s fifteen weeks became the most restrictive allowable standard. (Actually, Roberts tried until the last moment.)

It was not to be. On the morning of June 24, the Supreme Court released its 5-4 decision, little changed from the draft, overruling Roe. For the first time in American history, a firmly established constitutional right had been revoked from the people. Now, as Roberts had feared, a state of chaos reigns in which abortion is essentially murder in some states and perfectly legal in others, and in which the Supreme Court is widely distrusted, and will be for years to come. »

How the stringently conservative Supreme Court got the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade

When Craddock was found guilty and sentenced to three months in a disease-ridden workhouse, Comstock “exulted with savage glee,” according to a spectator quoted in Amy Sohn’s book The Man Who Hated Women. No sooner was Craddock released than Comstock arrested her again, on the fraudulent charge of mailing the pamphlet to a minor girl. This time Craddock escaped a prison sentence by committing suicide. Just before she turned on the gas jet in her flat, she wrote a letter expressing the hope that her death would shock people into rethinking the “dreadful state of affairs which per mits that unctuous sexual hypocrite, Anthony Comstock, to wax fat and arrogant, and to trample upon the liberties of the people.”

After Craddock’s suicide, people began to weary of Comstock. “Why don’t you suppress the Bible?” voices shouted, as he lectured in Brooklyn about obscene literature. Not long before Comstock’s own death, the socialist newspaper The Masses published a cartoon that neatly summed up the shifting attitude: A rotund Comstock has dragged a young woman by the collar of her nightgown into a courtroom. He tells the judge, “Your Honor, this woman gave birth to a naked child!”

Comstock may have been a relic, but the Comstock Law of 1873 lived ruthlessly on. Worse, twenty-four states, inspired by the federal law, passed “little Comstock laws” even stricter than the original. Connecticut’s was the strictest of all. Pushed through the state House in 1879 by P.T. Barnum, the showman and sometime politician, this “Act Concerning Offenses against Decency, Morality and Humanity” predictably forbade circulating information about contraceptives; but uniquely, it also forbade their use. Married cou ples could go to jail for employing condoms and diaphragms in the privacy of their bedrooms. And physicians could go to jail for coun seling their use, even when pregnancy would have posed a grave danger to his patient.

None of this is ancient history. Our puritanical law of 1879 per sisted until 1965, when the Supreme Court ruled, in Griswold v. Connecticut, the ban on contraceptives to be unconstitutional. “We deal with a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights,” wrote William O. Douglas in his majority opinion. In other words, a “right of privacy” is a natural right, a bedrock principle of any free society. But it took Griswold to articulate privacy as a constitutional right in matters of sex and family life. Though the word “privacy” is no where mentioned in the Constitution, the concept of privacy—in the sense of being let alone to live as we choose, without unwarranted government intrusion—is threaded throughout. “Would we allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives?” Douglas asked. “The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship.”

Here is why Griswold matters so critically today: It laid the foun dation for all privacy cases to come—most notably Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion up to “viability,” the


Connecticut enacts the country’s first criminal abortion statute. Stemming from a sex scandal in the town of Griswold (see main story), the statute outlaws abortion by “poison” when a woman is “quick with child”—that is, after she has felt the first kick of the fetus in her womb. The abortionist can be punished by life in prison; the woman who undergoes the abortion is not culpable.

1860Connecticut revises its abortion law, in keeping with a national trend. Now abortion at any stage by any means (herbal concoctions or “tools”) is illegal, unless to save the life of the mother. And now, too, the woman is guilty of a felony.

roughly twenty-four-week mark at which fetuses can theoretically survive outside the womb. (Thereafter states could prohibit abor tion, except when the life or health of the mother was at risk.) All of that changed on June 24, when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson (Mississippi) Women’s Health Organization. The Court could have simply upheld Mis sissippi’s ban on abortion after fifteen weeks, as Chief Justice John Roberts had wished, but the five conservative justices decided to go big: They overturned Roe v. Wade and the twenty-odd cases that flowed from it. For the first time in American history, a constitu tionally-established right had been snatched back from the people.

Samuel Alito’s majority opinion adopted a tone of barely sup pressed hostility. He offered zero respect for a precedent deeply woven into American society—one that women relied upon for a half century to escape poverty, abusive relationships, troubled preg nancies, and difficult lives, not to mention to preserve their freedom. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” he wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak.” (In fairness to Alito, legal scholars of all persuasions have picked at the Roe opinion; few of them, however, take issue with its bottom line.) Then Alito reached back to old, male-centric sources to buttress his opinion, including seventeenthcentury English jurist Matthew Hale, who described abortion as “a great crime” but also sent women to death for witchcraft and wrote that rape in marriage isn’t rape.

Supreme Court experts were aghast at Alito’s insensitivity. “The 74


Anthony Comstock, New York’s chief vice cop, persuades Congress to pass a sweeping obscenity law. The Comstock Act makes it illegal to send “obscene” or “immoral” materials through the mail. The law makes no attempt to define “obscene,” but it explicitly includes anything to do with contraception and abortion. Violating the Comstock Act can land one in prison for five years. Comstock himself rents a post office box in Greenwich in order to entrap New Yorkers into sending material across the border, thus turning a state crime into a federal one, according to Amy Sohn in her book The Man Who Hated Women.


States pass “little Comstock laws” that often go further than the federal one. Connecticut’s is the strictest of all. Not only does it regard information about abortion or birth control obscene, but it forbids outright the use of contraceptives. And it punishes an abettor (say, a physician) “as if he were the principal offender.”

1935The Connecticut Birth Control League quietly— and illegally—opens a clinic in Hartford. Clinics in Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk follow. But when a birth control clinic opens in Waterbury in 1938, Catholic authorities pressure police to enforce the 1879 statute. The clinic’s founder and two physicians are arrested, though ultimately not prosecuted. The state’s birth control clinics shut down.


Estelle Griswold, executive director of the Planned Parent League of Connecticut, and C. Lee Buxton, a Yale School of Medicine professor and gynecologist, open a birth control clinic in New Haven, hoping to draw legal action. Local detectives promptly raid the clinic and arrest Griswold and Buxton. They are convicted of abetting a crime, and the state Supreme Court upholds both the convictions and the archaic 1879 statute.

opinion feels like it was written by arsonists,” noted Dahlia Lithwick, a lawyer who writes about the Supreme Court. Reva Siegel, a Yale law professor specializing in the Constitution, sent us an article in which she wrote, “The decision so dramatically limits women’s con stitutional liberties that one can almost hear the chants of ‘lock her up!’ from Trump’s supporters.” (In Texas, performing an abortion is now punishable by up to life in prison.)

Then there was Clarence Thomas. In his concurring opinion he raised the specter of the Court “correct[ing] the error” of other cel ebrated privacy cases, including Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which legalized consensual gay sex, Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which legalized same-sex marriage, and even Griswold, which was sud denly back in the news not as a venerable precursor to Roe, but as a threatened right.

Thus does a straight line run from 1879 to the present moment. Somewhere, the ghost of Anthony Comstock is smiling.


Today Connecticut is regarded as a moderately liberal state. But it overwhelmingly supports abortion rights, with 68 percent in favor in all—or most—cases. (Only Massachusetts, Hawaii and Vermont poll higher.) Ours was the first state in the nation, in 1990, to codify Roe into its own laws, and remains one of only sixteen states to have done so. And in May, before the fall of Roe, Connecticut was first


In the landmark Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court declares that Connecticut’s ban on contraception violates the Constitution’s implicit right to privacy, marking the first time the Court unequivocally asserts that right. The decision lays the groundwork for Roe v. Wade.

to pass a law protecting out-of-state women who receive abortions here, as well as those who provide or facilitate abortions.

State Rep. Matt Blumenthal of Stamford got the ball rolling late last year. Noting the bleak tenor of the oral arguments in Dobbs, Blumenthal understood that Roe was probably doomed. “And I wanted to make sure that we in Connecticut were protected,” he says. Working with Rep. Jillian Gilchrest of West Hartford, he con sulted an all-star team of law professors and formulated legislation now known as the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act. (In addi tion to its protections, the act expands abortion access by permitting qualified nurses and physician assistants to perform suction abor tions, the most common kind of clinical abortion.)

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Delaware soon copied us—and then red states moved audaciously to counter these new protections. The conservative Thomas More Society drafted model legislation that would forbid people in abortion-ban states to get abortions in legal states such as ours, and it’s only a matter of time before legislatures enshrine the society’s handiwork into law. Blu menthal predicts a collision between the two sets of laws: It’s wholly conceivable that we’ll see a Texas prosecutor go after a Connecti cut physician. “But we’re not going to shrink from defending our doctors, our nurses, our residents, and people who come here for care,” Blumenthal says. “We’re going to stand up and say, ‘Texas, don’t mess with Connecticut.’” (Zari Watkins, COO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, informs us that last year

1900 1875 1950


Connecticut legalizes abortion by order of the U.S. District Court in Hartford. This important but largely forgotten case, called Abele v. Markle, began with Yale law student Ann Hill’s anger at having to choose between an illegal abortion and bearing a child she didn’t want (she chose the abortion). The state reacts to the nullification of its 1860 abortion law by obtusely passing an even stricter law, requiring an Abele v. Markle II to strike it down. District Judge Jon O. Newman’s majority opinion establishes “viability” as the most reasonable line between the rights of the woman and the rights of the fetus, and his thinking will markedly influence the Supreme Court’s Roe opinion.

1975 1990


The Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirms Roe and clarifies its “viability” standard (dispensing with the somewhat muddy trimester scheme). But Casey also permits certain restrictions—waiting periods, parental consent—that make abortion access more difficult.


1973Roe v. Wade establishes abortion as a constitutional right. After the first trimester, however, that right is not absolute: States may regulate abortion to protect women’s health in the second trimester, and prohibit it altogether after viability (which the Court locates at 24 to 28 weeks but is now 23 or 24 weeks) except when the life or health of the mother is at risk.

Texas women, in response to new restrictions, began traveling to Connecticut for abortion care.)

How did Connecticut become a beacon of reproductive rights, when we were once the most repressive state in the union? The story is instructive: Let it begin with Sarah Grosvenor. In 1742 the nineteen-year-old farmer’s daughter from Pomfret became preg nant by her lover, Amasa Sessions, twenty-seven, son of a local tav ern keeper. At Sessions’ insistence, Grosvenor took an abortifacient to do away with the fetus, but the powder merely made her ill. So Sessions hired a “practitioner of physick” named John Hallowell to perform a surgical procedure. Two days later Grosvenor miscarried, and soon after that she contracted a uterine infection, grew fever ish and sank away into death. After an unexplained gap of three years, authorities arrested Sessions and Hallowell—the first known abortion-related arrests in America. For unknown reasons Sessions was let off the hook, but Hallowell was found guilty and sentenced to twenty-nine lashes and two hours’ public humiliation at the gallows. Before he could be punished, he broke out of jail and fled to Rhode Island, never to return.

Abortion was not uncommon in Colonial America. It was toler ated so long as it occurred before “quickening,” the first kick of the fetus in the womb, at four to five months. In 1748 Ben Franklin pub lished an abortifacient recipe—a mixture of mildly toxic herbs—in a widely circulated book of practical knowledge. Numerous popular

Connecticut is the first state to codify the terms of Roe into its own laws, ensuring that abortion would remain legal, prior to viability of the fetus, even if Roe were overturned. Gov. William A. O’Neill, a Catholic who personally opposes abortion, signs the bill into law.

medical books of the era proffered similar advice. So when Samuel Alito argues in his Dobbs opinion that abortion can’t be a consti tutional right, because the practice is “not deeply rooted in the na tion’s history and tradition” (a dubious standard to begin with: was women’s suffrage deeply rooted?), he’s factually incorrect. Though there was ambivalence about abortion because it could be danger ous, the practice was accepted by custom and by common law.

The first criminal abortion statute was enacted in 1821—courtesy of Connecticut. Why us? The immediate reason concerned a reli gious sex scandal in the town of Griswold. In 1817 a middle-aged preacher named Ammi Rogers impregnated a twenty-one-year-old congregant, Asenath Smith, and pressured her to ingest an aborti facient concoction. The young woman fell violently ill but survived, delivering a stillborn baby. Authorities got wind of the minister’s outrageous behavior and took redemptive action: They convicted Rogers of assault and jailed him for two years. Then they passed the historic 1821 statute, which outlawed abortion by “poison” when a woman was quick with child. The law clearly aimed to protect women, not fetuses, since it left in place the understanding that abortion before quickening was legal. (Also, the law punished only the abortionist; the woman was viewed as a victim of schemers like Ammi Rogers.)

In 1860 Connecticut hardened its law to ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy and extended punishment to recipients. The moral 76

2022The Supreme Court, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturns Roe v. Wade by a 5-4 vote. No longer a constitutional right, abortion returns to each state to decide for itself. But as Connecticut’s history shows, the will of state officials does not always reflect the will of the people.

2022Anticipating the fall of Roe, Connecticut passes the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, which protects patients who travel here for abortion care, as well as those who provide abortions or otherwise help patients. The act also expands access to abortion by permitting qualified advanced practice clinicians to perform aspiration, or suction, abortions.

climate around abortion in America had darkened considerably, but an evolving concern for the fetus was only part of the story. In 1857 physicians, led by Horatio Robinson Storer of Boston, embarked on a vigorous anti-abortion crusade that resulted in a virtual na tionwide ban. On one hand, physicians worried about the danger of abortion practiced by numberless “irregulars,” midwives and ho meopaths without formal training; newspapers were rife with stories of young women dying of abortions gone awry. On the other hand, the physicians, almost exclusively men, objected to the irregulars, who were mainly women, cutting into their business turf. (Women lacked the right to vote and so were powerless to counter the physi cians’ crusade.)

Storer believed abortion was murder. Many who held this view, though, did so through a fog of racism. They obsessed about white Anglo-Saxon Protestants committing “race suicide,” as suppos edly inferior stock—poor Blacks and immigrants—procreated with abandon (that is, without recourse to abortion and contraception). Despite the new criminal statutes, abortion in America exploded between 1840 and 1880. An 1870 poll of Philadelphia physicians called it an “epidemic.” At the same time in New York, four hun dred “abortoria” were hiding in plain sight, according to the Times In 1905, as talk of race suicide peaked, Connecticut’s Waterbury Evening Democrat opined, “It would be interesting to know how many native-born American children there would be if native-born

American parents did not transgress the law of God and nature by abortion, infanticide and onanism.”

Though women of all classes, races and religions got abortions, the typical patient was Protestant, married and middle- to upperclass. Usually these women sought to escape an endless cycle of child-bearing and child-rearing, or they’d endured dangerous preg nancies and worried about losing their lives in a kind of pregnancy roulette. (The single young woman “in trouble” made the papers when she died of a botched abortion, but she was a less typical case.) Abortion among Catholics was comparatively rare, because they tended to be poor, and because the Church thunderously forbade both abortion and contraception. Curiously, when Roman Catholic leaders distinguished between the two modes of baby-prevention, contraception was often the greater evil: “To take a life after its in ception is a horrible crime,” New York Archbishop Patrick Hayes said in 1921. “But to prevent life that the Creator is about to bring into being is satanic.”


By the twentieth century Connecticut had shaken off some of its Puritan mud. One notable progressive mud-shaker was Katharine Hepburn of Hartford, mother of the actress, who in 1923 cofounded the Connecticut Birth Control League, or CBCL. This was a coura


geous undertaking. Our 1879 Comstock law was very much alive, and the topic of birth control still possessed an aura of transgression and sin. Then there were the Roman Catholic multitudes. Immigra tion in the late nineteenth century—from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe—had flooded the state with Catholics and austere Catholic officialdom, which exerted immense power over its largely Demo cratic flock, including a burgeoning number of Catholic politicians.

Birth controllers like Hepburn brought out the ogre in the Church. Hartford Bishop John G. Murray called contraception a “perversion” and observed that the northern European races, “the finest type of people,” were “doomed to extinction, unless each fam ily produces at least four children.” Francis J. Sugrue, a priest from South Norwalk, assailed birth control’s “lecherous leaders.” Hart ford priest Andrew J. Kelly charged Hepburn with “naked pagan ism.” But the birth controllers remained steadfast, if a little awed by the ferocity of their foes. A CBCL executive informed his colleagues, “Catholic opposition in the state is rising like a tidal wave.”

Republicans, who monopolized the state legislature and tended to be Protestant, had little stomach for social change; they were of the old stock that had won for Connecticut its reputation as “the land of steady habits.” One exception was Epaphroditus Peck, a lawyer from Bristol. He argued before the state House in 1929 that the old Com stock-Barnum statute was “essentially religious legislation,” a claim that seems eerily current, as today conservative Christians lead the charge in banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Counter ing the enlightened Peck were myriad voices like that of Rep. Caroline T. Platt of Milford, who claimed that permitting contraception would “open the way for every girl to become a prostitute.”

Connecticut’s birth control advocates succeeded in putting the issue before a shyly amenable public, but that was all—they could not budge the legislative needle. A lively faction from Greenwich, led by Nancy Carnegie Rockefeller and Florence Borden Darrach, responded to that intransigence by opening a clinic in Port Chester in 1932. “At long last Connecticut—almost—had a clinic,” wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David J. Garrow in his magisterial Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade. As it happens, Garrow grew up in Old Greenwich and gradu ated from Greenwich High School in 1971. It is his book that first traced America’s battle for the right to privacy back to a succession of fierce Connecticut women.

In 1935 Hepburn’s friend Sallie Pease, president of the Connecticut Birth Control League, quietly opened the state’s actual first clinic, in Hartford. By 1936 Greenwich, Stamford and New Haven, too, had clinics. Then came Norwalk, Danbury, Bridgeport—and fatally, Wa terbury, the state’s most Catholic city. The Church smoked with in dignation. The clinic was raided. Police arrested its founder, Clara McTernan, along with two young doctors. “Then everything across the state shuts down,” Garrow tells us from his home in Pittsburgh. “Just like we saw in Texas with abortion twelve months ago.” (Garrow

is referring to the Texas law of last September that banned abortion at six weeks. After Dobbs, Texas established a near-total ban.)

As birth control clinics sprouted up around the country, Connecti cut remained dark. Decades passed; finally our state alone banned the possession and use of contraceptives (Massachusetts banned their sale and distribution, but not their use). In 1961 a Connecticut couple and their physician managed to get their appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, in Poe v. Ullman, but the Court effectively punted: Since there had been no arrest, there was no injury—a decision that curiously discounted the injury of denying medical care to a woman (“Pauline Poe”) who had given birth to three children with fatal defects. On No vember 1 of that year, Estelle Griswold, head of the Planned Parent hood League of Connecticut (as the CBCL was now called) opened a birth control clinic at 79 Trumbull Street in New Haven. On Novem ber 2 she invited reporters to the clinic and cheerfully explained that, in frank defiance of the law, PPLC had begun providing advice and contraceptives to married women. The provocation worked. Upon reading the news on November 3, James G. Morris, a Catholic father of five, worked himself into such a lather that he complained officially to New Haven police, demanding they shutter the clinic and arrest the outlaws. In comments to the press, Morris went full Comstock, comparing 79 Trumbull Street to a house of prostitution. “Marital


relations,” he said, “are for procreation and not entertainment.”

That afternoon two police detectives “raided” the clinic. Estelle Griswold could not have been more delighted. She gave the de tectives a leisurely tour, supplied them with illicit literature, and even directed them to clients who would happily brandish their diaphragms and birth control pills. On November 10 Griswold and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, the clinic’s medical director, were congenially arrested and released on $100 bond each. Thus began the most im portant privacy case in American history.

If Connecticut’s legislature was bizarrely out-of-step with the times in regard to birth control, its courts did not care to recognize it. The Sixth Circuit convicted Griswold and Buxton and fined them $100 each, having rejected their free speech and marital privacy ar guments; the appellate court upheld the convictions, claiming, with unintentional humor, that the state could deter “practices that tend to negate its survival”; and the state Supreme Court blandly agreed with these rulings: the 1879 law had survived a lot of challenges, so why shouldn’t it survive this one?

Garrow notes a central irony in all of this: the Catholic control of the Democratic Party that had kept the antiquated law on the books also sealed our date with the U.S. Supreme Court. Connecticut’s re pressiveness had ignited the forces of rebellion.


It is among the saddest photographs ever taken. The black-andwhite image, from June of 1964, shows a lifeless woman lying facedown on the floor of a tatty room at the Norwich Motel—naked, knees folded under her, hind quarters bloodied from a botched abortion. The woman was Gerri Santoro, a twenty-eight-year-old mother of two from the town of Coventry. She was married to Sam Santoro, who had moved the family to California, and who beat Gerri and the girls until they fled back to Connecticut.

Gerri took up with a coworker named Clyde Dixon, by whom she became pregnant. Sam then announced his intention to come East. The thought of him finding her pregnant struck such fear into Gerri that she submitted to Clyde’s clueless doctoring, there at the Norwich Motel. And when she began to hemorrhage, Clyde bolted, leaving Gerri to die alone. A maid found her in the morning.

Mysteriously, the photograph, taken by Norwich police, surfaced in Ms. magazine in 1973 under the headline “Never Again.” Then the photo began appearing on placards at marches. Thus did the appalling death of Gerri Santoro, a farm girl from Coventry, Connecticut, be come a galvanic symbol of the pro-choice movement, a symbol of the horrors that Roe v. Wade had vanquished forever. Or so it seemed. »

Fairfield County residents hit the Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C. and New York City in 2021. (opposite)The First Amendment carved in stone in Washington D.C. (this page top row) Coline Jenkins with photo of her great-great-grandmother, suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton • Katharine Brydson and Sofia Giannuzzi (bottom row) Joshua Dorries, Ned Marks, John T. Creedon Jr., Jack Reynolds, Molly Checksfield • Riley Klotz • Mary and Congressman Jim Himes with daughters Linley and Emma

Nearly fifty years later Roe is gone. A few in Connecticut greeted the news warmly. Our Catholic bishops noted that “we have heard many voices cry out for the innocent lives of the unborn” and that America had reached “a most hopeful and encouraging moment.” Peter Wolfgang, who heads the Family Institute of Connecticut, said, “This is the liberation of the unborn child” and vowed to keep working toward a “Connecticut where every unborn child is pro tected in law and welcomed in life.”

Most, however, greeted Dobbs with intense dismay. “It stings—it stings,” says Zari Watkins of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “This is about the patients and their loss of access. Abor tion is healthcare. We are denying folks access to basic healthcare— and, yes, it’s devastating.” Danielle Eason of Greenwich, an abortion rights advocate who has served as a “hand holder” to women getting abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Stamford, says, “It’s a slap in the face to women who, for fifty years, had the right to bodily autonomy and agency over their lives.” Now she fears for the mil lions of girls and women in states like Texas, Missouri and Louisiana who lack the wherewithal to travel to states like Connecticut. “It’s an uphill battle they just won’t be able to climb.”

Eason herself had an abortion several years ago at Greenwich Hospital. “My husband and I are both Tay-Sachs carriers,” she says. Tay-Sachs disease manifests itself soon after a child is born, and re sults in catastrophic problems, including paralysis, as the nerves in the brain and spinal column disintegrate. It chills Eason to imagine being poor and living in Texas under the tyranny of that state’s ban.

“If I lived in Texas right now, I’d potentially have to carry that preg nancy to term—which has its own risks—and then give birth to a child who has an inevitable fatal outcome by the time they’re a toddler. And it’s a painful death.” Genetic testing let the Eason family avoid that fate. But the test itself would pose a problem elsewhere. Since it can’t

be done until the eleventh week of pregnancy, states that ban abortion (thirteen and counting) or restrict it to six weeks (Ohio and Georgia) would force upon the Easons a protracted family tragedy.

New abortion laws have already ushered in a period of medical chaos. In Louisiana, a thirty-six-year-old woman was denied an abortion after an ultrasound showed her fetus to be missing part of its skull. In South Carolina, a nineteen-year-old carrying a nonvia ble fetus risked death by sepsis—or merely losing her uterus—when physicians sent her home, because the law precluded extraction be fore the fetus died. In Texas, a woman whose water broke at eighteen weeks—rendering delivery of a live baby hopeless—opted for an abortion, but the law was so vague that no physician would perform it. She was sent home to get sicker—which she did.

“We read about women walking around with dead fetuses for two weeks, because practitioners don’t know how to maneuver in this new landscape,” Eason observes. She does not judge women who have abortions for less urgent reasons than these. “Abortion happens for all sorts of reasons. You can’t pick and choose which ones are valid or not valid. It’s a very private matter, unique to each person.”


Birth control is no longer contested territory in America, though we shouldn’t speak too soon. Efforts are afoot to reclassify certain contraceptives as abortifacients, lending real weight to Clarence Thomas’s threat to undo Griswold. Abortion is another story. The country is hopelessly divided, though a solid majority of Americans, about 61 percent, are pro-choice in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center. Surprisingly, given Church teaching, 58 percent of Catholics think abortion should be legal, and 68 per cent were opposed to overturning Roe, believing abortion to be a matter of individual conscience, says the advocacy group Catho lics for Choice. (Protestants, various as their denominations are, diverge sharply on abortion: 60 percent of “mainline” Protestants favor choice, including 79 percent of Episcopalians, while only 33 of evangelicals do. Jews are notably pro-choice, polling at 83 percent, according to Pew.)

About 37 percent of Americans are anti-choice in all or most cases. While a fraction of these would leave Roe in place anyway— in deference to the conscience—the majority of them liken abortion at any stage to the murder of a living human. Indeed, anti-abortion politicians like Ted Cruz speak of Roe as permitting “the deaths of 63 million American children” as if they’d been cut down on the playgrounds of suburbia. No wonder the debate is so poisonous.

“Both sides are controlled by purists,” David Garrow, the his torian, contends. A self-described pro-choice moderate, Garrow thinks John Roberts offered a reasonable compromise in uphold ing Mississippi’s fifteen-week ban yet also wanting to preserve Roe. “It was crystal clear during oral arguments that the chief justice 80

wanted to find some middle ground,” he says. “And you know, John Roberts represents America.”

Polling does affirm that pro-choice Americans grow uneasier about abortion as pregnancy progresses. “For most everything up to ten to twelve weeks, an abortion can be done largely with vacuum aspiration,” Garrow explains. “You don’t have to do a D & E, using curettes and pulling things out, piece by piece. Once you get past about twelve or thirteen weeks, though, it’s unpleasant. There are a lot of pro-choice clinicians who won’t go past sixteen or eighteen or twenty weeks, because it increasingly looks like an actual baby.”

Most of the roughly 900,000 abortions in America annually are performed early. Ninety-three percent occur within fourteen weeks—the first trimester—and the majority of these are accom plished with pills. Only one percent of abortions are performed after twenty weeks. Yet as the ramifications of Dobbs play out, many are revising their willingness for “middle ground” compromise, as they learn, for instance, that fetal abnormalities often go undetected until a twenty-week ultrasound. There are other reasons why people wait to get abortions. Through no fault of their own, some women are slow to realize they’re pregnant, and when they do realize it, a com bination of saving $500 (to say nothing of travel costs) for an abor tion and booking an appointment at a typically backlogged provider pushes out the timeframe exasperatingly.

Meanwhile the anti-abortion movement is embracing ever more extreme tactics. Some Republican-led states, like Arizona and Geor gia, now legally define “personhood” as beginning at fertilization. What do they make of the fact that, in the natural course of things,

as many as half of fertilized eggs fail to implant in the uterine wall? Are these millions of “persons” dead children? And what of the hundreds of thousands of human embryos—or should we say chil dren—locked away in freezers? Where’s their child tax credit?

Most people do agree that abortion raises profound moral and philosophical questions. Dr. Paul Lakeland, an eminent Catholic writer and a professor of Catholic studies at Fairfield University, tells us the Church should drop its “nonsensical” argument against birth control. But abortion? It’s infinitely knottier. “Deep down I think most Catholics understand that sometimes there are compet ing values, and sometimes very hard decisions have to be taken,” Lakeland says by email. “All killing is objectively evil, but there are some circumstances where killing is justified: war, self-defense, and…” He leaves the sentence unfinished.

One thing seems indisputable: the Dobbs decision is increasing the store of human misery in America. As soon as the decision came down, clinics were beset with calls from sobbing women. Women and girls already in waiting rooms were told to their bewilderment that they had to go home. Protests erupted outside the Supreme Court building and in cities across the country. Days later, thousands of protesters converged on the White House, chanting “We won’t go back.”

But nothing could be done. Bans took hold in thirteen states, and ten more may follow. Other states (Ohio, Georgia) went in for re strictions so severe they are tantamount to bans. Then there was Kansas. The state has abortion protections in its constitution, but Republican lawmakers, who vastly outnumber Democrats, sought

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal speaking at Title X gag rule rally in Washington, D.C. in 2018

to revoke them the only way they could—through a public refer endum. The people of Kansas, despite their relative conservatism, voted overwhelmingly to keep the protections in place, thus sending a shiver through the Republican body politic. Most states that lost abortion rights, though, did get to decide for themselves.

What, then, is the human cost of Dobbs? Women will have to forgo jobs and schooling. They’ll be trapped in poverty. They’ll have to scare up costly aid for children with disabilities. They’ll be tied to abusers and rapists. And they’ll attempt dangerous methods of abortion.

“A lot of women are going to die. It’s as simple as that,” says Kay Maxwell, past president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, former board chairman of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and former executive director of the World Affairs Forum. “We know that a ban on abortions is not going to stop abortions from happening.”

Not all the deaths will happen via makeshift abortion. Imagine the desperation of the sixteen-year-old in Dallas or St. Louis or Baton Rouge who can neither get an abortion nor tell her parents she’s pregnant: Suicide will be an answer. In El Salvador, where abortion is outlawed, unwanted pregnancy is a leading cause of teen suicide. Maxwell sees forcing a person to bear a child as an act of cruelty.

This election season, certain conservative politicians have called pregnancy by rape “an opportunity” and God’s “silver lining.”

“How about this awful situation with the ten-year-old in Ohio?” Maxwell asks. “I mean, you can’t make this up.”

On July 1 an Ohio rape produced this horrific headline: “10-YearOld Girl Denied Abortion.” The girl got one in Indiana. But the story had a disturbing coda: Indiana’s attorney general, an anti-choice Catholic Republican named Todd Rokita, announced a seemingly unwarranted investigation into Caitlin Bernard, the ob/gyn who performed the abortion, hinting that her license hung in the balance. Why? Simply to intimidate her, thought Bernard. She had made the “mistake” of speaking out in favor of reproductive rights.

It seems there are many weeders in God’s garden. Abortion pro viders have bore witness to a particularly dark strain of them. Since 1977 the National Abortion Federation has recorded eleven mur ders, nearly 500 assaults, forty-two bombings, and 196 arsons per petrated against abortion providers, volunteers and patients. Last year alone, the federation said, there were thirteen cases of stalking, 182 threats of harm or death, and thousands upon thousands of hate calls and hate emails.

What is really going on here? “In simplistic terms, power over women,” says Maxwell, who volunteers at Planned Parenthood in Stamford, shepherding patients past anti-choice protesters who rou tinely gather there. “Not very long ago we celebrated the 100th anni versary of women winning the right to vote. Women have struggled and fought for rights all along. I’m old enough to have lived through the time when women couldn’t get their own credit cards. And yet I never thought that a right gained would be taken away.”

Maxwell sees a broader pattern of individual rights under attack— healthcare, voting, LGBTQ—and laments, “Everything seems to be turning backwards. Everything I’ve worked for and cared about through my lifetime, seems to have…” she trails off. “I mean, the Fifties were fine in some respects but not so fine in a lot of others, and I feel like that’s right back where we are.”

She sees hope, however, in the generation of young women now waking to the shocking realization that rights they were born with aren’t necessarily here to stay. “They have gotten more engaged. I don’t think it occurred to 90 percent of them that any of this could happen.”

Danielle Eason prefers to think of our Connecticut “safe haven” as not entirely safe. Ten years ago, who thought Roe was truly endan gered? “Even though we’ve been very progressive and trailblazing, that could switch on a dime if our leadership changes,” she says. “So, when local candidates are asked about their beliefs on this topic and they say, ‘It doesn’t matter what my beliefs are, nothing is going to change in Connecticut,’ that should be a red flag. It says that per son does not think women’s reproductive healthcare is a priority. We need to be very careful with our local elections and our state makeup, because those people in Hartford are the ones who will have the power to make this decision in the end. Not me or you.” G 82
Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO of Planned Parenthood, speaks to abortion rights supporters at a rally organized by the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2020.

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Festive Chic

We love when people think outside of the traditional holiday-décor box. In this New Canaan home, the self-proclaimed Christmas-obsessed homeowner uses sweet, elegant touches—soft-textured trees and fur-clad reindeer—to round out her holiday style. Whatever your décor preference, we hope the season brings you love, laughter and happiness. ND 88



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