Cos Cob

What is it about Cos Cob that people don’t like? It has an excellent elementary school and Central Middle School is appreciated by the parents of its students, it’s close to the beach and central Greenwich, there’s a nice shopping district (albeit one without a grocery store – thanks, Jerry) and the yards tend to be much bigger than comparable houses in Riverside or Old Greenwich. Yet some newcomers go ballistic when they discover that mail addressed to Greenwich with a Cos Cob zip will be returned by the Post Office, Riverside Yacht Club members universally paint “Riverside” as their home port even though they sail from Cos Cob Harbor (one brave friend, Bill Breck, defied that tradition, but he’s now dead. Coincidence? I think not) and many, many buyers refuse to even look at a listing if it’s in Cos Cob. So what gives? I don’t know.

But, prodded by a comment from Stanwich, I just pulled up the sales history for that section of town to see whether my memory about low pricing was correct. It was. There has been exactly one sale for more than $5,000,000 in the history of Cos Cob: 200 Cognewaugh, $5.250, in 2007, and I doubt it would fetch that now. There have been no sales, ever, in the $4.5 – $5 million range, one sale at $4.295 (2005) and three other sales in the low 4s ($4.000, 4.050, and $4.175), and that’s it. Period.

I like Cos Cob, I’ve sold a lovely house on Cat Rock in Cos Cob and I’ve recommended scores more homes, to no avail. So Stanwich,  you  can take me to task for disrespecting Cos Cob, but the fault lies in the buyers, not me. By the way, fella – isn’t Stanwich in Greenwich proper?


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27 responses to “Cos Cob

  1. Helsa Poppin

    I *love * Cos Cob for the reasons you stated and many others (such as proximity to Stamford shopping via Palmer Hill, Scarpelli’s sausage, Fjord Fisheries, the Cos Cob library – open till 8 on Mondays!, the Pinetum), etc. The prices didn’t get as crazy, which is why they haven’t fallen as far. I think the name is cool too – Cos Cob, Connecticut = C cubed. Also, when people ask where you live, “Greenwich” sounds snooty whereas Cos Cob is under the radar. People in the know know where you are from, and to everyone else it’s neutral. Kinda like telling people you went to college in Cambridge.

    • christopherfountain

      (I knew what you meant, Helsa, no worry). And the Library and Fjords are other good things – as is Sandy’s (I think she’s Sandy) vegetable stand behind the old site of Fjord.

  2. Cos Cobber

    CF, what are you talking about? You are such a rabble-rouser. Everyone loves Cos Cob.
    I think you are bothered by all the recent sales activity. I know, none of it is flashy, but its nice to see activity instead of an unending stalemate. I bet you are flustered because your clients keep losing out as Cos Cob real estate refuses to sink to the depths you have predicted. Just because your clients aren’t winning in the pursuit of Cos Cob gold, doesn’t mean you need to kick us in the groin with your all powerful blog to get the prices you want.

    Allow me to indulge with a long list of fine attributes, many of which are only found here. Before the list, let me ask, what other suburban nook in the country can lay claim to having seven banks (about to be eight banks) in a 4/10ths stretch on its “main street.” My guess is none. Frankly, we are a retail banking mecca CF (are we Monaco wrapped inside Switzerland? ~ a discussion for another time perhaps).

    As you will see, Cos Cob is much more than a banking power; we have; Cos Cob Harbor, a large and beautiful port with many fine water clubs to tie your vessel to for the day or the season (this harbor is begrudging shared with Riverside (though, our side of the harbor is deeper!)), a rather new and cute library, a fine elementary school (with an involved parent body that is known for pragmatic involvement but not suffocating entitlement that persists in other schools around town) a fire department housed in a tidy old tudor, several eateries (my favorite place, plum, the drawing room, chicken joes, arcuris, the fish market, dunkin donuts, starbucks, rinaldis, top dog, etc), a stop on the metro north, the pinetum (100+ acre preserve w/garden club which has its own greenhouses), the bush-holly house museum, three playgrounds all with baseball and/soccer fields (elementary school, loughlin ave & bible street), a car wash (the real kind Chris were they wash it with care by hand, inside and out), the mill pond (a reflecting pool, think DC monument), dave’s cycle, on and on (you know I could have drowned on for hrs if I wanted to be a real braggart). All of this goodness is packed into nice compact little district of 6,300 people.

    And, did I mention we have your congressman? Young Jim Himes, your rep in the house, lives here CF, not Riverside, OG or Gwich proper. Now, I don’t share Jim’s view on most matters (or any), but you must agree that Jimmy’s residence here in Cos Cob makes us the preeminent community within district 4 for all matters federal. In other words, we are top dog when the dems get around to earmarking and consider this, if you want to change Washington, you first have to come to Cos Cob to kiss the ring.

    On the other hand, on the east side of placid Cos Cob Harbor lies mighty “Riverside,” a generic place name as they come. 06878 might as well be named Oak Meadows or Fairlawn for all that it matters. Sure Riverside has larger lots and more ocean front, but who wants that when it costs 2X as much? I like to keep the change Chris, use it for other endeavors such as a larger boat (whose berth will prominently read Cos Cob). The kind of boat where my dingy has a dingy, ya know?

    • christopherfountain

      Ah, but you also have Frankie Fudrucker and, despite the charm of his wife Cathy (Kathy?) and the kids, I’ve always wondered whether it was Frank’s presence that was keeping values down. Or then, there Chris Von K but that’s kind of a draw. Chris keeps people like me out of that part of town, which surely offsets his own voluble presence.

  3. Accolay

    You’re both wrong. Mid-country is 10x better than Cos Cob or Riverside could ever dream to be. 🙂

  4. Cos Cobber

    Well, yes we do have Frankie too. He too, is not in my political camp either, but alas he is another power broker as Mr P&Z. As they say (actually, nobody says this..yet) all roads lead THRU Cos Cob. Think about it. Try to drive around my zip code to get to town hall, its a total PITA from 06878 (I use the zip code now since the name is too common) and OG.

    Lastly, in defense of Cos Cob elementary and the greater gwich system, I did not attend school here in town, so please don’t draw any conclusions on our fine school system from my poor grammer. I am product of the public system in another fine northeastern state.

    • christopherfountain

      I’m working on Frankie, so far without visible effect but I just know that deep down he finds himself thinking, “My God, the man is right! How could I have been so wrong for so long?” Deep down.

  5. Cos Cobber

    Accolay, you just don’t get it do you? 🙂

    When Obama takes your car away and they carbon tax the snot out of large homes for gluttony, you’ll be looking for a teepee here in walkable Cos Cob.

  6. PoeticJustic

    I have lived in Northeast Greenwich, Northwest Greenwich (twice), and Cos Cob. They are all beautiful places to live, but Cos Cob has a neighborhood charm and more grounded attitude than the other locales. You can’t beat Cos Cob and it should appeal to value buyers with taste and an interest in a wholesome community.

  7. Cos Cobber

    I feel like a one man band on this string.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t hat tip Helsa. Excellent points.

  8. Stanwich

    Oh no you didn’t. You just slandered a whole zip code. I am telling you, stay away from CC because the cement sneakers in your size are being poured right now. Perhaps when it comes time to go “swimming” in those shoes maybe they’ll toss you into the sound from your beloved Riverside.

    And I go by Stanwich because of people like you who make me feel inferior of my Cos Cob roots (could you imagine the ridicule if I went by Manetti or Deluca?). Damn you twice CF.

    I dare you to pick on Byram or Chicahominy (sp?)…of wait, that’s too easy.

  9. Wally

    I agree that Cos Cob is very nice, but I have heard another reason that some people won’t buy there. Some people think it is cursed by fire – ever hear the old saw that you’d rather be anywhere than on either side of the Cob Cob fire house? Cos Cob school and the entire retail block where Porchellis was located come to mind. Also, another great Greenwich fire was the entire Cob Cob waterfront at the turn of the last century.

    I have a friend who thinks it’s because 800 Siwanoy Indians were burned alive (one of the worst indian massacres in American history) in Cos Cob on the Strickland Plains, in the middle 1600s by the Dutch when the town was being settled. One indian is said to be burried under the mound in the small cemetery across the street from the firehouse on Siwanoy Rd.

    Anyway, its an interesting theory.

  10. Accolay

    Cos Cob, I kid, I kid…

    My favorite street in Greenwich (Hooker Ln) is located in Cos Cob. Doesn’t matter what they change the name to, it’ll still be my fave.

  11. Pierre Berge, Nom de Plume

    Local lore has it that Cos Cob was shortened from Coe’s Cob, Coe being an English fellow, and cob being his pier. More likely, Cos Cob is derived from the Dutch (who were here earlier), shortened from Cosh Cobn, which means, roughly, “many banks.”

  12. 2112

    Riverside/Old Greenwich = East Cos Cob.

    Greenwich = West Cos Cob.

    I love spelling “Cos Cob” to the calling centers of Citibank.

  13. Walt

    Dude –
    Cos Cob is to Greenwich like the Bronx is to Manhattan. Part of the same city, but not the same thing.
    Your Pal,

  14. Cos Cobber

    Wally, I came to town in 2000 and thus I am oblivious to your tales of fire and indians. Interesting, thanks. I have get to encounter a ghost.

    What do you make of the rash of small fires in 06878? I’m thinking of the wine shop this past week, the tea house (at least that is what its being rebuilt as) next to the Rand building and the building next to Remax & Aux Delice. The latter two fires took place between 2004 and 2006..I think. Granted all three fires were small, but maybe the curse has moved down the line? Its odd their close proximity.

    Accolay, I know you kid. Me too. No worries mate.

    • christopherfountain

      Cos Cobber, were yu to read my book, Greenwich Mean Time, you’d learn all about our Indians. (The site of the 1648 massacre, by the way, is still disputed by historians. Could have been as far away as Ward Pound Ridge Reservation or on Strickland Road or somewhere in betwen. The participants were to drunk too take careful notes.

  15. Old School Grump

    CF, you wrote
    “Yet some newcomers go ballistic when they discover that mail addressed to Greenwich with a Cos Cob zip will be returned by the Post Office…”

    It is comical how people get tetchy about their postal address; e.g., people living in Lawrenceville, NJ being so horrified that their mailing address is Trenton that they go get a P.O. box in Princeton (a considerable inconvenience!).

  16. alice

    The Greenwich Time must like it they don’t know the difference between Riverside and Cos Cob, their story today identifies the People’s bank in Riverside as Cos Cob -morons

  17. Cos Cobber

    Oh, a book? mmm. I guess I could read it while floating on my inflatable chair in my above ground pool.

    The hero better not turn out to be a real estate agent. Thats totally unrealistic.

  18. ogrcc

    We have class warfare,

    interborough warfare,

    and lastly Greenwich zipcode warfare

    I’ve lived in cos cob(and Riverside, Byram and backcountry), and I prefer it to just about anywhere in Greenwich. It helps keep greenwich real.

    • christopherfountain

      Well, as I remind Frankie Futternutt, where would we find our snowplowers without Cos Cob?

  19. fred

    1-typical fountain:

    “Well, as I remind Frankie Futternutt, where would we find our snowplowers without Cos Cob?”

    2-typical Riversider’s:

    Mort the Sport, Chris Fountain, Honda Man.

  20. fred

    and not for nuthin, but;

    Desiree and Rock Maple-off upper Stanwich are in Cos Cob as well as Juniper off of Guinea Rd.

    Bible St and Pinetum are in Greenwich, not Cos Cob.

    Riverside is host a huge public housing complex off Bertoff

  21. Wally

    btw, did you notice how Vanity Fair clipped the title of your book for their article on the Noels? I knew it sounded familar.

  22. I found this fascinating quote today:

    This is why I’m creating my own cheap pools; You play a crucial role in this area.

    Fusion, cheap above ground swimming pools