Monthly Archives: July 2010

Scusie’s Dish

This is just so sad. Harry Connick Jr. and his father seen in Greenwich scratching lottery tickets, desperately seeking cash.

Harry Connick Jr. and pere, 3rd and 4th from left

Even worse, former Riverside resident and Antiques Road Show hostess whatshername was spotted fighting it out over a commode at an antique show in Milford.


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Armegeddon in Bruce Park!

Greenwich Time photo of "mystery fish"

A dozen dead fish float up in Bruce Park pond. The reporter claims that ‘[i]t was unclear Saturday night what had killed the fish, and it couldn’t be determined what kind of fish they were.”

I can’t blame the reporter for not knowing his fish – very few GT reporters seems to know much about anything – but I sure can blame him or her for sheer laziness. Pick one up and take it down to Sportsman’s Den on River Road, for heaven’s sake, or call a fisherman – any fisherman. There aren’t that many fish types in this area of the sound and identification should be pretty simple.

To my eye, judging from the pictures, it looks like a bunker die-off, which happens every time this year, when oxygen is depleted. Do you remember when, back in the early 80s (?) we had them die by the hundreds of thousands? The stench was horrendous and local residents demanded the town bring in heavy earth moving equipment to remove them. Then- First Selectman John Margenot refused to incur the expense, saying something to the effect that “God put them there, God will take them away”. In the event, God sent sea gulls and crabs to do His work for Him, but it was one of the few acts of our Selectman that I highly approved of.


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Want an inside view of real estate (non) negotiation?

Here’s what four months of duplicity and bullshit eventually produces. Mind you, the acerbic tone comes from a writer who trusted this particular agent as a friend and warded off warnings from a real estate lawyer that the agent was a fraud and a crook and so ended up looking like a fool to his own client.

Dear XXX – thank you for your offer to “discuss the status of negotiations”, but you apparently don’t understand the status of this deal: it’s binary: 0/1, yes/no. Mr. XXX  is, if possible, even more disgusted and embittered from being jerked around by you than I am and he’s made his last, final, non-negotiable offer. Accept it, and retrieve a sale, or he walks, period. Neither of us is interested in “status reports”, and there will be no further negotiations. Period. If I can make this any clearer, please advise. Otherwise, a yes or no on Monday is imperative.



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Okay, no more attacks on the Greenwich Police

No, not because of anything they’ve done to me, but my mother has expressed fear that, if she needed assistance, they might not come because of what I’ve said about them. That is absolutely ludicrous – the GPD is the least corrupt, most professional police force I have ever encountered, and there is zero – absolute zero chance that they would hesitate for one second if she called for help (maybe two seconds if I called, but still, they’d come : )  ).

But my Mom will soon be 86, and if my blogging about cops makes her nervous, then I won’t do it. Bill Clark, perhaps you can take over the task for now.

UPDATE: For that matter, were I to see a Greenwich cop in trouble, you can bet that I would charge to his assistance. It’s what honorable people do.


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Hmm – so what will the House Ethics folks do with a powerless black?

Mad Max

Maxine Waters, acknowledged by all Washington observers to be the dumbest, most ignorant representative presently serving in Congress, is being investigated for trying to get the federales to save her husband’s crooked bank. Does she scoot, like Charlie Rangel or will she be a whacked as an example that, by golly, Pelosi is going to drain the swamp? I’m betting on the latter but then, I’m a bit cynical.


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Good Question

From Old Coot, on Charlie Rangel getting a pass:

Where’s Last Liberal Standing on this? I’m guessing he must be waiting for his talking points from Kos.

As I’ve confessed here before, LLS, I respect your opinions, much as I disagree with them. But I am curious – what do you think should have been done with Rangel? And no, this isn’t a challenge – I’m quite sincere in my respect for you, which is all the more reason to ask what an intelligent liberal (and I, for one, do not necessarily consider that an oxymoron) thinks should have been done – forget his party – if need be, assume he’s a Republican. Any thoughts?


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Speaking of Wiscasset, Maine

One of my more humorous encounters with police (I did tell you of discussing philosophy with a Pennsylvania state trooper who, searching my backpack when I was a 16-year-old hitchhiker , discovered a volume of “The Collected Works of Bertrand Russell”?) was a late night run through Wiscasset, past midnight, heading with a friend to his house near Round Pond. I was probably doing 80 – hey, no one else  (besides the unseen trooper) was on the road – but I was nailed dead to rights. I found my registration right away and handed it over but, fumbling through my wallet I couldn’t immediately find my driver’s license but did come across my Greenwich Clam Warden id, so I gave him that to entertain him while I continued the search for my license. I did find it, eventually, but by then the cop had examined the Clam Warden card and he handed it back to me and said, “okay, you can go, but slow down, would you?”.

Gotta love seafaring towns and police discretion.


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I know I’m always going on about wasteful spending but …

I think it’s a shame that the subsidized taxi service for Greenwich seniors is in trouble. It costs the town maybe $10,000 annually and for some older folks with limited budgets, it’s a Godsend. For several years, before a group of us got her into the Mews last fall,  I used to take an older woman from Byram shopping on Fridays. One of our stops was the Senior Center where she would buy a coupon book for these rides. The deal is, or was, she’d pay $5 for a $10 coupon book, with the town contributing $4 and Greenwich Taxi tossing in $1. For my friend, it offered a limited bit of mobility for a modest amount of money.

The town claims they’ve closed the operation over insurance concerns but I smell cost cutting. Which is usually a good thing, but having seen the difference this modest program made in one old lady’s life, I hope we restore it.

Of course, that’s the difficulty of cutting any government spending program, large or small – there’s always going to be some nice folks hurt by the cut. So I’m just as glad to leave this one to the Commission on Aging.


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Here’s my suggestion: just bypass Wiscasset and Red’s Eats

Residents of Wiscasset fret over traffic caused by Red’s, the lobster roll place. Having lived in Maine and eaten at Red’s I can promise you that you can skip both and not miss much. Wiscasset in May is great but summertime? Forget it. You don’t want to be anywhere on Route One in Maine during the summer until at least Bucksport.

And you can make a most excellent lobster roll at least as good as Red’s – ask me for my recipe – at home for, at worst, half the price of Red’ $14.95 and you won’t have to wait an hour in line sucking down exhaust fumes. So head further north – anywhere north of Bar Harbor, rent a cottage by the sea, make you own lobster rolls and enjoy the view. That’s my  Maine tourism tip for this season.


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Congress recommends slap on the wrist for Rangel, not expulsion. What did Pelosi promise – “the most ethical, moral Congress ever?” “We’re going to drain the moral swamp”? Guess she forgot.


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First greek city goes bankrupt

Piraeus says it can’t or won’t pay its debts. Piraeus is the port city just south of Athens – in fact, it serves as Athens’ port and while it was admittedly a bit shabby last time I was there (1972), what seaport isn’t? Ever visit Hamburg? But still, it was a thriving sea port and I haven’t read that it ceased being so since, so this is probably not a good sign for holders of Greek debt.

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Diana Ross still sounds great

My favorite radio station, Wfuv, (90.7 FM) just played Diana Ross’s “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”. I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of the Supremes back in the 60s but I’m older now and I did have the pleasure of coming to know Ms. Ross a little, tiny bit here in Greenwich in the past decade, so I don’t know which factor made me appreciate her but listening tonight, that was a heck of a song, and the lady sure could sing.

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Does anyone know what these numbers mean? Do Greenwich schools suck or not?

We’re at the bottom of the rankings for “demographically similar” districts around the state, but then there are vague references to our poorer children who may be bringing test results down. To me, “demographically similar” indicates that those factors are accounted for, but what do I know? Do any of you?


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What’s wrong with this story?

Norwalk man sexually assaults Greenwich woman

NORWALK — A city man was arrested early Friday after a Washington Street waitress complained he got into her car, fondled her and exposed himself as she drove through East Norwalk before she stopped at a gas station to call police.

Sidney Obando, 35, of 32 Pine St., Norwalk, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, second-degree unlawful restraint, public indecency and first-degree criminal trespass. He was released after posting $5,000 bond following his arraignment at state Superior Court in Norwalk early Friday afternoon.

The waitress, a 32-year-old Greenwich resident, said while she was stopped at Washington and Water streets on her way home from work, shortly before 2 a.m. Obando opened her door and jumped into her passenger seat uninvited.

The woman, who told police she feared Obando would rape her, told him to get out of the car and drove to East Norwalk in hopes someone was there to help her, a police report of the incident said.

As Obando was telling the woman how he wanted to have sex with her, she kept driving while he was trying to open her legs, police said. In order to stall Obando, she told him to wait until they got to where they were going, the report said.

After stopping at the Ludlowe Commons nursing home, near the East Norwalk railroad station, the woman went inside and told an employee there she could not get a man out of her car. This man directed her to the Mobil station at East Avenue and Winfield Street, because there was usually an officer there, the report said.

The woman then got back in her car, drove to the station and called police.

Excuse me? She got back into the car with the man?


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Well heck, anyone can do it this way

Tokyo’s oldest man at 111 actually dead for 30 years. I might make it to 75, following his example.

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Ugliest house in Shorelands?

That’s how a fellow realtor described this house to me. I think it’s beautiful, and by far the most interesting house in that neighborhood.


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Dark musings over the Greenwich real estate scene

I’ve been trying since April to put together a pretty big real estate deal and have been stymied by two real estate agents who I previously respected. My client’s offer was significantly higher than the deal these two had put together but I’ve gotten nowhere. There is one innocent explanation: the “buyer” and his financial backer truly believe they can build a 20,000 sq. ft. house on this land and make millions, and there’s my own cynical view: there is no way, in this market, that they expect that to happen, and the two agents involved are just keeping my client’s offer from the seller. I have been lied to, ignored, had promises of prompt replies never honored, etc. etc. I’m angry as hell on my client’s behalf but I’m really ticked that my client is so furious that he’s backing out on Monday and firing me as his buyer’s rep. As I reminded him, I never lock in a client and he’s free to fire me at anytime, but to lose a big sale and a client because of a sweetheart deal between two big-time agents screwing a seller and making me look like a monkey, I’m doing a slow burn. I intend to investigate this whole transaction and if I can prove what I suspect, I will name names here next week.


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This is what ticks me off about our new police force

Four kids arrested for pool-hopping at Innis Arden. For crimminy sake is there a suburban adult out there who didn’t pool hop in his youth? We were never caught but had we been, back then, we’d have been told to cut it out and sent home. Now, kids are arrested.

In Bridgeport, meanwhile, two firemen died walking into a burning building trying to save lives. My utmost respect goes to firemen, not over-paid Greenwich cops who face no more danger and no more stress than harassing teenagers trying to cool off on a hot summer night. My suggestion? Double our firemen’s pay and cut the cops’ salary in half. If the cops quit, we can replace them with prison guards, who’d be glad for the pay raise.


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I turned 57 yesterday, which means I have just 23 years to learn how to drive a race car

Sterling Moss at 80 being greeted on the race track


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You can’t have too much money, and perhaps too many ex-husbands, but real estate’s another matter

Christie Brinkley’s having difficulty unloading her houses

Christie Brinkley, the model, Hamptons socialite and real-estate investor, has put a 19th-century five-bedroom house in Sag Harbor on the market for $15.75 million.

The house, featuring massive white columns, dates to 1843, and sits on a 4.5-acre lot with 327 feet of beachfront. It is located near the southern tip of North Haven, a short walk down a causeway to Sag Harbor.

“I love fixing up old houses,” Ms. Brinkley said in a statement. “But my life is so busy between with my children, launching several new businesses and my philanthropy, I just don’t have time.”

She said that since she has “other homes on the Sag Harbor waterfront,” she “decided to let someone else have this beautiful charming home.” [Right – Ed]

The property is part of a significant collection of real estate that Ms. Brinkley has assembled in the Hamptons over the years. Property records show that she paid $7.15 million for the house in 2004 through a trust, known as the Sunset trust, and also bought a second house she still owns directly across the street in North Haven in 2007 under the name Sunset Trust #2, for $9.99 million.

Ms. Brinkley, 56 years old, has more than 500 magazine covers to her credit. She has developed lines of jewelry and eyeglasses and has become a presence at charity events and various causes in New York and the Hamptons.

But she has been a serious investor in Hamptons real estate, picking up homes and lots on the East End that she has then put on the market from time to time.

Ms. Brinkley has had a century-old, 12-bedroom house in Bridgehampton, known as Tower Hill because of its 50-foot observation tower, on and off the market years. Peter Cook, her fourth husband until a very public divorce two years ago, worked on the property, but Ms. Brinkley says that she had a vision for all the homes she owns.

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