Just a reminder for Greenwich property owners

I received an email a week or so from a reader inquiring about relocating to Greenwich. I responded and, before we even looked at actual houses, he did some research on line an sent me the following:

Chris, thanks for getting back to me. We decided on Darien as a focus for our search. Picked CT over NY because of taxes and Darien over Greenwich due to schools.

You don’t have to be a parent of a school-age child to recognize that a potential buyer for your home just went elsewhere. I don’t imagine he was deterred because of our lack of a $50 million school auditorium, either.

230 Comments

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230 responses to “Just a reminder for Greenwich property owners

  1. anon

    I’ve seen those school rankings and they are flawed. The only reason Darien ranks so high is because they have 0% diversity and those rankings are based on the percentage of students who attend college, SAT averages, etc…

    • anon

      I’m not saying this applies to the person who wrote to Chris, but there ARE people who don’t want diversity – think New Canaan, Darien.

    • I don’t disagree, but I put up the post to illustrate the importance of good schools to potential buyers. Taxpayers whose own children have left the school system – and I’m one of them- tend to forget that we’ll want to sell out own homes someday and to do so, we need new buyers.
      Which is not to advocate throwing more money at our schools- Results are far more important than spending per pupil ratios and in my option at least, are not connected.

      • Anonymous

        CF, i actually find it rather surprising how much you ” forget ” given you are not only a resident but being a RE agent as well … aside from the schools you tend to fall on the side of ” preserve the good old days ” ….anything that isn’t in line with clam digging or a new park bench you seem to oppose and typically put down with the ” don’t spend my tax money ” banner . … Like many a Greenwich resident the town folk seem to want to leave it up to someone else ( junior league etc ) to keep the town in some semblance of respectable … lets face it … the Beaches are over rated . the civic center , the Y , the pool and MANY of the towns amenities are deplorable .. the Libraries are fairly good .. ill give u that . also with 205 replies and counting , I think you may have struck a nerve here ..lots of defensive people living in the good old days …probably think they can go to the pharmacy on Greenwich ave and buy some candy on the family house account as well …

        • It’s not that I “forget”, I just see the huge, bloated administration we’ve created, the massive expenditure of funds on projects like the Music Palace while the buildings themselves crumble, the increasingly declining test scores, the horrible curriculum, and I think we could do far better.

    • Anonymous

      Lies, damned lies and statistics. Unfortunately we may hear it more often going forward.

    • Anonymous

      Let’s get this straight: the end game (high test scoring and % accepted into college) is flawed because they have zero diversity.

      Interesting conclusion. Is that new math?

    • burningmadolf

      Awesome. What’s the “etc…”

      • Anonymous

        the etc is % of students who can trace direct lineage to the castaways on the mayflower. for some reason, that means something to some folks.

        • AJ

          It does mean something: it’s how you put the nouveau riche in their place. But you’re right, I’ve had more people from Darien tell me of their Mayflower connection than people from Greenwich have. Even though I grew up in OG my father is from Darien, so as they used to say on the Mod Squad, I know where you’re coming from. But as far as those castaways on the Mayflower, if some of them hadn’t returned to England to kick the shit out of King Charles, it might be a very different world we live in (and I mean for the worse).

  2. anonymous

    Just wait.. if the State has it’s way they’ll be bussing Darien kids to Bridgeport soon.

  3. cos cobber

    Dude, I am at a cross roads with my own housing situation and yes, now darien is on the radar. Gwich RE will suffer under this period instability.

    • +Five

      Ha
      The same union idiots work in Darien and NC. Trust me, I’ve met them, they the same, if not worse.

    • AJ

      Don’t you know that the people of Darien, have more of that tight ass, white person walk that Eddy Murphy used to imitate than people of Greenwich do? Darien also has a lot more serious social drinkers than Greenwich has. A necessity for loosening those tight asses. The result of listening to too much Turkish March I would guess. A Cos Cobber in Darien? Now there’s a fish out of water.

  4. GreenITCH

    I have heard the same story for some time CF ,HOWEVER it was less due to the actual overall rating as Riverside and OG elementary are top 20 in state ..and friends couldn’t get over what deplorable physical conditions the elementary schools were in …let alone their comments about our YMCA and OG Civic center … had friends up for BBQ at Todds point last year and the comment was ” greatspot for families …but what the hell is the Innis cottage ? and you guys are really spending money on a ” welcoming center ” ” really no playground ??? !!! Was too embarrassed to show them the ” town pool ” !

    • uwgb

      Sadly, have heard similar remarks from our out of town visitors who are shocked at our decrepit public infrastructure and civic amenities. I love Greenwich and have lived here for a quarter century, but I don’t know that I would choose our public schools if I was moving here now. Darien schools may not be immune from busing in the long term, but if I had a grade school student right now, I would consider Darien a safe bet to move to for my child’s educational career. Greenwich, not so much. Plus, Greenwich seems determined not to keep up our infrastructure. The GHS physical plant is really a dump, and yes, those things matter to families considering a move here.

      • Anonymous

        I am not contributing anything new to the debate but given the absolutely dismal state of some of the elementary schools and the middle schools, and the somewhat Soviet era charm of the high school, I just can not understand how MISA ever got legs.

      • Anonymous

        I too have lived here for 24 years, and coming from communities where there are pools and rec centers and playgrounds for city residents, I have always been appalled at the lack of such in Greenwich! The Tods Point area is just begging for a large, family-friendly playground and pool complex!!

        • Anonymous

          Tod’s Point is for older Cos Cobbers to have barbecues, not for little kids.

        • Grr Mom

          Anonymous at 2:53 – I thought that was what Island Beach is for?
          Tod’s should have a playground and so much more but a bunch of loud mouths start screaming at the thought of “ruining the natural landscape”.

          • Put me in the camp of “a bunch of loud mouths”, even though I didn’t participate in any uproar. Tod’s isn’t Palisades Amusement Park, nor should it be.

        • AJ

          They ruined it when they put up the sea wall around the point. That idiot with his bulldozer chopped up and ruined all those nice, narrow little running trails between the Mansion and the Seaside Garden, where the old tulip tree is (or used to be?). Action Park, in Vernon NJ is the place for you, or you might want to try the giant swimming pool at Bear Mountain: I think they have what you’re looking for.

        • +Five

          Tod’s should shave more of the buildings down.
          I was hopeful the storm would put the concessions out of biz.
          Then the douche from Texas would retreat, the Floren’s would donate a few new buildings, and Donnie would be back in business!

  5. Walt

    Dude –
    All Greenwich public schools should be closed. Period. That will drop taxes and you can send your kids to private schools. Or home school the little critters, if you don’t mind ulcers.

    Anyone who can afford to live in Greenwich should be able to swing this. If not, live somewhere else. No one from Greenwich should go to public schools. It lacks panache, and it is beneath us.

    Plus we will have more teen hotties in those plaid little school girl skirts that you love so much.

    So we have better schools, lower taxes, no diversity issues, and our perverted sexual fantasies are all fulfilled in one fell swoop!!
    WIN WIN I SAY!!

    Your Pal,
    Walt

    • AJ

      ‘Report: Homeschooling Growing Seven Times Faster than Public School Enrollment’

      “As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.
      A recent report in Education News states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75%. Though homeschooled children represent only 4% of all school-age children nationwide, the number of children whose parents choose to educate them at home rather than a traditional academic setting is growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12 every year. …”

      http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/07/Report-Growth-in-Homeschooling-Outpacing-Public-Schools

      I think you have mentioned it yourself in previous posts, CF: that sending your child off to public school is akin to child abuse. Why would anyone want to let the Statists get inside their children’s heads, or allow themselves and their families be manipulated by the collective state?

  6. Anonymous

    I’m seriously considering moving from G’wich to Darien BECAUSE of schools. My daughter is about to finish freshman year at GHS – half of her teachers have no business teaching.

    • AJ

      “… half of her teachers have no business teaching.” Yeah, but so what. If you’re dependent on a teacher in school to gain mastery of some subject, then, basically, you are doomed and your future is bleak. What makes you think some union hack in one town is better than one in the next. Perhaps they should allow students who qualify to tutor those who need help during study halls. Perhaps students who are having trouble with English should be removed from regular schools and put in special English immersion schools. CF, do New Canaan and Darien have their equivalent of Greenwich’s Armstrong Court, Wilber Peck, and Adam’s Gardens?

      • TownieGirl

        No- I don’t believe they do. And they have (not such good) reputations for being lily white.

        • just_looking

          We moved from greenwich to darien because of the schools, but what i believe now is that it is the families, not the schools. The schools are taking credit for results that they do not influence. In many cases it is the families that provide values (that homework is important), only one parent works in many homes here so the moms are really involved, they get tutors if needed, they keep the kids heading in the right direction. I am not suggesting that the teachers are not any good, but I suspect that theyt are not significantly different from other places. It is the concentration of of families that value and persue education that makes the school look good.

  7. The New Normal

    I have typically found that the choice between Greenwich and Darien is rarely about schools, and usually about price

    • +Five

      That’s exactly right. If they could afford a Greenwich address, they would have paid up for one. Darien is a pathetic, run down, barrier between stamford and Norwalk. The homes are priced lower for a reason.

      • just_looking

        perhaps, but it is also smaller. there is no super top end either like in greenwich (good or bad you decide). it looks like greenwich taxes may have passed dariens as well. But if you are happy in greenwich, please stay there.

      • Anon

        That is an ignorant comment, Darien has a very wide range of home prices just like Greenwich. The median sale price is actually lower at 1.1 in greenwich vs 1.25 in Darien while the avg listing price is almost double in Greenwich with 4.2 vs 2.2 in Darien, both categories are skewed by outliers but hopefully even you get the point and i am sure you dont have either a Conyers Farm or Winthrop Drive address so drop the facade.

        • Anon

          Above post is to Plus 5 but i will say Darien taxes are a 13 vs 11 mil rate here so slightly higher

  8. AJ

    It probably has a lot more to do with the busing kerfuffle than the quality of schools. Those of the upwardly mobile will probably do well in any environment, while those who can barely speak English will not. All that aside, Greenwich is a 45 minute ride to Grand Central while Darien and New Canaan are probably double that. That’s a lot of your time to be flushing down the toilet over schools your children will not be attending anyway. And don’t think towns like Darien and New Canaan are immune. If they can force stuff on Greenwich, they can force it on those towns, too. Are they exempt from Common Core? I think not. And what’s with the, “We decided on Darien as a focus for our search. Picked CT over NY because of taxes and Darien over Greenwich due to schools”? I thought you knew that objections are your best opportunity to close a sale.

    • Martha

      Darien actually has better fast trains, only adds five minutes to the train ride and they are much more frequent in the early AM.

      Here here to Walt! (Thank goodness my kids are boys!

      • The New Normal

        I’m sorry, but if you actually look at the train schedule on http://www.mta.info it is not 5 mins, it’s more like 12-15min longer in the morning, and even longer in the afternoon; and there are actually fewer or same # of trains in the early morning – so not sure where you are getting your facts

        but

        • Anonymous

          darien train and car commute sucks. been there a few times, done that. no thanks. live close to stamford border in darien, that’s the best bet.

        • AJ

          That’s assuming your schedule allows you to catch an express train, if you have to take a local, then even OG is 12 to 15 minutes longer than the ride to Greenwich, and assuming you’re not confusing Noroton with Darien. With New Canaan you even have to switch trains at Stamford, and not all main line trains connect with New Canaan.

        • D

          Not sure how to post data here, but you get the idea:

          Station-#Trains-Avg Time
          Greenwich-17-43 mins
          Riverside-12-50 mins
          OG-12-53 mins
          Darien-10-53 mins
          Westport-12-63 mins

          Main issue with Darien or Westport is parking. Better hope your wife stays at home because there is no parking in Darien or OG – plenty of metered parking in Greenwich for newcomers – permited 3-4 yrs away.

          Would love to hear the definitive answer on schools, but I think Darien and Staples high are well above GHS.

        • Jonathan

          BTW: has anyone thought of living in Darien and parking and taking the train in and out of Stamford for the access to more trains? That’s what my wife and I do.

        • Martha Lindstrom

          Husband has done the commute both ways, when you need to be in midtown by 6am, there are more fast trains from Darien…

          Boy, do I regret clicking email comments!

        • Anonymous

          NEw Normal … you are cherry picking … yes a few more trains if u commute from main station in town …but add 10 minutes for parking and ur walk up the platform ….commute from darien is the same as Cos Cob, Riverside or OG … cant comment about the parking

        • AJ

          Don’t they still give out free train schedules for the Stamford-New Canaan line at the information booth on the upper level of Grand Central?

    • Anonymous

      AJ – Either you don’t commute into the city or you are ” cherry picking ” your data …yeah the main Greenwich stop is around 45 minutes train ride .. however unless you live along Field pt or Railroad ave , you likely have 10 -15 minutes driving and parking . ( I have made similar comparison to Cos Cob , riverside and OG where the commute is similar in time , granted a less flexible schedule ) … Darien is VERY similar ” train time ” as to that of of , Riverside …N.C. is roughly 10 minutes more train ride …we are strongly considering ” flushing time down the toilet ” and exiting Riverside for better town amenities and YES more house .

      • AJ

        Now you’re being silly, including time driving to the station and parking; I suppose getting to the station and parking in Darien and New Canaan is no problem as they have teleporting? But you could live on Bruce Park Avenue, not a bad neighborhood and a five minute walk to the Greenwich Station. Or you could live on West End Court and and walk to the OG train station in about three minutes.

        So, according to you, you could get on the Thruway at Greenwich exit 3 and get off at Darien at exit 12 at 3:00 in the morning when there’ no traffic, and it would take no more time to to get to Darien than Riverside? Or to go all the way up to exit 13, the all the way up West Norwalk Road to New Canaan: even if you were going way above the speed limit that would take at least a half and hour, maybe more.

        But you’re right I haven’t commuted into NYC since the early 90s and as I remember, even then commuting to OG sucked because those trains moved pretty slow, to go even further would have sucked even more. In the early 90s I use to work with a guy who commuted from Westport, now that really sucked. BTW, you left out the time it takes to get from Grand Central to your office, and how long it takes to get to Darien if you miss your train and have to take a local, or how long it takes to get to New Canaan when there is no connecting train. Although, of all the towns in Fairfield, I think Westport has the hottest babes, at least that’s the way it was when I was going to high school football games; taking that into consideration, Westport might just be worth the extra time and distance traveled.

        • GreenITCH

          typical of those that done commute you talk about ” train time ” .. so since I AM ACTUALLY DOING IT ” and i know what my commute is door to door stick to what you know .. where the hot babes were in HS .. fact is we have 4 train stations in town and 3 of them have similar train travel time and convenience as to Darien

  9. Mickster

    I like Darien – BIG Mick population. Downside is it’s VERY cliquey (sic) – you’re either in or out of the clique. We get several buyers every year who move from there to Greenwich because of that. Croquet anyone? Buffy?

  10. NewsJunkie

    Have you seen Darien High School???? It’s much nicer than GHS. Anyone who has been in GHS knows what a dump it is, and MISA is not going to change that. DHS looks like a private school and performs like a private school, and if you’re in the market for the best public school, Darien beats GHS all day long.

    • Anon58

      Yes, Darien High is beautiful…isn’t it fairly new, though? GHS opened in ’70.

      • FF

        Just saying tax hating people, new schools cost money. So do making better school facilities. There is no supply side mechanism for paying contractors. Other than breaking the unions and having teachers work for $30k, which would pretty much guarantee crappy schools because all the good teachers would get paid elsewhere, can’t see where the cash money comes from for just about anything related to making schools better that is not philosophically based (read, excuses for not spending money). That’s so funny that waspy Republican New Canaan and Darien, targets for the people in this post, spend money on schools and do long-term bonding, AND people want to move to their towns over Greenwich.

        • Anonymous

          So take the 50mm MISA money and spend it to rebuild the school infrastructue. Simple.

        • Anonymous

          They do long term debt financing to support the actual schools and education in general, not build $40mm+ music auditoriums on superfund sites. The leadership who approved that in Greenwich is so far outta whack they ought to be taken out back and smacked upside the head. Several times.

        • Cos Cobber

          FF, 30k really? You know it much more than that. How could it not be if we have the highest per capita public education cost too and – to your point an ultra modest capital investment program?

      • uwgb

        There is no reason why Greenwich should not have a beautiful and well maintained high school. Our private schools are truly gorgeous and it is frankly somewhat embarrassing that our public school kids have such vastly inferior buildings and amenities. The differences are quite astounding, and its not even lily-gilding that accounts for the privates looking so much better. Its basics, such as decent quality construction and lack of cracks in ugly concrete walkways, no ratty landscaping and unkempt grounds, etc. My daughter remarked after visiting GCDS that ”our (GHS) school looks like it doesn’t really care about its students”.

    • just_looking

      yes, but NO SWIMMING POOL. The neightbors would not allow it at the time.

  11. Anonymous

    We sold our house in Riverside and wanted to stay because of the schools – however after bidding on and losing out on a certain house in the flood zone we decided to expand our search to Darien. The bottom line is that right now, you will get more for your money in Darien than OG and RVSD. The school rankings are just an added bonus… 🙂

  12. The New Normal

    it’s funny – you post one story that is pro Darien at the expense of Greenwich and all the Darien residents chime in, finally feeling vindicated after years and years of an inferiority complex

  13. smart mom

    I have been asking it for years….The facilities and the schools in this town do NOT reflect the wealth, parental higher education and their careers. All or most of our schools should be ranked the highest in the nation like neighboring towns. Diversity does come into play but, Greenwich is not EVEN in the top 20!!!!!! Since the lower schools feed the middle schools and then the high school. hmmm what’s the excuse for the Eastern & Central middle schools? We need to put our money where our mouth is and fix the problems instead of fighting for mediocrity. As a parent of elementary school age children you bet your ASS that these prices should support the best education especially in such a competitive/global world! We are contemplating leaving for this reason ALONE. Not sure how people are fooled or so shallow. They don’t remember a house is a building while an education is forever.

  14. Anonymous

    darien and rye brook about the same re taxes for a nice place in the 1-2mm range. rye brook equally good schools. and it’s closer to nyc which matters.

    • infoDiva

      Rye Brook is a non-town with a strip shopping mall and nothing more. And its high school is mediocre at best. Just take a look at college placements.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Diva,

        I went to Rye Brook public all the way. College and two Masters degrees on full scholarship. I’m worth deep into the eight figures and am your neighbor in Greenwich, where the schools are definitively mediocre. How about you?

  15. AndyD

    Darien vs. Riverside: This is an absolute no brainer, if you can afford it.

    Schools: Riverside is # 8 and Darien is #30 for elementary schools in the state while Darien is #1 and Eastern is #6. http://www.schooldigger.com, combined reading and math test scores.

    In both cases theses are statistically the same. Then GHS scores poorly because you add a whole bunch more kids, a lot of which are minorities. This is a plus, not a minus, to raising kids.

    Beaches: Weed Beach in Darien vs. Tod’s Point in OG, its not even a contest.

    Taxes: Similar with both towns just under 1% of property value

    Commute Time: The MTA website says it all.

    Have fun in Darien, chumps.

  16. Brown Eyed Girl

    You have commented that most new families moving here from NYC want to buy homes in shiny, move-in condition. They want modern, well-kept schools too. The curmudgeons in Greenwich have left us with school buildings which are outdated and patched together with duct tape. No wonder families are choosing Darien and Wilton.

  17. infoDiva

    I have just this to say about Darien: It’s the town that produced Alex Kelly.

  18. anonymous

    Darien is fine as long as you are not Jewish or want your kids to know any:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentleman's_Agreement

  19. AJ

    Wilton? Now there’s a fun commute. And if you want to buy beer or any alcoholic beverage you have to leave town? The complete antithesis of NYC.

  20. Cos Cobber

    Say what you want about your own individual choices (public vs private, north street vs north mianus, etc), a dark cloud hangs over our current school district maps and there is no way that will help real estate. Whether you are a senior, childless household or a private school house, all home values will be affected by the outcome should it result in change.
    We are in limbo…
    And btw, I think we should forge ahead with a non race based space utilization plan that basically takes redistricting off the map for at least another 2 years. We need to see if the recent Cos Cob baby boom holds up (94 kids last year vs the typical low 60s#) and if Riverside rebounds (which it will). Lets also see if Glennville, Hamilton and New Leb really have changed in a permanent way.
    In the meantime it sounds like the New Leb families want modular classrooms, so lets deliver on that. As for Hamilton and Julian Curtis, should we run out of space, then lets seek volunteers in those schools to attend North Street. Again, these little booms may be more like oscillations or waves. No need to radically redraw the map until its clear we have permanent changes. For small capacity issues we can use volunteers to trade schools.

  21. Anonymous

    all this busing and school nonsense makes me want to move back to nyc.

    at least you can get just about any kind of food at midnight.

    in greenwich, westchester, darien, et al, the only thing you’re getting at midnight is the sound of your spouse farting in bed, having long since gone to sleep.

    • Anonymous

      who eats at midnight?

      • Factory workers beginning the late shift

      • Anonymous

        managing directors who actually have to work now to earn a living, instead of phoning in comments from the beach club lounge…to the vp who’s drunk at a soho bar….who in turn emails some hack associate or analyst at 3 a.m. to get in and add that extra comma in the powerpoint asap.

        now that those 3 layers of staff have all been laid off, the md actually has leaned how to change toner cartridge. capitalism at its finest!

  22. Anonymous

    Darien is for people who can’t afford to live in Greenwich

  23. SOA

    Don’t forget Greenwich has J House.where the Russians hang.

  24. Anonymous

    Well, Darien’s got Ring’s End, where Enrique Jr.’s father goes to buy the same thing that can be found at Home Depot, but for 20-30% more. Pass those costs onto the consumer, baby!

    At least the desk staff there wears ties and knows their stuff, vs. typical Home Depot gum crackin’ lycra-wearin’ Mensa superstars.

    • AJ

      Ring’s End was always my favorite standard lumber yard in the days before Home Depot, second to Condon Lumber in White Plains (not a standard yard) that sells exotic woods but only as raw lumber and mills every piece to your requirements. Rings End didn’t used to take credit cards, and to establish an account there you had to provide a family history of at least back to 400 AD. Then Home Depot Came along, and everything changed.

      • Ring’s End still has knowledgable people, but I can’t justify the premium. Condon’s, on the other hand was a great resource when I needed exotic or hard-to-find wood for various projects. I don’t know if they’re still there as I haven’t made a boat or carved a decoy in a long time, but great people. It’s not a premium when someone has what you need and no one else does – then it’s just the market price, which was always fine by me.

        • AJ

          Speaking of boats, do you remember that guy on the Creek at the end of Williams on the west side of the street who had that twelve foot white Winner with a red deck and a 28 hp Evinrude tied up on his beach back in the early 60s. That was an extremely fast boat for back in the day, and one of the very first fiberglass boats in town. I couldn’t believe how paper thin and flexible the deck was when I climbed on board. While I’m in the neighborhood at around the same time, do you remember that guy on Riverside Ave. between Williams and Marks that had the trampoline where everyone hung out until his father got tired of cleaning up cigarette butts from all over his yard?

          • I’m pretty sure that would have been Terry Van Brunt, AJ. terry and his friend Paul Blandori always kept fast boats there, including a number of home-built “hotboxes”, which were essentially plywood sleds with as big a motor on the stern as would fit without sinking the thing – often, that last qualification was off the mark and …burble.
            Terry was a great guy – he cam back to visit his parents way back when and taught my Sarah how to ride a bike – I was around to do that, but Terry took on the task just because he liked kids and the two of them had a great time.

        • AJ

          Ah, indeed. I know both of those guys. The police really hated those hotboxes, a Paul Blandori — how many original Mini-Coopers is his collection up to now — invention and design, and viewed them as a menace to society. I had, after a number of boats including a needle nose racer (Rico, Bunny Lyons brother also had one of those), a little 13 footer with a hundred hundred horse Merc on the back, back in the day — the most powerful outboard you could buy. How fast was it? You got me? But fast enough so that if I took you for a ride in it at full throttle, it would be unlikely that it would be more than sixty seconds before you asked me to shut it down.

      • Anonymous

        ring’s end is my go-to when i must have something that’s perfect or just about perfect for building materials. you pay the premium, but save time & headache (and ultimately money) having to sort through or deal with defective goods. for critical structural or finish carpentry applications, it’s a no-brainer.

        the WORST and i do mean the WORST at ring’s end are the douchebags from [Darien?] who show up on saturday afternoons in loafers & turned up collars, carrying a quart of paint and demanding a color match, coupled with an attitude that they just built their own house from scratch. oh and the world must stop while they’re in the store, lest one forget…

        the professionals at the paint counter really have their wits about ’em. on one recent adventure, the entire floor was staring at a guy who must’ve been from the planet assholia. i’ve never seen anything like it. paint counter man must have been a saint, but also quietly looked like he was mere moments away from shoving a sheepskin roller down the guy’s throat. he kept his cool in the end.

  25. BONO

    By CT Law – Cities are exempt from this “racial imbalance” law. Why?

    This law unfairly targets larger towns with a growing hispanic population and allows pure white, conforming towns like Darien to continue their pure white status- I hardly think this was the intention of this law in the 1960’s. The law needs to be amended. The amended law must recognize discriminating towns like Darien and stop punishing welcoming towns like Greenwich.

    Greenwich welcomes people from all backgrounds by offering – quality prek, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons, music lessons, sailing lessons, choice of two gorgeous summer camps – Seton and Simmons, Affordable Golf Courses, spectacular beaches and islands, a Ferry Service, Boys/Girls club, YMCA, YWCA, parent support groups, AVID…

    The hispanic population did their homework – Greenwich offers more and this is why our hispanic population is increasing. Greenwich doesn’t have a racial imbalance problem – towns like Darien have racial imbalance problems. Greenwich is a beautifully diverse place to live & Greenwich is proud of this.

    BTW – The “imbalance” is approximately 20 new hispanic students at New Leb school. Approximately 20 students are causing thousands of residents to panic under this Ct law. What a waste of time, targeted at the wrong town.

    • dogwalker

      And causing the expenditure of lots of money that might go to educating students.

    • Alex

      29 are non-residents AT LEAST. Get them out. Problem solved. But here is an email I received from Dr McKersie
      WILLIAM MCKERSIE
      o Twenty-nine(29)vehicles were observed dropping off students with NewYork Registration Plates
      o The student was identified by name Some families reported they moved here from NewYork and do not want to change their motor vehicle registration for tax purposes (avoid CT MV tax)
      OH!! THATS OK TAX EVASION IS ENCOURAGED BY THE BOE

      • Anonymous

        that is utter bullshit. it’s illegal to do that as a ct resident. go ask a cop. or ask the dmv in norwalk. 30 days or you risk a ticket. whatever official doesn’t know this is stupid, incompetent, or ignorant–pick two.

        • Alex

          couldntve said it better. its utter complete crap! I moved from Indian Harbor Dr to Hearthstone and HAD to change my address with the DMV within 2 weeks.

    • just_looking

      Look, you think diversity is grat and you want it then choose you home accordingly. But diversity has never been proven to improve anything, ever, so those that do not wish to introduce diversity right now should be able to make that choice as well. Worry about yourself.

  26. Anonymous

    The attraction to the Darien school system may stem from its small size. Greenwich is so large and over-whelming that nothing gets done. The pace of change is glacial. Teachers and parents have complained about Everyday Math for years, but had to suffer through a long BOE review process to get anything accomplished. School admins and the BOA treat Greenwich parents like necessary evils to “handle” not vested citizens/parents to cooperate with.

  27. Really?

    Ha, wish I had a nickel for every friend of mine in Darien trying to get their kids into private school in Greenwich the past 2 years!!

    • +Five

      Exactly.

      And when they ask “where in town do you live?”
      Uh oh!

    • Chief Scrotum

      The only people who send their kids to Greenwich private schools are the ones who cant get their kids into NYC private schools

      • Anonymous

        Not true. Private school applications here are through the roof and at 5th and 6th grade entry points it is driven by kids from the public schools whose parents want out.

    • just_looking

      really, what can you do with two nickles?

  28. Walt

    Dude –
    What is with all this sniping about which town is better? We are all nut meggers, right? What is a nut megger Dude? It sounds like something your rub and tug Asian Princess shoves up your stink hole. You disgusting little pervert.

    Anyhows, Darian is a shithole. It is tiny, and actually just the taint between Norwalk and Stamford. There is absolutely no reason to go there. EXCEPT FOR THE LOVELY FAIR HAIRED ASHLEY MORRISSON!! I have not forgotten you!! You little minx. Call me.

    Westport? I like Westport. That is where all the Jews go when you don’t let them in Greenwich. But a nice town, nice beach, but a bitch of a commute. Beats Darian hand down though.

    New Canaan? Nothing to do there. Which is why they started that whole swinging scene that you and Ms. McBeal were into. Other than that, dullsville.

    Wilton? You might as well live in Iowa. Enough said.

    So I think Greenwich is still the place to be. Who cares if our kids turn out to be illiterate fucktards because the schools suck? They are all trust fund babies. So they were all destined to be obnoxious morons who contribute nothing to society. Just like their parents!!

    Isn’t that the whole point of living here?
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  29. Long Time Central Greenwich Resident

    If you work long hours in NYC, Darien and New Canaan are off the table. Trains are not regular enough after rush hour. They are also extra long commutes. Really only for the very young because once you get older, you will have trouble with the commute. Even Greenwich is pushing it, but Old Greenwich is the farthest a lot of people who are concerned about getting to their long-hour jobs will go. Darien and New Canaan were always off the table for our family for these reasons.

    The cultural make up of Darien is probably more diverse than it was, and it is a beautiful town – if you work nearby or have regular work hours in the City that correspond with rush hour. New Canaan of course is the height of physical beauty, but you probably have to commute from Darien or Noroton Heights unless your hours are like clockwork.

    • Anonymous

      If you can’t stand your wife or your entitled spoiled little rugrats, the long commute to Darien suddenly becomes attractive.

    • Atticus

      New Canaan is the only town with a real village atmosphere. Greenwich, Darien, Westport et al have the unfortunate location on the Post Rd., not to mention 95.

  30. Diana

    The only people who could possibly state that Darien in any way is superior to Greenwich are people that have never lived in both. Grew up in Greenwich lived all over after high school, moved back and tried Darien and raced back to Greenwich. Homogenous, unsophisticated and the most insecure group of people whom all wear a uniform that must be sent to those that move via a visual guide in their welcome wagon basket.

  31. Greenwich Gal

    DARIEN FASHION POLICE:
    For guys – Nantucket Red’s, VVines or Ralph Lauren collared polo, embroidered belt with prep school crest, skull and crossbones, naked mermaids, beerbotlles or such “whimsical” images that say you are a partying kind of fun guy and Sperrys, no socks s’il vous plait.
    For girls – Lilly Pulitzer skirt or the more modern, hipper versions – Milly, Tibi – there are a few brands out there. Maybe even an adorable shift dress, colorful low heeled sandles, always diamond studs or hoops – not toooo vulgar but substantial enough. Wedding rings, nice Cartier watch. Upscale brand name bag. (But not Hermes – that is Greenwich.)
    I will do the winter wardrobe for you all when the season arrives.

  32. anonymous

    New Canaan in a nutshell:

  33. +Five

    Love the Ice Storm
    We should get that going again
    J House here we come!

  34. +Five

    100 comments!
    Here we go!!

  35. Greenwich Gal

    WHY AM I STILL ON COMMENT POLICE? Really!

    • Because I can’t get you and Cos Cobber off! I don’t know why, and I’ve tried, believe me. Nothing whatsoever to do with your comments – I welcome them. So I’ll write to the WordPress folks and see if a human can tell me how to do it.

    • +Five

      Greenwich Gal
      Try signing in with a different email and user name.

      • Greenwich Gal

        Lose my carefully cultivated identity? Oh dear….Besides, I bet it is my IP address and not whatever name I choose. Actually, I know that is what it is…
        Good idea, though.

        • +Five

          Different device?

        • AJ

          It’s your e-mail address that activates everything; once you hit tab your little green flapper dapper will appear and whatever name you choose, even if it be no name at all, changes nothing. If you enter no information you will automatically come up as anonymous with whatever little doohickey the computer randomly decides.

  36. The REAL rivalry is not about clothes, cars, train stations, houses, and diversity. We all know it begins and ends on the sports field. And its not just the athletes in full combat gear – the parents jockey big time for whose town is the best. What say all you? Who whoops whose butt on the lacrosse field?

  37. Anonymous

    You know you’re in Darien when you ask your neighbor if they like banh mi, and they respond, “Oh yes, I hear she’s a terrific nanny.”

  38. Greenwich Gal

    Well in that case, it would be Darien. Darien Lax is, in general, superior to GHS. It is their town sport. Girls and boys. However, if you combined Brunswick and GHS as a “town” team, Greenwich would win. Ridgefield also puts up an excellent program in lax.
    Greenwich Football would/should be the best in the area – although Westport really comes close and might just win because they have a helluva coach. Greenwich would have an amazing program if that clown Albonizio would just go away. He threw away a FCAIC championship to Westport two years ago with bad coaching. Just bad. Why he is still head coach is amazing to me. He is lazy and does NOTHING to put talented kids in schools.
    Greenwich wins swimming and water polo. No contest.
    Greenwich Baseball wins, too.
    The main reason we are winning? Because we have almost 3,000 kids competing for spots on a team. Most towns our size have two high schools, so this disperses the talent quite a bit – and also gives more kids a chance to be on a team.

  39. Anonymous

    120+ comments has to be a new record!

  40. Anonymous

    for real commute times, that ny times map is outta whack.

    go here, plot your course, then add about 5 minutes avg. during peak times. knock ’em as is often done, the mta run a pretty decent ship. no, don’t compare to the swiss, the germans, or japanese mass transit. more like the italians, in summer.

    http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm

  41. Just A Mom

    Re: Darien vs Greenwich – in Greenwich, you have a local hospital, quality EMS and a commuting Mom and/or Dad has a better chance of seeing a child before bedtime. Whenever I consider moving up the line, I can’t get past that my husband will most likely not see the kids during the week. 15-30 minutes is the chance …to read a bedtime story, to talk about life, to watch an inning of the Yankee game or to experience the kids running to the door to welcome home Dad like a conquering hero with huge screams and hugs.

    • Well heck, now that they’re 18, just make your kids stay up later!

      • Just A Mom

        They are – should I be worried? One still sucks his thumb too.

        Your right with older kids it is not such a big deal, but school is just one piece of the pie when any family purchases a home. It isn’t just a sliver of a piece so our BOE better shape-up & make smart decisions instead of state mandated ones.

        • soxfan

          Used to commute to downtown from OG, now from Darien/Noroton Heights); in fact train is 3-6 minutes shorter than OG; we find we have much easier access to supermarkets(2 Stop&Shops, Whole Foods), library (!), shopping/errands relatively stress free; much much better beaches (Weed & Pear Tree). Downside is if you are driving to NYC, JFK or LGA, Exits 6 through 9 can be painfully slow, so that’s a real distance penalty; also, RE taxes are higher. Would not claim next station to heaven, like neighbors up north do, but this is pretty close; and I’m from other side of globe and closest I’ve been to Mayflower is the replica in Plymouth.

        • hmmm

          shape what uP? get involved and vote in a better boe…

  42. Greenwich Gal

    For all the fun and silliness we are having, the fact of the matter is that the school system in Greenwich is in trouble. I care – I had my children in the public schools and had positions of leadership but eventually moved to private. We should have the best schools on the East Coast whether or not we have a diverse population. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The system is failing on many levels. Parents are not satisfied. Why is this happening? I think much of what is wrong is because of our ridiculous town governmental structure. We have a RTM and BET where there are too many cooks in the kitchen which makes it impossible for a visionary to come to the forefront and lead. You cannot have successful mission without a guiding force, a leader. Who is that leader? Peter Tesei – I think not. Peter is a nice guy but he is not gonna rock the boat to make the meaningful changes that need to be made. Peter is really a follower…Who takes his marching orders from the Union townies and Cos Cob mafia – like those sea leeches that feed off the big whale. He can’t get rid of the Union workers who are do nothings and he can’t raise taxes – Greenwich is Greenwich because of low taxes, so he is pretty much stuck in an untenable position. One of the other reasons nothing gets done.

    • Cos Cobber

      pretty good sumation GG. we need a real full time executive branch running the town. this is no longer an enlarged homeowner’s assoc, but a small city. its hard to have a bold first selectman when their office has so little power.

    • hmmm

      are you suggesting higher taxes? our taxes are high our town budget is 430MM and it’s going higher

      what is your proposal?

      • Cos Cobber

        I’m suggesting we have a full time mayor instead of a part time first selectman and we give that major the power to kick some ass down at town hall. We need to be getting more for our tax dollars both at town hall and with the school system.

        • Greenwich Gal

          Say it Cos Cobber! You have always had such agood head on your shoulders..

        • Once

          A mayor wold just be an expensive patsy to the Unions. No improvements would be had. Lip service until retirement could be milked.

      • Cos Cobber

        thanks for the kind words GG.

        • hmmm

          Have you been brainwashed to the point where you think our taxes are low? Budget is 430MM. What real proposals do you have? How is MISA moving forward? Who paid off?

          Republicans win by an overwhelming margin in the nov elections yet the voting pattern of the rtm suggests that spend happy idiots have infiltrated the system.

          What are you prepared to do?

          I am all for better infrastructure but I also feel that I am taxed enough.

    • uwgb

      Agree on all your points, Greenwich Gal. We need reforms that go beyond the super low- tax libertarian viewpoint versus the townie union mafia world view. We need bonding for big projects and more important, we need to keep up with or stay ahead of infrastructure needs. The agonizingly long drawn out delays for desperately needed town infrastructure projects have added hugely to the cost of finally doing them. When we finally do address them, they are half-baked and poorly executed construction solutions that could have been avoided had we acted in a timely manner. We COULD hire excellent school and institutional architects and construction management companies as the private schools do instead of the much poorer quality companies we do hire if we acted quickly and decisively, instead of pouring money into endless studies and delay tactics, and meting out bits of funding over time in order to appear fiscally prudent, which ends up being a complete folly and wildly inflating our eventual building costs. We are penny wise and pound foolish. No one talks about this publicly! MISA is actually a case in point.
      Other less wealthy and far smaller nearby towns in Westchester and Fairfield Counties have better school facilities and student outcomes. Yes, much of this is due to their lack of low income non English speaking residents. Another reason for this is the large number of kids that stay in their public school systems rather than jumping ship to private schools as so many of our Greenwich kids do. In sheer numbers, we have many more uber rich citizens and many more poor immigrants than do our smaller neighboring towns, so certain factors will remain the same. But Greenwich is losing ground educationally and infra-structure wise at an alarming clip. Our public high school is in real danger of sliding into a much lower quality educational institution, on par with Stamford and Port Chester if we do not act in an intelligent and visionary manner SOON.

    • Loyal Elephant

      Peter doesn’t take his orders from the Union townies but he lacks a set of cojones. He wins a giant landslide and then kowtows to the PTA about MISA. He doesn’t even have an opponent now for November – the Dems know they haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell…and yet, no stands on important things like out-of-control pensions, consolidating fire stations and the absurd Byram pool project (in a FEMA flood zone no less). Come on, Peter, you have the clout and leverage and popularity and community ties to take a stand on stuff. We know you’re a conservative at heart. Now is the time to tell FF and his band of idiots where to stick it!

      Please, can some more smart, well-rounded and talented non-“townie” types (and after the past two BOE meetings I know you’re out there) care about running for RTM or making some other substantial difference please please step up to the plate. We need some more good peeps!

  43. uwgb

    P.S. People hoping that our shorter train commutation time to Grand Central will be a deciding factor for families contemplating a move to Greenwich vs. our farther flung Fairfield County neighbors should be made aware that the old hub and spoke system of traveling from the suburbs into NYC is fading fast. More people commute within the suburban area now than from suburb to city. That model still has its adherents but its far from the only game in town anymore. Think of all those traders and hedge fund employees, for example.

    • The New Normal

      the overwhelming demand for Greenwich homes continues to be (and probably always will be) from commuters to NYC

      the real thing for Greenwich residents to be concerned about is if the tax arb goes away, with the CT fiscal situation deteriorating in comparison to NY state

  44. Alex

    I cannot believe this thread has double the comments of the BOE busing our kids to Port Chester threads. Wow the Greenwich/Darien rivalry is fierce long past high school!! Talk about a touchy subject.

  45. +Five

    It was never a contest.
    We’ve always beat up Darien, we just like it so much, so we keep doing it!

  46. +Five

    How much town loot have we spent on the new fire station and adjacent police station?

  47. Greenwich Gal

    CF- I can now comment without approval. You fixed it.

    • No, I just turned off all moderation – the trouble with that is all sorts of crap may creep in, which I’ll clear out as I spot it, but if you see some awful comments, know that they aren’t necessarily there with my approval.

      • Walt

        Dude –
        So I can go off on an unimpeded F bomb rampage? Release my Tourette’s with Nancy girl fancy? THANK YOU!!
        You G&d damned mother fu^&ing, d*&k smoking loser.
        Write dirty, Greenwich Gal. You know you want to.
        Your Pal,
        Walt

        • Greenwich Gal

          Oh Walt – You want me to talk dirty? Oh baby – You want the truth, the harcore dirty truth? CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

          hahah – A little fun with “A Few Good Men” for those who have not been following closely…

  48. Anonymous

    this is exhausting

  49. Balzac

    If you think that the first selectman job is part time, you’re just indicating you’re not informed, or not familiar with what really goes on.

    Peter responds to citizen voices. Want to make a difference? Express yourself to him and your RTM/BET/Board of Ed members.

    Unfortunately the word “infrastructure” is like a trump card in Greenwich. Perfectly sensible people, like many who contribute to FWIW, tend to abandon all reason and judgment when this magic word is spoken. To protect the taxpayer, the big capital projects need to be sequenced, controlled, and some of them need to be deferred or not done at all. Unfortunately, when the words “maintain our infrastructure” are spoken, [uwgb, GG, Cos Cobber] then all spending is magically justified, and increased: more school spending, updated fire houses/pools/rinks/community centers/ etc. etc.

    We can have moderate taxes, good schools and moderate debts. Or we can spend millions wherever the partisans point to a building that needs painting. But we can’t have both.

    25% of families use our public schools. Yet they have a dominant share of the citizen voice, and guess what – that means a dominant share of spending.

    • Greenwich Gal

      Balzac – Look around dude!
      Just look at the physical plants of our schools. Then look at Darien’s schools. Any other town’s schools. Montgomery Alabama maintains their schools better than we do. Our schools look like they should be in the Bronx. It is shameful. Even our old Super could not believe the condition in which he found our schools.
      I am not saying spend more money – not at all. (Please read carefully) I am saying whoever is managinf the pot of money we have – which is the highest spending in the state – is doing a pretty piss poor job in my opinion.
      Look. Look and see. Do you have kids in the schools? Look at the beginning of this post. The future home buyers are passing by Greenwich and moving on because of the schools! This affects ALL of us! The market is speaking. You should be very concerned. Your real estate investment is at stake.

      • hmmm

        What are you prepared to do?

        The chair of the bet voted no for the additional funding and then 30 seconds later broke the tie in favor of sending it to the rtm where everyone knew they were going to pass it

        Our budget is big enough in fact it should be reduced and taxes lowered

        The problem is that the 430MM is spent foolishly. Too many pet projects an too much bullying by those that want these projects

    • RealTorme

      70% send their kids to public schools and it has been ever thus. Not 25%.

      • I think Balzac’s “25%” figure referred to the entire population, while you and Townie Girl are citing the percentage of parents with school-aged children. I don’t know the actual percentage of either group, but I can see how there might be two entirely different numbers, both of which could be accurate.

    • TownieGirl

      25% of families use our public schools?? I think it’s more like tge the other way around. Your high horse has a broken leg or 2

      • Loyal Elephant

        TownieGirl the facts are that fewer than 25% of HOUSEHOLDS in the town of Greenwich have a student in the public schools. Some statistics have it closer to 20%.

    • cos cobber

      Balzac, your time is better spent attacking FF and others. I am not your enemy here. Last I knew Tesei stil has a full time job as a financial advisor or something because being first select doesn’t pay like a real job. I am wrong, what does Peter take home?

  50. hmmm

    150-160 I believe

    • Cos Cobber

      Actually, looks to be around 127k – but you are correct – it is viewed as a full time job. Nevertheless my feeling remains unchanged, the first selectman should have more power.

      And for fun, he’s doesnt crack the list of the top 100 town employees.

      Click to access greenwichtop1002012.pdf

  51. Libertarian Advocate

    Wow! 190 comments and it ain’t even about evil black rifles. Woo Hoo!

  52. Anonymous

    i haven’t seen this much debate since mcdonalds re-introduced the mcrib.

  53. Anon

    I’m getting iPhone scrollers wrist syndrome trying to read all the comments. Who can I sue?

  54. Anonymous

    Out of curiosity does anyone know what people who live in Rowayton do once their kids graduate from the elementary school there? Aren’t they distracted for Norwalk schools? If so, how is it that they have the property values they do? I would think given the long commute time and worse schools after elementary that their values would be terrible but they aren’t….

  55. Anonymous

    I dont see Greenwich vs Darien….as the pressing issue. CT has some massive rework to create real sustainable jobs (gambling DOES NOT count), lessening the tax load, and creating an economic future not based on accounting gimmicks.Greenwich is a microcosm of what’s wrong in the entire state…..spending too much on the status quo and not reinventing itself for the future.

  56. Anonymous

    $14.6MM in salaries alone for the top 100 city employees. And you darned well know that’s not the fully loaded cost. Add in juicy pensions, health benefits, and they’re sucking the teat of this town dry at 20-30% or more per annum than the salary alone.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  57. +Five

    It’s raining again
    I give up

  58. What I find screamingly funny is how many Darien wannabes tend to spend their weekends on Greenwich Avenue (while the rest of us are heading to Tod’s or the islands or our clubs after picking up the Starbucks and the papers). You can identify these outsiders in various ways, starting, obviously, with the Tokeneke stickers on their windshields. They dress like something out of their idea of a fashion ad: the men with sweaters tied under their chins (even in the hottest weather), the women in short sexy cocktail dresses as though they’re on their way to a key party, and of course their cell phones at their ears as they call their friends back home to say, “I’m walking down Greenwich Avenue.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that line being spoken—no joke.

    I wonder if they have any idea how ridiculous/pitiable they look. Probably not. That’s why they live in Darien, I guess.

  59. Anonymous

    Greenwich women do the same, they just say, “I’m walking down ‘the Avenue’.”

  60. Anonymous

    must be lots of unemployed FWIW readers in Greenwich

  61. +Five

    Lulu tights do amazing things for these mommies

  62. new mom

    I am a mother of two young children who will be attending Greenwich public schools. My family is new to town. We looked all over Fairfield county, including Darien and Westport and ultimately chose Riverside for the Elementary school, community and wonderful family neighborhood. A strong public school system is in everyone’s best interest. I wish the BOE would stand up to the state. Our community is diverse compared to other towns and I agree this should be celebrated, rather than being turned into a weakness. Rather than pick apart comparisons with other towns, Greenwich residents must realize how important strong public schools are to everyone and the future of this town, whether you have children or not. The job of the Greenwich BOE should be to put our children’s best interests first — not to tear apart strong community schools based on a questionable interpretation of the law from bureaucrats. Schools are successful and children are successful when there is strong family involvement and a strong sense of community and when the best interests of the students are put first. Children flourish when their education is about them, not politics. I find it terribly concerning that a handful of bureaucrats could turn a wonderful community upside down and rock the stability of children’s education, and people’s investments in their homes. I don’t think anyone should take for granted this will be resolved by others. Residents must make their voices heard and fight the premise of this mandate.