Greenwich Gossip

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pay More, Get Less...Yellowwich Time Hikes its Price

As predicted by your scribe back on December 8, the Local Rag, aka Yellowwich Time, has raised its price from 50 cents to 75 cents, effective today. Here is what was posted back then:

To add insult to injury, rumor has it that the LR plans to hike the newsstand price of its pulp from fifty to seventy-five cents. That's 50% more for just about 100% less. Anyone who takes out a long-term subscription to the rag these days might as well be buying stock in Lehman Brothers.

Will your scribe's other predictions about the (non-) future of the Local Rag also come to pass? Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Empty Storefront on Greenwich Avenue...

As your scribe took advantage of yesterday's mild weather to stroll down Greenwich Avenue, he paused at the three empty storefronts that are part of the former Mead's Stationery store and its next-door neighbor. And then he looked across the street at the storefront where Coach had been just a day or two before. It was empty.

Another chain store bites the dust. Was this where the old Cheese Shop used to be? What a loss - a popular local family-owned business where you could meet your friends and buy something you actually wanted was driven out by greed, and replaced by a handbag store where only out-of-towners looking for mall merchandise would venture in. Well, now it, too, is gone, and Greenwich Avenue looks even more like a Western ghost town than it did a week ago.

But there's a silver lining: a local Girl Scout troop was ensconced in front of the vacant store, selling cookies. And they had Thin Mints! Your scribe walked away from their table a happier man, glad that another chain store has left the Avenue and toting two boxes of Thin Mints. A most satisfactory stroll, all in all.


Your scribe has recently heard that the corporate shirts from Coach showed up at the store late on Friday and told everyone that it was closed, effective immediately. No warning, no prior notice of impending unemployment. Everybody grab your stuff and get out. Bye, folks, have a nice life.

Is it any wonder your scribe is glad to see stores like this leave the Avenue?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Greenwich Dollar Plummets to Zero

The so-called Greenwich Dollar is now as worthless as the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce that sold them to unsuspecting citizens as another of its brainless schemes to try to justify its existence.

Yes, dear reader, young Kerrin Kinnear (whose name is consistently misspelled by the equally worthless Local Rag, aka Yellowwich Time) won $75 of Greenwich Dollars in an essay contest. When she took them to Wish List on Greenwich Avenue to buy some clothes, she was told by the store manager, Ashley Kane, to suck eggs. Well, maybe not in those exact words, but basically Kerrin's mother, Jill, had to come up with the scratch for the threads.

The Greenwich Chamber of Commerce's logo is prominently plastered at the top left corner of these rubber checks. But will Mary Ann Morrison, the overpriced "CEO" of the GCC, do anything about it? Probably not. She's too busy trying to find more tacky national chain stores to come and take a bath on Greenwich Avenue, now that she has helped to drive out the local businesses that used to thrive here.

For years your scribe has watched as Morrison has browbeat local businesses into joining her organization. More than one manager has told him that he paid the annual dues only after hearing threats of negative PR from her and her minions. Frankly, your scribe would love to be bad-mouthed by Mary Ann and her ilk; it would mean he must be doing something right.

Do you remember the Greenwich Sidewalk Sales Days, dear reader? Time was when they were a happy street fest all up and down the Avenue. Then the Chamber of Commerce took over, charging a hefty fee to participate. Fewer stores participated. Some who dared to hold their own sidewalk sales were issued "bills" by Mary Ann for the participation fee. Whether they allowed themselves to be browbeaten into paying these specious assessments, your scribe does not know. Had he had a storefront on Greenwich Avenue, he would have told Mary Ann to go suck eggs. The sidewalks in this Town are Town property, not property of the wretched Mary Ann and her useless Chamber of Commerce.

The invasion of the chain stores, which for a while threatened to take over Greenwich Avenue like kudzu, was aided and abetted by MA and her myrmidons. Now that the tide is going out, and the Avenue is starting to look more and more like a Western ghost town, Mary Ann is cutting staff and expenses at the Chamber in order to continue to pay her own bloated salary. The next time you walk down Greenwich Avenue, dear reader, know that you can thank Mary Ann and the GCC for all the empty storefronts and parking places. If you look hard enough, you will even see the GCC logo on some of the empty windows.

The same logo that is on the worthless checks, by the way. If your scribe had been so foolish or unlucky ever to have had one of these Greenwich Dollars, and still be carrying it in his wallet, he would be at the courthouse right now filing suit against Mary Ann and the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce. They promoted these fraudulent checks, and their logo is right there in living color. To say that they bear no responsibility at this point is merely disingenuous, and your scribe is fairly certain that the Stamford Superior Court would award him his money back.

Here is a novel suggestion, dear reader: let us all begin to boycott stores bearing the Chamber of Commerce logo until such time as Mary Ann gives Kerrin Kinnear her money back. She and the GCC sold these checks for good American currency, and now they refuse to redeem them?! Maybe Mary Ann can move in with Bernie Madoff to keep him less lonely. The two of them would make quite a pair.

Monday, March 23, 2009

St. Patty's Day

Well, not exactly, but yesterday saw the Town's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade, and your scribe stood next to Ed and Beth Krumeich at the pivotal intersection at the top of Greenwich Avenue where one can see the marchers as they make the turn from the Post Road. There were ten bands this year, which marks a new high, but fewer firetrucks. The Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department was noticeable by its absence -- everything OK up there, guys?

We were joined early on by Ken Kieffer and his daughter Olivea. Between the five of us, we got a fair number of waves from the various marchers, and Olivea made out like a bandit in the candy department. The Kieffers, by the way, will soon be moving to Hamden, as Ken climbs the ecclesiastical ladder of the Methodist Church. At this rate he will likely be a bishop ere long.

Highlights of the parade this year included several contingents of flag girls, which your scribe does not recall seeing in years past. The Irish step-dancers were popular, as always, as were the mini-cars driven by the Shriners. There was the usual gaggle of politicians, Brownies, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Your scribe's favorite Scout was the young lady in the Miss Thin Mint costume. Thin Mints, of course, are the scribal cookie of choice, and often the hardest to find because they sell out so quickly. You'd think the girls would get tired of saying, "Sorry, we're all out of Thin Mints, would you like Samoas instead?" To which your scribe replies in curmudgeonly fashion, "If I wanted Samoas, I would have asked for them. I want Thin Mints. Harrumph!" One wonders why the cookie elves at the Girl Scout bakery never seem to get the message: MORE THIN MINTS!!

At one point Gideon Fountain happened by, pretending he had nothing to do with either Greenwich real estate or his bloggy brother Chris, whose always-stimulating posts can be found at:

Your scribe muttered darkly, "Are there no poor houses? Are there no open houses?" as Gideon walked by, and got a smile as the allusion to Dickens was caught and appreciated. Apparently whatever open houses were on offer yesterday played second fiddle to the parade.

And then it was over. Oh, well, we'll have another one soon on Memorial Day. Maybe by then the elves will have caught up with the pent-up demand for Thin Mints. Your scribe most devoutly hopes so.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fifteen More Days...

...and then, one hopes, we can finally bid farewell to the Local Rag, aka Yellowwich Time.

Today the Hearst Corporation, owner of our unspeakably inept, incompetent, incorrect, badly-written, slanted, and scurrilous Local Rag, announced the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It will move to an Internet-only presence. Already the parakeet cages and kitty-litter boxes all over Greenwich are wondering what their pets' owners will use as a substitute to line them, should this happen here. And your scribe has no answer for them.

One also wonders if Hearst will close the rag down totally, as in Seattle, and move it to an Internet-only format as well, or whether they will put out a local Greenwich edition of the Connecticut Post. Or perhaps some combination of the two?

One straw in the wind is that after some months of enforced rustication, the talented and opinionated Sarah Darer Littman is once more appearing in the LR. During her unpaid "vacation" she kept up a blogging presence on the Internet. Could be that Hearst needs some computer-savvy people like her to help with the transition from killing trees to pushing electrons around in cyperspace. One wishes that they would fire the unspeakable Bruce Hunter again, and make her the editor; but she's too busy with her successful writing career to want to make such a downward move. Our loss, alas.

And so, dear reader, be sure to save your Yellowwich Time from March 31, 2009. You may be able to put it up on eBay and get back half of the cover price. Or, of course, you can use it one last time in your birdcages and cat boxes. The choice is yours.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is Sprung...

Just a quick post to let everyone know that the crocuses are finally up on the hill topped by the Soldier's Monument, honoring the troops from Greenwich who fought in the Civil War. Before the monument was built, the hill was the site of the first town hall, or Town House, as it was called, for downtown Greenwich, then known as Horseneck.

The crocuses are late this year. Usually they appear in late February or early March. Need any more proof that this was a tough winter here in Greenwich? The flowers say it all....

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Local Scene

Herewith a few pictures of various events in our fair Town :

This is the Homecoming game at Greenwich High School on a perfect fall day.

A young girl enjoys the annual open house at the Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

A dog trainer exhibits three of his students on Greenwich Avenue.

A harvest cornucopia at The First Presbyterian Church.

Randy Acheson plays Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" from memory at Stanwich Congregational Church. (He later played the Widor Toccata from memory as well.) (Oh, and in between he conducted AND accompanied the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah".)

A snow-bound yak at the Greenwich Library. "Just like Tibet," he told your scribe.

A parade of police cars on Putnam Avenue make sure a malefactor doesn't escape Greenwich justice.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Virtual Local Rag?

Signs of the times: the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, owned by the very same Hearst Corporation that owns our very own local rag, AKA Yellowwich Time, may soon stop printing their paper version, and move to an Internet-only version. Hmmm...just think, dear reader, of all the trees that would be saved hereabouts if Hearst decides to do the same with the local rag.

Think, too, of the lower level of visual pollution around our fair Town, with no blaring misspelled headlines trumpeting incomplete if not downright incorrect "news" stories, habitually slanted to protect the guilty and defame the innocent. If a person wanted to continue read the drivel that has plagued our Town for years, he or she would have to go online to get their jollies. And the rest of us could live our lives in peace.

The other alternative facing the Seattle paper is to cease publication altogether. Now there's an idea that Hearst might well want to consider here in Greenwich. Your scribe is sure he is not the only person in Town who thinks that no news is better than the junk that has been shoveled out by the LR for lo! these many years.

Why lose money on a loser paper? That's the question the executives at Hearst should be asking themselves. Your scribe knows the answer he would give, of course....