Weston Versus The New York Times

The recent New York Times "Living In" column describing Weston as "stoic" at best, "barren" and "cursed" at worst, provokes a strong reaction in town.

"It's not hard to understand why Puritan settlers in Connecticut slapped the Devil's name on so many ridges, rivers, and gorges. These barren areas were probably so difficult to farm or even traverse that they might have seemed cursed."

Who on earth would want to live there? Aside from Keith Richards, Jose Feliciano, Johnny Depp (ok, we aren't 100 percent on the facts surrounding Captain Jack Sparrow's Weston residency, but we'll pretend) and many other luminaries too fabulous to mention who enjoy the bucolic nature of our fine town, with its excellent schools, well-run and fiscally sound government, and friendly residents?

Apparently not C.J. Hughes, intrepid New York Times reporter, who so described lovely Weston. Patch figures he must have spent roughly 30 minutes in town, although he did take time to note our "stoic" white colonials (huh?), dams (we have dams?), and the indigenous alewife (that's a fish. Endangered, apparently, by our devilish dams).

What a shame that Hughes did not spend a bit more time investigating Weston and its extraordinary residents (although he did manage to locate Dawn Egan, a pillar of our community, and give a brief mention of the Weston Warm-Up Fund).

Had Hughes simply asked around, at , for example (he did visit there, noting that we lack a "quaint village shopping district"), he would have discovered that our town's residents have an extraordinary commitment to the community, the schools, and the environment at large.

Weston is well-known for its spirit of volunteerism — he would have learned that on the town's website — and its residents who care deeply about the quality of life here. He also would have learned that Westonites like the town just the way it is, thanks (although we could, in truth, stand for a tax reduction, because enough already).

And although it's true that we could probably use a teen center or coffeehouse and a nail salon, we did just get a new dry cleaner. And he does note that Westport is just down the road.

He was right about one thing: change does come slowly here. But that seems to be just the way we like it, and the reason why our town is as lovely as it is.

It seems that Hughes visited Weston with preconceived notions, to which we say, return, whence you came.

Phil Ske April 29, 2011 at 03:26 PM
A case of too big a paper and too little a mind?
Dawn Egan April 29, 2011 at 07:12 PM
I love this article written by Lisa Bigelow. I was highly disappointed that after spending over an hour talking to C.J. Hughes about our abatement and deferral programs for seniors, about the new AIM education project happening at all four of schools, about the new Community Coalition database and so on that he focused on the most negative and inaccurate information. I was also dismayed that he was so factually wrong about publizing our town's tax numbers (he doubled them saying a 4,000 square foot house is charged $30k in taxes while the correct information is $16k.). On a personal note, he asked me what my house cost and I told him, with a laugh in my voice, that my husband would kill me if I talked about that information, that he went ahead and made up a number that is, again, inaccurate. Townspeople were also disappointed that he quoted a Westport broker instead of a Weston broker for house information. A poor article written by a poor journalist. Dawn Egan
Dallas Kersey May 01, 2011 at 12:05 AM
To live here is to love it here.
MS May 04, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Great piece Lisa, thank you. The NYT article left me feeling blah, but then again, perhaps not such a bad thing to keep Weston our secret.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »