Welcome Home!

If you’ve recently landed in Greenwich, we’re pretty sure that you recognize your good fortune. There’s so much happening here and you’re in amazing company. And yet…where to begin? The town’s riches extend well beyond its hedge funds and hedge-lined streets to its diverse international population, more complex than the stereotypes and more grounded than some might imagine, with little neighborhoods, family delis and local hangouts that keep things real. To guide you to some insider secrets and life hacks for Greenwich living, we talked with those who’ve lived here a lifetime as well as those who are newer but well-acclimated Greenwichites to get their advice. The happy common denominator: People love our town and they’re willing to share their best resources. There are dozens of ways to enjoy and plug into your new community. Welcome home!


IF YOU MISS NEW YORK… TRY THIS

We know, we know. Nothing comes close to the mecca of exceptional food, services and experiences in NYC. But when you’re looking for the next best thing to the Big Apple, here’s where to go.

AN AUTHENTIC ASIAN NOODLE SHOP
MECHA 
in South Norwalk, amazing pho, ramen and baos

CITY RESTAURANTS
Geoffrey Zakarian’s in town with THE NATIONAL (as of press time the restaurant was closed for renovations but slated to open this summer) and Jean-Georges opened his first suburban restaurant a few years ago with THE INN AT POUND RIDGE. The Altamarea Group (Marea & Ai Fiori) owns THE BARN and CAMPAGNA at the Bedford Post Inn. For a casual pub, go to GINGERMAN, which is an outpost of the original in NYC.

SUSHI
FUJI MART in Riverside sells homemade sushi and Japanese bento boxes; for sit-down meals, check out HAJIME in Harrison and KIRA in Greenwich.

GLUTEN-FREE GOODIES
Try the new BY THE WAY BAKERY for amazing custom cakes, cupcakes, divine almond cookies and homemade challah, all gluten-free.

THE MET
THE BRUCE MUSEUM attracts world-class art, with exhibits of impressionist masters and modern art (such as Calder) as well as intriguing science exhibits.

MOMA SCULPTURE GARDEN
DONALD M. KENDALL SCULPTURE GARDEN, on the grounds of PepsiCo in nearby Purchase, New York

IN-HOME YOGA
Francesca of Partner Yoga 203-554-0307

BOUTIQUE FITNESS STUDIOS
SOULCYCLE and Pilates-goddess ERIKA BLOOM have studios here. KAIA YOGA offers aerial classes. But if you’re looking for a newer hybrid, try GOSTRIDE in Port Chester, a blend of hiking, running, climbing and riding on equipment called a strider, a combo of elliptical and spin bike.

CHELSEA GALLERIES
SAMUEL OWEN GALLERY is a cool contemporary art gallery on Greenwich Avenue; owners Lee and Cindy Milazzo aim to connect locals with the New York art scene. The gallery also has a summer location on Nantucket.

A CONCIERGE PEDIATRICIAN
NEXT GENERATION PEDIATRICS schedules only one patient at a time so there’s never a wait—though kids may wish for one with all the cool high-tech, interactive features in the waiting room. The doctors make house calls and handle prescriptions and forms digitally.


SAY WHAT?

LEARN THE LINGO

How to talk like you’ve lived here forever or at least understand the phrases and places that “townies” may mention

CASEY’S
It was the Cheers for twenty-somethings back in the day and now the space is Sundown Saloon, which is very family-friendly too.

TRACKS/MACKENZIE’S
Popular Old Greenwich hangout and well-loved bar, it’s now the Old Greenwich Social Club.

MANERO’S
This casual family steak place on Steamboat renowned for its steaks, gorgonzola salad, garlic bread and its friendly waitstaff’s rendition of Happy Birthday closed twenty years ago, but you can still get steaks, burgers and all the fixings at Greenwich Prime Meats.

CHICKAHOMINY
Chicka what? It’s the way locals refer to the neighborhood around Hamilton Avenue.

THE POINT
There are many different names for our town’s crown jewel, a.k.a. the beach, but if you say “we’re going to the Point for a walk,” natives will get you. (The full name of Greenwich Point is more formal than most would use; likewise, The Cove is what locals call Greenwich Cove). And in spite of some social media check-ins to the contrary, the correct spelling is Tod’s Point with one ‘d’.

THE GRILL
Bruce Park Grill is simply known as The Grill to most, and it’s the spot of plenty of post-softball-game celebrations. Yes, it’s a dive bar, but the thin-crust pizza is surprisingly good and the regulation-size shuffleboard table draws some serious competition.


IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

RANDOM REASONS TO BE PSYCHED YOU LIVE HERE

So you can’t get 2 a.m. delivery of Vietnamese anymore, but there are plenty of interesting perks of living in this town—and some are free!

1  GO STAR GAZING
Did you know there’s an observatory in town for scoping out constellations with a state-of-the-art telescope? Located on the grounds of Julian Curtiss School, the Bowman Observatory, run by the Astronomical Society of Greenwich (affiliated with the Bruce Museum), is open every first and third Wednesday and by appointment for groups. astrogreenwich.org

2  PLAY GOOD COP
Train to be the eyes and ears of the community and learn what it’s like to serve on the town’s police force via the Citizen’s Police Academy, a free seven-week course. You’ll have interactive classes with various detectives, ride in a squad car with police officers (also on the police boat) and fire weapons at the shooting range. greenwichct.org

3  HEAR ALL THAT JAZZ…ON THE SOUND
On select Sundays in July and August, you can cruise out onto Long Island Sound on one of the town ferries and enjoy a live jazz concert while the boat is underway. Several times a week, the ferries also provide a “Cruise to Nowhere” and tickets are sold at the Arch Street dock. Pack snacks and drinks and take in the view as the sun’s starting to set. For dates, check Parks & Rec at greenwichct.org

4  KAYAK TO THE ISLANDS
You can launch your kayak from the town’s boat ramp at Byram Beach and head out to Shell Island or Calf Island for the day and picnic on the beach.

5  PICK FARM-FRESH EGGS
Visit Augustine’s Farm on King Street, the only working farm in Greenwich. Meet some chickens and pick up some fresh eggs and honey as well as vegetables and fruit in season.

6  LEARN TO RIDE A HORSE
Country Lane Farm on John Street offers lessons for all levels.It offers a pony barn for riders’ first experiences and trail riding on the extensive system run by the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association. Kelsey Farm on Lake Avenue also provides riding lessons and a summer riding and outdoor-adventure camp.countrylanefarm.com; kelseyfarm.com

7  ENTER YOUR DOG IN A KISSING CONTEST
On the third Sunday in September, Adopt-a-Dog, a local animal-rescue nonprofit holds its annual Puttin’ on the Dog Festival in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. At this big fundraiser, there are dogs and cats available for adoption as well as activities and contests for pets, including agility, obedience and dog kissing, a crowd favorite. adopt-a-dog.org


QUIRKY CHARACTERISTICS

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

In spite of all of the fab things about Greenwich, Our town has one or two first-world troubles. but you too can navigate minor inconveniences like a native.

BEACH PASS BLITZ
You may have an Amex Black Card tucked into your wallet, but, let’s face it, the only card you truly need in this town is the elusive Beach Card. There’s no credit check involved, but you’ll have to pony up an array of personal documents ranging from current mortgage statements to utility bills proving your Town Resident status. Don’t make the rookie mistake of waiting on a fifteen-person line at Town Hall for the better part of your morning only to reach the front of the line to discover that the Aquarion bill you brought is from March and, ahem, it’s now June and…well, better luck next time!

Yes, there’s an online system and the exact process changes from year to year—and it may or may not actually work. There will be moments you find yourself scratching your head: Is this Town Hall or Homeland Security? But eventually you will acquire your official Park Pass, and the feeling of that Long Island Sound breeze on your face and the sight of your sand-covered kids running around at low tide will make the whole shebang worth it.

O.G. GRIDLOCK
Closely related to the “Beach Pass Blitz” is the occurrence of traffic as all of the eager card-holders flock to Tod’s Point. Fortunately, the hundred-car-backups down Shore Road and Sound Beach Avenue happen less often in the summer and more on Sundays in January or February when spring-like temps pop up—days when anyone can access the beach. Once true beach season gets underway—passes are required starting May 1—traffic eases considerably.

GOING POSTAL, A.K.A. TRAVEL VIA THE POST ROAD
If you’re shuttling to and from the Avenue, the YMCA, YWCA, church, temple or various other hot spots in a quarter-mile radius on the Post Road, and traffic screeches to a halt, we know where you are. Welcome to Whole Foods! We may be the only town that requires a traffic coordinator (er, supermarket employee) to guide the Range Rovers through the parking lot of the No. 1 supplier of organic mangoes, hydroponic kale and grass-fed buffalo. But with the small Whole Foods lot and the high demand in such a central location, there’s simply no good way to get around this problem. Except…avoid the peak hours (between 4 and 5 p.m. is especially bad). Or, ssshhh!, drive up the Post Road and venture over to ShopRite in Stamford and check out the massive organic foods section there.

NIGHT-OWL NOSHING & THE LACK OF IT
The city never sleeps, but that’s not the case in 06830. It’s 10 p.m. and you’re starved, so why is every kitchen already closed? Actually, a few do stay open late. Check out Eastend, The National, The Fez in Stamford, bartaco in Port Chester, and there’s always Planet Pizza for a late-night slice (and by late we mean until midnight).

GOOD WILL HUNTING: PARKING ON THE AVENUE
There’s a loop with which you will soon become familiar that may also be known as the Circle of Hell. When you find yourself driving by Eastend, around the block past SoulCycle and maneuvering around the little island near Richard’s parking lot for the seventh time in your quest for a spot on the lowest block of Greenwich Avenue, you’ll understand what we mean. The hunt can be frustrating, but there are solutions. 1) Brush up on your parallel parking skills (easy if you’re familiar with the phrase “opposite side parking rules in effect”) and seek out a street spot on Mason or Milbank. 2) Park and shop at Richards—the store has an amazing selection of men’s and women’s fashion and homemade cookies and fresh cappuccino, plus helpful staff—and if you have a validated receipt, they might just let you slide while you pop over to Meli-Melo or the Apple Store.


JOIN THE CLUB

JUMP-STARTNG YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

No casual welcome-wagon committee, The Greenwich Newcomer’s Club has been around more than fifty years and today has 180 families as members. The club hosts so many fun events—from a monthly book club to wine tastings—that people who’ve been in town awhile may want to join too, and, in fact, the club is open to anyone in the area, including those in neighboring towns, says president Lenna Andreou. “We also do buddy families, if someone wants to be a buddy to another family with similar-aged kids,” she says. People who’ve just moved here can begin by attending one of the morning coffees or bringing their kids to the Kids at Play program, held every second Friday. “Young families who don’t have kids in any formal program or people who don’t have kids may have a harder time meeting people, and we have programs for them,” says Lenna. The club’s activities can bridge the gap for all kinds of newcomers.

Here is a sample of the robust offerings.

greenwichnewcomersclub.wildapricot.org

MONTHLY BOOK CLUB
RECIPE GROUP (some Japanese newcomers recently taught the group to make sushi)
LADIES’ & GUYS’ NIGHTS OUT
WELLNESS GROUP
WALKING GROUP
LUNCH BUNCH
SPRING PARTY—traditionally held at Milbrook Club
EASTER EGG HUNT AT TOD’S POINT
LOBSTER FEST—the first weekend of September


DIGITAL CONNECTIONS

WHERE TO GET PLUGGED IN

FACEBOOK GROUPS
Greenwich Moms
More than 1,500 members sharing advice: intel on schools, camps, babysitters, nanny shares and also nonparenting info (e.g. restaurant picks, contractors, movers, etc.).

CHIC Moms of Greenwich
Similar to Greenwich Moms, this 1,000-plus-member group skews toward moms with younger kids (up to five years old) with advice on pediatricians, programs for toddlers and more.

Greenwich Newcomer’s Club
Info on activities, event photos and a place for people to ask questions and share ideas.


WEB
Go to greenwichunitedway.org and click on Community Answers to access info on all kinds of services and activities in town, from preschools, child care, parks and camps. Or go old-school and call 203-612-9590 with any questions you have.

greenwichmag.com
Get an up-close look at the biggest social events, a taste of the latest restaurant news, the scoop on new store openings, and so much more that celebrates the people and places of Greenwich.


APPS
NextDoor
A hyper-local app for connecting with people in your immediate ’hood. See who’s on your street and trade info on everything from great house painters to what’s up with the stray cat that’s hanging around.

Hey! Vina
An app for female friendship, helping ladies connect with like-minded gals who share similar interests.

Meet My Dog
They say that dogs are people magnets and this is the virtual way to connect with other dog lovers, make friends (and furry friends), go for a walk in the park, etc.


INSIDER TIPS

PEOPLE’S PICKS

So many places to go and things to do. Here’s what those who’ve lived in town a few years or a lifetime recommend to newcomers.

FAMILY DAY
SUZANNE AARONSON, MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR AND FOUNDER OF THE SFILES (SFILES.CO), A LUXURY LIFESTYLE SITE; SHE’S LIVED IN MIDCOUNTRY FOR SEVEN YEARS.

“For a ‘divine day out’ with my son, who’s three, I’d start by taking him to the Kneaded Bread in Port Chester to watch donuts being made and to buy donuts, breads and other goodies. Then I would take him to Silverman Farm in Easton where there are baby animals—goats, sheep and bunnies. Back home we’d stop for a bite at Meli-Melo for a savory crepe, fresh juice and sweet crepe. Or if it was early enough, I’d look online to find the location of the Melt Mobile and bring him there for grilled cheese. For a ‘divine day’ with my partner or friends, we would hike in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (download the AllTrails app), have lunch at the Café at Bedford Post Inn followed by a gentle yoga class there and then change to go to Caramoor for a concert or Grace Farms for a lecture.”


WHY THE Y

TERRI BROWNE KUTZEN HAS BEEN A GREENWICH RESIDENT FOR THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AND CURRENTLY LIVES IN RIVERSIDE.

“I always recommend that people new to town check out the YWCA as soon as they can. I’ve been a member for fifteen years and have used the fitness center, gone to exercise and yoga classes and enjoyed the extended hours and terrific facilities. Years ago our son spent time in the school vacation camp—so valuable to us as working parents. At the invitation of a good friend, I joined the board and enjoyed serving there, which gave me a real education about the excellent preschool program and physical and developmental activities for children. The YW also has a highly competitive aquatics program. And this YWCA is the only licensed provider of domestic abuse services for women, children and men in our community, and the services are free. I think it’s the most friendly and supportive place in town and an important resource for people who are setting down roots.”


VILLAGE LIFE

KRISTEN ROSSI, WHO’S ORIGINALLY FROM MICHIGAN, HAS LIVED IN TOWN 10 YEARS. SHE BLOGS ABOUT BOOKS AT BLONDEREADHEAD.COM. SHE’S THE MOM OF TWO BOYS.

“There’s so much to love about Cos Cob. It’s central to everything, halfway between the Avenue and the beach. The Mianus River is so beautiful and great for kayaking and fishing. I can’t tell you the hours that my boys spend there. Cos Cob is also a foodie paradise for chefs with Fjord, the butcher shop (Fleishers) and the Greenwich Cheese Shop all in a row.”


OUTSIDE & INSIDE

JILL CARUSO, HR PROFESSIONAL AND THIRD-GENERATION GREENWICH RESIDENT

“We regularly visited the Pinetum as kids growing up in town and it’s still an idyllic place to walk, hike and explore. Cognewaugh Trails is another quiet, out-of-the-way spot to walk your dog, hike trails or commune with nature. Greenwich Library, where we used to study and socialize, has evolved into an epicenter of art and culture. It boasts state-of-the-art technology, music concerts and fabulous art at The Flinn Gallery.”


COUNTRY TIME

JEFFREY BINGHAM MEAD, LIFELONG GREENWICH RESIDENT AND DESCENDANT OF THE TOWN’S FOUNDERS, HOST OF WGCH RADIO SHOW “GREENWICH, A TOWN FOR ALL SEASONS”

“Take time to enjoy the historic sites and natural beauty. I love to spend time at Bush-Holley House—the new campus is going to be fantastic—and Putnam Cottage. By getting involved in our historical associations you can learn about the town’s history and help in its preservation. There’s also a wonderful variety of parks. One of my favorites is the Cos Cob Park, an enchanting spot looking out onto the harbor and Riverside Yacht Club, also the Babcock Preserve in backcountry. I grew up on Round Hill so anything that’s country and woodsy reminds me of my childhood.”


GIVING BACK

SUE MORETTI ROGERS, PRESIDENT OF THE JUNIOR LEAGUE WHO GREW UP IN GREENWICH AND RAISED HER OWN FAMILY HERE

“One of the best things about Greenwich is the abundant ways people share their time, energy and talent to contribute to the quality of life. How many communities are essentially run by a volunteer government with nearly thirty unpaid boards and commissions? Beyond the RTM however, Greenwich supports a vast network of charitable and community service organizations, one of which is The Junior League with 700 members. The accomplishments of the League are far too many to include, but highlights are the Boundless Playground in Bruce Park, creation of Kids in Crisis and Children’s Day School and Positively Me and Positively More programs for girls, and our latest fundraising effort to support the Greenwich Pool in Byram Park. The league is a one-stop shopping of diverse experiences.”


BOOKED UP

JANE ANDERSON, EDUCATOR AND MOM OF THREE WHO’S LIVED IN COS COB FOR EIGHT YEARS

“When we moved here from the city, I explored various opportunities but ultimately found my niche by serving on the Board of Directors at Cos Cob Library. I met interesting, hard-working parents there and contributed to the children’s programming at the library, which gave me the chance to meet more local families—a supportive, diverse, and fun group! My younger daughter loves the library’s art-movement program with teachers from local dance and yoga studios, and my older daughter is excited about the summer reading.”


HOUSE PROUD

SUZANNE EASON, DESIGNER AND OWNER OF PLUMRIDGEHOUSE. THIS MOM OF TWO GIRLS HAS LIVED IN MID-COUNTRY FOR NINE YEARS.

“The first thing I got involved with was the Greenwich Historical Society, and that was the biggest eye-opening experience. I wound up putting together the transportation and security effort for the Antiquarius House Tour (a tour of beautifully decorated homes held in December). I’d encourage anybody to get involved with that because you meet such a great cross-section of people from all over town. Also we love the Scarecrow Competition at the Bush- Holley House in the fall and summer camp at The Belle Haven Club (you don’t have to be members to attend).”


GET UP AND GO

KIMBERLY SALIB, AN ARTIST AND MOM OF THREE BOYS WHO HAS LIVED IN BACKCOUNTRY FOR TEN YEARS

“Dinner on the beach with lobsters from Fjord Fisheries and a French Rosé while the kids are digging for hermit crabs is the best way to enjoy the sunset. As an artist, I love going to exhibits at The Brant Foundation near my home; the Warhol exhibit was one of my favorites. Another backcountry treat is the Audubon; we love their Halloween Haunted Night Hike and special family events. I also love polo picnics with friends in the summer at The Greenwich Polo Club. The backcountry preschool, Round Hill Nursery School, is a very special place. All of my boys attended and made lifelong friends.”


UNDER THE RADAR

BARBARA LINSENMEYER MALONE, LIFETIME GREENWICH RESIDENT AND MOM OF TWO

“Restaurants made famous by celebrity sightings and top chefs are well-known in town but there are hidden gems as well. One such treasure is tucked away in Cos Cob on River Road Extension that, like Pavlov’s dog, gets my attention every time a friend texts me two words, “Joey B’s?”. Owned by husband and wife Dom and Lu Delfino, Joey B’s offers classic diner eating with counter service from Lu and Justin Curytytto, who you can be sure know your name (or soon will). Their hot dogs cannot be beat, especially on “Two for Tuesday,” when you get a two-for-one special. Finish with your favorite condiments (their chili is outstanding), add one of the homemade milkshakes and some onion rings and you have to hit the gym extra hard the next day—but it’s worth it!”


THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

IAN THOMAS MALONE, AUTHOR WHO GREW UP IN RIVERSIDE AND IS WORKING ON HIS MASTER’S AT CLAREMONT UNIVERSITY

“I first realized what a special place Greenwich is a few weeks into my freshman year at Boston College, after a conversation where many friends expressed complete loathing for their hometowns in an over-the-top manner you might find in a John Hughes movie. The desire to branch out and explore the world is natural in any young soul, but Greenwich sets itself apart from many towns with its unique ability to draw you back. Local icon Joan Lowe asked me last year if there was anything that could convince me to abandon sunny Los Angeles for a return tour to the East Coast. I responded that I missed the delis, Alpen Pantry, in particular. Never trust a town that doesn’t have at least three good delis. Also, the biannual Byram Shubert Library book sale is a must-visit. The selection is excellent, the staff is very friendly and proceeds go to a great cause.”

 

 

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