As I mentioned in Monday’s post, traveling always brings with it many life lessons, and my jaunt to New Canaan, Connecticut, provided many to revel in, absorb and now to the task applying. With fewer than 20,000 people fortunate to call this gem of a New England town home, New Canaan should be put on your list of places to visit. In the few short hours that I had the opportunity to visit for TSLL book signing at Elm Street Books, I was in awe, and wish I had had more time to peruse, and take a tour of this amazing house.
The signing, attendance and conversation that transpired this past Saturday far exceeded my expectations, and as I mentioned in this Instagram post as I took the North Metro train back to Manhattan, it will remain as a beautiful memory for much time to come.
Prior to the signing, having arrived a few hours early, I took a walk through the nearby neighborhood streets and captured some images of the homes that caught my eye. It was rare for a house not grab my attention, and with the lush yards and foliage, every home was a treat to behold.
As the signing began, I was eager to be situated outside in front of the store as I was able to meet and talk to locals and tourists as they strolled Elm Street which is sprinkled with boutiques, coffee and sweet shops, stationery stores, decor and gourmet grocers and antique shops. However, the weatherman had other plans, as the sprinkling of rain that would later in the afternoon become a torrential downpour, moved me inside.
Elm Street Books is the type of bookstore one might imagine when they conjure up an ideal local bibliophile’s dream. Small, but not too small, a plethora of variety for any predilection you might have and a staff that was regularly answering questions that locals had, clearly trusting their recommendations, of what to read for their particular tastes. Needless to say, I was in heaven, and had to pick up a few items of my own prior to leaving.
Below is a collection of images from shops I stopped into and highly recommend you visit as well. Enjoy a virtual tour of a small town that is truly simply luxurious.
Gingerbitz is situated on Elm Street directly across the street from Starbucks, and it is a sweet tooth’s haven. Opened in 2014 by baker Karen Zuckert and her husband Andrew, Karen has been baking for clients for more than 20 years, and much to the glee of locals and tourists, opened her French-esque aesthetic bakery which serves sandwiches, salads, cakes, cupcakes, quiches (my choice, and let me just say, melt-in-your mouth delicious), organic smoothies, coffee, tea and of course baked goods galore.
Let me for a moment speak to the hospitality of the shop. With fifteen classic bistro seats inside, I stepped through the door just as they were closing to pick up a very late lunch, and an opportunity to get out of the rain. Andrew and his staff, without hesitation served me the meal you see below and graciously invited me to stay and enjoy the space that truly feels much like a dream.
~Quiche Lorraine placed on a bed of spinach tossed with a delicious vinaigrette~
As I mentioned in this Instagram post, Saturday evening was the last day of my trip to Manhattan, and I was exhausted, so I decided to pop into the local recommended gourmet deli to pick up dinner to go. Garelick & Herbs, while I do like Whole Foods, put it to shame. Selecting a Dijonnaise salmon, paired with a broccoli rabe salad and a berry bar that had a puff pastry topping so buttery and flaky I was torn between eating it quickly and savoring it, complemented a most memorable day. Have a look at their catering menu here.
Recommended by a reader who is a resident of New Canaan, I stopped into Pimlico, an interior decor shop and design service boutique on the corner of Elm Street and South Ave. While my pictures inside do not do it justice, the eye of Melissa Lindsay, who has on her resume graphic design jobs for Vogue and New York, her taste, is a beautiful marriage of modern classic and cozy. With soft, cool colors appearing to be inspired by living near the ocean, to sound, ponderous statement pieces that garner conversation to begin much like the chandeliers on display, I was sure to take a card for potential purchase of items or maybe even design services via Skype.
Walking around the neighborhood gave me the opportunity to see a handful of homes that caught my attention.
And wouldn’t you know, shoes, shoemaking in fact, are at the root of the founding of New Canaan. Whether I was influenced by this fact or simply just love to shop, I stopped into Walin & Wolff and took advantage of a current shoe sale of top designer shoes. Thankfully they were able to ship to Oregon free of charge because the deals I found were quite nice.
~Walin & Wolff, clothing and shoe boutique~
Sometimes when I travel, I discover new destinations and exhibits that I wish I had put on my itinerary. One such destination was Philip Johnson’s famed Glass House. Only available to see with a scheduled tour, you may recognize the home, as one reader informed me, from the pages of Vogue as they have used it numerous times for editorial photo shoots. The history is worth reading about even if you will not be able to visit in person, but rest assured, I will return and see it with my own eyes someday. (The images below are from The Glass House website, visit here.)
To and from, the trip began in Grand Central Terminal (below). Such an effortless way to commute, and with the train literally stopping (dead-ending) at the beginning of Elm Street in New Canaan, you can’t help but be urged to hop on the Metro-North line (transfer at Stamford station). While you can purchase your tickets (buy off-peak to save money) at the station, you can also purchase them on-line a few days in advance (they mail them to you), and save a few bucks for a round-trip ticket. (I need to thank Tiffani and Carolyn for giving me tips and advice on how to make a successful trip; I had a lot of questions, having never left the city before, and their patience was much appreciated.)
~POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES OF PAST STOPS ON TSLL BOOK TOUR:
~Thoughts from the Editor: The Bookloft (Hometown Book Signing)
All images, except The Glass House or Johnson House by Philip Johnson, taken by TSLL iPhone 6