Who Knew: The Spookening

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. How’s this for paranormal: I’ve sat directly behind the Long Island Medium on a plane not once, but twice. 

And, ok. This may not be bone-chilling campfire fare, more the banal coincidence that two Delta loyalists with vastly different thoughts on acceptable hair height would both fly to a lot of boring American cities for work. Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining spectacle: Theresa Caputo gets hugs, high fives, and selfie requests from nearly every other passenger who boards her flights. She even stands at her seat, a tiny pontiff with a mitre made of bottle blonde, anticipating the adoration of her subjects.

Who Knew: A Beginner’s Guide to Winged New Canaan

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. When facing the waning years of your (ahem) forties, you have two choices. You can learn all the Gen Z slang and TikTok dances to cling, Gollum-like, to your waning youth, or you can slide into the sensible, low-heeled comforts of the retiree lifestyle a couple of decades early and start caring about things like warblers, relaxed-fit pants, and the lighthouses of the Eastern Seaboard. Twenty-two-year-old you might not recognize 47-year-old you, and there’s no doubt she’d judge your dorky fleece vest and Investment Binoculars™, but there’s much to be said for shifting yourself into a less chaotic gear and finding moments of actual presence in the natural world. Life begins to look more like a Mary Oliver poem than a Bret Easton Ellis novel, and that’s a-ok with me.

Who Knew: Taking the Eight Sandwich Challenge

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. Once upon a time, men dressed like Cary Grant, and sandwiches were what people ate for lunch. From kindergarten classrooms to corporate boardrooms, one could observe people at midday consuming an ingeniously portable combination of ‘bread’ and ‘things.’ There was an order to life, and while I’m not suggesting that correlation is causation, it’s worth noting that, back when we all ate sandwiches, nobody wore Celtics jerseys on airplanes or flossed their teeth on the subway. 

Perhaps it’s a profusion of choice–granted, much of it positive and health-minded—that’s gotten us away from such norms. Kindergarteners, if Instagram is to be believed, now dine on elaborate bento boxes of hand-shelled edamame, hummus, and gluten-free, organic pretzels. Office folks can now Uber Eats an uninspired hexagonal tub from Sweetgreen, undertip the guy in the lobby, and sprint back to volley emails into oblivion. 

It’s also the sandwich’s fault, or at least the modern fast-casual incarnation of the sandwich’s fault, that our ardor for a handheld square of lunchtime bliss has cooled. Have you ever been to a Panera?

Who Knew, Cagematch Edition: Solé vs. Spiga

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. If the Shrimp Index is any indicator, we’re experiencing a boom time on the New Canaan restaurant scene. 

Let me explain this metric, because I invented it 30 seconds ago: the Shrimp Index is the number of ways in which you can have shrimp prepared and brought to your table on any given day. My data acquisition methods may be lazy, but it seems at first AI-assisted count that you can get at least 49 different shrimp dishes in town, unless it’s

Monday, in which case, you’re eating popcorn over the sink, my friend. But Tuesday through Sunday, this index is a handy quality-of-life metric, and if Zillow chooses to include the Shrimp Index on their future real estate listings alongside Walk Scores and School Grades, my earnest hope is to buy a boat with the residuals. When it comes to fine dining, we’re doing mighty fine. 

The answer is in the shrimp. 

But this isn’t an article about shrimp (note to self: write article about shrimp).

Who Knew: New Canaan Life Hacks

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. It’s summertime and, with all due apologies to Mr. Gershwin, the living’s not that easy. Metro-North has forsaken us, traffic is brutal, there’s been an uptick in actual ticks, and between recent bouts of record-breakingly bad air quality and blowout-destroying humidity, one might feel vaguely at odds with the elements this season. Or at least that one can no longer enjoy the kind of summer that Porgy, Bess, and later, Will Smith romanticized in song. 

To be clear: these are tongue-in-cheek problems of a most suburban variety. Yes, we live in a ZIP Code of smoothed-out edges and air-conditioned SUVs, and obviously, many places on the planet have it far worse.