Who Knew: Time to Try the Donuts!

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. Scientists recently suggested that the universe is shaped like a donut, not the pancake shape we all believed it to be for decades. Light waves leftover from the Big Bang, once thought to run parallel, were observed converging. While we wait for further evidence to determine what carb we most closely resemble, we can’t sit idle. If the universe is but a donut, who am I not to chase that shape down a highly caloric, Homer Simpson-style rabbit hole of dough, glaze, and filling?

Who Knew: We See You, Dr. Crolla

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. It becomes evident, after enough time, that living in New Canaan is a lot like living in Richard Scarry’s Busytown. While the jobs people have in 2024 may be more deskbound and spreadsheet-y than the anthropomorphized animal metermaids Scarry’s pen brought to life, there’s still a delightfully wholesome level of personal connection in this small-ish town. 

You might have a beer with the librarian, bump into the grocer at a fundraiser, and have in-jokes with your mail carrier. That our cars aren’t apple-shaped (though I wish they were) doesn’t make our existence any less storybook; New Canaan is most assuredly a town with character. And what gives a town character?

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?