Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan has lost a popular and friendly downtown presence, especially among young locals. Tango, a handsome 7-year-old golden retriever belonging to Phyllis Weinstein of Mackenzie’s, died Thursday, within days of an unexpected diagnosis of an aggressive cancer. A makeshift memorial has been set up in the South Avenue shop for locals to say goodbye. “He was like the mascot of the store,” said Jim Berry, a welcome face behind the counter. “He was always here, mingling with the kids.” Those kids include hundreds of Saxe Middle School students, who for years have carried on a tradition of depositing their school bags outside Mackenzie’s after school, and getting some candy or other items inside.

SLIDESHOW: 20 Things You Only Know If You Shop and Dine in New Canaan

New Canaanites have plenty of reasons to shop and dine locally, and those reasons go far beyond the fact that the village center has scores of independent businesspeople—retailers, restaurateurs, service providers—who work here and have had a tough go with the weather these past few weeks. Our owners-on-site specialize in their fields and offer a wide range of expertise. They support most every community event that locals associate with the town—fishing derby, Waveny summer concerts, Santa’s visit, little league, Holiday Stroll, ice cream social, Halloween Parade. It’s hard to find two important community events in a row in New Canaan that aren’t sponsored in some way by Walter Stewart’s, Karl Chevy or both. Because familiarity breeds conversation and rapport, we can come to know our local small business owners and workers better than we may at, say, out-of-town chains. The slideshow above is a testament to that strong connection—click through to learn more about some of those who make up the economic lifeblood of the business district.

Patrick Metzger: Obsessed with Chicken Joe’s ‘High School Special’


For this installment of “5 Things I’m Obsessed With” with, we stayed right in front of Mackenzies—unofficial backpack depository of downtown New Canaan—and turned to a pair of willing Saxe Middle School eighth-graders, both 13. This marks just the second time in “5 Things I’m Obsessed With” history that an interview named as an obsession someone we had already interviewed. Here’s what these guys came up with:

Patrick Metzger

Becca Walshin
Vineyard Vines
Chicken Joes (the “high school special,” a half-pound of nuggets with fries)

Matthew Knight

Yellow cones (pointing to a cone in the alley: “Even though that one is orange.”)
Audi A-8s (“That’s what my dad drives, pretty nice car if you ask me, gets some good gas mileage.”)
The color red (pointing behind him, “Like the one on that car right there, it’s hard and not too soft, sort of like when you see a red light.”)
“A luscious mustache or really big beards.”