SLIDESHOW: Caffeine & Carburetors Opens 2015 Season Downtown

Thousands of car enthusiasts joined local families, business owners and volunteers on Pine and Elm Streets Sunday morning for the first Caffeine & Carburetors of 2015. Sponsored by Bankwell and Hagerty Insurance, the popular gathering of classic and specialty car enthusiasts—founded by New Canaanite Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous gourmet coffee shop at Pine and Grove—saw camera-toting spectators, many of them families with kids and dogs, strolling around downtown New Canaan under clear, sunny skies. “I want to thank everyone who participated—CERT, New Canaan Police Department, all the commissions that approved us, Mother Nature and everyone who is enjoying the show,” Zumbach said, noting that the April gathering includes partners on Elm Street such as New Canaan Library, New Canaan Society for the Arts and the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. “Bankwell is pleased to sponsor Caffeine & Carburetors,” said Elizabeth Buzzeo, branch manager in New Canaan. “It’s a great local event and a great way to get people out on a nice sunny day.

‘Va Va Vroom’ Opens at Carriage Barn Arts Center [PHOTOS]

Dozens of patrons of a widely anticipated new show at Carriage Barn Arts Center got a sneak peek Saturday evening during a special Patron Preview Opening Reception. “Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle” will run April 19 to June 14, with the correlating Monaco Grand Prix Fundraiser (tickets here) scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 16. Featuring contemporary paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by 35 artists from Connecticut and New York as well as vintage advertising posters, motorcycles and car models, the show celebrates the 1895-built Carriage Barn’s own heritage as the Lapham family’s garage for horses, carriages and cars. With live tunes from New Canaan Music playing in the background and three vintage motorcycles from Buzz Kanter on stage, guests mingled over small bites and wine on a picture-perfect evening, greeted by a row of classic cars outside including from Caffeine & Carburetors (it’s on tomorrow morning, downtown) founder Doug Zumbach and “The Drive through Waveny: A Vehicular Timeline” series of poster boards, from Rose Scott Long of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance.

‘More Than a Career’: New Canaan’s Buzz Kanter and His Motorcycles

New Canaan resident Buzz Kanter purchased his first antique motorcycle around 1986—a BSA M20, from a man selling three of the classic World War II bikes in the pit of a racetrack in New Hampshire. Though only in his early-30s at the time, the Stamford native already was a veteran of New England’s motorcycle scene and circuit. A decade earlier, Kanter had walked away from high-speed racing following an accident on a track in Bridgehampton, N.Y.: A fellow racer, who would spend six months in hospital, crashed into him as they headed into a corner at 130 mph. “I finished the season and said, ‘I’m done,’ ” Kanter, 60, recalled Thursday morning from the gallery at Carriage Barn Arts Center, standing near one of the vintage motorcycles he has acquired since that day in 1986. “And I started playing with antique bikes.

Va Va Vroom: Carriage Barn Arts Center Embraces, Celebrates Waveny Heritage in Upcoming Exhibition

Since starting as co-directors of the Carriage Barn Arts Center 18 months ago, Eleanor Flatow and Arianne Kolb have noted how visitors to the Carriage Barn gallery react strongly when they learn of its original function at Waveny. Though locals tend to know well the grounds, mansion and individual outbuildings at the park, Kolb said, the way that those pieces fit together and tell the story of the Lapham family—the longtime owners of the property through the first half of the 20th Century, who kept horses, carriages and cars in the Barn—animates the familiar landscape and structures in new, profound ways. “When we explain what the space was used for, people have an ‘a-ha’ moment, where it makes sense in the bigger picture,” Kolb said. Starting next month, Carriage Barn Arts Center/New Canaan Society for the Arts will pay homage to that heritage in a new exhibition. “Va Va Vroom!