Category: Activities (page 2 of 14)

Activities are gatherings that occur on a regular schedule, usually weekly, to enjoy a specific pastime.

Current Affairs Discussion – Affordable Housing – January 18, 2018

Discussion Leader: Bob Baker

Factors in developing initiatives for affordable housing- DMA discussion Thursday are:

1. Economics
2. Politics
3. Welfare
4. Efficiency
5. Legal Issues
6. Fairness


Application to the Heights in Darien:


HUD Rental Assistance:

National Affordable Housing:

Typical Percentages for Household Budgets – Budgeting Money

Our own Evonne Klein is CT Commissioner of Housing:

Section 8-30g has been used in town to override local zoning rules to add affordable housing.

Section 8 Housing In Connecticut And HUD Low Income House Rentals

NY Times Magazine, Jan 27, page 53
“New York is facing an affordable-housing crisis.”
“Of the roughly 2300 apartments in…the project, about 700 will be reserved for lower-income tenants. The first 105 affordable units were recently made available at monthly rents ranging from$590 to $964: 87,000 people entered the lottery for them.

NY Times Jan. 8. Business section. “Homeowners want a Say Past Their Lot Lines” [ zoning regulations raise home prices]

Denver Has a Plan for Its Many Luxury Apartments: Housing Subsidies – WSJ

Affordable Housing Resources | Texas Health and Human Services

This posting on “food stamps” in CT. is in contrast to how assistance for housing is administered.—SNAP/Eligibility

National Affordable Housing – Section 8 Help and Resources

How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Connecticut

Connecticut Section 8 Housing |

Learn about Homeownership Vouchers (Section 8 Homeownership Vouchers)

Web Notes – / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Gary here. I just read this in preparation for our discussion. Gates and Obama have it on their suggested reading list. It is about people at the very bottom. Depressing – extremely difficult to find solutions.

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “genius” Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas. Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality–and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Moscow Nights : the Van Cliburn Story : How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War by Nigel Cliff

Gripping narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic story of a remarkable young Texan pianist, Van Cliburn, who played his way through the wall of fear built by the Cold War, won the hearts of the American and Russian people, and eased tensions between two superpowers on the brink of nuclear war.

In 1958, an unheralded twenty-three-year-old piano prodigy from Texas named Van Cliburn traveled to Moscow to compete in the First International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviets had no intention of bestowing their coveted prize on an unknown American; a Russian pianist had already been chosen to win. Yet when the gangly Texan with the shy grin took the stage and began to play, he instantly captivated an entire nation.

The Soviet people were charmed by Van Cliburn’s extraordinary talent, passion, and fresh-faced innocence, but it was his palpable love for the music that earned their devotion; for many, he played more like a Russian than their own musicians. As enraptured crowds mobbed Cliburn’s performances, pressure mounted to award him the competition prize. “Is he the best?” Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev demanded of the judges. “In that case . . . give him the prize!”

Adored by millions in the USSR, Cliburn returned to a thunderous hero’s welcome in the USA and became, for a time, an ambassador of hope for two dangerously hostile superpowers. In this thrilling, impeccably researched account, Nigel Cliff recreates the drama and tension of the Cold War era, and brings into focus the gifted musician and deeply compelling figure whose music would temporarily bridge the divide between two dangerously hostile powers.


Recommended by Gary Banks

NYC Christmas Light Walking Tour, Dec 12, 2017

Christmas Lights Walking Tour New York City
Taylor Strubinger will lead a walking tour of New York City’s world-famous Christmas trees and department store windows,  Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

“We will take the 8:36 a.m. train from Darien and the 8:39 a.m.train from Noroton Heights,” said Taylor. “We usually try to sit in the forward railroad cars.

“At Grand Central Station, we will gather at the information desk underneath the clock before starting out,” he said. “No reservations are necessary. If the weather is inclement, we will not go.”

Contact: Taylor Strubinger at or phone (203) 952-6423.
The Christmas trees include Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park.

Elephant Company : the Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke, May 9, 2018

J.H. “Billy” Williams always had an affinity for animals. So, when he responded to job offer with the East India Company to work with logging elephants his family wasn’t surprised, though worried that he had already come back from World War I in one piece, would he be so lucky with India? Not only did he find his calling with the elephants in India, Billy and his elephants became war heroes. At the onset of World War II, Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own “Hannibal Trek.” Billy Williams became a media sensation during the war, telling reporters that the elephants did more for him than he was ever able to do for them, but his story has since been forgotten. Part biography, part war story, and part wildlife adventure, Croke delivers an utterly charming narrative and an important, little-known piece of the legacy of World War II.


NYT’s Book Review: 

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, April 11, 2018

The mysterious Jay Gatsby uses his fabulous wealth to create an enchanted world fit for his former love, Daisy Buchanan, now married to Tom. Daisy, though, is a romanticised figment of his own imagination, and the extraordinary world that he creates is equally illusory. He gives lavish, legendary parties where the guests and gate-crashers enjoy free-flowing champagne and cocktails and carefree hospitality. But a more sinister reality begins to break through, as idealized romantic figures prove to have human frailties and selfish motivations, and the grandiose world of Gatsby’s creation crumbles and disillusion turns to tragedy.




From wikipedia:


From Vanity Fair:


From The New Yorker

Why “The Great Gatsby” Endures

Richard Brody

Imagine the character of James Gatz, North Dakota boy of big dreams and limited prospects, as he could have been written by a big-shouldered writer whose lifelong specialty, perhaps his most distinctive literary merit, was the depiction of natural energy yoked to ambition, put into action, and embodied in worldly accomplishment—Theodore Dreiser. His trio of novels from 1912 through 1915—“The Financier” and its sequel, “The Titan,” both about the rise, fall, and rise of the Philadelphia broker and philanderer Frank Cowperwood; and “The ‘Genius’,” about Eugene Witla’s rise from raw boy to artist and immoralist—skirt the sentimental mode of the bildungsroman to get into the tough, sinewy details of power and its mighty clashes. The very transformation of the seventeen-year-old Gatz into Gatsby, “in the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty,” would have been a big story—the mere connection of the prodigal farm boy’s mercantile impulses and precocious aesthetic visions would have filled a chapter or two. And his five years of work “in a vague personal capacity” for the crude potentate Dan Cody, for whom “he was in turn steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even jailor,” could have been a third of a big book: “He was left with his singularly appropriate education; the vague contour of Jay Gatsby had filled out to the substantiality of a man.”

The chronology of Gatsby’s subsequent backstory invites more invention: as a poor officer stationed in Louisville in 1917, Gatsby met and loved Daisy Fay. He shipped out in 1918, and, while he was away at war, Daisy met the wealthy Tom Buchanan, married him in June, 1919, and gave birth to their daughter, Pammy, in April, 1920. Meanwhile, Gatsby “did extraordinarily well in the war. He was a captain before he went to the front and following the Argonne battles he got his majority and the command of the divisional machine guns.” Fitzgerald, who had been in the Army but never saw active duty, doesn’t make much of Gatsby’s combat experiences, which would have made for another few chapters of grim and gruesome knowledge.

Gatsby, returning stateside after five months in a program at Oxford reserved for American officers, spent three years doing the things that made him fabulously wealthy—bootlegging, maybe some gambling, maybe some shady financial dealings, maybe some oil business—and doing it apparently by design, in the hope of impressing and wooing Daisy. That’s the business part, and the intersection of an entrepreneur’s wiles and a gangster’s ruthlessness—two realms of bold, precise, intrepid maneuvering—would make for another meaty third of a book. By the time Daisy Buchanan reëntered the picture, she would already have been receding from it, because it’s inconceivable that such a Dreiserian hero—a fiercely self-willed yet violently circumstance-buffeted man who employed his enormous vital energy in such a wide and tough range of activities—could win his fabulous East Egg mansion while suffering no greater scar on his soul than the rejection of a débutante whom he had “taken… under false pretenses” of being her social equal.

Of course, Dreiser was an intensely sexual but unromantic novelist, whose view of society was essentially biological; he understood the human varieties of animal energy to be the force of change—to be what makes life interesting, even beautiful. For Dreiser, the physical rendering of mental and visceral forces—even when the result is appalling—is the very definition of beauty. That’s just the opposite of Fitzgerald’s interest, which was in social life and its poetic implications—its poetic failings—and in the contrast between the imperatives of the world and the vast dreams and inner visions that reality can never rival, despite mad and desperate attempts to realize them.

Dreiser was fascinated by effort; Fitzgerald thought of money as manna that falls upon the chosen whose very sense of grace carries them breezily through life. That’s why Gatsby remains a cipher in the book. For Fitzgerald, it sufficed that Gatsby was rich, the “how” of it the work of a destiny that marked his brow and to which the entire world was compelled to pay homage and to yield. Daisy’s failure to yield to it thoroughly—and Gatsby’s own gracelessly pathetic exertion on its behalf—are the cankers that burn through the story and turn it tragic, though Fitzgerald always elevates the shattered romantic perfection of nature’s true aristocrats and heroes.

Fitzgerald’s mythologizing of the social whirl, his casting of American types as archetypes, his framing of psychology as destiny, of style as divine grace, captured its moment. He offered glamour along with compassion and consolation, a sense of sad magic along with the expansive glow of romance. It took a few decades for “The Great Gatsby” to take root because it awaited another age of postwar prosperity—albeit one that was growing a conscience, a sense of self-doubt, of introspection and guilt that a noirish 1949 adaptation of “Gatsby” shows. The novel was adapted again in 1974, when a shambling era in thrall to the natural self began to rummage through the past in search of style.

And it’s back now, in another glittering age of incommensurable inequality, where, as my colleague George Packer recently wrote, “The fetish that surrounds Google Glass or the Dow average grows ever more hysterical as the economic status of the majority of Americans remains flat.” “Gatsby” exults in the grand, lustrous brightness, in the irresistible allure and cavalier freedom of wealth, even as it reveals its reckless—or overmeditated—menace. But it doesn’t lionize the exertion itself, which, in the wrong hands, runs the risk of veering into a Randroid hymn to supposedly self-made captains of industry. “The Great Gatsby” is, above all, a novel of conspicuous consumption—not even of appetite but of the ineluctable connection between wealth and spectacle. The central story of that storied age is slender, sleek, and graceful, neither depicting effort nor bearing its marks.

Long before the novel found its enduring place in American letters, it was already a movie, one made by a character of real-life myth of whom Fitzgerald wrote in one of his final stories. “Citizen Kane” is richer in the spirit of true expansiveness and dubious grandeur, of exorbitant pomp, mad desire, and incurable need than any direct adaptation of the book has been; it wouldn’t have taken more than a few tweaks to turn the young Orson Welles, playing the young Charles Foster Kane, into the cinema’s ultimate and definitive Gatsby.

I’m impatient to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s version; his own deflective opacity was at its most effective in another elusive role, that of Frank Abagnale, Jr., in Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me if You Can.” And Pammy Buchanan would be nearly ninety-three. Perhaps Baz Luhrmann persuaded Olivia de Havilland or Joan Fontaine to make a return in an epilogue that would bring the novel briefly into the present day. I’ll report back.

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, March 14, 2018

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, and directed by Ron Howard.The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship’s cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing listen, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

The Library has a copy of the movie.

Side read: Moby Dick






One of the greatest American novels finds its perfect contemporary champion in Why Read Moby-Dick?, Nathaniel Philbrick’s enlightening and entertaining tour through Melville’s classic. As he did in his National Book Award–winning bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick brings a sailor’s eye and an adventurer’s passion to unfolding the story behind an epic American journey. He skillfully navigates Melville’s world and illuminates the book’s humor and unforgettable characters—finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. An ideal match between author and subject, Why Read Moby-Dick? will start conversations, inspire arguments, and make a powerful case that this classic tale waits to be discovered anew.


This is one of the most perilous adventure tales ever. Unbelievable – but true. I understand that business schools use it to teach crisis management. Gary








The Essex sailors knew their Latitude but not their Longitude. This is a short, interesting book on the subject.   Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that “the longitude problem” was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of Harrison’s forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
Longitude by Dava Sobel

This is pretty extraordinary. The film was made in 1916 and this was narrated in 1964 by a New Bedford historian who actually sailed on this ship, the Viola.   Two parts.  By Charles Salman’s

Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton, February 14, 2018

A revolutionary new appraisal of the Old West and the America it made

The open range cattle era lasted barely a quarter-century, but it left America irrevocably changed. These few decades following the Civil War brought America its greatest boom-and-bust cycle until the Depression, the invention of the assembly line, and the dawn of the conservation movement. It inspired legends, such as that icon of rugged individualism, the cowboy. Yet this extraordinary time and its import have remained unexamined for decades.

Cattle Kingdom reveals the truth of how the West rose and fell, and how its legacy defines us today. The tale takes us from dust-choked cattle drives to the unlikely splendors of boomtowns like Abilene, Kansas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. We venture from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakota Badlands to the Chicago stockyards. We meet a diverse array of players—from the expert cowboy Teddy Blue to the failed rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt. Knowlton shows us how they and others like them could achieve so many outsized feats: killing millions of bison in a decade, building the first opera house on the open range, driving cattle by the thousand, and much more. Cattle Kingdom is a revelatory new view of the Old West.


From Delancy Place:


Today’s selection — from Cattle Kingdom by Christopher Knowlton. In the mid-to-late 1800s, some 10 million cattle would be driven north out of Texas, the largest forced migration of animals in human history. It was the birth of the American cowboy:

“Cattle had been trailed from Texas to Missouri as early as 1842 and to California as early as 1854. … Although the maps depicting these routes suggest an orderly branch network of roads, on the ground the paths taken were often circuitous, as the drovers needed to provide water and grass for the cattle along the way. This meant following rivers and creeks and tracing the routes of old Indian and buffalo trails. The earliest endpoints were the railheads of the Union Pacific and the Missouri Pacific railroads, which were gradually extending their tentacles of track westward, now that the Civil War was over and capital was available for their expansion.

“But nothing about this trail-driving scheme turned out to be quite as easy as it looked on paper. The first challenge: a cattle drive required horses, but the freely roaming mustangs needed to be roped, corralled, and broken by a skilled broncobuster. It typically took five to six days to properly break a wild mustang. And to trail cattle north, a journey that could take three to six months, drovers needed four or five horses per cowboy.

“The second challenge: the behavior and temperament of the wild Texas Longhorn itself. … It was a challenge for cowboys to round up these wild cattle. Texas Longhorns hid in the brush during the day and did most of their foraging at night. Only briefly in the summer, when the tor­menting mosquitoes were out in force, did they spend the daylight hours in open areas, where they hoped to find a breeze. Most of the time the cowboys were compelled to ride into the thorny brush to flush the cattle out. But a cow with a young calf was prepared to gore a horse to defend her offspring, and the longhorn bull was no­toriously ornery: ‘sullen, morose, solitary, and pugnacious;’ as one cattleman put it. ‘The longer he lived, the meaner he became.’ …

“Once a herd was assembled, the profit-seeking Texan faced his most grueling challenge: the trail drive itself, since railroads throughout the South had been badly damaged during the Civil War and had never ventured far into Texas. … It required a minimum of eight men to drive a thousand head of cattle. The trail boss usually rode a few miles ahead, scouting out water holes and good places to graze the herd. The cook followed on the mess, or chuck, wagon. …

“Two cowboys were positioned at the point of the herd and two along each swing, or flank. The two most junior cowboys brought up the rear and were known as drag riders. Their job was to keep the slow and lame cattle moving along. They were constantly sub­jected to dust and spatterings of the herd’s manure; they took the full brunt of its noxious odors. … [One] staple of the diet was ‘son-of-a­-bitch stew,’ concocted from leftover cattle parts such as the heart, testicles, and tongue.

“On a good day, a trail drive could cover fourteen or fifteen miles, usually with a break at midday for lunch. The greatest threat facing the drovers was a stampede. It didn’t take much to spook the jumpy longhorns: lightning, the appearance of a wolf, the snap of a towel. …

“In the spring of 1867, some 35,000 head of cattle headed up the trails; the next year, 75,000; the year after that 350,000; and in 1871, some 600,000. The great migration of Texas Longhorns, the largest forced migration of animals in human history, had begun in earnest. In all, some ten million cattle would be driven north out of Texas, accompanied by half a million horses and some 50,000 cowboys.”

“Hiking” Greenwich Point Park, Friday, December 8, 2017 at 10.30am

We will be walking Greenwich Point Park on Friday December 8 at 10.30 am. Note that this is half an hour later than our usual start time of 10.00 am.

Greenwich Point is a beautiful peninsula surrounded on three sides by Long Island Sound. The walking trail is completely flat and does not require any special skills other than a desire to walk amid some pretty spectacular scenery. We will be doing the full circuit of about 3 miles in about 1 1⁄2 hours.

Following the walk we will have lunch at the Italian Restaurant Applausi Osteria Toscana( 199
Sound Beach Road). Last year this restaurant was a hit with our group.

Directions: Google Greenwich Point for the best directions.
Take Exit 5 off the South bound I-95. At the end of the exit ramp make a sharp right onto Rt 1 and then at the first traffic light make another right onto Sound Beach Road. Continue on Sound Beach for 1.8 miles, then at the T junction make a right on Shore Road which becomes Tods Driftway after 1.3 miles. You enter Greenwich Point Park through a somewhat obscure stone gateway and park in the first parking lot on the right where we will meet.

This park is open only for Greenwich Residents during the season, but this being off-season anyone can enter. Leashed dogs are allowed after Dec 1.

Clothing: It is usually quite windy at Greenwich Point and will probably be chilly
as well. Be appropriately clad. Walking will warm you up and it should be
invigorating and fun. All are welcome. ( Last year our group numbered 18 ).

Contact: Sunil Saksena 203-561-8601 ;

An American Family by Khizer Khan

Khan’s aspirational memoir reminds us all why Americans should welcome newcomers from all lands.”₇–was In this urgent and timeless immigrant story, we learn that Khizr Khan has been many things. He was the oldest of ten children born to farmers in Pakistan, and a curious and thoughtful boy who listened rapt as his grandfather recited Rumi beneath the moonlight. He was a university student who read the Declaration of Independence and was awestruck by what might be possible in life. He was a hopeful suitor, awkwardly but earnestly trying to win the heart of a woman far out of his league. He was a brilliant and diligent young family man who worked two jobs to save enough money to put himself through Harvard Law School. He was a loving father who, having instilled in his children the ideals that brought him and his wife to America₇the sense of shared dignity and mutual responsibility₇tragically lost his son, an Army captain killed while protecting his base camp in Iraq. He was and is a patriot, and a fierce advocate for the rights, dignities, and values enshrined in the American system.–₇Senator John McCain


Recommended by Gary Banks

Saxon Woods Hike Friday, Nov 17, 2017 10.00am

We will be hiking at Saxon Woods Park in Scarsdale, NY on Friday Nov 17 at 10 am. This is a 700 acre county park and contains an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, a huge swimming pool, soccer fields and several miles of hiking trails in the woods. We will be hiking the part of the
park that is south of the Hutchinson Parkway off exit 22. The trails here are wide, well maintained and well marked and largely devoid of treacherous roots and rocks. We will hike a loop of about 3.5 miles which will take us 2-2.5 hours. This promises to be a most enjoyable
hike and we welcome our regular hikers as well as newcomers. Spouses and significant others will find this hike fun.

After the hike, at around 12.30pm we will have lunch(optional) at the nearby Red Plum Restaurant, a highly regarded and popular place serving mouth-watering Asian dishes at reasonable luncheon prices. ( Located at 251 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck).

Head South on the Merritt Parkway into Westchester. Take Exit 22 off the Hutch and make a left turn at the top of exit ramp onto Mamaroneck Road. Proceed about 200 yards and then make a left into the parking lot of the Weinberg Nature Center, marked by an easy to miss sign.

Address: 455 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale.
Meeting Time at parking lot: 10.00am
Contact: Sunil Saksena, 203-561- 8601,

Happy Wanderers: Central Park, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Taylor Strubinger reports that the Happy Wanderers will explore Central Park on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

We will be taking the 8:36 a.m. train from Darien and the same train from Noroton Heights at 8:39 a.m. We usually board at the front end of the train.

Everyone will gather briefly at the Information Booth underneath the clock in Grand Central Station before starting off.

The wandering will begin at West 72nd Street and Central Park West. Entering the park, we will pass the Strawberry Fields and the Sheep Meadow.

We also will see the Bethesda Fountain and the Bow Bridge. Other stops will include the puppet theater, the Shakespeare garden and the Great Lawn.

Lunch will be at a chosen location on Amsterdam Avenue or Columbus Avenue.

For questions, text, phone or email Taylor Strubinger (203) 952-6423,

Hiking Devil’s Den Preserve Friday, Oct 13, 2017 10:00am

Devil’s Den Hike Postponed to Friday, October 13, at 10 a.m.
Rain is expected tonight.
Even though tomorrow may be a clear day, the trails at Devil’s Den will still be wet and slippery.
Therefore, the hike is postponed to Friday, October 13, which will be beautiful and sunny. A perfect fall day for hiking.
For questions, contact Sunil Saksena (293) 561-8601,

We will be hiking the trails at Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston on Thursday, October 12, with a 10 am start. This is the largest nature preserve in SW Connecticut and extremely popular with hikers. Owned by the Nature Conservancy, its has 1700 acres of woodlands, wetlands, ponds and streams, and 20 miles of picturesque trails. It is home to 145 species of birds, 20 species of mammals, and over 400 varieties of trees and wildflowers.

We will be hiking a loop of about 3.5 miles.This trail has a moderate level of difficulty in that there are places of gradual uphill, but these are usually followed by long stretches of flat trail.  You do need sturdy shoes as the trail is rocky in places.

The hike will last about 2-2 ½ hours and will give us ample opportunity to bathe in the forest air.  I mention this because the Japanese believe hiking is good for one’s health, not just because of the exercise involved, but also because it gives one the opportunity to breathe the forest air which is swirling with healthful compounds released by the trees.

After the hike, at about 12.30pm,we will have lunch at a nearby restaurant, Wiremill Saloon and Barbeque, which is a local favorite and a short drive away.  It is located at 12 Old Mill Road,

A usual, we welcome spouses and significant others on our hikes.

Take Exit 42 off the Merritt Parkway and at the bottom of exit ramp make a right turn onto Route 57 North towards Weston. After 3.8 miles, at the flashing light bear right to follow CT-53 for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Godfrey Road West and drive half a mile. Make right on to Pent Road which ends in the parking lot for Devil’s Den.

On Google Maps use this destination address : 33 Pent Road, Weston

Contact : Sunil Saksena 203-561-8601 (cell)

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