The Friday Question: What’s your first memory of Norwalk?

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NancyOnNorwalk readers are smart, interesting, and civically engaged.

So we’re launching “The Friday Question”, a new feature focused on you.  We’ll ask a question and you can sound off for the next 24 hours.

Today’s question:

What’s your first memory of Norwalk?


Rayj June 29, 2018 at 6:03 am

Holding my brothers hand on my left, sisters hand on my right, walking over the temporary bridge over the Norwalk river on cross street, looking down through the slats at the water rushing below, and being scared as heck!

Bob Welsh June 29, 2018 at 6:12 am

In the spring of 1998 I was a senior in college, in Manhattan. A friend worked for a Norwalk company that offered bonuses to employees who referred people. He invited me to take Metro-North to Darien for a visit. My first memory of Norwalk is touring the company as my friend touted it. My second, much clearer memory is lunch at Bobby V’s. I had an enormous and delicious chicken fajita and my friend expensed it. It’s funny what makes an impression! In October of that year I moved to Norwalk for my first post-college job, my friend got the referral bonus, and I began life in the “real world”. My first question: “What’s a post road?”

Dede Farnsworth June 29, 2018 at 7:05 am

My parents moved to Norwalk about 45 years ago when I was about to go to college. At that time Washington Street was a burned out section of dilapidated buildings, street walkers, and ne’er do well’s hanging around on the street corners . However Harborview was a gorgeous oasis of friendly neighbors and beautiful water views , protected by the causeway and salt marshes . There was even open access to the Manresa power plant which was a sanctuary for Osprey and provided gorgeous views of the sound .

Steve Mann June 29, 2018 at 7:36 am

My wife and I had just sold our co-op in NY,and were looking to buy our first “home”. After looking at any homes we could afford the taxes on, north of the city, we were somewhere near Canada. My wife said, “have you ever thought of living in Connecticut?”. Norwalk looked like the affordable option, and we bought the third house we saw, a lovely ranch on a cul-de-sac in Silvermine. The friends we made there over the next ten years are our lifetme family of friends today. Being from Brooklyn, my first impression of Norwalk was that it was just the right amount of city, and country.

Susan Wallerstein June 29, 2018 at 8:12 am

In 1956 my parents moved to CT from Seattle and rented a house for six months on St. John St. Memories of I-95 construction, scary walk to Roger Ludlow School under RR and around the cemetery, recent arrivals from Hungary, talk about the big flood…moved to another town in 1957 returning in 1971 (still talking about the flood, school closed, I-95 traffic).

John Levin June 29, 2018 at 8:36 am

First memory? It’s all a fog . . . so long ago. My girlfriend/fiancee and I were house shopping during winter 1990/1991. We looked at a bunch of suburban towns outside New York City where we lived. We eventually found a neat old house in Norwalk, and I remembered college friends telling me 10 years earlier that Norwalk was a place to buy drugs. After we closed on the house, we kept getting lost trying to find our way to it. We had no furniture (just a clock we had bought 3 months earlier on a ski trip in the Dolomites!!) and Diane invited her friends from Brooklyn to come and stay with us the first weekend after we moved in. There were no beds! We all slept on the floor.

We knew nothing about Norwalk. Ganga was great Indian food on Wall St. Sunrise Pizza was awesome. The town didn’t really seem to make much sense overall – but I noticed that they (Norwalk voters) kept electing the same guy as Mayor every two years, and that continued for over a decade.

We’ve only been here for 27 years, so I’m still reserving judgement.

V June 29, 2018 at 8:41 am

First day of school on the bus: Mom sends me off on my way to Cranbury elementary school and naturally I’m scared of the unknown – certainly we’ve all been there. Bus driver asks me “what the hell you looking at boy?”

Susan G. Weinberger June 29, 2018 at 8:52 am

Moving east after my husband, Norman spent a mandatory two years in the Medical Corps in Great Falls, Montana. Norwalk would be our new home – 1971. With two young kids in the back seat, we drove up East Avenue to the Green and the Gazebo. I fell in love. Been here ever since. I love Norwalk.

Sherelle Harris June 29, 2018 at 10:24 am

I actually have two. Because I was always getting lost initially–it seemed Norwalk streets ran in circles–I remember thinking that no one better commit a crime and try to make a quick getaway out of town without knowing the roads. LoL

My absolute fondest memory is the Washington Street area. That was back in the late 90s before it became Restaurant Row and before I’d seen the documentary “Survival of a Small City” and realized how many people had been displaced in the making of the area. Washington Street made me fall in love with Norwalk. That little strip reminded me of the quaint and hidden areas in New York City that I discovered during my journeys. Washington Street had a variety of shops then from a nice shoe store, a Dutch shop, and a Mexican restaurant which I didn’t think was all that great, but I liked the diversity. There was also the SoNo Switch Tower, and an upscale clothing store that also had an upscale home goods store across the street about a block down. There was Shacojazz, an African shop, right next to Pellegrini jewelry shop, and there was Aveda, a skin and hair salon as well as an African American hair salon. Of course there’s Beadworks and there’s Donovan’s, the oldest restaurant in the city, and with Washington Street being no more than a block away from Vet’s Park and the Long Island Sound was an absolute deal clincher for me! Oh, how I loved walking that area back then.

PIBerman June 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Meeting young attorney Larry Cafero. Decades ago having been relocated in NYC from the other side of the world I chanced a drive to Norwalk, found a real estate broker who had a house coming on the market. Walked around it without going inside. Asked for a local attorney. She recommended Larry Cafero and the sale was all done that day. Without a doubt Cafero is Norwalk’s foremost “public servant”. He said Norwalk was a great City. Which is really was back then. With a great small business coimmunity truly devoted to our City. Now its different. The exodus is underway as longtime residents can’t afford to live here any more.

Claire Schoen June 29, 2018 at 12:59 pm

I have two distinct memories. The first night we slept in our first-ever house, me 8 months pregnant, the silence was deafening. We’d moved from NYC and I couldn’t believe how loud the quiet was. Crickets can make alot of noise. NOw I love it…
Second was when our next door neighbor came over while we were painting (painted the whole damn house before the baby came) and warned us not to park at the back of the East Norwalk train station (the lot was unpaved, free parking, was there even a station at the time?) – because there had been a series of car thefts by kids taking joyrides. Those neighbors are still great friends, despite several moves in the meantime.
That was more than 30 years ago. Wow. Time flies!

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