375 Years of Community: Discover the Many Sides of Greenwich

To say there is one Greenwich would be a mistake. Ask any one of Greenwich’s residents where they live and you will likely hear many different answers. Cos Cob, Riverside, Old Greenwich, North Mianus, the Back Country, Glenville, Banksville, Downtown, Belle Haven, and Byram are all possible answers.

Each neighborhood is its own hamlet and has its own personality. According to one life long resident, “No matter where I have lived in Greenwich in last 50 years, I have had neighbors that are nice, that are a part of my life and that of my family. I’m not saying everyone in Greenwich is nice, but in my experience, the community in Greenwich is strong and supportive and it always has been.”

Located just 40 minutes from New York, this town is a unique nexus of nearby international transportation hubs, Connecticut charm, and small town community pride.

Greenwich is one of those rare communities that takes pride in its people, schools, and first responders (the police chief is also an active community volunteer and scouting leader), and in its local stores as well. In the heart of Greenwich you will not find a big book store or a toy store, but the local favorites, 25 year old Diane’s Books and not far from there, Smart Kids toy store. Two small, caring places that still greet you with a smile and brilliant suggestions born from experience. And the gift wrapping is free.

One street over, you will find McArdle’s, a 105-year-old business at 48 Arch Street that prides itself on “wonderful clientele” and “excellent customer service.”

“We try to provide excellent customer service consistently,” fourth-generation owner James McArdle said. “That’s something we emphasize over and over again.”

These community establishments are found in Downtown Greenwich along with what has become not just a local legend, but a national legend based on Manero’s, now known as Prime Meats, but with the same addictive onion rings and surprisingly delicious Gorgonzola salad Greenwich  has loved for generations.

There is no shortage of fresh seafood either. Right next to Prime Meats is local fish market, Bon Ton. Near Belle Haven you will find the Lobster Bin and in Cos Cob, Fjord Fisheries (home to one of the most addictive seafood spreads ever).

Cos Cob is a world unto itself really and there you will find the local Greenwich bank that serves up cookies, children’s savings accounts and very local knowledge.

In Old Greenwich be sure to visit Upper Crust Bagels or The Beach House Cafe run by local restaurateur, Teresa Bracchitta on your way to visit one of the most beautiful parks in Connecticut (at least we think so) at Tod’s Point.

In Belle Haven at Christmas you may catch a beautiful, privately created and funded light show celebrating the season; in Banksville one of the most remarkable private collections of antique cars curated by the daughter of the late Malcolm S. Pray – open to inspire young people to the hard work and joys of entrepreneurship.

Filled with national figures, former and current Fortune 500 CEOs, actors, politicians, diplomats, and scholars, Greenwich offers a wealth of intellectual capital yet is still a surprisingly small town.

Greenwich boasts a world class museum, incredible libraries, low taxes, and a form of government that is representative of the way New England used to govern.

Every two years Greenwich residents elect fellow citizens to serve in the Representative Town Meeting. Today, 230 residents serve. In the tradition of early town meetings, any citizen may attend, is urged to attend, and may request an opportunity to speak.

Greenwich is home to over 35 houses of worship, natural preserves and parks, and outstanding public and private schools.

Whether at local facilities or town-sponsored events, Greenwich is great when it comes to athletic opportunities.

Greenwich Parks and Recreation has numerous opportunities for children and young adults to enjoy athletics around town. Whether its learning to skate at the Greenwich Skate park at Roger Sherman Park or unwinding at a local playground, there are ways for children of all ages to keep busy.

If you’re in the mood for a little competition, the Town of Greenwich has you covered, as residents of Greenwich can partake in the town ice skating competition at the Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink, the town-wide men’s and women’s golf tournament at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Course and the town-wide tennis men’s and women’s tournament held at Binney Park, Byram Park and Pemberwick Park.

Getting a team together is always fun, and Greenwich makes it fun to compete with your friends or co-workers, as a co-ed volleyball league, adult softball league and men’s basketball league are wildly popular.

In addition, the Town of Greenwich has new programs that are exciting the community. Fall, spring and summer pickleball leagues fill up quickly, as does its platform tennis leagues and tennis clinics.

During the summer months, baseball is key throughout Greenwich. The Greenwich American Legion baseball program has been lighting up the scoreboard for several seasons. The senior and junior Cannons have made perennial appearances in the state tournaments. In addition, Greenwich legion has a newly-formed prep division that is making waves.

The Town of Greenwich has its Babe Ruth League that has been the talk of the town, as high quality games are being played consistently. During the All-Star season, close contests have been a staple and a town championship trophy is presented each season.

If running is your thing, the Greenwich Track Club has been getting the town on its feet since 2007. Both youth from kindergarten to 12th grade, as well as adults are able to attend training sessions to improve their fitness.

Throughout Greenwich, it’s dominance in the water can be seen shining brightly.

Both the YMCA of Greenwich and the Greenwich YWCA have some outstanding talent when it comes to dominance in the water. Both the YMCA Marlins and the YWCA Dolphins have swimmers that are competing in the Olympics Trials in 2016 and have other top swimmers that took home the gold at the Junior National level.

For sailing, the Riverside Yacht Club, Indian Harbor and Belle Haven Club came up big this summer in the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound’s Optimist Championship. The Greenwich Crew team, based out of Greenwich Water Club, fared well competing in the National championships that took place this year in Florida.

In the Fairfield County Swim League during the summer, Rocky Point Club won the summer county championship for the fourth year in a row. A plethora of teams from Greenwich finished in the top 15, as Riverside Yacht Club took fifth, Greenwich Country Club took seventh and Innis Arden Golf Club finished 11th.

During the winter season, the Greenwich Blues Ice Hockey Association, established in 1973, has been at the top of its game for quite awhile. Also on the ice, the Windy Hill Skating Club has been helping the Skyliners Synchronized Ice Skating Team reach great heights.

Greenwich’s libraries are definitely worth visiting no matter what your interest.

In total, Greenwich Libraries maintain a circulation of about 1.5 million, the highest reported in Connecticut.

The Main Greenwich Library is the hub for information resource for the town. The Library holds public programs, book discussions, children’s activities year round, and art exhibits.

Patrons can learn in the Technology Training Center, attend music events, or catch a movie every Friday at the Friends Friday Films.

The Byram Shupert Branch Library, located in the heart of Byram, has been operating since 1931 and was named for John Shubert, the famed theater owner and operator, was married to Kerrtu, one of the prime advocates of the Library’s construction.

The Cos Cob Branch is a fairytale-like one-level building split into a children’s and adult section, Be careful to leave extra time if you visit … children will want to stay for a while. 

The Perrot Memorial Library, founded in 1904, is a great place for catching up on reading and one of Old Greenwich’s historical landmarks. The interior was built to resemble a village green, and a statue of Peter Pan overlooks the garden.

There’s more to the “Green” in Greenwich than lush landscapes and sports fields…Greenwich is home to sustainable initiatives and eco-friendly resources.

Located in Greenwich and Old Greenwich, the local Farmer’s Markets are very active and offer everything from 23 varieties of heirloom tomatoes (plus free insight from the experts themselves if you ask nicely), to homemade organic petfood, succulents, and fresh herbs.

For some, Green & Tonic, located downtown, is the best thing that’s happened to Greenwich in years. They offer a variety of unique, sustainable plant-based food & drinks.

Kaia Café, an extension of the acclaimed Kaia Yoga studio, offers plant-based sustenance as well – they source from local farms and producers .

Of course the Audubon is a great resource for all things nature. It was the National Audubon Society’s first environmental education center in the United States. They host the annual Sustainable Food & Farm Expo, which simulates a Comic Con-level of excitement for the ecologically inclined.

Beautifying and cleaning up Greenwich for the past 30 years, volunteer organization: Green & Clean.

Greenwich is a remarkable place to call home.

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