During the April 28 ReImagine Greenwich committee meeting there was talk about encouraging people to park off Greenwich Avenue in the 12-hour lots and distributing maps of parking lots to restaurants and merchants.
The 12 hour lots consistently have empty spaces and Parking Services pilot programs for merchant and resident parking permits still have room for applications.
DPW deputy commissioner Jim Michel said his department was already working on “wayfinding signage” for Greenwich Avenue to direct people to parking lots and other public spaces. He said he expected the to ready by June or July.
The group discussed hanging banners featuring “public service announcements” from the brackets.
Selectwoman Lauren Rabin said the cost of removing the banner brackets from Greenwich Ave lamp posts would prevent them from being put back up.
“Think Greenwich were not given full permission even at the time and somebody made a lot of money. The money from the advertisements theoretically should be used to take (the brackets) down,” said committee member Mary Hull, who is the longtime director of Greenwich Green & Clean, the group who originally raised the funds for the lamp posts. They also create and hang seasonal baskets of flowers and greenery from brackets attached to the lamp posts.
“Think Greenwich is being reconstituted as Greenwich Forward in the mission to help fund initiatives that the ReImagine committee comes up with,” Rabin said. “The money that was raised from Think Greenwich and the banner program was used to promote Greenwich as a destination when people weren’t coming here to buy real estate. That doesn’t exist any more.”
“We’re not going to do sponsored banners. It’s not going to be a way to raise money for ReImagine Greenwich activities, but as a way to create vibrancy with imagery on the actual banners,” Rabin continued, adding that sponsors’ names cannot go on the banners because that makes them “advertisements,” which aren’t allowed per town ordinance.
Instead Rabin said it might be possible to provide a sponsorship sticker to participating merchants to put on their storefronts.
“People didn’t like the concept of commercialization of our theoretical little town,” Hull said of the Think Greenwich banners. “Our organization got innumerable complaints asking why can’t we keep the natural flowers? We had the suggestion that the (American) flags go on the buildings, because the lamp posts are very short.”
Hull said the Think Greenwich banners were left up long after the events they advertised.
“A lot of people feel they’re not necessary. They’re commercial,” she added.
Sara Selbert Savov said she understood that having all three – banners, flower baskets and American flags – hanging from the short lamp posts was too much.
“We’re trying to do kumbaya with this other group,” she said, referring to the Greenwich Community Projects Fund who propose to install American flags on the lamp posts from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
According to the Greenwich Community Projects website, the “Stars & Stripes initiative” would bring a historic and patriotic flair to Greenwich Avenue.
The May 13 Board of Selectmen meeting agenda includes an update from Greenwich Community Projects.
Free Music Fridays
Selbert Savov suggested banners might be used for public service announcements, including to promote “Free Music Fridays” which would run 14 Fridays, June to September, in Greenwich Commons from 12:30 to 1:30pm.
She said the music would bring people downtown to support merchants and restaurants, and that back in the 80s, Parks & Rec has successfully hosted a “Music at Noon” series.
“There is enough power (in Greenwich Common) for some local talent within the Fairfield County area and the free music would be sponsored,” she said.
She said ReImagine would book talent, coordinate, and design A-frame signs, and Greenwich Forward would raise funds.
“Sponsors get to have a table (in Greenwich Common),” she continued. “Talent will be compensated for playing.”
“Everything goes through the town,” Selbert Savov said. “It is a definite go. We’ll start in June and Sept 3 will be the last performance. That should be the big one; it is the day before the Greenwich Town Party. We can do 2 hours at Greenwich Common that day.”
Meanwhile Greenwich Ave continues as a destination for diners, with new restaurants opening.
CFCF has opened a second location next to Diane’s Books on Grigg Street.
Aux Delices has quietly opened a sister restaurant in the space at 360 Greenwich Avenue, next to the Apple Store. The Daily Cafe is an all-day cafe and sandwich shop offering grab-and-go meals made from the wholesome, from-scratch ingredients. The menu features coffee drinks, breakfast, pastries, salads, sandwiches and Focaccia. Side include Cheesey Mac, Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa, eggplant, Gazpacho and Chicken Pot Pie.
Over in Glenville, the owner of Polpo, Ron Rosa, plans to open The Lion, an American bistro this month in the space formerly occupied by Centro.