I'm sad to write that this will be my last column for Westport Patch. My family and I are moving back to the West Coast – Seattle, specifically. And not surprisingly, Westport Patch prefers that its local columnist live, well, a little bit closer than 2,900 miles away.
I'm not kidding when I say that this has been one of the best jobs I've ever had – and I've had quite a few. It rarely felt like work. My accommodating editor let me wax on each week in this column about whatever happened to be on my mind – everything from my concerns about standardized testing to why the nosy checkers at Trader Joe's and CVS really bug me sometimes. She even indulged me when I wanted to write my column on something as silly as my (all-consuming) battle with poison ivy.
And then there are were the restaurant reviews. I got paid to lose myself in that sublime finnochiana salami sandwich at Le Farm. I was assigned, required, to dine at Thali, Bonda and Manolo – my favorite restaurants in town. Eating those scrumptious curries and pork chops and an unforgettable truffle polenta was, well, that week's work. Then there were the times I surveyed all the best cupcakes and ice cream shops in town.
My friends often asked me, "You get paid for this?" Yes, it's been hard to believe.
It wasn't all fun and games, of course. There were all the news events I was sent out to cover. I browsed through the art galleries and sampled the most incredible fromage D'Affinoise for an article on Art by Local. I interviewed a woman who designs and builds brilliant organic back yard gardens. (And then I went home with four eggs from her free-range, organic hens.) I practiced Vinyasa and partook in fresh beet juice while covering the opening of Kaia Yoga. The most unforgettable experience has to be spending a deliciously relaxing hour floating in a salt-water tank for a story on the iFloat spa. It's been a tough job, but someone had to do it.
But the best part about working for Patch is that I discovered so much about Westport I never knew – and probably never would have. It pushed me to go to the library to watch a documentary about South Africa with never-before-seen RFK footage. Patch led me to the Taste of Westport (you should go next year) and to the showing of "The Vagina Monologues" (ditto) at the Playhouse. I ventured over to a T.A.I.L.S. pet adoption event-- and ended up bringing home a cat, much to my husband's chagrin.
There's so much more going on in Westport than I ever knew. This town is richer, deeper and more interesting than I realized. Patch has been a means for me to get more involved in our community – if even merely as a reporter who was there to cover a story. And I'm thankful for that.
It's been a great job, one I'm sad to leave.
So long, Westport Patch. It's been a privilege.