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Freeflowing

An Intellectual retreat on the Housatonic



On sabbatical from New York Law School, Nadine Strossen finds her place to write, in the light-filled living area with a view of the Housatonic River flowing outside. Leading to the master bedroom, a long row of bookcases faces a set of sliding glass patio doors. Part of Noam’s vast collection of owl figurines also occupy the shelves.

Photograghs by John Kane & Wendy Carlson

A few handmade signs caution visitors to drive slowly down the steep, winding driveway to Nadine Strossen and Eli Noam’s island house on the Housatonic River in New Milford. Leading over a one-lane, steel-girder bridge, the road ends at Spruce Island, their wooded spit of land that divides the river. Just above the cluster of spruce trees, a stream of cars whizzes endlessly on Route 7, but all that can be heard below is the swoosh and swirl of rushing water that flows past the front steps.

The house, in fact, is so isolated that Strossen and Noam feel lucky to have stumbled upon it when it was up for sale in 2008. The couple spend most of their free time writing and researching, so they were looking for a tranquil place near the water and close to an airport where Noam could land his Cessna 182.

So in the dead of winter, in the midst of a snowstorm, a realtor showed them this one-of-a-kind, 3,000-square-foot contemporary perched on concrete pillars. The realtor promptly got his car stuck in the driveway and had to have it towed the following day, which might have been a cautionary tale for Strossen and Noam. But by the following June, they had moved in and have never regretted it. 

The house, with its “industrially aggressive appearance,” didn’t have a lot of curb appeal, says Strossen, but inside the floor plan was open and modern. Floor-to-ceiling windows in both the master bedroom and extensive living room allow the couple to watch the ebb and flow of the river year-round. The quiet location proved to be a perfect retreat for the pair of academic authors. The huge double desk they share in their study was actually the dinner table the couple “inherited” from violinist Itzhak Perlman, whose Putnam County home they previously inhabited. 

In a way, the river home has become much like a mini–think tank for the two intellectual movers and shakers. Strossen was the first woman and youngest person to serve as president of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). During her tenure, from 1991 to 2008, she led the organization, advocating on a number of polarizing issues, including Internet free speech, women’s reproductive rights, and reforming the racially-biased criminal justice system.

After retiring as president in 2008, Strossen continued teaching law at New York Law School, where she has been a professor since 1988. In December, she began a six-month sabbatical from teaching to work on her second book, Hate: How to Combat It Through Free Speech and No Censorship, and to spend time with Noam, a professor of finance and economics at the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Noam is author of more than 30 books.

Strossen grew up in rural Minnesota, which is why she loves being close to the water and mountains in Litchfield County. Noam was born in Jerusalem, and first came to the United States as an exchange student. The two met while they were studying at Harvard earning advanced degrees. Noam went on to teach at Columbia, where he founded and currently leads the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, which focuses on strategy, management, and policy issues in telecommunications, computing, and electronic mass media.

Strossen’s family background greatly influenced her to pursue a career in civil liberties. Her father was a Holocaust survivor, and her grandfather was arrested for violating conscription service during World War I after immigrating to the U.S. from Croatia. “His sentence for being a conscientious objector was to be forced to stand against the courthouse with his hands against the wall so that passers-by could spit on him,” Strossen says.

As ACLU president, she was especially proud of her defense against Internet censorship. “I’m very proud that we won,” she says, referring to ACLU vs. Reno in 1997, the first major Supreme Court ruling on the Internet regulation. “All nine Justices of the Supreme Court struck down the anti-indecency provisions of the Communications Decency Act because they violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.”

Speaking of the current usage of social media, Strossen—who herself eschews social media—says: “The discipline imposed by Twitter is positive. We should be able to condense even complex ideas in a brief phrase that is simple but not simplistic.” 

So, as a civil libertarian, what message would she Tweet? Simply this: “We need to galvanize people to cherish their personal freedom and to work for it.” 

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April 2017

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

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SingOut! CT, Connecticut's Premier Glee Group for Young Voices, returns for a Spring Extravaganza to welcome the beauty of the season. Led by Artistic Director, Alecia Evans, talented boys...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington , CT  06793
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Website »

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Music on the Hill presents 12 pro voices performing music of Bach, Buxtehude, Monteverdi, and Charpentier in a celebration of Easter gone Baroque. Artistic director Ellen...

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; students, free.

Where:
Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

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Regarded as one of the key figures of 19th century literary realism, Henry James’s work is valued for his psychological and moral realism, his masterful creation of character, and his assured...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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WHAT: "End of the Rainbow," a play with music by Peter Quilter. It's December 1968 and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback...again. In a London hotel room, with both her new...

Cost: $30-$55

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave
Norwalk, CT  06851
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Sponsor: Music Theatre of Connecticut
Telephone: 203-454-3883
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06059
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

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“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Cameron Bove, Monday Scholars is a weekly series that meets in the library’s Jamie Gagarin Community Room. The series combines the best of online learning with the best of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

The State of Connecticut, in conjunction with the Oliver Wolcott Library, will present this free, two-hour lecture presentation. No insurance sales will take place. Anyone who is between 40 and 65...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Connecting with Balance is a 12 week program focusing on using movement and dance to maintain and improve dynamic balance. Participants will work with Pilobolus Teaching Artists on creating...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

 Chef John Ferrucci, as seen on “Celebrity Chef Show” cable channel 5 returns to teach you some professional secrets.  This course will teach cooking techniques, sanitation and menu...

Cost: $140.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Carvel®… America’s Freshest Ice Cream® is kicking off ice cream season by celebrating their annual Free Cone Day next Thursday, April 27, from 3-8 p.m. EST Guests who visit...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carvel Nationwide
, CT


Sponsor: Carvel®
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of American’s Greatest Political Family presents a provocative, thoroughly modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Singer and actress Deborah Anne Goss takes us on a tour of the Victorian Era with song & story. Hear the era illuminated with poignant ballads, stirring anthems, and humorous ditties sung in...

Cost: $5.00 donation at door

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Celebrate spring and opening day at Hollister House Garden. The early garden is gentle with only a hint of the exuberance to come later in the season. Come join us as we welcome a new season in...

Cost: $5

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Wastington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Enjoy a light lunch, music and dancing.  This month: music by “Survivor Swing Band”.    Pre-registration is required.

Cost: $7.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Twenty Two North” Exhibit by Rick Schatzberg Opens April 15th at Gunn Memorial Stairwell Gallery CONTACT: Sharon Morrissey/Gunn Memorial Library gunnstaff@biblio.org From the...

Cost: No Charge

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Website »

More information

Celebrate spring and opening day at Hollister House Garden. The early garden is gentle with only a hint of the exuberance to come later in the season. Come join us as we welcome a new season in...

Cost: $5

Where:
Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Hollister House Garden
Telephone: 860-868-2200
Contact Name: Pamela Moffett
Website »

More information

19th Annual Harmony for Hunger Concert Second Congregational Church, Winsted   The Music Committee of the Second Congregational Church of Winsted, 800 Main Street, Winsted is hosting...

Cost: $10 Adults, $5 Children, $20 Family

Where:
Second Congregational Church
800 Main Street
Winsted, CT  06098
View map »


Sponsor: Second Congregational Church
Telephone: 860-379-4766
Contact Name: Carol Tomassetti
Website »

More information

The annual gala hosted by nonprofit Ability Beyond raises funds to support programs for those with disabilities in Connecticut and New York. The black-tie evening will feature both...

Cost: $250

Where:
The Amber Room Colonnade
1 Stacey Road
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Ability Beyond
Telephone: 203-826-3019
Contact Name: Meaghan Gilmore
Website »

More information

Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They help us form...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: Exploring the Litchfield Female Academy, on view April 22 through November 27, 2017...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

More information

Coming to the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre... In this unique adaptation of the beloved musical from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Getting to Know” series, this delightful version...

Cost: $15.50.

Where:
Nancy Marine Studio Theatre - Warner Theatre
82 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
View map »


Sponsor: Lufkin Family Foundation
Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
Website »

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