Following a younger family around town
Dad Ryan with Dylan, Brown, Rebekah, and mom Jan, at home.
Photo by Ron Triani
“My grandchildren will have to carry my body out,” says Jan Triani, regarding her attachment to her East Farm Lane house. “I’m not leaving Ridgefield.” Triani and husband Ryan Faulkingham bought their forever home after renting here for three years. Before that, the couple lived in Westport, where Faulkingham works in investments. “My parents told us to town shop,” says Triani, “and every time we came up here, I had great conversations with people. My friend in Darien kept saying, ‘You are so Ridgefield.’” The couple has three children, Ryan, eight, who they call “Brown”; Rebekah, six; and Dylan, three.
Triani’s passion for the plentitude town offers her young family is infectious. “We do everything in town,” explains Triani. “We love the sense of community—the Halloween walk, Holiday Stroll, and tree lighting. It’s too good to be true.” Favorite restaurants include Eddie’s Pizza, where they eat as a family once a week, Dimitri’s, 850 Degrees Wood Fired Restaurant, or Luc’s Café and Luna Rossa without kids.
Ballard Park playground especially during summer CHIRP concerts and the Rec Center, where they also swim in colder months, are their go-to town parks. They also belong to Martin Park, where they enjoy the beach and lake but would love to see an outdoor town pool. That and a bicycle path to connect the town are two improvements they’d like.
The couple met at Lehigh University, where Ryan played football and Jan soccer—before retiring their cleats to pursue other interests. Exercise, however, continues to be an integral part of the couple’s lives. Triani, who has completed eight marathons, runs most Saturdays with the Ridgefield Running Co.
“Running doesn’t age discriminate,” says Triani. “I’ve run with 23-year-old medical students and 55-year-old lawyers.” Through the Ridgefield Bicycle Sports Club, Triani bonded with a wide variety of fellow athletes and motivators including Mike and Melissa Rodgers, a popular yoga instructor; Meagan Searfoss, who owns Ridgefield Running Co., and Jacqui and Sean Dowd of the Ridgefield Bicycle Co.
In addition to the many friends in the sports community, they connect with fellow parents at Ridgefield Montessori School. Erin Ray at Adam Broderick Salon cuts all five family members’ hair. Says Ray, “They let the kids be who they are. They are really laid back, but their kids respect them.”
Faulkingham cites Books on the Common and Ridgefield Hardware as favorite shopping destinations. Triani praises designer Christy Kinsman, who has helped with ongoing house projects, including helping Triani choose the soothing paint colors in throughout much of the house. Triani loves Kinsman’s new store The Angel Cooperative.
Architect Merrill Brown, who built the house for the former owner in 1993 and has completed several updates for the family, notes that they are “very authentic—down to earth, good people.”
Triani sells orthopedic implants amd recently left her coporate job to start a consulting business. She rents space at Work the Ridge on Catoonah Street. “It’s a good space and concept. It’s only going to get better as people discover its potential to be a community resource.” The couple relies on Cultural Care Au Pair for childcare.
When asked if Triani might translate her enthusiasm for the town into a political career, she demures, but acknowledges that her phone number should be handed out for “town shoppers” looking for a great forever home.