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Face Value

Rediscovering local community in the digital age



Facebook can offer connections more meaningful than simply sharing a photo of your Cobb salad lunch.

I quit Facebook completely about six months ago. It didn’t happen all at once. First, I blocked anyone whose political views were, well, wrong. Then I blocked all the people who posted pictures of themselves in warm weather. And finally, I blocked over-sharers, humble-braggers, whiners, ex-girlfriends, and Russian hackers. 

Pretty soon I was left with one sibling and four work colleagues who regularly shared articles I had already read. My echo chamber complete, I came to the conclusion that I was better off doing almost anything other than mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed. So I deleted the app from my phone, turned off all notifications, and removed the bookmark from my browser. 

And then the power went out in Ridgefield. 

There is one thing that Facebook does better than any other communications medium. “It tells you instantly what’s on people’s minds,” says State Rep. John Frey, as we talked about the role of Facebook in local communities. And when you’re sitting alone in the dark, eagerly awaiting an update from Eversource, there’s nothing like the digital glow of Facebook posts from fellow Ridgefielders to warm your heart with commiseration—and information. 

Aside from being our state representative for the 111th district, Frey is also the administrator of the very active Ridgefield, CT, Facebook page. He started the page eight years ago and has grown it into an online community of nearly 11,000 members. And it is the one corner of Facebook I find I cannot live without. “It was a way to keep a more instant pulse on what the community is thinking,” Frey told me. “It’s a way for people to communicate and share ideas.”

And share they do. 

Sure, the site includes plenty of thinly veiled promotions and petty complaints. And it indulges in head-scratching social-media speak, like ISO (in search of) and TIA (which Google first told me was a “transient ischemic attack,” or mini-stroke, but Urban Dictionary later clarified as “thanks in advance”).

But it also provides a powerful forum for the community to express important views. For example, when Ridgefield Schools Superintendent Karen Baldwin sent a letter to the community that borrowed heavily from one of her fellow superintendents, it sparked an immediate and impassioned online conversation about plagiarism, the school budget, and the competency of Ridgefield’s educational leadership—the kind of real-time conversation that shapes a community’s thinking and occasionally leads to actual change. 

“It gets political sometimes,” says Frey, who monitors the site for inappropriate posts with the help of a few volunteers. “We don’t allow people to promote a candidate or anything like that. But if they’re commenting on a legitimate topic of the day—that’s democracy.” 

Frey’s Facebook page isn’t the only place to connect with the Ridgefield community, of course. There is a perky little site called Hello Ridgefield! which describes itself as “a group that likes to focus on the fun in life and shine a spotlight on local businesses in our surrounding areas.” It’s run by an outfit called Hello Ridgefield Social Media Consulting, and I’ve always assumed it was an advertising vehicle for local businesses. But when I reached out to the administrator for comment, she declined. 

And then there is the Ridgefield Open Tag Sale page, a site with a language all its own, where I recently found enterprising Ridgefielders hawking everything from breast pumps to eggs from a backyard henhouse (is that even legal?). Someone was also trying to unload a used bottle of flea-and-tick spray and a lightly used pillow. 

In many ways, Facebook is a destructive force. It can drive people apart just as quickly as it brings them together. The company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg admits as much. “There are questions about whether we can make a global community that works for everyone, and whether the path ahead is to connect more or reverse course,” he wrote in a recent open letter that addressed the potential for the platform to be coopted and abused.

Still, at the local level, Facebook and other digital media are fostering an important community conversation. There are certainly cases in which these discussions become unproductive or even hurtful, hijacked by provocateurs, emboldened by anonymity, and intent on sowing discord.  

But for the most part, these digital forums accurately reflect the community they represent. They help us find our lost dogs. They connect doctors with patients, students with tutors, and leaky pipes with plumbers. And they help us celebrate our victories, and mourn our losses, together.

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July 2018

Have tea with a former first lady! Join the Norwalk Historical Society on Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 2:00pm for a Summer Tea with Abigail Adams at the Townhouse at Mill Hill Historic Park....

Cost: $40 - $45

Where:
Mill Hill Historic Park - Town House
2 East Wall St.
Handicapped parking on site only. All others follow signs to overflow parking across the street.
Norwalk, CT  05851
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish-Fargione
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Make and decorate your own house for fairies! July 12th and 19th at 4:00 PM You are welcome to one or both sessions For kids in grades Kindergarten and up. Younger children need to have...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Grab your best friend for a Girl’s Night Out of making your own natural skincare products at Red Bee’s Honey House Barn! We’ll make beeswax lip balms, healing salves and honey...

Cost: $125

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

After a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), he heads to New York City and gets a low-level job at MacMillan Toy Company. A chance encounter with...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203) 438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On Sunday, July 15, dance will be the featured performance for the Newtown Savings Bank Fine Arts and Family Series at Ives Concert Park at 7:30 p.m. Connecticut Ballet ...

Cost: Adults $10; children 12 & under $5.

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Newtown Savings Bank
Telephone: 120-383-79226
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Make and decorate your own house for fairies! July 12th and 19th at 4:00 PM You are welcome to one or both sessions For kids in grades Kindergarten and up. Younger children need to have...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Grab your best friend for a Girl’s Night Out of making your own natural skincare products at Red Bee’s Honey House Barn! We’ll make beeswax lip balms, healing salves and honey...

Cost: $125

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

In cinemas for a special summer encore presentation, Fathom Events, BY Experience and Pathé Live present Shakespeare's timeless tale, Romeo and Juliet, captured live from Moscow....

Cost: $15-17

Where:
AMC Danbury 16
61 Eagle Road
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Fathom Events
Website »

More information

This American Idol (Season 11) winner is best known for hits “Home,” “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Dance with Me.” Hear stripped down, intimate versions of these songs...

Cost: $75

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Make and decorate your own house for fairies! July 12th and 19th at 4:00 PM You are welcome to one or both sessions For kids in grades Kindergarten and up. Younger children need to have...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Grab your best friend for a Girl’s Night Out of making your own natural skincare products at Red Bee’s Honey House Barn! We’ll make beeswax lip balms, healing salves and honey...

Cost: $125

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

In Ayurveda, health is achieved when there is a balance in body, mind, and spirit. Stress effects all of these components, and so balance must concentrate on all three. Come and discover:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lewisboro Library
15 Main St
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
Telephone: 914-875-9088
Contact Name: Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Make and decorate your own house for fairies! July 12th and 19th at 4:00 PM You are welcome to one or both sessions For kids in grades Kindergarten and up. Younger children need to have...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Little Feat have led a storied life ever since they formed in 1969. From then on, their unconventional signature of earthy, organic appeal and polished, first-rate musicianship wrapped around...

Cost: $125

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Make and decorate your own house for fairies! July 12th and 19th at 4:00 PM You are welcome to one or both sessions For kids in grades Kindergarten and up. Younger children need to have...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Join the Red Bee team and Stems + Co, a boutique flower design studio, for a bee-friendly floral centerpiece workshop at Red Bee’s Honey House Barn in Weston, CT on...

Cost: $100

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Stems + Co
Website »

More information

With 40 No. 1 hits and more than 35 million albums sold, Milsap remains one of country music’s most successful and beloved crossover artists. At 75, he continues to tour the...

Cost: $67

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Red Bee Apiary's Talk, Tour & Honey Tastings are an opportunity to visit a working apiary and experience honey at its source. Take a tour of Red Bee's apiary and gardens, once...

Cost: $35

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

You'll be seeing purple with tributes to Prince and his influences.  Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones (Tribute to Prince)- Dressed to the 9's, Dean Ford embodies Prince with every...

Cost: General Admission- $15, VIP Purple Experience- $50

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Ives Concert Park and Promotions in Motion
Telephone: 203-837-9227
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
Website »

More information

After retiring from the music industry 4 years ago, Dickey Betts is back for a limited number of special shows! Don’t miss your chance to see this full set of Allman Brothers...

Cost: $150-$200

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Join Grace Farms Foundation for an inspired conversation about how religion is portrayed in the media today. Journalists Wajahat Ali (New York Times and CNN contributor) and Michelle Boorstein (The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203-920-1702
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visit The Aldrich for FREE the Third Saturday of each month! See the latest in contemporary art and participate in family-friendly art-making workshops in The Studio. Family...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Mock Stock is going Metal in a nod to AC/DC, Guns N Roses, and Metallica.  Halfway to HELL (Tribute to AC/DC)- Halfway to HELL- AC/DC Tribute features a High energy stage show with two...

Cost: Tickets $20 in advance, $30 at the door.

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Ives Concert Park and Promotions in Motion
Telephone: 203-837-9227
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
Website »

More information

Don McLean is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his classic hits “American Pie” and “Vincent (Starry Starry Night).”...

Cost: $69.50

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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