Living in Old Greenwich

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Never pass judgement, so say all the best travel writers; write only what you see and hear, avoids speculation and opinion and keep it simple.

Old Greenwich is not simple.

“It’s all because of hedge funds” insists my friend Olive who moved from Rye, NY to Old Greenwich, Conn. 13 years ago. “…that’s the reason this town is so (super) rich. Yet, surprisingly, the taxes are really low.”

Indeed, it doesn’t take long to notice the hallmarks of Fairfield County’s mega-earners: beautiful waterfront mansions, turn-of-the-century stone homes, landscaped courtyards, private yacht clubs and spinnakers dotting the bay horizon. How the area maintains such a low tax bracket remains a mystery.

Some of the billionaires that make this hamlet home include investors (and founders) of big commercial names like Subway, Bumble bee Tuna, Vlassic pickles, Ghirardelli chocolate and the Hyatt Hotel chain. Celebs include Diana Ross, Judge Judy, Regis Philbin, John Travolta and an endless parade of entertainment tycoons.

While working in Old Greenwich (though, I can hardly call it working) my clients treated me to an English manor-styled Greenwich hotel with a soaring atrium inside. My 2nd floor room overlooked a man-made pond with, what I thought, was a rare albino snapping turtle basking on a rock. It turned out to be plastic… oops.

Nautical-themed filming locations included the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, the Crew Restaurant and the Belle Haven Country Club. All were wonderful; delicious food, warm atmosphere and friendly staff. No doubt about it, living among high society has social privileges.

Old Greenwich is unusually quaint and charming with a strong sense of nostalgia, much like a Norman Rockwell painting.

After probing the coveted Colonial homes of yesteryear, I walked the sandy beaches of Greenwich Point Park. Bring ‘old money’ if you have any because a day pass is not cheap – $20 entrance fee.