Litchfield County: Happening in the Hills

On Our Radar

Faces, places, treasures, and trends that caught our attention

Read our collection of essays about the impact of COVID-19. All pieces were written by Litchfield County residents.


Ryan Lavine
During this pandemic, as we have all searched for new diversions, the Cornwall Library has created “Cornwall Reads Great Fiction,” a nine-week virtual course on Anna Karenina with Roxana Robinson. The course began on January 12 and runs through March 9. To date, over 108 people have signed on—including myself.
Ryan Lavine
“The Judy Black Park has completely revitalized the center of town,” opines Denise Trevenen, Board President of the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, adding that the park benefits retail businesses. “The farmers market brings a flow of people in on Saturday mornings, and it has become a lively, vibrant place.
Humberto Cantu
Blueprint CT Kitchen born in its current location at 7 West Street in Litchfield, with expansion plans in February across the street at 43 West Street. The expansion allows Lemieux and his mother Therese to showcase more of their curated specialty foods, innovative kitchen items, globally sourced linens and tabletop (vintage and modern).
Two image-making titans have combined expertise to create a leading center for beauty, now offered at one picturesque Washington Depot location. Partnering with the award-winning Byrde + the b team is Dr. Jeffrey LaFrance, a specialist in advanced and innovative non-surgical techniques.
Ryan Lavine
Torsten Gross is one of the coolest people you are ever likely to meet. Despite breaking his neck at the age of 15, today at 42 he is, as he says, ”the world’s only quadriplegic rescue SCUBA diver.” He designed his own smart home in Sharon. He was a senior executive at J. Walter Thompson and Deloitte. He tells corny jokes. And he sells his own line of honey. But not just any honey.
As a renowned still photographer, Laurie Simmons never photographed people. Her intricate tableaux included dolls and dollhouses, dummies and puppets, yet never a human being. Until 2005.
Kathryn Gallagher knew from an early age she wanted to be a singer-songwriter. “I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be one,” she says. “When I was little we’d be driving somewhere and my mom would say ‘Okay Kathryn, write a song about a bus.’ And I would. I didn’t start writing songs with a guitar until I was in second grade.”
Nestled in the heart of New Preston—at the southern tip of majestic Lake Waramaug—stand a café and market offering a true farm-to-table experience. The Smithys—as they are affectionately called—reflect Steve Shabet’s vision of nourishing the community while showcasing its farmers, artisans, and culinary professionals.
Bunny Williams, author, entrepreneur, and one of the most talented names in design, shares some of her favorite things about Litchfield County. My upbringing in Charlottesville, Virginia was an idyllic one, filled with frequent adventures to beautiful gardens and historic homes.
Dylan Chandler
There are collectors and then there are Tim Donoghue and Tom Fitzsimmons who give new meaning to the word. Their farmhouse in Roxbury is chock-a-block with every imaginable assemblage of objects, from books to teapots to white pottery to lighting fixtures to vintage detective magazines.
If you are not familiar with Erik’s art yet, take note. His photography has won notable awards and he’s a regular contributor to magazines like TIME, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. His Instagram feed features images of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Tony Bennett, Roger Federer, James Harden, Adele, and Joe Biden.
Anne Day
In a scant 18 months, 100 Main has quite literally put Falls Village on the proverbial map: the shop was voted one of the Best Home Stores in America by House Beautiful as well as New England Home’s Design Destination. “It's always been our mission to provide something for everyone,” says van Hengel.
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