In the Suburbs: Helping my trainer and his girlfriend navigate their new town — Fairfield
Jimmy, my trainer at the Edge Gym in Stratford, our new home town, has become one of Fairfield’s best ambassadors. Jimmy and his girlfriend Carly, a recent Fairfield University graduate, recently finished their initial renovations of a house they purchased in Fairfield.
As a former, 32-year resident of Fairfield, I was happy to hear that Jimmy and Carly were new residents of our town, and, of course, to immediately provide any long-term wisdom I can about Fairfield and various traditions. For example, I made a point of telling him about the annual picnic held at the Fairfield Museum and History Center after the parade. I’m not sure they got over there, but I know they were doing quite a bit of walking.
And after mentioning repeatedly that they would stop at the bookstore, they arrived on Memorial Day when I was covering the kids section. They were pretty impressed by the store and all we had to offer in the way of books and merchandise. Jimmy was definitely interested in some of the clothes, so I suggested that he check the website for our flash sales and clearance sales (25-50 percent off). Of course, I did caution that brands like Vineyard Vines never go to clearance and always hold their value.
During our regular, twice-a-week workout sessions, Jimmy peppers me with questions about whether I’ve gone to a particular restaurant, shopped at a boutique shop or have a special watering hole that my wife and I frequent, even in our doddering old age. In between my grunts as I get through my exercise routines, I try to answer Jimmy’s questions about discovering all that Black Rock Turnpike has to offer - they were thinking about the new Puerto Vallarta restaurant that replaced Bear & Grill Restaurant near Fairfield Woods Road.
Jimmy is an avid golfer and recently discovered the course near Sacred Heart University but hasn’t had the opportunity to golf there as yet. I’m sure that will happen in the next few months when it doesn’t make sense to drive further north.
One of our running conversations has been about my trainer finding a local hair stylist. I mentioned to him that at Hair Company, where I go, they are offering a $20 referral reward to anyone who brings in a new customer. So far, I haven’t succeeded in twisting his arm to get him over to Hair Company, but maybe he’ll get there eventually.
To round out my little awareness-building tour of my favorite Connecticut town, I asked Jimmy and Carly if they would mind providing their own opinions of Fairfield. Knowing how busy both their schedules are - she does all the marketing for the Edge Fitness Centers in this area and he is with the Edge in Stratford, I asked for anything informal they could offer. Here is personal commentary from Carly that is definitely echoed by Jimmy.
“I went to Fairfield U and graduated in 2015. After living at the beach, I knew this town was where I wanted to settle down after school and start my adult life. Jimmy is from Stratford and I grew up in Shelton, so we’re still close enough to family, but this town has so much more to offer! In Fairfield, especially in the summer, it feels like vacation every day. Everyone in our neighborhood is always outside enjoying all the town has to offer.
“The easy walk to restaurants, the beach and tons of awesome shopping won me over. We’re both in the fitness industry for work, so walking and biking to most places in town was a no-brainer for us. I also work from home, so being able to set up my computer in a variety of different coffee shops, visiting the bookstore or library, is so great. We love Fairfield, and we will stay here forever :)
Jimmy footnoted Carly’s comments, especially about restaurants. He said that they already established some favorites - Geronimo’s at Samp Mortar, Brick and Wood in the Brick Walk and the Old Post Tavern near the Community Theater. My wife and I have only tried Geronimo’s and Old Post Tavern.
He also added that they are on a health kick (why am I not surprised?) and have been experimenting with places where they can get a healthier meal, especially with Kale.
Since I know that this energetic couple will never stop exploring the great food, walking areas and shopping Fairfield has to offer, I’ll have to wait and see what new discoveries they’ve made when I see Jimmy again at the Edge this Sunday. I’m sure he will have a slew of questions to ask in between workout sets. Or he may have found a place my wife and I still haven’t gotten to. Stay tuned.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org