For those of you who have been following me since the beginning of my TV career, you will know my original website..on mac.com..long long ago....had a section on Miracles. I would say a word or have a thought...then heard that word or thought within a few seconds or minutes on a TV show, a billboard or the phone would ring after I thought of that person I hadn't heard from in years. Well..its been a while since then but recently Bobby has noticed them happening again. Frequently. Does this happen to you? So I just mentioned to Bobby that I am putting many of the clothes I wore during housewives filming on Ebay June 4th to coincide with the Premiere of the new season. Sort of "Out with the old..in with the new" sort of thing. A cleansing..if you will. So many of you have asked me where to buy this or that...or if you could buy something from me that you saw me wear on the show. Many of them, I loved to death and would never consider parting with them..until now. It took a lot of time for me to cull through my closets and photos to find the things you loved most. I decided that ALL..not some..of the money I receive will go to charity. It will go into a trust where I will be able to distribute the money to so many worthy causes..including sponsoring some of you when you walk, run or ride for cancer. I will continue to post when I will be open to requests for donations and sponsorships. Keep in mind..there are thousands of request every year from all over the world. I wish I could raise enough money to satisfy ALL of the requests in full, but you could imagine that would be impossible. So what my miracle? After I told Bobby about my EBAY sale, I was watching Law and Order and the lead detective mentioned EBAY. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal...but imagine I just said the word and then..how many times has anyone on Law and Order mentioned EBAY? Seriously? I will start posting them again and hope to hear about your miracles too. Post in comments and I will share with everyone too. Keep checking back for EBAY info and when the sale starts. Happy Shopping! jIll
PS..if you remember something you wanted to buy that I wore...take photo of tv screen with me wearing it and post on twitter to me and I will try to add it to the sale if not in it already!
Dear Friends and Family,
I've had four amazing years on The Real Housewives of New York City. I'm grateful for the experiences and friendships I've made on the show. I've certainly learned a lot about myself and others. The show has decided to take a different direction and unfortunately I will not be a part of Season five. I have received literally thousands of tweets, emails and Facebook comments from fans all over the world, from Australia to Alaska, and that has meant the world to me. More than you could ever know.
For all the people who have supported me and wished me well, you can see me on a new show that will be announced soon. I will also be making personal appearances around the country promoting my new line of shapewear and leggings called SKWEEZ COUTURE. For more information continue to visit jillzarin.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
As my husband Bobby always tells me "When one door closes, many will open."
Love and Kisses
This may sound odd to you, but even though I don't live in Westport CT, I feel like I grew up there and want to protect my sister's quaint town of Westport, CT. Home to Paul Newman and so many other artists and actors of years gone by. Did you know Lucy and RIcky lived there ( In TV LAND that is). It is small town USA...that is until the developers RUIN it. Lisa used to be on the board of Zoning there many moons ago..and believe me, is SO sorry she isn't right now. Lisa, a local radio show host, is also an active attorney and will not take this lying down. These cowards..yes cowards..waited until people like Don Imus were on vacation..to make the move. Wait till IMUS HEARS ABOUT THIS! He lives there too! ( I say that because he has a big voice and influence in the world and would hopefully try to squash them like the bugs they are!) The long and short of the story? They want to build 60 foot building in the middle of a town of 1-2 story building and ruin the character of the town. HAS THIS HAPPENED WHERE YOU LIVE? PLEASE email us asap if it has. The NYT and other newspapers MIGHT consider the story if she can show a pattern. Here, the pattern is, the decision makers brought it up for a vote WHEN EVERYONE WAS ON VACATION so no one would know and they would sneak it by. That is how some towns in our country get ruined. By greedy real estate developers who have their hands in everyone's pockets so to speak. Anyway..read for yourself the evidence Lisa has provided. She is doing this FREE with no personal interest except SAVING HER TOWN. Please help? Tell anyone you know from Westport CT to SHOW UP. That's what we all need to do when an injustice is being done to you right? That's what our parents tought us, right? FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT. Fight for those who can't. Please read on...
It is an open secret that the chairman of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has been meeting this summer with a small group of Westport landlords to create proposals to radically transform Wesport's small downtown Main Street business district. The Text Amendments on the table include proposals for 6 story, 60 FOOT HIGH buildings to go up in the middle of downtown. They include proposals for a new " overlay zone", an entirely new concept, which removes setback and height restrictions. They include proposals to increase the square footage of commercial space from 10,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet. Now we discover that Mr. Corwin is actually a paying member of their group, called Downtown Activist. http://bit.ly/nLBbfS . Mr. Corwin ought to recuse himself from a vote on these proposals given his obvious bias on the issue. P & Z Commissioners sit in quasi-judicial capacities during public hearings. Mr. Corwin has prejudged these text amendments and ought not to vote. He has abdicated his responsibility to be an impartial commissioner who would fairly hear both sides of the issue during the upcoming hearing on September 8, 2011.
If you haven't heard about this, it's most likely because The Westport News and The Minuteman are not covering the story. I leave it to you to speculate on the reasons for that. Thank you to theWestport Patch for alerting me to this entire situation. http://westport.patch.com/articles/paving-paradise Had it not been for the journalistic prowess of Chandra Niles Folsom, I would not have known about this. And I host a daily talk radio show. You can see that an effort has been made to keep this under the radar.
In a recent article in Fairfield Business Journal http://westfaironline.com/2011/15742-in-wesport-an-active-voice-for-business/, Mr. Corwin is even quoted as saying, "There is no question there is a widespead community sentiment that the downtown area needs a makeover." Widespread Community Sentiment? Sure, if the "community" is a small group of landlords who raised their rents so high in the good years that many small businesses were forced to flee or close. But last time I checked, the word community was more inclusive than that. Community actually means the people who moved to Westport because they LIKE the downtown the way it is. They LIKE the fact that downtown has a small, pedestrian-friendly feeling, with open sidewalks and low buildings. They moved to Westport BECAUSE of the small-town feeling, not in spite of it.
And how exactly would Mr. Corwin be able to judge such "widespread community sentiment"? On the basis of an anonymous poll taken on the Downtown Activist site, admittedly funded by landlords who have the greatest economic stake in increasing the square footage and density of their properties? The first chance that anyone in the community will have to voice their concerns is on September 8th, which has not even occurred yet. Clearly Mr. Corwin has already made up his mind.
The main argument in favor of these proposals that I heard was that there was a "lack of economic vitality" in downtown Westport. Hello? There is a lack of economic vitality in this country right now, a situation which has existed for at least two years and may persist. This economic downturn is not exclusive to Westport. Nor can it be attributed to the zoning requirements.
Second, the perceived lack of economic vitality is due more to the lack of diversity in the downtown shopping district than any other factor. What is missing from our downtown? Hmmm. Here is my short list- feel free to add.- Bookstore (there used to be three), Movie Theaters (there used to be four, none in higher than a two-story building), Grocery Store (Gristede's- before my time), Hardware, Gas Station, Bagel Cafes... Moreover, the Westport Y and the Post Office (!) are actually leaving downtown! Without the Y and the Post Office, the only reason to go downtown will be to shop. A real downtown is not merely an outdoor shopping mall. That is what is being overlooked in this discussion.
There are mutliple ironies in these proposals. One, of course, is that the landlords are bringing these proposals to increase square footage when people can't afford the rents that exist right now. Two, the landlords arguably caused the problem because they raised the rents so high that only large, non-local chainstores could afford to move in. Those managers do not support local charities, they do not have a hand out for our community and they are not really a part of it in any meaningful way. Contrast the contributions of the Mioli family, owners of Westport Pizza, with the owners of the Gap, Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers. Who do you think gives more to our community? Not even a contest.
The third irony is that one of the leaders in this effort is David Waldman, who bought up the Y property and intends to transform its use into more commercial and retail space. Will he diversify use with space he controls? We don't know- and he doesn't have to tell us. Nevertheless, he and others are seeeking to increase the maximum square footage of their buildings from 10,000 feet to 50,000 square feet. A five-fold increase. You do the math.
Moreover, Gordon Joseloff, Westport's First Selectman is a member of the family that closed the last movie theaters in town, transforming their property into Restoration Hardware. If the leader of this town cares so much about diversity of use, the answer lies not in building more and higher buildings, but in creating economic incentives to transform the buildings we already have.
At the recent P & Z meeting I attended, the only people who sat at the table with Ron Corwin and Ellie Lowenstein (the former Chair of the P & Z) were three landlords, one landlord employee, Larry Bradley, who works for the Town, and two consultants. I think Jonathan Steinberg was there too, our Westport Representative in Hartford who sits on a board that has a financial interest in this project. Not one member of the general public was at that table. Almost everyone who spoke had either a direct financial interest in seeing their property wealth increase, or stood to earn money from the town.
The fundamental problem with re-zoning a downtown so dramatically is that once the buildings go up, they don't go down. The Wright building, on the corner of the Post Road and Route 33,at the edge of town, is universally regarded as a huge mistake by the planners of Westport. They let it go up and now we all have to live with that ugly eyesore. The only good result to come out of that edifice was the community's response to it, which was to write zoning laws to (theoretically) prevent it from happening again. If a six story building is built to house the "next great arts center", who is to say it will be economically viable? What if that, too, goes under, just as so many worthy ventures have not been able to thrive? The town is stuck with another problem, this one right in the middle of downtown.
I was scared when I attended that recent meeting. I was scared to lose the downtown essence that I love, a main reason for moving here 22 years ago. I was scared when I heard Ron Corwin say "This is just a foot opening the door". What more might he have planned, that we haven't even seen yet? I was scared, because this movement is organized and determined. They said as much during the meeting, noting that they only had until November to get this done.
Town activists lost a brutal and expensive battle when the P & Z decided to allow Mahackeno Camp to become a new Y, leaving a gaping hole in the downtown district. The wounds are still fresh, and many are disheartened. I understand and share their frustration, and their pain. Were I sitting on that P & Z Commission, I would have rejected that proposal, but my time on that Commission had passed. Nonetheless, this battle is just as important. We, the vigilant soldiers who love our town, must attend this meeting on September 8th and make ourselves known. We need to elect leadership in November that will reflect our vision of Westport, one which is in accordance with the Town Plan, and not in accordance with the view of a few myopic , shortsighted developers. It's too easy to sit on the sidelines and complain when the buildings go up. The time to act is now.
Please sign and circulate this petition I have written with respect to these text amendments. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/713/944/407/ "We, the undersigned, oppose Text Amendment 637, which would permit 60 foot high buildings in downtown Westport, CT, create a new "overlay zone", and increase square footage of certain commercial buildings from 10,000 square feet to a maximum of 50,000 square feet.
We would very much appreciate your support. There is urgency to this request because this Amendment is being heard on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at Westport Town Hall at 7:00 PM. We will present this petition at that hearing. Thank you very, very much."
I'll see you at 7PM on September 8th at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880. If it can happen here in Westport, CT, it can happen in your town too. We don't want Bedford Falls turning into Pottersville.
Hi everyone! I just noticed that I have unusual activity from the UK this week. I think it is because the show is airing there. As you probably know, we are very close to Robbie Williams and his beautiful wife Ayda and we love going there to visit as often as possible. We are trying to plan a visit during the Olympics next summer if Robbie sings during ceremonies. ( I have NO idea if he is..sorry!) We were just there in July and saw 2 concerts at Wembley Stadium. We stayed at Coworth Park with the band. It is a BEAUTIFUL part of the countryside. It is owned by the Dorchester group and has a brand new state of the art SPA in addition to the POLO fields. We went riding in the countryside. Words can't describe the color of the flowers, the smell of the grass and the color of the sky. I will say though..for americans it is VERY expensive. We visited Windsor Castle and bought some cute souvenirs of the newlyweds for fun. So I just wanted to welcome my UK fans and let you know how much I appreciate the love and PLEASE..don't take the show so seriously. It is edited to be as dramatic as possible....but my life is much calmer now. Bobby and I are sitting in bed in Montreal enjoying the city and each other. Sign up for my newsletter if you want a weekly JZ update from me on my life and I love to post recipes from you and share any interesting places to visit that you guys tell me. Once again..WELCOME!!! XOXO Jill