Darien Soundings

Dear Darien,

The winners of the sixth PIC DARIEN 2021: Images of Hope, Heroes and Home Smartphone Photo Contest have been announced! Thank you Darien Arts Center for this amazing contest and thank you to all of the judges for all of your hard work! There were about 400 outstanding images submitted to this contest. Congratulations to all of the winners!

To view the winning pictures and all of the entries, visit the Darien Arts Center website.


Meet Erica Jensen, at right in photo, owner of Helen Ainson in Darien, a fashion store specializing in evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and other special occasion attire. Erica has been the owner of this store for the past 43 years. Helen Ainson, Erica’s mother, opened her first stores in New York City and Greenwich. Ever since Erica was in high school, she knew that she wanted to open up her own store, and worked extremely hard to be able to open Helen Ainson’s Darien location!

Erica is excited to own the Darien location, as she is very involved in the Darien community. She was President of the Chamber of Commerce in the 90s and has been co-chair of the Darien Sidewalk Sale and Family Fun Days for the past 25 years. She has received the “Business Volunteer of the Year Award” numerous times, and feels it is important to invest in the Darien community which has supported her all these years.

The pandemic has affected Helen Ainson, as people can not celebrate life events as they typically would have. Because of this, Erica has started to bring in more comfortable clothing to the store. The shop now offers great clothes to wear at home such as comfy sweaters, tops, yoga jeans, and leggings. Be sure to check out their website or visit their storefront to support one of Darien’s great local businesses during this tough time. Erica hopes that as your weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other big life events start to get rescheduled, you come out and shop. Erica and her team are excited to help you choose the perfect outfit for your next special occasion!

You can visit Helen Ainson at 1078 Boston Post Road in Darien, or you can visit their website.


We are so proud of Darien High School! Students who enter Darien High School excel in the classroom and on the athletic fields. In 2014, Darien High had the highest SAT scores in the state and Darien students consistently score above state averages in Advanced Placement exams. Athletically, both the girls and boys programs stand out. Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference titles are the norm and state championships are frequent.

During this difficult time, we are grateful for our teachers and parents. They have come together and shown a strong sense of leadership in our community. We are so proud of our schools!

Darien High School is located at 80 High School Lane and for more information, you can visit their website.


We are dreaming of this burger from Baldanza Cafe! They offer a variety of delicious food using the finest, organic ingredients from local farms and producers. Baldanza Cafe offers small plates, entrees, three-course meals, and catering. They are currently only offering delivery at this time to New Canaan, Stamford, and Norwalk. Call 203-309-5777 to order. Visit their website for their menu and for more information.



Dance on the DL is a dance studio located at 25 Old Kings Highway N in Darien. Owners Doreen and Linda hope to provide both children and adults with the opportunity to dance in a safe and judgement-free environment. They host classes for all ages, as well as hosting various summer camps, private lessons, and other events. Dance on the DL also hosts both indoor and outdoor birthday parties as well as home outdoor parties! DL Studio is open now with reduced class sizes, social distancing, and extensive cleaning and safety protocols. The studio is also now equipped with two HEPA Air Filters to keep the studio air clear and purified so that students can return to doing what they love in a safe environment.

On March 18th, Dance on the DL hosted an event called Crafts That Care. At this event, participants ages 7 and up created their very own “Welcome” signs for the residents of Open Door Shelter of Norwalk. Open Door Shelter provides emergency shelter for families dealing with homelessness, as well as offering various resources to clients on the path to recovery. At their Crafts That Care event, Doreen and Linda took the time to explain to the group the work that Open Door Shelter does for the community. After the group understood who their signs would be going to, they were able to creatively design their welcome signs. This was a great event for the kids involved to get creative and give back to the community in their own way.

Dance on the DL hopes to continue their Crafts That Care events in the future to bring awareness to more organizations that help its community. To stay updated on any future events, you can join the mailing list by emailing info@danceonthedl.com. You can also check out their website.


The Darien Youth Commission hosted a drive-through food drive on March 27th. This drive-through drop off was located at the West Avenue Train Station Parking Lot. Donors were asked to remain in their cars and volunteers removed donations from their car. This was a great way to give back to the community and it was a great success! There were 66 crates, 5 huge bins and $200 in gift cards. Thank you to the Darien Youth Commission for organizing and hosting another successful food drive. This benefited Person-to-Person’s food program and food pantry. Learn about food drives and other ways to support Person-to-Person here.

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    Darien Board of Realtors®

    5 Brook Street, Suite 2-D

    Darien, CT 06820

    (203) 655-3700 info@darienboard.com