By Cheryl Fusco Johnson | October 5, 2021

Walking is one of my favorite pastimes. This summer, while undergoing physical therapy, I couldn’t walk as fast as my friends. Walking slowly and alone bored me until I decided to snap a photo or two during each stroll. Summer is over. My gait is normal again, but those ambling solitary walks left me with a gift I didn’t expect: a renewed vision of how beautiful Fairfield is.

My very first photo? Multicolored flowers cascading from baskets suspended from posts near the Fairfield Square. Summer 2021 officially ended September 22nd. For me summer lasted seven days longer; that’s when I spotted city workers taking the baskets down. No problem. Autumn colors are popping out. Pumpkin displays are sprouting up near homes and storefronts, and next summer city workers will hang the baskets again. To everyone who makes Fairfield’s dangling flower baskets possible, thank you for the joy they bring!


Fairfield’s new Petra Park shimmers with alluring textures, colors, and shapes so I walked there often. Enclosed by staunch yet feathery plants; stocked with lipstick red tables, benches, and chairs; and adorned with a stunning sculpture of oak leaves—Petra Park is a gem. And what a great location! Across from the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, Fairfield’s newest park is very near restaurants, a billiards parlor, coffee and tea shops, a host of other stores, and the Fairfield Square.

Nearby alleys sport vibrant murals and charming storefronts, like the Bubbles Pet Spa, which I didn’t notice until my slow-walking summer. I also realized for the first time that John Schirmer’s alley mural of the inside of Revelations Café depicts local poet Freddy Niagara Fonseca replacing a book on a shelf. During my slow walks, I also encountered three of Fairfield’s six Little Free Libraries. I passed a Little Free Pantry, as well.

Peeking into stores perked me up as I ambled. Though I rarely knit, shelves stocked with skeins of yarn in the At Home Store always mesmerize me. So many hues! Thick yarns, fine ones. Coarse fibers, soft ones. Knitters and other crafters can also browse an array of distinctive buttons in the At Home Store. Shopping for sewing notions with my mom during my childhood—she was a professional seamstress—left me with an inordinate fondness for buttons. For kids’ clothes, the At Home Store’s options include buttons shaped like ducks, carrots, fire engines, and pigs.

Many days I altered my route just to wander by Fairfield Flower and More. Its outdoor displays weave together complex layers of weathered wooden stands, lush potted plants, vintage curiosities, and simple modern embellishments. Lots of creativity goes into these creations. When the seasons change, I always enjoy seeing what will come next.

Because I walked early during the long hot summer, I rarely encountered other people. One morning, though, I spotted a friend inside the Bountiful Bakery selecting her once-a-week treat. Another day I paused in Central Park, where my husband and his friends had gathered for coffee and an early morning chat. Now that I can walk fast again, I remind myself that slowing down occasionally can be worthwhile and fun.

Outdoors, Walking, beauty




Meet the Author

Photo of Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Cheryl Fusco Johnson

Formerly a radio show host and creative writing teacher, I’m captivated by how people express their creativity via the arts, crafts, recreational pursuits, and entrepreneurship.