24 Nov Meet Leslie Yager, Founder of Greenwich Free Press!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I have one daughter, 22, whose company I enjoy even if we’re just walking the dogs. She recently moved home from Berkeley and works in NYC, which she enjoys. I think most moms are happy when their kids are happy. Wish fulfilled right there.
When and where are you the happiest?
Lately, running Greenwich Free Press, my best moments come when a timely, hyper-local feature gets thousands of page views. I love interviewing Greenwich people and sharing their unique stories.
Carmine the beloved Cos Cob School crossing guard is a great example. The feature included photos of him ferrying children across four busy lanes on Rte 1 and at his home, which he built with his own hands.
The Kate Truesdell dance studio story went off the analytics charts. She’d make a great mom of the week! The history of her husband’s Garden Catering in OG was also a hit. Did you know the store is made from an old Metro-North car?
The proposed demolition of the John Knapp House c 1760 caught everyone by surprise and no one else reported it. The sale of Darlene’s Heavenly Desires in Old Greenwich was a story I broke.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I wouldn’t mind going back to Kew Gardens in London, but I don’t like to leave my dogs. I’d really just like a free day to go to the beach here in Greenwich. It’s easy to get busy and forget there is a mini vacation right down the road.
Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?
I admire moms who are there for their children but don’t hover too close. In our family we like to say, “Put yourself out there.” I think people make their own opportunities and that is learned behavior. My mom was a big influence on me. She got involved in causes she cared about, volunteering for League of Women Voters and Planned Parenthood.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to catch up on the New York Times, walk the dog, go for a run and have a drink. In that order.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
Favorite book is Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld because she nailed it with her observations of class and privilege. Favorite movie probably Breakfast Club. I just realized both are about high school. Am I stuck in high school forever? I hope not.
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? What are your strongest qualities?
My daughter recently described me as the original badass when she found an old photo of me in college with peroxide hair, smoking a cigarette and wearing bowling shoes. I’m no badass. I actually cry every time I see the ASPCA commercial with the Sarah McLaughlin song.
I had several jobs in Boston advertising and PR agencies in my 20s before going back for my masters in communication at Boston University and then a master’s in US History at University of London. Yes, that sounds strange, but it was an interesting perspective indeed.
After our daughter was born in London I worked as a typesetter and graphic designer for a local print shop in Ealing, London. When we moved back to the US from England I continued to work as a typesetter and graphic designer for GFI in Port Chester for eight years while volunteering in local schools. The most challenging volunteer job I undertook was PTA President at Julian Curtiss School, but I made good friends and it toughened me up. It’s important to have a thick skin as a volunteer as much as it is working as a reporter.
Starting my own news site, I put in a Dogs category right on the home row of tabs with Government, Business and Real Estate. So if helping find homes for animals is a quality, check that box. There is nothing more satisfying than learning a dog I’ve written about needing a home gets adopted by one of my readers.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
I love all types of food but I seldom cook. I’m lucky to live close to Greenwich Ave and great restaurants in walking distance. Sometimes the aromas of Penang Grill float through my back yard and I start craving Thai food. Little Thai Kitchen is also fabulous.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
I love the time of day when I’ve posted a ton of timely news and toss the laptop aside. I have two rescue black labs who wait patiently all day for me to finish, so we all jump up and down for a few minutes to celebrate the end of the day.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
We have a big front porch, which is like having a convertible car because there are a limited number of days to use them. I love to sit on the porch with friends and have a glass of wine and a chat.
Learn more about Leslie’s company – www.greenwichfreepress.com