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Snob zones: Fear, money and real estate

The aptly named Nearwater Lane, in the Connecticut shoreline suburb of Darien, is the sole route home for those Wall Street titans, corporate executives, and heirs to privilege who inhabit a peninsula known as Noroton Neck. Breaking away from the commercial congestion of the Boston Post Road, Nearwater makes a beeline through the verdant cape, passing beneath old-growth shade trees and along deep front lawns, past the closely clustered homes of a private beach community, past the entrance to the town beach, and finally halting at the waterfront estates that claim the peninsula’s furthest tip on Long Island Sound. The lane is the only access way onto the Neck, whose curved appendages protect enough coves and inlets to make the area a haven for sailing enthusiasts. Developers spotted its potential as early as the 1920s, when Thomas Crimmins, the son of prosperous Irish immigrants, began carving a portion of the peninsula into building lots.

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