Every morning, the petite blonde with the bright red lipstick walks the few blocks from her nondescript condo to the Upper Crust Bagel Company on Sound Beach Avenue, the main drag in this picturesque New England hamlet of 6,600 people.
Just about everyone who lives here knows it’s Ruth Madoff in exile, and they mostly leave her alone.
After briefly living in an exclusive condo in Boca Raton, Fla., Ruth came to Old Greenwich in 2012, to be close to her three grandchildren who live nearby. She lived for two years at 57 Tomac Ave. in a quaint house, built in 1905 and then owned by her son Andrew and his estranged wife, Deborah West, public records show.
“She was a very nice neighbor is all I have to say,” said Mike Worden, who lived across the street from the Madoff house.
Two months after Andrew died of a rare form of lymphoma, Ruth was booted from her son’s home. It was sold by West two years later and was recently razed by its new owner to make room for new construction.
Ruth moved from 57 Tomac to the town house in the condominium complex called The Gables, where she now lives. The gated community features a heated swimming pool, squash courts, gym and security, although there was no guardhouse attendant when The Post visited last week. A one-bedroom unit was listed for $3,100 a month.
She strolls every morning to buy a bagel at Upper Crust but avoids the other bakery in town — Sweet Peas. Last week, the upscale bakery and meeting spot was filled with young women in exercise clothes sipping lattes and surrounded by baby strollers.
“Ruth never comes in here because these people are part of her old life, and the ones who lost money with Bernie,” said a woman who described herself as a friend.
Now her new friends are a group of women who are active in church craft sales and don’t get their nails or hair done, said a neighbor who has seen Ruth.
I'm not sure our local church volunteers will appreciate this assessment of their appearance by that same snobbish neighbor:
“If they weren’t living in Old Greenwich, you would think these ladies were all homeless,” she told The Post. “Ruth spends a lot of time with them, and I have never seen her dressed up here. She’s always in the same jeans.”
Last Christmas, Ruth helped one of her friends sell homemade crafts at a local church bazaar, the neighbor said.
“It was quite the sight to see Ruth Madoff fetching crafts from a tub under the table, and taking in money at the sale,” the neighbor said.
I was disappointed to learn that, as part of Bernie's plea deal, Ruth was allowed to keep $2.5 million for herself: that seems too generous by a factor of one hundred.