What happened to the East End?

Here are snippets of some emails I received on yesterday’s column about Bridgeport’s neglect of its East End neighborhood. Feel free to share your opinion below!

From Alfredo Perez:
I was born and raised in Norwalk, I moved to Bridgeport 3 years ago to be with my girlfriend and daughter who is 2 years old. We live in the north end of Bridgeport. It was very interesting to see the areas that were considered good compared to the bad areas when we were looking for our first place because growing I got the idea from my mother that all of Bridgeport was bad because of the constant violence and poverty she would always tell me about. Now living in Bridgeport myself I am able to form my own opinion of the city. I’ve been to the East (side) a couple of times as a kid to get groceries at Compare and recently get food from Ramires Restaurant (love the pollo al a brasa); it’s obvious to see how different both areas of Bridgeport can be and how much hasn’t changed.
After reading your article it made me wonder why Bridgeport, East end in particular has been overlooked as a place to live bring in new business, the areas of abandoned buildings and open spaces can be used for something positive but no one has taken the initiative to make a change, people are always complaining about violence and deaths but no one takes a stand. It’s sad to see peoples reaction when they hear you live in Bridgeport, they immediately think “ghetto people and gang violence” They are ghettos and violence in all towns throughout CT but the spotlight always seems to shine brighter on Bpt. I’ve lived here for over 3 years and thankfully I have not encountered any violence or robbery. My girlfriend and I are always looking for things to do and different places to eat, supporting local businesses is what’s going to keep them around; the downtown area is slowly starting to pick up with new stores and the recently finished apartment building which is nice to see.
People living in Bridgeport need to have more pride in where they live and standup for change, drastic measures need to take place to get the attention of the people. Your article has captured my attention, I hope is has captured the attention of others.

From an anonymous Bridgeporter:
Hi Miss Ocasio,I read your story on the East End and actually wonder why it wasn’t 20 pages deep with video and all…..Yes I’m reaching here..lol……but I actually lived in the East End way back in 1972 .I lived on Holly street and then we moved to Wilmont ave. So I’ll say we lived in the East End 7 years total. Till this day the only buildings that I can remember being built were the Taylor Center and Mckinley School….I always thought that Bridgeport was trying to segregate the East End from the rest of the city…….The gentlemen that you interviewed are correct so many nice neighborhoods there….They don’t have anything over there….nothing…nada……Pleasure beach never reopening is shameful and embarrassing to the city……A Jewel….but again I’ve always felt Bridgeport is one of the most political corrupt city in our nation…but just my opinion……A movie theater?….A shopping center?…I grew up in Bridgeport and have a real soft spot but when I got older and married I moved out . I didn’t want to raise my children there. It does hurt me inside to say this but it’s true…….I hope this article helps the people of the East End.

Keila Torres Ocasio