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The New Westport

It sounds a little like the Westport News, but it’s not. It’s The New Westport.

The New Westport is a place where anything can happen:

The President of the United States can land his helicopter on the beach, if he wants. Hurricane super-storms can land on the beach. Almost 250 years ago the British landed at the beach. So much has changed since.

Take downtown, it’s so much different. The Y will be moving and a whole corner of downtown will be redeveloped. What will go there, I’m hoping for a bookstore to be included. The Levitt Pavilion will be remade this year into a 6.7 million dollar complex for the performing summer arts. Main Street might get appropriate street lamps at some point. The Library might get the 25 million dollars it needs to do some renovations. We will be getting a movie theater downtown also, soon.

Other changes:

The garbage on Main Street, you know–the overflowing trash bins on the sidewalk. The trash is always filling up and flowing over. Maybe they should get trash pick up more often. Not sure who is in charge of that one?

Imagine if you were a Mom & Pop type of store on Main Street. Imagine you paid an ungodly amount of rent for the opportunity to be there. Imagine coming to your store every morning and seeing trash all over the sidewalk. Imagine seeing the trees that gave a little character to the town center get cut down and not replaced. Imagine paying rent but having Main Street almost shut down for weeks. Imagine what you might be thinking. Maybe you’d be thinking about moving your store to New Canaan or Greenwich. Main Street can be dingy and un-kept looking.

The town doesn’t put much money into downtown because they figure they can just leave it up to the stores. Not all the stores downtown are owned by multi-billion dollar conglomerates. Some are owned by regular folk just trying to make a living.

From Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street–“Main Street is the climax of civilization……….Such is our comfortable tradition and sure faith. Would he not betray himself an alien cynic who should otherwise portray Main Street, or distress the citizens by speculating whether there may not be other faiths?”

What does it mean? Not a clue.

Sometimes I get the feeling that simple easy things to fix downtown are just left that way on purpose. What better example of why we need to sell out to developers and consultants. Throw money at some out of town guy to arbitrarily come up with development ideas. If downtown was just simply presentable and clean.

1. Trees on Main Street with Christmas lights only at Christmas time, not all year because the wires tend to strangle the trees when you don’t take them down.

2. Pick up trash on Main Street twice as often as you usually do, whomever you are.

3. Nice old timey street lamps for Main Street.

4. Fix parking by executive order. More long term spots.

5. Plaques in the street that commemorate historical episodes downtown, like they have in Ridgefield.

wow, I’m in a good mood, leave it that for now. tt