Best wishes for Bridgeport

Published on November 4, 2011 by

OK gang, it’s that day, coming up on the 8th. A day where strangers pump your hand, exhort you to “Do the right thing,” and give you reams of useless pasteboard “hints.” A day where Republicans pray for rain. Vote early and vote often, Curbsiders.

Rather than get involved in the political fray, I am more of a handicapper. Actually, if I can sniff out a winner, perhaps I can get to the best party. Chris Niedermeier threw a dandy one at Fredricksburg—and lost.

As a snarky, seat-of-the-pants columnist, I usually eschew politics. Why? This would involve actual reading and research. I’d rather listen to two hours of a Dead concert without the aid of brain-numbing helpers.

But I do have a wish list for Beepo. And some of them are sincere.

I wish we had more arts in our schools. I don’t care what economic caste kids live in, they all need more than reading, writing and passing the latest Wyoming Standardized Test for Caucasian Overlearners. Just down the road in Norwalk, both of my daughters attended middle and high schools with national-caliber music, voice and theater programs. And there is more of a smattering of diversity there. So please don’t tell me that you need to go Izod High to benefit from this.

I wish Bridgeport had even a smidgen of a public relations stance. The city lacks a decent website (look at and cringe at how we pale) for visitors and neighbors. To wit: We just had the circus here. It’s their 100th anniversary. Yessir, the Ringling Brothers and BARNUM & Bailey Circus. Not the Toby Moffett Circus. THE Circus. So do we tie in with them, due to the fact that the name of our former MAYOR is on the bill? Nope. This lowly writer has a gazillion ideas to boost the Park City’s image. Sorry, I get paid for stuff like that.

I wish we had a small baseball stadium for Legion and high school games. See Palmer Field in Middletown. The Ballpark is wonderful, but it just costs too much to open for such games. An intermediate site would be great. Don’t get me going on how we lost the Eastern Regional Little League headquarters due to a smug, self-absorbed, nimby-esque cadre of North Enders.

I wish we had more concerts at the Arena. It’s fabulous to host world-class hockey and decent college hoops here, but the place is dark too many nights. I know there are musical acts out there who would make it feasible to turn the lights on. It’s great to have Charlie Dowd back in town; he has sports savvy coming out his earlobes. Someone with showbiz acumen is needed to fill in the gaps.

I wish that the Barnum Festival could return to its former glory. One way to raise funds would be to ticket cars parked near the parade route that didn’t have Bridgeport stickers on them. Say, 200 clams a pop.

Ditto Saabs at Saint’s during the fireworks. Also, combine the Champs on Parade into a huge junior-senior drum corps event. You’d have a packed Kennedy, with visitors from far and wide. They could go to the new and find out –oops, there isn’t one. By the by, said stadium was voted third in the nation in an Internet poll of most famous drum corps venues.

I wish we had a Bridgeport Traditional High School. Uniforms, a strict discipline code (detention, expulsion—just like when we went), and teachers who cared. No entrance test—just an essay on why a pupil wants to attend. Tuition would be paid by a parent or guardian who must come to the school four times per year, ante up a buck each time, and meet with faculty and staff. In June, if the kid has toed the line, showed good attendance and acted civilly, the funds are given back.

I don’t see why we can’t have Yuengling beer here. If were Hizzoner, I’d make a pilgrimage to Pottsville and offer them free Vibes ducats. And what about a Gathering of the Boomers? RVs only, chilled Chard on tap, a brie bar, with Chicago, Styx, REO, The Jaggerz, Tower of Power. No nitrous, no patchouli. No Helen Reddy, either.
I want Guy Fieri to set up camp here and do two weeks of shows on P. C. foodstuffs. One week, apizz’, the next, wieners.

I wish that the next suburban half-brain who says “Bridgepuertorico” should be made to wear this on a big sign around his neck and walk down Pembroke Street at eleven on a steamy Saturday night.

Above all I wish all of you to get more involved in this city of ours, no matter who wins on Tuesday. Celebrate this place; don’t trash it.

Did I say vote early and vote often?

Please send comments, brickbats, treacle and love letters to See you again at the curbside.