Friday, June 22, 2007

My New Neighborhood

One week ago, I moved into my first home (very exciting!). It's one of the historic Scovill Row homes, built during World War I to help ease the housing crisis of 1916. It needs a lot of cosmetic work, but it's a great house.

Several people I know have responded very poorly to the idea that I would move to this neighborhood (in the North End, off Walnut and Oak Streets, just below Long Hill). They've insisted that this is a bad, dangerous neighborhood. So far (thankfully), I have no idea why they think that. Yes, there are several large apartment buildings that have been abandoned for years. Yes, at some point in time a previous occupant of my house added bars to the first floor windows and fortified the back doors.

The people who live in this neighborhood appear to all be elderly or families with young children. In the afternoon and evening, there are dozens of children running around the neighborhood. The only dogs I've seen are small--a beagle and little yap-yap dogs (last I checked, the bad neighborhoods have lots of Rottweilers and pit bulls, and I haven't seen or heard any sign of them here). There are maybe three cats who saunter down the sidewalk like they own it. I saw a possum one night and fireflies another night.

I haven't heard any noise after 11:30pm or before 8:30am. I haven't seen any prostitutes or johns, drug dealers or junkies.

Within 24 hours of moving in, I was welcomed to the neighborhood by a very gracious lady who lives across the street. Everyone else I've encountered has been friendly.

To all of you who think this is a bad neighborhood, think again. It might be a little run down in parts, but it seems like a pretty good neighborhood to me!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Downtown Tag Sale

Saturday, June 16, 9am-1pm

I think they are expecting 65+ vendors, who will set up tables, etc. on Bank Street, South Main Street and Exchange Place. Lots of crafters, some jewelry makers, and, of course, an assortment of old stuff!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

First Thursday at Mattatuck Museum

I took a short break from work this evening to enjoy First Thursday at the Mattatuck Museum. Tonight it was held in the courtyard--beautiful weather, beautiful art, beautiful music!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Rotella Magnet School

Belated congratulations to Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School, recent recipient of the Ronald Simpson Deserved Merit Award, the highest honor given to magnet schools in the country.

Waterbury's magnet schools seem to be really great all around, and definitely seem to be better than regular schools. It's great that we have one of the best schools in the country. Maybe someday all of Waterbury's schoolchildren will be able to attend schools of that caliber.

Victory for City Hall

After long months of wrangling, the Board of Aldermen finally voted to move forward with the Option 4 renovation of our Cass Gilbert-designed City Hall building. Hooray! Option 4 calls for the complete restoration of the building--I can't wait to see how beautiful it will look when the project is completed!

I've been a little irritated that DePillo refused to allow Option 5 to pass, since it would have saved taxpayers millions of dollars over the next several years.

Option 5 would have funded the construction of a new fire house, allowing the current one to be renovated for office space. This would have allowed to city to move out of rented office space, and allowed for the consolidation of the Education Department in the Chase Building, which would then allow the city to get grant funding for the renovation/restoration of that structure.

I'm sure DePillo will yammer on about how he saved taxpayer's money by threatening to block Option 5 with a referendum, but as far as I'm concerned, he has cost us money. Eventually, the city will have to find some other way to stop renting office space, so I won't get too riled up about it.

Ultimately, I think all of Waterbury should be proud of what has been accomplished. The Town Hall building in Watertown has been languishing under scaffolding for years. Other towns and cities in the state have also been unable to move forward with the renovation of their main buildings. But here in Waterbury, we're going to get the project done.