Friday, March 28, 2008

A Beautiful City

Contrary to what David Randall wrote in Forbes magazine, Waterbury is far from being a "junk pile." Here is a selection of images I've taken in Waterbury over the past few years--this is an incredibly beautiful city!

The view from Holyland.

Leavenworth Street.

St. John's Episcopal Church

Holiday lights on the Green

Spring flowers at Hamilton Park.

St. Mary's Orthodox Church.

Grand Street.

Silas Bronson Library

Immaculate Conception Church

The art deco Post Office on Grand Street.

Fulton Park

The Waterbury Green

A view of Exchange Place from the Green.

Main Street Waterbury's outdoor dining event at La Cazuela.

Rush hour traffic near St. Mary's Hospital.


Jude said...

OK, I've been (even very recently) guilty of Waterbury bashing (I lived there 12 years, and lost about 30K on a house bought at the wrong time....) but your pictures remind me of the good things about Waterbury.

I *do* miss that post office - I used to have a PO Box there. The mail was always in the box at the right time, they were open early and closed late, and you could even get access to PO Box mail on Sunday morning. Wonder if Ozzie is still there.....

The West Hartford Post Office I now frequent is the worst post office ever.....

Anonymous said...

before leaving my first comment here, this is a terrific blog. we've been reading for over a year now....

although i didn't think the forbes piece was particularly accurate -- or indeed all that important, aside from being yet another lump of bad publicity of the city -- i did think the '29-square-mile junk pile' comment was spot on. we've lived in many cities throughout the US since moving here last summer, and i have never seen a place more encrusted in litter and filth than this city. ever.

we love downtown, and we love some of the architecture of older buildings (despite some of them being in a terrible state of repair), but that does not offset the extraordinary lack of pride so many 'residents' of the city seem to show. i've seen women throw paper plates with pizza directly on the ground on willow, cars careening around a tight bend on boyden while pitching the remains of a six-pack of beer out the window, and thugs throw garbage on our lawn here on columbia.

the city is drowning in trash.

to point to other cities and say 'well, they have litter problems, too' is not terribly helpful. i find it interesting that the city suddenly saw a rash of plantings and fresh street paving shortly before the mayoral elections here. i'd settle for more municipal workers to clean the streets on a more regular basis -- although i did appreciate the flowers and mulch at intersections springing up all over the place.

streets bordered by rubbish, thugs zooming through red lights, and constant jay-walking -- in the middle of moving traffic, no less -- is a terrible shame: and compounded by the fact that i have seen all three of these things happen right in front of police cruisers. this painfully obvious lack of enforcement by police stems from a lack of urgency and attention at the top of city hall and provides easy fodder for those vistors to waterbury who have already heard of our less than stellar reputation.

has the city improved over the past decade? markedly. is it enough? not even close. we can't magically bring large employers to this city overnight (rowland or no rowland), nor can we fix all the social ills in this town drowning in poverty. but we can certainly spend some of the obscenely high property tax revenues to pick up the rubbish around here and arrest those producing it.

maybe then we can be proud of our city's future instead of her more august past. and maybe then 'journalists' of the ilk of mr. randall will find less ammunition when coming to do a hit piece on waterbury.

Waterbury Girl said...

You've just hit on two of the things that annoy me the most: litter and speeding. Every time the newspaper runs an article bragging about the city's efforts to clean up blight, I laugh (bitterly). One of the properties next door to my house is an apartment building that is in the process of being renovated. Their backyard is being used as their dump, and it's been a dump for almost a year now. The other apartment building next to my house has a corner grocery store, and every single day I have to pick up the empty candy wrappers and potato chip packages that blow into my yard.

Enforcement of anti-blight and anti-litter laws is meagre. Enforcement of traffic laws is completely non-existent. If I do 30 in a 25 zone, it's pretty much guaranteed that somebody behind me will become frustrated and angry, because they think I'm going too slow. It seems to be a commonly accepted fact that stop signs and red lights are optional in Waterbury. I know the police are busy going after drug dealers, but overall quality of life would be greatly enhanced if they enforced more basic, day-to-day laws.