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Thursday, December 16, 2010

When life gives you Bridgeport, make... fun of it.

I KID CONNECTICUT, I KID. Oh Family Guy, you gone done it now, making fun of the Park City and angering the Gods of I-95 (ranked one of the worst cities in terms of commute). I GREW UP THERE – SETH AIN’T LYING. Except that maybe if the factories still remained. (...2 ...3 ...4!) Oh, and the guy with the Bah-stan accent writing the letter. Hmmm. Other than that, look at Bridgeport mayor Bill Finch laughing it all off and even upselling the city:

“We've got great sources of entertainment in the city at the arena, the ballpark and the zoo and the discovery museum.” 

Yes, I know. Can’t blame him for the positive spin when your city takes a shot like that. Except... my sister works at that zoo; the only one in the state threatened annually by budget cuts. Having worked on the initial launch campaign for the stadium, I can also say it was a shining example of how to clear out urban *blight* (read: a socio-economic class who couldn’t afford to relocate otherwise), to then make room for the entertainment surrounding towns needed. No worries Westporters – they put extra cops on duty so you won’t get lost *in the bad parts* of the city! Oh wait, it’s Bridgeport, there are none. Why?

Because we all just fish here in pristine waters.

Lest I crap too much on things too much though, it doesn’t have as serious a challenge to its existence as Braddock, PA does. Okay, the gas pumps line is pretty accurate, but it’s also home to a lot of famous people. (I notice they don’t spend much time there now, though.) Its challenges however are no different than other post-industrial waterfront cities failing to migrate a manufacturing base over to a service-based economy as that work goes away.  Beyond that, it needs to fight the other perception problem it has: government corruption.

Seth, I ain’t mad at ya... just, less smog next time.

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