Oct. 19th, 2007 @ 01:41 pm Bridgeport
These are some pictures that I found of my hometown Bridgeport, Connecticut.

It's current state is a mere shadow of its former greatness. It's
historical relevance runs deep.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with this place. I love it
because it's my home among other reasons. I hate it because it's
miserable, poor and neglected. It once progressive and productive life
as a city is now just considered a black mark on Fairfield County.
Poverty runs rampant, employment opportunities almost do not exist.
Crime and drugs are a way of life for many residents. Whether being
apart of or living adjacent to. Not to mention the stream of corrupt
politicians that have plagued Bridgeport for as far back as I can
remember.

Even thinking about these things makes my heart hang heavily.

A lot of these buildings still stand. Many of them partially burned,
boarded up and completely abandoned. Many remain as some very
important aspects of not only New England's history, but the rest of
the United States (and in some instances the worlds). From industry,
to progress in things we take advantage of in our everyday lives.
Dental Hygiene, Frisbee Pies, Sikorsky, Remington Arms, and Barnum and
Bailey Circus, just to name a few.

If only I had a few billion dollars.

Pleasure Beach, 1911
Pleasure Beach, 1911



Pleasure Beach 1689
Pleasure Beach, 1689
Please beach was once a very popular amusement park. Today it's
completely abandoned because of vandalism that resulted in the burning
of a bridge that would allow residents and tourists easy access to
this peninsula in between Bridgeport and Stratford. Now it takes a two
mile walk or a boat to get there.

Railroad Bridge 1900
Railroad Bridge, 1900
This bridge is still used to this day. Mainly by (but certainly not
limited to) the commuter rail Metro North. Which runs from New Haven,
CT to Grand Central Station, NYC.

Barnum and BaileyWinter Quarters 1900
Barnum and Bailey Winter Quarters, 1900

Barnum andBailey Circus Winter Quarters 1920
Barnum and Bailey Winter Quarters, 1920
This circus (as many of you already know) is still running strong
today. Though it's winter quarters have since been moved to Florida,
It's presence in Bridgeport is still very real. Before 2001 Ringling
Brothers & Barnum & Bailey hadn't played Bridgeport in over 50 years.
This was because there was no place for them to set up a show such as
this.

Stratford Ave 1907
Stratford Ave, 1907
100 years later and this once vibrant area is now riddled with crime
and poverty. Rendering it one of the worst neighborhoods in
Bridgeport.

John Street 1919
John Street, 1919

Main Street 1930
Main Street, 1930
This is Downtown Bridgeport. Nowadays it's more of a ghost town.
Though there have been many attempts at revamping this area. Theaters
are reopening, more shopping is available. As well as housing with the
specific purpose of bringing artists into the area. The future here
has a lot of promise.

Seaside Park Flood 1930
Seaside Park Flood, 1930
This is one the areas of Bridgeport that has seen a lot of change over
the last 10 years or so. It's been cleaned up and made much more
friendly to residents that want to enjoy a beautiful coastal park
without having to drive to Fairfield for it. This area is home to many
historical houses that are being restored after their stint as lower
income housing.

Prohibition 1932
Prohibition In Bridgport, 1932
I included this photo for a few reasons. For one I found the photo
quite amusing. Secondly, to illustrate the types of historical houses
previously mentioned. And most importantly, to show that Bridgeport
has a long history of residents taking charge politically. This is
evident in almost a century of worker strikes on local companies for
various labor related issues.
Worker Support 1986
Hotel Workers Support, 1986

Hindenburg 1936
The Hindenburg Over Bridgeport, 1936

GE Strike 1948
General Electric Strike, 1948
These buildings stand to this day on Boston Ave. In the middle of
Bridgeport's notorious east side. These massive buildings are mostly
empty and unused today.

Oil Tanks 1978
Oil Tanks, 1978
To this day there are ghosts of Bridgeport's industrial past creates
the landscape of the city.

Despite the hard times that Bridgeport has seen, especially in the
last 50 or so years. All is not lost. The potential for this city is
seemingly limited only by apathy, fear and of course a lack of
funding.

Bridgeport could again be a great cultural and entertainment
destination for Connecticut. I hope I live to see the day that this
nearly forgotten place is treated with the dignity and respect it so
obviously deserves.

This was originally posted by my bestest friend samystclair. The both of us are born and raised in Bridgeport. x-posted in her journal and mine.
About This Entry
gert
intravenous:
From:thomasj
Date:October 19th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
()
LJ CUT IS YOUR FRIEND WHEN POSTING PICTURES
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From:intravenous
Date:October 19th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
()
Holy christ, no need to yell. Yelling never solved anything, even on the internet.

I apologise to everyone who suffered but hasn't yelled at me. I copied directly.
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From:acer_genus
Date:October 20th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
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chill out, the post was short enough.
From:thomasj
Date:October 20th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
()
you missed the format before I called her out; it had every single picture, uncut. took forever to scroll down.

I wish I could make long un-cut posts as socially unacceptable as, say, DUI
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From:squid_ink
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
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those are pretty amazing. thanks for the glimpse into the past

it's sad that the area has gone downhill... it does have promise. It reminds me of the east village and lower east side in the 70s (yes i'm that old) when NYC was bankrupt. I was really little but I remember a squirrel's outline spray painted on a tree. My mom told me that was because no squirrel in their right mind would be caught dead in Tompkins Square Park.
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From:desolation_no
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
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One of CT's big problems is the often unspoken of racial and financial divide between country towns and the cities. I went from living in Litchfield (one black kid in the entire high school at that time) to Hartford. It's just incredibly ironic and sad. I wish I had the answers to the problems.
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From:intravenous
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Well, to be fair Bridgeport has a pretty equal divide. And as of late, even with our terrible mayor, it's a lot nicer place to live. I think the problems really settled in around the same time NY was in need of a clean up. I mean, up until 1996 or so we had been consistently in the list of cities with the highest murder rate. Things are looking up for our fair city but what I would give to go 'way back when', as they say.
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From:cdozo
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
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I agree that Bridgeport is a beautiful city. It's got so much potential. But it just sits there wasting away.

*sigh*

Whatever. Those are nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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From:intravenous
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
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Everyday while working I go into these beautiful homes that have just been desecrated by their current occupants. It literally makes me sick. Some of these houses are up to 200 years old!
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From:hbk_aholic
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
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My husband and I love looking at the old Bridgeport pics and postcards. It was SUCH a great city!!
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From:wishuponakate
Date:October 19th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
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Haha, "We Want Beer" Love it.

It's really cool to see it when it wasn't so run down.
(Deleted comment)
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From:intravenous
Date:October 19th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
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Nice jacket.
From:so_tawdry
Date:October 21st, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
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As someone who has lived in Waterbury for my entire life, I have to agree. Granted, as in any city large enough, it has both good and bad sections. Unfortunately, though, the focus tends to lie majorly on the bad. I can't tell you how many times friends/relatives of mine who live in, say, Beacon Falls wonder in amazement that I'm not 'terrified' to live in Waterbury. Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford -- they're not lost causes. Take downtown Waterbury, for instance, the architecture on some of the buildings is absolutely beautiful. As cdozo said above, so much potential. But it just sits there wasting away.
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From:tete6871
Date:October 19th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
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im moving to CT this weekend! I inquired with a friend about Bridgeport b/c online it looked exciting! He said it was crime-filled! it is sad when that happens to your childhood town!
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From:intravenous
Date:October 19th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
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Actually, Bridgeport has been crime filled ever since I can remember. It's been bad for a loooong time.
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From:lordxyyndragon
Date:October 19th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
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Awesome photos, I love the one with the elephants
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From:acer_genus
Date:October 20th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
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Yeah, Connecticut cities suffer from several things. First, Connecticut is a suburban state, with these small cities in a vast sea of suburbia. There is no form of regional government to even out the vast inequalities between suburbs and city. Second, Connecticut politics are old and corrupt. Especially in the cities, as Bridgport and Waterbury show. I happen to think that DeStefano in New Haven is a pretty good guy. Thirdly, Connecticut cities are stuck between New York and Boston. Fourth: Urban Renewal! In the 60's and 70's foolish politicians deemed many areas of these cities and their residents undesireable. The replacements were harldy anything to cheer about, and anyone who lived in these cities knew that.

So there are many obstacles to overcome. The good news is that they can be: Chattanooga, Tennessee, Providence, Duluth, and many other small cities are proof of that.
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From:ribs_and_a_40
Date:October 20th, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
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Wow...Blast from the past! I was born and raised in Bridgeport myself. My Dad (long passed now) worked at Remington Arms (also long passed now...as is Korvette's at the Trumbull Mall and Raybestos, other places my Dad worked). I agree, Bridgeport has changed. My Mom moved to FL years ago, when she came to visit last I had to take her to what I called "the ruins of Bridgeport". Sadly, she agreed.

Magic Johnson and some other investors want to make improvements to the city around the Steel Point area, but city council is getting greedy...and it may not happen.

I'm still in CT, but long gone from Bridgeport (left there not long after Hurricane Gloria)...I hope it does improve.
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From:kateyez213
Date:October 21st, 2007 06:10 am (UTC)
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Bpt girl here....Im really looking forward to the future too. Downtown should be getting better....have you seen all the movies being made here? I can't believe that hasn't been discussed in this community yet. I'll post some pics of Al Pacino soon. I have friends and family that have met him, Robert Deniro, and 50 cent. And some others, like the guy from Sopranos and Steven Segal. Hopefully these movies will help, and more people will want to move into the downtown area. Bridgeport was so beautiful, but I still don't think it's as bad as people not from here make it out to be. I live in a good neighborhood by trumbull, and I go to the east end a lot and hang out at Beardsley Park which is such a beautiful place to me. Seaside is also nice in the summer. You just have to know where to go, and where NOT to go...same as any other city.
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From:intravenous
Date:October 21st, 2007 10:41 am (UTC)
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Yeah, all the movies actually cause a lot of problems for me! I work in both Bridgeport and Stamford, they're making movies all over both cities. But it's sort of nice to think that people want to come here.