1 Parker Harding Problem Solved. 999 To Go.

Our long national nightmare is over.

Okay, maybe not. But at least Parker Harder Plaza’s dumpster problem has been solved.

For several years, the big green receptacles near Starbucks have spilled garbage, attracted rodents, and sent this message to downtown visitors: “Blech!


No more!

Recently the Westport Downtown Merchants Association added a cleanup crew, initiated pest control, helped store owners review protocol and “addressed regular abusers.”

Ta da!


Work is not finished. Still ahead: installation of upgraded and “significantly more attractive” enclosures.

We won’t hold our breath.

But at least while we don’t, we won’t hold our noses when we want some fresh food at Freshii.

24 responses to “1 Parker Harding Problem Solved. 999 To Go.

  1. Now how about the various eyesores in Saugatuck, like that alley behind Tarry Lodge littered with restaurant detritus, and the squalid Franklin St i95 underpass?

  2. I think the dma is doing a rely rely good job takeing care off Parker Harding and cleaning I think the Randy and staff are a hard job wiring with the down has helped

  3. Dan, what percentage of your readers do you reckon are too young to even recognise the historical reference in your headline?

  4. Sylvia Robinson Corrigan

    I, for one, am very glad to see that this area around the dumpster has been cleaned up! One day not very long ago, I had walked out of Starbucks with my coffee, and by mistake I stepped on a piece of greasy paper lying on the asphalt. A person in a high powered car parked in front of the Loft backed up fast and made an illegal turn towards the exit lane and stop light – I practically tripped off the paper when i jumped away from his car. See how a simple piece of paper could cause someone to slip and fall, possibly to be struck by a car! Bravo for the clean up crew!!!

  5. Dick Lowenstein

    And 42 years later, a new national nightmare is about to begin!

  6. It’s a good thing most Westporters never go downtown. If they ever saw the site conditions in Parker Harding they’d move to Canada.

    • Canada? Personally, Bordeaux is preferable these days.

    • Actually, I’d be happy to rent out my igloo here in Canada while I’m away.
      No spilled garbage since the polar bears have been given a wage hike.

      • Good grief, I can’t even embed a little truth in a joke without its windshield being squeegeed.

        • I’m kidding, too. I get a kick from all the people I’ve met on my travels who expect a wall of snow at our border.

    • David A. Waldman

      Why would you say such a thing Morley? You live downtown and you have worked hard, along with others to continue to make downtown relevant and beautiful. I for one disagree with you and use the town often, as does my family. Our downtown is one of the strongest assets of our great town and its ultimate success is Westport’s success.

      Sure, I am clearly biased based on my developments but I hope it is evident from the beauty of Bedford Square, Kemper Gunn an, National Hall and so many other wonderful developments that Westport’s downtown is about to embark on a new chapter of vibrancy.

      The WDMA works very hard to make our town exciting. Not just for shopping but for the town as a whole.

      Don’t belittle what we have all worked so hard on. Downtown is very well used and will continue to get better as these transformative developments come to an end and the new stores, restaurants and residencies become open and occupied.

  7. The dumpster area looks cleaner,for sure, but it is still in a terrible location. It is an ugly but prominent feature in the midst of food service businesses.

  8. You have done a great job, David, of improving our downtown. There’s no disputing that. And nobody can top your passion. My crack about the deplorable condition of the Parker Harding lot was certainly NOT aimed at you or the WDMA – it was aimed squarely at the administration. My sincere apologies if it seemed otherwise.

    The joke that no one in Westport goes downtown is kind of an old one – I suspect there’s a kernel of truth to it but my information is merely anecdotal.

    As to the matter of Parker Harding’s site conditions, new dumpster protocols (which are great, by the way) notwithstanding, the area remains a place where hope sort of dies. But that’s not your fault.

    It’s really ours.

    • At the risk of having to hire a food taster, I’d like to expand a bit on the subject of waterfront public realm infrastructure and the maintenance of same. Parker Harding is, in some ways, a kind of park; it has a beautiful backdrop (the river) and what could be a pretty decent walk along the river.

      But many of the plantings, curbs, benches, outdoor art (yikes!), pathways, lighting (reminds me of something you might have seen at Powder Ridge in the 70’s), rusty cables strung atop the seawall (clearly sourced from a DOT garage), and so on are really pretty depressing when considered as a whole.

      But it’s more than that. Parker is part of something. On the other side of the Post Road, there’s the Riverwalk where the town has given up. Just given up. Poison ivy, invasive trees and weeds. And that’s just for starters.

      Then you get to the Levitt where nobody has even bothered to maintain the new perimeter landscaping – much of which is now dead (a violation of, ahem, the Levitt’s conditions of approval) or overrun by giant invasive plants like porcelain berry.

      In the end, I guess we get the conditions we want. Generally speaking, nobody seems to much care about our greenspaces and waterfront infrastructure. So there you have it.

      • Your idea of perfection is too much.
        Growing up with the poison ivy, brambles and muddy ponds — we survived! Hard to eradicate nature.

        Your dislike of the hardscape is your opinion. Surely neighboring towns are envious of it all.

        • You literally have no idea what’s being discussed here and look very foolish. Go squeegee somebody in your own time zone.

          • Foolish is not recognizing that there are towns around the world with the very same dilemmas as Westport. There is give and take in the real world. I’ve always applauded your efforts, and successes, as a preservationist and sorry (as are many ex-Westporters) that the place, buildings, landscape have “changed” yet happy that people like you work very hard to do history right.
            By the way, I happen to live in a place, too, that deals with greenspace and waterfront infrastructure on a daily basis, so you are not alone.
            Keeping a rainforest free of invasive plants is an impossible project, as nature is not meant to be perfect, nor are choices of benches, lighting, etc.
            Thanks for letting me respond.

            P.S. Don’t drink the tea!

            • Flyspecking local neighborhood issues in another country and expecting to be taken seriously is the height of hubris. So spare me the pretentious lectures – I have exactly zero interest.

              • Flyspecking? So much for cross border friendship.
                I’ll stick to my town’s restoration projects, you continue with yours and we won’t learn a thing from each other. Merde.