Bah, Humbug!

You can debate the quantity (how much is enough?) and quality (wreaths? stars? lights on poles or overhead?) of Main Street holiday decorations all you want.

But what you can’t debate is what the backside of downtown’s main drag — Parker Harding Plaza — looks like.

It’s grim. 

This is not the face we want to show shoppers.

A grossed-out Westporter took these photos on Sunday. She sent them to “06880,” along with these thoughts:

I know the Chamber of Commerce sponsors events to celebrate the season — carolers, carriage rides, tree lightings and a holiday mixer.

These events are fine. But they don’t contribute to a festive feeling unless you’re actually in attendance.

What matters more to most of us is what we experience day-to-day, while shopping and making our holiday preparations downtown.

Small shops that decorate storefronts are great. But with so many chains, it’s the Downtown Merchants Association and Chamber that ideally would pick up the slack.

Most of the chains are very festive inside. It’s the streetscapes that need attention.

The situation in Parker Harding is a holiday horror. It doesn’t seem to be an isolated incident. Every year there’s something similar, it seems.

If the DMA and Chamber members aren’t sure how to set the stage for holiday cheer, they could ask those of us who run around from Thanksgiving to New Year’s what we would like to keep our spirits and energy high.

Personally, I’d love to see some beautiful greenery and a few twinkling string lights. Plus trash that is well managed, open sidewalks and open parking spaces – – not torn up and blocked off with tape.

Kids selling hot cider for a good cause would be icing on the cake.

Please stop the madness that is these photographs — dumpsters, port-a-potties, closed sidewalks and blocked off parking spaces! This is no way to welcome holidaymakers!


12 responses to “Bah, Humbug!

  1. Maybe the new mall at X 15 in Norwalk will get the Westport shoppers after all.

  2. And the fact that we who are on Main Street (yes I am talking about the little shopping complex after the crossing of Avery Place and Main Street) continues to be ignored like a step child with no snowflakes on the poles. It’s as if they want to forget the shops that are actually single owner small businesses that need to be highlighted. You know, we pay the same taxes to the town as the rest of Main Street so why this second class treatment…

  3. Like a Potemkin Village

  4. …and don’t forget a couple of Volunteer Salvation Army bell ringers. I always make sure I have a buck for the bucket. Last year, the horn section of one of our local high schools played carols for bucket donations—loved it so much, they got a $20.

  5. I don’t think it is fair or the least bit reasonable to lay blame at the feet of the DMA or Chamber of Commerce for construction chaos. They have no power stop the stores from being rebuilt or the attendant mess that goes with it. The town might, and I emphasize might, have some way via zoning or health and safety concerns.

  6. BUT…you all want it to look so pretty and put together. What does this happen by magic?? Is there ever going to be a good time to do construction? Beautification of this area comes with a little headache. If everyone would give the courtesy to the men trying to complete this project, so you all can have a beautiful, festive, holiday downtown experience sooner than later. You assume that this was done in December because the Town planned it that way? Get the facts right. I know it’s a major inconvenience but keep in mind these men would also like to give you back your Beautiful Holiday Downtown area with some dignity. They are making their living also. Trying to earn money to buy their own children Christmas presents. Say hi ! Buy them a coffee. Tell them they are doing a great job. Because in the end…we are ALL human. And kindness goes a long way. Especially in this holiday season you keep talking about. Where’s your spirit? What have YOU done to help this situation along?? The holidays are here..yes. But are you a humbug in your heart? Can a situation turn you into scrooge? Spread your joy.. people!! In any situation. In any surrounding. Be humble and grateful and fortunate. And have a great Holiday Season!

  7. Fact is, this is not unusual in Parker Harding. And, it is business after all. Isn’t that the goal of P&Z and DMA – to be user friendly to new and ongoing retail?
    Ugly as sin it is. But not so unusual.
    Merry and Happy one and all!

  8. Such a “Westport” problem. It’s called construction and it is never convenient…but necessary…so we must accept it as part of life.
    Be happy and celebrate the holidays focusing on family…friends…and those less fortunate.

  9. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    You wanna da omelette you gotta breaka da eggs

  10. Spoiled rotten. Intolerance has reached an all-time high.

  11. In my opinion that parking lot on the river is the most grossly misused land in Westport. It could have been a pedestrian-friendly retail/dining area like the San Antonio Riverwalk or Savannah waterfront rather than a closed-off parking loop and back entrance to stores.

  12. Does anyone know what it’s all for? It seems to me that there has been construction, debris, dumpsters for years now!
    I’m serious. What is it there for THIS time?
    I was there a couple of days ago and it’s a mess.