Metaphor For City: A Symphony Plays A Shuttered Theater

Veteran Journal Inquirer columnist Chris Powell laments the plight of cities in Connecticut while conveying a ray of hope in a plug for OIB:

Policy premises here need to be challenged by journalism, not coddled. For why should anyone think that another 40 years of throwing money at what has failed to restore the cities will work someday? And how do the big thinkers who have presided over this disaster get away with considering themselves enlightened instead of culpable?

The tragedy of Connecticut’s cities is metaphorically conveyed by a 15-minute video made last September and highlighted the other day by Only in Bridgeport blogger Lennie Grimaldi. The video, made to promote a now-stalled redevelopment proposal for the city’s downtown, shows the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra playing British composer Vaughn Williams’ ethereal “The Lark Ascending” in the decrepit former Palace Theater.

The orchestra’s performance is magnificent and the video gently contrasts it with the theater’s moldy walls and crumbling ceilings, thereby hinting at the Bridgeport that once was and might be again. Amid the frequent shootings in the city, it is hard to imagine, but there it is: a tremendous symphony orchestra with Bridgeport in its name. Within living memory Bridgeport was the industrial capital of Connecticut, but today the factories are empty hulks like the theater.

Great talent and potential remain here but there is only an echo of civic virtue. Weep for it now that government in Connecticut makes sure to succeed only with its own salaries and pensions.

Full story here.



  1. About Dark in the Park (City) and the LARK

    Seek out the lark
    It shows a spark
    Of Bridgeport’s future ascending.

    The musicians are pros.
    But nobody knows
    Exact’s next move, depending

    On markets and banks
    And credit worthy ranks
    With city and state descending.

    Aren’t we well overdue
    For a story,”verily true”
    From Ganim2, defending?

    Time will tell.

  2. Sure a lot of what Powell says is true about how bad the government has been but the negative press such as his has been what has dragged Bridgeport down forever.
    The theater needs repair but he doesn’t recognize its beauty and significance nor its potential for bringing the City back!

    I have stayed here and like it here. A lot of good people choose to live here and love it here.
    Yes, the press should not coddle the politicians and bureaucracy I agree with that


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