For the times they are a-changin’
Newsday is running an article on the amazing revitalization of Patchogue village, a once beaten down and vacant downtown (read –Patchogue Village sees dramatic gains in development a decade after Swezey’s closed).
I haven’t been to Patchogue in a couple years, but was able to see something exciting happening when I was there. Something, I wish would happen right here in Long Beach. I am glad to read how all these revitalization efforts in Patchogue are working, but all this comes with some courage:
“Patchogue has always survived because it adapted to things,” Pontieri said. “This community was ready for leadership that wasn’t afraid of change.”
Growth, change and support from those who live there and run the damn place; that’s what is doing it. The concept of the suburb are dying. Unfortunately many in Nassau County just don’t get it, as I see gated communities going up all over Garden City and elsewhere on Long Island. All these bring traffic. Shopping centers disconnect communities and bring more traffic. None of these new developments are walkable or allow you to ride a bike even if you wanted to. Do you know that new gated community where Roosevelt Racetrack once was is right across the street from a movie theater, restaurants and stores? It’s terrible how it was developed. Those who live there have no choice, but to get in their cars to get anywhere. Unless they want to jump over a wall. Doesn’t anybody want fresh air or exercise anymore? Many people, especially the younger generation, do not want this type of closed-off lifestyle anymore. They feel disconnected. That is why areas such as Brooklyn and even upstate like the Hudson Valley are embracing the concept of the downtown. We need to change, otherwise Long Island is going to be the following: A place for rich people with pockets of poor who serve the rich people. Large shopping centers, traffic, parking woes, no more culture, chain restaurants, no more sense of community or sense of being is not where I would want to live.
[WALDBAUMS, I AM LOOKING AT YOU!!]
Not that we have it so bad here in Long Beach, but both our downtowns could use a tremendous facelift and revitalization. I love the idea of bringing a place to belong to an area. This attracts art, culture, amazing businesses, people and $$$. Right now, a quick walk around our downtowns, particularly on Park Avenue, is a scary one at night. It just seems so dead and desolate.
“You can’t have an economy that stagnates. You can’t have an economy that has no growth,” said Suffolk County Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), a village resident who maintains his district office there. ” . . . Otherwise, what happens is you lose your young people and your workforce. What we’ve done here in Patchogue is we’ve found a new growth model that works.
And look, they even had a failing theater, which now revitalized and better than ever:
[Patchogue Mayor Paul V.] Pontieri said the arts are a key component of Patchogue’s turnaround. Venues such as Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts attract customers who patronize village restaurants and shops, he said.
The village-owned theater opened in 1998 after a $3.35 million renovation of the old Patchogue Theater, which had closed a decade earlier. It now attracts about 150,000 people a year to live shows and concerts, “putting a tremendous number of people on Main Street,” Pontieri said.
I refuse to read the comments on Newsday relating to the article because I am sure most of them are from people who fear change, still think Red Hook Brooklyn is a ghetto and big box stores are the future. These people need to wake up and smell the coffee, for the times they are a -changin.
For me personally, I would love for our downtowns to be redeveloped this way: Walkable, sustainable and alive. Check the full article at Newsday: Patchogue Village sees dramatic gains in development a decade after Swezey’s closed.