Thursday, August 18, 2011

So Sad at Pleasure Beach

Those who never had the chance to witness the vibrancy, the specialness of Pleasure Beach, the escape from the "city" and the acceptance of us "mainland" folks taking a stroll or a run through their summer enclave won't be able to appreciate my sadness. Pleasure Beach, in part Stratford and Bridgeport, CT was a destination for many, public and private in years past. I walked out there today with my beach walker friend Alex. I don't believe she ever saw the old Pleasure Beach. The place I knew was completely changed. Cottages were gone. I will add a page of many more images to my sidebar but for now, look at the progression I show here...with true tears in my eyes.

These photos were taken before the complete eviction. There was one early attempt and most, who could get there after the only bridge burned...did their darnedest to continue to enjoy the "island".

Some cottages became overgrown, some just boarded up and then the life, the history of the families became subject to vandalism. That is something I cannot fathom. Bridge was out, but access by walking from Long Beach Stratford was possible and the rest is history. Very sad history.

This is the wooden bridge to Pleasure Beach looking from the island towards Bridgeport, scattered with oyster shells dropped by gulls. Quite a while had passed since the bridge was burned out. A large yellow cement barricade prevented traffic from crossing. I suppose it was for those residents still living out there, could they not have heard that their only access to the mainland was out of service???? I guess there were some stranded cars and home owners.

These are the empty lots of bygone cottages. Not a trace of a foundation, a retaining wall, a dock or a walkway down to the beach.

But fortunately, there is peace here. And flora and fauna abounds.

The Osprey!

The Deer! Wow, this was one big buck!

Some reseeded, some wild, the landscape was covered in a natural garden of hardy flowers. This made me accept the fact that life goes on and hopefully the island will become the National Fish & Wildlife Preserve that was promised!

And the remains. A small toy, a day glow ring of plastic and puzzle pieces. Our only finds of humanity left here after the bulldozing. But the history is documented and the memories live on.

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