The seediness of Campbell Avenue, with all its way-too-young mothers pushing baby strollers passed the landlord-neglected storefronts and methadone clinic-bound dudes at the bus stop, is off set completely by the sea salty aroma that invades my senses when I turn right onto Captain Thomas Blvd. and park curbside.
Yeah, it's that time of year again.
A reader of this very blog would know how I discovered West Haven beach, this gem amongst coal, last summer after only about 3 years of living here.
If Connecticut had no coast, boy, it'd be the worst state in the country. This bumps it up to like, third worst.
West Haven is a tough town. If it had to be personified, it would be a 76-year old overly-tanned Italian man rocking a Vietnam POW hat. But this is my summer happy place. I get a beach jog in, a long walk, then I hit the Oyster River Tavern for some raw Blue Points. It doesn't get too much better than this, and not much bothers me on these days.
Of course the numerous broken sea shells surrounding discarded Dunkin coffee cups throughout the sands are annoying, as is the fact that the water is pretty much off limits due to pollution.
What bothers me the most though, is this...
This high-rise erected for West Haven's impoverished and elderly, has windows facing East and West. That ugly old brown wall, likely where the interior elevator or stairwell is located, has the southern view of the Sound.
So in the most economically unequal state in America, you build a publicly-financed housing project for the disadvantaged, a high rise that stands among other tall condos, unaffordable by even West Haven standards, along the coastline on a beach for crying out loud, and you can't even give them a view of the water?!!
To quote Al Pacino's portrayal of Satan, touch but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow.
Poor people just can't get a break, even in this so-called land of Progressivism.
Now I'm gonna go grab some IPAs and oysters.