“We need bridges, don’t we?” Penelope Smithers says. “Then that’s what we have to do. You say three, why not four bridges, to ensure future growth? Want to reroute I-95 to its original proposed path through Tod’s Point? It will be unpleasant, but if it would help Greenwich, bring it on!”
Compare this to the reaction of Cos Cob residents when back in 1983 the Mianus River bridge was temporarily shut down for, what? Two weeks? Three? My God, their wails soared over the traffic noise that the Greenwich Association of Realtors described as “the quiet tinkle of a babbling brook”. “We want reparations!”, they cried. “We want a new school! A grocery store! A library! We want balloons on every corner and free pony rides!”
And they got it all, though the balloons deflated, the ponies wandered off, the grocery store closed when it refused to accept food stamps and the library, to try to meet the needs of residents, stocked its shelves only with pop-up books for adults and coloring books for the children like “My Daddy is a Snowplower”.
We acceded to their every demand yet they are still complaining, twenty-nine years later. The latest “gimme” their politicians Frankie Fudrucker and Peter Tesei insist on is a new pool in Byram so that their neighbors can bathe with their western peers. Give me a break.
The difference between Riverside and Cos Cob? A stiff upper lip and a quivering one.