David Rafferty is a local Democrat with whom I have never, ever agreed with politically, but his column today suggesting that Greenwich move its parades and celebrations to Old Greenwich and abandon the chain store-dominated Greenwich Avenue to its out of town customers seems eminently sound. He's right: the Avenue is no longer the hub of Greenwich, and it's time to relocate to a new one.
It’s time to leave Greenwich Avenue to the tourists and other “just passing troughs.’” It’s time to establish a new heart and soul of Greenwich, and while I may be biased, I nominate downtown Old Greenwich. Consider the OG Memorial Day Parade with flags and crowds and kids and a finish line in Binney Park. First Light with the mom-and-pop shops wide open and the families taking it all in. Summer concerts in the park. Art shows, block parties ... it’s the real hometown, small town vision so many of us want for all of Greenwich.
So how about it? Let’s move the high school homecoming, Columbus Day and St. Patrick’s parades to Old Greenwich and let the businesses on the Avenue get back to catering to the 1 percent. The rest of us will come to an Avenue restaurant occasionally or when we need our iPhone fixed. Meanwhile in Old Greenwich, the rest of us can get the Greenwich we really want.
I've long maintained that, if you want a glimpse of what our town used to be like, go watch (or join - anyone can, just hop in) the Memorial Day parade in OG. How appropriate that that section was renamed "Old" Greenwich many years ago.