Glen Cove Redevelopment Sails On
Call it "hello, Columbus" (and a happy Columbus Day Sail to you all), but while Town of Hempstead officials twiddle thumbs and mince words over the Lighthouse Project, the City of Glen Cove is poised to move forward with its most ambitious plans to revitalize its underutilized and altogether blighted waterfront.
Glen Isle portends to be the epitome of smart growth -- a re-invigorated downtown (and which community among us couldn't use that?); a rejuvenated waterfront, replete with entertainment, dining, residential, and recreational facilities; an environmentally friendly footprint; and all of this without the naysaying and politicking that has become the hallmark of Kate & Kompany in the Town of Hempstead.
Yes, landscaped public parks, pedestrian plazas, walking and cycling paths, as well as a restored public beach, complementing multiple housing types which include condominiums, townhouses and lofts, a Culinary Arts District, office space, waterfront dining, convenience retail and other related uses for residents and visitors alike.
Add to this a planned luxury hotel and adjacent Ferry Terminal with service to and from Manhattan and other destinations.
Sounds idyllic. When can the rest of Nassau County move in?
And while Glen Cove continues to reinvent the Gold Coast, Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray, systematically plunders and decimates the Blight Coast (formerly known as the Town that Time Forgot, a/k/a America's Most Blighted Township).
How is it that one Long Island community can have the consummate transformation, from brownfields loaded with radioactive waste to fields of dreams, while others, notably, America's most populous town (quadruple that, when you include illegal accessory apartments), remain mired in the mud, stuck in the rear view mirror of suburbia, about as in tune with the 21st century as a Victrola? [Victorian-style street lamps, on the other hand...]
Could it be that Hempstead Town, and its many square miles of unincorporated wasteland, is just too big, too daunting, or simply too far gone?
Perhaps its the old "rape the land" philosophy of the strip miners, taking everything you can for yourself, future generations (and even present ones) be damned.
Is it that our elected officials are not up to the task, lacking visionary leadership, bold initiative, or the incentive to do anything more than to hold office for another year, another decade, another eon?
Or is it that we, the people, have, in large numbers, simply given up, falling prey to the "it can't be done," "that's the way it is," "why bother" mediocrity that stymies anything more than a few brick pavers on Main Street?
We are distracted by the glib, be it solar incubated clams or grazing Nigerian goats, waylayed by the smile (behind which lies the inherent evil of malaise), and paralyzed by the fear of anything new, different, unique, or challenging.
We take comfort in our age-old surroundings, seemingly oblivious to the decline of downtown, the decay along Main Street, the brownfield, ever-encroaching, next door.
And we believe the disingenuous, the promise never delivered, the lie recast and retold, time and time again, so much so, that most of us never bother to do the one thing that can bring about change, and turn around this community, more than any other -- VOTE!
Are Glen Cove residents more enlightened, empowered, embracing of the future than we in the lower townships? Are their leaders -- elected and civic -- more forceful, demanding, and steadfast?
Perhaps. Or maybe it is just the two Towns of Hempstead -- one for the North, and the other, er, not.
Let's just say that, right now, the difference between Glen Cove and the Town of Hempstead (which, by virtue of size rather than desire, is the heart of Nassau County), is that the former is moving forward, while the latter is, at best, standing still.
It is time to get Nassau County moving forward once again, lest future generations be left but to inherit the wind!