Mayor of Pleasure Beach by PolarityPhoto

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Found scrawled on the bow of abandoned boat wreckage at Pleasure Beach – Bridgeport, CT – February 2009

Andi was one of the last 3 people to live at Pleasure Beach. On Thanksgiving Day 2007 a swat team kicked in the door of her cottage, pointed their rifles at Andi and her husband as they slept and arrested the two.

On Father’s Day of 1996 a careless driver tossed a lit cigarette out of the window of his car as he crossed the wooden drawbridge that connected Pleasure Beach, an island, to the mainland. The cigarette smoldered on the wood that was dry and brittle with the summer sun. The bridge caught fire that day and was never rebuilt.

The towns of Stratford and Bridgeport dragged their feet and the state took back the money that they had granted the towns to reconstruct the bridge. The towns cited that it was too costly to keep the island hooked up with their emergency services and effectively destroyed a beautiful quaint seaside haven that well over 40 families called their summer retreat. Because the cottage owners did not own the land but merely the structures all the residents were evicted.

For many years until that cold holiday in 2007 up to 13 families lived on the island in protest, hauling their groceries and belongings on foot down a 2 mile spit of loose sand connecting the island to the mainland. There were court battles, tears shed, memories left behind… The residents were forced to say goodbye.

Happy Thanksgiving… You’re under arrest. And the power was cut. All the power meters removed. The fresh water supply cut. All the doors of the cottages lay agape… open for greedy looters, bored vandals and folks like me, curiously enthralled with the story… each home a collection of memories… left behind forever.

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