Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"The 'We'll Try' City" is Really Trying

They want to "daylight" the Quequechan River in Fall River Massachusetts. The Providence River was daylighted several years ago, and Providence is thriving. So Fall River wants to do the same thing. The truth is, an Army Corps grant would surely benefit some areas along the underground river, but some enthusiastic folk have bigger ideas. Because they want to have Waterfire just like Providence. And gondola rides just like Providence. And economic revitalization and shopping and tourists. Just like... yeah.

Every few years, the residents of the former Troy Massachusetts let a few eccentrics come up with a zany idea that "Might...just...WORK!" and then the rest of the citizens can enjoy Fall River's favorite spectator sport, "Watch 'Em FAIL!"

Try something bizarrely irrelevant and nonessential with a manic passion born of maladroit eagerness and inappropriate vehemence, and perhaps somebody else will fall into your pipedream [sic] and you can hope it won't cost you any of your own money. This time, the Federal Government is the perfect patsy, because they have money for just such endeavors. Really, it's right there. Ready for us. Honest.
Once, somebody thought it would be a good idea to have a Tall Ship™ in Fall River. Some people still think so. So what if Fall River has never been a port of consequence (except for steamships). Fall River had no connection to a mutiny in the South Pacific or even the movie about a mutiny. And the bulk of Fall River's maritime interest and knowledge was a "museum" whose major claim to fame was housing a model of the Titanic. There was no established maritime educational or operational group capable of maintaining a ship. (Nor was there one after the ship arrived.) Of course other towns have Tall Ships™, but they also have other adjoining attractive features. A dead waterfront filled with abandoned cars and construction debris is not a tourist draw just because you've got a "pirate boat." Even if you had Johnny Depp giving free tours every half-hour.
Fall River is an exasperating hot-air quarry that can't even keep
a damned good bookstore open in the building run by the local college. Sure, you can uncover the Quequechan. But you'll still have a town full of unsophisticated illiterates who refuse to drive properly.
That's The Beach.

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