What’s in a name, I ask once again.
St. Mary’s, Black Rock, Grover’s Hill… all those place names indicate Bridgeport. I still defend their use because these are distinctive neighborhoods, just as you would say Murray Hill or Center City. And when a merchant in Greenwich or Scarsdale asks for my address to add to their mailing list, it is with glee that I tell them Bridgeport. Chances are they live there, too.
But this always gets me. Here’s a new magazine that will cover the cultural and dining scene in “greater Fairfield.” Greater Fairfield? Just say the word: Bridgeport. Bridge-port. Br. Idge. Port. Was that so bad?
Try this for some refreshingly honest copy: “We cover the arts, culture, events and dining in Bridgeport, Fairfield and Westport.” (I don’t dare to dream they would say “greater Bridgeport.”) You won’t scare the horses, although you might give pause to the timid suburban creatures who stay home at night anyway.
It only makes sense to put “greater” before the large, dominant entity of Bridgeport. The Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Greater Bridgeport Transit District, the Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches. Bridgeport is the hub of our area.
So saying “greater Fairfield” is a way of avoiding naming the hardscrabble city that dare not speak its name. A city which, by the way, hosts enough quality restaurants, galleries and cultural institutions that made the word “greater” necessary to begin with.
I noticed at the Dogwood Festival a few weeks back that a van from the Watermark was dropping off its residents. The side of the van gave the name of the facility and the street address, 3030 Park Avenue, but somehow was discreet enough not to use the B word. That made me feel kind of dissed.
Looks like my city is getting dissed again.