Lately I have been having a recurring dream that I’d like to share with village residents. The dream is still a little fuzzy. But each time I have it, details become clearer. At first, on awakening I was overwhelmed by the dream’s ambitiousness. Over time, however, that initial feeling has evolved into excitement and optimism. The dream goes like this:
I am driving to the station for the morning commute to the city. It’s a rainy day, and I am following a village DPW truck on Croton Point Avenue. When we reach the road leading to Veterans Plaza, we both turn right instead of left and enter the former Metro-Enviro site. Although it has been raining all night, the newly paved lot is not flooded at all. The DPW truck continues farther into the property to reach a relocated DPW facility. As I exit my car I see two men in the parking lot standing next to a GreenTree. Mr. Zambrano, the village treasurer, is handing the other man a check for what he describes as the current month’s lease payment. The check is for a large amount, but well below the parking fees collected by the village every month.
As I walk along a newly paved walkway underneath the bridge to Croton Point toward the station, I see a handsome building in an attractively landscaped setting. It occupies the former DPW site and the area where the parking lot used to flood on rainy days like this. There is a man cutting a yellow ribbon looks strangely familiar to me. I think I may have seen him before on News 12 talking about the redevelopment of White Plains and New Rochelle; or maybe it was on NBC TV interviewing candidates to be his apprentice, I can’t be sure. I recognize him as a developer who has contributed much to Westchester’s development. After he cuts the yellow ribbon in front of the new building, this man hands a check to Mr. Zambrano, who is obviously elated by the numbers he reads. Strangely enough, although there are hundreds of people at this ribbon cutting ceremony, there are few children. I guess people with school age children don’t live in one- and two-bedroom condos.
My dream picks up later that day. I am walking up from the train station after returning to Croton around 8:00 p.m. When I reach Harmon, everything is noticeably different. The streets are alive with people. Buildings with restaurants, shops and cafes form a beautiful streetscape up and down Croton Point Avenue and South Riverside Avenue. Above each of these restaurants and shops are two additional stories of apartments. As I approach what formerly was Croton Dodge, I see many people waiting in line. Above them is a marquee listing various shows and events. A live play and an art show are on the schedule.
Next I ride a skateboard down Riverside Avenue to the skateboard park at the DPW site on Municipal Place. But the only ramp I find is a handicapped ramp at the entrance to a new professional office building. Doctors, lawyers and business owners are coming and going from the building. Then that same familiar-looking man comes out of the building with Mr. Zambrano and hands him another check. Mr. Zambrano examines it and says, “Thank you, you are sure making life in Croton a lot less TAXING.”
As I walk up Municipal Place, I notice other changes. A large street clock and a fountain resembling the Croton Dam spillway are at the corner of Maple Street and Municipal Place. People young and old are gathered here, talking and eating ice cream in the building’s courtyard. It is hard to tell who lives in this building from those here for the recreational activities. One thing is certain: this spot is a great improvement over the undeveloped and wooded lot I remember.
My dream ends with another group of people enjoying various outdoor activities at Croton Landing. Oddly enough, the only thing that seems to have changed at the waterfront is its size and improved esthetics. And no buildings are here at all. I wonder if that man at the ribbon cutting ceremony had anything to do with the improvements at Croton Landing.
I would be interested in hearing if anyone else in Croton has been having similar dreams? If so, what are the details? Do any readers get the feeling my dream is more of a nightmare? If so, I am interested in hearing why. If so, I am interested in hearing why—so, please post your opinions here on the Crotonblog for all to consider.
— Kieran Murray, Croton