Monday, May 25, 2015

In Englewood, annual parade celebrates past, not present

Strutting to the beat of a New Orleans-style brass band, above and below, was a musical high point at Englewood's Memorial Day Parade today.

Spectators gathered in front of City Hall on Palisade Avenue. As he does every year, Dwight Morrow High School graduate and attorney Frank Lucianna, 92, marched in today's parade.

Despite the construction of hundreds of luxury apartments on Palisade Avenue and on Route 4, plus multi-million dollar mansions on the city's East Hill, Englewood's downtown merchants continue to struggle. That's a story The Record of Woodland Park has never told.

The only businesses that thrive consistently are the realty companies and landlords, below.

On South Dean Street, Poached operates next door to a vacant storefront, above and below.

Charles Hamade's U Pie Company and Clam Bar on Palisade Avenue, opposite his old restaurant, is flanked by vacant storefronts.

Moosavi Rugs moved into the building where Mitchell Simon Co. operated a hardware store for seven decades, closing in February 2013, above and below.

Across from the old Mitchell Simon building, a storefront is vacant next door to Cassie's, one of the city's most popular restaurants.

North Dean Street has its share of empty storefronts, above and below, as counterpoints to the street's expensive boutiques.

An unwelcome addition to this year's parade was a group of the noisiest and smelliest motorcycles I have ever had the displeasure of seeing and hearing.

An Auburn Speedster was an oasis of calm when compared to the motorcycles, which are modified to make as much noise as possible.

The city's many black churches were well represented, but children attend public elementary and middle schools that remain segregated.

A new firehouse is being built next door the police headquarters and Municipal Court. Yet Englewood officials balked at the expense of turning the old Lincoln School into a community center.


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