IN THE LONG LITANY OF PAST FAiLURES, GIACOMETTI TELLS THE SAD STORY OF ANOTHER LOST GEM: THE TRIBECCA FILM FESTIVAL AND ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S TOP ROCK/POP VENUES.
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19, 2012) — In the long litany of tipping points, where Pittsfield zigged when it should have zagged, we have a kind of connect-the-dots game. When the lines are drawn, a picture emerges of municipal failure. The meltdown from success and vitality was a long one, in the making now for at least 30 years — an entire generation wasted on futility when it could have been building something that, by today, would have been in place and thriving.
Off the top of our heads, here are some examples of the sad litany:
Dots on the Prayer Beads
* Late 1960s, Pittsfield destroys part of its heart, ripping down an entire neighborhood on South and West Streets in the name of “Urban Renewal.” Renewal tore down the train station, the Wendell Hotel, and a slew of grand structures that, while in want of remodeling, would be revered architectural treasures today.
* Late 1970s. Despite twice voting and twice approving the location of mall in downtown Pittsfield, the GOB takes over and corrupts the process. The mall is killed, and with it, the fate of downtown is sealed.
* Late 1980s. GE pulls out, leaving behind a legacy of merit but leaving in the ground, air, and soil a century of industrial toxins.
We will stop there. Readers, feel free to add your own. THE PLANET brings this up to share another of the lost opportunities. This comes from one of our readers and posters, Giacometti, who tells us of a musical venue that we once had and let slip away to New York City. Read on, those who can bare to face reality:
|Mort Cooperman at one time had Shelly Schiltz from the Phillip Morris Agency view ” The Studio ” because Mort wanted to start a large scale production at that site…but when the GOB arranged for the City to give the building to City Savings Bank so that they could build their new Legacy Bank … Mort took his dreams to Brooklyn and started another venue with Shelly and the William Morris Agency and soon attracted Robert Di Nero to their project
The Tri Becca Arts Festival…later to grow into The Tri Becca Film Festival…which Mort still runs with Di Nero and the William Morris Agency. while Pittsfield has just another bank thanks to the GOB’s
This story can be filed under “R” for the “read it and weep” label. Had Pittsfield been more nurturing to visionaries, today it could well be the host of one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals and home to one of the country’s top musical venues for rock and pop.
But no. The GOBs know better. Or is it, they “no” better.
Thanks to Giacometti, who once again proves the value of institutional knowledge, lest the rest of us forget.
As an addendum, THE PLANEt adds this: It doesn’t have to remain this way in Pittsfield. Progressive leadership, political will, and the nurturing of visionaries (as opposed to the enabling of fore flushers [e.g, EV Worldwide, Workshop Live, etc.]) could reverse direction. It would be like taking a hard left in the Queen Mary. You’d have to begin cranking the wheel seven miles before the turn, but it could be done.
Until Pittsfield voters remain hypnotized, cajoled, intimidated, and otherwise rendered apathetic, however, the city shall continue its long death spiral.
Pittsfield, the choice is yours.
THE IRREVERSIBLE DIRECTION and RELENTLESS VELOCITY of PAST MISTAKES AS THEY RESONATE IN THE PRESENT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MEEKLY ACCEPTED. WAKE UP! WAKE UP!
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.