About Bridgeport
From "How America Can Bike And Grow Rich, The NBG Manifesto"

As we made our way down the Post Road, the traffic and the buildings increased until we hit Bridegport where a full blown city of almost 140,000 people emerged. An old city, like many of its Northeastern neighbors, it dated back to 1639 when it began life as simple farming community, Bridgeport, as the Mayor’s office later explained to us, was now undergoing a major transformation.

Once a bustling manufacturing town, with hundreds of factories, that produced everything from carriages to brass and cast-iron fittings, sewing machines, saddlery, plastics, tools and ammunition, it suffered when in the 1980's the production of hard goods shifted to other countries. Faced with all the growing pains of deindustrialization such as crime and unemployment, as Connecticut’s largest city, its now service based economy is helping it make a strong recovery.

As we passed through somewhat run down neighborhoods that were victims of this transformation, we soon felt like celebrities. Everywhere we looked, people were looking out their windows or pointing at us from the sidewalks. Dogs started barking. Even a handful of kids ran alongside of us as we slowly ambled along on our way to City Hall.


By the time we made it to the ferry, it somehow seemed fitting that one of Bridgeport’s former Mayors would be be a part of our journey to Port Jefferson. Back in 1872 when boats first started taking people back and forth between these two cities, it had been none other than Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum, founder of the The Greatest Show on Earth, the Barnum and Bailey Traveling Circus. who had initially helped to bankroll this long running service. PT had served as the Mayor of Bridgeport in 1855.

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