Monday, April 30, 2007

Lobster vs. Submarine

“Lobster vs. Submarine” is more than a good name for a painting. It is a street phrase used when discussing New London development. It is shorthand for saying, “This is a question of relying on tried and true tradition or embracing new, expert-drawn, potentially dangerous, modern means.” Every time something new develops in New London, Conn. the city debates whether to let it take root. It is always a question of Lobster vs. Submarine.

Blackie is a crow that smokes cigars while he struts back and forth along Green’s Harbor Beach like a plutocrat pacing his boardroom. Blackie has plenty of people to supply him with stogies. This is an old fashioned city that favors the many flavors of tobacco, be traditional or whacky. The city is a natural humidor, keeping everything fresh with its air. Many people stop to watch Blackie from their cars, but few stop to approach him and ask him a question.

Whalehead King, the obvious hero of these stories, parked his motor scooter and spoke to Blackie a few years ago during the big eminent domain legal brouhaha. Both had already been long-term residents of New London. Both had a different perspective on the city. Whalehead King asked Blackie what he thought of the Fort Trumbull plans. Blackie said, “It is a question of Lobster vs. Submarine.” Not only is Blackie a cigar-smoking crow, he is The Oracle of Green’s Harbor Beach.
Whalehead King visited the Fort Trumbull Neighborhood today. It is a moonscape dotted with abandoned homes ready for demolition. It is barren of anything but weeds. It is a question of Lobster vs. Submarine. In New London, things rarely change. The city opted for the open, untrammeled space that existed here when the Nameaug Indians were the original residents. Rather than have inhabited land, the city chose to return to nature. It is a question of Lobster vs. Submarine.

To learn a little about Dr. Otto Zugzwang, visit http://blog.myspace/whaleheadking

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