Notes of encouragement written with sidewalk chalk decorate the Brewer Riverwalk in May 2020. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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Kudos to Brewer for the vast and ongoing improvements to its waterfront, to serve the recreational and psychological needs of her residents and guests! It’s a truly enjoyable place to visit.

Meanwhile, across the Penobscot, after spending tens (hundreds?) of thousands of dollars reclaiming the riverfront, what does the Queen City have? I think it’s Bangor’s equivalent to Boston’s “Big Dig.” It has been nearly totally taken over by the Waterfront Concerts venue (which in my opinion should have been moved to the dying Bangor Mall area long ago), adorned with what looks like an enormous skeletal erector set stage, rusted steel girder panels, mounds of dirt, and lining the Main Street sidewalk, the stockade fence of what I call “Fort Alex Gray” that obscures the view of the river. Bangor’s waterfront is a site which just “ends” behind the Hollywood Casino, and is frequently an encampment site of unhoused people, and a repository for things like discarded camping gear, clothing and needles.

Bangor’s Waterfront could have been as enjoyable to use as, and a compliment to, the remarkable place that the Brewer Riverwalk has become.

Michael P. Gleason