The Sam J. Sacco Sr. Memorial Amphitheatre
The heavy metal trusses of the pleated roof of the amphitheatre used to be filled with large panes of glass, but they were removed when they started breaking in the weather and through vandalism. The structure was built in 1989 as part of bayside beautification, named to honour an ex-mayor, and then it was forgotten, although the dedication plaque ensures that the name of Sam J. Sacco will live on.
It has NEVER been used for an event of any kind, and is now a gathering place for the homeless. At full capacity, its tiered seating could probably sleep 50 to 100 people end-to-end, but even the occasional napper may be rousted out of there. Without a roof, it’s useless for any purpose in the rain, and it was built facing the bay with nothing to break the wind. Often, during the day, street wanderers with guitars on their backs will meet there and sit around, playing and smoking weed. Everybody’s gotta be someplace.
Shrubs and underbrush all around the bay show evidence of habitation – cardboard flooring, discarded clothing, bits of trash – performance art. There are snug nests under the community center deck. Once upon a time, a man who used to live there had given us a tour of his digs, saying that he felt cozy and protected except for the occasional exceptionally high tide. And until someone found his place and stole his stuff.
Along the bay around the center of town is a fancy boardwalk funded by our local billionaire - plants in huge planters, lots of benches, a railing along the water, lighting, banners. There are elaborate plans for development all along the town side of the boardwalk, but so far, only one building has been completed – or even started. Next to the main entrance to the boardwalk is a building complex with a saltwater taffy and souvenir shop, and a proposed restaurant on the ground floor, and deluxe condo apartments on top – with a deluxe view of the bay.
Home Sweet Homes - With a View of the Bay