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Describe the Village in One Word

More than two dozen people did so Wednesday night during a workshop about the future of Brewster.

Think big, start small, but do something.

That's the advice Joe Czajka, a consultant with the research group Pattern for Progress, gave Wednesday to the folks who attended an informal brainstorming session about the revitalization of the Village of Brewster.

The Newburgh-based non-profit aims to promote growth and vitality in the area. The Village contract calls for the organization to study several components of Village life: "adaptive reuse" of Garden Street School, community development, neighborhood blight and transit-oriented development. Researchers will use Wednesday's conversations when producing future reports, said Czajka, who serves as vice president of research and policy.

More than 25 people—from business and property owners to elected officials to residents—were present for the discussion. It lasted about two hours, during which time Czajka and his colleague, consultant Barbara "Charlie" Murphy, asked the group to participate in a number of exercises. 

"We want you to start dreaming out loud tonight," Murphy said near the start of the session.

Pattern's goal, she told Patch, is to come up with an action plan and a related implementation program for Village revitalization, which is an "incremental process." She and Czajka used nearby examples, including the revivals of places like Beacon and Cold Spring over the years, to remind attendees that change doesn't happen overnight.

The first task Czajka and Murphy put before the group was this:

Describe the Village of Brewster in a single word.

Creative, divided, historic, unfriendly and underestimated were just some of the responses.

What's the first word that comes to your mind when you think of Brewster? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and don't forget to stay with Patch for more on this story. Updates will follow.

Ashley Tarr (Editor) November 15, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Thanks so much for weighing in, everyone. Please remember that the task was for a single word. You'll have the chance to add additional comments as the rest of the posts go live.
Janet November 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM
hardworking
Bill Banks November 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM
safe
Todd November 15, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Diverse, Convenient, Safe........I love the Village!
Maria November 15, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Yes, abandoned. I wish I had known of the meeting...I would have attended. Glad there is interest in taking back what could be valuable real estate!
christopher riccio November 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM
a prospectors dream! Jack and Jill - POOL HALL
Ted Aiello November 15, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Southbronx
Tom Boissonnault November 15, 2012 at 07:32 PM
“The Village in One Word” I, too, attended that meeting last night and despite the comments here, many of the words shared last night were positive. As with others in attendance, I added to the wish list of items that I would love for the Village of Brewster. One of the biggest stumbling blocks this nice little place has to overcome negativism and a lack of vision. I own a house and I am raising my children in the Village of Brewster. My children play on the sidewalk in front of my house. My neighborhood is not scary or sad or poor and most importantly, it is not “pathetic.” I know my neighbors by name on three streets in any direction. Last night’s meeting was important because folks came out that are interested in making the Village better. There are steps being taken to improve the Village like new uniform signage in front of local businesses; new sidewalks and lights in 2014, many new businesses that are here and soon coming; many building improvements as a result of the Blight Study………………….I welcome any resident to come to a Village meeting to hear about the positive momentum we now have. Bring your thoughts and ideas. I recognize that we still have a long way to go, but instead of inciting the negative, which helps no one, perhaps some optimism, vision and creativity could go a long way. Tom Boissonnault
CK November 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Salvageable
Rick Lowell November 15, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Neighborly, friendly, opportunity, gracious, welcoming, unexpected. Just a few thoughts from a resident of the VoB.
kelly November 15, 2012 at 08:28 PM
eclectic
Frank Marshal November 15, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Rebuild
Ashley Tarr (Editor) November 15, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Hi Maria. If you're looking to have your voice heard, the Village is accepting written comments until the close of business Monday. There is also a good possibility of more meetings to come.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) November 15, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Here's one from a member of the online group Brewster10509: "Rockwell-esque."
Miriam F. November 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Community with beautiful historical homes
Joseph Lambert November 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Ok, I'll play. Tolerant
BEATRICE JACOBSEN November 15, 2012 at 09:40 PM
HOPE
BEATRICE JACOBSEN November 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
AMERICAN HOPE FOR ALL
Bob Dumont November 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM
opportunity
Art Hanley November 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Rebirth
Janette lambert November 16, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Friendly and open minded with lots of possibilities
Terri Stockburger November 16, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Home (for 20 years)
jack November 16, 2012 at 04:15 AM
all of the above.
Christine Piccini November 16, 2012 at 01:07 PM
family-oriented neighborhoods
lillian philbin November 16, 2012 at 02:00 PM
shabby
Paul McGann November 16, 2012 at 02:56 PM
great neighbors convienent
BEATRICE JACOBSEN November 16, 2012 at 03:38 PM
RACEISTS NOT WELCOME THE HUB THE HEART OF THE HARLEM VALLEY
Ashley Tarr (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Lots of great thoughts here. Now I'm asking folks to name the Village's most valuable asset (as consultants asked attendees to do): http://patch.com/A-zCz5. It's possible that some of the responses will overlap. Based on what I heard at the meeting, and the comments above, I think the train station is a popular answer.
Idilcia November 20, 2012 at 08:43 AM
Funky
Ann Fanizzi November 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Dust off the $25,000 Saccardi & Schiff report of over a decade ago which exhaustively studied the Village and issued a comprehensive plan for its revitalization. If that doesn't suit you then there was the Columbia University report and we can go back to 1990 to the Burkhurst, Fish study. But let's stop this nonsense. We have the reports, we have the plans. Inmplement them.

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