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Darien, Connecticut, Could Be Paradise

Updated on December 7, 2017
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1964. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

The Closest Thing to Paradise

Tilley Pond Park in Darien, Connecticut.
Tilley Pond Park in Darien, Connecticut.

Pear Tree Point on L.I. Sound

Pear Tree Point beach in Darien, Connecticut
Pear Tree Point beach in Darien, Connecticut

Darien Could Be 'Paradise'

Darien, Connecticut:
Darien, CT, USA

get directions

One of the oldest professions in the world, politics, has lost much of its appeal in recent years as official after official -- often following many years of dedicated, outstanding service to the community and nation -- faces career-threatening accusations ranging from sexual indiscretions to unethical or illegal conduct.

Whether the accusations are true or untrue makes relatively little difference. Once accused, a politician is rarely ever the same. Such ignominy has long been associated with politics and politicians.

Politics: A Noble Profession

It's too bad, though, because politics is truly a noble profession. Good people can find few more effective ways to influence the course of history and to promote their ideas for the betterment of society.

But, while one man (or woman) or one vote can sometimes win the day, our system of representative government is slow moving; very slow moving! Eventually, important things are accomplished, but, as we all know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Some things have to wait -- sometimes for a long, long time!

When I was a young man, I sometimes thought I would like to be a poltician; perhaps a congressman or senator or maybe even president! It's farfetched, of course, but what man has not thought, at least once, the things he might do if he were president.

I've long since given up any hope of being president. But, as a resident of Darien (Conn.), I now have a new dream.

I'd like to be czar of Darien!

Ban All Private Automobiles

My first official act as Darien's czar would be to ban all private automobiles from inside the town's limits.

Then I would instruct the public works department to tear up all town roads and plant grass. In their place, I would authorize funds for the construction of pathways for a variety of small vehicles.

All state and federal funds received for road construction and improvement would be returned to authorities, and the state would be informed that our on ramps and off ramps would no longer be needed on Interstate 95 or the Merritt Parkway insofar as there would be no roads suitable for automobile travel.

Existing gasoline stations would be converted to depots where bicycles, mopeds, golf carts and small electric automobiles (used only as taxis) would be used to take residents to buses, trains and other modes of transportation outside of Darien.

Skyrocketing Property Values

Naturally, all of this would cause something of a commotion in Connecticut and elsewhere. The residents of Darien would have to get used to the cleaner air, the quieter atmosphere, the more friendly and sociable atmosphere -- and the skyrocketing increases in property values.

But who would want to sell their property in the new Darien? And, why? To move to another community where strangers fly by the streets in automobiles without so much as a "Hi, neighbor?" Where the noise and pollution of cars and trucks frazzle the otherwise serene atmosphere?

OK, so all this is a pipe dream that will never come to pass. I won't be appointed czar of Darien.

So be it!

But, nevertheless, I wish it were so.

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaperof Norwalk, Conn., on March 1, 1997. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.

Do You Favor Torpey's Plan To Make Darien An Environmental 'Paradise'?

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A Video Tour of Darien, Connecticut

Darien, Connecticut -- Another View

Bing Crosby Sings "Paradise'


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    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Darien was my home for many years, Putz Ballard, before I moved to Long Island, N.Y., five years ago. It's a quiet little place, but it would be a lot better if I were czar there. Thanks for the nice comment.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      9 years ago

      I think I may have visited your fair town years ago when I went home with a fellow Airman to his home in Ansonia. Great hub.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      There's nothing better than public transportation, Linda. I grew up with the trolley cars in Yonkers, N.Y. The trolleys not only took us everywhere we wanted to go in the city, but they did it in style. They were fun to ride. We often took trolley rides all over the city just for fun when we had nothing else to do. A nickel was all it took (You could transfer free from the hub in Getty Square to any part of the city. The automobile industry, the oil industry and many others used their financial and political power to keep public transportation from expanding in the same way that industry is keeping us from getting quality health care at reasonable prices.

    • profile image

      Linda Palucci 

      10 years ago

      It would be great without cars, they are expensive, but public transportation is not very good.

      Last year when I visited FL, I was in Orlando area. I wanted to go visit my cousin in Pt Charlotte, on w. coast of FL.

      There was no good way to get there. no Train, no planea, the bus took like 20 hours by the time connections were made. The best, fastest and cheapest was to rent a car for the day, for $35 and drive there. Took about 1 1/2 hours.

      There is much talk of a train in FL, there should be, there are many seniors here, I'm sure would enjoy taking the train. I would.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Automobiles don't give you personal freedom, nicomp, they merely put you on a merry-go-round you can'get off. I grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., when it had trolley cars that could take you anywhere you wanted to go in the Yonkers area. Real freedom is when you have lots of options. When you can use trolleys, buses, trains, airplanes, golf carts and bicycles then you're really free. Paved roads and concrete parking lots do not equate to freedom. Just look at the contrast that ColdWarBaby demonstrates on his latest hub about the Manhattan Project.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I gave them the opportunity, Mighty Mom, but they never offered me the czar job. Darien isn't so bad as it is now, but it would be a true paradise if I could follow through with my ideas for the town. I like Connecticut well enough, but I'm in Long Island now. I was born and raised in Yonkers and always considered myself a New Yorker. I like here.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      nicomp, in modern amerika you can only have as much "personal freedom" as you can buy.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      10 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I'm glad you're not czar. ;)

      Personal freedoms are too valuable to be swept away in the name of creating a paradise.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hello William!

      When I read the title of your hub I thought it was going to argue that Darien as it is could be paradise on earth. It's a pretty sweet little berg already, but your plans make it much more inviting.

      Like CWB I have fond memories of southwestern CT. My dear aunt and cousins live in Brookfield Center up Route 7 (I think that's right) from Danbury.

      I miss the east coast a lot! MM

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Those are nice areas, ColdWarBaby. I played golf in Ridgefield, Danbury and New Milford. My two brothers-in-law live in Ridgefield and Bethel.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I was raised in Danbury, lived in New Milford, Kent, Sherman and Wilton.

      Kent and Wilton, in those days in the areas where I lived, were very rural. Narrow, winding country roads with little traffic and houses in the woods from which the nearest neighboring house couldn't be seen for the trees.

      Thinking back on it now, that seems like paradise to me.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      11 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      You're off to a good start, Fred. With gasoline over $4 a gallon my proposal makes more sense now than it did when I wrote the column. I sold my house in Darien, and I'm now back in New York where I started -- but I'm still willing to take the job as czar if we can turn Darien into Paradise. If so, I accept your offer to be my vice-czar.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I live in Darien, and just bought my first motor scooter. Planning to leave my Town & Country in the garage as much as possible.

      Having just found your blog on "Paradise," I would gladly offer my services as vice-Czar. What a wonderful thought!

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      11 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks Blogger Mom and amy jane for your nice comments. I live in Long Island now, but I was in Darien on Thursday visiting friends. So far, they haven't taken my suggestion.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 

      11 years ago from Connecticut

      Fun hub! I have spent much time in Darien as well, I used to live and work nearby :) Love your plans though! The town has beauty and charm, and so many fancy cars driven by aloof strangers...

    • Blogger Mom profile image

      Blogger Mom 

      11 years ago from Northeast, US

      I live near Darien, and this is pretty funny! Thanks for sharing. =)


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