Vacancy, Art, & Transformation: Winooski 1969-2005
Paperback, 96 Pages
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The book portrays a New England Mill town's numerous attempts to reinvent itself following the closing of the mills in the late 1950s and the impact of those policies on the people living there. Included are over 50 pages of portraits. Higgins presents a 1970s downtown where people socialized in the restaurants, where shuffleboard tables were ubiquitous, and where people filled the bingo parlor nightly. He describes the Urban Renewal project that demolished the east half of the neighborhood and urooted residents. He recalls the importance to musicians of the Melanson's Mill Restaurant, the town's ongoing atraction for artists, and the city's visionary proposal to use federal funds to cover Winooski with a dome. He describes the regional excitement over the "Renaissance" development in the 1980s, celebrates Winooski's former prominence as a center of Halloween activity, and finally he honors the influx of residents from other countries who have added to the town's... More > cultural richness.< Less
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Oct 15, 2009"Vacancy, Art & Transformation" Dan Higgins portrays in image and descriptive language his thirty six year love affair with the hometown of his choice. Winooski, Vermont reflects the rich history of textiles in Vermont and welcomes the newcomers – blue collar immigrants to its colorful base of French Canadian citizens. Dan is not only a retired university professor with a lifetime of aesthetic comment on US politics, but a world citizen in a McLunanesque sort of manner. He empathetically connects with the diverse members of his neighborhood, whether Sudanese or Lebanese, Armenian or Irish, Bosnian or Viet Namese. Mr. Higgins portrays not only the glitz and the glamour but the inner character and strength, of a city beholden to the whims and wishes of federal grants and urban renewal. Winooski is always the little suburban sister down the hill and across the river from it’s upscale university town up the hill and overlooking the lake. A solid citizen who cares, this... More > unique photographer persists in occupying the bar stools of long forgotten local haunts, visiting the living rooms of janitors, and accepting invitations to all manner of gatherings who protect the heart throb of a vital community that will not be divided by bulldozing, high rises or redirected traffic. He documents meticulously with lens and sound recorders the seemingly mundane interests of a thriving group of Winooski inhabitants who feel important and maintain self respect in large part because of their neighbor, Dan Higgins reflects and shares with them on a regular basis the importance of their lives, their conversation, and their interactions with each other in the cafés, clubs and around the bingo tables. The author gives back to his Winooski neighbors a family album of sorts—a careful record of the changes over the 36 years he has been privileged to take part in their inner social circles. This book is well worth the read, and will open your eyes to the small gems that surround you in your community, your home, and your daily life.< Less
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- Standard Copyright License
- Dan Higgins
- October 24, 2006
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Full color
- 0.95 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 8.5 wide x 11 tall
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