Bay Street needs to return to its glory days

Dear Editor,

Thank you for granting me space in your fine newspaper.

Every time I drive in Downtown Nassau, it depresses me. Downtown Nassau used to be a beautiful place with fine shops, where gifts from all over the world could be purchased at duty-free prices.

There were nice arcades filled with shops and décor. There was the famed Bernard Sunley Arcade with its beautiful water fountain.

Only an empty fountain and statues remain and only visible through Scotiabank offices.

There were fine restaurants with local and international cuisine.

The straw market consisted of 100 percent Bahamian crafts, from straw work to woodwork, among others.

Straw vendors, in addition to being in the market, also sold wares on the side of the streets.

Downtown Nassau has lost its charm, consisting now of mostly jewelry and T-shirt shops. Back in the day, you could buy fine china, crystal, figurines, cameras, duty-free liquors, beauty products, toiletries, watches and fine fashions, all from top brand-name companies.

There is a port marketplace opposite Rawson Square. It is not very attractive looking.

At Christmastime, there was a beautiful display that was phenomenal and enjoyed by many tourists and Bahamians. Could they not set up a display of something nice, maybe in a Bahamian theme, that could be year round?

Bay Street heading east is a real eyesore. Many of the buildings need to be knocked down.

Taxi drivers take people on tours and what is there really for them to see? The history of Bay Street has not been restored.

I applaud the Gazzarolli family for the development of Delancy Street which includes the Bahamas Heritage Museum.

I keep hearing about the redevelopment plan of Bay Street but nothing seems to be happening.

The only stores remaining from Bay Street’s glorious past are Coin of the Realm, John Bull and the Perfume Bar.

Bay Street needs to return to its glory days. Bay Street was the center of Nassau.

Bring back Goombay Summer when Bay Street came alive at night with stores and restaurants staying open late with local vendors coming out showcasing their wares.

Like at Marina Village on weekends, they, too, could have a Junkanoo rushout.

We need more for our tourists. Our tourism slogan says, “It’s better in The Bahamas”. Well, let’s make it better in The Bahamas. Let’s restore Bay Street to what it once was.

Yours sincerely,

— A Bahamian observer

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