A clothing company printed the word “Gottingen” in the shape of a gun on t-shirts and another design depicting a baseball bat with spikes protruding out of with the word “Dartmouth”. I have a quirky sense of humour, but in my opinion, this is just plain offensive and degrading to our communities. Does the Dartmouth Clothing Company realize the affect these designs have on the residents, businesses and the reputation of these
For over 2 decades Gottingen Street has had its share of issues. The construction of the Cogswell Interchange and Scotia Square in the early 70’s caused this area to be physically severed off from the Central Business District. Instead of frequenting the once popular Gottingen Street, people started going to shopping malls like Scotia Square,
Halifax Shopping Centre, and Bayers Road Shopping Centre for the “one stop shopping experience”. The once popular “main street” shopping experience died and society began to embrace the westernized method of shopping by driving outside of their neighbourhoods to large stores instead of strolling shop to shop in a European fashion. Banks, clothing and grocery stores closed and the street fell into a funk.
Provincial Government offices and non- government organizations who service low income and homeless individuals located to Gottingen Street. This meant the services would be closer to those in need, but it was also a deterrent to some businesses leaving the residents without the fundamentals of a walk-able neighbourhood as described in HRM By Design, Richard Florida, Jane Jacobs, and other knowledgeable academics.
Since 2000, many people have worked very passionately to revive our downtown area. Some investments have been made by the municipality and many private businesses have begun to return to Gottingen Street. Each business invested a substantial amount of time, energy and money into the area even though Gottingen Street, which is part of the Capital District, was not seen as a desirable destination to many.
Currently, there is resurgence on Gottingen Street. Dilapidated buildings have been bought and demolished for new commercial space and affordable apartments. New businesses have opened, refurbished their buildings, or relocated to the street.
As for the residents of this area, Gottingen Street is home. There is a very diverse cross-section of society in the area that encompasses Gottingen Street which makes it a very unique and special place which should be celebrated; not mocked or stereotyped.
It’s unfortunate that a company is capitalizing on the adverse history of Gottingen, which is having a positive revival. Instead of insulting the area with their hateful t-shirts, the clothing company should be supporting the positive initiatives occurring! Community projects like the North End Community Garden, where children, youth and seniors grow their own vegetables, produce their own salad dressing, and sell it at the Seaport Market. With the profits, the children invest in their future by pooling their money into a scholarship fund for themselves and by sharing their profits with other Non- Profits in the area. These young philanthropists have helped homeless youth, has the Dartmouth Clothing Company helped or hindered this or any good work going on in the community?